CMLL Elective Courses Spring 2021

Spring 2021 Undergraduate Elective Courses


All Advanced Level courses require the completion of the introductory and intermediate courses


In accordance with CUNY-wide guidelines for the Spring 2021 semester, all courses in CMLL will be taught online through a combination of both synchronous and asynchronous instruction. You must be free to meet online on the days and times indicated for this course. Your instructor will give you additional information on the frequency and format of synchronous classes when the semester begins.




Level 300


ARAB 31300 (48754.M)    Minorities in Cont. Middle Eastern Lit. & Culture     

T. & TH. 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM      Jeremy Randall ( )

This Course introduces students to modern and contemporary representations of minorities in the Middle East, North Africa through diverse selection of literature and cultural productions. Students will be introduced to short stories, novellas, films and art by and about racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities within and from the region. Students will examine how cultural, social, political, demographic, geographic and economic situations can assemble and circulate minorities assemblies throughout the region, (Potential topics will include but are not limited to the Arab Diaspora in France, LGBTQ+ Communities in Lebanon, Iraqi Jews, domestic workers in the Emirates, and Afro-Palestinians.)




Level 300


CHIN 31106 (31521.D) Conversational Chinese   

M. & W. 12:30 PM - 01:45 PM      Yaxi Zheng ( )

CHIN 31106 (31521.D) Conversational Chinese
        Conversational Chinese is designed for students who completed Intensive Intermediate Chinese course at City College. The goal of the course is to continue to build up vocabulary and sentence patterns in communicative contexts. Students will develop their ability to carry out conversations
in Chinese on a range of topics. Reading and writing (using simplified characters) skills will be further developed in conjunction with speaking and listening skills.




Level 300


CLASS 31202 (48202.F) The Ancient World: Rome        

M. & W. 03:30 PM - 04:45 PM       George Spiliotopoulos

           America's founders were extremely interested in Roman history and considered themselves the heirs of the Romans. Senate, representation, congress, and president are all Latin words. Today, we often hear dire warnings that the United States might follow Rome in collapse. But Rome endured over 1000 years. To what did we owe its longevity?  What institutions propped up the Roman state and Roman society? What was life like for Roman men? For women? For other people who came into contact with them. All these questions will be explored in this course.




Level 200


FREN 28300 (31531.E) Literature of Contemporary France     

M. & W. 02:00 PM - 03:15 PM       Ryan Evelyn ( )

Critical analysis of representative works, writers, movements. Proust, Guide, Camus, Sartre, Malraux, Duras, Robbe-Grillet and others.


Level 300



FREN 30400 (47891.F) Focus on Written Expression                 


M. & W. 03:30 PM - 04:45 PM       Nina Veneret ( )

Rotating, semester-long topics that provide practice in basic writing skills in French. Practice in the styles and forms of expository and analytical writing including personal narratives, explication de texte, and argumentative essays. Accompanying texts will provide critical models and subjects on which students will base informal and formal written assignments of varying lengths. Specific course content will vary by semester and will be announced beforehand.


Level 400


FREN 40300 (47182.S) France in the World: contemporary Experiences  

T. & TH. 05:00 PM - 06:15 PM       Maxime Blanchard ( )

            Through poetry, novels and essays students will explore literature and culture in France and the Francophone world from the mid -twentieth century and contemporary period.




Level 300


ITAL 32300 (46255.P) Spoken Italian                   

T. & TH. 02:00 PM - 03:15 PM       Corinna Messina-Kociuba ( )

Intensive Practice of Spoken Language works on aural comprehension, oral production, correct pronunciation, and idiomatic speech. Discussion of short stories, films or current events dealing with the Italian World.


Level 400


ITAL 42500 (46256.R) Machiavelli & II Prince   

T. & TH. 03:30 PM - 04:45 PM       Devid Paolini ( )

A focus on the study of the "II Prince" with in the political, religious, and intellectual background of Machiavelli's time.




Level 300


JAP 30500 (31541.E) Conversational Japanese    

M. & W. 02:00 PM - 03:15 PM       Emi Kikuchi ( )

            As continuation from Japanese 226, this course focuses on developing communication skills in both spoken and written Japanese.  Useful grammars and vocabulary at intermediate level will be introduced to build the solid basis of Japanese learning.  Memorization of sample dialogues and passages will be highly emphasized to master sentence patterns and vocabulary in contexts.  Vocabulary-building is also an emphasized aspect of this course.  Having learned 145 kanji in the previous courses, another some 65 kanji will be introduced.  In addition to fixed/simple in-class oral and written practices and homework, oral presentations and writing assignments, where students are expected to demonstrate their achievements in Japanese learning in more creative way, will be assigned as well.  Audio-visual materials such as video clips, on-line resources will be introduced as needed.  active and voluntary participation to in-class activities and projects, and submission of all the homework in timely manner are required to all participating students.


Jewish Studies


Level 100


JWST 10000 (34355.B) Introduction to Jewish Life and Religion           

M. & W. 09:30 AM - 10:45 AM       Aaron Portman ( )

            The traditional life and religion of the Jews and the ways that they have changed during the modern period. The ideals of Jewish religion; the nature of man, creation, revelation, and redemption. The pattern of life in the premodern and modern worlds in relation to changes in the values held by Jews.


JWST 10400 (34333.C) Introduction to Jewish American Literature     

M. & W. 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM       Amy Kratka ( )

            This course makes use of great books to trace the experience of Jews in America from the beginning of the 20th Century to the present, garnering from characters and their stories a particular understanding of Jewish American identity and a more universal appreciation of the general human condition.


JWST 11700 (31069.C) The Bible as Literature  

M. & W. 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM       Terry Wasserman ( )

M. & W. 12:30 AM - 01:45 PM       Terry Wasserman ( )


           Introduces students to selected texts from the Hebrew Bible. Students read English translations of these texts and address questions of translation, historical truth, myth, belief, and notions of contemporary relevance. Students compare these primary texts to secondary texts--works of fiction or criticism that use the Bible as a starting point. Intended to give students an awareness of how a literary understanding of the Bible can enhance their appreciation for contemporary modes of storytelling.


JWST 12100 (34293.E) Recent Israeli- Palestinian Film 

M. & W. 02:00 PM - 03:15 PM       Shani Greenstein ( )

            This new course will explore the themes of peace and conflict between Israel and the Palestinians through the medium of film.


JWST 13100 (34298.L) Introduction to Jewish Music     

T. & TH. 09:30 PM - 10:45 PM      Samantha Cooper

A history of the music of the Jewish people, from biblical times through the various areas of the Diaspora, and then to modern day Israel and the United States. Students examine how music accompanies the Jewish liturgy, accompanies events in the Jewish life cycle (births, weddings, funerals), and remains connected to the Jewish People's pursuit of personal and communal fulfillment.


JWST 14100 (34327.P) Jewish Life in New York 

T. & TH. 02:00 PM - 03:15 PM       Aaron Welt ( )

            In addition to readings that consider cultural, linguistic, religious, and nationalistic aspects of Jewishness, we will view several films and hear presentations by experts in the Jewish communal life of New York.


Level 200


JWST 20700 (34292.E) Jesus the Jew                    

M. & W. 02:00 PM - 03:15 PM       Terry Wasserman ( )

               This course examines the figure of Jesus from a Jewish perspective. We see Jesus as a product of Herodian politics, the charismatic influences of Rabbi Hillel and Rabbi Shammai, the mystical Essene community based near Qumran, and the Hellenization of Judaism in the first century. We also consider the figure of Jesus as a Jew in the early Christian movements, especially in the Ebionite Christian communities. Issues such as the adherence to Law, Rabbinic interpretation of Law, the messianic movement, prophecy, magic, social reform, and growing anti-Semitism will be discussed.


JWST 23200 (48800.D) Jews in Film/ Fiction                   

M. & W. 12:30 PM - 01:45 PM       Amy Kratka ( )

This class explores the portrayal of Jewish characters in (mostly) post-WWII fiction and film. It discusses the depiction of Jewish identity and asks what role religion plays in these depictions. It also looks at the representation of women and men, parents and children, the importance of bearing witness to tragedy, and it investigates the way in which stories change when subjected to different media, discussing, in general, the larger questions that are posed by being Jewish in America.


JWST 23400 (34294.M) The Art of Jerusalem: Power & Piety in the Holy Land           

T. & TH. 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM      Abby Kornfield ( )

Explores the art and architecture of Jerusalem from the reign of Herod through the Crusades, a period of successive Jewish, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, and Latin domination. Attention will be given to the repeated transformation of the landscape of Jerusalem through the destruction, construction, and modification of important religious and cultural monuments. We will gauge the role of Jerusalem as an object of desire for the dispossessed and for pilgrims of three faiths, and explore how the accretion of myth and memory shaped the city¿ s symbolic identity, and how this imaginary ideal, as expressed in art and architecture, emphasized or denied the physical and political realities of medieval Jerusalem.


JWST 28100 (34326.B) The Holocaust      

M. & W. 09:30 AM - 10:45 AM       Roy Mittelman ( )

            Nazism's rise to power; the process of destruction; human and psychological aspects of the destruction process; Jewish life under the Nazis; the problem of resistance; Jewish and world response; moral, literary, and religious reflections of the Holocaust.

Level 300


JWST 31712 (34296.E) Protest and Dissent in Israel    

T. & TH. 2:00 PM - 03:15 PM         Elazar Elhanan ( )

            This course explores the surprisingly diverse and varied history and practices of protest and dissent in in israeli culture. Concentrating on film, theater and literature, this class will examine the different forms israeli culture examined itself critically.


JWST 31713 (34295.M) Culture of Resistance in New York    

T. & TH. 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM      Elazar Elhanan ( )

            From 1880 to the 1920 over two million Jewish immigrants arrived in New York from Eastern Europe. Faced with terrible conditions of exploitation and nativist racism, these immigrants created a unique culture of resistance. This culture, expressed in Yiddish, sought to cope with the shock of immigration, with the reality of poverty, sweatshops, crime, and discrimination they found in the “Golden Land”, and call to task the American Dream itself.


JWST 31911(84401.P) Primo Levi: Prisoner, Survivor, Scientist      

T. & TH. 2:00 PM - 03:15 PM         Alberto Gelmi ( )

Primo Levi is a towering figure of Italian literature, whose career spans over four decades and crosses multiple genres and forms. Heir of a long-established Jewish household from Turin, Levi was deported to Auschwitz where he managed to survive thanks to his professional training as a chemist. Years later, he was able to tell his story in two of the most consequential memoirs about the Holocaust, life in the concentration camp and the long, painful journey back home. In the final instalment of this trilogy, he investigated the sense of guilt and shame of a society that has not been able to process the events of a not-so-distant past. Although the name of Levi is primarily associated with this part of his production, the legacy of the Italian writer is much wider. Repeatedly, Levi reflects on the dignity and the beauty of a passionate commitment to our job as an alternative to postmodern alienation; he explores the several challenges that advancements in technology create for mankind on a daily basis. In this class, we set to survey Levi’s multifaceted work with readings from Survival in Auschwitz, The Drowned and the Saved, The Periodic Table, The Six Days and Other Tales, and The Monkey’s Wrench. Secondary sources include selections from Angier, Gordon, Pugliese, and Farrell.




Level 300


LAT 35300 (47419.CD) Virgil    

M. & W. 12:00 Pm - 01:40 PM        Nathan Oglesby ( )




Level 300


PORT 32100 (46968.F) Reading & Writing in Portuguese I    

M. & W. 03:30 PM - 04:45 PM       Regina Castro-McGowan ( )

             This Required course lays the foundation for student’s further understanding of grammar and different forms of expository and analytical writings in Portuguese. The short stories studied in this course addresses topics such as the representation of a national self- identity, slavery, the indigenous, Afro- Brazilian and immigrant cultures, the Lusophone diaspora, gender, and regional differences encountered through Portuguese speaking countries. Readings and Class discussions in Portuguese.




Level 200


SPAN 28300 (31559.F) Masterworks of Latin American Literature    

M. & W. 03:30 PM - 04:45 PM       Daniel Shapiro ( )

          Representative works and authors of Latin American letters from the early 20th century to the present. The texts are analyzed in light of the social, political, cultural, and ideological contexts in which they were produced.


Level 300


SPAN 31902 (48765.F) Orientalism in Hispanic Literature    

M. & W. 03:30 PM - 04:45 PM       Araceli Tinajero ( )

            This course will examine Hispanic literary and cultural representations pertaining to China, India, Korea, and Japan. Students will read novels, short stories, poems, essays, and chronicles of prominent writers of the Hispanic world in order to have a deeper understanding of the “East/West” divide conceptualized as Orientalism. Students will be exposed to films and visual representations so they can have a better understanding of the historical, geographic, and transnational connections between the Hispanic world and the Far East.


SPAN 32100 (31550.S) Problems of Spanish Grammar    

T. & TH. 05:00 PM - 06:15 PM       Silvia Burunat ( )

An advanced look at Spanish grammar focusing on description and explanation of selected Spanish syntactic phenomena such as uses of infinitive ser/estar, the order of major constituents, uses of se, and uses of the subjunctive. Students will analyze Spanish syntax, increase their understanding of the structure of Spanish and develop stylistically correct Spanish prose. Students are advised to take SPAN 37300, Advanced Spanish Composition & Conversation, prior to this course or in the same semester.


SPAN 32200 (47894.*EC) Practice in Writing Spanish

SPAN 32200 (31566.B)

T. & TH. 09:30 AM - 10:45 AM     Ricardo Martin Coloma ( )

M. & W. 05:30 PM - 06:15 PM       Araceli Tinajero ( )

            An intensive course in written Spanish, with stress on correct structure of descriptive, narrative and expository prose.


SPAN 32700 (31561.H) Introduction to Spanish Linguistics    

M. & W. 06:30 PM - 07:45 PM       Luis Guzmab Valerio ( )

            A presentation of the tools and methods of modern linguistics and their application to the study of the phonological, morphological, and syntactic characteristics of contemporary Spanish, especially those related to Spanish in the Americas.


SPAN 35100 (31562.C) Studies in Spanish Literature I    

M. & W. 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM       Dulce Garcia ( )

            A survey of the literature of Spain from the Middle Ages to the end of the 17th century, with emphasis on the different styles and periods and on the characteristics of representative genres.


SPAN 37300 (31564.G) Advance Spanish Composition    

T. & TH. 05:00 PM - 06:15 PM       Isabel Estrada ( )

This course is intended for bilingual undergraduate students in the School of Education. The course will develop and improve the students' capacity to express themselves in writing and orally utilizing various techniques.


Level 400


SPAN 45201 (31563.R) Topics in Spanish American Civilization I    

T. & TH. 03:30 PM - 04:45 PM       Jaime Manrique ( )

            A study of the social, cultural, and political developments of Spanish America. Topics include the contributions of the Native, Iberian, and African civilizations; the struggle for independence; the development of the arts; the impact of revolutionary movements; and the place of women in society.


SPAN 45202 (31555.G) Topics in Spanish American Civilization II    

M. & W. 09:30 AM - 10:45 AM       Araceli Tinajero ( )

        This course will introduce students to the richness and diversity of the colonies and cultures of Spanish America from the wars of independence to the present. Such a large project requires a selection of themes that will reveal the political, social and artistic components that contributed to the unique cultural development of Spanish America


Spring 2021 Graduate Elective Courses


 SPAN B9815 (47897.4TU) Carlos Fuentes and Juan Rulfo: Realism and Fantasy in Modern Mexican Narrative 

TH. 06:50 PM - 08:30 PM    Angel Estevez ( )

This course examines the work of twentieth-century Mexican authors Carlos Fuentes and Juan Rulfo. By exploring the borders between realism and fantasy in these texts, students will familiarize themselves with pressing themes and narrative theory in the works of two of Latin America's best-known writers.


SPAN V2500 (47895.2RS) Theatre of the Golden Age 

Tu. 04:50 PM - 06:30 PM     Devid Paolini ( )

Examination of the evolution of the Spanish theater emphasizing theory of drama in the works of Lope and Caldern as well as their influence of the play writing of the period in the Iberian Peninsula and The Americas.


SPAN V3100 (47896.2TU) Enlightenment and Romanticism in Spain 

Tu. 06:50 PM - 08:30 PM     Isabel Estrada ( )

A review of the impact of French Enlightenment and European Romanticism on Spanish thought and literature through readings of representative Spanish works from several genres.