This course will introduce students to great works of Western Culture--both textual and performative--and the different ways that a professor of literature, a historian, and a philosopher might read them. The theme of the course is METAMORPHOSIS. Through repeated encounters with Apuleius' GOLDEN ASS, Shakespeare's A WINTER'S TALE, Kafka's METAMORPHOSIS, and Puccini's MADAME BUTTERFLY, we will track the transformation of our theme through questions of translation, reception, language, method, genre, and our own choice to read, think and write through these works. Three College of Letters faculty will alternately lecture and lead small seminars, where students will learn how to transpose their own analysis of these texts into effective writing. We will celebrate the apotheosis of this course with an expedition to the MET's performance of Madame Butterfly.