Current Courses

Go to Past Courses

Fall 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: CLEN GU4822 (3pts.) Go to Registrar
Course Listing Page »

19TH CENTURY EUROPEAN NOVEL

Taught by

The 19th Century European Novel in the field of the emotions and in the cultural context of the major thinkers and the major historical events of the era.We will examine feelings, emotions, and passions in the novels from the perspectives of affective neuroscience, psychoanalysis, and philosophy in order to lay bare more clearly what is known and believed versus what is unknown, ignored or latent about human emotional reality at this time. Reading: Austen, Kleist (novella), Emily Bronte, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Hardy, D.H. Lawrence. No reading outside of the novels will be required on your part. , Further, my aim is to expand our cultural knowledge of the era by including the conceptual contributions and formative ideas of major 19th century thinkers in my lectures on the novels. Optional Reading of short selections from: Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Darwin, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Freud. Those who wish to read and write in a comparative way or on any of the optional writers will be able to do so in lieu of one or, possibly, two novels.

Fall 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: CPLS GR6368 (4pts.) Go to Registrar
Course Listing Page »

68 EFFECT IN FRENCH PHILOSOPHY

Taught by

Behind this project is a conviction that, for each of the important figures of what is now generally called “French Theory” (a label imported from U.S. Universities), the “May 68 events” in Paris (and elsewhere) represented a surprise and created an interruption in the course of their speculations and researches. This can be identified in some cases in the form of a “self-criticism”, in others as new collaborations and a shift in intellectual “alliances”, but above all in the form of a discovery of new objects and an invention of new terminologies. At stake would be, no doubt, a more direct way of interweaving the “conceptual” and the “political” in philosophy, but more profoundly the very notion of the political (whose traditional definitions, institutional or revolutionary, found themselves devalued in the course of the events), the representation of the “intellectual”, and what Deleuze later would call the “image of thought”. It is this change that we want to address in the seminar, by focusing on a selection of essays that can be read as a “reaction” to the event in the field of theory. They will be presented in the frame of dialogic confrontations around three themes: 1) “Discourse” (Foucault and Lacan); 2) “Desire” (Deleuze-Guattari, Irigaray and “Mouvement de Libération des Femmes”); 3) “Reproduction” (Althusser and Bourdieu-Passeron). This is a limited choice indeed, which nevertheless we hope may help elucidate how philosophers at the time wrote in the conjuncture.

Fall 2018 Course Type: Related Course Code: CLME GU4226 (4pts.) Go to Registrar
Course Listing Page »

ARABIC AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Taught by

This course applies current theories to the study of Arabic literary production. It focuses on forms of the ‘sacred’ and social critique that have developed over time and gathered momentum in the modern period. Although a number of Arab intellectual interventions are used to substantiate literary production, the primary concern of the discussion is narrative. A base for modern narrative was laid in the tenth century Maqamat of Badi al-Zaman al-Hamadhnai that led in turn to the growth of this phenomenal achievement that set the stage for narratives of contestation, crisis, and critique.

Spring 2018 Course Type: Joint Course Code: GR655 (4pts.)

Capitalism /Political Subject-Latin America

Taught by
Fall 2018 Course Type: Related Course Code: CLME GU4231 (4pts.) Go to Registrar
Course Listing Page »

COLD WAR ARAB CULTURE

Taught by

This course studies the effects and strategies of the cold war on Arab writing, education, arts and translation, and the counter movement in Arab culture to have its own identities. As the cold war functioned and still functions on a global scale, thematic and methodological comparisons are drawn with Latin America, India and Africa.

Fall 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: CPLS GR6111 (3pts.) Go to Registrar
Course Listing Page »

COMPARATIVE DIASPORAS & TRANSLATION

Taught by and

A seminar on the theory and practice of translation from the perspective of comparative diaspora studies, drawing on the key scholarship on diaspora that has emerged over the past two decades focusing on the central issue of language in relation to migration, uprooting, and imagined community. Rather than foregrounding a single case study, the syllabus is organized around the proposition that any consideration of diaspora requires a consideration of comparative and overlapping diasporas, and as a consequence a confrontation with multilingualism, creolization and the problem of translation. The final weeks of the course will be devoted to a practicum, in which we will conduct an intensive workshop around the translation projects of the student participants.

Fall 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: CPLS GR8867 (1pts.) Go to Registrar
Course Listing Page »

CONTEMPORARY CRITICAL THOUGHT

Taught by and

“In politics,” Reinhart Koselleck writes at the end of his essay on the modern concept of revolution, “words and their usage are more important than any other weapon.” Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Perhaps it is action that matters more than words, ultimately—political engagement, praxis, “agir.” Perhaps the words, in the end, merely catch up with the things. Regardless, a central question arises: In an age that may be considered post-revolutionary (but that too is a question), how should we understand and theorize collective action and individual political engagement? This seminar seeks to answer that question through a sustained, critical examination of different contemporary forms of political upheaval. The purpose of this seminar series, then, is to explore various modalities of uprising, disobedience, inservitude, revolt, or other forms of political contestation. Instead of including them all under the name of “revolution”—a term that has become conceptually and historically fraught—we are interested in considering how specific experiences and discourses articulate new forms of upheaval or reformulate well-known ones. By focusing on this conceptual, historical and political problematic, we intend to shine a light on experiences and manifestations that take place at the local and at the global level, as well as at the subjective and the collective level. The idea is to articulate how critical political practice is expressed and understood today. This is a year-long course (Y course). Columbia GSAS students will be required to take both Fall and Spring semesters of this course. No grade will be issued for the Fall semester, the credits are broken up across both semesters, 4 credits total, 1 in Fall and 3 in Spring. This course co-convenes with LAW L8866 001.

Fall 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: CPLS 88906 (4pts.) Go to Registrar
Course Listing Page »

Craft and Science: Making Objects in the Early Modern World

Taught by

ALSO LISTED AS: HISTGR 8906

This course studies the materials, techniques, settings, and meanings of skilled craft and artistic practices in the early modern period (1350-1750), in order to reflect upon a series of issues, including craft knowledge and artisanal epistemology; the intersections between craft and science; and questions of historical methodology and evidence in the reconstruction of historical experience. The course will be run as a “Laboratory Seminar,” with discussions of primary and secondary materials, as well as text- and object-based research and hands-on work in a laboratory. As one component of the Making and Knowing Project of the Center for Science and Society, this course contributes to the collective production of a transcription, English translation, and critical edition of a late sixteenth-century manuscript in French, Ms. Fr. 640. No prior lab experience, nor French language skills are necessary. Please don’t hesitate to contact Pamela Smith, ps2270@columbia.edu, if you have questions.

Spring 2018 Course Type: Joint Course Code: UN3555 (3pts.)

Crime & Criminality

Taught by

This seminar will explore narrative representations of criminality from the late 18th century to the present, drawing on German, French, and American literature with occasional forays into criminology and film. Specific attention will be paid to various textual strategies of constructing authenticity, “true crime” fiction, and interrelations of literature and criminology. Lectures, discussions, and readings will be in English.

Fall 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: GR 5040 (4pts.) Go to Registrar
Course Listing Page »

DECOLONIZING VISION

Taught by and

Team-taught by Gil Hochberg and Gayatri Gopinath

This interdisciplinary seminar explores the ways in which racial, imperial, and settler colonial regimes of power instantiate regimes of vision that determine what we see, how we see, and how we are seen. We will consider how the legitimacy and authority to rule and regulate particular populations has been inextricably linked to the concomitant power to visually survey these populations and the landscapes they inhabit. We explore how colonial modernity’s abiding legacy is the institution of a way of seeing, and hence knowing, that obscures the intimacies of imperial, racial, and settler colonial projects as they produce racial, gendered, and sexual subjectivities. Most importantly, we identify “decolonial visual practices” that speak to these submerged, co-mingled histories, and that point to their continuing resonance in the present.