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Spring 2018 Course Type: Related Course Code: CLIA GR6999 (3pts.) Go to Registrar
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Mafia Movies

Taught by

Instructor: Nelson Moe

Examines representations of the mafia in American and Italian film and literature. Special attention to questions of ethnic identity and immigration. Comparison of the different histories and myths of the mafia in the U.S. and Italy. Readings includes novels, historical studies, and film criticism. (NOTE: This is the graduate section of CLIA GU3660 which meets W 6:10p-10:00p)

Spring 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: CPLS GU3420 (4pts.) Go to Registrar
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Marginalization in Medicine

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There is a significant correlation between race and health in the United States. People of color and those from underserved populations have higher mortality rates and a greater burden of chronic disease than their white counterparts. Differences in health outcomes have been attributed to biological factors as race has been naturalized. In this class we will explore the history of the idea of “race” in the context of changing biomedical knowledge formations. We will then focus on the impact that social determinants like poverty, structural violence, racism and geography have on health. Ultimately, this course will address the social implications of race on health both within the classroom and beyond. In addition to the seminar, there will also be a significant service component. Students will be expected to volunteer at a community organization for a minimum of 3 hours a week. This volunteer work will open an avenue for students to go beyond the walls of their classrooms while learning from and positively impacting their community.

Spring 2018 Course Type: Joint Course Code: CLEN GU4910 (3pts.) Go to Registrar
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Metaphor and Media

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This course offers a survey of major works on metaphor, beginning with Aristotle and ending with contemporary cognitive and media theory. Appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate students, our sessions will involve weekly discussion and an occasional “lab” component, in which we will test our theoretical intuitions against case studies of literary metaphor and metaphor in the fields of law, medicine, philosophy, and design. I am particularly interested in ways metaphors “break” or “die,” whether from disuse, overuse, or misapplication. In their classical sense, metaphors work by ferrying meaning across from one domain to another. For example, by calling a rooster “the trumpet of the morn,” Shakespeare means to suggest a structural similarity between horn instruments and birds. Note that this similarity cannot pertain to the objects in their totality. The analogy applies to the call of the bird only or perhaps to the resemblance between a beak and the flute of a trumpet. The metaphor would fail yet again if there were no perceivable analogies between birds and trumpets. Similarly, computer users who empty their virtual “trash bins,” are promised the erasure of underlying data. The course will conclude by examining the metaphors implicit such media transformations.

Spring 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: CLEN GR6842 (4pts.) Go to Registrar
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Migrant Figurations

Taught by

Instructor: Sandra Ponzanesi

Migration has always been part of human mobility and civilization. Yet migration is often perceived as a ‘crisis’, creating ‘stranger encounters’ (Ahmed, 2000) and producing ‘space invaders’ (Puwar, 2004). Liquid figurations that posit migration in terms of invasion, wave, flow, and tide are the order of the day. And yet in a digital age, boundaries and borders are becoming porous and virtual so that we now speak of the ‘connected migrant’ (Diminescu, 2008) subject to ‘high tech orientalism’ (Chun, 2006) rather than the displaced migrant.

How can we account for the shifts in migrant figurations across geopolitical borders, genres, and disciplines? How can we rethink migrant figurations through the voices and performances of migrants themselves?

In this seminar, we aim to investigate different theories and practices relating to migrant figurations. We will engage with theoretical texts in order to unpack the main figurations of diaspora, nomadism, and hospitality (i.e. Bauman, Derrida, Gilroy, Braidotti, Butler, and Spivak). More concretely, the focus will be on cinematic, literary, artistic, and digital practices that challenge and resignify dominant representations, from the viral image of ‘Aylan Kurdi’ to ‘migrant selfies’ debates, from Adichie’s Americanah to Hamid’s Exit West, from Ai Wei’s exhibition in NY to Banksy’s graffiti, from migrant films to documentary films (Fire at Sea, The Edge of Heaven, Nine Muses). Migrant figurations tend to stick to the ‘other’. How can we move beyond the sticky signs without losing the material histories of disenfranchisement?

Fall 2017 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: CPLS BC3161 (3pts.) Go to Registrar
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Myths of Oedipus in Western Drama and Philosophy

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Instructor: Caroline Weber

This course examines the myth of Oedipus in a range of dramatic and theoretical writings, exploring how the paradigm of incest and parricide has shaped Western thought from classical tragedy to gender studies. Authors studied: Sophocles, Seneca, Corneille, Dryden, Voltaire, Hölderlin, Hegel, Wagner, Nietzsche, Freud, Klein, Deleuze, Guattari, and Butler.

Spring 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: CLPS GR6600 (.5pts.) Go to Registrar
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Neuroimaging and Psychoanalysis

Taught by

Instructors: Eric Marcus and Andrew Gerber

M 7:00pm-8:50pm, January 22-February 12 (.5 pts)

A four-session mini-seminar on the following topics:

1. Epistemology and methods of neuroimaging for scholars

2. Neuroimaging of drives and affects

3. Neuroimaging of perception and representation

4. Neuroimaging of social cognition and therapeutic change

Fall Course Type: Joint Course Code: CLEN UN3395 (4pts.) Go to Registrar
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POLITICS OF REPRESENTATION

Taught by

Instructor: Sandra Ponzanesi

Representation embodies the notion that language, in its broadest sense, assists in the construction of meanings in the world and influences the way we look at or interpret this world. As Stuart Hall has shown, the reproduction of reality through language, discourse and images is never simply neutral and transparent but always ideologically informed. In postcolonial studies, for example, representations are always implicated in power inequalities and the subordination of the ‘other.’ The course develops an analytic framework for understanding how representation takes place and has evolved over time in different media. We will focus in particular on the analysis of literary texts, films, photography, exhibitions and art but also on popular culture and entertainment in order to understand how cultural logics operate in different contexts. Drawing from literary studies, gender studies, cultural theory, postcolonial studies and media studies, the aim is to develop and practice a new, critical way of looking at contemporary cultural practices. Application instructions: E-mail Aaron Robertson (ar3488@columbia.edu) with the subject heading “Representation seminar.” In your message, include your name, school, major, year of study, relevant courses taken, and a brief statement about why you are interested in taking this course.

Spring 2018 Course Type: Related Course Code: CLEN GU4565 (4pts.) Go to Registrar
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Postcolonial Theory

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This course will examine the major debates, contested genealogies, epistemic and political interventions, and possible futures of the body of writing that has come to be known as postcolonial theory. We will examine the relationships between postcolonial theory and other theoretical formations, including post-structuralism, feminism, Marxism, and Third Worldism. We will also consider what counts as “theory” in postcolonial theory: in what ways have novels, memoirs, or revolutionary manifestos, for example, offered seminal, generalizable statements about postcoloniality? How can we understand the relationship between the rise of postcolonial studies in the United States and the role of the U.S. in the post-Cold War era? How do postcolonial theory and its insights about European imperialism contribute to analyses of contemporary globalization?

Spring Course Type: CPLS Course Code: CPLS UN3915 (4pts.) Go to Registrar
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Reading the Multilingual City: New York, Urban Landscapes and Urban Multilingualism

Taught by

Instructors: Lee B. Abraham and Stephane A. Charitos

The 21st century is shaping up to be the century of cities. By 2050, and at the current rate of urbanization, two-thirds of all people on the planet are projected to live in urban centers or clusters and cities will become the key demographic locus of the future. As a consequence, not only will cities become increasingly central to an understanding of modern life, but they could also potentially displace the state as both an essential spatial unit for the organization of territory and a critical container of social processes (Sassen, 2006).

Cities have always been, and will always be, a privileged arena of language contacts. They remain a strategic site where one can encounter multilingualism – a phenomenon that is the inevitable consequence of the constant intermingling of a multiplicity of ethnicities and cultures in a shared geographic space. While multilingualism can be extraordinarily complex to capture, it can also be a revealing lens for investigating social and cultural history in a broad range of urban contexts. Studying multilingualism against the backdrop of an urban environment allows for a rich and textured account of how the changing types of interaction between spaces and languages fundamentally inflects a city’s cultural history.

This course seeks to bring New York City and multilingualism into conversation in order to throw light on the cultural history of New York as a multilingual city in which multiple cultures and languages co-exist, interact and lay claim to an ever-changing urban landscape. Focusing on the history and present state of various languages in the New York landscape, the course will explore urban multilingualism through a variety of critical, theoretical, and cultural lenses that will expand our understanding of the relationship between the spatial organization of a city and its linguistic profile.

The course will balance readings, in-class presentations and discussions, and guest speakers with off-campus field trips to challenge students to develop the necessary tools and competences needed to engage with multilingualism both in New York as well as in other cities that might be characterized by a different multilingual typology. Although fluency in a second language is not required, it is highly recommended. This course will also offer numerous opportunities for those of you currently enrolled in a language course to enrich and extend the content of this course by taking your language study “out of the classroom.”

Spring 2018 Course Type: CPLS Course Code: CPLS UN3995 (3pts.) Go to Registrar
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Senior Thesis in Comparative Literature and Society

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Students who decide to write a senior thesis should enroll in this tutorial. They should also identify, during the fall semester, a member of the faculty in a relevant department who will be willing to supervise their work and who is responsible for assigning the final grade. The thesis is a rigorous research work of approximately 40 pages (including a bibliography formatted in MLA style). It may be written in English or in another language relevant to the student’s scholarly interests. The thesis should be turned in on the announced due date as hard copy to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.