Past Courses – (TEST)
ALSO LISTED AS: HISTGR 8906
Chandler 260 , 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. One component of the Making and Knowing Project of the Center for Science and Society, this course contributes to the collaborative production of a transcription, English translation, and critical edition of a late sixteenth-century manuscript in French, BnF Ms. Fr. 640. In fall 2018, the course will focus on the cultural context, materials, and techniques of “making impressions” upon a variety of surfaces, including making reliefs for ornament and for printing, and inscribing metal, including engraving and etching. Several entries in the manuscript use what we think of as “print techniques” for metal decoration or making seals and molds, and other entries discuss printers’ type, and make use of prints for image transfer. Students will begin with skill-building exercises in culinary reconstruction, pigment making, and molding, and then, with advice from a visiting “expert maker,” will choose a research focus from the entries in the manuscript that cover such topics as draftsmanship, engraving techniques, print transfer, and other topics that intersect with printing and printmaking. The course will be taught this year only in fall 2018. It is not necessary to have either prior lab experience or French language skills. Please don’t hesitate to contact Pamela Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have questions.
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.
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.
Some years ago the word Diaspora referred to Jews and was spelled with a capital D. Today, almost every ethnic group, country, or separatist movement has its diaspora. Usually, these diasporas are presented as pieces of national life scattered here and there, in places far away from the national core. In this seminar, however, we will treat diasporas not as an emblem of national unity but as an expression of diversity, of a multiplicity of loyalties and belongings. By combining history, literature, film, and cultural studies, and by approaching the topic through the lens of transnationalism, we will study topics such as Mobility and Nationalism, Diasporas in Intellectual History, The Mediterranean in Motion, Italian Migration, Mobile Italy and its Colonies, Displacements in the Eastern Mediterranean, Lost Cosmopolitanisms in the Middle East, Emigration from Eastern Europe, and Mediterranean Refugees and Memory. The aim is to turn our gaze away from the territorially defined countries, towards a view of the world in which countries are ship-like territories.
A study of Dostoevsky and Dickens as two writers whose engagement in the here and now was vital to their work and to their practice of the novel. Readings from Dostoevsky cluster in the 1870s and include two novels, Demons (1872) and The Adolescent (1876), and selections from his Diary of a Writer. Readings from Dickens span his career and include, in addition to David Copperfield (1850), sketches and later essays.
A close reading of works by Dostoevsky (Netochka Nezvanova; The Idiot; “A Gentle Creature”) and Tolstoy (Childhood, Boyhood, Youth; “Family Happiness”; Anna Karenina; “The Kreutzer Sonata”) in conjunction with related English novels (Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Eliot’s Middlemarch, Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway). No knowledge of Russian is required.
Frametale narratives, the art of inserting stories within stories, in oral and written forms, originated in East and South Asia centuries ago; tales familiar to Europe, often called novellas, can trace their development from oral tales to transmitted Sanskrit and Pahlavi tales, as well as Arabic and Hebrew stories. Both Muslim Spain and Christian Spain served as the nexus between the East and Europe in the journey of translation and the creation of new works. Through readings and films, and employing the theoretical concepts of Homi Bhabha (liminality, hybridity, third space) and Etienne Balibar (frontiers and the nation), as well as selected readings of Fernand Braudel and others on the Mediterranean world, the course examines the structure, meaning, and function of ancient, medieval, and early modern frametale narratives, using as theoretical frame in three ways: 1) Theory and practice of frames. Frames are not neutral; they can be narrative seductions, guiding and even strongly manipulating how we read the stories that follow; they can be used to reflect the intersections of orality and literacy. In order to understand their enduring power, we also explore the idea of literary frames through some contemporary films. 2) The exploration in their cultural contexts of topics such as the literary figures of the anti-hero and the trickster, precursors to the picaresque, women in the courtroom, the conflict of chance and human agency, monstrous births as political prophecy, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish relations in medieval and early modern Mediterranean cultures, the sexual frankness of the novella form, and gender politics. 3) How are narratives formed? The course traces the development of the short tale/novella from its ancient Asian origins through the seventeenth century, when Cervantes’ literary experiments gave new life to the novella form, and the Spanish writer María de Zayas challenged Cervantes’ views on love and marriage in her own highly regarded collections of novellas; we move to the present with the study of three contemporary films. But before they became complex and entertaining narratives, many of the well known tales had their “bare bones” origins in joke books, laws and legal theories, conduct manuals, collections of aphorisms and other wise and pithy sayings, misogynist non-fiction writings, and Biblical stories. Although the works are available in English translations, lectures will refer to meanings in both English and the original languages; students who can read the original works in
Instructor: Holly Myers
“Truth is stranger than fiction,” wrote Mark Twain in 1897. It is an axiom more relevant today than ever before, as more and more writers draw on “true events” for their literary works. Svetlana Alexievich, 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, goes so far as to insist that “there are no borders between fact and fabrication, one flows into the other” in contemporary literature. In this course we read works from Russian and American literature that dance along this line between fact and fiction. Sometimes called “creative non-fiction,” “literary journalism,” or “documentary prose,” these works (Sergei Tretiakov, Viktor Shklovsky, Truman Capote, Tom Wolfe, John McPhee, Artem Borovik, and others) blur the boundaries between documentary evidence and literary art. No prerequisites.
The election of President Donald Trump has renewed interest in the examination of fascism- as an ideology, as a political movement and as a form of governance. Our inquiry into the nature of fascism will primarily focus on Western European cases- some where it remained an intellectual movement (France), and others such as Italy and Germany where it was a ruling regime. Fascism will be discussed in many dimensions- in its novelty as the only new “ism” of the twentieth century, in its relation to nascent technology (radio and film), its racial and gendered configurations, in its relation to (imperialist) war. We will explore the appeal of this ideology to masses and to the individual. Who becomes a fascist? What form of inquiry provides the best explanations? Can art- literature and film- somehow render what social science cannot? Can fascism outlive the century in which it was born and occur in the 21st century?