Past Courses – (TEST)
The purpose of this seminar series 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 class does not meet every Thursday. The schedule can be found in the syllabus.
Instructor: Ana P. Lee
This course is a comparative study of the cultures and ethnicities of Latin America, with a focus on Asian migration, settlement, and visual culture. Course readings, in-class mapping workshops, and discussions will examine Asian diasporic artistic production, performance, and visual cultures. We will pair visual and cultural analysis with studies about spatial theory and cultural geography, including the relationship between perception and space to race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender. We will question how visual culture, artistic practice, and performance have interrupted static understandings of ethnicity, race, gender, and sexuality. We will read theories about cultural hybridity, performance, affect, memory, and migration and examine artistic production from Latin America. We will also analyze the symbolic value and socio-economic positions of ethnic neighborhoods like Chinatown in Cuba or Japantown in Brazil. In addition, we will examine representations of Asian-ness in a variety of popular culture and media. Using mapping software, students will create digital media projects that highlight Asian diasporic artistic practices in Latin America.
Spring 2017・Mon. 2:10-4pm
Instructor: David Lurie DBL11@columbia.edu
Philology means, broadly, all practices of making sense of texts. Students will encounter its key fields–textual criticism, lexicography, grammar, and, above all, commentary–not in the abstract but as instantiated in relation to four foundational works (the Confucian Analects, the Ramayana of Valmiki, the Aeneid, and the Tale of Genji) and the scholarly traditions that grew up around them.
Instructor: Eliza Zingesser
This course is an introduction both to the works of women who either lived in France or adopted French as a literary language in the Middle Ages, as well as to works commenting on the role of women, often from an antifeminist viewpoint. Our explorations will take us across a wide range of genres, from poetry to legal documents to mystical treatises to romances. Class discussion in English, with readings available in both modern French and English. The course can be taken for French credit if students complete the reading and all assignments in French.
After they received news that the Germans had begin to implement the final solution and that their colleague Walter Benjamin had committed suicide, Theodor Adorno and Marx Horkheimer concluded that it was necessary to radicalize their theory so that it would be commensurate with magnitude of the catastrophe that was enveloping Europe. The reformulation of their position involved a move away from the Marxian critique of political economy towards a philosophy of history that took the domination of nature as its central motif as its central motif. That reconstituted theory, articulated in Dialectic of Enlightenment, came to define the Frankfurt School during its classical phase.
One of the resources that the two Critical Theorists drew on to accomplish this radicalization was Freud’s cultural writings. Along with the works of Nietzsche, Weber, Mauss and other’s, they used Freud’s texts to formulate a depth-psychological and depth-anthropological critique of civilization which they entitled “The Primal History of Subjectivity.”
After the war, Horkheimer moved in a different direction, but Adorno continued to work within and elaborate the theoretical framework they had articulated in Dialectic of Enlightenment. In Adorno’s thinking philosophical and psychoanalytic concepts thoroughly interpenetrate one another. Indeed, many of his most important philosophical notions — for example, the predominance of the object, the addenda, non-identity, constellations, and mimesis — would have been unthinkable without his appropriation of Freud. In this class, we will examine the thorough interdependence of philosophy and psychoanalysis in the formation Adorno’s distinctive brand of Negative Dialectics.
Instructors: Peter Connor and Emily Sun
Prerequisites: CPLT BC 3110 – Introduction to Translation Studies is a recommended prerequisite. A deep immersion in the theory and practice of translation with a focus on translating into English.
The first half of the course is devoted to discussing readings in the history of translation theory while translating brief practical exercises; in the second half, translation projects are submitted to the class for critical discussion. The foreign texts for these projects, chosen in consultation with the instructor, will be humanistic, not only literature as conventionally defined (prose fiction and poetry, memoir and travel writing), but also the gamut of text types in the human sciences, including philosophy, history, and ethnography. The aim is not just to translate, but to think deeply about translating, to develop writing practices by drawing on the resources of theory, past and present, and by examining translations written by professionals.
In the spring of 2016, the workshop will be offered in two sections by Professor Peter Connor and Professor Emily Sun. The sections will share most of the common readings in the history of translation theory, but Professor Sun’s section will emphasize issues specific to translating East Asia.
Enrollment in each workshop is limited to 12 students. Admission into the class is by permission of the instructor. CPLT BC 3011 “Introduction to Translation Studies” is a recommended prerequisite, plus, normally, two advanced courses beyond the language requirement in the language from which you intend to translate. Preference will be given to seniors and to comparative literature majors.
Please Email firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 December 2015 with the following information:
- Name, year of graduation, major, college (BC, CU, etc.)
- a list of courses you have taken in the language from which you intend to translate
- any other pertinent courses you have taken
- a brief (max 300 word) statement explaining why you wish to take the workshop (this statement is not required if you have taken or are taking CPLT BC3110 Intro to Translation Studies).
This lecture course works with an expanded notion of the Frankfurt School. The central figures treated are Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno, but readings also include György Lukács, Ernst Bloch, Bertolt Brecht, and some others. It focuses on aesthetic and political issues in high and mass culture debates in Europe, the Soviet Union, and the U.S. in the inter-war period and post-1945. All readings will be contextualized in relationship to modernism and modernization, Marxism and National Socialism in the first half of the past century. Metropolitan modernism, realism, the historical avant-garde, and mass media culture will be recurring themes throughout the semester, which ends with a coda on the culture of the Cold War.
The course aims to research, review, and reconsider the historical and philosophical conditions and premises of anarchism, as a movement that emerges in the 19th century, culminates in certain instances in the middle of 20th century, and is beginning to re-emerge as a political option in the current international youth and anti-globalization movements. In this specific way, the course will explore the affinities between anarchism and radical democracy, again in both theoretical and historical spheres. In addition, however, the course will consider the philosophical underpinnings of anarchy as a particular mindset toward, not only political forms and practices, but also forms and structures of knowledge more generally. This latter dimension will involve both ancient Greek and contemporary discussions of epistemology, particularly insofar as conditions of archē (origin and rule) are conceptualized in the absence of extrinsic norms. The overall impetus is to reflect on historical structures so as to elucidate contemporary conditions of both knowledge and political practice, as they have manifested themselves in a “global” demand for a radical democratic life.
Prerequisites: the instructor’s permission
Culture, technology, and media in contemporary Japan. Theoretical and ethnographic engagements with forms of mass mediation, including anime, manga, video, and cell-phone novels. Considers larger global economic and political contexts, including post-Fukushima transformations.