Past Courses – (TEST)
Prerequisites: the instructor’s permission.
This seminar aims to show what an anthropologically informed, ecocritical cultural studies can offer in this moment of intensifying ecological calamity. The course will not only engage significant works in anthropology, ecocriticism, philosophy, literature, politics, and aesthetics to think about the environment, it will also bring these works into engaged reflection on “living in the end times” (borrowing cultural critic Slavoj Zizek’s phrase). The seminar will thus locate critical perspectives on the environment within the contemporary worldwide ecological crisis, emphasizing the ethnographic realities of global warming, debates on nuclear power and energy, and the place of nature. Drawing on the professor’s long experience in Japan and current research on the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, the seminar will also take care to unpack the notion of “end times,” with its apocalyptic implications, through close considerations of works that take on the question of ecocatastrophe in our times. North American and European perspectives, as well as international ones (particularly ones drawn from East Asia), will give the course a global reach.
Instructor: O. Bentancor
Corequisites: Enrollment limited to 15.
This course will move across and over the geopolitical landscape of the Tudor and Habsburg Empires in Europe and the New World in order to explore and compare the diverse symbolic and political roles the colonial encounter had in the signification of the relationship between the subject and the landscape.
Instructor: J. Peters
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.
(Seminar). European Drama, Spectacle, and Visual Culture of the 18th and 19th Centuries: Enlightenment, Revolution, Romanticism, and the Modern Self.
The invention of the modern self and the modern culture of spectacle in relation to (and in agonistic struggle with) the political and social upheavals of the 18th and 19th centuries. European drama, performance, and visual culture (revolutionary street theatre, the fairground, boulevard, and puppet show, the birth of the circus and the zoo, the rise of celebrity culture, the rise of advertising, automatons, panoramas, and other forms of proto-cinema, opera, commedia dell’arte, melodrama, romantic spectacle, the social problem play, etc.) as the backdrop for thinking about revolution as performance, the human and the animal, acting and being, nature and nurture, passion and reason, the body and disembodied imagination, the real an the virtual, the commodity and the inalienable self (etc.), from the Enlightenment and the age of revolution, through the industrial revolution, to the brink of modernism.
Texts include visual images, contemporary documents, and films, as well as English, French, Italian, and German plays and operas; those that were the most influential for modern drama; and those that best capture the culture of popular spectacle during the period.
Please e-mail Prof. Peters (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Wed Nov 25th with your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement of why you are interested in taking the course.
You will receive an email letting you know whether or not you have been admitted. (Feel free to register, but there is no relationship between registration and admission.) If you have not been officially admitted but are still interested in taking the course, please come to the first session (which you must attend if you wish to take the course.)
Instructor: Christopher C. Baswell
Prerequisites: Instructor’s permission (Lecture). Our encounter with the modern print text is a relatively impoverished event, compared to the multi-layered sensory experience of the medieval book. Medieval manuscripts display individualized hands, rubrication and marginalia, decoration and illustration, sometimes indications for performance (like musical notation). They negotiate between sight and sound; as Chaucer tells his listeners, paradoxically, if they don’t want to hear the Miller’s Tale they can turn the page. Manuscripts even smell and feel distinctive, depending on the source and preparation of their parchment, or the material of their bindings. In this course, we will attempt to re-conceive and re-embed some literary (and other) “texts” of the Middle Ages, most of them editorially created in the 19th and 20th centuries, within their original sites in the physical culture of the past: that is, in manuscripts and early printed editions, and in the settings of cultural creation and consumption those codices intimately reflect. Studying individual manuscripts in New York collections (especially Columbia University), in facsimile, and on-line, our investigations will move in two main directions. First, we will learn about some of the major arenas of book production across the high and later Middle Ages-the kind of manuscripts through which most people, most often, encountered the written word. These will include books of private devotion (and often public ostentation) such as Psalters and Books of Hours; classroom anthologies and related collections; annals and chronicles; herbals and bestiaries; romances and lives of saints. Most of these use the two dominant languages of high medieval textual culture in England: Latin and French. Among them will be the “Aberdeen Bestiary” and the Anglo-Norman History of St. Edward the King by Matthew Paris, or possibly Matthew’s Life of St. Alban and its manuscript, Trinity College Dublin 177. All these materials will be available in translation. Second, those dominant modes of book culture will provide contexts for investigating manuscripts of what has become the canon of Middle English. For instance, we will study one or more Langland manuscripts, in part via the Electronic Archive of Piers Plowman. We will look at the large and beautifully decorated Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer, yet look too at Chaucer manuscripts that lay different, more modest claims on his text.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. (Seminar).
This course studies the intersection of feminism and disability studies as a critical problem, a theoretical rubric, and a site of cultural production. These fields have much in common, including the fact that both grew out of movements for rights and social justice, take the body as a key area of concern, and are concerned with intersectionality of such terms as gender, ability, race, ethnicity, and class. However, they have not always been in dialogue.
In this course, we will consider the evolution and key questions behind each field, where they overlap and disagree, and what might be gained through a productive conjunction of the two. We will study the sometimes competing perspectives of feminism and disability on debates over reproductive choice, dependency and care, and the representation of the non-normative body as we seek strategies for intersection and reconciliation.
We will begin by assuming a close connection between aesthetic and social/political representation, putting narratives in a variety of media – essays, fiction, memoir, film, and visual arts — at the center of our analysis. Narrative will be paired with critical readings that will provide historical, social, political, and theoretical context for our discussion.
E-mail Prof. Adams (email@example.com) with the following information:
- Name, school (BC, CC, etc.), major, year of study
- a list of relevant courses you have taken
- any other pertinent courses you have taken
- a brief statement explaining why you are interested in taking the course
Admitted students should register for the course; they will automatically be placed on a wait list from which the instructor will in due course admit them as spaces become available.
Because of advances in feminist theory, infant research, clinical practice attachment theory and historical scholarship, a consensus has emerged concerning Freud’s oeuvre over the past fifty years: the figure of the mother is largely absent from all aspects of his thinking. This includes his self-self analysis, case histories, theory of development and account of religion and civilization. This fact will provide our point of reference for examining the development of Freud’s thought. We will first explore the biographical roots of this lacuna in Freud’s thinking. We will then see how it played itself out as his long and abundant career unfolded. We will examine texts regarding all the aspects of his thinking and from the different periods of his life.
Prerequisites: Instructor’s permission (Seminar). Students in this course will join millions of readers around the world who have made the texts on the syllabus into bestsellers. Why is it that travelers have found Khalid Hosseini’s novel The Kite Runner featured prominently in airport bookshops in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Africa? Such popularity on a global scale offers an occasion for critical reflectionabout the transnational economic forces and cultural politics that shape literary supply and demand. Our specific focus will be on novels, memoirs, and films whose authors come from places outside publishing centers of New York and London (Afghanistan, Haiti, India, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa), yet find massive audiences in the US, UK and worldwide. We will do some reading in literary and cultural theory, and we will attend to the material networks of publishing and distribution, in order to understand how these bestsellers emerge, what kinds of conventional narratives or images of otherness they reinforce, and what new narratives and images they might generate. How can we understand the relationship between these texts popularity and their literary role? What frameworks of evaluation and interpretation are appropriate for such texts? What do these texts tell us about globalization?
Application Instructions: E-mail Professor Wenzel (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject heading “Global Bestsellers seminar.” In your message, include basic information: your name, school, major, year of study, and relevant courses taken, along with a brief statement about why you are interested in taking the course. Admitted students should register for the course; they will automatically be placed on a wait list from which the instructor will in due course admit them as spaces become available.
Instructor: Ioanna Laliotou
Human mobility in the Greek context covers a wide range of practices and historical experiences: labor immigration, diaspora, political exile, mandatory expulsions, repatriation and, more recently, migrations and diasporas from Eastern Europe and non-European countries to and via Greece. In this course, we will study various cases of population movements though the Greek national and other European borders.
Our particular points of interest will include: a. the connection between human mobility and notions of Europeaness, b. the impact of human mobility on politics and culture and c. the impact of migrations and diasporas on the historical development of notions of self, nationhood, community and civil and human rights.
Students will be invited to approach these issues through the exploration of specific case-studies, the study of bibliography and the use of a variety of primary sources (legal texts, autobiographical narratives, literature, films, artistic creation, performative arts etc.).
Also EEEB W4321. Taught by Marya Pollack and Robert E. Pollack.
The course focuses on human identity, beginning with the individual and progressing to communal and global viewpoints using a framework of perspectives from biology, genetics, medicine, psychiatry, religion and the law.