Past Courses – (TEST)
Introduction to the theory and practice of ethnography, the intensive study of peoples’ lives as shaped by social relations, cultural images, and historical forces. The course consists of critical reading of various kinds of texts (classic ethnographies, histories, journalism, novels, and films) and of the ways in which understanding, interpreting, and representing the lived words of people, at home or abroad, in one place or transnationally, and in the past or the present, can be accomplished.
Instructor: P. Force
A conceptual and historical study of what it is to read historically, with a focus on the hermeneutic tradition. Authors include Erasmus, Spinoza, Schleiermacher, Droysen, Dilthey, Heidegger, R.G. Collingwood, Gadamer, Habermas, and Hayden White.
Hip-hop, a form of oral poetry and a performative practice, presents literary scholars and cultural critics with particular challenges, especially when emerging in a country like Greece, where poetry and performance have been the two major forms of artistic expression. The class will study the history of hip-hop globally, engage with the study of Modern Greek, primarily oral, rhymed, and folk, poetry–its themes, style and techniques. Students will think critically about the ramifications of hip-hop culture and the historical and political contexts in which hip-hop culture took, and continues to take, shape. Particular attention is paid to questions of race, gender, class, and globalization. The class will consider questions of orality, textuality and performativity: What is the relation of poetry and hip-hop? What traditions influence poetry and what hip-hop? Who writes poetry and who does hip-hop? Students will be asked to engage in creative projects such as, create a piece of Hip Hop art, write Hip Hop journalism, translate poetry from Greek to English, organize a poetry night or poetry slam contest, present a local performer in the form of an open interview in class. It can be taken with an extra-credit tutorial for students reading and performing materials in Greek.
What was lyric poetry’s social, political, and economic role in early modern Europe? How was the gendered rhetoric of unrequited love imported from Italy and then transformed in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Spanish, as well as Portuguese, French, and English? Why were the works of some early adopters of this “new poetry,” such as Garcilaso de la Vega, for instance, re-edited and glossed so many times by subsequent generations of scholars? What is the relationship between these early modern scholars’ strategies of commentary and edition, on the one hand, and contemporary critical methods and pedagogical practices, on the other hand? In order to answer these and related questions, this class focuses on one particular poetic form: the sonnet. But we will subject our sonnets to diverse interpretive approaches, honed in both early and late modernity. And we will follow these sonnets as they travel across linguistic and imperial boundaries. This seminar is thus both an experiment in how and why to read poetry and a graduate-level introduction to Renaissance aesthetics and cultural history. Readings include works by late medieval and early modern authors such as Juan Boscán, Garcilaso de la Vega, Fernando de Herrera, Luis de León, Francisco de Quevedo, Alonso López Pinciano, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, Francesco Petrarca, Gaspara Stampa, Pierre de Ronsard, Joachim du Bellay, Luís de Camões, Philip Sidney, and others. We will also read scholarship by Theodor Adorno, Roland Greene, John Freccero, Francisco Rico, Richard Helgerson, Nancy Vickers, Alberto Porqueras Mayo, Susan Stewart, Jonathan Culler, and others.
Instructor: N. Dames
The European novel in the era of its cultural dominance. Key concerns: the modern metropolis (London, Paris, St. Petersburg); the figures of bourgeois narrative (the parvenu, the adulterer, the adolescent, the consumer) and bourgeois consciousness (nostalgia, ressentiment, sentimentalism, ennui); subjectivity and its relation to class tactics, labor, money, and social upheaval; the impact of journalism, science, economics. Works by Goethe, Stendhal, Balzac, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Flaubert, Turgenev, Zola.
This seminar will consider the emergence of an “organizational complex” from the corporate architecture of the post-World War II period to the present, in the United States and elsewhere. This “complex,” which includes but is not limited to corporations, universities, office buildings, research laboratories, digital technologies, new forms of labor, performative gender roles, networked infrastructures, visual diagrams, etc., can be understood as the aesthetic and technological extension of the military-industrial complex. The seminar will revisit Martin’s The Organizational Complex: Architecture, Media, and Corporate Space (2003) from the perspective of recent scholarship in architectural history, media history, science and technology studies, and elsewhere.
This class will explore how different theories of language deal with pre-conceptual thought (especially with metaphor and myth). We will also pay attention to the built-in philosophical anthropology and the critique of reason that accompanies these theories of language. The goal of this class is not to provide a chronologically arranged survey but to engage with various models and theories of language that build on each other or compete with each other.
An exploration of alternative theoretical approaches to the study of religion as well as other areas of humanistic inquiry. The methods considered include: sociology, anthropology, philosophy, hermeneutics, psychoanalysis, structuralism, genealogy, and deconstruction. (Previously titled “Juniors Colloquium”)
We can’t talk about human rights without talking about the forms in which we talk about human rights. This course will study the convergences of the thematics, philosophies, politics, practices, and formal properties of literature and human rights. In particular, it will examine how literary questions of narrative shape (and are shaped by) human rights concerns; how do the forms of stories enable and respond to forms of thought, forms of commitment, forms of being, forms of justice, and forms of violation? How does narrative help us to imagine an international order based on human dignity, rights, and equality? We will read classic literary texts and contemporary writing (both literary and non-literary) and view a number of films and other multimedia projects to think about the relationships between story forms and human rights problematics and practices.
Likely literary authors: Roberto Bolaño, Miguel de Cervantes, Assia Djebar, Ariel Dorfman, Slavenka Drakulic, Nuruddin Farah, Janette Turner Hospital, Franz Kafka, Sahar Kalifeh, Sindiwe Magona, Maniza Naqvi, Michael Ondaatje, Alicia Partnoy, Ousmane Sembène, Mark Twain . . . . We will also read theoretical and historical pieces by authors such as Agamben, An-Na’im, Appiah, Arendt, Balibar, Bloch, Chakrabarty, Derrida, Douzinas, Habermas, Harlow, Ignatieff, Laclau and Mouffe, Levinas, Lyotard, Marx, Mutua, Nussbaum, Rorty, Said, Scarry, Soyinka, Spivak, Williams.