Past Courses – (TEST)
Instructor: I. Denischenko
This course aims to reexamine familiar fairy tales in a new light, and to familiarize students with the Russian/Eastern European fairy tale literary tradition. In the process of comparing fairy tale variations and different narrative traditions, students will be introduced to the major schools of fairy tale criticism (structuralist, psychoanalytical, anthropological, Marxist, feminist). By examining different stylistic elements of the fairy tale, the course aims to foster sensitivity to fairy-tale “modes of speaking” in postmodern literature.
An introduction to some of the major texts in film theory, with particular attention to film theory’s evolving relations to a number of philosophical issues: the nature of the aesthetic; the relation of symbolic forms to the construction of human subjectivities; narrative and the structure of experience; modernity, technology, popular culture, and the rise of mass political formations; meaning, intention, and authorship.
Narrative competence is a crucial dimension of health-care delivery, the capacity to attend and respond to stories of illness, and the narrative skills to reflect critically on the scene of care. Narrative Medicine explores and builds the clinical applications of literary knowledge. How are illnesses emplotted? Does suffering belong to a genre? Can a medical history be co-narrated in order to redistribute ownership and authority? What does Geoffrey Hartman mean by the term, “story cure?” the objectives of this course include furthering close reading skills, and exploring theories of self-telling and relationality. At the center of this project is the medical encounter. We are interested in situations in which one person gives an account of himself, of herself, and another person is expected to receive it. In examining the complexities of this exchange, to help clinicians to fulfill their “receiving” duties more effectively, we will turn to narrative theory, performance theory, autobiographical theory, psychoanalytic theory, and the nexus of narrative and identity. Readings will include works by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Henry James, W.G. Sebald, Kazuo Ishiguro, Judith Butler, Arthur Frank, Jonathan Shay, Michael White, and an assortment of the readings in narrative theory, trauma scholarship and witnessing literature.
A close reading of some of Freud’s major works focusing on the changing theories of repression and sexuality in his evolving and contradictory understanding of the functioning of the mind, “the apparatus of the soul”. The readings include some (most) of the following: Studies on Hysteria (1895), Interpretation of Dreams (1900), Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality (1905), On Narcissism (1914), some of the Papers on Metapsychology (1915), Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920).
This is a research seminar, in the sense that in addition to discuss theoretical and critical issues, we are going to produce knowledge from the vantage point of the primary sources.
Our main question, therefore, is –what are the questions and concepts with which our primary sources respond to the political, social, and cultural exigences of the construction of global heroism.
The word “hero” in Greek –ἥρως–, means “protector”, and it is etymologically related to the Latin verb “seruare”, “to preserve, to protect.” It has the same etymology as “service”, “to serve”, and “serf”. Heroism is, in this sense, not only a key element of political and social service, it is, as well, a civil and political duty. This is the kind of analysis that we will be leading, and the kind of genealogy of global political duties that we will be pursuing. In this sense, we will necessarily consider how the concept of global heroism allows us, as well, to understand the genealogies of some contemporary political conversations regarding what is heroic in everyday life in a global society of systemic violence –including the issues on infrapolitics and “subaltern heroes”.
We will address the question of global heroism from the perspective of Iberian studies –and we will contribute to a redefinition of Iberian studies. The main thesis regarding Iberian studies is that “Iberian” cannot be considered a geographical region, and that the Iberian is, in fact, a challenge to such conception. This is why we are playing with the very name, and talking about the “peri-Iberian”, which playfully evokes not only the peripheral, but also the movements that, even if have the Iberian worlds as a geopolitical gravitational force, describe different dynamics concentric to this problematic, multilingual, multi-political, multi-religious, gravitational center.
The course aims to locate and systematize the features of state censorship’s fast-spreading new global wave. It is the third broad, global type after the “prior restraint” censorship methods witnessed in the pre-broadcasting era, followed by the “state ownership” systems of the totalitarian 20th century. Censorship 3.0 policies are typically disguised as democratically legitimized; they are pursued globally, in stunningly similar ways, by illiberal and neo-authoritarian governments since the end of the Cold War.
The course reviews the new, illiberal speech-controlling strategies, structuring them around four major internationally established media freedoms that the new censorship regimes typically restrict. Thereby the course also provides knowledge on principles of advocacy for media freedom. Special attention is paid to developments in Russia, the post-Soviet republics, and generally the post-1989 democracies. The course could be apt for students of political studies, journalism, communications, human rights and international law, international relations, European, Russian, and post-Soviet studies, and similar fields.
Instructor: T. Elsaesser
Instructor: T. Wilke
This course will investigate key ideas and projects of the historical avant-garde movements during the 1910s and 1920s, including acoustic, visual, and textual forms of aesthetic experimentation. Writers and artists include Kandinsky, Marinetti, Skhlovsky, Moholy-Nagy, Ball, Hausmann, Rodchenko, Richter, Schwitters, Benjamin, Döblin, and Brecht. All readings and discussions will be in English.
This seminar examines the history of the ambiguous concept “Soft Power,” by bringing together literatures in European and U.S. history, international relations, and communications studies that are normally treated in isolation. After thoroughly familiarizing seminar participants with the recent U.S. evolution of the concept and comparing its usage to related terms, such as “normative power,” “hegemony,” “propaganda,” “strategic communication,” and “public diplomacy,” weekly classes focus on several case studies. These span the period from the 19th to 21st centuries and include Napoleon’s Propaganda Wars, France’s “Civilizing Mission” in Africa, Germany’s Kultur Empire, Wilson versus Lenin, The Nazi-Fascist Effort to coopt Muslim peoples, Vatican Diplomacy and the Holocaust, The Marshall Plan, Soviet Soft Power in Eastern Europe, and U.S. Public Diplomacy in the wake of 9/11. Class requirements include weekly reading, organizing class discussion, and a 15-page research paper to be presented at a final student-organized workshop.