Past Courses – (TEST)
Instructor: M. Al-Musawi
Instructor: Y. Shevchuk
The course will discuss how film making has been used as a vehicle of power and control in the Soviet Union and in post-Soviet space since 1991. A body of selected films by Soviet and post-Soviet directors that exemplify the function of film making as a tool of appropriation of the colonized, their cultural and political subordination by the Soviet center will be examined in terms of post-colonial theories. The course will also focus on the often over looked work of Ukrainian, Georgian, Belarusian, Armenian, etc. national film schools and how they participated in the communist project of fostering a as well as resisted it by generating, in hidden and, since 1991, overt and increasingly assertive ways, their own counter-narratives.
This course examines movements in psychoanalysis that are considered to be post-Freudian or post-Freud. It begins considering Freud’s cultural and historical surround, the wartime diaspora of the European psychoanalytic community, and their repercussions for Freudian thought. The course then focuses on significant theories and schools of psychoanalysis that have emerged from the mid 20th century to the present. Through readings of key texts and selected case studies, it explores theorists’ challenges to classical thought and technique, and their reconfigurations, modernizations, and total rejections of key Freudian ideas. The course concludes by looking at contemporary theorists’ moves to integrate notions of culture, concepts of trauma, and findings from neuroscience into the psychoanalytic frame.
Instructor: M. Griffiths
FULFILLS GLOBAL CORE REQUIREMENT
This course is an attempt to connect developments in postcolonial studies to developments in science studies, ecocriticism, and critical animal studies. Students will practice close reading of literary, ethnographic, and archival texts and will respond to these texts through critical academic writing, wherein they will enact their own close readings.
Through global twentieth century literary texts, the course explores the idea that modernity has not destroyed but rather transformed anti-modern and nonhuman modes of experience. Have “pre-modern” or “archaic” ways of worlding from the Global South changed through contact with European Imperialism? Or have they rather subtly affected the intellectual project of Enlightenment modernity as it encroaches on them? The governance of the prior, as Elizabeth Povinelli calls it, striates postcolonial and settler colonial space, unmaking the contours of “modern” and premodern on which neocolonial modes of domination rely. If, as Bruno Latour asserts, the illusion of modernity emerges from its faith in its own purification of differing spheres (the economic and the religious, say), and if the so-called primitive socius is constituted through what Marcel Mauss called the “total social fact,” then how might the assertion that “we have never been modern” change for those who have been refused inclusion in the category “human?” It is this tension between total social fact and apparatus of spherical purification that students will explore in the course.
Instructor: C. Harwood
A survey of postwar Czech fiction and drama. Knowledge of Czech not necessary. Parallel reading lists available in translation and in the original.
Instructor: B. Taylor
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. (Seminar).
For the last several centuries most major thinkers, with a few key exceptions, have subscribed to “the secularization thesis.” They believed that, once the process of secularization had been set in motion, it would progressively appropriate all the realms of life while the importance of religion would steadily decline. Then, the sudden irruption of religious movements in the second half of the twentieth century caught almost everyone by surprise and forced secularization theorists to reevaluate their positions. The emergence of anti-secularism was also one aspect of the more general critique of the Enlightenment and added fuel to the rise of postmodernism. It appeared that the secularization theory might have only pertained to one particular place, namely Europe, and that it was not a universal phenomenon. Indeed, as the sociologist of religion Peter Berger has observed, with the “de-secularization of the world,” the beliefs of its proponents require more explanation than the resurgence of religion.
Freud “the godless jew” was an unequivocal and uncompromising atheist who wanted psychoanalysis to be a vehicle for advancing the secularization of the world. And the vast majority of analysts who came after Freud followed him on this point, making psychoanalysis an almost completely atheist profession. For almost a century, religion was considered an “illusion” at best or a form of pathology at worst. But the same events that assailed other fields also had their impact on psychoanalysis. And just as many philosophers and social scientists have been compelled to radically reexamine their views on religion, so analysts have been forced to critically question theirs. Indeed, one might even say there has been a religious turn in psychoanalysis.
In this course we will begin by examining Freud’s views on religion, locating them in the Enlightenment tradition. Once we have developed a sound grasp of his ideas, we will begin developing a critique of them which will draw heavily on his debate with the Lutheran Pastor Oskar Pfister. We will the then examine Winnicott’s reinterpretation of the ideal of illusion, which many contemporary analysts who are sympathetic to religion draw on to develop an alternative to Freud. The course will end with two questions. Can psychoanalysis help us understand the return of religion in the last half of the twentieth century? And, after the critique of secularism, is it possible to develop a more viable secularist position instead of turning back to religion?
Wireless networks, electronic markets, Real-Time, worldwide webs, telepresence, Second Life, Wii, Farmville, Foursquare, SCVNGR, geo-filtered Twitter, 27/7 surveillance, cryptography GPS, Google Earth. What is the fate of place in the virtual spaces of global connectivity? Is place disappearing or is it being recongifured? Does the global absorb or revive the local? What are the politics of place? What is the impact of migration (internal and external)? What is the relation between virtualization and delocalization? Where is place in MySpace? Will there ever be a Cyberplace? Is place the repressed other of hypermodernity?
Throughout history, religious thought and practice have been intimately bound to particular places that often are deemed sacred or holy. In this seminar, we will rethink the meaning and significance of place. What defines place? How is place experienced? How do space and place differ? What constitutes a place sacred or holy? How do sacred and profane places differ? How are place and time related?
Readings include: Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York: A Retroactive Manifesto, Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, Bill Bishop, The Big Short: Why the clustering of like-minded America is tearing us apart, Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space, Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, Ed Casey, Getting Back Into Place and The Fate of Place, Martin Heidegger, Poetry, Language, Thought, Robert Pogue Harrison, Forests: The Shadow of Civilization and The Domain of the Dead, Francois Berthier, Reading Zen in the Rocks: The Japanese Dry Landscape Garden.
Students will have the opportunity to write a term paper or create a project in any appropriate medium. Open to all graduate and upper level undergraduate students.
What is religion? This course will seek to engage a range of answers to this question, beginning with some of the reasons we might want to ask it. Acknowledging the urgency of the matter, the class is not a survey of all religious traditions. Rather, it will seek to address religion as a comparative problem between traditions (how does one religion compare with another? Who invented comparative religion?) as well as between scholarly and methodological approaches (does one live–or ask about–religion the way one asks about Law? Culture? Science? Politics?). We will seek to engage the problem of perspective in, for example, the construction of a conflict between religion and science, religion and modernity, as well as some of the distinctions now current in the media (news and movies) between religion and politics, religion and economics. Historical and textual material, as well as aesthetic practices and institutions will provide the general and studied background for the lectures.