Past Courses – (TEST)
Film screening, lecture, and discussion. Fee: $75. Documentary film from the late 1890s to the mid-1980s. Attention focuses on the documentary as a means of either supporting or attacking the status quo, on the relationship between the creators and consumers, on claims to truth and objectivity, and on how new technology influences the oldest form of filmmaking.
Instructor: C. Rottenberg
The “Roaring 20s” evokes images of jazz, the flapper, cabarets, Harlem, the bohemian life of Greenwich Village, and a time of greater freedoms for women in the US. All of these images are associated with urban life and have clear racial, class, gender, and sexual connotations. In this course, we will be examining classic Jazz-Age Jewish-American and African-American fiction that presents “New Woman” female protagonists. We will be tracing the differences between the representation of the Jewish-American “New Woman” and the “New Negro Woman,” while discussing what these differences might signify with respect to the positionality of Jewish and black women in the US. Using classic essays on the city (Robert Park, Louis Wirth), contemporary feminist urban studies (Elizabeth Wilson) as well as theoretical and cultural histories that concentrate on the emergence of “The New Woman,” we will bring the following questions to bear on the literary texts: Can New Womanhood in all of its various “ethnic” and “racial” manifestations be considered an urban phenomenon? Is the city depicted as a site of greater freedom for these women who are positioned on the margins of dominant white US society? And, if yes, what does this greater freedom consist of?
This course is meant to introduce students to classic Jewish-American and African-American works from the Jazz Age, the burgeoning field of feminist urban studies, and cultural historical and theoretical work on “New Womanhood.”
Instructor: E. Grimm
This global core course introduces students to Modern Greek Studies by examining the kind of analytical frame a particular area (Greece, the Mediterranean, the Balkans, Europe, Greek-America) provides for interdisciplinary work. The focus is on how literature as a discipline works comparatively and how it borrows and differs from other disciplines in its forms of comparativism. Readings foreground moments when Greece’s position at the crossroads (between East and West, Ancient and Modern, the Balkans and Europe, Greece and America) become comparatively productive to particular fields (comparative literature, history, sociology, film, architecture, anthropology, ethnic, gender, and translation studies.
Authors include Makriyiannis, Cavafy, Ellery Queen, Xenakis, Kazan, Angelopoulos, Karapanou, Eleni Sikelianos, Seferis, Mazower, Walcott, Frampton, and Anghelaki-Rooke. The overall impetus for the course involves a prismatic inquiry of how conditions of modernity, postcoloniality, and globality fashion themselves in engagement with certain persistent imaginaries of Greece. The course can be taken with an extra-credit tutorial for students reading materials in the original.
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. (Seminar). This course explores how the body, the senses, interiority, and materiality are constructed in ancient and medieval literary, philosophical, and religious texts and how they are connected with hermeneutic and cognitive practices. Texts from antiquity include Aristotle, Paul, Philo, Plotinus, Origen, and Augustine; texts from the Middle Ages include the Old English Body and Soul and The Ruin, Old English riddles, William of St. Thierry, Rudolf von Biberach, Guigo II, Marguerite d’ Oingt, Hadewijch, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Victorine texts. The course will also look at how medieval readings of embodiment dialogue with, are commensurate to, or differ from readings of materiality and embodiment in Hegel, Marx, Merleau-Ponty, Lévinas, Derrida, Nancy, Lyotard, Negri, Agamben, and Butler. Given the tendency in the wave of phenomenology (Merleau-Ponty) to think of embodiment as a kind of radical inter-pentetration of world and body, what differences do we find in the revision to phenomenology evidenced by thinkers such as Lyotard, Derrida, and Nancy? How do the “materialities” in medieval mystical texts and their theological counterparts compare? Application Instructions: E-mail Professor Dailey (email@example.com) by noon on Tuesday, November 6th, with the subject heading, “Embodiment 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.
The seminar sets out to conceptualize interrelations of technical media and culture without relapsing into deterministic or apocalyptic modes of thinking. We will combine a survey of different theoretical approaches with historical case studies. Readings include Benjamin, Crary, Innis, Kittler, Latour, McLuhan, Sterne.
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. (Seminar). Application Instructions: E-mail Professor Viswanathan (firstname.lastname@example.org) by noon on Tuesday, November 6th, with the subject heading “Thirties 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.
Instructor: M. Mimran
Examines the discursive exchanges between fictional and scientific accounts of “madness,” with an emphasis on how modern literature renders the new diagnostic discourse and how literary portrayals of “madness” were “translated back” into the diagnostic language of psychology. Discussions revolve around the “medical gaze” and its influence on the writers’ literary style, motifs and technique; relevant questions concern interdisciplinary issues such as the relationship between genre and case study; hysteria and sexuality; gender construction and psychoanalysis. Readings include texts by Flaubert, Wilde, Daudet, Sacher-Masoch; excerpts from Freud, Charcot, Foucault, Deleuze; and visual documents.
Instructor: M. Griffiths, H. Tseng
This seminar-based course introduces students to a series of key concepts vital in conceptualizing our globalizing world. Students will engage with cultural, linguistic, and geographic spaces as diverse as East Asia, West Africa, Australia and Canada (with a focus on indigenous peoples in these latter two sites), as well as multiple other sites from across the planet. Coordinated by members of the 2012-13 INTERACT Postdoctoral Collective the course is taught with the participation of a group of 5 lecturers who are experts in specific global regions and issues. Students will engage with the discourse of globalization and its attendant limits and problems through such topics as: enlightenment and orientalism, kinship and migration, liberalism and its limits, and the nation-state in a globalizing world. The interdisciplinary course offers students the opportunity to engage methodologies and approaches from across the humanities and social sciences from cultural anthropology and history of ideas to literary analysis and cultural studies.
Prerequisites: Instructor’s permission is required for enrollment. Email email@example.com. The historian Annette Wievorka has called our age the “era of witness.” This course examines the emergence of testimony as a genre and a telling source of evidence in the aftermath of 20th and 21st century catastrophes. Focusing comparatively on several key sites that illuminate theoretical and gender dimensions of testimony – war, dictatorship and crimes against humanity as well as rape and sexual abuse – we will study acts of witness in oral history, memoirs, blogs, film, performance and in trials and truth commissions. We will also look at the memorial functions of testimony archives and the role of testimony in museums and memorials. Authors studied will include Giorgio Agamben, Hannah Arendt, Susan Brison, Judith Butler, Cathy Caruth, Charlotte Delbo, Judith Lewis Herrman, Antje Krog, Claude Lanzmann, Primo Levi, François Lyotard, Rigoberta Menchú, Anna Deveare Smith, Art Spiegelman, among others.