Past Courses – (TEST)
This course will take the historical fact of decolonization in Asia and Africa as a framework for understanding the thought of anticolonial nationalism and the political struggles that preceded it, and the trajectories of postcolonial developmentalism and the contemporary new world order.
Same as HIST BC3855
We will read works by writers responding to decolonization as an invitation to rethink the shape of their societies. Ostensibly a gesture of resistance against imperial control, anti-colonialism also sparked debates about re-visioning gender relations, the place of minorities in the nation, religious difference and secularism, internationalism and models of world unity, among other issues. The course will explore, through fiction and historical accounts produced at the time of decolonization, the challenges of imagining a post-imperial society without reproducing the structures and subjectivities of the colonial state. Application instructions: E-mail Professor Viswanathan (email@example.com) by April 11th with the subject heading “Decolonizing Fictions 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.Application instructions: E-mail Professor Viswanathan (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the subject heading “Decolonizing Fictions 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.
*See English Department website for application information
This course approaches disability less as a medical condition affecting individual bodies than as a social, environmental, and historical phenomenon. We will investigate the role of culture in shaping and reflecting on disability in contemporary American culture. How have philosophers, policy makers, authors and artists framed the political and ethical debates surrounding the status of disability? How have imaginative representations in literature, film, and the visual arts contributed to and/or challenged those understandings? Given that nearly everyone of us will be disabled at some point in life, these questions could not be more important. This course seeks to address them by considering a broad array of texts, including philosophical debates about morality and ethics, history, and literary, filmic, and visual representations. In addition to our consideration of cultural representations, an experiemental learning requirement will also give students the opportunity to work closely with an organization dedicated to serving the needs of people with disabilities.
Instructor: D. Miron
The course will survey the development of Israeli Literature within three time sections and along the evolving process of its three main genres. The time sections are those a) the birth of Israeli literature in the aftermath of the 1948 War (the 1950s); b)the maturation of Israeli literature during the 1960s and 1970s; c) Israeli Literature in the era of the peace process and the Intifadas (1980s and 1990s). The genres are those of lyrical poetry, prose fiction (mainly novels), and drama. The course will also follow the crystallization of three sets of Israeli poetics: the conservative (realistic) one, the modernist, and the post-modernist ones. All texts will be available in English translations. Participation does not depend on former knowledge of Hebrew or Israeli literature.
What do the Tales of the Arabian Nights, the Panchatantra, and the works of Boccaccio, Marguerite de Navarre, Maria de Zayas and Cervantes have to do with the narrative forms of films such as the romance Love Actually, Stephen King’s psychological thriller Secret Window, or Christopher Guest’s mockumentary Best in Show. Frametale narratives, the art of inserting stories within stories, in oral and written forms, originated in East and South Asia centuries ago; tales familiar to Europe, often called novellas, can trace their development from oral tales to transmitted Sanskrit and Pahlavi tales, as well as Arabic and Hebrew stories. Both Muslim Spain and Christian Spain served as the nexus between the East and Europe in the journey of translation and the creation of new works. This course examines, through readings and contemporary films: the structure, meaning, and function of ancient, medieval, and early modern frametale narratives; literary and cultural topics, including Christian, Muslim, and Jewish relations in medieval and early modern Mediterranean societies; how complex and entertaining narratives develop from their ‘bare bones’ origins in joke books, laws and legal theories, conduct manuals, collections of aphorisms and other wise and pithy sayings, misogynist non-fiction writings, and Biblical stories. Qualified students may write papers in Spanish, French, or Italian. Global Core.
Instructor: L. Abu-Lughod
Through a close analysis of anthropological works, this seminar examines possible ways of doing ethnography in and of “the nation.” Readings include ethnographies of ethnicity and race; cultural production, including media and museums; and nationalist narratives and memory. Enrollment limited to 15 and Instructor’s permission.
Instructor: F. Baumgartner
This course explores the relation between the creative process and the respective conditions of expatriation, emigration and exile from the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789 until the end of the Bourbon Restoration in 1830. While all three conditions involve distance from one’s home, the personal and historical factors that define them varied significantly, with corresponding differences in the way that the creative process was approached.
Examining the cases of Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, Jacques-Louis David and Francisco de Goya among others, this course focuses on the works artists produced while away from their native land, often by constraint rather than choice. Topics of discussion include: the Grand Tour and cosmopolitanism circa 1789; the category of the émigré(e)-artist; Revolution, gender and exile; uprooting and creative paralysis/creative fury; the refashioning of artistic identity; and the relation to history and the recent past.
The aspiration for colonies was debated controversially in the socalled belated nation. Despite its late and uncertain arrival as a colonial power, colonial images and endeavors played a crucial role in Germany. To introduce the German colonial period, this course examines a variety of different materials: literary and cultural, visual and theoretical. Guiding questions of our analyses will concern discourses of race and miscegenation; reports on colonial violence and their literary representation; the visual culture of people shows, zoos, and postcards. In addition, we will explore a selection of the most important trends in postcolonial theory.
Readings include texts by Forster, Joseph Conrad, Kafka, Raabe, Loos, Altenberg, Fanon, Said, Bhabha, and Spivak.
Instructor: K. Hall
When people produce, consume or refuse food, choices that often seem “natural,” unthinking and highly personal are in fact daily acts of identity and belonging that place individuals in the global circulation of goods, people and resources. This course examines representations of food and foodways as a way of understanding the politics of representation and the complex interplay of race, ethnicity and gender. The course’s units on Ethnicity, Migration and Identity; Food & Globalization; Food and Power; and the Politics of Pork, will allow students to understand foodways as key expressions or embodiments of cultural affiliations and food choices as linked to questions of morality and values.