Past Courses – (TEST)
In this class, we are going to explore issues related to the culture of peace and peacemaking. We will be considering discourse about peace, as well as peace institutions and treatises created to discuss situations of order, control, and human rights. Such discourses and institutions include philosophical, theological, medical, and otherwise political and cultural definitions of peace and peacemaking.
As we will see, it has become quite difficult to disentangle the discourses of peace from those of war -but we will explore how in the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period there were specific movements to discuss peace in itself, and not only as a rea#ion to war, civil uprisings, and dinastic and power substitutions.
We will analyze texts and iconographic objects -from emblems and paintings to scenarios and spaces of peace and peacekeeping. We will pay a very special attention to the vocabularies of peace -to the semantic, lexical, and pragmatic fields of the discourses on peace, including therefore the semantics and pragmatics of images.
Our main focus will fall on the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages, as well as the Iberian Empires and the Mediterranean bassin during the late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period -that is, we will adopt a transatlantic and transmediterranean perspectiive, including an appropriate reading list. We will include, as well, discourses on peace created in Northern African and Northern and Central European spaces -for instance, from Ibn Rushd and Ibn Battuta to Saint Augustin and Saint Thomas, as well as the Treaty of Westfalia. We will, therefore, engage in a comparative cultural research dealing with different political, linguistic, religious, and national identities.
The pre-modern period is so far removed from us that it has been sometimes perceived like “a foreign country where things are different.” We will, however, look at this study of peace and peacemaking not in order to pinpoint differences, alterities, or otherwise taking a trip to a foreign country. We will engage in a historical and theoretical study that will also help us building our always problematic vocabularies and theories regarding peace, peacekeeping and the institutions of peace. For this reason, we will also be reading contemporary philosophy and theory.
Same as SPAN W3992
There is much literature available today on the empirical characteristics of the “global city.” A good portion of this literature also offers a cohesive conceptual frame in which to understand these characteristics. But there is relatively little work on cities today that can be described as properly “philosophical,” not in the sense of an academic discipline but rather, of a style of thought.
Although in the West this tradition runs from Plato to Augustine and beyond, a useful foundation for understanding the city as an object of critical, philosophical reflection was laid in the early part of the twentieth century by a variety of thinkers concerned with the problem of the modern metropolis.
This reading seminar will review key aspects of early twentieth-century metropolitan thought and follow these forward into the present, adding new reference points along the way. Special emphasis will be given to interactions between political economy, society, and culture, including the role of architecture and urbanism therein. The goal is not a metalanguage but rather, the elaboration of a critical discourse by which urban artifacts and phenomena can be interpreted, even as they contribute to it.
Readings include Marx, Simmel, Weber, Benjamin, Kracauer, Adorno and Horkeimer, Arendt, Tafuri, Cacciari, Fanon, Appadurai, Hardt and Negri, Chakrabarty, Damisch, Vidler, Spivak, Foucault, Agamben, and Arrighi
Same as ARCH A6779
See Philosophy Department link.
This course will survey the most fundamental issues about the nature of language and the nature of the human mind. readings will consist of selections from Descartes, Locke, Frege, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, Quine, Davidson, Kripke, McDowell, Burge and some more recent writings.
Fall 2012: Humanism, Anti-Humanism, and the Question of Philosophical Anthropology.
The debate opposing “humanism” and “anti-humanism” as ethical and epistemological discourses was especially virulent in the 60’s and 70’s in France and other European countries, involving different tendencies of Phenomenology, Marxism, Structuralism, Hegelianism, even Analytical Philosophy, around such issues as the meaning of history and the agency of the individual and collective subject. I will trace back its genealogy and its dividing lines (or points of heresy) in order to better understand what was at stake in its progressive replacement by the current controversy on “universalism”, “relativism”, and “conflicting universalities”, and how we can assess its legacy in the emergence of a new anthropological discourse involving the universality of the differences themselves.
PLEASE NOTE: This seminar requires an application. APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Please send an email to Assistant Director Catherine LaSota by May 15, 2012 with the following information: -name -program and year -relevant courses taken -a couple of sentences explaining interest in the course
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
Instructor: H. Appel
This seminar considers postcolonial African cities in historical and geographical perspective. Drawing from diverse literatures, including geography, history, anthropology, cultural studies, and development studies, it offers an interdisciplinary approach to reflect on experiences of urbanization on the continent and the socio-economic, cultural, and political aspects of contemporary African urban life.
This course will go over some philosophical and interpretative problems raised by recent works in a field described as ‘postcolonial theory’. It will start with the original debates about ‘Orientalism’ – particularly its critical arguments about the question of representation of the Orient in art and literature, the question of the writing of history, and the logic of basic concepts in the social sciences. The course will analyse some ‘Orientalist’ texts in detail, assess the criticisms offered by postcolonial writers, and take up these three problems – of representation, history and conceptualization for detailed, rigorous critical discussion.
Is Jean-Loup Amselle correct in arguing that primitivism “lies at the core of postmodernity”? This seminar examines the legacy of several generations of European “primitivism” for contemporary artistic practice in Africa. For example, we will closely analyze Picasso’s relationship with African art but also how artists and critics in Senegal, Congo, and Tanzania have responded to Picasso. Case studies include: Gauguin; Carl Einstein; Kandinsky & Russian primitivism; blackface minstrelsy as it travels from the U.S. to Ghana; Leni Riefenstahl; Senegalese Negritude; and a selection of prominent exhibitions. The seminar will also include tours of the Chaim Gross Foundation and a new Metropolitan exhibition, “African Art, New York, and the Avant Garde.” Reading knowledge of French desirable. [Interested students from outside the Department of Art History & Archaeology should contact the professor directly.]