Past Courses – (TEST)
Instructor: C. Zhang
Our common understanding of melodrama refers to a set of subgenres that remain close to the heart and hearth and feature a heightened emotionalism and moral contrast. This melodramatic, or excessive, narrative and imagination has also been a prevalent mode dealing with intercultural clashes and historical conflict. This course explores melodramatic imaginations in literature, film, and drama mainly at three historical and geopolitical moments: the eighteenth century, the interwar period, and the present global era. The goal of this course is to investigate the history and imagination of global interrelations through melodramatic representation and inquiry in Chinese, European, and American literature and culture. In the end, we aim to develop a critical understanding of race, gender, immigration, and border thinking in our globalized world. Course materials range from Chinese Ming drama in the 16th century to present-day popular film Farewell, my Concubine, from Friedrich Schiller’s theory of drama to Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, from Turkish-German film Head On to Chinese American novel American Knees.
Investing trauma from interdisciplinary perspectives, explores connections between the interpersonal, social, and political events that precipitate traumatic reactions and their individual and collective ramifications. After examining the consequences of political repression and violence, the spread of trauma within and across communities, the making of memories and flashbacks, and the role of public testimony and psychotherapy in alleviating traumatic reactions. Enrollment limited to 20 students and Instructor’s permission required.
This course will attempt to foster a better understanding modern Spanish American culture by focusing on its intercultural relationships. For artists and intellectuals in Latin America – Europe, America, Asia, and Africa are at once familiar and exotic cultures. We will frame our readings of texts and images through the lenses of Modernization, World culture, and globalization. Gendered writing, deterritorializating experience, displacements, and resistance will be the main axes of analysis as the course examines certain authors in dialogue with a hegemonic tradition. The corpus will include several types of texts, such as narratives, critical pieces, and autobiographical writings. The texts are organized around two cultural moments: Modernization and Globalization. In the first part of the course, we will discuss colonization, decolonization, and independence in works by Domingo F. Sarmiento, José Martí, Horacio Quiroga, Salvador Novo, Victoria Ocampo, Enrique Gómez Carrillo, and Roberto Arlt. In the second part, we will consider Globalization and new ways to negotiate identities while reading salient contemporary authors like Alan Pauls, Juan Villoro, María Moreno, among others, as well as studying several works of art and movies.
Instructor: B. Messick
In recent years, critical reflection has centered on ethnographic writing by anthropologists, but now attention is turning to what James Clifford called “the scratching of other pens.” This seminar treats forms of writing, and reading, as cultural and historical phenomena. In turn-of-the century anthropology, writing was considered the evolutionary “hallmark” of civilization, and a later, comparative approach claimed that the advent of writing “transformed human consciousness.” We will adapt approaches from literary criticism and anthropological linguistics for the ethnographic and archival study of other sexualities. We will examine varying relations with the spoken or recited word, diverse textual communities, and transformations of written form associate with print and with cyberspace.
This lecture course works with an expanded notion of the Frankfurt School. The Central figures treated are Siegfried Kracauer, Waler Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno, but readings also include György Lukács, Ernst Bloch, Bertolt Brecht, and some others. It focuses on aesthetic and political issues in high and mass culture debates in Europe, the Soviet Union, and the U.S. then and today. All readings will be contextualized in relationship to modernization, Marxism, and National Socialism in the first half of the past century. Metropolitan modernism, realism, the historical avant-garde, and mass media culture will be recurring themes throughout the semester which ends with a coda on the culture of the Cold War.
Instructor: J. Moya
Explores the historical development of anarchism as a working-class, youth, and artistic movement in Europe, North and Latin America, the Middle East, India, Japan, and China from the 1850s to the present. Examines anarchism both as an ideology and as a set of cultural and political practices.
Instructor: D. Delbanco
Introduces distinctive aesthetic traditions of China, Japan, and Korea–their similarities and differences–through an examination of the visual significance of selected works of painting, sculpture, architecture, and other arts in relation to the history, culture, and religions of East Asia. Major Cultures Requirement: East Asian Civilization List B. Discussion Section Required. Global Core.
Introduction to the arts of Africa, including masquerading, figural sculpture, reliquaries, power objects, textiles, painting, photography, and architecture. The course will establish a historical framework for study, but will also address how various African societies have responded to the process of modernity.
Instructor: R. Gorup
The course addresses the confrontation between East and West in the works of Vla Desnica, Miroslav Krleza, Mesa Semilovic, and Ivo Andric. Discussion will target problems inherent in shaping national and individual identity, as well as the trauma caused by occupation and colonization among the South Slavs.