Past Courses – (TEST)
Instructor: K. Marten
Lecture and discussion. The basic setting and dynamics of global politics, with emphasis on contemporary problems and processes. Discussion Section Required
Introduces students to crucial theories of society, paying particular attention to classic social theory of the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Traces a trajectory through writings essential for an understanding of the social: from Saussure, Durkheim, Mauss, Marx, Freud, and Weber, on to the structuralist ethnographic elaboration of Claude Levi-Strauss, the historiographic reflections on modernity of Michel Foucault, and contemporary modes of socio-cultural analysis. Explored are questions of signification at the heart of anthropological inquiry, and to the historical contexts informing these questions. Discussion Section Required.
Instructor: P. Valero-Puertas
Prerequisites: Spanish 3300 (formerly Spanish 3332) The course studies cultural production in the Hispanic world with a view to making students aware of its historical and constructed nature. It explores concepts such as language, history, and nation; culture (national, popular, mass, and high); the social role of literature; the work of cultural institutions; globalization and migration; and the discipline of cultural studies.
The course is divided into units that address these subjects in turn, and through which students will also acquire the fundamental vocabulary for the analysis of cultural objects. The course also stresses the acquisition of rhetorical skills with which to write effectively in Spanish about the topics discussed. This course is required for the major and the concentration in Hispanic Studies.
Instructor: M. Al-Musawi
This course questions the whole idea of Arab modernity which is usually associated with the nahda or Arab awakening at the turn of the nineteenth century. Through close analysis of texts, poetry, narrative, travelogue and memoirs, it argues that the bane of modernity is its subordination to a Western ideal that minimizes or even negates its engagement with Islamic and Arab tradition.
The nation state and through codification processes and as led by the intelligentsia forged a social program that is no less divested of tradition and rural culture. Only after 1967, the unsettling experience of total bankruptcy, that intellectuals question the dichotomies of science versus religion and the myth of progress versus tradition. New writings take to the street where they find substance and faith that has been ignored for long under cultural dependency. These works receive due attention in relation to theoretical studies that increase readers’ critical insight.
PS. No prior knowledge of Arabic language is required. Global Core.
Instructor: C. Charles
Instructor: K. Jones
The course looks at works produced in the more than 20 countries that make up Latin America. Our investigations will take us from the Southern Cone nations of South America, up through Central American and the Caribbean, to Mexico in the north. We will cover styles from the colonial influences present in post-independence art of the early 19th century, to installation art from the beginning of the 21st century. Along the way we will consider such topics as the relationship of colonial style and academic training to forging an independent artistic identity; the emergence and establishment of a modern canon; experimentations in surrealism, neo-concretism, conceptual art, and performance. We will end the course with a consideration of Latino artists working in the U.S.
Instructor: J. Peters
This course offers graduate students working in law and humanities an intensive theoretical and methodological training in the field. We will read a number of theoretical texts–those that have been most influential or provocative for theorists of law and culture (Plato, Cover, Benjamin, Schmitt, Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, Agamben, Butler, etc.) and evaluating a variety of critical approaches to this material. In this context, guest speakers may be invited to discuss their current work. Finally, the seminar will function as a research colloquium, in which student will develop their own projects, circulating their work in the seminar. Students in any field (literature, history, political theory, anthropology, performance, etc…) and at any stage of graduate study welcome.
Instructor: M. Hornquist
Recent geopolitical developments have brought the notions of empire and liberal imperialism to the fore. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the history of Western imperialism, including the ancient empires of Athens and Rome, the Republica Christiana, Europe’s overseas expansion during the Early Modern period, Western colonialism and twentieth-century totalitarianism.
Our focus will be on how these developments are reflected and conceptualized in the works of leading political theorists like Aristotle, Machiavelli, Tocqueville and Arendt. Particular emphasis will be placed on the dual theme of liberty and empire, and the classical republican idea of liberty at home and empire abroad. In a contemporary context, the course will touch on questions concerning national sovereignty, religious universalism, identitarian politics, the doctrine of human rights, and American exceptionalism.
From a normative perspective, we will addresse a series of interrelated questions of great current import: Is empire compatible with liberal and democratic values broadly defined? What, if any, are the alternatives to empire and Western hegemony? And what is the price political, economic, military, and social of empire? To gain a more in-depth understanding of how these theoretical issues are played out and experienced on a more personal level, we will turn to literary and cinematographic works of fiction.
Introduction to the major paradigms of contemporary literary and cultural theory and methods for understanding and analyzing East Asian literature and culture within comparative frameworks. The course covers wide-ranging topics including text and context, genre, writing and orality, narrative theory, media and visual culture, cultural translation, feminism, social and national identity, postmodernism, and postcolonial theory.
Instructor: J. Peters
(Lecture). Spectacle, make-believe, and other forms of alternative reality in the European Renaissance. This course will look at drama, theatre, and the cultures of spectacle in Renaissance and Neoclassical Europe (Italy, Germany, Spain, England, and France in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries), situating English Renaissance drama in the wider European context. While looking at European dramas enactment of the tropes of altered reality (“life is a dream,” “all the worlds a stage,” “acting is believing”), we will also attend to the ways in which street performance, machinery, technologies of the human body, and the Renaissance sensorium generally (music, light, movement) coalesce into the spectacular illusionism of Renaissance performance.
We will explore theatre as magical and spiritual practice; carnival, charivari, and everyday cross-dressing, beggary, prostitution, and other street improvisations; court masque, imperial pageant, and public torture as disciplinary technique; sacrament, conversion, and other forms of illusionism and self-transformation. Texts include films, visual images, theatrical documents, festival books, commedia dellarte scenarios, and plays by Shakespeare’s greatest near-contemporaries.