Past Courses – (TEST)
Instructor: N. Dames
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. (Seminar). An examination of the realist novel in its major period (1720-1900) and the origins of the realist vision. What constitutes “the real,” and for what purposes is “realism” employed? What understandings of science, and what kinds of political or social aspirations, underwrote the attempt to give narrative art the qualities of accuracy, transparency, contemporaneity, even evidentiary value? Novelists to include Defoe, Balzac, Dickens, Flaubert, Eliot, Gissing; major critical and theoretical statements by the Goncourts, Maupassant, James, Auerbach, Lukács, Barthes, Jameson, and others.
What is religion? This course will seek to engage a range of answers to this question, beginning with some of the reasons we might want to ask it. Acknowledging the urgency of the matter, the class is not a survey of all religious traditions. Rather, it will seek to address religion as a comparative problem between traditions (how does one religion compare with another? Who invented comparative religion?) as well as between scholarly and methodological approaches (does one live–or ask about–religion the way one asks about Law? Culture? Science? Politics?). We will seek to engage the problem of perspective in, for example, the construction of a conflict between religion and science, religion and modernity, as well as some of the distinctions now current in the media (news and movies) between religion and politics, religion and economics. Historical and textual material, as well as aesthetic practices and institutions will provide the general and studied background for the lectures.
Instructor: C. Bender and J. Hawley
This seminar teaches ethnographic approaches to studying religious life with a special focus on urban religion and religions of New York. Students develop in-depth analyses of religious communities using these methods. Course readings address both ethnographic methods and related ethical and epistemological issues, as well as substantive topical issues of central importance to the study of urban religion, including transnationalism and immigration, religious group life and its relation to local community life, and issues of ethnicity, race and cosmopolitanism in pluralistic communities.
Instructor: M. Al-Musawi
This course responds to the sweeping winds of change in the Arab region, covering a great amount of archival and media material including documentaries, films, narratives, poetry and songs. It substantiates and synthesizes its analysis with a theoretical frame that makes use of Arab intellectual thought in translation, along with legacies of popular revolutions and liberation movements in the Arab region and in the three continents, along with readings of significance in the literature of World War I and II. The course initiates its discussion with experts’ speculations on the difference between the deliberate “creative chaos” as part of an imperial strategy, and popular revolutions that swept some autocratic and dictatorial regimes. To reach a better understanding of this difference, the course will explore the rites of passage through which these movements grow and authenticate their presence befor finding the right medium or occasion to burst out in a volcanic fashion. The course explores: memory, the changing role of the elite, youth movements, people’s leadership, the changing lexicon, conceptualization of nationhood, social media and solidarity, regional specifics and common concerns, and the rise of a new poetics as a confederation of semiotics, rhetoric and expressive devices. In their presentations and research students are encouraged to participate in archival material gathering, analysis of required texts and active particpation in roundtable discussions.
Instructor: J. McGourty
Prerequisites: Students must have declared their concentration/major. By investigating the scientific and technical evolution and subsequent diffusion of contemporary technological innovations, students learn how science and technology fit into the bigger picture: i.e. how technologies technically develop from concept to diffusion into society, how they work, and how they are bi-directionally related to social forces, cultural values, economic trends, environmental factors, and political influences. An essential part of the coursework is participation in a community-based learning project, working with local non-profit organizations.
Prerequisites: Instructor’s permission is required to register. Pre-registration is not permitted. Please see here for detailed seminar registration guidelines: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/polisci/undergrad/main/SeminarGuidelines/index.html Seminar in Political Theory.
Required of all comparative literature and society majors. Intensive research in selected areas of comparative literature and society. Topic for 2011-2012: TBA
Prerequisites: Senior status
The dynamics of cultural contact and exchange between Cuba and the United States through an analysis of representative verbal, visual, musical works.
Instructor: V. Moberg
Textual investigation of Scandinavia’s literary golden age in terms of the sexual and gender controversies of the day. Emphasis on key texts of the Modern Breakthrough, with its Double Standard Debate, a fascinating chapter of Scandinavian literary and social history.