Past Courses – (TEST)
Introduction to the theory and practice of ethnography the intensive study of peoples lives as shaped by social relations, cultural images, and historical forces. Considers through critical reading of various kinds of texts (classic ethnographies, histories, journalism, novels, films) the ways in which understanding, interpreting, and representing the lived words of people at home or abroad, in one place or transnationally, in the past or the present can be accomplished. Discussion Section Required
Instructor: C. Fennell
The anthropological approach to the study of culture and human society. Case studies from ethnography are used in exploring the universality of cultural categories (social organization, economy, law, belief system, art, etc.) and the range of variation among human societies. Discussion Section Required ANTH V1012.
Instructor: N. Lightfoot
This lecture course examines the social, cultural, and political history of the islands of the Caribbean Sea and coastal regions of Central and South American that collectively form the Caribbean region, from Amerindian settlement, through the era of European imperialism and African enslavement, to the period of socialist revolution and independence. The course will examine historical trajectories of colonialism, slavery, and labor regimes, post-emancipation experiences and migration, radical insurgencies and anti-colonial movements, and intersections of race, culture, and neocolonialism. It will also investigate the production of national, creole, and transborder indentities. Formerly listed as “The Caribbean in the 19th and 20th centuries”
Instructor: K. Eden
(Lecture). Selected works of some of the principal prose writers of the European Renaissance, including Petrarch, Valla, More, Machiavelli, Castiglione, Erasmus and Montaigne.
Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. (Seminar). This course focuses on the tumultuous 1930s, which witnessed the growth of anticolonial movements, the coming to power of totalitarian and fascist regimes, and calls for internationalism and a new world vision, among other major developments. Even as fascism laid down its roots in parts of Europe, the struggle for independence from European colonial rule accelerated in Asia and Africa, and former subjects engaged with ideas and images about the shape of their new nations, in essays, fiction, poetry, and theater. Supporters and critics of nationalism existed on both sides of the metropole-colony divide, as calls for internationalism sought to stem the rising tide of ethnocentric thinking and racial particularism in parts of Europe as well as the colonies. We will read works from both the metropole and the colonies to track the crisscrossing of ideas, beginning with writers who anticipated the convulsive events of the 1930s and beyond (E.M. Forster, H.G. Wells, Tagore, Gandhi), then moving on to writers who published some of their greatest work in the 1930s (Huxley, Woolf, C.L.R. James, Mulk Raj Anand), and finally concluding with authors who reassessed the events of the 1930s from a later perspective (George Lamming). Application Instructions: E-mail Professor Viswanathan (email@example.com) by noon on Wednesday, April 13th, with the subject heading, “The Thirties 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. Note: When available, an admit list will be posted athttp://www.columbia.edu/cu/english/courses_ugsemadmit.htm.
Dialectical approach to reading and thinking about the history of dramatic theatre in the west, interrogating the ways poetry inflects, and is inflected by, the material dynamics of performance. We will undertake careful study of the practices of performance, and of the sociocultural, economic, political, and aesthetic conditions animating representative plays of the Western tradition from the classical theatre through the early modern period; course will also emphasize development of important critical concepts for the analysis of drama, theatre, and performance. Specific attention will be given to classical Athens, medieval cycle drama, the professional theatre of early modern England, and the rival theatres of seventeenth century France and Spain. Writing: 2-3 papers; Reading: 1-2 plays, critical and historical reading per week; final examination.
Instructor: M. Lilla
“Themes in Intellectual History” offers an intensive examination of one major intellectual concept or problem as it develops over time. This semester will be devoted to some classic modern works on education: its aims, its methods, its prerequisites, its limitations, its social and political implications. These works by Montaigne, Descartes, Locke, Vico, and Rousseau have been chosen for intensive study due to their wide influence and the starkly different pedagogical alternatives they develop. Particular attention will be devoted to Rousseau’s Emile and its relation to its precursors.
Instructor: P. Watts
This semester we will read some of the major theoretical texts in (and out of) the French tradition, focusing on the relations between text and image, from 1900 to the present.
Instructor Permission Required This course is intended to introduce student to key debates in the field of human rights. It will require extensive reading as background to a focused discussion of key theoretical issues. Historically, we shall distinguish between two epochs in the development of human rights discourse: (a) the politically-centered articulation of human rights, an epoch that began with the French Revolution and the Rights of Man and closed with Eleanor Roosevelt’s 1948 Declaration that provided the intellectual foundation for the 20th century welfare state, and (b) the ethically-centered call, ‘Never Again’, as the lesson of the Holocaust, which provides the foundation for a programmatic Responsibility to Protect (R2P). What has changed and what has remained the same as the focus of human rights has shifted from a call for resistance to one for rescue and intervention? We shall compare and contrast two specific contexts in which human rights discourse has become dominant: (a) survivor states: the United States (and South Africa) ; (b) victim states: Israel (and Rwanda). What was the lesson of Auschwitz (and Hiroshima)? And what is the lesson of the South African transition? SIPA: EPD. SIPA: Human Rights.
(Lecture). This course examines the phenomenon of the proliferation of the Bildungsroman, the “coming-of-age” novel, as one of the most prominent literary forms in the world today. The genre is historically associated in the European tradition with the emergence of modernity and the problems of modern socialization; we will consider the factors and pressures that have contributed to its rise in the rest of the world-including, imperialism, human rights, and globalization. If the Bildungsroman traditionally tells the story of the development of modern individualism, its success in the “Third World” often complicates and challenges the cultural, political, social, racial, economic, and gender assumptions that lie behind the European model. Likely novels include: Ama Ata Aidoo’s Our Sister Killjoy; Arturo Arias’s After the Bombs; Tahar ben Jelloun’s The Sand Child; Medhi Charef’s Tea in the Harem; Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions; Edwidge Danticat’s Breath, Eyes, Memory; Romesh Gunesekera’s Reef; Turki al-Hamad’s Adama; Khaled Hosseini’s Kite Runner; Cheik Hamidou Kane’s Ambiguous Adventure; Joseph Zobel’s Black Shack Alley. We will also be reading literary and critical theory on the novel form, development, and the “third world” by Adorno, Bakhtin, Beverley, Bhabha, Booth, Chatman, Das, Deleuze and Guattari, Delgado, Derrida, Dorfman, Fanon, Freire, Genette, Harlow, Harvey, Hegel, Jameson, Lyotard, Maran, Martin Baro, Marx, Moretti, Nietzsche, Rodney, Ricoeur, Rousseau, Said, Sartre, Spivak, Viswanathan, Watt, Wheeler, Wittgenstein.