Classes

    The Politics of Personal Writing

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    A long tradition of feminist writing asserts that the personal is political. In this creative writing class, we will critically examine the work of feminist and queer authors such as Dorothy Allison, Roxane Gay, Cathy Park Hong, Audre Lorde, Imani Perry, and Margaret Talusen who use personal experience as a starting point for arguments about class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Examining how these authors draw on traditions crafted by earlier authors such as James Baldwin...
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    Race, Gender, and Performance

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    Performance surrounds us. We see performances online, in movies and on TV, on the sports field, in the theatre, in activism, and in everyday life. How do these performances produce or disrupt race and gender? This class provides analytical tools by which to answer this question. Texts include works by Anna Deavere Smith, David Henry Hwang, Bertolt Brecht, Guillermo Gómez-Peña, and Judith Butler; topics include AIDS activism, politics of public bathrooms, and weddings....
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    Legacies of a Powerful Woman: The Life and Afterlife of Empress Theodora

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    One of the most controversial women of ancient and medieval history is Theodora, wife of Justinian I and empress of the Roman Empire in the 6th century CE. She has been variously portrayed as a hypersexual prostitute and power-hungry, vindictive manipulator, or as a saint, protectress of the needy, champion of women’s rights and revolutionary. Who was this woman really and why did she provoke such conflicting responses? In this seminar, we will explore the historical sources on...
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    China's Banned Book: Reading Jin Ping Mei

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    This course will introduce students to the controversial masterpiece of Chinese fiction, The Plum in the Golden Vase (Jin Ping Mei). Censored for its erotic content, this sensational book had a profound impact on the development of Chinese fiction. A landmark in the history of the novel, The Plum in the Golden Vase shifts attention away from worthy heroes to examine the everyday exploits and desires of ordinary people. The work of an anonymous author, The Plum in the Golden Vase...
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    Cold War Germany: Art and Politics on Both Sides of the Wall

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    This course provides a survey of the history and culture of divided Germany during the Cold War. It examines the conditions leading to the foundation of two separate states, the role of the Allied Powers in East and West Germany, the ideological conflicts between them, and their different responses to dealing with a shared fascist past. Drawing on sources from literature, film, radio, theater and art, we will engage with key political debates and societal changes, such as the “...
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    Aesthetics of Resistance: Experimentation and Creative Protest in Avantgarde Theater and Performance Art

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    This course seeks to address the most crucial shifts and transformations that theater and performance practices have undergone since the advent of the literary and artistic avantgarde movements at the end of the 19th century. Through the study of examples from across Europe and the United States, we will examine phenomena such as the declining importance of “word theater” and the pre-scripted theatrical text; the éclatement of a clearly demarcated performance space and the...
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    Literature, Diaspora, Migration, and Trauma

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    This course examines a diverse range of creative and critical discourses on trauma and the global African; East, South, Southeast, and West Asian (Chinese, Indian, Iranian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese); and Middle Eastern (Jewish, Palestinian, Lebanese); as well as Latin American diasporas. We focus on the connections among diasporas, displacement, migration, and trauma, and on the relationships of these phenomena and constructions and understandings of artistic and cultural identities, ethnicity/race...

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    The Art of the Personal Essay: Workshop

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    What makes for a successful work of personal narrative? What transforms mere experience into shapely art? In this workshop, we will study—partly by reading the published work of iconic and experimental essayists, mainly through the submission and discussion of students’ own writing—the craft and technique of the personal essay. Readings include work by James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, David Foster Wallace.
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    Intermediate Portuguese I: Justice, Equity and Rights in the Lusophone world

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    In this intermediate-level language course, students will explore social justice issues in the Lusophone world related to education, environment, health, jobs, and food. Students will also interrogate topics such as immigration, racism, and gender by studying a range of texts (e.g. written, audiovisual, visual) from different sources (e.g., social media, newspapers). Through these materials, students will build vocabulary and review and refine various grammatical structures. Students will also build on...

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    Strange Tales: The Supernatural in Chinese Literature

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    This course introduces students to traditional Chinese literature by focusing on “tales of the strange.” We will examine how ghosts, demons, fox spirits, and other liminal creatures haunt the literary imagination, stretching the possibilities of storytelling. Students will gain familiarity with masterpieces of Chinese literature and their intriguing afterlives in performance, film, and popular culture. Our discussions will consider how literary accounts of ghosts and the...
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