Classes

    Law and American Society

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    At a time when the rule of law is imperiled, our democracy and equal rights of every kind under assault by multiple forces, the importance of understanding our constitutional system of rights and laws as essential to the fabric of the nation cannot be overstated. The course will examine law as a vehicle of political conflict and a defining force in American society in four dimensions: 1.) as it establishes individual rights, liberties, and the limits of toleration; 2.) as it attempts to resolve differences among competing constituencies; 3.) as it sets out terms of punishment and social...
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    Themes in American Studies

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    This course will be divided into two parts. In the first we will examine the works of a group of contemporary scholars (Tiya Miles, Lisa Lowe, Marisa Fuentes, Sarah Haley, Saidiya Hartman, Jose Munoz, and Daphne Brooks) who are deeply interested in the function of gender in our societies and whose work is either exclusively or largely focused on the Americas. More importantly, each of the individuals whose work we will examine is deeply committed both to using traditional archives...
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    Threads: Histories and Theories of Clothing and Fashion

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    This course focuses on fashion and clothing in Japan from the medieval period to the present day. It aims to build a knowledge base of historically contextualized case studies through readings, lectures, and discussions. In the process, it explores questions about clothing as a site around which societal debates occur, where personal and collective identities are shaped, and where foundational philosophical ideas come into focus. Theoretical readings will allow students to apply...
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    Resistant Masculinity: Evolving Notions of Black Masculinities in U.S. History

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    This seminar explores the relationships between gender, race, power, and violence from the foundation of the American republic through the modern era. We will examine scholarly texts and primary sources (memoirs, letters, photographs, illustrations, films, etc.) in order to chart the evolution of racialized masculine ideals across eras, class distinctions, and regions. Moreover, we will discuss how African Americans adhered to and challenged conventional notions of “manhood”...
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    The Making of Inequalities in Latin America: Seminar

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    This new iteration of the Latin American History Workshop will examine recent historiography on the region focusing on the making of social, racial and gender inequalities. The seminar will explore three main areas of scholarship: first, slavery and other forms of forced labor and its relationship with the emergence of racial ideologies; second, gender inequalities, especially in regard to struggles to obtain labor and reproductive rights; third, the enduring struggles for democracy in the region, comprising resistance to dictatorships, military interventionism, and right-wing extremism...

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    Encountering Motherhood: Sacred Histories

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    Childbearing, pregnancy, and motherhood, and the uncanny bond between mother and child have been focal themes in the history of religion since the Paleolithic period. This seminar considers the complex subject of motherhood through sacred histories from ancient Greece, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, Buddhism, Finnish epic, and select indigenous traditions. We will also read contemporary works in ...
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    Inequality and American Democracy

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    The "rights revolutions" of the 1960s and 1970s removed barriers to full citizenship for African Americans, women, and other formerly marginalized groups. But inequalities of wealth and income have grown since the 1970s. How do changing social and economic inequalities influence American democracy? This seminar explores empirical research and normative debates about political participation, about government responsiveness to citizen preferences, and about the impact of public...
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    Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, and the Transpacific Ethnography of Asian America

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    Ethnic studies is the critical interdisciplinary study of race, ethnicity, and indigeneity as understood from the intellectual, political, and cultural histories and perspectives of minoritized groups in the United States. Ethnic studies scholars analyze the social dynamics of race, racism, and various forms of institutionalized violence including the historical and lasting legacies of colonialism, chattel slavery, US imperalism, white supremacy, and more. In particular, Asian...
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    Pursuing Truth and Justice: Principles and Methods of Equity through Inquiry

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    This course will explore the principles and methodologies of equity-centered approaches for knowledge generation, meaning making, and social transformation through inquiry and the research process. We will examine community-based, participatory, action, and decolonizing approaches to inquiry, and engage with various perspectives on the process, practice, and applications of liberatory inquiry methodologies. We will discuss epistemology and research paradigms; explore a variety of...
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    Memory and Diaspora

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    Diasporas are frequently invoked to emphasize shared history and the possibility of shared identity. Yet the question of what is held in common is in constant negotiation and flux. We will consider how contemporary ideas about race, culture, and belonging are entangled with what is remembered, and how and why. They evolve from complex dealings with migration, intergenerational dynamics, gender, sexuality, language, and religion, and with internal and external narratives of origin,...
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    Topics in Latinx Studies: Imagining Latinidad

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    This course is intended to provide hands-on practice toward doing research on Latinx issues, with an approach grounded in the understanding that terms ‘Hispanic’ and ‘Latinidad’ are not static concepts and, at the same time, not a homogeneous mix. We will examine culture, intellectual production, languages, economics, and political thought, as well as the dynamics of Latino/a/e people in the United States. Throughout the class, students will become familiar with a wide range of...
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    #Adulting

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    Debates about when adolescence ends and adulthood begins often lead to judgements about how long youth today are taking to reach adulthood and uncertainties about what it means to become an adult. The transition from adolescence to adulthood is often fraught with anxieties about realizing one’s dreams, getting into college, succeeding in the job market, and finding a life partner. Have the definitions and markers of adulthood changed across generations? Should these...
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    Qualitative Research Lab: Immigration, Citizenship, and Belonging

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    What does citizenship mean to the millions of people who immigrate to the United States? How do immigrants and their families experience the process, the complexities, and the challenges of immigration, integration, and naturalization? And how do undocumented and DACAmented immigrants describe the paradoxes of being a vital part of US society while being excluded from many formal categories of citizenship and belonging?
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    Introduction to Sociology

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    What is society? What is the role of the individual in society? How does the way society is organized affect the behaviors and beliefs of people who live in it? How can we change our societies? This course introduces students to the field of sociology. By surveying social theory as well as empirical studies, students acquire what C. Wright Mills calls the "sociological imagination": the ability to think beyond our personal lives and to connect the experiences of individuals with large social structures. Readings include prominent empirical investigations into family dynamics, class...

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    Latinx, 1492 to 2022

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    The 530 years since Columbus’s arrival in Hispaniola have paid witness to the fall and rise of empires, the perseverance of colonial structures of power, and the construction and (re)creation of racial, sexual, and gendered identities. In the midst of such change and continuity, this course sets out to ask: what place does Latinx occupy in this long history? What does Latinidad look like when we trace it back 530 years, when we take 1492 to be its starting point instead of the 20th...
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    Staging Critique: French Theater and the Social Body

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    How has theater in France, from the 17th-century to the present, served as a site of political, social, and philosophical reflection? In this course, we will attempt to answer that question by studying a selection of plays representing the major trends, movements, and writers of French theater from Jean Racine to Marie NDiaye. We will look in particular at how theater privileges the body and the language of emotion to reformulate and respond to questions regarding the relationship...
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    Introduction to the Study of East Asia: Issues and Methods

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023

    This interdisciplinary and team-taught course provides an introduction to several of the approaches and methods through which the societies and cultures of East Asia can be studied at Harvard, including history, philosophy, literary studies, political science, film studies, anthropology and gender studies. We consider both commonalities and differences across the region, and explore how larger processes of imperialism, modernization, and globalization have shaped contemporary East Asian societies and their future trajectories. 

     

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    Prison Abolition

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    Is prison abolition a serious proposal, an aspirational ideal, a trendy slogan, or a blueprint for social transformation? This interdisciplinary and community-engaged course situates the prison abolition movement in deep historical context and explores its current relation to the politics of criminal justice reform. We will study the movement’s connections to slavery abolitionism, anti-lynching activism, Indigenous struggles for sovereignty, and the Black Power movement. We will...
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