Classes

    Feminist Science Studies

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    This seminar is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of feminist science studies. As the feminist movements of the 1970s began to change the American political landscape, academic feminists began inquiries into the marginalization of women in science – a debate philosopher Harding called “the woman question in science.” Feminist scientists began to examine sex, gender and race bias in their own disciplines. In consequence, they raised questions about androcentric – male-centered – epistemologies underlying Western science (alongside a growing critique of Eurocentrism).... Read more about Feminist Science Studies

    Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, and the Transpacific Ethnography of Asian America

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    Given the urgency of the contemporary political moment and heightened conversations around race and especially gendered racial violence, what might anthropology stand to gain from an overt engagement with ethnic studies? Furthermore, how might anthropology’s longstanding interest in local meaning, knowledge, and practices disrupt hegemonic or US-centric notions of the ethnic Other? By foregrounding scholarship that traverses ethnic studies, Asian American studies, and anthropology, this course is designed to highlight the ways that histories of minoritized groups overlap and are connected.... Read more about Ethnic Studies, Anthropology, and the Transpacific Ethnography of Asian America

    The Greatest Chinese Novel

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    The Story of the Stone (also known as The Dream of the Red Chamber) by Cao Xueqin (1715?-1763) is widely recognized as the masterpiece of Chinese fiction. It is also a portal to Chinese civilization. Encyclopedic in scope, this book both sums up Chinese culture and asks of it difficult questions. Its cult status also accounts for modern popular screen and television adaptations. Through a close examination of this text in conjunction with supplementary readings and visual materials, the seminar will explore a series of topics on Chinese culture, including foundational myths, philosophical and religious systems, the status of fiction, conceptions of art and the artist, ideas about love, desire and sexuality, gender roles, garden aesthetics, family and clan structure, and definitions of socio-political order.

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    Identity and the Self in the Medieval Greek Tradition

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021
    This seminar explores the construction and complexity of identities in the Greek tradition (300-1500). Students will read fascinating narratives, biographies, and autobiographies, and will learn how to analyze them from historical and literary perspectives. Questions for discussion include political, religious, and ethnic identity in late antiquity and Byzantium, the meaning of being "Roman" and "Greek," the plasticity of self-representation, and the interpretation of religion, gender, and class as both social and cultural categories.... Read more about Identity and the Self in the Medieval Greek Tradition

    Keats Isn't Dead: How We Live Romanticism

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    Our thoughts and feelings about identity, self-expression, and the power of the imagination draw on the British Romantic poetry of the Long Eighteenth Century—whether we've read any or not. Focusing on John Keats (his key poems, and his key ideas, about "negative capability", the "camelion poet", and so on), this course makes unconventional connections into the twentieth, and twenty-first century. Tracking issues of race, class, gender and sexuality, we'll bounce from Keats into war verse; African-American poetries; world/postcolonial writing; the literature of social class; feminist experimentalism; and constructions of masculinity. Concentrators will learn how to analyze poetry in both closed and open forms.... Read more about Keats Isn't Dead: How We Live Romanticism

    The Essay: History and Practice

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021
    Matthew Arnold famously said that poetry is, at bottom, “a criticism of life.” But if any literary form is truly a criticism of life, it is the essay. And yet despite the fact that all students write essays, most students rarely study them; bookshops and libraries categorize such work only negatively, by what it is not: “non-fiction.” At the same time, the essay is at present one of the most productive and fertile of literary forms. It is practiced as memoir, reportage, diary, criticism, and sometimes all four at once. Novels are becoming more essayistic, while essays are borrowing conventions and prestige from fiction. This class will disinter the essay from its comparative academic neglect, and examine the vibrant contemporary borderland between the reported and the invented. We will study the history of the essay, from Montaigne to the present day. Rather than study that history purely chronologically, each class will group several essays from different decades and centuries around common themes: death, detail, sentiment, race, gender, photography, the city, witness, and so on.... Read more about The Essay: History and Practice

    The Politics and Aesthetics of Mourning

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021
    In this course, we will study literary responses to and representations of loss, both public and private, in twentieth- and twenty-first-century French literature. We will investigate how mourning intersects with various theoretical and historical topics including gender and sexuality, the memory of war, and the AIDS epidemic. We will discuss how the particular intellectual contexts and historical events of the twentieth century brought about shifts in the way that individuals and communities experienced loss and worked through grief. We will consider how the work of mourning generates political as well as aesthetic questions, and we will ask how literature helps us to think about loss and to propose alternative models of mourning. Readings may include literary works by Marcel Proust, Simone de Beauvoir, Hervé Guibert, and Patrick Modiano. We will also look at theoretical writings on loss from a variety of perspectives, from psychoanalysis to deconstruction and queer theory.... Read more about The Politics and Aesthetics of Mourning

    Queer Latinx Borderlands

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    What does Puerto Rican rapper Bad Bunny have to do with 16th century Mexico criminal archives? What does the Netflix series Pose (2018) have to do with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)? They converge in the queer borderlands, Chicana lesbian Gloria Anzaldúa’s spatial framework. Just as border studies has taught us that such encounters and crossroads exist far beyond literal borders, so too does this course delink from any geographical space, instead deploying Anzaldúa’s framework to provide an account for two major arcs while centering gender and sexual non/normativity.... Read more about Queer Latinx Borderlands

    Sound and Color: Music, Race, and US Cultural Politics

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021
    Although race is often presumed to be a visual phenomenon, it is also created and produced through sound. But what does race sound like? What might we learn when we attune our ears to the music and noise that race makes in popular music, on the stage, and in literature? How can texts like songs, films, and novels both reinforce and challenge cultural hierarchies and arrangements of social power? This course explores the sonification of race and the racialization of sound, music, and noise in the United States from the late nineteenth century to the present.... Read more about Sound and Color: Music, Race, and US Cultural Politics

    The Rise of the Far Right in Europe

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    In this seminar, we will ask: first, how has the present wave of far-right parties in western and central Europe tapped into notions of national decline, instability, and changing demographics? Second, what can we learn about these movements by studying histories of European fascism in France, Germany, Spain, and Italy? And finally, how have these histories been obscured and rehabilitated in different ways in each of these countries? By moving from contemporary cases of resurgent nationalist sentiment to their interwar predecessors and back again, and through a consideration of novels, films, historical documents, speeches, and monuments, among other sources, the course will seek to uncover how anxieties of migration, race, and empire—as well as changing roles of religion, gender, and nationhood—shaped political animosities and allegiances within the European Far Right both a century ago and today.

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    German History from Bismarck to Hitler

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021
    German History loomed like a specter over the twentieth century. In the twenty-first century, Americans have been debating the relevance and legitimacy of comparisons between German history and our contemporary world. How useful is German history for understanding our current moment? How might our present day concerns distort what we see in the past? This course will examine the history of Germans in Europe and elsewhere, starting with the revolutions of 1848 and ending with the separation of Austria, West Germany, and East Germany following the Second World War. Themes will be war, insurrection, and terrorism, revolution and counter-revolution, gender and sexuality, reform, violence, anti-semitism, racial thinking and racism, and migration.... Read more about German History from Bismarck to Hitler

    German History from Bismarck to Hitler

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021
    German History loomed like a specter over the twentieth century. In the twenty-first century, Americans have been debating the relevance and legitimacy of comparisons between German history and our contemporary world. How useful is German history for understanding our current moment? How might our present-day concerns distort what we see in the past? This course will examine the history of Germans in Europe and elsewhere, starting with the revolutions of 1848 and ending with the separation of Austria, West Germany, and East Germany following the Second World War. Themes will be war, insurrection, and terrorism, revolution and counter-revolution, gender and sexuality, reform, violence, anti-Semitism, racial thinking and racism, and migration.... Read more about German History from Bismarck to Hitler

    Slavery in the Global Middle Ages

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    This course focuses on systems of human bondage in the period stretching from ancient Rome to the eve of the sixteenth century, which is when modern racialized slavery began to predominate. Though class readings will focus on the historical and archaeological evidence from the societies ringing the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean, students are warmly encouraged to develop research projects featuring the slave systems of East Asia and the New World.

    Learning Objectives. After successfully completing this course, students will have acquired:

    • A framework for understanding the history of Old World slavery, principally Western Eurasia, Africa, and the Indian Ocean, from ancient Rome to the 16th century
    • An introduction to slave systems in the New World and an understanding of forms of Indigenous slavery
    • An understanding of major themes in the general history and anthropology of slavery, including the role of race and gender, the forms of domination, and the existence of inter-cultural and historical variation
    • Skills associated with identifying and working with primary and secondary sources in multiple languages
    • The ability to design and execute a historical research project

    ... Read more about Slavery in the Global Middle Ages

    Readings in Native American and Indigenous Studies: Seminar

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021
    This course offers a survey of the historiography of Native American and Indigenous Studies.  Centered on six themes—Power and the Middle Ground, Borderlands, Settler Colonialism and Sovereignty, Race and Slavery, Modernity and Futurity, and Global and Comparative Indigeneity—the course is designed to allow explorations into additional terrain, including gender and sexuality, law and policy, and comparative ethnic studies, among others.  Core readings will focus on recently published scholarship.  To explore field trajectories, scholarly exchange, and indigenous politics, members of the class will research and write historiographical essays that will be shared collectively, and form the basis for seminar discussion.... Read more about Readings in Native American and Indigenous Studies: Seminar