Classes

    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

    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

    Topics in Latinx Studies: Imagining Latinidad

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021

    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 thinkers, currents, concepts, topics, and they will be exposed to frameworks of decolonial history and knowledge. The class will also facilitate conversations about the current place of Latinx cultures within the U.S. imaginary, including the immigrant groups from Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, as well Indigenous and Afro-diasporic communities.... Read more about Topics in Latinx Studies: Imagining Latinidad

    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

    Tattoo: Histories and Practices

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021
    This course’s focus is on the social history of tattooing in Europe and North America from the mid-18th century to the present. The course also considers tattoo practices in Asian, Polynesian, and indigenous North America cultures. In addition to their own intrinsic interest, these practices and their histories are essential to a critical understanding of the development of tattooing within globalized modern and post-modern culture.... Read more about Tattoo: Histories and Practices

    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.

    ... Read more about The Rise of the Far Right in Europe

    American Noir

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021
    This class will examine noir not only as an aesthetic—brutality disguised in beauty—but also as a social commentary on American life in the 1940s and 50s. How did cultural conceptions of the tough guy and femme fatale reflect or shape the gender and sexual politics of the era? How did noir speak to anxieties surrounding race, ethnicity, and social class? And how did America’s anti-heroes reflect a changing conception of nationhood and citizenship in the atomic age? By looking at cultural works like films, novels, and true crime pieces in the context of postwar psychology and sociology, we will consider what audiences’ fascination with violence, murder, and deceit revealed about the American identity.... Read more about American Noir

    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

    Political Economy: Advanced Democracies

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021
    This is a survey of advanced topics in political economy, with a focus on affluent democracies in North America, Western Europe, and East Asia. We will explore cross-national differences in the organization of economic, political, and social institutions, and how these produce divergent economic policies and outcomes. We will also ask how class, race, and gender affect the politics of inequality and redistribution, and we will consider the political and economic consequences of globalization, women’s economic mobilization, and new technology -- including the rise of right populism. The course is taught seminar-style and restricted to a maximum of 16 advanced undergraduates.... Read more about Political Economy: Advanced Democracies

    Rise and Fall of Postwar Japan

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021
    Examines Japan’s rise from the ashes of wartime defeat to global economic power and subsequent stagnation, with primary focus on society and economy.  Considers the value and the limits of a narrative of “rise and fall” as the framework for understanding the 75 years since World War II, with focus on trends in gender roles, social (in)equality, and human impact on the environment.  Asks how have people in postwar Japan, and the government, explained to themselves and the world the previous embrace of empire and war.... Read more about Rise and Fall of Postwar Japan

    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

    Ottoman State and Society II (1550-1920)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2021
    Surveys the transformations of the Ottoman order in the Middle East and southeastern Europe in the early modern era and in the long nineteenth century until the demise of the state. Topics include changes in the conduct of state; social and religious movements; the impact of the new world economy and new trade routes; relations with Europe; emergence of nationalism; the `Eastern Question.' Ethnic and religious diversity, rural society, urban popular culture, guilds, gender and family life are also examined. The importance of this era for understanding today's Middle East is stressed.... Read more about Ottoman State and Society II (1550-1920)

    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).  Readings include fascinating narratives, biographies, and autobiographies. Students will learn how to approach these rich texts from combined historical and literary perspectives, while gaining familiarity with current cutting-edge research. 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

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