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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    Women's voices in Brazilian culture(s)

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    In this advanced language and culture course, students will refine their Portuguese language skills as they learn how Brazilian women have overcome prejudice and gender bias and adopted a leading role in the Brazilian culture and society. Through a range of texts (e.g. paintings, songs, movies, short stories, novels, tv shows) students will master complex grammatical structures and build on the communicative competence acquired in previous levels, with a particular emphasis on...
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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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    Power to the People: Black Power, Radical Feminism, and Gay Liberation

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022

    An introduction to the radical American social change movements of the 1960s and 70s. We will examine the specific historical conditions that allowed each of these movements to develop, the interconnections and contradictions among them, and why their political power faded, only to reemerge in new manifestations today. Along with historical analysis, we will examine primary source materials, manifestos, autobiographies, and media coverage from the period, as well as relevant films, music, and fiction. The class will be a mixture of lecture and discussion. Midterm and final assignments...

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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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    Anyone's Germany: Redefining Identity in Contemporary German Fiction

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    What does it mean to be German today? Contemporary German society abounds with Grenzüberschreiter of varying kinds: generations who were raised in a divided Germany but came of age in a reunified, globalized Bundesrepublik; communities of multi-generational German nationals whose identities nevertheless inherit the problematic international labor-politics of both the East and the West; voices demanding greater visibility of Germany’s postcolonial legacy and sparking viral debates...
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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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    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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    Tasting Place: Food and Culture in America

    Semester: 

    Fall

    Offered: 

    2022
    We often associate specific tastes and foods with particular places, memories, and experiences. What would it mean, then, to center taste in our study of place and culture? How can places be tasted, and tastes be placed? In this class, we explore the relationship between taste and place within American culture, discussing how elements of nation, region, and identity are created, absorbed, and imagined through foods and their represented forms. The word “taste” has multiple meanings...
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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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    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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    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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    Carceral Empire

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    Mass incarceration is a catastrophe in the United States, especially affecting Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and poor communities. Different forms of carceral confinements have long been an integral part of the formation of the United States and other settler colonies in the Americas. In this course, we will focus on the history of Indigenous confinements. While the incarceration of Indigenous peoples today resembles the incarceration of other minoritized peoples, it has similar and...
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    Introduction to African American Studies

    Semester: 

    Spring

    Offered: 

    2023
    This course aims to provide an interdisciplinary examination of the complex array of African-American cultural and political practices from slavery to the present. The course will involve close readings of a variety of primary sources and classic texts that present key issues in African American thought and practice. The course will place special emphasis on debates concerning African American people with the goal of introducing students to the process and the methodology of...
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