Classes

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

Human Rights, Law, and Advocacy

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

 

Human rights practitioners around the world rely upon human rights law, language, and methodologies in the struggle for social justice. This freshman seminar explores the underlying legal framework in which human rights advocates operate, and uses specific case studies to consider the legal, ethical, and strategic challenges that practitioners grapple with in their work. The seminar is designed to encourage students to critically evaluate the human rights movement while offering an introduction to some of the essential tools and strategies used by human rights advocates...

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Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
This interdisciplinary course will explore the politics of reproductive health and health care delivery, both in the US and globally, with a particular focus on how reproduction and related clinical care are shaped by and in turn shape social inequality along axes of race, gender, and social class. The course will intertwine three threads: 1) major conceptual and theoretical issues foundational to understanding the politics and epidemiology of reproduction; 2) contemporary and historical perspectives on specific reproductive phenomena and events (preventing pregnancy, terminating pregnancy, sustaining pregnancy, and giving birth); 3) social movements organized around reproductive health (e.g. anti-abortion, reproductive justice movements).... Read more about Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice

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

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Morphosemantics

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
This course explores how nominal features like person, number, and grammatical gender are formally marked as well as interpreted, with greatest attention paid to grammatical gender. Are categories such as “masculine”, “feminine”, and “neuter” linguistically on equal footing, or are there asymmetries in how they are morphologically expressed or in how they map onto meanings? Are these categories represented consistently across languages? Depending on enrollee/participant interests, topics may include the representation of “markedness”; morphosyntactic defaults; connections between notional and non-notional gender assignment to nouns; gender and scope interactions; the interpretability of fake indexicals; and singular they.... Read more about Morphosemantics

Love's Labors Found: Uncovering Histories of Emotional Labor

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

How do love, care, and desire influence the value of work, and why is emotional labor – which is vital to child or elder care, domestic labor, nursing, teaching, and sex work – often considered to be something other than work? How and why do the racial and gender identities of workers affect the economic, social, and emotional value of their labor? How do political and social arrangements of labor help produce and reinforce racial categories while solidifying the boundaries separating masculinity and femininity? Through a mix of primary and secondary sources, this seminar explores histories of emotional labor and the power structures that give meaning to often taken-for-granted categories of work. These sometimes hidden histories are key to untangling the gender, sexual, and racial implications of the “intimate industries” that populate today’s transnational labor economies.

... Read more about Love's Labors Found: Uncovering Histories of Emotional Labor

Human Rights and the Global South

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

The disparate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global impact of the Black Lives Matter protests following the murder of George Floyd have highlighted for all to see the dramatic inequities and entrenched human rights violations that continue to plague human societies. Extreme poverty, especially among communities of color, is sky rocketing, refugees and other forced migrants are blocked from seeking life-saving protection, domestic violence is soaring, evidence of structural racism and its enduring legacy is present on every continent.  Despite over half a century of...

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How Sweet is it to be Loved By You: Black Love and the Emotional Politics of Respect

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

The word 'love' is almost never used in any portrayal or description of the African American community's daily life in contemporary media and in the social sciences. But love, as a human experience, is central to our understanding of what it means to be a vital member of a culture and society and thus respected, nurtured, etc. This seminar examines the love that difference makes. It is a comprehensive study of the representation of gender, love and sexuality in African American and African Diasporan culture.... Read more about How Sweet is it to be Loved By You: Black Love and the Emotional Politics of Respect

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

Creativity Research: Eccentrics, Geniuses, and Harvard Students

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
Examines human creativity from three perspectives: a) empirical research sources, b) case studies of eminent creative achievers, and c) ourselves as creative subjects. Topics include the definition and measurement of creativity, the creative process, the neuroscience of creativity, the creative personality, the role of family life and culture in creativity, the relationship of creativity to IQ, gender differences, and the relationship of creativity to psychopathology. The course format will consist of a combination of lectures, student presentations, and discussion. Students will write a final paper on the topic of their choice related to creativity.... Read more about Creativity Research: Eccentrics, Geniuses, and Harvard Students

Power, Knowledge, Identity: Critical Approaches to Race and Ethnicity

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
How might critical attention to race and ethnicity as they intersect with gender and sexuality—and also frameworks of indigeneity and class—shape how we study? How do these lenses shift the questions we ask, the information that counts as data, and the genres of work that we recognize as 'academic'? For those newer to studies of race and ethnicity, this course provides intersectional frameworks for recognizing what assumptions undergird academic projects and fields of study. For those familiar with ethnic studies, it aims to serve as a ‘Theories and Methods’ course, providing tools and strategies for refining one's own interdisciplinary inquiries.... Read more about Power, Knowledge, Identity: Critical Approaches to Race and Ethnicity

Narrative Negotiations: How do Readers and Writers Decide on What are the Most Important Voices and Values Represented in a Narrrative?

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021
Narrative Negotiations explores narrative “voice” in a wide range of literary and cultural texts. Narrative voice is a lively dialogue between the author and the reader as they engage in the experience of determining the value and veracity of the narrative: whose story is it anyway? The writer creates the imaginative universe of character, plot, emotions and ideas—she seems to be holding all the cards; but it is the reader who rolls the dice as she draws on her human experience and moral values to question the principles and priorities of the storyteller. The game of narrative becomes deadly serious when storytelling confronts issues of colonialism, slavery, racial profiling and gender discrimination.... Read more about Narrative Negotiations: How do Readers and Writers Decide on What are the Most Important Voices and Values Represented in a Narrrative?

How Sweet is it to be Loved by You: Black Love and the Emotional Politics of Respect

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2021

The word 'love' is almost never used in any portrayal or description of the African American community's daily life in contemporary media and in the social sciences. But love, as a human experience, is central to our understanding of what it means to be a vital member of a culture and society and thus respected, nurtured, etc. This seminar examines the love that difference makes. It is a comprehensive study of the representation of gender, love and sexuality in African American and African Diasporan culture.... Read more about How Sweet is it to be Loved by You: Black Love and the Emotional Politics of Respect

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)

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