Classes

The Art of the Personal Essay: Workshop

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
What makes for a successful work of personal narrative? What transforms mere experience into shapely art? In this workshop, we will study—partly by reading the published work of iconic and experimental essayists, mainly through the submission and discussion of students’ own writing—the craft and technique of the personal essay. Readings include work by James Baldwin, Joan Didion, Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, David Foster Wallace.
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Effective Leadership in Assessing and Addressing Health Inequities

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
This introductory course will use interdisciplinary, critical, and transnational/global perspectives to study the impacts of leadership in public health that specifically affect equal access to healthcare centering on gender, race, age, socioeconomic status, level of education, class, sexual identity, and “differently able” persons or persons with disabilities. The content will examine four main topics to be discussed in separate but interconnected sections centering on Effective...
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Artificial Intelligences: Body, Art, and Media in Modern Germany

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
Our world is deluged in “tech”—big tech, biotech, tech innovation and disruption—but how much do we really know about what “technology" means? What does it tell us about the difference between the real and the artificial, the mechanical and the organic, the body and the prosthetic? And how is technology imbedded in things like art, media, race, and the performance of gender? This course considers how these questions, far from being new, have in fact been broached continuously over...
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China's Banned Book: Reading Jin Ping Mei

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
This course will introduce students to the controversial masterpiece of Chinese fiction, The Plum in the Golden Vase (Jin Ping Mei). Censored for its erotic content, this sensational book had a profound impact on the development of Chinese fiction. A landmark in the history of the novel, The Plum in the Golden Vase shifts attention away from worthy heroes to examine the everyday exploits and desires of ordinary people. The work of an anonymous author, The Plum in the Golden Vase...
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Early Stage Research and Discussion on the Economics of Health Equity

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
This is a reading group for students to discuss recent advances in the economics of health equity. Topics will include equity in all dimensions: race/ethnicity; gender orientation; disability status; and others. Students will read papers, present, and discuss them. Interested students should talk to Professor Alsan or Professor Cutler.
 
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Cold War Germany: Art and Politics on Both Sides of the Wall

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
This course provides a survey of the history and culture of divided Germany during the Cold War. It examines the conditions leading to the foundation of two separate states, the role of the Allied Powers in East and West Germany, the ideological conflicts between them, and their different responses to dealing with a shared fascist past. Drawing on sources from literature, film, radio, theater and art, we will engage with key political debates and societal changes, such as the “...
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Critical Theory of Knowledge, Technology and Power

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
This tutorial explores the role and impact of science and technology on society, culture and politics from the perspective of critical theory. Building on the foundations of 20th-century critical theory by thinkers such as Benjamin, Heidegger and Foucault, the course provides an intellectual bridge to recent theoretic contributions in the field of science and technology studies (STS). Questions we’ll address along the way include: how do science and technology shape our experience...
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The Dark Side of Big Data

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
Does it sometimes feel like Instagram ads are listening a little too closely to your conversations? Have you ever wondered if certain corporations might own images of your face? Today, fears abound that algorithms are not only populating our lives with annoying targeted advertisements but might also be creating the most unequal societies that have ever existed. In this interdisciplinary seminar, we will explore key methodological overlaps and differences between humanistic and...
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Global Perspectives on Racism, Poverty, and Power

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
The course uses interdisciplinary, critical, and transnational/global perspectives to study racism and other systems of oppression, poverty, and the disempowerment of peoples subordinated based on race, gender, and class. The sessions include readings regarding the experiences of Black Americans, Burakumin people, Dalit people, Jewish people, Romani people, Palestinians, and other oppressed and racialized peoples.
...
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The Politics of Personal Writing

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
A long tradition of feminist writing asserts that the personal is political. In this creative writing class, we will critically examine the work of feminist and queer authors such as Dorothy Allison, Roxane Gay, Cathy Park Hong, Audre Lorde, Imani Perry, and Margaret Talusen who use personal experience as a starting point for arguments about class, race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality. Examining how these authors draw on traditions crafted by earlier authors such as James Baldwin...
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Artisanal Modernism and the Labor of Women

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023
This workshop-style seminar, which will be taught in the Study Center of the Harvard Art Museums, foregrounds the pioneering role of textiles and other artisanal media produced by women in the development of modernist art, especially abstraction, Dada, constructivism, productivism, and the Bauhaus and its diaspora. The course opens with an examination of modernism’s so-called tapestry aesthetic in the later 19thC. We then turn to the 20thC, considering the work of Sonia Delaunay,...
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Asian American Theater and Performance

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2023

This seminar will explore Asian American theater and performance. We will examine how Asian American theater and performance artists have responded to popular images of Asian immigrants and cultures; how Asian American theater companies have cultivated and expanded our understanding of American theater and Asian American identity; and how artists and productions have experimented with conceptions of racial and gender performance. In addition to reading, viewing, and listening to a range of performances, students will participate in workshops led by artists and develop their own final...

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Exercising Leadership: The Politics of Change

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2022

This course provides a diagnostic and strategic foundation for leadership practice.  Designed for professionals from diverse backgrounds and cultures, the course builds upon the extraordinary experience of many of our students. The purpose of the course is to increase one’s capacity to lead with and without authority, across boundaries, and from any political or organizational position. 

In a world in which most organizations, communities, and societies face enormous adaptive pressures, the practice of leadership is critical – the practice of mobilizing systems of...

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Civil Resistance: How It Works

Semester: 

Fall

Offered: 

2022

Civil resistance is the application of unarmed civilian power using nonviolent methods such as protests, strikes, boycotts, demonstrations, without using or threatening physical harm against the opponent. The use of civil resistance has been increasing around the world in recent decades in places as diverse as Sudan, Algeria, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Egypt, Iran, Maldives, the Niger Delta, the West Bank, Thailand, Myanmar, and the United States, among others. Because civil resistance can have profound effects, it is essential to understand the causes, dynamics, outcomes, and...

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