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
Margaret Atwood is often asked if the The Handmaid’s Tale is a “feminist” novel. Her response: “If you mean an ideological tract in which all women are angels and/or so victimized they are incapable of moral choice, no. If you mean a novel in which women are human beings — with all the variety of character and behavior that implies — and are also interesting and important, and what happens to them is crucial to the theme, structure and plot of the book, then yes. In that sense, many books are ‘feminist.’” This course focuses on such feminist books. It explores issues of perspective: what happens when an author writes from the perspective of a woman? Since taking this perspective does not depend on biology, we will explore authors from a variety of backgrounds, especially those whose class, race, and/or ethnicity add another dimension. We’ll focus on contemporary Anglophone novels and drama.... Read more about Gender and Representation
Migration is a central political and moral issue of our time and its impacts will continue to alter our world throughout this century. Indeed large scale, irregular human migration should be considered “the new normal”, not an unexpected or one-off “crisis”. It affects the lives of millions, unsettles established governments, creates sharply polarizing policy dilemmas and generates far-reaching administrative, economic and political challenges. This course will focus on distress migration, including refugee flight and other forms of forced displacement, evaluated through the lens of human rights. It will address the multifaceted drivers of the phenomenon, including the enduring legacies of colonization, armed conflict, environmental stress and climate change, global inequality, demographic pressures and increasing globalization. The course will also consider the impact of government responses to the COVID 19 pandemic on forced migrants. Migration actors from UN agencies, NGOs and other civil society organizations, and research experts working in a range of field sites will contribute to the class.... Read more about Migration and Human Rights
When the coronavirus pandemic started to hit the world in 2020, it gave the wrong impression that it would affect everyone the same way, acting as a ‘great equalizer’. However, the effects of COVID-19 exacerbated structural injustices and the impact varied dramatically different depending on race, gender, class. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in May 2021, Hispanics/Latinos were twice as likely to get the virus in comparison to white adults, and 2.3 times more likely to die from it. Even as vaccines have become available, their distribution has also been affected by disparities of access. For this class we will analyze discursivities that have been exposed by the pandemic and have since become topics of ethical and social reevaluation: health disparities, the distribution of labor, housing and transportation, language access, environmental racism (including activism against anti-Asian and anti-Black violence).... Read more about COVID-19, inequality and the Latinx Community
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?
What hidden figures do our buildings and urban environment conceal? There exists systematic erasure of the contributions of Women of Color - Queer, Black and Indigenous -in the design field. This course is experimental by nature; it attempts to dismantle White-Supremacy ideology and the Western canon by not focusing on European, White and European American figures. The seminar explores critical race and gender theory to provide a framework for understanding society's role and cultural influences to the commissioning of buildings and the planning of cities. It will engage questions of authorship and production as it relates to the construction of our built environment. It will examine the hidden figures, often excluded from the canon of knowledge. These significant figures have made meaningful contributions to the built environment in colonial and post-colonial contexts.... Read more about Hidden Figures: The City, Architecture and the Construction of Race and Gender