Skip Navigation

Courses

Filter By

Courses

Found 946 courses
IDSEM-UG1752 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
WI 2017

This Mediated Life: An Introduction to the Study of Mass Media

4 units Tue Wed Thu Fri
10:00 AM - 1:15 PM
Julian Cornell

Description

This interdisciplinary seminar will provide an intensive introduction to the study of mass media. Utilizing wide ranging critical and theoretical methodologies, the course will consider how media alternately reflects and forms our sense of politics, economics, race, gender, sexuality and citizenship. The course will be concerned with questions such as: What function does mass media serve for society? How does a media saturated cultural environment shape our identity? How do mass media forms delineate and naturalize prevailing ideologies and ways of being in the world? Can media provide a means to challenge cultural and political hegemony? Readings will be drawn from Berger’s Media Analysis Techniques as well as the anthologies The Media Studies Reader and Gender, Race and Class in the Media and the course will include excerpts from the films The Dark Knight Rises, The Matrix, The Truman Show, Network, Idiocracy and Catfish, television shows 60 Minutes, Family Guy, The Simpsons, South Park and The X-Files, as well as a selection of other media forms, including blogs, podcasts, radio programs, graphic novels, newspapers, magazines, music videos, social media sites and video games.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1542 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
WI 2017

Motown Matrix: Race, Gender and Class Identity in "The Sound of Young America"

4 units Tue Wed Thu Fri
10:00 AM - 1:15 PM
Michael Dinwiddie

Description

In the 1960s Motown Records emerged as a dominant force in American popular music. Billing itself as “The Sound of Young America,” Motown established a lyrical and musical discourse through its records and albums that struck a responsive chord with white and black listeners alike. In this seminar we examine the race, gender and class identity that is inherent in—and emerges from—“The Motown Sound.” How did this company exploit the nationalist pride in the African American community while simultaneously positioning itself as a “crossover” enterprise to whites? What models of business and community did Motown emulate and create? And how did Motown affect the politics and racial discourse of its listeners? Our exploration situates Motown in the Detroit community of the 1950s and 1960s, to understand how it was “imagined,” and its impact on the wider culture. Readings may include excerpts from  The Origins of the Urban Crisis  by Thomas Sugrue;  One Nation Under a Groove  by Gerald Early;  Where Did Our Love Go?  by Nelson George;  American Odyssey  by Robert Conot;  Dancing in the Street  by Suzanne E. Smith;  Just My Soul Responding  by Brian Ward, and  Detroit: I Do Mind Dying  by Dan Georgakas and Marvin Surkin. The lyrics of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Holland-Dozier-Holland as well as such films as  Standing in the Shadows of Motown  and  Dream Girls  may be included.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1867 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
SP 2017

Global Noodles: Silk Routes & Subway Connections

4 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Jack Tchen

Description

Is this just an excuse to eat lots of noodles. Yes, it is! This basic research course is immersive education in the most delicious, fully embodied sensate, and legal way possible. Along the way, you’ll learn about the secret ingredient to noodle making, the oldest noodle, Italian or Chinese?, and what Genghis Khan did for modernity. And yes this course is also historical and sopping in critical cultural theory, you can tell your parents, as a way to learn about cross-cultural communication challenges, intermingled spaces, and embodied knowledges and practices. We will examine the historical and ongoing impacts of the silk route latitudinal and longitudinal movements throughout Central Asia on the vernacular cultures of global cities, such as the migrant friendly neighborhoods New York City. Part of what is unarticulated yet implied by global cities is the compression of longue durees of times/spaces in one distinctive time/space. Besides slurping for mouth feel, understanding family broth recipes, and storytelling practices, we’ll be documenting, making, analyzing, and appreciating the worlds of noodle practices and conveying our collaborative findings using the latest in mapping apps. Readings and films will include: work by Chef Ken Hom,  The Silk Road: A New History of the World ,  Cuisine & Empire: Cooking in World History , essays from affect studies, and the use of CartoDB mapping software. Prerequisites – still loving  Tampopo  (1985) after three viewings, having comfy but stylish walking shoes, and purchasing two monthly Metro Cards.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 380 001. In order to register, students enroll in the lecture, IDSEM-UG 1867 001, and then select one of the recitations, IDSEM-UG 1867 002 or IDSEM-UG 1867 003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1867 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
SP 2017

Global Noodles: Silk Routes & Subway Connections

4 units
Section 002
Thu
4:55 PM - 6:10 PM

Description

Is this just an excuse to eat lots of noodles. Yes, it is! This basic research course is immersive education in the most delicious, fully embodied sensate, and legal way possible. Along the way, you’ll learn about the secret ingredient to noodle making, the oldest noodle, Italian or Chinese?, and what Genghis Khan did for modernity. And yes this course is also historical and sopping in critical cultural theory, you can tell your parents, as a way to learn about cross-cultural communication challenges, intermingled spaces, and embodied knowledges and practices. We will examine the historical and ongoing impacts of the silk route latitudinal and longitudinal movements throughout Central Asia on the vernacular cultures of global cities, such as the migrant friendly neighborhoods New York City. Part of what is unarticulated yet implied by global cities is the compression of longue durees of times/spaces in one distinctive time/space. Besides slurping for mouth feel, understanding family broth recipes, and storytelling practices, we’ll be documenting, making, analyzing, and appreciating the worlds of noodle practices and conveying our collaborative findings using the latest in mapping apps. Readings and films will include: work by Chef Ken Hom,  The Silk Road: A New History of the World ,  Cuisine & Empire: Cooking in World History , essays from affect studies, and the use of CartoDB mapping software. Prerequisites – still loving  Tampopo  (1985) after three viewings, having comfy but stylish walking shoes, and purchasing two monthly Metro Cards.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 380 002. In order to register, students enroll in the lecture, IDSEM-UG 1867 001, and then select one of the recitations, IDSEM-UG 1867 002 or IDSEM-UG 1867 003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1867 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
SP 2017

Global Noodles: Silk Routes & Subway Connections

4 units
Section 003
Thu
6:20 PM - 7:35 PM

Description

Is this just an excuse to eat lots of noodles. Yes, it is! This basic research course is immersive education in the most delicious, fully embodied sensate, and legal way possible. Along the way, you’ll learn about the secret ingredient to noodle making, the oldest noodle, Italian or Chinese?, and what Genghis Khan did for modernity. And yes this course is also historical and sopping in critical cultural theory, you can tell your parents, as a way to learn about cross-cultural communication challenges, intermingled spaces, and embodied knowledges and practices. We will examine the historical and ongoing impacts of the silk route latitudinal and longitudinal movements throughout Central Asia on the vernacular cultures of global cities, such as the migrant friendly neighborhoods New York City. Part of what is unarticulated yet implied by global cities is the compression of longue durees of times/spaces in one distinctive time/space. Besides slurping for mouth feel, understanding family broth recipes, and storytelling practices, we’ll be documenting, making, analyzing, and appreciating the worlds of noodle practices and conveying our collaborative findings using the latest in mapping apps. Readings and films will include: work by Chef Ken Hom,  The Silk Road: A New History of the World ,  Cuisine & Empire: Cooking in World History , essays from affect studies, and the use of CartoDB mapping software. Prerequisites – still loving  Tampopo  (1985) after three viewings, having comfy but stylish walking shoes, and purchasing two monthly Metro Cards.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 380 003. In order to register, students enroll in the lecture, IDSEM-UG 1867 001, and then select one of the recitations, IDSEM-UG 1867 002 or IDSEM-UG 1867 003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9251 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

LONDON: Art and War, 1914-2004

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON. This 15 week course will take an in-depth yet wide-ranging look at an important but curiously neglected aspect of modern western visual culture. Within a broadly chronological structure, topics to be dealt with will include the following: the relationship between art and atrocity, and the attendant problem of the aestheticisation of horror; the crucial influence of photography and the growth of mass communications; the issue of censorship, both external and internal, and the related issue of the "limits of representation" (above all, in relation to the Holocaust and Hiroshima); the distinction between official and unofficial war art, and between art and propaganda, between art that endorses and even glorifies war and an art of protest; issues of gender and sexuality; questions of cultural memory and the memorialization process, and the representation of war in contemporary art practice. It will consist of a combination of informal lectures, student presentations, at least one gallery visit, and the occasional film showing.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1727 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2017

Plato's Apology

2 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Laura Slatkin

Description

‘Corrupting the youth’ of Athens? Virtue in action? Threat to the body politic? Model citizen? Plato’s Socrates presents a conundrum for ancient and modern thought. In his brilliant dialogue, the  Apology , Plato recreates Socrates’ defense of himself at his trial in 399 BCE for (among other things) ‘corrupting the youth’ of his city. The  Apology  sits at the intersection of law, politics, philosophy, religion, erotics, and pedagogy. In this course, we read the  Apology  closely, exploring it as philosophical reflection, courtroom oratory, literary text—and as gripping drama. Supplementary readings address: intellectual milieu, historical and political context, questions of genre.

Notes

Course meets during the first seven weeks only, First Class: January 24; Last Class: March 7. Open to juniors and seniors only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

LONDON: Seeing London's Architecture

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON. London, like New York is a rich and complicated city. Unlike New York however, it has been continuously occupied for just under 2000 years. Almost every epoch of London’s history can be detected in the city’s architecture and distinctive streetscape. This course is designed to work in three ways. Firstly it is an opportunity to learn about London’s architecture and art by physically exploring it. Secondly this class is an introduction to sketching and keeping a travel notebook, a basic and useful skill that any liberal arts student should have an experience of. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this course teaches how to 'read' a town or city. The ability to visually make sense of European built-environment should really help in understanding the architecture of New York City and, of course, town and cities throughout the United States, and anywhere else.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1859 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Modern Poetry and the Senses

4 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Lisa Goldfarb

Syllabus

Description

In a letter that he wrote to his Cuban correspondent, Jose Rodriguez Feo, Wallace Stevens referred to Marcel Proust as a poet. “It seems like a revelation,” Stevens wrote of Proust, “but it is quite possible to say that that is exactly what he was and perhaps all that he was.” Proust’s masterpiece,  In Search of Lost Time , is often considered for the way it challenged and enlarged the form of the 20th century novel, as well as for the author’s meticulous exploration of the workings of time, history, memory, psychology, and the senses. Yet, it is more unusual to study Proust as a poet, or for his impact on modern poetry. In this course, therefore, we begin our study of the presentation and importance of the senses in modern poetry with Proust (via portions of  In Search of  Lost Time) . Proust will then serve as prelude to our examination of the various ways that modern poets respond to, follow, and reach beyond him in their use and portrayal of the senses (and, by extension, time and memory). Contextual materials may include, among other texts, Bergson’s "Introduction to Metaphysics" and Susan Stewart’s  Modern Poetry and the Fate of the  Senses . Primary readings include portions of Proust’s  In Search of Lost  Time , and poetry and essays of Valéry, Eliot, Pound, Moore, Bishop, Auden, Stevens, and Brooks.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9254 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

LONDON: Fashion, Culture, and the Body

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON: This is a course that explores the relationship between ideas, the body and the way that fashion can be understood to mediate between the two. Through a range of disciplines and media this course considers the body as an aspect of not only medical and scientific exploration, but crucially as a vital element of culture and society. Bodies affect the ways in which the social world and power relations are organized, and they even arguably condition the way that we understand reality itself. Our physical form is constantly shaped according to both philosophies and fashions. Body ideals and broader ideals often interrelate strongly through bodily practices and with what we wear. There are meanings and fashions in all bodily forms (skinny, buxom, muscular, ideas of ‘whiteness’) and body practices (dieting, hair management, cleansing rituals, plastic surgery and genital cutting). Over the sessions, we will take a conceptual approach to fashion, as a strident condition of modern life, that incorporates politics, science and aesthetics and we will closely read a number of cultural texts against a number of theoretical models. Attitudes towards the body can vary widely according to historical period, and this course will explore how, in different moments, and via different media, we have been preoccupied with the aesthetics of different body zones, with displaying identity (gender, class and ethnicity), and also with power. Different cultural forms (literary, visual, material etc) will provide the focus of our discussions as they all engage with the different ways that we make meaning out of our bodies. Students will be invited to investigate in their written work set texts from class in addition to primary material of their own choice.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1870 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2017

Going Baroque: Baroque Theater, from Ambiguity to Hyperbole

4 units Tue Thu
4:55 PM - 6:10 PM
Simon Fortin

Syllabus

Description

Mannered, adorned, elaborate, grand, exaggerated, eccentric, reactionary—these are all qualities often associated with the Baroque aesthetic, a complex artistic movement that swept the European continent from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries. While the Baroque may accommodate such descriptions, it also refuses the fetters of definitions. In this course, we examine the controversies that animate the use of the term “Baroque”: How did an aesthetic of grandeur come to inform architecture, politics, religion, the visual arts, and specifically for our intent, the theater? How might the Baroque period be considered a living tension between  Ambiguity , a quality we associate more closely with the Renaissance, and  Hyperbole , understood here as excessive dogmatism? We look at texts that embrace, but also denounce, the Baroque aesthetic turn, and we try to understand how this appetite for grandeur, for excess, for unbridled expressivity still mediates the sensibilities of our post-modernity.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1590 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Walter Benjamin: Theory for Gleaners

4 units
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM

Description

Long before the advent of green politics, and before recycling and repurposing became fashionable, there were people surviving with little fanfare on discards, and theorists meditating on the revolutionary possibilities of refuse and junk. This seminar introduces students to the work of Walter Benjamin, who is both a central figure in critical theory and an early, powerful commentator on the politics and aesthetics of trash. We begin with Agnès Varda’s film The Gleaners and I, and explore the relation between theory and the recycling of ideas, images, and objects, especially those that have been overlooked or abandoned. As a refugee himself, Benjamin knew intimately how whole populations can be dispossessed or cast off. Following his thought, we ask what displaced subjects and discarded objects might teach us about the larger economies of capitalism, modernity and the city, but also about human desire, need and frailty. Our primary text is Benjamin's expansive and unfinished work of citations and brief commentaries, The Arcades Project (1927-1940), but we will read Freud, Marx, and the Frankfurt School to contextualize the work historically and theoretically. What did Benjamin make of dross, and what can we glean from his thought for our own times?

Notes

Same as COLIT-UA.866.001

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1535 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

Narrating Memory, History and Place

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Marie Cruz Soto

Syllabus

Description

This course examines how people imagine a place of their own through narrations of the past. The past, after all, is a contested terrain open to divergent interpretations that shape common understandings of places. The meanings bestowed on places dictate who can use them, and how. Thus, the ways through which people narrate the past can transform places. This course, therefore, explores the broad interplay between narrations of memory, history and place. It focuses, however, on the politics of historical narrations in struggles of disempowered communities to claim a place of their own. Course readings include literary and other scholarly texts like Jamaica Kincaid’s  A Small Place , Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s  Silencing the Past  and Michel De Certeau’s  The Practice of Everyday Life  as well as writings by Edward Said, William Cronon, Diana Taylor, Steven Hoelscher and Doreen Massey.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 721 007.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9252 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

LONDON: History of British Fashion

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON: This interdisciplinary seminar serves as a broad overview for several centuries of British male and female fashion trends, from roughly the Tudor period to today. The course focuses on ways that modes and standards of dress evolved in response to political, economic and technological developments; empire and immigration; changing gender and class formations; and the vagaries of popular culture. In short, the course examines not only what people wore at different historical moments, but why they wore what they did, and how they felt about it. Readings come from the fields of literature, history, art history, gender studies, and sociology.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1904 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2017

Descartes

2 units Wed
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Andrea Gadberry

Description

This course is a seven-week introduction to the major philosophical works of René Descartes (1596-1650). As we read Descartes’ writing, we will study some of the concepts his work is best known for, among them, radical doubt, mind-body dualism, and the “I” created by his famous formula  cogito ergo sum , or “I think therefore I am.” We will take an interdisciplinary approach to our study of Descartes, valuing careful close readings of the texts and putting Descartes’ thought in conversation with literary works of the period (Calderón and Shakespeare, for instance). At the same time, we will look ahead to some of Descartes’ more recent interlocutors, examining the debates of twentieth-century thinkers responding to Cartesian questions.

Notes

Course meets during the last seven weeks only, First Class: March 22; Last Class: May 3.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1380 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

Three Revolutions: Haiti, Mexico, Cuba

4 units Tue Thu
4:55 PM - 6:10 PM
Antonio Lauria-Perricelli

Description

We compare and contrast the revolutionary events, processes and outcomes in Haiti, Mexico, and Cuba. Each had significant anti-colonial or anti-imperial components, as well as social and political conflicts and alliances within the immediate societies of the revolutionary countries which involved both "internal" and "external" groups and ideas. None of the three cases were simple reflexes of European or North American ideas and politics, although such external factors were among the revolution’s causes and effects. We consider the roles of investors, landowners, mineowners, merchants, bankers, politicians, state administrators, peasants, laborers, intellectuals, migrants, and other social groups in-country or in the relevant imperial centers. We analyze interrelations among kinds of capitalism, and anti-capitalist ideologies or social forms and types of rationality; changing revolutionary processes and demands; the changing role and organization of the state; the supporters or antagonists of the revolution among differing social groups at differing times; the revolution's relation to earlier and later movements. Where necessary, we invoke examples from other countries. Readings might include selections from Wolf,  Peasant Wars of the Twentieth Century ; DuBois,  Avengers of the New World ; Trouillot,  Haiti: State Against Nation ; Sheller, various papers on gender and power in 19th century Haiti; Gonzales,  The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940 ; Pérez Cuba,  Between Reform and Revolution ; Kapcia,  Cuba in Revolution: A History Since the Fifties ; A. Chomsky,  A History of the Cuban Revolution ; Meeks,  Caribbean Revolutions and Revolutionary Theory ; Foran,  Theories of Revolution  and later works.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1457 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2017

The Odyssey: Estrangement and Homecoming

2 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Laura Slatkin

Description

One of the two foundational epics of so-called Western Culture, the  Odyssey  features a wily hero whose journeys are extraordinary and whose longing for home is unbounded. The  Odyssey  offers a complex meditation on brotherhood, bestiality, sexuality, kinship, and power; it is the great epic of cross-cultural encounter, in all its seductive and violent aspects, as well as the great poem of marriage. An adventure in nostos (homecoming), the  Odyssey  shows us the pleasures and dangers of voyaging among strangers. Constantly exploring the boundaries between the civilized and the savage, the poem offers as well a political critique of many ancient institutions, not least the family, patriarchy, hospitality customs, and the band-of-brothers so central to epic ideology. And as a masterwork of narrative art, the  Odyssey  asks us to consider the relation of fiction to “truth.” We will explore these and other matters in the  Odyssey , and may make some concluding forays into contemporary re-workings of Odyssean themes and characters.

Notes

Course meets during the first seven weeks only, First Class: January 25; Last Class: March 8.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1700 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2017

Becoming "Global" in the Early Modern World

4 units Tue
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Valerie Forman

Description

Over and over, we are told that the world we live in is becoming increasingly global, that all its parts are connected to one another; and goods, people, culture, and information can move from one place to another, seemingly without barriers. Yet how true are these claims? And how new are the phenomena these claims describe? Scholars have pointed to the middle of the sixteenth century as the moment when the economy became global, and the age of exploration and colonization began to connect many parts of the world to each other in a complex network that included and radically reimagined forms of cooperation, piracy, and slavery. This course will explore what kinds of global consciousness developed in the early modern period in negotiations with these transformations. Some of our central questions include: to what extent did early modern people begin to imagine and experience the world globally, that is, as an entity whose regions were interdependent? Which groups of people began to experience it globally? How were things, places, and persons, not seen before categorized or valued? What influence did global encounters have on ideas about gender, sexuality, class, religion, and citizenship and on social and economic practices? What new kinds of narratives about the world developed in relation to the challenges of participating in it? Finally, to what extent is globalization a “western” phenomenon or a sign of modernity? We will investigate a wide variety of primary works, including travel narratives, plays, poems, ethnography, film, engravings, and globes. We will also read secondary works by literary scholars, anthropologists, and historians of labor, the economy, and science. Many of these works also put the past and present in conversation with each other in compelling ways. While many of the primary works originate in “Europe” or the Americas, we will also study a range of works that challenge the Eurocentric view of globalization that was emerging and still dominates much of contemporary discourse of globalization.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 721 006.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1603 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Modern Poetry and the Actual World

4 units Tue Thu
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Lisa Goldfarb

Syllabus

Description

Although lyric poetry is the art of language that we reserve for the expression of the emotional dimension of our human experience, lyric poets also importantly use the forms and conventions of their art to respond to the shape and substance of the world they inhabit; that is, the historical, political, and physical aspects of the world—the “actual world”—in which they live. This course has two principal aims: first, to help us to develop skills in the reading of lyric poetry, and, second, to consider the complex relation between lyric poetry and the actual world. In the first half of the class, we will study the forms and conventions of lyric poetry and work on developing our poetic sensibilities. In the second half, we will focus our attention on the relationship of modern poets to the concrete or actual world and focus our study on W.H. Auden and Wallace Stevens, two poets who address the pressing questions of their day, and the world they shared, in strikingly different ways. Yet, however different their approaches, both poets ponder questions of faith and secularity, consider heroism and loss in a century marked by war, and probe our human relationship to nature in answer to an increasingly industrialized and technological world. Readings will include texts that consider how to read lyric poetry (Hirsch, Vendler, Perloff), a representative selection of modern lyric poetry (Eliot, Pound, Valéry, Éluard, Apollinaire, Moore, H.D., Bishop, Hughes, Brooks, Rich), the works of Auden and Stevens (essays and poems), as well as the philosophical, historical and political narratives to which they refer and that inform their work (Freud, Nietzsche, William James, Santayana).

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1910 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Habits of Reading: Narrative and Genre in Europe and America

4 units Mon Wed
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Karen Hornick

Description

“Myth,” “novel,” “epic,” “thriller,” “romantic comedy”—why do people bother making these distinctions between types of narratives, and how do we make them? From defining self (“I’m a sci-fi geek”) to organizing society (“only kids read comic books”), genres help us make sense of what we read and perform artistic, social, personal, and commercial functions. In this class we will closely examine stories representing a wide range of Western genres--an ancient epic, fairy tales and folktales, a Shakespearean tragedy, a novel, a novella, a short story, one modern 3-act play (a comedy), television shows, a classic Hollywood film, an "art" film, a video game "narrative," a graphic novel, perhaps even narrative painting and photography. In addition to helping us consider genre in relation to authorial intention and reader response, our survey will enable us to address contemporary questions about readership, fan fiction, and interactivity. When and why do we find it necessary to classify our stories into categories, and who benefits? How do genres reflect and contribute to the cultures that produce them? How do media shape genre and vice verse? How has genre constrained and inspired European and American authors? How do narrative genres prompt distinctions between fiction and truth, affect taste judgements, and shape opinion?

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1775 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Contemporary Visual Culture and the Politics of Images

4 units Thu
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Lauren Walsh

Description

In this course students learn to think about the reading and writing practices of contemporary visual culture. What does it mean to “read” an image? How are images used politically? Is what is “un-seen” as important as what is seen? Students tackle philosophical, ethical, and political questions, and are encouraged to pursue topics of individual interest for assigned papers and projects. We will ground our discussions in relevant theory and will explore all manner of visual genres, including the graphic novel form, film, magazine ads, and photography. In examining the politics of visual images, this course places special, extended emphasis on images in the context of war and humanitarian crises. Throughout, we will think about our own roles in contemporary visual culture; we are consumers, participators, and creators, and sometimes we have no power over images. What does this mean for us when considered through, for example, an ethical or aesthetic or humanitarian lens? Critical literature by Susan Sontag, Susie Linfield, Scott McCloud, and/or Marita Sturken, among others, will inform our discussions and deepen student writing. Our syllabus also incorporates journalistic accounts and conflict photography, and may include at least one piece by the writer and documentary filmmaker Errol Morris. Students will write reaction papers, longer essays, and have the option of a visual project.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1861 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

Modern Architectures of South Asia

4 units Wed
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Anooradha Siddiqi

Description

Struggles between nativisms and globalisms in architecture have produced significant iterations in South Asia; architecture’s modern practices and discourses within and outside the region have refracted a colonial and imperial imagery, national visions, regional and vernacular aesthetic inflections, and artistic, urban, and territorial worldviews. This course will focus on a history of architecture and planning that interrogates a history of South Asian modernism and modernity, examining constructions of each from within and beyond the subcontinent and its diasporas, through architecture’s many forms, including artifacts and practices of formal and informal building, territorial construction, photographic representation and other spatial imagery, criticism and writing, pedagogy, exhibitions and other public activity, and discourses on aesthetics. Course material spans the mid-nineteenth century to the present, and includes the study of work by both celebrated and little-known actors such as Edwin Lutyens, Otto Koenigsberger, Minnette de Silva, Louis Kahn, Charles Correa, and Brinda Somaya, and the projects of institutions and initiatives such as the Archaeological Survey of India and the Urban Study Group in Bangladesh. We will explore a range of writings, from Sir Banister Fletcher’s A History of Architecture to the journals MARG and Mimar, as well as architectural pedagogy as introduced to the subcontinent (and the colonies) in the Sir J.J. School of Art in what was once Bombay, and much later in the Centre for Environment Planning & Technology (CEPT) School of Architecture in Ahmedabad. We will also examine formal and informal urbanisms of sites such as Delhi, Chandigarh, Dhaka, and Dharavi, as well as geographies and architectures of war, scarcity, and borders, for which South Asia has become emblematic.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1781 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

A Sense of Place

2 units Fri
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Steve Hutkins

Syllabus

Description

This course examines the places in which we work and play, travel and dwell—the office tower and the suburban house, the city street and the superhighway, the small town and the megalopolis, the shopping mall and the theme park, the American road and foreign places. Synthesizing insights from literary works and fields like cultural geography, landscape studies, and architectural history, we explore such questions as: What gives a place its particular feel or character? How do our values and worldview affect the way we experience places, and what constitutes that experience? How do places—and the way they are represented in literature and other media—shape our attitudes and behavior? What gives a place "quality," and how can we design and build better places? Readings may include J. B. Jackson’s  Landscape in Sight , Yi-Fu Tuan’s  Space and Place , James Kunstler’s  The Geography of Nowhere , D. J. Waldie’s  Holy Land , Italo Calvino’s  Invisible Cities , and Michael Sorkin’s  Twenty Minutes in Manhattan .

Notes

Course meets during the first seven weeks only, First Class: January 27; Last Class: March 10.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1906 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

Culture and Politics: An Exploration of Cuban Cinema Since the 1959 Revolution

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 7:35 PM
Valerie Forman

Description

In this course we will explore the rich and complex cinematic tradition that has developed in Cuba since the Revolution. Our particular focus will be on the conversation between the films and social and political life in Cuba. Some questions that will guide our investigation follow: if the implementation of the Revolution required a new way of imagining one’s political, social, and economic self in relation to one’s larger community, what was cinema’s role in that imagination? How has Cuban cinema negotiated complex issues surrounding shifting socio-economic practices: for example, the radical increase in the number of women in the workforce; declarations of racial equality; and housing shortages? How did Cuban Cinema continue to provide a form and forum for debate about Cuba’s role in the world: for example, the US Embargo/Blockade, the war in Angola, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the influx of foreign tourists that began in the 1990s? We will view a wide range of filmic genres and forms: newsreels, documentaries, narrative features, as well as recent short and feature length films produced with new technology. We will also attend the screening of at least one film at the 18th Annual Havana Film Festival New York. In addition to weekly film viewings, readings about Cuban economic, social, and political life will be central to the course and will contribute to our understanding of the many changes that have taken place in Cuban culture and politics in the past fifty-seven years. Some likely texts and films for the course include: Tomás Gutiérrez Alea,  Memories of Underdevelopment ; Sara Gómez,  One Way or Another ; Humberto Solás,  Lucia ; Fernando Pérez,  Life is to Whistle  (1998); Ernesto Darnas,  Behavior ; Gloria Rolando , Breaking the Silence;  Channan,  Cuban Cinema ; Ann Marie Stock,  On Location in Cuba: Street Filmmaking during Times of Transition. 

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1788 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

The Sublime

4 units Fri
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Bradley Lewis

Description

Art of the sublime stirs up strong emotions and competing evaluations. Often labeled “indescribable,” the sublime has been debated for centuries amongst writers, poets, artists, and philosophers. The concept goes back to classical Greece, but it became particularly important in eighteenth century Europe. At that time the sublime was applied in relation to the creative arts to describe aspects of nature that instill awe and wonder such as mountains, avalanches, waterfalls, stormy seas, or the infinite vault of the starry sky. In the wake of the French Revolution, the sublime for the Romantics became a quasi-secular route to cultural and aesthetic freedom through contact with the unbounded and the supersensible. In our contemporary world, where culture and gender difference, psychoanalysis, postmodern theory, technology, neuroscience, and neoliberal spectacle seem to eclipse former concepts of nature and transcendent experience, the characteristics of the sublime are perhaps more fuzzy than ever. The term and the debates however remain very much alive and relevant to contemporary aesthetic, metaphysical, and ethical concerns. This course will examine theories of the sublime in writers and artists from ancient to postmodern, including Longinus, Burke, Kant, Wordsworth, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Newman, Rosenblum, Lyotard, Deleuze, Kristeva, and Viola.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1072 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop

4 units Wed
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Michael Dinwiddie

Description

This seminar examines the tradition of poetic protest in the African Diaspora. From the Harlem Renaissance and Négritude to the Black Liberation Movement of the '60s and today's Hip-Hop/Rap explosion, poets, lyricists and rap/hip-hop artists have sought to reclaim and reshape images of themselves and their communal experiences. Through comparative and critical analysis of historical works, songs, and poetry, we come to a deeper understanding of the common thematic and aesthetic approaches of these movements as they continue to alter the discourse on race and liberation. Texts may include Michael Richardson, ed.,  Refusal of the Shadow: Surrealism and the Caribbean ; David L. Lewis, ed.,  The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader ; films such as Euzhan Palcy,  Sugar Cane Alley , and Tony Silver and Henry Chalfant,  Style Wars ; and samples from Langston Hughes, Amiri Baraka, KRS-One, Dead Prez, and Tupac Shakur.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 721 005.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1699 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Feeling, in Theory

4 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Eve Meltzer

Description

Over the past two decades, scholars from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives—literature, women’s studies, political science, and aesthetics, to name a few—have returned to the question of “affect,” also referred to as “feeling” or “emotion,” as well as “passion,” “pathos,” “mood,” or even “love.” This course aims to familiarize students with the field of “affect theory” by surveying some of the most important texts that ground it (such as Aristotle, Raymond Williams, Freud, and Tomkins) as well as several that have emerged more recently (Deleuze and Guattari, Massumi, Ahmed, Ngai, among others). Much of our work together will be to read closely some very difficult theoretical texts, each of which attempts to describe what affect is, and why it matters to and for a wide range of experiences: political, aesthetic, musical, and psychic, among them. Additionally, over the course of the semester we will focus on some specific affective states and the texts that have grappled with their deep structure—from “cruel optimism," to happiness, anxiety, boredom, and depression. Lastly, we will undertake some experimental work by collaborating to produce what we might call "affective events" that may serve to instruct, persuade, or otherwise make an impact through affective means. While this course has no prerequisites, it is particularly appropriate for students who have some exposure to structuralist, poststructuralist, and/or postmodernist discourses, and are also up for the challenge of reading some rather difficult theoretical material.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9100 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

BERLIN: Berlin's Modern History and Culture: A European Perspective

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-BERLIN. Germany’s profound influence on Modern European history and culture is felt nowhere as visibly as in Berlin. This interdisciplinary course analyzes the city’s contributions to culture––in literature, memoir, music, film and painting––and its politics in the wider context of European trends. The course provides a comprehensive survey of Modern Berlin history and examines how artists reflected on those changing times. Special topics include: Christopher Isherwood’s fictionalized memoirs during the Weimar Years, the Nazi Aesthetic during the Berlin 1936 Olympics as constructed by filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, the photo-realist reflections of painter Gerhard Richter on terrorism in Berlin in the 1970s, and Germany’s literary reassessment of guilt and victimhood following reunification. Readings and lectures are supplemented with walking tours of Berlin and its museums, to look at traces of historical, social and cultural change in situ; how memory, history and place interact over time in specific locations.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1924 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

The Afro-Arabic World

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Sophia Azeb

Description

Who is an Arab? Where does the “Middle East” end and Africa begin? This course will explore how Arabic-speaking and African-descended peoples have engaged one another and the overlapping configurations of blackness and Arabness that have long circulated in the African Diaspora. Though “Arabs” are popularly imagined in the West through long-held Orientalist stereotypes of the exotic, brown, and uncivilized “other,” many Africans and African Americans were inspired by the Arab anti-colonial culture and politics they encountered during the World Wars. Similarly, as Arabs sought to counter harmful colonial misrepresentations, they looked to the transnational, anti-racist philosophies and movements that African Americans and other African diasporic figures pioneered. These exchanges resulted in surprising moments of solidarity, like the Black Panther Party’s first international chapter in Algeria, and the late Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser’s funding of Malcolm X’s travels through Africa. Through a historical and cultural survey of black and Arab thought through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries – a recent field of inquiry we will call “Afro-Arab Studies” – this class will examine the parallel and intersecting narratives of a range of significant Afro-Arab confluences, including but not limited to: négritude and pan-Arabism, the U.S. Civil Rights and Black Power movements and global anti-colonialism, cultural manifestations of the Non-Aligned and Pan-Africanist movements, and recent Black/Palestinian solidarity organizing. Readings will include narrative essays, political biography, historical monographs, and cultural theory by such writers, poets, and scholars as James Baldwin, Frantz Fanon, June Jordan, Alex Lubin, and Theri A. Pickens.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9050 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

ACCRA: Cocoa and Gold: Ghana’s Development in Global Perspective

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-ACCRA. This course explores Ghana’s development from the colonial era to the recent postcolonial period, providing an interdisciplinary history that is attentive to political economy, social relations, geography, and politics as they congeal throughout Ghana’s development. Key historical moments will include the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the colonial era in light of their attendant reconfigurations of land, labor, and natural resources—as well as landscapes of power and politics. In the postcolonial period, the course will examine the central epochs in the country’s development trajectory in relation to its rich political history and shifting global discourses of development and geopolitics. This will include a focus on dynamics such as Asian investment, urbanization, international development aid, and the discovery of oil. The goal of the course is to explore theories and debates on development through deep engagement, using Ghana as a sort of intensive case study. Ghana’s specific development trajectory will in turn be located alongside that of wider Africa and the global South, and alongside development debates and discourses whenever possible. Field trips will include visits to sites such as local gold mines and cocoa fields.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1116 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2017

Fate and Free Will in the Epic Tradition

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Antonio Rutigliano

Syllabus

Description

The role of the gods in human affairs inevitably raises the question of fate and free will. The epics, from the ancient world to the Renaissance, frequently reflect and define this debate. This course examines how the epics of Homer, Vergil, Dante and Milton not only mirror the philosophical and theological perceptions of the period, but sometimes forecast future debates on the issue. Readings may include the  Epic of Gilgamesh, Iliad  or  Odyssey, Aeneid,  and  Divine Comedy,  as well as selections from Plato's  Protagoras  or Aristotle's  Ethics , Cicero's  De Fato , Boethius's  Consolation of Philosophy , and Fromm's  Escape From Freedom .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1927 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

Frantz Fanon: Humanism, Revolution and the Decolonization of the Mind

2 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Millery Polyné

Description

This class investigates the architecture and history of colonialism and neo-colonialism and its intersections with race, gender and labor within Martinique, Haiti and Algeria in the 20th century. The life and work of Martinican-born psychoanalyst and social philosopher Frantz Fanon is the central lens in which we will interrogate (neo)colonialism and citizen responses to the psycho-social world that imperial encounters made. By examining several key texts, including  Wretched of the Earth  (1961),  Black Skin, White Masks (1952)  and  A Dying Colonialism  (1965) and a number of films, this course poses a number of key questions: What does it mean to be human? What does wo/man want? In what ways does Fanon's discussion of existentialism, alienation or even the idea or the materiality of the veil prove relevant to current political and social tensions and movements in the United States and abroad? Is there a "healing psychological force" in revolutionary action? Fanon's work is an important piece in understanding the development and intervention of mid-twentieth century critical theory and intellectual history in the Atlantic world.

Notes

Course meets during the first seven weeks only, First Class: January 26; Last Class: March 9.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1919 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Fashion: The Art, the Politics, the Performance

4 units Tue
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Rhonda Garelick

Description

This seminar is devoted to the modern legacy of fashion, to understanding how the 19th and 20th centuries shaped fashion and how fashion shapes us today in the 21st. We shall explore the sexual politics of fashion, its philosophical relationship to temporality (its relentless and impossible pursuit of the ‘now’), and its relationship to certain modernist art movements. Fashion, as opposed to traditional dress based on one’s social class or occupation, is a fairly recent phenomenon. Historians place the beginning of fashion in the early fifteenth century, concurrent with the burgeoning wool and silk trades of Flanders and Italy. One result of the increased trade and travel of this era was a new, growing awareness of what people were wearing beyond one’s own small community. A new desire was born: the wish to look like a figure in a picture, to imitate someone you might never have seen in person. The everyday act of dressing turned into a version of costuming the self, inhabiting a theatrical role, based on an imagined relationship to an image. Fashion, in other words, finds its roots in performance. This performance now plays out on a global stage and has become a multi-billion- dollar industry, raising a host of aesthetic, philosophical, and political questions: Can one opt out of this performance? For whom is fashion performed? How do we experience the duality or split implied by the daily creation of a ‘fashioned self’?

Notes

Section 1 reserved for students who have completed a Practicum in Fashion Business. Prerequisite: PRACT-UG 1301. Section 2 restricted to juniors and seniors who have taken advanced classes in literature, history, art history, or anthropology. All others permission of the instructor required (rkgar@earthlink.net).

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9102 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

BERLIN: Topics in German Cinema

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-BERLIN. Berlin is one of the most well-known film cities in the world. This course wants to introduce you to the study of German cinema by looking at changing images of the city since the postwar period. The course will begin with an introduction to film analysis, giving special attention to the relationship between film and city. We will go on to discuss a number of influential productions from East, West and reunified Germany, and draw comparisons to other German as well as non-German city films. Through seminar discussions, reading responses, and critical essays, you will gain an understanding of how the cinema has engaged with the city of Berlin and its transformations since the end of the Second World War.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1289 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Narrative Investigations II: Realism to Postmodernism

4 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Stacy Pies

Syllabus

Description

In this class we will continue to explore the concept of narrative and the way writers interrogate literary and social conventions. As we consider how stories shape our notions of history, love, social class, and sexual identity, we will examine how the thinking of readers, and stories, changed from the nineteenth century to the twentieth. We will follow the emergence of a new form of narration, whose protagonists include not only characters, but also time, place, the city, the reader, and language itself. We will read Flaubert’s  Madame Bovary , James Joyce's  Ulysses , as well as essays on film and narrative theory.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1811 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Desperate Housewives of the 19th-Century Novel

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
June Foley

Description

From Jeffrey Eugenides's novel The Marriage Plot to TV's Desperate Housewives and "Real Housewives" series, our contemporary culture explores what happens after "happily ever after." Some of the great novels of the mid-to-late 19th century also examine the dilemmas of wives during a period when every aspect of "The Woman Question," including divorce and child custody laws, was debated. In this course we explore controversial novels in which female characters struggle with lives largely limited by the cultural stereotypes of the Angel in the House and the emerging New Woman..Readings include Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary (1856), Kate Chopin's The Awakening (1899), and George Gissing’s The Odd Women (1893). We contextualize each with readings on historical events in the French, American, and English settings. We also read about the post-publication history of these works, including Flaubert’s trial for obscenity, Chopin’s supposedly abandoning novel-writing because of the controversy over her work, and Gissing’s own two disastrous marriages. Other readings include selections from J.S. Mill's The Subjection of Women, and from the theory of Thorstein Veblen and Michel Foucault. We end with an update: journalist Kate Bolick’s Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own (2015) which examines her life and those of five other unmarried women writers: Maeve Brennan, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Edith Wharton, Neith Boyce, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1785 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

U.S. Empire and the Global South: The Long 20th Century

4 units Tue
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Marie Cruz Soto, Paula Chakravartty

Syllabus

Description

This course will explore the makings of the U.S. Empire in the long 20th century through a closer look at its interactions with what has come to be termed “the Global South.” The main goals are to think critically about “empire” and “the global south” as dynamic categories of analysis, to explore debates about “American Exceptionalism,” and to examine how U.S. imperial power has been articulated and contested. The class will pursue these goals by focusing on four historical conjunctures that have brought together different regions of the world and that enable a better understanding of the political economy and cultural practices of the U.S. Empire. These conjunctures are the 1890s formal acquisition of colonies, the 1950s Cold War realignment, the 1980s debt crisis and counter-revolutions, and the contemporary War on Terror. Readings for this course may include: Greg Gradin’s  Empire’s Workshop , Laleh Khalili’s  Time in the Shadows,  Ann Stoler and Carole McGranahan’s  Imperial Formations,  Emily Rosenberg’s  Financial Missionaries to the World , Christina Duffy Burnett and Burke Marshall’s  Foreign in a Domestic Sense , Julian Go’s  American Empire and the Politics of Meaning , Edward Said’s  Covering Islam , Lila Abu-Lughod’s  Do Muslim Women Need Saving? , and Neferti Tadiyar’s  Things Fall Away. 

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1903 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2017

Montaigne

2 units Wed
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Andrea Gadberry

Description

This class is a seven-week introduction to the thought of Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592). Nowadays, we encounter Montaigne’s work most frequently in aphoristic quotations like this one: “When I am playing with my cat, how do I know she is not playing with me?” Yet taken out of context, solitary citations conceal the complexity of Montaigne’s thought as well as that of the genre in which they appear, a genre, in f act, Montaigne is credited with having invented: the essay. This semester, we will read widely across the three volumes of Montaigne’s Essais and the diverse topics they consider, from lofty questions that grapple with the construction of the self, the question of experience, and the meaning of friendship and family to more banal topics like books, laziness, and, yes, thumbs. We will contextualize these writings by placing them in conversation with texts of other authors of the early modern period (Bacon, Browne, Burton, Castiglione, Columbus, de las Casas, Shakespeare, Sidney) as well as with more recent literary critical and critical theoretical texts.

Notes

Course meets during the first seven weeks only, First Class: January 25; Last Class: March 8.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1738 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

The Cultural Politics of Bad Taste

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Julian Cornell

Syllabus

Description

This seminar investigates the ideological, political and historical parameters of ‘taste’ in popular culture. Through examination of media artifacts that exemplify ‘trash,’ the course examines how ‘taste’ is constituted as a cultural category that reflects, produces and maintains the social structures of American society. What is meant by designations such as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ media, ‘high and ‘low’ art, ‘offensive’ or ‘artistic’ and who is empowered to make these distinctions? How do ‘bad objects’ reveal the ideological basis of ‘taste,’ and what is their relationship to ‘legitimate’ art forms? Does ‘trash’ pose a challenge to cultural standards of taste and ‘the mainstream?' What is the relationship between ‘bad’ art and spectatorship and why might audiences find ‘trash’ so enthralling? Readings are drawn from Bourdieu’s  Distinction , Glynn’s  Tabloid Culture , Ross’  No Respect , and the anthology  Trash Culture , while screenings include cult films such as  Mystery Science Theater 3000, Pink Flamingos, Plan 9 From Outer Space, South Park,  and  The Room , and a selection of reality TV programs, music and viral videos.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1907 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

The Literature of Environmental Crisis

4 units Mon Wed
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Gregory Vargo

Description

What does it mean for literature to engage with political and ethical concerns about the degradation of the environment? Ranging from such literary and environmental classics as Rachel Carson’s  Silent Spring  and John Steinbeck’s  The Grapes of Wrath  to contemporary science fiction, this course will look at the way literature changes when it addresses unfolding environmental crisis. We’ll ask whether and how the novel, a form adapted to narrating the story of individual lives, can be stretched to represent broad social formations, long-term ecological processes, and abstract political and philosophic positions. How can the “slow violence” of climate change take narrative shape given that it is a process unfolding over centuries? How can writers approach a topic as vast as the Anthropocene—the great sixth age of mass extinctions in which human industry has become a force on par to catastrophic geologic events? How can the myriad and far-flung relationships of global capitalism be instantiated in fictional form? Can non-human species be given voice in language or image? What can science writing borrow from literary art to make technical debates accessible and compelling to a wide audience? Is there a way to write about environmental crisis that also preserves space for human agency—and therefore hope? We’ll look at a variety of media and genres which artists have utilized to criticize the present and imagine alternative futures: science fiction, situationism, a graphic novel, social problem fiction, poetry, anarchist manifestos, environmental essays and documentary film. Probable readings include: Margaret Atwood,  The Year of the Flood ; Paolo Bacigalupi,  Pump Six ; Rachel Carson,  Silent Spring ; Paul Chadwick,  Concrete: Think Like a Mountain ;   Paul Greenberg,  Four Fish ; Jim Hansen,  Storms of my Grandchildren ; Eizabeth Kolbert,  The Sixth Extinction ; Ricky Laurentiis,  Boy with Thorn ; Bill McKibben,  The End of Nature ; Lydia Millet,  How the Dead Dream ; Ken Saro-Wiwa,  A Month and a Day: A Detention Diary ; Bill Talen,  What Should I do if Reverend Billy Is in My Store? ; Indra Sinha,  Animal’s People ; Justin Taylor,  The Gospel of Anarchy ; Jesmyn Ward,  Salvage the Bones ; Alan Weisman,  The World without Us .

Notes

Same as ENGL-UA 252.003. Section 002 for Environmental Studies majors only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1664 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
SP 2017

Omens and Oracles: Reading the Future and Retaining the Past in Early China

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Ethan Harkness

Syllabus

Description

When ancient Chinese kings seared sacred bones with fire, reading the future from the resulting cracks went hand in hand with creating archival records to preserve the past. In this class, we will explore several interrelated early Chinese divination traditions through classical texts, archaeology, and recently excavated manuscripts. In all cases we will pay attention to the complex interplay between past, present, and future, including aspects of the history of writing, the history of the book, and the interwoven histories of science and religion. After starting with a discussion of the above-mentioned oracle bones, we will proceed to examine the enigmatic  Yijing  ( Book of Changes ), the earliest and most revered of all the Chinese classics. Then we will consider a popularization of divination practices in the form of almanacs that circulated widely in ancient China. Students can expect to try their hands at the actual practice of the various divination techniques covered, but most class time will be used to engage important themes arising from our investigations, Readings may include:  The Ancestral Landscape: Time, Space, and Community in Late Shang China (Ca. 1200-1045 B.C.)  by David Keightley;  Oracle Bones: A Journey Through Time in China  by Peter Hessler; the  Yijing  ( Book of Changes ); selections from  The Cambridge History of Ancient China: From the Origins of Civilization to 221 B.C. ; and select scholarly articles.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1636 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

The Political Economy of Development

4 units Tue Thu
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Rosalind Fredericks

Description

Why did Asian countries become economic tigers while African nations saw their economies shrink? This course provides an introduction to the political economy of international development in order to explore the historical origins of the uneven geographies of wealth we see today. The course draws primarily on scholarship from the fields of political economy, geography, anthropology, development studies, and history. In Part 1, we begin by contrasting the dominant metrics used today to measure the  object  of development. Part 2 illuminates the key actors, institutions, and discourses of Development, through tracing the history of the Bretton Woods project, in relation to the history of capitalist development. Part 3 analyzes regional trajectories of socio-spatial change in theory and history through detailed case studies of Africa and East Asia. Finally, Part 4 examines key themes in contemporary development studies, including: environment, gender, and cities. Possible readings may include William Easterly, Amartya Sen, and Stuart Hall.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1865 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Times of Trauma

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Judith Greenberg

Description

The shock of trauma can freeze a moment. Time can seem elongated or detached. But then, belatedly, a traumatic event can hauntingly return and feel present. How does trauma fracture narrative continuity and a cohesive sense of time? How can it collapse distinctions among past, present and future? This course will explore theories about the nature of time and the coherence or fragmentation of Self. It will consider how traumas are documented, narrated, and passed on individually and in art, memorials, and performance. Readings may include St. Augustine's  Confessions  (Book 11), Marcel Proust  Swann's Way , Virginia Woolf's  Between the Acts , W. B. Sebald's Austerlitz, Art Spiegelman's  Maus , Tim O'Brien's  The Things They Carried , Marguerite Duras'  The War , Patrick Modiano's  Dora Bruder , Saidiya Harman's  Lose Your Mother  and  The Melancholy of Race  by Anne Anlin Cheng.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1369 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

Japan and the Discovery of Interiority

4 units Mon Wed
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Nina Cornyetz

Syllabus

Description

The process of modernization in Western Europe spanned hundreds of years, from its nascent origins in the Renaissance, through the Enlightenment, into the twentieth century. In Japan this same process was collapsed into a few short decades around the turn of the nineteenth century. We will examine the shift from a premodern to a modern system of subjectivity and perspective in language, literature, and the performing arts. We will ask: What was the impact of Western imperialism, science, art, gender and sexual politics on Japanese language, literature and film? What were the internal conditions that made Japan ready for modernization? How did premodern conventions create a modernity in Japan different from Western models? What resisted modernization, and why? Our texts will include literature  The Miner  (Sôseki),  In Praise of Shadows  (Tanizaki), Ankoku butô dance, and secondary sources on history, language, and society, including Karatani,  Origins of Modern Japanese Literature .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9151 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

BUENOS AIRES: Myths, Icons, and Invented Traditions: A Cultural History of Latin America

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-BUENOS AIRES. Mitos, íconos y tradiciones inventadas is an advanced conversation course, which seeks to make students familiar with the rich and complex history of Latin America through the study of some of its most known and iconic cultural expressions. It does also work as an introductory map to the most influential and widespread approaches in Latin American social sciences, cultural studies and literary criticism. Thus, students will not only have a first encounter with key historical processes that lie behind some well know cultural icons, but also will be introduced to arguments and ways of writing that help constitute modern Latin American educated Spanish. The course will be structured in seven topics; each topic will be covered in two weeks. During these four classes, students will be exposed to different kinds of cultural materials, including literary texts, film, papers from several disciplines, theater plays, art shows and live concerts.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9550 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
SP 2017

TEL AVIV: Ancient Israel History and Archaeology: Travelers, Collectors, and Antiquities Robbers

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-TEL AVIV. The story of the archaeological discipline in the Land of Israel is strongly tied with the major developments that the region has undergone in the last two centuries. This course offers an overview of the history of archaeology in Palestine since the appearance of the first European travelers and missionaries in the mid-19th century, along the vibrant interest of collectors, forgers and robbers in the Promised Land, through the appearance of the first scientific excavations, the rise of the American biblical archaeology and its influence on local Israeli research. Special attention will be given to the way the newly born Israeli archaeology helped to establish the Zionist identity that wished to pass over two thousand years of Diaspora history; the methods by which the nascent Israeli archaeology connected new-comers to the land of the patriarchs and the manner by which Israeli scholars served state interests in the creation of the national Zionist ethos. The aftermath of the Six Days War and the increasing tension between the Bible and archaeology will be discussed in light of the intense debate over the historicity of the Exodus story, Joshua's conquests and the United Kingdom of David and Solomon. Finally, at the turn of the millennium, post-modern archaeology presented a new pluralistic view of the past. This multi-vocal framework will be used as a background for discussing the archaeology of otherness and minorities in 21st century Israel.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9402 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

PRAGUE: Civil Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-PRAGUE. Civil resistance is not the same as opting out of society or having views that go against the grain. It is fundamentally about deciding not to conform with repressive regimes. It is also about choosing a mode of action that brings with it personal dangers even when, as is usual, it advocates non-violence. This course examines the nature and significance of civil resistance in Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th century. In studying resistance literature (including poetry and song), art and film, we will draw on ideas and arguments from the disciplines of history, political science, literature, art criticism, film studies and psychology.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1826 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

(Dis)Placed Urban Histories

4 units Fri
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Rebecca Amato

Syllabus

Description

Neighborhood change comes in many varieties. Mid-twentieth century urban renewal in U.S. cities brought bulldozers and tower-in-the-park housing developments to dozens of poor neighborhoods considered ripe for revision. Early-twenty-first century gentrification, meanwhile, has brought high-end commerce and affluence to areas once occupied by low-income and working class communities. In the Melrose section of the South Bronx, a series of changes have influenced the streetscapes and lives of residents. Rampant arson in the 1970s and 1980s destroyed acres of the neighborhood, for example, while migrants from Puerto Rico and immigrants from the Dominican Republic, West Africa, and Bangladesh, among others, settled in the remaining homes of Melrose to build new lives in a new city. Most recently, federal dollars have been earmarked for Melrose’s reconstruction and redevelopment. This course, offered in partnership with the Bronx-based community empowerment organization WHEDCo, invites students to become activist historians whose objective is to learn what histories are at risk of being silenced or displaced as the South Bronx changes. Students will conduct archival and secondary research; produce collaborative oral histories with neighborhood residents and business owners; and meet with activists who are working to protect the interests of the current community of Melrose. The course will culminate in an on-line archive and a physical, history-based exhibit to be co-produced with neighborhood residents and displayed in a publicly accessible, outdoor park. Readings may include Jonathan Mahler’s  Ladies and Gentlemen the Bronx is Burning  and Jill Jonnes’s  South Bronx Rising .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9403 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

PRAGUE: Central European Film

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-PRAGUE. This interdisciplinary seminar is designed to discuss and question the identity of specific nations in European space, which has always been a fascinating crossroad of ideas and ideologies as well as the birthplace of wars and totalitarian systems. The course will cover masterpieces of Russian, Hungarian, German, Polish and Czech cinematography, focusing on several crucial periods of history, in particular WWII and its aftermath, showing moral dilemmas of individuals and nations under the Nazi regime as well as revealing the bitter truth of the Stalinist years.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1823 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

In with the Old, Out with the New: Debates on "Tradition" in Western Music

4 units Mon Wed
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Kwami Coleman

Description

Contests between stalwart custodians of “tradition” and rebels searching for new, untested modes of expression pervade Western music history. This course surveys some of the most contentious debates on music’s past, present, and future waged between music theorists, critics, artists, and audiences, spanning the last five hundred years. Our focus is on the seemingly inevitable tension between what music is, what it should be, and what it can be. Starting with the Greek philosophers of antiquity, we explore debates on the music of Claudio Monteverdi, Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Wagner, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, John Cage, Bob Dylan, and The Slits. We also examine the backlash against and subsequent defense of styles like jazz, rock and roll, punk rock, and rap. Our goal is to better understand how culture is “made” ​precisely ​during ​these ​moments of charged debate, where a particular music’s perceived merits​ or transgressions serve as the pretext for larger ​often controversial ideological issues. Art, in this sense, becomes a platform by which to observe how competing aesthetic value​ systems​ reveal deep social and cultural rifts. This class meets twice a week. Our first session is devoted to scrutinizing and discussing primary sources​:​ letters, newspaper and magazine articles, journal entries, sound recordings, and film. For our second session we read and discuss secondary sources by scholars, critics, and investigative journalists for context, using this new information as a way to think critically about the primary sources and our own aesthetic judgments. Debating music tradition and innovation, as we shall see, is a long-standing tradition in its own right.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1772 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2017

Music and Civic Culture: Ancient and Modern

4 units Mon Wed
4:55 PM - 6:10 PM
Bruce King

Description

This course examines the role of music theory and musical performance in the formation of community, actual and utopic. We will begin our study with the musical, mathematical, and mystical thought of Pythagoras and his followers in the short-lived utopian community of Croton: How is “the Music of the Spheres” a paradigm both for ethical action within the community and for the progress of the soul within the cosmos? From Croton, we will turn to debates about music and civic culture in fifth-century democratic Athens: What forms of music and poetry sustain and subvert citizens and states? Is there a particularly “democratic” form of music? (Readings from Aeschylus, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plato, and Aristotle.) From ancient Greece, we will then turn to the late-nineteenth century efforts of Wagner, partially inspired by Athenian tragedy, to create the “Total Work of Art” in his Ring cycle of music-dramas and in the festival at Bayreuth; we will also read Nietzsche’'s (and Adorno’'s) responses to Greek tragedy and to Wagner. Finally, we will consider some twentieth-century experiments in music and art, especially those associated with Fluxus and with New York City (e.g., John Cage, Steve Reich, La Monte Young, Yoko Ono, The Velvet Underground), in dialogue with our earlier readings.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9550 Lib Arts
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

TEL AVIV: Sexualities of the Middle East: A Cultural History

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-TEL AVIV. Questions of sexuality are central to the public debate on the Middle East. Scholars, politicians and journalists are engaged intensively with issues such as Islamic laws of modesty, persecution of LGBT Arab countries, and the separation of men and women within religious communities in Israel. To comprehend these questions, one must understand the sociological and cultural characteristics of contemporary Middle Eastern communities, but also the historical development of sexual attitudes in this area. In the present era, the Middle East is seen as a space of sexual repression and even "Sexual misery." However, this was not always the case. Since the late 18th century, European powers tightened their military, political and economic grip of the East – from Egypt to India. Europe has established its superiority over "The Orient" through the representation of this diverse territory as backward, fanatical and religious. But simultaneously, the East was an object of desire, including sexual desire. European travelers, scholars and intellectuals characterized the Orient as a space of unlimited sexual freedom. Ironically, while in the past, the West condemned the Muslim world’s alleged sexual licentiousness, the modern West today criticizes the Muslim repression of sexual freedoms. The course will tackle those questions from a historical perspective. Applying methodologies of queer theory, it will discuss the complex history of sexuality in the Middle East and sketch the genealogy of Western attitudes towards both Arab and Jewish sexuality, with a focus on LGBTQ. Relying on theorists and historians like Michel Foucault, Khaled El-Rouayheb, Samar Habib, and Joseph Massad, we will explore the essential role that sexuality in general, and the queer issue in particular, plays in the contemporary politics of the region.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9150 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

BUENOS AIRES: Tango and Mass Culture (in Spanish)

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-BUENOS AIRES. This course explores Tango as an aesthetic, social and cultural formation that is articulated in interesting and complex ways with the traditions of culture and politics in Argentina and Latin America more generally. During the rapid modernization of the 1920s and 1930s, Tango (like Brazilian Samba), which had been seen as a primitive and exotic dance, began to emerge as a kind of modern primative art form that quickly came to occupy a central space in nationalist discourse. The course explores the way that perceptions of a primative and a modern converge in this unique and exciting art. In addition, the course will consider tango as a global metaphor with deeply embedded connections to urban poverty, social marginalization, and masculine authority.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1793 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Femininity, Postfeminism and Mass Media

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Moya Luckett

Description

Postfeminism is an ambiguous and often contradictory term whose very indeterminacy speaks to the difficulties in understanding contemporary relationships between feminism, femininity, citizenship and identity. Positioned simultaneously as a backlash against feminism, a testament to achieved gender equality, as a reclamation of traditional feminine values and a sign of female success, postfeminism’s significance is widely felt even as its specific meanings and cultural effects appear unclear. This class will examine postfeminism’s relationship to feminism and femininity, situating all three as historically and culturally significant manifestations of the female self. Closely linked to the development of neoliberalism with its emphasis on self-reliance, choice and privatization, postfeminism is largely a product of consumer culture and mass media that have particularly consequences for feminine identities and gender relations. This course will look at popular women’s media from the makeover show, to fashion magazines and blogs, chick films and television drama to explore how they manage tradition and promote a more privatized and commercial feminine self, negotiating the relationship between family responsibilities and more laissez faire ideas of female success and self-actualization.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1905 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Designing for New Climates: Histories of Adaptation

4 units Mon
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Peder Anker, Mitchell Joachim

Syllabus

Description

The course explores how designers have responded to environmental problems and climate change. It starts with turn of the century admirations for primitivism and ends with the cyber punks design­ing new environments online. Following the work of architects, artists, urban planners, graphic designers and fashionista, the course will review the historical evolution of attempts to “save the world” from our environmental crisis. Who were the key figures that first ignited the green design revolution and its ensuing agenda? The class will unpack texts by thinkers such as Patrick Geddes, Henry David Thoreau, Ebenezer Howard, Louis Sullivan, Buckminster Fuller, Jane Goodall, Annie Leonard, Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, Walter Gropius, Herbert Beyer, Ian McHarg, and many more. The class will focus on various modernist design schemes for adapting to new warmer climates, and why these attempts often failed. We will also devote time to discuss topics such as building closed ecological systems, counterculture designs, cyber environments, sick building syndrome, biomimetics, eco-fashion, earth art, and other attempts to design with nature. The overall objective is twofold; to survey the larger historical context of ecological design and define specific contributions to the climate change debate. The students will be asked to design, develop and participate in a street project.

Notes

Section 002 for Environmental Studies Majors

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1866 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

Poetry and the Politics of Decolonization

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Linn Cary Mehta

Syllabus

Description

The course looks at poets writing in the twentieth century and after whose work is concerned with liberation from colonial rule and, subsequently, with the formation of a post-colonial literary voice. Poetry in the period of decolonization deals with issues of national, racial, and gender identity, place and displacement, and freedom from linguistic and political oppression. We will read, among others, two leading poets of négritude, Aimé Césaire and Léopold Senghor, in relation to movements in Caribbean, African, and American literature including the Harlem Renaissance (Nicolas Guillén, Derek Walcott, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes); poets from the Indian Subcontinent and Middle East such as Tagore, Iqbal, Faiz and Darwish; Latin American poets including Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, and Octavio Paz; and English-language poets including W.B. Yeats, William Carlos Williams, and more contemporary movements in poetry. Using theory and historical background, we will look at the work of each poet comparatively in the context of international development and political change. The course offers an approach to globalization through literature; since this process has touched so much of the world, we are open to works from other literatures that students propose.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9400 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

PRAGUE: Modern Dissent in Central Europe: The Art of Defeat

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-PRAGUE. Totalitarian ideologies which were used in European political discourse in the twentieth century to explain major historical changes have changed forever the relationship between the state and its citizens. The aspiration of the totalitarian state to acquire total control over individual lives through control of education, employment and health systems succeeded beyond anything perceived possible until then in any political regime after European Enlightenment. Nazism and Communism mobilized irrationally motivated mass support and won power in a very short time. Their success was partially based on a mass propaganda, using fear as primary instinctive argument against a picture of both external and internal enemies. The major focus of the course will be oriented towards topics trying to explain the reasons for mass support for totalitarian ideologies and states on the basis of individual psychology. We will examine psychological explanations of a selfvictimisation, role of a victim and a perpetrator, majority society response to mass human rights abuses and the abusive past. On this background a phenomenon of a political and cultural dissent will be introduced and discussed. The role of electronic mass media, antiglobalisation movements and global terrorism are discussed as possible modern vehicles of totalitarian tendencies and reactions against them.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1440 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Sissle, Blake and the Minstrel Tradition

2 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Michael Dinwiddie

Description

This course will explore the conflicting ideologies apparent in the works of Noble Sissle and James Hubert “Eubie” Blake. Famed for such hit musicals as “Shuffle Along” and “Chocolate Dandies,” Sissle and Blake formed one of the most successful musical theatre collaborations of the 1920’s. Their work draws strongly on the minstrel tradition in African American theatre, and attempts to subvert many of its conventions. It may be argued that their commercial success had the opposite effect, and served to update and modernize the very theatre conventions they sought to destroy. We will examine the effect of Sissle and Blake’s oeuvre on musical theatre in general and African American musicals in particular. Readings may include  Black Musical Theatre: From Coontown to Dreamgirls  by Allen Woll,  Black Drama  by Loften Mitchell, with excerpts from  Terrible Honesty  by Mary Douglas,  Blacks in Blackface  by Henry T. Sampson,  Reminiscing with Sissle and Blake  by Robert Kimball, and essays by W.E.B. DuBois and Alain Locke. Archival sound and film footage will be utilized along with such works as Spike Lee’s film  Bamboozled .

Notes

Course meets during the last seven weeks only, First Class: March 24; Last Class: May 5.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9356 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2017

Art’s Role in Race, Empire, and Universalism

4 units
Todd Porterfield

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE IN PARIS: This seminar begins with the conviction that the arc of modern history for both the U.S. and France has had a similar form. Both countries’s Enlightenment ideals of stunning potential, as found in  The Declaration of Independence  and  The Declaration of the Rights of Man  [sic], have often been ballyhooed and ignored, actualized and subverted. At the same time, we have remarked that the specificity of the ambivalent French entanglement with universalism, race, and empire is too rarely understood in the so-called New World. Our focus will be directed to art that in all its manifestations has had a critical role in this dynamic. It has been and continues to be deeply imbricated in the contradictory and reinforcing projects of universalism, race, and empire. But how exactly? What roles have objects played? This is the subject that the seminar will investigate. How have they functioned as symptoms, vectors, or agents in France and in dialogue with sites of French artistic and political ambitions and claims, including New France and Louisiana; the Caribbean; Egypt, North and West Africa; Tahiti and Viet Nam? And what has been their role when it comes to stateless people? Readings and discussions will consider fine art such as painting, drawing, prints, and sculpture, as well as other material objects and products of human and natural manufacture, such as books, the sea, obelisks, shells, textiles, makeup, and clothing.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9401 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2017

PRAGUE: Kafka and His Contexts

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-PRAGUE. "A book must be an ax for the frozen sea in us," wrote Franz Kafka (1883-1924), one of the best known but least understood authors of our times. In this course, we will break some of the clichés which are stuck to Kafka's life and work and dive into the fascinating, intricate and profoundly humorous world of his thoughts and emotions. In Prague, the city that determined and held Kafka in its "claws", we will trace the possible sources of the writer's private obsessions which became the general characteristics of modern men: The sense of isolation, the anxiety, the self-irony, the sense of responsibility and guilt, the quest for freedom, the struggle of an individual against the system. We will read selected works of Kafka, but also Meyrink - the author of Prague ghetto - and Milan Kundera. This course aims to bring the students to a point from which they can find their own genuine and intimate understanding of Kafka's writing.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1439 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

James Reese Europe and American Music

units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Michael Dinwiddie

Description

This course will examine the impact of James Reese Europe (1880-1919) on the development of American music in the early twentieth century. An innovative musician and conductor, Europe organized and conducted the first jazz concerts at Carnegie Hall (1912-1914), founded an African American music school, and served as a collaborator with Irene and Vernon Castle, who made social dancing a world-wide rage. During World War I, James Reese Europe led the all-black “Hellfighters” 15th Infantry Band, which performed throughout France and offered Europeans their first exposure to ‘le jazz hot.’ Readings may include  A Life in Ragtime: A Biography of James Reese Europe  by Reid Badger; excerpts from  The Unknown Soldiers: African-American Troops in World War I  by Arthur E. Barbeau and Florette Henri;  From Harlem to the Rhine  by Arthur W. Little;  Black Manhattan  by James Weldon Johnson; and  They All Played Ragtime  by Rudi Blesh and Harriet Janis. Sound and film recordings will also be utilized.

Notes

Course meets during the first seven weeks only, First Class: January 27; Last Class: March 10.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1639 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
SP 2017

Witch, Heroine, Saint: Joan of Arc and Her World

4 units Mon Wed
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Andrew Romig

Description

In May 1431, Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orléans, was burned at the stake as a heretic and a witch by an English partisan court after the French nobility had betrayed her. An illiterate peasant girl just sixteen years of age, she had led the French back from the brink of defeat and saved the French monarchy from ruin. Yet in death, she would gain further power still as a martyr and symbol of indomitable French will and resistance. In this seminar, we will study Joan’s complex historical moment and her place within the long history of medieval women, Christian mysticism, and religious fanaticism. We will trace the stories of her appearance and military success, attempt to hear her voice in the extant transcript of her heresy trial, analyze contrasting French and English narratives about her life, and explore how she became the national heroine, patron saint, and political symbol that she is today. Texts will include Christine de Pizan’s Book of the City of Ladies, Catherine of Siena’s Dialogues and Letters, Thomas of Cantimpré’s Life of Christina the Astonishing, and Shakespeare’s I Henry VI. We will also analyze and discuss modern renditions of the Joan of Arc story by such diverse artists as Mark Twain, George Bernard Shaw, Bertolt Brecht, Carl Theodor Dreyer, and Luc Besson.

Notes

Same as HIST-UA 569

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9354 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

Babel

4 units
Todd Porterfield

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-PARIS. How might we examine the myth of Babel to test assumptions about belonging and separateness? The construction of the Tower and its destruction by God, who then covered the earth with uncomprehending multitudes, would seem to be a story of uniformity, ambition, and then essential difference, of architecture, power, identity, language, and geographic spread. For thousands of years and from the Bible to the Early Modern to today, it seems to haunts us in architectural and imperial ambitions, in film and mass media, in high and contemporary art, in dystopian nightmares about globalization, in novels of authoritarian repression and novellas of spell-binding imaginings of freedom and connectedness. In this seminar we will analyze many of its figurations in Biblical and archaeological scholarship, literature, art and architectural history, film and visual studies, linguistics, philosophy, politics, and history. The subject leaves few alternatives but to broach the culture, politics, and philosophy of living together, and so we will explore some possible alternatives in peace and hospitality, in translation and in embracing the incompetence of language. Amongst the authors encountered, there will be Borges, Derrida, Gideon, Goethe, Huntington, Kafka, Kant, Mirzoeff, and Wordsworth.

Notes

Same as IDSEM-UG 1869. Students who have taken IDSEM-UG 1869 (Babel) will not receive credit for IDSEM-UG 9354. Course is not repeatable.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9201 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

FLORENCE: Topics in 19th Century Literature: Italy and Italians in English Literature from the Romantics to Modernism

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-FLORENCE. Romantic, Victorian, and Modernist writers in both Britain and the United States were fascinated by Italy. The "Italy and Italians" of the title refers not only to images and characters in the works of the British and American authors we will be reading but also to their affinities with Italian literature. Recurring themes in the course will be history and its uses in literature, gender and sexuality, democracy and aristocracy, language and power, and religion as an instrument of sexual repression.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1918 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2017

Truth in Narrative: Race and Slavery in the Atlantic World 1600-1900

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Carolyn Arena

Description

This seminar investigates first-person narratives of slavery from the perspective of adventurers, novelists, former slaves, abolitionists, and slave owners from the early modern period (c1500-1900). Audiences from that period, and historians alike, have doubted some of these accounts as exaggerations. 17th-century dramas, like Aphra Behn's  Oroonoko  and John Smith's  History of Virginia , have been novelized or romanticized for commercial appeal, yet nevertheless contain undeniable truths about the experience of slavery. 18th- and 19th-century accounts from former slaves, such as Mary Prince and Olaudah Equiano, have been challenged as sensationalized by those in favor of slavery, who doubted that former slaves could become such eloquent writers, and suggested that white abolitionists had ghost-written them instead for their own political gain. This class will discuss how racism influenced these accusations, and how their central message of slavery's brutality can be confirmed, rather than rejected, using memoirs by slave-holders themselves. This course uses these sources to trace the trajectory of New World slavery from its origins in the Mediterranean, to the enslavement of both Native Americans and Africans shipped throughout the Atlantic, to the development of slavery as a racialized institution through colonial legal codes, and finally, to Abolition movements leading up to the American Civil War. The course will focus on the discussion of the aforementioned narratives plus other narratives and film adaptations like Solomon Northup's  Twelve Years a Slave , with short lectures contextualizing each work in colonial and international history.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1856 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

The Politics, Ethics and Aesthetics of Photography

4 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Sonia Werner

Description

The seminar begins with a critical history of photography, and a consideration of the technology’s advent as something of a misfit art, before focusing on its increasing use as an instrument of visual evidence. We turn then to a series of case histories, from the early use of photography as a forensic tool at 19th century crime scenes, to the counter-forensic visual reconstructions of contemporary drone strikes in Pakistan, or recent police violence against unarmed civilians of color in the US. In each instance we ask how photography shapes what becomes visible or legible as violence, and what kinds of suffering—and what modes of resistance—move different spectators affectively, ethically, and politically. The seminar will rely on key theoretical works on photography as well as more recent critical interventions that help us reckon the use of surveillance and its neoliberal logics (Cole, Farocki, Steyerl, Weizman). How might the ubiquity of cameras inure or blind us to photography’s work? The seminar seeks to help students better understand the complex linkages between perception and understanding, and how photographs, as the modern visual form par excellence, shape our sense of the political world and our place in it.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9200 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2017

FLORENCE: History of Italian Fashion

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-FLORENCE. Students trace the birth, evolution, decline, revival, and most recent developments of Italian fashion from the Late Gothic Age to the present "made in Italy" design. Italian fashion styles are decoded in relation to art history in an international, social and economic context. Fashion and its connections with culture, subculture, gender and communication are emphasized. On-site visits also illustrate the dominating role of Florence in fashion from its origin until now. Conducted in English.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1493 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SU 2017

Sports, Race and Politics

4 units Mon Wed
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Millery Polyné

Description

Beyond spectacular touchdowns and walk-off grand slams, sport remains a vital institution for analyzing the ideological/theoretical frameworks of nationalism, diplomacy, economic development, corruption, gender and race. From Joe Louis's historic fight against Max Schmeling in June 1936 to the role of FIFA's World Cup played in South Africa's structural development, sport should be understood beyond masculine bravado, violence and the joy and agony of competition, but also as a serious vehicle for conceptualizing and analyzing the triumphs and limitations of our society and its complicated history. In what ways does sports reify concepts of race and gender? How is it utilized as a tool of challenging domestic inequalities and/or improving international relations? This course examines sports within the Americas, Western Europe and an African context during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will read key texts in the field of the sport studies that illuminate the significance of sport in shaping culture and politics in our global society.

Notes

Session I: May 22 - July 2

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

TRAVL-GG2060 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SU 2017

Italian Renaissance, Art and Literature: The Culture Explosion

4 units
Bella Mirabella

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT N.Y.U. FLORENCE. During a three-week, interdisciplinary program in beautiful and historic Florence, Italy, students are offered a total immersion and multifaceted learning experience that is an essential beginning to understanding our modern world through the lens of the Italian Renaissance. This course explores the literature, culture, art, and thought of the Renaissance from multiple perspectives. During their stay, students develop and present an individualized project based on their academic interests and background, and the ways in which the Renaissance has inspired them. As a quintessential Gallatin experience, the course places emphasis on the cultural and historical contexts from which the literature and art of Renaissance Florence emerged. Readings might include the works of Dante, Pico Della Mirandola, Machiavelli, and selected female writers, as well as art texts such as Vasari's  The Lives of the Artists . In addition, students study the art of Florentine painters such as Botticelli, Giotto, and Michelangelo in the places where these works were created. Throughout the course, students will visit museums and churches such as the Uffizi, The Duomo, the church of Santa Maria Novella, and the monastery of San Marco to engage fully with the art and architecture of Renaissance Italy. Classes, which are taught in English, meet four days a week.

Notes

Course meets in Florence, June 4 - 24

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-GG)

IDSEM-UG1494 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SU 2017

Monsters in Popular Culture: Invented, Awakened, Invading

4 units Tue Thu
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Patricia Lennox

Description

From the earliest myths to the latest big-budget action film, powerful monsters continue to menace the innocent and frighten the listener/reader/viewer. Monsters have been pivotal to folk tales, myths, literary texts, and films. These hybrids of living creatures and otherness have endured since the beginnings of time and inhabit both the ancient and modern imagination. In the nineteenth century, they became intertwined with immigration, industrialization, and scientific experiments. By the end of that century, the psychological monster emerged whose terror lies in its grip on the subconscious. Modern monster stories and films are often sites of veiled political commentary. Post World War II, the shock of the atomic and hydrogen bombs released a new generation on screen of radioactive primitive monsters, while space exploration created another group of alien monsters. In this course, our monsters will include, but not be limited to Frankenstein's Creature, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Nosferatu, Godzilla (including the original Japanese Godjira), King Kong, assorted Blobs, Things, and Aliens, as well as creatures from the worlds of Harry Potter and Bilbo Baggins. The reading/viewing material will include a mix of fiction, films, and critical articles.

Notes

Session II: July 3 - August 13

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1896 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SU 2017

Sounding Stories: Musical Readings of Western Literature

4 units Mon Wed
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Patrick Wood Uribe

Description

This course takes as its starting-point the musical re-telling of literary texts, in opera, song, madrigals and symphonies. On the one hand, the recasting of stories in music can be seen as a way of reading, explaining or interpreting them. On the other hand, what we hear in music also acts as an immediate, intuitive way of knowing or understanding something inaccessible by other means; that knowledge in turn can be used to shed new light on the music’s literary originals, view them from new angles, and set elements into relief that might otherwise go unnoticed or unexamined. In addition to close reading and study, music offers a means of exploring and discussing literature and music along new dimensions. Key works will include: Ovid’s  Metamorphoses , Shakespeare’s  The Tempest ,  Love’s Labour’s Lost , the  Faust  legend as told by Marlowe, Mann, and Goethe, Mozart’s  Magic Flute ,  Don Giovanni , Monteverdi’s  Orfeo , and Beethoven’s late piano works. No prior knowledge of music is necessary.

Notes

Session I: May 22 - July 2

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

TRAVL-UG9500 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SU 2017

Berlin: Capital of Modernity

4 units
Karen Hornick

Description

Application: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/utilities/forms/summersaapp.html For more information: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/academics/undergraduate/global/travelcourses/berlin.html Description: Some of the most thrilling, momentous, and terrible events of the 1900s occurred in Berlin, which present tales of warning and inspiration to the present century. This four-week interdisciplinary seminar tracks these major events and traces change through the study of primary materials (literature, film, art, buildings, music, political discourse) and secondary readings drawn from a range of disciplines including history, sociology, philosophy, and critical theory. Berlin's streets, buildings, memorials, and cultural monuments offer cautionary tales about the folly of nationalist ambition; inspiring sagas of intellectual and physical courage; cold testimonials of crime and retribution; lyrical ballads of brutal honesty; personal records of hope and despair. From one perspective, all of these narratives are episodes in an epic whose grand and central scene is World War II; this is the point of view to be adopted in this course. Students will take in many of the sights and sounds of old and contemporary Berlin but will focus on the involvement of twentieth-century, Berlin-based politicians, activists, artists, architects, bohemians, writers, and intellectuals with the causes, experience, and consequences of World War II. Our period of study begins just before the outbreak of World War I and ends during the astonishing building boom of the post-Wall 1990s and early 2000s. Classes, taught in English, will meet four days a week. Survival German language courses will be offered daily. Group site visits will occur throughout the week and on weekends but students will be given ample opportunity to explore Berlin and develop individual projects. Field trips will encompass the rich resources of the city's museums, neighborhoods, historical sites, memorials, and cultural monuments. Students will live in apartments conveniently located near our classroom and must provide their own meals.

Notes

This four-week course meets in Berlin, June 3 - July 1. Permission required. For more information and to apply, please click on link to application.

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)

IDSEM-UG1640 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SU 2017

The History of Kindness

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Andrew Romig

Description

How have human beings conceived and represented benevolent behavior toward others differently across time and place? In this course, we will explore the history of the concepts, ideals, and behaviors that we associate with the modern English word, "kindness" -- a story that begins in the classical Mediterranean world and unfolds slowly over two millennia into the present day. We will connect ancient debates about human nature, the practice of justice, and moral responsibility, to recent studies concerning the evolutionary biology of altruism (is there a "kindness gene"?), sociological studies of gender difference (is hostility a male trait?), and anthropological studies of how culture regulates conduct. We will study the rise of state-sponsored morality and the ways in which ideals of social welfare have changed over time. Key texts will include Aeschylus's Oresteia, The Gospel of Matthew, Augustine's Against Faustus, Dhuoda's handbook for her son, Bonaventure's Life of St. Francis, and Voltaire's Treatise on Tolerance. As part of the course, students will also conduct individual studies of how philanthropic organizations define, enact, and organize our notions of "kindness" today.

Notes

Intensive: May 22 - June 9

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1239 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SU 2017

Classic Texts and Contemporary Life

4 units Tue Thu
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Antonio Rutigliano

Description

This course examines several “classic” texts to understand both their own intrinsic merit and their influence on society from their inception until our own time. Our emphasis, indeed, is on using these texts to understand our lives and world now. We explore classic texts in relation to contemporary life’s dilemmas of consumerism and spiritualism, individual rights and community rights, vocation and career, God and the afterlife, rebellion and escape from freedom. Readings may include Aeschylus’  The Oresteia , Sappho’s  Poems , Plato’s  Republic , Lucretius’  On the Nature of the Universe , Ovid’s  Metamorphoses  or Cicero’s  On the Laws , Chaucer’s  The Canterbury Tales  or Cervantes’s  Don Quixote .

Notes

Session I: May 22 - July 2

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1543 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SU 2016

Imagining the Middle East

4 units Tue Thu
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Ali Mirsepassi

Syllabus

Description

This course explores the historical and contemporary representations of the Middle Eastern cultures and societies in the Western imaginary. We will examine shifting representations of the Middle East in pre- and post-enlightenment European political and intellectual discourses, Western literary texts and travel literature, and contemporary US popular culture (films, advertising, thrillers, spy novels, romance fiction, etc.). We will also consider the interrelationship between popular cultural representations and the manner in which the Middle East is conceptualized in the academy and in "high culture" in general (e.g., theorized as Orientalism). It is an assumption of the course that a "post colonial" framework is key to interpreting not only the Middle East, but also the “West.” Readings may include: Amin Maalouf,  The Crusades Through Arab Eyes ; Edward Said,  Orientalism  and  Covering Islam ; Zachary Lockman,  Contending Visions of the Middle East ; Jack Shaheen,  Guilty: Hollywood’s Verdict on Arabs ; Linda Khatib,  Filming the Modern Middle East. 

Notes

Session I: May 23 - July 3. Same as MEIS-UA 518.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

TRAVL-UG9500 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SU 2016

Berlin: Capital of Modernity

4 units
Karen Hornick

Description

Application: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/utilities/forms/summersaapp.html For more information: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/academics/undergraduate/global/travelcourses/berlin.html Description: Some of the most thrilling, momentous, and terrible events of the 1900s occurred in Berlin, which present tales of warning and inspiration to the present century. This four-week interdisciplinary seminar tracks these major events and traces change through the study of primary materials (literature, film, art, buildings, music, political discourse) and secondary readings drawn from a range of disciplines including history, sociology, philosophy, and critical theory. Berlin's streets, buildings, memorials, and cultural monuments offer cautionary tales about the folly of nationalist ambition; inspiring sagas of intellectual and physical courage; cold testimonials of crime and retribution; lyrical ballads of brutal honesty; personal records of hope and despair. From one perspective, all of these narratives are episodes in an epic whose grand and central scene is World War II; this is the point of view to be adopted in this course. Students will take in many of the sights and sounds of old and contemporary Berlin but will focus on the involvement of twentieth-century, Berlin-based politicians, activists, artists, architects, bohemians, writers, and intellectuals with the causes, experience, and consequences of World War II. Our period of study begins just before the outbreak of World War I and ends during the astonishing building boom of the post-Wall 1990s and early 2000s. Classes, taught in English, will meet four days a week. Survival German language courses will be offered daily. Group site visits will occur throughout the week and on weekends but students will be given ample opportunity to explore Berlin and develop individual projects. Field trips will encompass the rich resources of the city's museums, neighborhoods, historical sites, memorials, and cultural monuments. Students will live in apartments conveniently located near our classroom and must provide their own meals.

Notes

This four-week course meets in Berlin, June 4 - July 1. Permission required. For more information and to apply, please click on link to application.

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)

IDSEM-UG1239 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SU 2016

Classic Texts and Contemporary Life

4 units Tue Thu
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Antonio Rutigliano

Syllabus

Description

This course examines several “classic” texts to understand both their own intrinsic merit and their influence on society from their inception until our own time. Our emphasis, indeed, is on using these texts to understand our lives and world now. We explore classic texts in relation to contemporary life’s dilemmas of consumerism and spiritualism, individual rights and community rights, vocation and career, God and the afterlife, rebellion and escape from freedom. Readings may include Aeschylus’  The Oresteia , Sappho’s  Poems , Plato’s  Republic , Lucretius’  On the Nature of the Universe , Ovid’s  Metamorphoses  or Cicero’s  On the Laws , Chaucer’s  The Canterbury Tales  or Cervantes’s  Don Quixote .

Notes

Session I: May 23 - July 3

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1764 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SU 2016

Media and Global Social Movements

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
10:00 AM - 1:15 PM
Paula Chakravartty

Syllabus

Description

The recent wave of protest movements—from the uprisings of the Arab Spring to events closer to home like Occupy Wall Street –have sparked a renewed interest in the role of the media in mobilizing and sustaining social movements with global resonance. This seminar offers students the opportunity to analyze the power and limits of the media in contemporary social movements in recent historical contexts. First, readings will examine the political-economic conditions that have led to the mobilization of social claims for global justice in the last decade. We will then consider a range of critical theoretical perspectives on whether and how media and information technologies have been instrumental in the articulation of such claims. This seminar draws on inter-disciplinary readings from media and cultural studies, anthropology, political science and sociology. Authors we will read include: Asef Bayat, Manuel Castells, Donatella Della Porta, Jodi Dean, Alberto Melluci, Nivedita Menon, Francesca Polletta, Michael Watts, among others.

Notes

Same as MCC-UE 1826.001. Intensive: May 23 - June 9

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

TRAVL-UG9801 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SU 2016

Postcolonial Urbanisms: Development, Environment, and Social Movements in Senegal

4 units
Rosalind Fredericks

Description

Application: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/utilities/forms/summersaapp.html For more information: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/academics/undergraduate/global/travelcourses/SenegalPostcolonialUrbanisms.html Description: This travel course examines urban development in the postcolonial global South through the lens of cities in Senegal, West Africa. Like elsewhere across the global South, Senegal is rapidly becoming urban. This process implies a host of important transformations and challenges for development, the environment, and the socio-political lives of city dwellers. Owing to the country’s particular development trajectory, long history of urbanization, and important legacy as one of Africa’s strongest democracies, Senegal provides an especially fascinating place to examine these dynamics and grapple with their implications for urban processes all over the globe. Rejecting the language of crisis, chaos, and exception that is so often used to characterize urbanization in the global South, the course provides theoretically and experientially informed perspectives on the way postcolonial cities work as well as the challenges that remain. Though we will draw on readings from across the global South, the course will focus on the dynamic intersections of development, environment, and social movements in Senegal in light of the country’s particular history, geography, culture, and politics. Specifically, the course will be based in Senegal’s capital city, Dakar, but will include overnight trips to the other important Senegalese cities of Saint Louis (the colonial capital of French West Africa) and Touba (the holy city of Senegal's Islamic Mouride Brotherhood) to compare the form and function of these alternative urban development trajectories. Through a combination of course readings, classroom lectures, tours, and field visits, we will explore the legacies of colonialism and unpack a number of key contemporary debates and challenges faced by urban planners and city residents. Within Dakar, day trips will include Gorée Island, the municipal garbage dump, a traditional fishing village, and a hip hop community center. The class will meet daily and field visits will occur throughout the week and on weekends. Through the lectures and field trips, we will be exposed to multiple challenges and approaches to development from a broad variety of actors, including municipal governments, NGOs, and grassroots community-based organizations.

Notes

This three-week travel course goes to Dakar, Senegal, May 24 - June 15. Permission required. For more information and to apply, please click on link to application.

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)

IDSEM-UG1640 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
SU 2016

The History of Kindness

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
10:00 AM - 1:15 PM
Andrew Romig

Description

How have human beings conceived and represented benevolent behavior toward others differently across time and place? In this course, we will explore the history of the concepts, ideals, and behaviors that we associate with the modern English word, "kindness" -- a story that begins in the classical world and unfolds slowly through two millennia into the present day. We will connect ancient debates about human nature, the practice of justice, and moral responsibility, to recent studies concerning the evolutionary biology of altruism (is there a "kindness gene"?), sociological studies of gender difference (is hostility a male trait?), and anthropological studies of how culture regulates conduct. We will study the rise of state-sponsored morality and the ways in which ideals of social welfare have changed over time. Key texts will include Plato's Republic, The Gospel of Matthew, Augustine's City of God, Dhuoda's handbook for her son, Chaucer's Tale of Melibee, Voltaire's Treatise on Tolerance, and Ghandi's The Story of My Experiments with Truth. As part of the course, students will also conduct individual studies of how "kindness" is defined, enacted, and organized throughout the New York metropolitan area today, with the opportunity to combine research with internship work.

Notes

Intensive: May 23 - June 9

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1494 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SU 2016

Monsters in Popular Culture: Invented, Awakened, Invading

4 units Tue Thu
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Patricia Lennox

Description

From the earliest myths to the latest big-budget action film, powerful monsters continue to menace the innocent and frighten the listener/reader/viewer. Monsters have been pivotal to folk tales, myths, literary texts, and films. These hybrids of living creatures and otherness have endured since the beginnings of time and inhabit both the ancient and modern imagination. In the nineteenth century, they became intertwined with immigration, industrialization, and scientific experiments. By the end of that century, the psychological monster emerged whose terror lies in its grip on the subconscious. Modern monster stories and films are often sites of veiled political commentary. Post World War II, the shock of the atomic and hydrogen bombs released a new generation on screen of radioactive primitive monsters, while space exploration created another group of alien monsters. In this course, our monsters will include, but not be limited to Frankenstein's Creature, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Nosferatu, Godzilla (including the original Japanese Godjira), King Kong, assorted Blobs, Things, and Aliens, as well as creatures from the worlds of Harry Potter and Bilbo Baggins. The reading/viewing material will include a mix of fiction, films, and critical articles.

Notes

Session II: July 5 - August 14

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1826 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

(Dis)Placed Urban Histories

4 units Fri
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Rebecca Amato

Syllabus

Description

According to the vacation rental site, Airbnb, Brooklyn’s “ultra-trendy” Williamsburg neighborhood is “New York City’s top spot for looking awesome” and can be credited with being one of the borough’s “first neighborhoods to create collector’s items out of defunct warehouses.” Until recently, such descriptions were assumed to be about the northern section of Williamsburg, where boutiques and chic restaurants, galleries, lofts, and artisanal markets abound. Now, as the  New York Post  notes, the formerly “scruffy” and “barren” South Williamsburg is also “growing up” as LEED-certified luxury construction and trendy restaurants materialize there as well. This language of encroaching gentrification, though relatively new to both North and South Williamsburg, has a longer history, having been applied to Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, East Village, and Soho neighborhoods decades before. Yet while twenty-somethings pour into South Williamsburg, many question their role in displacing long-term residents, small businesses, and local traditions with a homogenizing “hipster” culture. This course invites students to become historical activists whose objective is to learn who and what is being displaced by gentrification and what the historical processes are that have aided this change. Students will conduct archival and secondary research; produce collaborative oral histories with neighborhood residents and business owners; and meet with activists who are working to stem the tide of gentrification. The course will culminate in an on-line archive and a physical exhibit to be co-produced with neighborhood residents and displayed at El Museo de Los Sures in South Williamsburg.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1868 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

New Negro Arts and Politics: The Harlem Renaissance Reconsidered

4 units Mon
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Laurie Woodard

Syllabus

Description

Throughout the Twentieth Century, African Americans employed a variety of strategies toward the attainment of social, political, and economic equality. At different historical moments, specific agenda, tactics, and participants have come to forefront, yet the overall objectives remain the same. During the 1920s and 1930s, many African Americans put forth a fusion of cultural and political activism as the vanguard of the movement. While exploring the rich literature of the era, this course looks beyond traditional literary models and delves into the work of performing and visual artists to present students with a deeper and more complete understanding of the complex and dynamic social, cultural, and political phenomenon known as the New Negro or Harlem Renaissance. We will explore the intersection between culture and politics during a specific moment in African American history and examine its place within the larger quest for equality. Readings may include works by Langston Hughes, Fannie Hurst, Carl Van Vechten, Aaron Douglass, Richard Bruce Nugent, Noble Sissle, Eubie Blake, Augusta Savage, Cheryl Greenberg, Mary Renda, and Zora Neale Hurston.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1380 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

Three Revolutions: Haiti, Mexico, Cuba

4 units Tue Thu
4:55 PM - 6:10 PM
Antonio Lauria-Perricelli

Description

We compare and contrast the revolutionary events, processes and outcomes in Haiti, Mexico, and Cuba. Each had significant anti-colonial or anti-imperial components, as well as social and political conflicts and alliances within the immediate societies of the revolutionary countries which involved both "internal" and "external" groups and ideas. None of the three cases were simple reflexes of European or North American ideas and politics, although such external factors were among the revolution’s causes and effects. We consider the roles of investors, landowners, mineowners, merchants, bankers, politicians, state administrators, peasants, laborers, intellectuals, migrants, and other social groups in-country or in the relevant imperial centers. We analyze interrelations among kinds of capitalism, and anti-capitalist ideologies or social forms and types of rationality; changing revolutionary processes and demands; the changing role and organization of the state; the supporters or antagonists of the revolution among differing social groups at differing times; the revolution's relation to earlier and later movements. Where necessary, we invoke examples from other countries. Readings might include selections from Wolf,  Peasant Wars of the Twentieth Century ; DuBois,  Avengers of the New World ; Trouillot,  Haiti: State Against Nation ; Sheller, various papers on gender and power in 19th century Haiti; Gonzales,  The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940 ; Pérez Cuba,  Between Reform and Revolution ; Kapcia,  Cuba in Revolution: A History Since the Fifties ; A. Chomsky,  A History of the Cuban Revolution ; Meeks,  Caribbean Revolutions and Revolutionary Theory ; Foran,  Theories of Revolution  and later works.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1870 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2016

Going Baroque: Baroque Theater, from Ambiguity to Hyperbole

4 units Tue Thu
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Simon Fortin

Description

Mannered, adorned, elaborate, grand, exaggerated, eccentric, reactionary—these are all qualities often associated with the Baroque aesthetic, a complex artistic movement that swept the European continent from the late sixteenth to the early eighteenth centuries. While the Baroque may accommodate such descriptions, it also refuses the fetters of definitions. In this course, we examine the controversies that animate the use of the term “Baroque”: How did an aesthetic of grandeur come to inform architecture, politics, religion, the visual arts, and specifically for our intent, the theater? How might the Baroque period be considered a living tension between  Ambiguity , a quality we associate more closely with the Renaissance, and  Hyperbole , understood here as excessive dogmatism? We look at texts that embrace, but also denounce, the Baroque aesthetic turn, and we try to understand how this appetite for grandeur, for excess, for unbridled expressivity still mediates the sensibilities of our post-modernity.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1859 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Modern Poetry and the Senses

4 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Lisa Goldfarb

Syllabus

Description

In a letter that he wrote to his Cuban correspondent, Jose Rodriguez Feo, Wallace Stevens referred to Marcel Proust as a poet. “It seems like a revelation,” Stevens wrote of Proust, “but it is quite possible to say that that is exactly what he was and perhaps all that he was.” Proust’s masterpiece,  In Search of Lost Time , is often considered for the way it challenged and enlarged the form of the 20th century novel, as well as for the author’s meticulous exploration of the workings of time, history, memory, psychology, and the senses. Yet, it is more unusual to study Proust as a poet, or for his impact on modern poetry. In this course, therefore, we begin our study of the presentation and importance of the senses in modern poetry with Proust (via portions of  In Search of Lost Time ). Proust will then serve as prelude to our examination of the various ways that modern poets respond to, follow, and reach beyond him in their use and portrayal of the senses (and, by extension, time and memory). Contextual materials may include, among other texts, Bergson’s  Creative Evolution  and Susan Stewart’s  Modern Poetry and the Fate of the Senses.  Primary readings include portions of Proust’s  In Search of Lost Time , and poetry and essays of Valéry, Eliot, Pound, Moore, Bishop, Auden, Stevens, and Césaire.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1535 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

Narrating Memory, History and Place

4 units Tue Thu
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Marie Cruz Soto

Description

This course examines how people imagine a place of their own through narrations of the past. The past, after all, is a contested terrain open to divergent interpretations that shape common understandings of places. The meanings bestowed on places dictate who can use them, and how. Thus, the ways through which people narrate the past can transform places. This course, therefore, explores the broad interplay between narrations of memory, history and place. It focuses, however, on the politics of historical narrations in struggles of disempowered communities to claim a place of their own. Course readings include literary and other scholarly texts like Jamaica Kincaid’s  A Small Place , Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s  Silencing the Past  and Michel De Certeau’s  The Practice of Everyday Life  as well as writings by Edward Said, William Cronon, Diana Taylor, Steven Hoelscher and Doreen Massey.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1866 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

Poetry and the Politics of Decolonization

4 units Mon Wed
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Linn Cary Mehta

Syllabus

Description

The course looks at poets writing in the twentieth century and after whose work is caught up in the struggle for independence from colonial rule and, subsequently, with the formation of a post-colonial literary voice. This poetry confronts issues of national and racial identity, place and displacement, decolonization and freedom from linguistic and political oppression. We will read, among others, the two leading poets of négritude, Aimé Césaire and Léopold Senghor, in relation to movements in Caribbean, African, and American literature including the Harlem Renaissance (Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Nicolas Guillén); Latin American poets including Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, and Octavio Paz; English-language poets including W.B. Yeats, William Carlos Williams, and Derek Walcott; and the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. Readings will be in English, though languages of composition vary from French and Spanish to Bengali; we will also include other literatures of this period that students are interested in.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1729 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
SP 2016

Ancient and Renaissance Festivity: Its Literary, Dramatic and Social Forms

4 units Mon
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Susanne Wofford

Description

This class investigates the role of festive custom and holiday release, and the kinds of performance and literary form that they enable or frustrate, in ancient Greece and Rome, and in Renaissance Europe, with a 20th century postlude. Why does festivity sometimes lead to political revolt and at other times does not? Why does the "carnivalesque" often include festive abuse as well as celebration? We look at theories of festivity and release, at the dionysiac, at the human/animal union in festivity, and at the role of the classical period in shaping Renaissance and even modern ideas of festivity, irony and the festive worship of the gods. We also explore the effect of the Protestant suppression of festive holiday and theatricality in Shakespeare’s England, and at the tensions inherent in festivity between excess and moderation, between the saturnalia and the philosophical symposium. The class begins with classical festivity, with Plato's “Symposium,” Euripides'  The Bacchae , selections from Ovid's  Fasti  and the  Metamorphoses , and Apuleius'  Golden Ass . Readings from the Renaissance include: Rabelais,  Gargantua and Pantagruel ; Shakespeare,  A Midsummer Night’s Dream ,  1 Henry IV; Twelfth Night, Antony and Cleopatra,   The Winter’s Tale.  Concluding with carnival practices in the circum-Atlantic world, we take as examples the film  Black Orpheus  ( Orfeu Negro , directed by Marcel Camus), New Orleans carnival and Jazz Funerals, and probably Paule Marshall’s novel  The Chosen Place, the Timeless People  (1969) in order to see how these older traditions shape modern experience. We will end in 1968 in Greenwich Village with Richard Schechner’s Dionysus in 69.

Notes

Open to sophomores and juniors. Seniors require permission of the instructor (susanne.wofford@nyu.edu). Same as ENGL-UA 252 003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1488 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2016

Antigone

2 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Laura Slatkin

Syllabus

Description

Antigone: heroine or harridan? Political dissident or family loyalist? Harbinger of the free subject or captive of archaic gender norms? Speaking truth to power or preserving traditional privilege? Sophocles' Antigone has been good to think with since its first production in the fifth century BCE. From ancient commentators through Hegel to contemporary gender theorists like Judith Butler, readers have grappled with what Butler calls "Antigone's Claim." The play's exploration of gender, kinship, citizenship, law, resistance to authority, family vs. the state, and religion (among other issues) has proved especially compelling for modern thought. In this seminar we will closely read the play and some select commentary; supplemental readings may include writings of philosophers, classicists, playwrights, political theorists. We will also conclude with some 20th C. adaptations/re-imaginings of Antigone on the stage.

Notes

Course meets during the first seven weeks only, First Class: January 27; Last Class: March 9.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1857 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Photography through the Lens of Magnum and VII

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Lauren Walsh

Description

Does the still image have the same power today—an era saturated by images—as it did just a few decades ago? As a photographer, what are the ethical ramifications of acting as the public’s eyes? Some of the greatest works of journalistic and documentary photography over the last seventy years have been produced by members of the world-renowned photo collectives, Magnum and VII. Photographers at these leading collectives have not only created iconic documentary images, but also helped define, limit, and focus the field of photojournalism as we know it today. This course examines Magnum and VII both as a business model, in opposition to wire services and other photo agencies, and as a formative influence over the style and content of documentary photography in recent decades. We thus use these collectives as a lens (pun intended!) through which to address a recent history of photography, the trajectory of visual journalism, and ultimately, the place of advocacy in documentary photography, since these collectives often turn an eye toward momentous histories and social justice. Using specific photojournalistic works from each collective, and through conversations with some of the photographers themselves, students will interrogate how historic events (from guerrilla wars to the break up of Yugoslavia), and humanitarian issues (like the mining of “conflict minerals” in the Congo) are recorded in this medium and what impact these images have had on the reception of these events. Texts may include work by Ritchin, Cartier-Bresson, Sontag, and Dyer, and photographs by Robert Capa, Susan Meiselas, Ron Haviv, and Marcus Bleasdale. Students, in turn, will produce their own visual projects.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1651 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2016

From Memory to Myth: The Mighty Charlemagne

4 units Mon Wed
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Andrew Romig

Description

In this course students will explore historical memory, mythmaking, and the myriad ways in which human beings construct and reconstruct the past to address present hopes, dreams, and fears. Our case study will be the Frankish Emperor Charlemagne (d. 814), who in life helped to lay the foundations of modern European society, and in death would continue to represent an imagined pan-European unity that predated factionalism, regionalism, and nationalism. The seminar will begin in the ninth century with Charlemagne in memory before moving briskly forward in time to study Charlemagne in legend and myth. Along the way, we will discuss themes and problems of particular relevance, including the birth of “Europe,” the advent of “the state,” Christianity and Crusade, the rise of vernacular literature, and early colonialism. In addition to theoretical works on memory, myth, and history-writing, texts for discussion will include a vibrant mix of canonical and lesser-known gems: Einhard’s  Life of Charlemagne,   The Song of Roland , and Ariosto’s  Orlando Furioso ; but also the Astronomer’s  Life of Louis the Pious ,  The Voyage of Charlemagne to Jerusalem and Constantinople , and the anonymous  Charlemagne  play from the London of Shakespeare and Marlowe.

Notes

Same as HIST-UA 245.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1518 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

Globalization: Promises and Discontents

4 units Thu
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Ritty Lukose

Syllabus

Description

In popular and scholarly discourse, the term "globalization" is widely used to put a name to the shape of the contemporary world. In the realms of advertising, policymaking, politics, academia, and everyday talk, "globalization" references the sense that we are now living in a deeply and ever-increasingly interconnected, mobile, and speeded-up world that is unprecedented, fueled by technological innovations and geopolitical and economic transformations. Drawing on perspectives from history, anthropology, cultural and literary studies, geography, political economy, and sociology, this course will explore theories, discourses, and experiences of globalization. Running through the course are three central concerns: 1) exploring claims about the "new-ness" of globalization from historical perspectives, 2) examining how a variety of social and cultural worlds mediate globalization and 3) analyzing a contested politics of globalization in which the opportunities for social mobility and transformation are pitted against renewed intensifications of exploitation and vulnerability along long-standing vectors of difference and inequality. While "globalization" is often touted as a "flattening" of the world, this course moves beyond such clichés to understand the intersection between large-scale transformations in political economy and culture in and through multiple cultural worlds situated unevenly on the world's map.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1873 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Jane Austen in the 21st Century: The Novels and Their Afterlife

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
June Foley

Description

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen’s novels are most appreciated while sipping tea and nibbling crumpets. Yet considerable controversy surrounds Austen’s six novels, their place in literary history, their cultural work and cultural capital. Scholarship includes books on "Austen and. . . " the French Revolution, queer studies, and game theory, along with  Global Jane Austen . Questions abound: Is Austen, who first published as "A Lady," politically conservative, progressive, or radical? Is she a proto-feminist? Does she glorify the marriage plot or subvert it, and what narrative aspects provide the basis for each claim? What part do irony and free indirect discourse play in her sparkling style? Media commodification brings debates on the afterlife: Which group to join, idolizing (and fan fiction-writing) Janeites or academic Austenites? Was "Clueless" the best adaptation? What about the Bollywood or manga versions? We consider these issues and more while reading  Pride and Prejudice ,  Mansfield Park ,  Emma , and  Persuasion  through the lenses of literature, gender studies, and cultural studies. Critics and theorists include F.R. Leavis, D.W. Harding, Lionel Trilling, Claudia Johnson, Edward Said, Mary Poovey, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Cornel West.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9550 Lib Arts
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

TEL AVIV: Queering the Middle East

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-TEL AVIV. Applying methodologies of queer theory, this course will use an historical perspective to discuss the complex history of sexuality in the Middle East and to sketch the genealogy of Western attitudes towards both Arab and Jewish sexuality. The prevailing ideological dichotomy identifies the West as a gay-friendly space and the Arab Middle East as an extremely homophobic one. In most cases, both LGBT activists and their opponents regard sexual toleration as a Western influence. However, the situation was completely different only a few decades ago. In the early 20th century, homosexuality was taboo in Europe; meanwhile, male artists and authors traveled to the Middle East and North Africa—especially to Morocco, Algeria, and Egypt—to realize their passion for men. Ironically, in those times, the West condemned the Muslim world’s alleged sexual licentiousness, while today the West criticizes the Muslim repression of sexual freedoms. Relying on theorists and historians like Michel Foucault, Robert Aldrich, Khaled El-Rouayheb, Samar Habib, and Joseph Massad, the course will explore the essential role that the queer issue plays in the contemporary politics of the region.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9401 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

PRAGUE: Kafka and His Contexts

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-PRAGUE. "A book must be an ax for the frozen sea in us," wrote Franz Kafka (1883-1924), one of the best known but least understood authors of our times. In this course, we will break some of the clichés which are stuck to Kafka's life and work and dive into the fascinating, intricate and profoundly humorous world of his thoughts and emotions. In Prague, the city that determined and held Kafka in its "claws", we will trace the possible sources of the writer's private obsessions which became the general characteristics of modern men: The sense of isolation, the anxiety, the self-irony, the sense of responsibility and guilt, the quest for freedom, the struggle of an individual against the system. We will read selected works of Kafka, but also Meyrink - the author of Prague ghetto - and Milan Kundera. This course aims to bring the students to a point from which they can find their own genuine and intimate understanding of Kafka's writing.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1700 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2016

Becoming Global? "Europe" and the World

4 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Valerie Forman

Description

Over and over, we are told that the world we live in is becoming increasingly global. All its parts are connected to one another, and goods, people, culture, and information can move from one place to another, seemingly without barriers. Yet how new is this phenomenon? Scholars have pointed to the middle of the sixteenth century as the moment when the economy became global, and the age of exploration and colonization began to connect many parts of the world to each other in a complex network that included cooperation, piracy, and slavery. This course will explore the emergence of a global consciousness in the early modern period. Our primary questions include: to what extent did people in this century begin to imagine and experience the world globally (that is, as an entity whose regions were interdependent rather than separate)? Does the change in understanding of the world vary by region, by class, ethnicity, gender, or religion? How did globalization influence cultural developments? What influence did global encounters have on European identities—for example on ideas about, and experiences of, gender, sexuality, class religion, and citizenship? Was the global economy seen as cooperative or competitive? To answer these questions, we will consider how the attempts to create, and the struggle to understand, this global world produced new narratives and forms of interdisciplinary thinking. In order to see how the issues surrounding globalization as we understand them today have a long and complex history, we will also study works that put the past in present in conversation with each other. We will investigate a wide variety of primary works, such as travel narratives, plays, poems, early forms of ethnography, films, engravings, and globes, as well as secondary works by literary scholars, anthropologists, and historians of labor, the economy, and science. While the focus is on the “European” and emerging “American” perspective, we will also read several works that challenge the Eurocentric view of globalization that was emerging and still dominates much of contemporary discourse of globalization.

Notes

Same as MEDI-UA 992 002.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1590 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Walter Benjamin: Theory for Gleaners

4 units Wed
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
A.B. Huber

Description

Long before the advent of green politics, and before recycling and repurposing became fashionable, there were people surviving with little fanfare on discards, and theorists meditating on the revolutionary possibilities of refuse and junk. This seminar introduces students to the work of Walter Benjamin, who is both a central figure in critical theory and an early, powerful commentator on the politics and aesthetics of trash. We begin with Agnès Varda’s film The Gleaners and I, and explore the relation between theory and the recycling of ideas, images, and objects, especially those that have been overlooked or abandoned. As a refugee himself, Benjamin knew intimately how whole populations can be dispossessed or cast off. Following his thought, we ask what displaced subjects and discarded objects might teach us about the larger economies of capitalism, modernity and the city, but also about human desire, need and frailty. Our primary text is Benjamin's expansive and unfinished work of citations and brief commentaries, The Arcades Project (1927-1940), but we will read Freud, Marx, and the Frankfurt School to contextualize the work historically and theoretically. What did Benjamin make of dross, and what can we glean from his thought for our own times?

Notes

Same as COLIT-UA 852.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1478 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

The Modern Arabic Novel

4 units Tue
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Sinan Antoon

Description

Colonialism left indelible marks on the cultures and societies of its colonized subjects. While nation-states have emerged, the colonial legacy and its various effects continue to haunt post-colonial societies and the modes in which they represent their history and subjectivity. The novel is a particularly privileged site to explore this problem. This course will focus on the post-colonial Arabic novel. After a brief historical introduction to the context and specific conditions of its emergence as a genre, we will read a number of representative novels. Discussions will focus on the following questions: How do writers problematize the perceived tension between tradition and modernity? Can form itself become an expression of sociopolitical resistance? How is the imaginary boundary between “West” and “East” blurred and/or solidified? How is the nation troped and can novels become sites for rewriting official history? What role do gender and sexuality play in all of the above? In addition to films, readings (all in English) may include Edward Said, Frantz Fanon, Naguib Mahfuz, al-Tayyib Salih, Abdelrahman Munif, Ghassan Kanafani, Elias Khoury, Sun`allah Ibrahim, Huda Barakat, Assia Djebbar, and Muhammad Shukri.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1699 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Feeling, in Theory

4 units Thu
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Eve Meltzer

Description

Over the past two decades, scholars from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives—literature, women’s studies, political science, and aesthetics, to name a few—have returned to the question of “affect,” also referred to as “feeling” or “emotion,” as well as “passion,” “pathos,” “mood,” or even “love.” This course aims to familiarize students with the field of “affect theory” by surveying some of the most important texts that ground it (such as Chaucer and Aristotle, Freud and Thompkins) as well as several that have emerged more recently (Massumi, Terrada, Ngai, among others). When we consider the stakes and claims of some of the more recent work on affect, it becomes clear that a central predicament is at hand: how are we to understand affective life  now , after so many “deaths”—that of the subject, the author, art, and so on—have been announced by theories of postmodernism? How do we reconcile the resurgence of theories of affect when the end of the feeling subject is also touted by these same theories? This question leads us to our second challenge: to tackle the relationship between feeling and theory. While art and music have long been associated with emotionalism and affective life, what about the feelings that theory gives us? Alternatively, what is the affective life of theory? How does it harness, repress, produce, or otherwise make use of affect? While this course has no prerequisites, it is particularly appropriate for students who have strong feelings—love or hate—for so-called “theory.”

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1816 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2016

Proximity and Protest in the 18th-Century Letter and its Afterlives

4 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Andrea Gadberry

Description

In this course we unearth the lost art of letter-writing and study epistolary form in interdisciplinary context, putting the epistolary novel, one of the most popular prose forms of the eighteenth century, in conversation with a range of primary documents (newspapers, pamphlets, travel letters) as well as works of philosophy and critical theoretical works. As we do so, we will ask how these letters let us unfold the problems of distance, intimacy, and exchange. Of particular interest to us will be how the epistolary form accounts for the scenes of itscomposition and represents the circumstances and space around the act of writing: In what ways does the epistolary novel (along with collectionsof letters of the period) i magine travel and contact with other cultures? What exactly is the “readerly” intimacy letters create, and how do these strategies portray and construct gender? How do these letters depict strangers, foreigners, and other “others,” and how do they address or confront the public? We will think about how the letter reinforces or resists norms. Our readings will take us across the European and Anglo-American traditions and, more locally, to the Wrightsman Galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where we will consider the domestic spaces and objects that inform some exemplars of this literary form. Finally, we will conclude our inquiry with a look at the epistolary form’s 21st-century afterlife, and students can expect some creative projects along the way. Major texts include: Samuel Richardson, Pamela (1741), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, The Sorrows of Young Werther (1774), Denis Diderot, The Nun (1780), Choderlos de Laclos, Dangerous Liaisons (1782), Montesquieu, Persian Letters (1721), Lady Mary Montagu, Turkish Embassy Letters (1763), and Helen Maria Williams, Letters Written in France (1790).

Notes

Same as COLIT-UA 866.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1813 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

Exhibitions: A History, A Theory, An Exploration

2 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Florencia Malbran

Description

Exhibitions are spaces of knowledge, experience, and entertainment. This course studies the methods, functions, and conditions of exhibition practice, through visual and textual analysis as well as exhibition visits. Although the history of exhibitions and museums, from the 18th to 21st century, will provide an underlying basis for this course, special attention will be paid to the present. New York will be considered as a center of cultural experimentation where artists (including Latin American artists) share ideas in a global context. We will visit a variety of exhibitions on view in the city when class will be on-site in order to develop critical skills and address the following questions: What are the major theoretical and practical issues at stake in different kinds of exhibitions, and how can we perceive their significance? What is the relationship between the curator and artist/s? What role does museum architecture play in creating a context for experiencing exhibitions? What are some illuminating interactions between exhibitions and contemporary thought? Finally, what is an exhibition? Readings will include essays by curators, writers, and critics such as Walter Benjamin, Jorge Luis Borges, Michael Brenson, Brian O’Doherty and Mari Carmen Ramírez.

Notes

Course meets during the last seven weeks only, First Class: March 23; Last Class: May 4. Students should not schedule any classes immediately before or after this class to allow ample time to travel to off-site locations including museums and galleries.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1759 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Exhibition Systems and Curating

4 units Wed
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Meleko Mokgosi

Description

This course aims at a thorough investigation of strategies of curating and exhibiting artworks, and how curators as well as artists utilize various installation and exhibition strategies. Course material will consider important texts and practices including but not limited to: relational aesthetics, interdisciplinary art practices, performance art, and institutional critique. There will be an equal amount of time spent both in the seminar room and visiting exhibitions in museums and galleries in New York City. Readings for the course will include essays by Okwui Enwezor, Thelma Golden, Jennifer Gonzalez, Jens Hoffmann, and Paul O'Neill.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1521 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2016

Political Theology

4 units Tue
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
George Shulman

Syllabus

Description

This course explores the idea of "political theology." In conventional interpretations, the concept has suggested that forms of political rule are anchored in or justified by divine revelation, god's law, or a scripture that enshrines them. Commentators thereby infer a politics from a scripture that they read didactically. But many political theorists have interpreted political theology more broadly, to suggest that collective and personal life is always anchored in a form of faith, including faith in reason, or secularism or democracy. In addition, because no faith (or scripture) is self-evident in what it means and entails, people interpret and practice "theology" in deeply divergent ways, even within the same ostensible faith. Politics thus involves the practice of reading or interpretation, as well as judging and mediating conflict both within and among a variety of faiths. To explore how issues of interpretation and conflict relate faith, self-formation, and politics, we read closely but "against the grain" in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian gospels, while also exploring seminal modern commentaries. The modern readings may include: Kierkergaard,  Fear and Trembling;  Schmitt,  Political Theology  and  The Concept of the Political ; Dostoevsky, "The Grand Inquisitor;" Nietzsche,  Thus Spake Zarathustra , as well as work by William Blake, Allen Ginsberg, James Baldwin, and contemporary political theorists.

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1808 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2016

The World According to Opera

4 units Fri
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM Thu
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Chinnie Ding

Description

"No good opera plot can be sensible," explained W.H. Auden, "for people do not sing when they are feeling sensible." This class is about the demonstrative, durational art of opera, and thus about the staging and voicing of unruly passions. An art form where music, language, drama, and design converge, opera unfurls a world where eros, madness, violent demise and the will to power are not only permitted but privileged. This course offers an introduction to four centuries of operatic history through close study of nine key works by Monteverdi, Purcell, Mozart, Wagner, Verdi, Bizet, Puccini, and Adams. Some themes we explore along the way include nationalism; fandom; race/ethnicity and gender/sexuality in plot and in casting; historically informed performance; opera's relationship to other artistic mediums; and philosophical considerations of the singing voice. Assignments include short reading/viewing response essays, a midterm essay, and a final project based on an opera of your choosing. Weekly screenings are mandatory and count toward class attendance.

Notes

Please note this course includes an additional meeting time (Thu, 6:20-9:00pm) for weekly film screenings.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1871 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

Civilization, the Extreme West, and the Argentine Artist Léon Ferrari

4 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Todd Porterfield

Description

For more than half a century, artist León Ferrari (1920-2013) was at the center of Argentine (and sometimes Brazilian) art, culture, politics, and history. In 1965, his controversial sculpture entitled Western and Christian Civilization, which depicted Christ crucified on a two-meter-long model of a U.S. Vietnam-era bomber, elicited both accolades and shock. During decades of national and international tension, Ferrari's art spurred controversy for the way it critiqued linguistic and cultural convention; sexual repression; anti-Semitism, misogyny, and homophobia; military dictatorship; religion and colonialism; and Latin American megacities. At the same time, he explored paths toward liberation, the potential of mass media and the revolutionary potential of making-- and not making-- art. Is it any wonder that his 2004-2005 Buenos Aires retrospective was vandalized? A judge closed the show, but others mobilized in its favor, thereby demonstrating the unsettled business of culture and politics in a country one historian has called "the Extreme West." In this seminar Ferrari's career will be a springboard to examine a number of crosscutting issues, in particular cultural inheritance and global modernism; artistic, individual, and national sovereignty; censorship and vandalism; and differing notions of civilization. Such questions will lead us to look across media and disciplines toward architecture and urbanism, film and cartoons; as well as philosophy, political theory, history, and literature.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1823 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

In with the Old, Out with the New: Debates on "Tradition" in Western Music

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Kwami Coleman

Syllabus

Description

Contests between stalwart custodians of “tradition” and rebels searching for new, untested modes of expression pervade Western music history. This course surveys some of the most contentious debates on music’s past, present, and future waged between music theorists, critics, artists, and audiences, spanning the last five hundred years. Our focus is on the seemingly inevitable tension between what music is, what it should be, and what it can be. Starting with the Greek philosophers of antiquity, we explore debates on the music of Claudio Monteverdi, Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Wagner, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, John Cage, Bob Dylan, and The Slits. We also examine the backlash against and subsequent defense of styles like jazz, rock and roll, punk rock, and rap. Our goal is to better understand how culture is “made” ​precisely ​during ​these ​moments of charged debate, where a particular music’s perceived merits​ or transgressions serve as the pretext for larger ​often controversial ideological issues. Art, in this sense, becomes a platform by which to observe how competing aesthetic value​ systems​ reveal deep social and cultural rifts. This class meets twice a week. Our first session is devoted to scrutinizing and discussing primary sources​:​ letters, newspaper and magazine articles, journal entries, sound recordings, and film. For our second session we read and discuss secondary sources by scholars, critics, and investigative journalists for context, using this new information as a way to think critically about the primary sources and our own aesthetic judgments. Debating music tradition and innovation, as we shall see, is a long-standing tradition in its own right.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1810 Lib Arts
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

Art and Politics in the City: New York and Buenos Aires

4 units Thu
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Florencia Malbran, Alejandro Velasco

Syllabus

Description

Using advanced video-conferencing in both cities, this course brings together students in New York and Buenos Aires to examine how urban arts and politics intersect in the Americas: How are art and politics understood and expressed differently and similarly in these two American metropolises and why? How do shared aesthetic features of public art in the city reflect the global circulation of urban creative modes? What do we learn about local politics from looking at the art and writing on a city’s public spaces? Teams of students in both cities will conduct field work in key neighborhoods - among them Colegiales and San Telmo in Buenos Aires, and Chinatown and Bushwick in New York - to build upon an archive of murals, graffiti, performances, and installations begun in the spring of 2015 by students in this course. Then, drawing from readings in history, art criticism,and urban studies, as well as from census and electoral data and using GIS technology, we will analyze how social and political processes like gentrification, inequality, and planning generate and reflect creative political expression as captured in our database, culminating in transnational, collaborative projects that explore what the art and writing of city streets reveals about urban life in 21st century America.

Notes

This is a co-taught course. Students in New York and Buenos Aires meet simultaneously via video conference and work from the same syllabus. Before spring break Prof. Velasco will lead the Washington Square section in New York, and Prof. Malbran the Buenos Aires section in Argentina. After spring break, the instructors will switch locations, so students in both sites will have personal contact with Profs. Velasco and Malbran. No prior GIS experience is necessary. Students will receive training on mapping software and portable mapping devices, which will be provided. Due to enrollment limits, only students who intend to stay in the class are asked to register. Please direct any questions to Alejandro Velasco (av48@nyu.edu) before registration.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1769 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Lab Lit: Fact, Fiction, and the Narratives of Science

4 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Anne DeWitt

Description

The past two decades have seen the publication of a surprising number of novels that center on science and scientific work. In this course, we take an interdisciplinary approach to understanding this new genre: at times, we’ll use a literary studies perspective, asking how such novels create fictional drama and narrative suspense out of scientific work. We’ll also draw on research in the history and sociology of science that examines the construction of scientific identity and the dynamics of the scientific community, as we look at how these novels represent scientists and the scientific world. And we’ll turn to feminist critiques of science and work in science studies that interrogates the very nature of scientific research and thinking. Readings may include Allegra Goodman’s Intuition, Alan Lightman’s Einstein’s Dreams, Max Weber’s “Science as a Vocation,” Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar’s Laboratory Life, and essays by Evelyn Fox Keller and Sandra Hrdy. Students will explore these texts through seminar-style discussions, brief blogging assignments, a short essay, and a final research paper.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9050 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

ACCRA: Cocoa and Gold: Ghana’s Development in Global Perspective

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-ACCRA. This course explores Ghana’s development from the colonial era to the recent postcolonial period, providing an interdisciplinary history that is attentive to political economy, social relations, geography, and politics as they congeal throughout Ghana’s development. Key historical moments will include the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the colonial era in light of their attendant reconfigurations of land, labor, and natural resources—as well as landscapes of power and politics. In the postcolonial period, the course will examine the central epochs in the country’s development trajectory in relation to its rich political history and shifting global discourses of development and geopolitics. This will include a focus on dynamics such as Asian investment, urbanization, international development aid, and the discovery of oil. The goal of the course is to explore theories and debates on development through deep engagement, using Ghana as a sort of intensive case study. Ghana’s specific development trajectory will in turn be located alongside that of wider Africa and the global South, and alongside development debates and discourses whenever possible. Field trips will include visits to sites such as local gold mines and cocoa fields.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9254 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

LONDON: Fashion, Culture, and the Body

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON: This is a course that explores the relationship between ideas, the body and the way that fashion can be understood to mediate between the two. Through a range of disciplines and media this course considers the body as an aspect of not only medical and scientific exploration, but crucially as a vital element of culture and society. Bodies affect the ways in which the social world and power relations are organized, and they even arguably condition the way that we understand reality itself. Our physical form is constantly shaped according to both philosophies and fashions. Body ideals and broader ideals often interrelate strongly through bodily practices and with what we wear. There are meanings and fashions in all bodily forms (skinny, buxom, muscular, ideas of ‘whiteness’) and body practices (dieting, hair management, cleansing rituals, plastic surgery and genital cutting). Over the sessions, we will take a conceptual approach to fashion, as a strident condition of modern life, that incorporates politics, science and aesthetics and we will closely read a number of cultural texts against a number of theoretical models. Attitudes towards the body can vary widely according to historical period, and this course will explore how, in different moments, and via different media, we have been preoccupied with the aesthetics of different body zones, with displaying identity (gender, class and ethnicity), and also with power. Different cultural forms (literary, visual, material etc) will provide the focus of our discussions as they all engage with the different ways that we make meaning out of our bodies. Students will be invited to investigate in their written work set texts from class in addition to primary material of their own choice.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1713 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

From Blackface to Black Power: Twentieth-century African American History and Culture

4 units Mon
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Laurie Woodard

Syllabus

Description

This interdisciplinary seminar looks at the formation and representation of African American identity within the context of the quest for the full rights of United States citizenship during the twentieth century. Throughout this complex period of United States history, African Americans made considerable gains in their pursuit of equal rights. Simultaneously, black identity underwent dramatic changes as the majority of African Americans transformed themselves from enslaved persons to New Negroes to Proud and Beautiful Black Americans. Largely barred from traditional politics and mainstream forms of communication, black men and women developed and relied upon alternative ways of speaking to one another about politics, economics, racism, white America, and society and culture. As cultural mediators, black artists illustrated and provoked transformations of black identity and black political consciousness. Not simply a “wing” of political activism, cultural production is inextricably intertwined with political agitation and social change. Focusing upon the intersection between the cultural and political realms, we will explore the roots and routes of the African cultural Diaspora as the foundation of urban, northern, politically conscious cultural production.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1420 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Reading Poetry

2 units Tue Thu
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Lisa Goldfarb

Syllabus

Description

Poetry is an art which can express our deepest feelings and thoughts about our human experience. Too many of us, however, encounter poetry timidly. We wonder how we can make meaning of poetic words and rhythms so distinct from those we use in our daily lives. In this course, we will work at developing poetic sensibilities, not by digging to find clues to the mysterious meanings of poems, but by gaining an understanding of how to read poetry as a language within a language. We will study how the concentrated language and sounds of poetry help us to grapple with the shades and subtleties of our own experience. The course will begin with a study of various verse forms, and then focus on the art of close reading. We will read many poems ranging from early English lyrics, popular ballads, and Shakespeare’s sonnets, to modern and contemporary poems, as well as poems originally written in other languages.

Notes

Course meets during the first seven weeks only, First Class: January 26; Last Class: March 10.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9150 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

BUENOS AIRES: Tango and Mass Culture (in Spanish)

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-BUENOS AIRES. This course explores Tango as an aesthetic, social and cultural formation that is articulated in interesting and complex ways with the traditions of culture and politics in Argentina and Latin America more generally. During the rapid modernization of the 1920s and 1930s, Tango (like Brazilian Samba), which had been seen as a primitive and exotic dance, began to emerge as a kind of modern primative art form that quickly came to occupy a central space in nationalist discourse. The course explores the way that perceptions of a primative and a modern converge in this unique and exciting art. In addition, the course will consider tango as a global metaphor with deeply embedded connections to urban poverty, social marginalization, and masculine authority.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9200 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

FLORENCE: History of Italian Fashion

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-FLORENCE. Students trace the birth, evolution, decline, revival, and most recent developments of Italian fashion from the Late Gothic Age to the present "made in Italy" design. Italian fashion styles are decoded in relation to art history in an international, social and economic context. Fashion and its connections with culture, subculture, gender and communication are emphasized. On-site visits also illustrate the dominating role of Florence in fashion from its origin until now. Conducted in English.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1872 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Impressionism: Myths and Modernism

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Todd Porterfield

Description

Scholars have often resorted to a variety of familiar cliches to interpret the artistic movement known as modernism. With an emphasis on the Impressionist school of painting, this class will take on those inherited truths, exploring them to tease out their paradoxes and contradictions. Some of the key myths we will explore include the idea of the metropolis (especially Paris) as the center of individual freedom; the notion that artistic change, fueled by technological innovation, is inevitably progressive; and the concept of scientific observation as the basis of knowledge and artistic practice. We will look especially at the idea that art is an autonomous realm, and ask why this vision of art emerged in an era framed by civil war, military defeat, and the emergence of trade and travel across colonial networks--the Caribbean, North Africa and the South Pacific--during an extensively colonial era. Some artists we will look at include: Manet, Monet, Degas, Cassatt, Gauguin, and Pissarro. This seminar will include study trips to the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum, and to MoMA, where we will visit the first exhibition of Degas monotypes in 50 years.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1421 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Wallace Stevens and the 20th Century

2 units Tue Thu
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Lisa Goldfarb

Syllabus

Description

Wallace Stevens holds an important place among modern American poets, and his work continues to exert a powerful influence on contemporary poets. Still, his readers continue to puzzle over Stevens’ work, especially as it relates to the most pervasive concerns of the twentieth century. In his poetry, Stevens tends to write little and indirectly about specific cataclysmic events of his time, yet his poetics, as enunciated in his prose, often rests on his understanding of the pressing questions of his day. In this course, we will take a close look at Stevens’ relationship to the twentieth century. While his poetry will be at the center of the class, we will focus our attention on how Stevens gives voice to the contradictions and complexities of the modern world. Stevens’ own work will be the main text of this course, yet readings will include contextual material drawn from literary criticism, intellectual history, philosophy, and politics. We will also consider the work of poets influenced by Stevens. Readings also may include poems and, in some cases, essays by John Ashbery, Edward Hirsch, Susan Howe, Adrienne Rich, Mark Strand, Tracy K. Smith, Maureen McLane, among others.

Notes

Course meets during the last seven weeks only, First Class: March 22; Last Class: May 5.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1867 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
SP 2016

Global Noodles: Silk Routes & Subway Connections

4 units
Section 003
Thu
4:55 PM - 6:10 PM

Syllabus

Description

Is this just an excuse to eat lots of noodles. Yes, it is! This basic research course is immersive education in the most delicious, fully embodied sensate, and legal way possible. Along the way, you’ll learn about the secret ingredient to noodle making, the oldest noodle, Italian or Chinese?, and what Genghis Khan did for modernity. And yes this course is also historical and sopping in critical cultural theory, you can tell your parents, as a way to learn about cross-cultural communication challenges, intermingled spaces, and embodied knowledges and practices. We will examine the historical and ongoing impacts of the silk route latitudinal and longitudinal movements throughout Central Asia on the vernacular cultures of global cities, such as the migrant friendly neighborhoods New York City. Part of what is unarticulated yet implied by global cities is the compression of longue durees of times/spaces in one distinctive time/space. Besides slurping for mouth feel, understanding family broth recipes, and storytelling practices, we’ll be documenting, making, analyzing, and appreciating the worlds of noodle practices and conveying our collaborative findings using the latest in mapping apps. Readings and films will include: work by Chef Ken Hom, histories by Morris Rossabi, Jared Diamond and Jack Weatherford, food and affect studies, and the use of CartoDB mapping software. Prerequisites – still loving  Tampopo  (1985) after three viewings, having comfy but stylish walking shoes, and purchasing two monthly Metro Cards.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 380 003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1867 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
SP 2016

Global Noodles: Silk Routes & Subway Connections

4 units
Section 002
Tue
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM

Syllabus

Description

Is this just an excuse to eat lots of noodles. Yes, it is! This basic research course is immersive education in the most delicious, fully embodied sensate, and legal way possible. Along the way, you’ll learn about the secret ingredient to noodle making, the oldest noodle, Italian or Chinese?, and what Genghis Khan did for modernity. And yes this course is also historical and sopping in critical cultural theory, you can tell your parents, as a way to learn about cross-cultural communication challenges, intermingled spaces, and embodied knowledges and practices. We will examine the historical and ongoing impacts of the silk route latitudinal and longitudinal movements throughout Central Asia on the vernacular cultures of global cities, such as the migrant friendly neighborhoods New York City. Part of what is unarticulated yet implied by global cities is the compression of longue durees of times/spaces in one distinctive time/space. Besides slurping for mouth feel, understanding family broth recipes, and storytelling practices, we’ll be documenting, making, analyzing, and appreciating the worlds of noodle practices and conveying our collaborative findings using the latest in mapping apps. Readings and films will include: work by Chef Ken Hom, histories by Morris Rossabi, Jared Diamond and Jack Weatherford, food and affect studies, and the use of CartoDB mapping software. Prerequisites – still loving  Tampopo  (1985) after three viewings, having comfy but stylish walking shoes, and purchasing two monthly Metro Cards.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 380 002.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1867 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
SP 2016

Global Noodles: Silk Routes & Subway Connections

4 units Tue Thu
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Jack Tchen

Syllabus

Description

Is this just an excuse to eat lots of noodles. Yes, it is! This basic research course is immersive education in the most delicious, fully embodied sensate, and legal way possible. Along the way, you’ll learn about the secret ingredient to noodle making, the oldest noodle, Italian or Chinese?, and what Genghis Khan did for modernity. And yes this course is also historical and sopping in critical cultural theory, you can tell your parents, as a way to learn about cross-cultural communication challenges, intermingled spaces, and embodied knowledges and practices. We will examine the historical and ongoing impacts of the silk route latitudinal and longitudinal movements throughout Central Asia on the vernacular cultures of global cities, such as the migrant friendly neighborhoods New York City. Part of what is unarticulated yet implied by global cities is the compression of longue durees of times/spaces in one distinctive time/space. Besides slurping for mouth feel, understanding family broth recipes, and storytelling practices, we’ll be documenting, making, analyzing, and appreciating the worlds of noodle practices and conveying our collaborative findings using the latest in mapping apps. Readings and films will include: work by Chef Ken Hom, histories by Morris Rossabi, Jared Diamond and Jack Weatherford, food and affect studies, and the use of CartoDB mapping software. Prerequisites – still loving  Tampopo  (1985) after three viewings, having comfy but stylish walking shoes, and purchasing two monthly Metro Cards.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 380 001. In order to register, students enroll in the lecture, IDSEM-UG 1867 001, and then select one of the recitations, IDSEM-UG 1867 002 or IDSEM-UG 1867 003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1837 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

How Art Works

4 units Tue
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Stephen Duncombe

Syllabus

Description

It's commonplace to say that art "moves" us. But what does that really mean and how, exactly, does this happen? For millennia the effect/affect of art has been theorized, debated, and worried over. This class takes as its core the question "How does art work?", and looks at the ways in which various philosophic, religious, educational, political, and scientific texts, from antiquity to the present, have attempted to answer this question. Exploration of this larger question depends on others: What are the ancient philosophers' hopes and fears regarding art's affective abilities? What is at stake in the debate over Biblical iconoclasm and the defense of religious art? How do theorists talk about the ineffable sublime, or categorize aesthetic judgment? How does the avant-garde frame its intersection with the political? What does neuroscience suggest about art's impact on our brains? How does art educate? Finally, does art, as the poet Auden once pondered, make nothing happen? Through readings and in class discussions, writing individual research papers and creating a collaborative on-line database, students will tackle our major question from a variety of disciplinary and historical perspectives. Through this broad survey, How Art Works will be approached as an open question: our goal is not to arrive at a definitive destination, but instead to explore the terrain.

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1280 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Revisioning the Classics

4 units Mon
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Sharon Friedman

Description

Re-visioning the classics, often in a subversive mode, has evolved into its own genre in recent years, and many of these literary and performance texts have been shaped by modernist and postmodern narrative innovations and avant-garde theatrical strategies. Several of these works are also informed by ideological criticism that reads “against the grain” of the “master-works” to produce new meanings. However, the revisionist genre also develops a tradition of literary and dramatic renderings of canonical works that look for continuity even in the context of stylistic invention and contemporary themes. This course examines assumptions and conventions surrounding intertextuality—the multiple ways in which texts and productions echo or are linked to earlier renditions. Readings (and viewings) include imaginative reinterpretations of myth, classical and modern drama, the novel, narrative poetry, dance performance as well as theoretical readings on revision and adaptation. Authors and artists may include: Aeschylus, Shakespeare, Henry James, Ola Rotimi, Joyce Carol Oates, Paula Vogel, W.B. Yeats, Adrienne Rich, Martha Graham.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1695 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
SP 2016

Competing Images of the Sage: Confucius and Lao Tzu

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Ethan Harkness

Syllabus

Description

Among the early Chinese philosophers whose ideas have framed moral, social and political discourse in East Asia, the figures of Confucius and Lao Tzu stand out, not only as thinkers of towering influence, but also as diametrically opposed archetypes of wisdom. In this seminar, we begin by reading the works attributed to each man, and then we proceed to examine the ways in which their legacies have been and continue to be appropriated by others. Toward this end we explore competing manifestations of Confucius and Lao Tzu in Chinese religion, in popular culture, and in the marketplace of ideas. Themes include the opposing impulses of idolization and iconoclasm, censorship and propaganda, and the sacralization and commercialization of traditional values. Apart from Confucius’  Analects  and Lao Tzu’s  Tao Te Ching , assignments may include  Lao-tzu and the Tao-te-ching  edited by Livia Kohn and Michael LaFargue, selections from  Early Daoist Scriptures  by Stephen R. Bokenkamp,  Confucius from the Heart: Ancient Wisdom for Today's World  by Yu Dan, and the controversial 2010 Hong Kong film  Confucius  starring Yun-fat Chow.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9201 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

FLORENCE: Topics in 19th Century Literature: Italy and Italians in English Literature from the Romantics to Modernism

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-FLORENCE. Romantic, Victorian, and Modernist writers in both Britain and the United States were fascinated by Italy. The "Italy and Italians" of the title refers not only to images and characters in the works of the British and American authors we will be reading but also to their affinities with Italian literature. Recurring themes in the course will be history and its uses in literature, gender and sexuality, democracy and aristocracy, language and power, and religion as an instrument of sexual repression.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9151 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

BUENOS AIRES: Myths, Icons, and Invented Traditions: A Cultural History of Latin America

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-BUENOS AIRES. Mitos, íconos y tradiciones inventadas is an advanced conversation course, which seeks to make students familiar with the rich and complex history of Latin America through the study of some of its most known and iconic cultural expressions. It does also work as an introductory map to the most influential and widespread approaches in Latin American social sciences, cultural studies and literary criticism. Thus, students will not only have a first encounter with key historical processes that lie behind some well know cultural icons, but also will be introduced to arguments and ways of writing that help constitute modern Latin American educated Spanish. The course will be structured in seven topics; each topic will be covered in two weeks. During these four classes, students will be exposed to different kinds of cultural materials, including literary texts, film, papers from several disciplines, theater plays, art shows and live concerts.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1215 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2016

Narrative Investigations I

4 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Stacy Pies

Syllabus

Description

How does narrative create a sense of identity and give value to our lives? What are the ethical implications of looking at knowledge as a construction of narrative? The concept of narrative is currently used across disciplines to describe how people, texts, and institutions create meaning. This course will explore the idea that stories organize our thinking and our lives. We will begin with Plato’s ideas on tragedy and Aristotle’s  Poetics , which later narrative explorations emulate and challenge. Our reading of Cervantes’s  Don Quixote , Diderot’s  Jacques the Fatalist , and modern fictions will investigate the ways fictional texts radically reinvent literary forms and question social conventions. The works of critics such as Bakhtin, Chatman, Schafer, and Iser will reveal how narrative has been adopted as both a theoretical model and a methodology within a variety of fields. Students will carry out projects that explore narrative trends within their particular areas of interest.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

LONDON: Seeing London's Architecture

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON. London, like New York is a rich and complicated city. Unlike New York however, it has been continuously occupied for just under 2000 years. Almost every epoch of London’s history can be detected in the city’s architecture and distinctive streetscape. This course is designed to work in three ways. Firstly it is an opportunity to learn about London’s architecture and art by physically exploring it. Secondly this class is an introduction to sketching and keeping a travel notebook, a basic and useful skill that any liberal arts student should have an experience of. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this course teaches how to 'read' a town or city. The ability to visually make sense of European built-environment should really help in understanding the architecture of New York City and, of course, town and cities throughout the United States, and anywhere else.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1116 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2016

Fate and Free Will in the Epic Tradition

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Antonio Rutigliano

Syllabus

Description

The role of the gods in human affairs inevitably raises the question of fate and free will. The epics, from the ancient world to the Renaissance, frequently reflect and define this debate. This course examines how the epics of Homer, Vergil, Dante and Milton not only mirror the philosophical and theological perceptions of the period, but sometimes forecast future debates on the issue. Readings may include the  Epic of Gilgamesh, Iliad  or  Odyssey, Aeneid,  and  Divine Comedy,  as well as selections from Plato's  Protagoras  or Aristotle's  Ethics , Cicero's  De Fato , Boethius's  Consolation of Philosophy , and Fromm's  Escape From Freedom .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1743 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

James Joyce and Interdisciplinary Modernism

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Gregory Erickson

Syllabus

Description

Application: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/utilities/forms/course-app.html For more information: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/academics/undergraduate/global/travelcourses/dublin-joyce.html Description: In this course we will read and discuss the major works of James Joyce with a focus on their significance to Modernism, literary theory, and to interdisciplinary scholarship. We will read  Dubliners, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Ulysses , and sections of  Finnegans Wake . We will pay particular attention to how different movements in literary theory have responded to Joyce’s work and will therefore read short critical essays by major and minor Joyce scholars. Our exploration of interdisciplinarity will include discussions of Joyce and music, religion, post-colonialism, history, sexuality, philosophy, intellectual property, and Irish Studies. We will also look at representations of Joyce’s work in music, dance, visual art, theater and film. We will be traveling as a class to Dublin over Spring break and therefore will focus throughout the course on the relationship of Joyce to Ireland past and present, and on issues of place, memory, and literary tourism. The course will include guest speakers and events at the Glucksman Irish House.

Notes

This course includes travel to Dublin, Ireland during the week of Spring Recess, March 13-20. Permission required: Application deadline is October 26, 2015. For more information and to apply, please click on course title and then link to application.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1861 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

Modern Architectures of South Asia

4 units Mon Wed
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Anooradha Siddiqi

Description

Struggles between nativisms and globalisms in architecture have produced significant iterations in South Asia; architecture’s modern practices and discourses within and outside the region have refracted a colonial and imperial imagery, national visions, regional and vernacular aesthetic inflections, and artistic, urban, and territorial worldviews. This course will focus on a history of architecture and planning that interrogates a history of South Asian modernism and modernity, examining constructions of each from within and beyond the subcontinent and its diasporas, through architecture’s many forms, including artifacts and practices of formal and informal building, territorial construction, photographic representation and other spatial imagery, criticism and writing, pedagogy, exhibitions and other public activity, and discourses on aesthetics. Course material spans the mid-nineteenth century to the present, and includes the study of work by both celebrated and little-known actors such as Edwin Lutyens, Otto Koenigsberger, Minnette de Silva, Louis Kahn, Charles Correa, and Brinda Somaya, and the projects of institutions and initiatives such as the Archaeological Survey of India and the Urban Study Group in Bangladesh. We will explore a range of writings, from Sir Banister Fletcher’s A History of Architecture to the journals MARG and Mimar, as well as architectural pedagogy as introduced to the subcontinent (and the colonies) in the Sir J.J. School of Art in what was once Bombay, and much later in the Centre for Environment Planning & Technology (CEPT) School of Architecture in Ahmedabad. We will also examine formal and informal urbanisms of sites such as Delhi, Chandigarh, Dhaka, and Dharavi, as well as geographies and architectures of war, scarcity, and borders, for which South Asia has become emblematic.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1856 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

The Politics, Ethics and Aesthetics of Photography

4 units Tue Thu
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
A.B. Huber

Description

The seminar begins with a short critical history of photography, and a consideration of its advent as something of a misfit art, before focusing on its increasing use as an instrument of visual evidence. We turn then to a series of case histories, from the early use of photography as a forensic tool at 19th century crime scenes, to the counter-forensic visual reconstructions of contemporary drone strikes in Pakistan, or recent police violence against unarmed civilians of color in the US. In each instance we ask how photography shapes what becomes visible or legible as violence, and what kinds of suffering—and what modes of resistance—move us affectively, ethically, politically. The seminar will introduce students to key theoretical works on photography (Benjamin, Kracauer, Sekula) as well as more recent critical interventions that help us reckon our own, and others, increasing exposure to surveillance and its neoliberal logics (Farocki, Steyerl, Weizman). How might the ubiquity of cameras inure or blind us to photography’s work? The seminar seeks to help students better understand the complex linkages between perception and understanding, and how photographs, as the modern visual form par excellence, shape our sense of the political world and our place in it. The course presumes an interest not only in photography, but in political and aesthetic theory.

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1862 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2016

Oedipus the King

2 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Laura Slatkin

Syllabus

Description

Oedipus: exemplary citizen or outlier? Savior of the city or its destroyer? Upholder or suspender of the law (including the law of kinship)? As a meditation on kingship as well as kinship, Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannos, first produced in the fifth century BCE, offers a complex Oedipus, if not, perhaps, an Oedipus complex. Sophocles' meditation on the polis, law, family, knowledge, the structure of mind, desire, and the disease in and of state has proved especially rich for philosophers, psychoanalysts, and theater artists: the play also famously provides the core example for Aristotle's meditation on tragedy in the Poetics. We will explore the OT as tragedy, as resource, as example and exception.

Notes

Some prior familiarity with Greek drama required, or permission of the instructor (laura.slatkin@nyu.edu). Course meets during the first seven weeks only, First Class: January 26; Last Class: March 8.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1202 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
SP 2016

Tragic Visions

4 units Tue Thu
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Bella Mirabella

Syllabus

Description

This course studies the nature of the tragic form in dramatic literature and performance, as well as its role in human existence. Focusing on two of the great periods of tragedy in Western literature and culture­—ancient Greece and Renaissance England—we read selected tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Shakespeare as well philosophical considerations of the tragic by, for example, Aristotle and Nietzsche. We examine these works in their social, political, and cultural contexts, while considering questions around gender, power, fate, free will, and the origins and evolution of tragedy as a literary and political genre. Readings might include, for example, Aeschylus', Agamemnon; Sophocles' Antigone or Oedipus; Euripides' Medea, as well as Shakespearean tragedies such as Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, or King Lear. Special attention is paid to performance, and we will also attend a performance.

Notes

Same as MEDI-UA 992 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1339 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Foucault: Biopolitics and the Care of the Self

4 units Fri
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Bradley Lewis

Syllabus

Description

French philosopher and cultural historian Michel Foucault’s radical approach to the power, knowledge, and subjectivity destabilized rigid distinctions between the individual and discursive structures, and it anticipated a new form of "bio-politics." These approaches have been broadly influential across the humanities, cultural studies, and social theory. Foucault’s later work on care of the self was devoted to understanding philosophy as a way of life, a spiritual exercise, and a practice of freedom. This work opens up new ways of thinking about ancient philosophy and religious life which is increasingly important for religious studies. This seminar is devoted to a close reading of Foucault’s work. Authors we discuss beyond Foucault include Plato, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Pierre Hadot.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1793 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Femininity, Postfeminism and Mass Media

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Moya Luckett

Syllabus

Description

Postfeminism is an ambiguous and often contradictory term whose very indeterminacy speaks to the difficulties in understanding contemporary relationships between feminism, femininity, citizenship and identity. Positioned simultaneously as a backlash against feminism, a testament to achieved gender equality, as a reclamation of traditional feminine values and a sign of female success, postfeminism’s significance is widely felt even as its specific meanings and cultural effects appear unclear. This class will examine postfeminism’s relationship to feminism and femininity, situating all three as historically and culturally significant manifestations of the female self. Closely linked to the development of neoliberalism with its emphasis on self-reliance, choice and privatization, postfeminism is largely a product of consumer culture and mass media that have particularly consequences for feminine identities and gender relations. This course will look at popular women’s media from the makeover show, to fashion magazines and blogs, chick films and television drama to explore how they manage tradition and promote a more privatized and commercial feminine self, negotiating the relationship between family responsibilities and more laissez faire ideas of female success and self-actualization.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1631 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

The U.S. Empire and the Americas

4 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Marie Cruz Soto

Description

The workings and even existence of a U.S. Empire has long been cause of controversy. The debate often revolves around whether the United States is guided by imperial self-interest, or by the pursuit of freedom. Because debates about U.S. imperialism since 9/11 have centered on interventions in seemingly distant places like Iraq and Afghanistan, Empire appears to denote a far-from-home phenomenon. Yet, the U.S. Empire is born out of and continues to depend upon (post)colonial interactions in the Americas. This course, therefore, explores the premise that the U.S. Empire is an American Empire continuously redefined closer-to-home through contested borders, migrations, local politics and cultural practices, and inseparable from hemispheric experimentations with the meanings of freedom, democracy and development. It specifically addresses: How can Empire be understood as a category of analysis? What distinguishes an American Empire? How are U.S. imperial formations negotiated “at home?” The course, in addition, foregrounds the U.S. relationship with Latin America in order to further question the meanings of home, America and Empire. Readings include texts from the disciplines of history, law, literature, political theory and cultural studies.

Notes

Same as HIST-UA 699 002.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1865 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Times of Trauma

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Judith Greenberg

Syllabus

Description

The shock of trauma can freeze a moment. Time can seem elongated or detached. But then, belatedly, a traumatic event can hauntingly return and feel present. How does trauma fracture narrative continuity and a cohesive sense of time? How can it collapse distinctions among past, present and future? This course will explore theories about the nature of time and the coherence or fragmentation of Self. It will consider how traumas are documented, narrated, and passed on individually and in art, memorials, and performance. Readings may include St. Augustine's  Confessions  (Book 11), Marcel Proust  Swann's Way , Virginia Woolf's  Between the Acts , W. B. Sebald's Austerlitz, Art Spiegelman's  Maus , Tim O'Brien's  The Things They Carried , Marguerite Duras'  The War , Patrick Modiano's  Dora Bruder , Saidiya Harman's  Lose Your Mother  and  The Melancholy of Race  by Anne Anlin Cheng.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1644 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

Labor and the Global Market: Literature, Film and History

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Valerie Forman

Description

Globalization has become a much-debated and deeply controversial topic. In this class, we will focus on the ways that labor has been represented and understood, especially in relationship to the development of capitalism in its global form. We will explore how the movement of capital, commodities, and workers across the globe and with seeming indifference to national borders shapes the idea of work and those who perform it. Of equal importance in our study will be the way that work transforms the structure of the global economy. Some primary questions we will explore are: How has the demand for labor required migration and imposed geographical dislocations? How does labor create value within these new locations? How do some gain control of the work of others? How do workers organize themselves and develop community in new locations? Some likely texts for the course include: Shakespeare’s  The Tempest , a Haitian novel about a sugar cane worker who migrates to the Dominican Republic, and a postcolonial play created and performed by workers from Kenya. We will place these fictional texts in conversation with visual representations by Diego Rivera, works by Marx, by anthropologists and narrative filmmakers on sex tourism and domestic labor, and by documentary filmmakers and historians on global corporations and utopian economies.

Notes

Same as COLIT-UA 550.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1772 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2016

Music and Civic Culture: Ancient and Modern

4 units Mon Wed
4:55 PM - 6:10 PM
Bruce King

Syllabus

Description

This course examines the role of music theory and musical performance in the formation of community, actual and utopic. We will begin our study with the musical, mathematical, and mystical thought of Pythagoras and his followers in the short-lived utopian community of Croton: How is “the Music of the Spheres” a paradigm both for ethical action within the community and for the progress of the soul within the cosmos? From Croton, we will turn to debates about music and civic culture in fifth-century democratic Athens: What forms of music and poetry sustain and subvert citizens and states? Is there a particularly “democratic” form of music? (Readings from Aeschylus, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plato, and Aristotle.) From ancient Greece, we will then turn to the late-nineteenth century efforts of Wagner, partially inspired by Athenian tragedy, to create the “Total Work of Art” in his Ring cycle of music-dramas and in the festival at Bayreuth; we will also read Nietzsche’'s (and Adorno’'s) responses to Greek tragedy and to Wagner. Finally, we will consider some twentieth-century experiments in music and art, especially those associated with Fluxus and with New York City (e.g., John Cage, Steve Reich, La Monte Young, Yoko Ono, The Velvet Underground), in dialogue with our earlier readings.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1675 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Popular Dance and American Cultural Identity

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Julie Malnig

Description

The course will examine forms of what are known as “social” or popular dance as expressions of cultural or group identity from approximately the 18th century to the present. These dances, from the secular tradition of American social dance, include those performed in ballrooms, cabarets, nightclubs, cabarets, discotheques, and the street. The seminar will explore various social and popular dance styles developed as a result of the rich fusions of West African, African American, Euro-American, and Latin American forms of dance within the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. Topics may include the colonial era and the dances of George Washington; ragtime couple dance and the New Woman; the lindy-hop and the of crossing racial boundaries; and teen dances and youth rebellion of the 1950s. In all cases, we will explore social and popular dance forms as experiences of movement that both respond and give shape to social, cultural, and political issues of the day. In addition to extensive viewing of dance, readings will include Mauss, “Techniques of the Body”; Katz, “The Egalitarian Waltz”; Hunter, “The Blues Aesthetic and Black Vernacular Dance”; Sante, Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York; Tomko, Dancing Class: Gender, Ethnicity, and Social Divides in American Dance; Peiss, Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn of the Century New York; Malone, Steppin’ on the Blues: The Visible Rhythms of African American Dance; Dinerstein, Swinging the Machine: Modernity, Technology, and African American Culture Between the World Wars; and Rose, Black Noise

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1482 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

Consuming the Caribbean

4 units Tue
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Millery Polyné

Description

Paradise or plantation? Spring break, honeymoon, or narcotics way station? First World host or IMF delinquent? Where do we locate the Caribbean? From Columbus’ journals to  Pirates of the Caribbean , the Caribbean has been buried beneath the sedimentation of imagery by and large cultivated by non-Caribbeans, including colonial governments, settlers, international tradesmen, tourist agents and their clients. Caribbean peoples have had to re-member the islands that they eventually called home—haunted by a history of slavery and still a site of consumption and exploitation. A unifying trope, Caribbean landscapes function as metaphor, emblem, or even character. This course takes an interdisciplinary and transnational approach by examining the material relations of consumption, which links places, bodies, capital, text, plants and landscapes, within the Caribbean, the U.S. and its former colonial powers. Thus, the study of the Caribbean emphasizes that the region is central to the understanding of modernity and globalization as a modern construct. Some of the theorists/writers we will engage are Edouard Glissant, Jamaica Kincaid, Maryse Condé, Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire and Mimi Sheller.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 721 003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1874 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Charles Dickens' Victorian London: Fictions of Urbanization

4 units Mon Wed
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Sara Murphy

Syllabus

Description

London is a Victorian city. That is to say, the years during which Queen Victoria reigned marked its growth and development as a truly modern and global metropolis--and, in fact, as these years saw the expansion and affirmation of the British Empire, an imperial city. Charles Dickens is perhaps the most important novelistic voice of that city, producing unforgettable images of its streets, its people, and its institutions throughout his writing career. In this course, we bring them together to engage a study of a writer and his works through the exploration of the development of London as a modern urban space. We'll begin the course with Dickens' journalism and shorter fiction, setting it in the context of the rise and expansion of the periodical press, and focus our attention on some of the major urban issues that arose in the mid-century: slum clearance, education, the rise of the middle class, and environmental issues that bear on a rapidly expanding urban space, such as the need for a modern sewage system. Then, to further investigate Dickens as novelist, we will center our attention on  Bleak House  (1852-53) and Little Dorrit (1855-1857). Punctuating our reading and discussion of this novel, we will travel to London over spring break.

Notes

This course includes travel to London, England during the week of Spring Recess, March 13-20. Permission required: Application deadline is October 26, 2015. For more information and to apply, please click on course title and then link to application.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1777 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Sex Crimes, Sex Panics

4 units Mon
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Cyd Cipolla

Syllabus

Description

The idea of the incorrigible sexual monster still lingers in the discourses of medicine and law. This fact is never plainer than in the moments of crisis and panic following revelations of sexual misconduct. Through analysis of historical case studies and discussion of recent events, students in this class will explore ways that sexuality has been criminalized (and decriminalized) and pathologized (and depathologized). Students will have the option of preparing a final case study, a final research paper, a research proposal, or artistic based historical project under direction of the instructor. Readings include works by Gayle Rubin, Michel Foucault, Cesar Lombroso, Richard von Krafft-Ebing, Stanley Cohen, and Sigmund Freud.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1765 Lib Arts
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

Media and Empire

4 units Tue Thu
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Paula Chakravartty

Syllabus

Description

What does the telegraph and cinema, the Internet and new social media, have to do with empire building? Contemporary discussions about media and technology often focus on how the ways in which our world today has been radically transformed by new kinds of information technologies and novel forms of globalized cultures, yet uneven media flows have long connected the world through processes of imperialism. We will begin at the height of European colonialism in the 19th century, and move forward through the period of decolonization and the Cold War era of the 20th century, into current debates about US hegemony and decline. We will focus on the significance of communication technologies in establishing military and economic power and the role of the mass media in shaping our ideas about racial supremacy and cultural difference. We will also consider the role of these same media and information technologies to challenge colonial domination, mis-representation and imperial rule in the 20th and 21st centuries, with a geographical focus on Africa, Asia and Latin America in relation to Britain and US imperial legacies. Authors we will read include: Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Niall Ferguson, Stuart Hall, Anne McClintock, Edward Said and Ella Shohat, among others

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1567 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
or GLOBAL
SP 2016

The Arabian Nights

4 units Mon
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Sinan Antoon

Description

 The Arabian Nights  ( The Thousand and One Nights ) is one of the most fascinating "world" texts. Since its translation and publication in European languages it has captivated the imagination of countless writers and artists such as Poe, Joyce, Borges, Mahfouz, and Rushdie. It continues to play a disproportionate role in constructing and perpetuating an essentialized and imaginary East, populated by violent and hypersexual beings. The narratives of the  Nights  and the cultural archive they have spawned have had a fascinating influence on literary and artistic production, popular culture, and political imagination. The course introduces students to this important world masterpiece and the debates surrounding it. We will start out by briefly tracing the genealogy of this collectively authored and anonymous text, its collection, and versions and the cultural context of its translation and popularity in the west. We will then explore the literary structure and narrative strategies and dynamics of the  Nights , read some of its most famous cycles and discuss how they have been read from a variety of perspectives, focusing primarily on gender and sexuality, power and politics, and otherness and boundaries. In the last part of the course we will read some of the modern literary works inspired by the  Nights  (Borges, Mahfouz, and Rushdie) and will end by watching and exploring how the  Nights  fared in adaptations in popular culture, especially in the US. All readings in English.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9251 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

LONDON: Art and War, 1914-2004

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON. This 15 week course will take an in-depth yet wide-ranging look at an important but curiously neglected aspect of modern western visual culture. Within a broadly chronological structure, topics to be dealt with will include the following: the relationship between art and atrocity, and the attendant problem of the aestheticisation of horror; the crucial influence of photography and the growth of mass communications; the issue of censorship, both external and internal, and the related issue of the "limits of representation" (above all, in relation to the Holocaust and Hiroshima); the distinction between official and unofficial war art, and between art and propaganda, between art that endorses and even glorifies war and an art of protest; issues of gender and sexuality; questions of cultural memory and the memorialization process, and the representation of war in contemporary art practice. It will consist of a combination of informal lectures, student presentations, at least one gallery visit, and the occasional film showing.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1369 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

Japan and the Discovery of Interiority

4 units Mon Wed
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Nina Cornyetz

Syllabus

Description

The process of modernization in Western Europe spanned hundreds of years, from its nascent origins in the Renaissance, through the Enlightenment, into the twentieth century. In Japan this same process was collapsed into a few short decades around the turn of the nineteenth century. We will examine the shift from a premodern to a modern system of subjectivity and perspective in language, literature, and the performing arts. We will ask: What was the impact of Western imperialism, science, art, gender and sexual politics on Japanese language, literature and film? What were the internal conditions that made Japan ready for modernization? How did premodern conventions create a modernity in Japan different from Western models? What resisted modernization, and why? Our texts will include literature  The Miner  (Sôseki),  In Praise of Shadows  (Tanizaki), Ankoku butô dance, and secondary sources on history, language, and society, including Karatani,  Origins of Modern Japanese Literature .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9402 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

PRAGUE: Civil Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-PRAGUE. Civil resistance is not the same as opting out of society or having views that go against the grain. It is fundamentally about deciding not to conform with repressive regimes. It is also about choosing a mode of action that brings with it personal dangers even when, as is usual, it advocates non-violence. This course examines the nature and significance of civil resistance in Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th century. In studying resistance literature (including poetry and song), art and film, we will draw on ideas and arguments from the disciplines of history, political science, literature, art criticism, film studies and psychology.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9100 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

BERLIN: Berlin's Modern History and Culture: A European Perspective

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-BERLIN. Germany’s profound influence on Modern European history and culture is felt nowhere as visibly as in Berlin. This interdisciplinary course analyzes the city’s contributions to culture––in literature, memoir, music, film and painting––and its politics in the wider context of European trends. The course provides a comprehensive survey of Modern Berlin history and examines how artists reflected on those changing times. Special topics include: Christopher Isherwood’s fictionalized memoirs during the Weimar Years, the Nazi Aesthetic during the Berlin 1936 Olympics as constructed by filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, the photo-realist reflections of painter Gerhard Richter on terrorism in Berlin in the 1970s, and Germany’s literary reassessment of guilt and victimhood following reunification. Readings and lectures are supplemented with walking tours of Berlin and its museums, to look at traces of historical, social and cultural change in situ; how memory, history and place interact over time in specific locations.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1781 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

A Sense of Place

2 units Fri
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Steve Hutkins

Syllabus

Description

This course examines the places in which we work and play, travel and dwell—the office tower and the suburban house, the city street and the superhighway, the small town and the megalopolis, the shopping mall and the theme park, the American road and foreign places. Synthesizing insights from literary works and fields like cultural geography, landscape studies, and architectural history, we explore such questions as: What gives a place its particular feel or character? How do our values and worldview affect the way we experience places, and what constitutes that experience? How do places—and the way they are represented in literature and other media—shape our attitudes and behavior? What gives a place "quality," and how can we design and build better places? Readings may include J. B. Jackson’s  Landscape in Sight , Yi-Fu Tuan’s  Space and Place , James Kunstler’s  The Geography of Nowhere , D. J. Waldie’s  Holy Land , Italo Calvino’s  Invisible Cities , and Michael Sorkin’s  Twenty Minutes in Manhattan .

Notes

Course meets during the first seven weeks only, First Class: January 29; Last Class: March 11.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9403 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

PRAGUE: Central European Film

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-PRAGUE. This interdisciplinary seminar is designed to discuss and question the identity of specific nations in European space, which has always been a fascinating crossroad of ideas and ideologies as well as the birthplace of wars and totalitarian systems. The course will cover masterpieces of Russian, Hungarian, German, Polish and Czech cinematography, focusing on several crucial periods of history, in particular WWII and its aftermath, showing moral dilemmas of individuals and nations under the Nazi regime as well as revealing the bitter truth of the Stalinist years.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1738 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

The Cultural Politics of Bad Taste

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Julian Cornell

Syllabus

Description

This seminar investigates the ideological, political and historical parameters of ‘taste’ in popular culture. Through examination of media artifacts that exemplify ‘trash,’ the course examines how ‘taste’ is constituted as a cultural category that reflects, produces and maintains the social structures of American society. What is meant by designations such as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ media, ‘high and ‘low’ art, ‘offensive’ or ‘artistic’ and who is empowered to make these distinctions? How do ‘bad objects’ reveal the ideological basis of ‘taste,’ and what is their relationship to ‘legitimate’ art forms? Does ‘trash’ pose a challenge to cultural standards of taste and ‘the mainstream?' What is the relationship between ‘bad’ art and spectatorship and why might audiences find ‘trash’ so enthralling? Readings are drawn from Bourdieu’s  Distinction , Glynn’s  Tabloid Culture , Ross’  No Respect , and the anthology  Trash Culture , while screenings include cult films such as  Mystery Science Theater 3000, Pink Flamingos, Plan 9 From Outer Space, South Park,  and  The Room , and a selection of reality TV programs, music and viral videos.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9102 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

BERLIN: Topics in German Cinema

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-BERLIN. Berlin is one of the most well-known film cities in the world. This course wants to introduce you to the study of German cinema by looking at changing images of the city since the postwar period. The course will begin with an introduction to film analysis, giving special attention to the relationship between film and city. We will go on to discuss a number of influential productions from East, West and reunified Germany, and draw comparisons to other German as well as non-German city films. Through seminar discussions, reading responses, and critical essays, you will gain an understanding of how the cinema has engaged with the city of Berlin and its transformations since the end of the Second World War.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9400 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

PRAGUE: Modern Dissent in Central Europe: The Art of Defeat

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-PRAGUE. Totalitarian ideologies which were used in European political discourse in the twentieth century to explain major historical changes have changed forever the relationship between the state and its citizens. The aspiration of the totalitarian state to acquire total control over individual lives through control of education, employment and health systems succeeded beyond anything perceived possible until then in any political regime after European Enlightenment. Nazism and Communism mobilized irrationally motivated mass support and won power in a very short time. Their success was partially based on a mass propaganda, using fear as primary instinctive argument against a picture of both external and internal enemies. The major focus of the course will be oriented towards topics trying to explain the reasons for mass support for totalitarian ideologies and states on the basis of individual psychology. We will examine psychological explanations of a selfvictimisation, role of a victim and a perpetrator, majority society response to mass human rights abuses and the abusive past. On this background a phenomenon of a political and cultural dissent will be introduced and discussed. The role of electronic mass media, antiglobalisation movements and global terrorism are discussed as possible modern vehicles of totalitarian tendencies and reactions against them.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9252 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

LONDON: History of British Fashion

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON: This interdisciplinary seminar serves as a broad overview for several centuries of British male and female fashion trends, from roughly the Tudor period to today. The course focuses on ways that modes and standards of dress evolved in response to political, economic and technological developments; empire and immigration; changing gender and class formations; and the vagaries of popular culture. In short, the course examines not only what people wore at different historical moments, but why they wore what they did, and how they felt about it. Readings come from the fields of literature, history, art history, gender studies, and sociology.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1544 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
WI 2016

Frantz Fanon: Humanism, Revolution and the Decolonization of the Mind

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
11:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Millery Polyné

Description

This class examines the canonical text Wretched of the Earth ( Les Damnés de la Terre , 1961) by Martinican-born psychoanalyst and social philosopher Frantz Fanon. What is the relevance of Fanon's classic text and his insight on the revolutionary potential of the poor and intellectuals in our current world? Is there a "healing psychological force" in revolutionary action? This course provides a theoretical introduction to Jean-Paul Sartre's understanding of existentialism and bad faith and its influences on Fanon. More importantly, we will examine Fanon's ideas on existential humanism, the role of violence and tragedy in decolonization, and his notion of an "authentic existence" within and beyond post-colonial context.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1752 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
WI 2016

This Mediated Life: An Introduction to the Study of Mass Media

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Julian Cornell

Description

This interdisciplinary seminar will provide an intensive introduction to the study of mass media. Utilizing wide ranging critical and theoretical methodologies, the course will consider how media alternately reflects and forms our sense of politics, economics, race, gender, sexuality and citizenship. The course will be concerned with questions such as: What function does mass media serve for society? How does a media saturated cultural environment shape our identity? How do mass media forms delineate and naturalize prevailing ideologies and ways of being in the world? Can media provide a means to challenge cultural and political hegemony? Readings will be drawn from Berger’s Media Analysis Techniques  and Jenkins’ Convergence Culture  as well as the anthologies The Media Studies Reader  and Gender, Race and Class in the Media and the course will include excerpts from the films The Dark Knight Returns, The Secret  and  The Truman Show television shows such as Family Guy, The Simpsons, South Park and The X-Files , and a selection of other media forms, including blogs, radio shows, podcasts, magazines, music videos and social media sites.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1830 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
WI 2016

Arab Cinema(s)

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Sinan Antoon

Description

The Arab world is a vast region encompassing vibrant societies and dynamic cultures, but its geopolitical importance and a resilient Orientalism often reduce it to Hollywoodish stereotypes and misrepresentations. One way of transcending these misrepresentations is to ask: How do Arab filmmakers represent their own reality cinematically? This course introduces students to contemporary Arab cinema. We will begin by briefly examining the introduction of the medium in colonial times and trace its development both as an industry as well as an art form through the national era all the way to the neoliberal present. We will view and critically examine a number of selected films that represent the diversity of the region, but also the shared concerns and common sociopolitical struggles and challenges facing its societies. We will focus on key moments, both aesthetically and politically, and will explore how filmmakers negotiate and represent the following: anti-colonialism and liberation, nationalism and national identity, gender and sexuality, communal strife and civil wars, class struggle and social justice, globalization and neoliberalism, and the recent revolts. Texts will include Said’s “Orientalism,” Shafik’s “Arab Cinema,” Khatib’s “Filming the Modern Middle East.” Films will include Chahine’s “Alexandria Why?”Abu As`ad’s “Paradise Now” Tlatli’s “Silence of the Palace,” and Oday Rasheed’s “Quarantine.”

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9401 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2016

PRAGUE: Kafka and His Contexts

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-PRAGUE. "A book must be an ax for the frozen sea in us," wrote Franz Kafka (1883-1924), one of the best known but least understood authors of our times. In this course, we will break some of the clichés which are stuck to Kafka's life and work and dive into the fascinating, intricate and profoundly humorous world of his thoughts and emotions. In Prague, the city that determined and held Kafka in its "claws", we will trace the possible sources of the writer's private obsessions which became the general characteristics of modern men: The sense of isolation, the anxiety, the self-irony, the sense of responsibility and guilt, the quest for freedom, the struggle of an individual against the system. We will read selected works of Kafka, but also Meyrink - the author of Prague ghetto - and Milan Kundera. This course aims to bring the students to a point from which they can find their own genuine and intimate understanding of Kafka's writing.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1750 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Good Design: Scale

4 units Tue Thu
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Louise Harpman

Description

Good Design takes as its premise that visual literacy is a vital yet under-examined area of academic discourse. Although we engage the designed environment every day, non-specialists have few ways to make sense of the myriad decisions that come together to form things and places. Through a combination of reading, drawing, writing, and model-making, this course asks students to examine the complex intersections between analyzing existing designs and creating new work. One central question is whether design principles that operate at a small scale, say the scale of a hand-held object, are also appropriate at a larger scale, like the scale of human habitation. The course uses scale as a lens through which to engage this question, as readings and projects consider the design of something you can hold (such as a tool), the design of something that can hold the body (such as clothing or furniture), and something that can be inhabited (such as a dwelling). Discussions of the readings, analytic writing, and presentation of student-designed work will structure the majority of course meetings. Authors will include: Edgar Kaufmann, Jr. and the original Museum of Modern Art curatorial Good Design texts from the 1950s; Paola Antonelli, Humble Masterpieces: Everyday Marvels of Design; Pietra Rivoli, The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy; Jay Greene, Design is How It Works; Richard Dyer, White. Field trips to MoMA and other design museums are scheduled.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1735 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

American Narratives II

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
George Shulman

Syllabus

Description

The goal of this course is to create a conversation between post world war two American literature and political thought. We focus especially on the relationship between theorists making arguments using the genre of the treatise or monograph, and literary artists dramatizing protagonists acting in fictional worlds. What theoretical and political difference do differences of genre make in how readers (and citizens) apprehend and act in the world? But we also pursue more substantive questions. First, how is politics (and the meaning of democracy) represented in both theory and fiction? Second, how do literary artists represent and rework the dominant idioms tropes of American politics - especially ideas of the frontier, self-making, freedom, and related claims to American exceptionalism? Third, how are the politics of race and gender addressed in and by literary art in comparison to works of theory? Fourth, do critics and writers affirm -or dramatize and trouble- the pervasive and typically unquestioned attachment to the idea of "America?" What is the relationship between re-imagining (and redeeming) American nationhood, and in contrast, imagining anti-national or diasporic identifications? Our theorists include C. Wright Mills, Norman O. Brown, Sheldon Wolin, Judith Butler, Jacques Ranciere, Lauren Berlant, Kimberlee Crenshaw, Gloria Anzaldua, and Eve Sedgwick; our literary artists may include Thomas Pynchon, Norman Mailer, Allan Ginsberg, Phillip Roth, James Baldwin, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison.

Notes

Prerequisite IDSEM-UG 1592 or IDSEM-UG 1844 or IDSEM-UG 1450 or IDSEM-UG 1272 or permission of the instructor (gms1@nyu.edu).

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1711 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2016

Politics, Writing and the Nobel Prize in Latin America

4 units Mon Wed
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Linn Cary Mehta

Syllabus

Description

In the course of the twentieth century, seven Latin American authors have won the Nobel Prize: Gabriela Mistral (1945); Miguel Angel Asturias (1967); Pablo Neruda (1971); Gabriel García Márquez (1982); Octavio Paz (1990); Rigoberto Menchú (Peace Prize, 1992); Mario Vargas Llosa (2010). Together, they give us a chance to consider some of the major literary and political movements in Latin America leading up to the present. Through novels and autobiography, Asturias and Menchú explore very different aspects of the indigenous struggle in Guatemala; the poetry of Mistral and Neruda reveals the successive influences of surrealism, communism, socialism, up to the eve of the Pinochet coup in Chile; the novels of García Márquez in Colombia and Vargas Llosa in Peru embody different sides of magical realism; and Paz, in Mexico, in his poetry and essays, represents a country that has been a literary cornerstone of Latin America. We will look at these authors in the context of the history, politics, and anthropology of their respective countries, and conclude by considering a few authors who did not get the prize but were equally deserving,such as Jorge Luis Borges and Roberto Bolaño.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1314 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Literary and Cultural Theory: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Sara Murphy

Syllabus

Description

In this course, we will examine several questions that arise for students interested in the relation of theory to interdisciplinary study. What is theory essentially? How does it help us to develop approaches and shape questions for study? What are some influential theoretical schools and theoreticians? What do they say and how might they be related to one another? We will proceed through readings from Structuralism to Post-structuralism, focusing on language, feminism, psychoanalysis, deconstruction and interpretations of power and discourse. Authors considered may include Levi-Strauss, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, and Luce Irigaray.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1061 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Literary Forms and the Craft of Criticism

4 units Wed
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Sharon Friedman

Description

This seminar focuses on the study of literature and literary criticism. Through close reading of a range of literary forms, including short stories, novels, plays, and narrative essays, we identify the conventions that characterize each genre (including the blurring of genres) and that invite various strategies of reading. In addition to the formal analysis of each work, we will consider theoretical approaches to literature—for example, new historicism, postcolonial studies, feminist and gender analysis, and psychoanalytic criticism—that draw on questions and concepts from other disciplines. Attention will be given to the transaction between the reader and the text. The aims of the course are to encourage students to make meaning of literary works and to hone their skills in written interpretation. Authors may include Poe, Melville, Chekhov, Hawthorne, Bellow, Beckett, Baldwin, Woolf, Morrison, Conrad, Gordimer, Achebe, Kincaid, and Erdrich.

Notes

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1836 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2016

Fashion, Politics and Justice

4 units Mon
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Paula Chakravartty

Syllabus

Description

This course offers an overview of the political economy of the 21st century fashion industry. Focusing on specific transnational supply chains, we follow the globalized production and consumption of garments and brands, and examine closely the debates about gender and globalization, economic and social development, labor standards, sustainability and activism. Some of the questions we will explore include: How do we account for the globalization of the garment industry? What are the politics of today’s global “fast fashion” industry both in the global South and in the North? Do alternatives such as ethical fashion initiatives by designers, programs for corporate social responsibility and campaigns of consumer activism offer meaningful interventions? What role do workers in the fashion industry—from garment workers to retail workers, to models—play in shaping discussions about a more just and sustainable future for fashion? We draw from interdisciplinary scholarship ranging from anthropology and sociology to media studies and race and ethnic studies. Readings for this course may include: Sarah Banet-Weiser’s  Commodity Activism ; Jane Collins  Threads: Gender, Labor Power in the Global Apparel Industry; Jill Esbenshade’s  Monitoring Sweatshops: Workers, Consumers, and the Global Apparel Industry ; Kendra Coulter’s  Revolutionizing Retail: Workers, Political Action, and Social Change ; Naila Kabeer’s  The Power to Choose ; Nancy Plankey Videla  We are in this Dance Together;  and Lisa Richey’s   Brand Aid .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9550 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
FA 2016

TEL AVIV: Ancient Israel History and Archaeology: Travelers, Collectors, and Antiquities Robbers

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-TEL AVIV. The story of the archaeological discipline in the Land of Israel is strongly tied with the major developments that the region has undergone in the last two centuries. This course offers an overview of the history of archaeology in Palestine since the appearance of the first European travelers and missionaries in the mid-19th century, along the vibrant interest of collectors, forgers and robbers in the Promised Land, through the appearance of the first scientific excavations, the rise of the American biblical archaeology and its influence on local Israeli research. Special attention will be given to the way the newly born Israeli archaeology helped to establish the Zionist identity that wished to pass over two thousand years of Diaspora history; the methods by which the nascent Israeli archaeology connected new-comers to the land of the patriarchs and the manner by which Israeli scholars served state interests in the creation of the national Zionist ethos. The aftermath of the Six Days War and the increasing tension between the Bible and archaeology will be discussed in light of the intense debate over the historicity of the Exodus story, Joshua's conquests and the United Kingdom of David and Solomon. Finally, at the turn of the millennium, post-modern archaeology presented a new pluralistic view of the past. This multi-vocal framework will be used as a background for discussing the archaeology of otherness and minorities in 21st century Israel.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1618 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Media and Fashion

4 units Wed
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Moya Luckett

Syllabus

Description

This course will examine the roles fashion plays in film, television and digital media and their cultural and economic significance. As a signifying system in its own right, fashion contributes to the semiotics of popular forms. It can also operate as a means of authentication (especially in period films and TV) or reveal a variety of ways in which media plays with space and time, purposeful or not. Besides evoking specific temporalities and narrative tone, fashion plays an important role in the construction of gender, both in terms of representation and address. This course will examine the history of the intersection of the fashion and media industries from the free distribution of film-related dress patterns in movie theaters of the 1910s to the current trend for make-over TV, networks like the Style network, the increasing proliferation of fashion blogs and the construction of specifically feminine video games. How does fashion’s specific configuration of consumerism, signification and visual pleasure lend itself to the articulation of modern/postmodern cultures and their presentation of the self? Texts will include Stella Bruzzi and Pamela Church Gibson,  Fashion Cultures: Theories, Explanations and Analysis ; selections from Roland Barthes,  The Fashion System ; Elizabeth Wilson,  Adorned in Dreams: Fashion and Modernity ; assorted articles and selected clips from films and television shows including  Marie Antoinette ,  What Not To Wear ,  The New York Hat, Fashions of 1934, Now, Voyager  and  Sex and the City .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9102 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

BERLIN: Topics in German Cinema

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-BERLIN. Berlin is one of the most well-known film cities in the world. This course wants to introduce you to the study of German cinema by looking at changing images of the city since the postwar period. The course will begin with an introduction to film analysis, giving special attention to the relationship between film and city. We will go on to discuss a number of influential productions from East, West and reunified Germany, and draw comparisons to other German as well as non-German city films. Through seminar discussions, reading responses, and critical essays, you will gain an understanding of how the cinema has engaged with the city of Berlin and its transformations since the end of the Second World War.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1642 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Celebrity Culture

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Moya Luckett

Syllabus

Description

This class investigates celebrity culture as a transmedia phenomenon, exploring what it reveals about a culture and its awareness of self. It analyzes celebrity culture from the late nineteenth century to the present, exploring the role of photography, print media, postcards, movies, television, recorded music and digital media. We will consider how media turn to celebrity at a particular point in their history, often as they start to move away from novelty forms and reach mass audiences and acquire a certain “maturity.” Besides examining the different configurations of celebrity produced in each media form, and its relationship to prevailing concerns about fame and the construction of self, we will examine the difference between celebrity and stardom. In the process, we will explore what celebrity discourses reveal about the changing relationship between private and public spheres, work and leisure, and the status of upward mobility and the American dream in twentieth- and twenty-first-century culture.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)