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Courses

Found 346 courses
IDSEM-UG1698 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
EARLY
WI 2016

The Social Contract: Early Modern European Political Theory

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
2:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Justin Holt

Description

What holds a society together? This course will explore one influential answer to this foundational question within philosophy and social theory, namely social contract theory as it developed within early modern European political philosophy. Modern assumptions about the relationship between individual and society, private property and ownership, rationality, economics and the market, and rights and responsibilities of citizenship have all been shaped by social contract theory. But, even though this theory has enjoyed great influence, it has been severely criticized as unrealistic and biased towards individualism and property holders. We will read the foundational social contract works in this course and try to understand their assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses. The works to be read will include: Hobbes' De Cive, Locke's Two Treatises of Government, and Rousseau's The Social Contract.

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-UG1849 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SU 2016

Black Lives Matter: Race, Resistance and Popular Protest

4 units Tue Thu
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Frank Roberts

Description

The age of the Obama Presidency has been plagued by a number of highly publicized police cases involving the shooting of unarmed black citizens at the hands of law enforcement and/or local vigilantes. In the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown, Vonderrick Myers, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, and others, the recent #blacklivesmatter movement has emerged largely in response to histories of state sanctioned violence against black and brown bodies. This seminar links the #blacklivesmatter” movement to four broader phenomena: 1) the rise of the U.S. prison industrial complex and the increasing militarization of inner city communities, 2) the role of media in influencing national conversations about race and racism, 3) the state of racial justice activism in the purportedly “post-racial” Obama Presidency, and 4) the increasingly populist nature of decentralized protest movements in the U.S. We will debate and engage with a variety of topics, including the moral ethics of “looting” and riotous forms of protest; violent vs. nonviolent civil disobedience; the media myth of “black on black” crime; coalitional politics and the black feminist and LGBTQ underpinnings of the #blacklivesmatter movement; comparisons between the blacklivesmatter movement and the U.S. civil rights movement; and the dynamics of political protest among the millennial and post-millennial generations. Readings will likely include writings by Cornel West, Michelle Alexander, James Cone, Osaygefo Sekou, Imani Perry, Frederick Harris. Our reading material will also be supplemented by guest speakers and media activists who have played prominent roles in the blacklivesmatter movement.

Notes

Session II: July 5 - August 14

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

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)

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

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

Intensive: May 23 - June 9

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-UG1771 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

The Promise and Pitfalls of Markets

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Ngina Chiteji

Description

In his classic text, the Wealth of Nations, the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith argued that the human propensity to "truck, barter and exchange" would naturally lead to socially optimal outcomes if people were left to trade freely, without any government interference in markets. This idea that a competitive market can lead to efficient outcomes is a central tenet of economic theory today. Moreover, the more general belief that markets know what's best is widely held throughout U.S. society. This course is designed to teach students about what economics has to offer to the analysis of markets and the ways that firms make decisions. It also will include analyses of market outcomes from scholars in disciplines outside economics,  and   some   discussion of firms' ethical obligations .  In its exploration of these topics, the course draws largely on disciplines such as economics, sociology, moral philosophy, and the law.  Readings may include texts such as the following: Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich,  Winner-Take-All Markets by Robert Frank, and The Globalization Paradox by Dani Rodrik .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1466 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

The Philosophy and Welfare Politics of Distributional Justice

4 units Fri
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Justin Holt

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1466

Description

Are the outcomes of capitalist exchanges fair or unfair? Is capitalism supportive or detrimental to democratic virtues? Does the welfare state rectify the problems of capitalism or exacerbate them? John Rawls’ work  A Theory of Justice  has greatly shaped these considerations of the welfare state. His theory refined many of the debates concerning the fairness of capitalist economic outcomes and the effects capital accumulation has on democratic virtues. According to Rawls, the welfare state in some form was necessary for capitalism to have morally acceptable outcomes. But, critics of Rawls have called into question welfare state interventions, many finding them economically inefficient and detrimental to democratic virtues. Other critics have founds Rawls’ theory to be too limited in its impact, thereby supporting more extensive interventions into capital accumulation. In this course we will try to answer questions about the morality of capitalist accumulation by studying theoretical conceptions of Rawls’ work and the responses of his critics. The main texts of Rawls’ critics we will consider are Nozick’s  Distributive Justice  and Cohen's  Rescuing Justice and Equality . These theoretical conceptions will be contrasted with the case studies contained in Esping-Andersen’s  The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1628 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Think Big: Global Issues and Ecological Solutions

4 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Mitchell Joachim

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1628

Description

What are the most stimulating solutions to global climate change? If we were given an imaginary “client” with an unlimited budget and colossal power, what should we design? The resounding formula for green thinking is broadly interpreted in three meta-themes; apocalyptic, technological, and traditional. Each category promises solutions and/or interpretations of our current environmental calamity. We explore critical philosophical, artistic, and scientific positions in each meta-theme that help elucidate this dilemma. Students read, evaluate, and synthesize projects and texts from great minds such as William Cronon, Bill McKibben, Bruce Mau, Mike Davis, Marshall McLuhan, Bjorn Lomborg, David Orr, Paul Virilio, Marshall McLean, Laurence Buell, and others. The final project is the production of a mock Madison Avenue advertising campaign that promotes urban “sustainability.”

Notes

Sect 002 for Environmental Studies majors.

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

IDSEM-UG1518

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-UG1521 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2016

Political Theology

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1521

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-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-UG1821 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Democracy and Difference

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Rosanne Kennedy

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1821

Description

This seminar focuses on what political theorists call "democratic theory," which addresses the defining institutions, cultural meaning, inherent difficulties, and contemporary crisis of specifically "democratic" forms of political life. We begin by reviewing classical and contemporary formulations of what democracy is, for what can be called liberal, deliberative, communitarian, and agonistic approaches entail very definitions of democracy, contrasting senses of its dangers and possibilities, as well as divergent visions of citizenship and public life, political culture and modernity. Then we consider these approaches in relation to the issue of  difference:  how do they explain and address the persistence of racialized and gendered forms of inequality in regimes committed to formal and legal equality? Why are formally democratic societies typically characterized by intense struggle over issues of identity and difference, not only race, gender, and sexuality, but also immigration? Our seminar concludes by exploring the relation between democratic regimes and empire, state violence, and national security: how does "democracy" become the name for a regime engaged in permanent war, torture, surveillance of citizens, and suspension of civil liberties?

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1299 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Objectivity and the Politics of the Journalism Revolution

4 units Wed
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Paul Thaler

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1299

Description

At the birth of this nation, it was assumed by journalists and their readers that journalists were partisans, telling stories from particular points of view. But the growth of the modern newspaper combined with the ideals of science transformed the image, self-image, and practice of journalism, which now claims to worship at the altar of objectivity, to present information or “news” without bias. This ethic has carried over to the contemporary media, despite challenges from critics. Rather than multiple media outlets presenting different optics or lenses through which to see events and their contexts, media outlets claim to speak impartially. In this course we examine this ideal or promise: is it possible? desirable? To pursue this inquiry we consider challenges to objectivity by figures such as Truman Capote, who linked a “new journalism” to a personal point of view, Robert McChesney, whose corporate media perspective provides a powerful macro analysis of modern journalism, and Jay Rosen, who articulates the postmodern shifts brought on by the Internet that have redefined and realigned the relationship between the journalist and audience. Readings include Walter Lippmann, John Dewey, Tom Wolfe, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, and Ben Bagdikian.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1468 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Psychoanalysis and the Visual

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

Description

At least since Freud’s “Dream Book,” psychoanalysis has taught us that psychic life is thoroughly steeped in images. This course will pursue the implications of Jacques Lacan’s theory of the subject, which elaborates and complicates Freud's thinking with respect to the ways in which psychic experience and visuality are intertwined. By examining a range of psychoanalytic texts alongside several films and photographs, we will begin with Lacan’s proposition that the “I” comes into being though the subject’s identification with his or her mirror image. This is ultimately a problem for sociality itself, for we learn to relate to others by way of how we relate to ourselves, our primordial other. Course materials include the writings of Borch-Jacobsen, Butler, Descartes, Fanon, Freud, Heidegger, Lacan, Laplanche as well as several films, including Capturing the Friedmans, American Psycho, and The Thin Red Line.

Notes

Same as ARTH-UA 850 004.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1359 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

American Capitalism in the Twentieth Century

4 units Mon Wed
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Kimberly Phillips-Fein

Description

This course examines the development of capitalism in the United States over the course of the twentieth century, paying special attention to the relationship between the economy and political, cultural and intellectual transformations. It will cover the rise of the modern corporation, the labor movement, the Great Depression and the New Deal, the economic impact of war in the twentieth century, racism and economics, the changing economic position of women, deindustrialization and the stock market boom of the 1990s. The class will focus in particular on the problem of how Americans have confronted and sought to understand hard economic times. In a country whose culture privileges the “American dream” of economic success, how have people dealt with struggle, difficulty and failure? How have financial panics, depressions and recessions, and economic decline affected American political economy and culture? Readings will incorporate both primary and secondary sources. Possible authors include Betty Friedan, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Ronald Reagan.

Notes

Same as HIST-UA 699 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1877 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

An Analysis of Leadership: Drinking the Kool-Aid

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Benjamin Brooks

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1877

Description

What is leadership? The calls for more "leadership" and the need for "better" leaders are refrains used with great frequency in the public sphere, but with very little substantive understanding of what the callers are actually seeking. What do we mean by a word that is applied to both Adolf Hitler and Martin Luther King Jr.? Is leadership a unique set of traits ordained from birth that resides within the individual? Is leadership a set of skills that any individual can develop? Is it an ethical stance or only calculated by action and result? Is the role of leader assigned or is it fluid and meritocratic? Does leadership even reside within an individual or is it a relationship between individuals in a group context? This course will not give students a blueprint to becoming an effective leader, but will instead use case studies to critically interrogate what we mean when we talk about leadership. We will explore the contextual and dynamic nature of leadership, and concepts commonly related to leadership, such as culture, race, gender, charisma, competence, decision-making, trust, ethics, and power. The cases we analyze include Hitler's rise to power in Nazi Germany, Jim Jones's People's Temple, Edward Snowden's leaking of NSA files, the rise and fall of Enron, Hillary Clinton's past and present runs for the presidency, the treatment of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, and Rudy Giuliani's actions as mayor before and after 9/11.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1641 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Health and Human Rights in the World Community

4 units Fri
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Allen Keller

Description

This course focuses on the relationship between health and human rights. First, it provides an overview of human rights violations in the world and it offers an analysis of the health consequences of human rights abuses. Second, it explores how individual and community health can be improved by protecting and promoting human rights. Third, it evaluates the ethical obligations of health professionals in the face of human rights violations, and it explores their role in caring for the victims. Intended for non-science as well as science majors, we use presentations and discussion to explore the link between health and human rights. Readings include Claude and Weston,  Human Rights in the World Community: Issues and Actions , and Martin and Rangaswamy, eds.,  Twenty Five Human Rights Documents .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1313 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Ethics for Dissenters

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Bill Caspary

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1313

Description

This course is about dissent in a double sense: criticizing accepted ethical values, and criticizing old ways of philosophical thought about ethics. It is about affirmative ethics, not just criticism. Over the years the course has grown into a survey of classic writings in ethical philosophy from Socrates to Sartre. One half of the class is devoted to the classical Greek thought of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. There is a brief critical look at Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. The modern period covers the ethics of Romanticism, Marxism, Pragmatism, Existentialism, and Feminism—as dissenting alternatives to mainstream Kantian and utilitarian ethics. Authors include Dewey, Emerson, Hegel, Gilligan, James, Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Schiller. From these texts perspectives emerge on: (1) criticizing unjust (e.g. sexist) ethical standards, and inventing fair ones; (2) choosing ethical careers and life paths; (3) recognizing responsibilities to the larger community; (4) resolving ethical dilemmas; (5) forming and justifying visions of a better world; (6) dialoguing productively with adversaries by respecting different ethical positions without the cop-out of "anything goes;" and (7) getting beyond dead-end debate on idealism/realism, egotism/altruism, objectivism/relativism.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1864 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Museums as Sites of Social Change

4 units Wed
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
William Crow

Description

Although traditionally viewed as storage houses for the past, many museums today see themselves as active agents of change and social progress. Museums can act as conveners and catalysts to engage a wide range of issues, from political stances to social justice issues to environmental concerns. But what happens when museums move from a static, neutral stance of reflecting society, to one that actively asserts its views and initiates social progress? How can museums maintain the public’s trust and support while engaging with issues that may be charged, or even controversial? Through a range of case studies and guest experts, we will examine how museums are embracing their role as sites for social change.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1843 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Psychoanalysis Beyond Freud

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Nina Cornyetz

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1843

Description

This course looks beyond Sigmund Freud to the expansion of psychoanalytic studies in a sampling of diverse fields of application and engagement, as well as some later psychoanalytic schools. We will ask: how have theorists expanded psychoanalytic methodologies to think about semiotics, visual, literary and historical studies, as well as race, politics and more? We will also explore how later psychoanalytic schools modified Freud’s drive-based therapy with object relations and ego psychology. Readings will include selections from Melanie Klein, Jacques Lacan, Slavoj Zizek and Kaja Silverman, among others.

Notes

Prerequisite IDSEM–UG 1839 or permission of the instructor (nina.cornyetz@nyu.edu).

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-UG1342 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Language, Globalization, and the Self

4 units Wed
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Maria-Luisa Achino-Loeb

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1342

Description

This course is intended as an exploration of language as vehicle for processes of globalization. What role did language play in the changes wrought by early capitalist transformations and the colonial expansion? Conversely, how have these global changes affected localized communities and the languages that identify them? And why should we care? To answer these questions we examine how the colonial experience has given rise to value-laden linguistic practices that mirror and sustain the racializing of privilege; and how the experience of language-loss encountered by voluntary and involuntary migrants can attack the integrity of the self. While ultimately concerned with language, our discussions have a wide scope ranging from issues of political economy to collective consciousness and individual psychology. Readings include Achino-Loeb's  Silence: The Currency of Power , Anderson's  Imagined Communities , Wolf's  Europe and the People Without History , Hoffman's  Lost in Translation , Dangarembga's  Nervous Conditions , Richard Rodriguez’  Hunger of Memory  as well as selected excerpts from other sources.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

LONDON: Immigration

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON. To provide an understanding of the main immigration trends in Britain, France and Germany since 1850 To provide an understanding of the problems attending the social and political integration of immigrants in contemporary Western Europe To compare the experience and understanding of immigration in Europe with the experience and understanding of immigration in the United States To examine the ways in which the memory of immigration is represented in literature and contemporary culture.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9353 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

PARIS: What is Technology?

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE IN PARIS: Social transformation and technology cannot be theorized in isolation. The technological, mediological, and digital worlds constitute a part of a shared material culture with profound implications for human experience. In this course, attempt to develop a critical heuristic which maps the topoi of the socio-eco-techno system. Drawing on mediology, ethics, and the French school of the anthropology of techniques, we explore such topoi as a form of “deep” historical sediment and also to understand how our values are negotiated and transformed via our on-going rapport with the technological. Conducted in English.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1851 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Politics of Protection and Global Governance

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Diana Anders

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1851

Description

The course explores new modes of global governance linked to the emergence of an international politics of protection in various forms. This burgeoning and multivalent political form is said to have colonized contemporary international political debates, and is rooted in the conviction that the international community has an ethical responsibility to protect those most in need, especially victims of political violence, poverty, health epidemics and natural disasters. The politics of protection is intimately bound up with contemporary humanitarianism, and at times is used to justify military intervention in cases of flagrant breaches of human rights norms. But what forms of power might this politics give rise to, authorize, delimit, and preclude? To what extent does the politics of protection signal an incarnation of empire? In what ways might it open up new possibilities for democracy? The course sets out to question whether and when political interventions in the name of “protection” can provide the intended humanitarian relief or security they promise. Close attention will be paid to the ways this mode of governance may produce new forms of regulation, vulnerability, and victimization for the very subjects it sets out to help. Class discussions and assignments will be structured around assigned texts from an array of disciplines (political theory, anthropology, international law, and psychology, for ex.) Possible case studies we will explore include: the so-called “humanitarian bombing” of Kosovo, the “Save Darfur” campaign, “the War on Terror” and Guantanamo, environmental treaties to counter global warming, programs to stop the spread of Ebola in Africa, asylum policies in France, peacekeeping missions in the Congo, and transnational anti-trafficking campaigns, to name a few. Readings will look at regional, national, and transnational instantiations of the global politics of protection, and will include works by Michel Foucault, Anne Orford, Nicola Perugini and Neve Gordon, Didier Fassin, Mahmood Mamdami, Miriam Ticktin, Eyal Weisman, and Kofi Annan, among others.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1858 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Couture Culture: Sexual Politics on the Runway

4 units Thu
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Elena Wang

Description

The global high fashion industry is a crucial site of cultural production. This course focuses on contemporary European and American high fashion to explore how clothes as well as bodies are produced and valued on the runways of New York, London, Milan and Paris. We will consider the roles and meanings of body and gender through the runway spectacle, taking the model’s laboring body as our point of departure. Drawing on a diverse array of popular and academic sources, this course places into dialogue the material and representational dimensions of high fashion. Critical and feminist literature will help us read recent films, autobiographies and journalistic accounts of high fashion that examine the industry from the inside. The course also incorporates psychology and psychoanalysis to enrich our discussions and student writing. Texts include Young’s  On Female Body Experience ,   Bauman’s  Wasted Lives , and Freud’s seminal 1917 essay, “Mourning and Melancholia”.

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

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)

IDSEM-UG1381 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Creative Democracy: The Pragmatist Tradition

4 units Wed
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Bill Caspary

Description

From Emerson, through William James, to John Dewey, and beyond, Pragmatism has been a uniquely American contribution to political theory and philosophy. The pragmatists are concerned with action in the world, to address “the problems of men and women.” They construct a philosophy for understanding and guiding that action. That philosophy values imaginative vision and exploratory experimentation. It looks forward to the new rather than dwelling on explaining, justifying, or condemning what exists. Pragmatism, like classical political theory, is concerned with politics as a way of achieving a good society, in which people can lead good lives. It does not view politics narrowly in terms only of elections and governments. Reading pragmatism as philosophy, in the first half of the course we will consider ethics, theory of knowledge, theory of science and social science, and put these in the service of democratic theory. Through the lens of the “Dewey-Lippmann controversy” we will consider the capacity of citizens for informed responsible participation. In the second half of the course we will consider democratic experiments: economic democracy, civic journalism, progressive education, participatory action research, and conflict resolution. Possible readings include Emerson’s “The American Scholar;” James’s “Moral Equivalent of War;” Dewey’s  The Public and Its Problems , “Creative Democracy,” and “The Economic Basis of the New Society;” Walter Lippmann's  Public Opinion , Jay Rosen's.  What Are Journalists For , William & Katherine Whyte's,  Making Mondragon , and so on.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1577 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2016

The Ethnographic Imagination

4 units Mon
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Ritty Lukose

Description

Ethnography has been narrowly construed as the research methodology that defines the discipline of cultural anthropology, but this course explores ethnography as both a mode of inquiry and a genre of writing through we grapple with the experience of Self and Other at the intersection of overlapping cultural worlds. We begin by linking modern ethnographic writing to early travel narratives, to missionary accounts, and to colonial reports serving evolving imperial formations.We then examine the consolidation of an "ethnographic" perspective in the emerging discipline of anthropology, as well as more recent critiques of this genre. Our own method is reading classic and contemporary ethnographic works. These reveal ongoing tensions between the scientific and the literary; between abstract "theory" and ethnographic "practice;" and between the claim to truth-telling and the power and limits linked to the positioning of the author. In response to these tensions we also trace the textual experimentation that mixes ethnography, poetry, memoir, and travel writing, fiction, and film. Our goal is to develop a self-reflective ethnographic imagination, open to the possibilities and difficulties in cross-cultural understanding, as we consider the complexities in encounter and contact, looking and describing, representing and translating. Possible texts include travel writings from the period of early European expansion,  Conquest of America  by Todorov,  Argonauts of the Western Pacific  by Malinowski,  Coming of Age in Samoa  by Margaret Mead;  Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography  by Clifford and Marcus,  Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment  by J. Biehl,  In   an Antique Land  by Amitav Ghosh, and the films of Trin Minh Ha.

Notes

This course is now open to all undergraduate students.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1268 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Cultural Politics of Childhood

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Patrick McCreery

Description

This interdisciplinary seminar explores children and childhood in the United States from two vantage points—those of public policy makers and of parents. In what ways does public policy shape children’s lives? What historical trends influence the ways that people parent? What happens when parents disagree with laws or conventions regarding how to parent? The first half of the course examines common conceptualizations of the child figure historically and today. While all children possess some universal characteristics that transcend time, place and personal circumstance, we can also understand the contemporary child figure to be a social construction, with “childhood” as we know it emerging as a coherent life stage only in the past few centuries. Public policy—laws about healthcare, education and labor, in particular—have both shaped and responded to these conceptualizations of childhood. The second half of the course examines children as members of families. Just as we can understand the symbolic child figure as a social construction, so we will see that race, class, gender and sexual orientation are key factors influencing the lived experiences of actual children and their parents. Additionally, we will examine how the proscribed “best methods” of child-rearing seem to change continuously—parents who consult various “experts” often receive contradictory advice. Work we may engage include Guggenheim's  What's Wrong with Children's Rights? , Lareau's  Unequal Childhoods , Solomon's  Far from the Tree , and the photography of Sally Mann. By the end of the course, we should have deeper understandings of childhood as a social construction, of the debates surrounding some of the issues that society currently deems relevant to children, and of differing child-rearing practices that parents employ.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1337 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Beyond the Invisible Hand: The History of Economic Thought

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Kimberly Phillips-Fein

Description

What is the economy, and how did it come to be understood as a separate, discrete realm of society, so unique that it demands its own academic discipline? How have philosophers understood the basic problems of economics—production, labor, coercion, risk, leisure, desire, self-realization, and the constraints of the material world—over time? Contemporary economics is modeled to a great extent on the hard sciences, and claims to reveal the universal laws that underlie the immense complexity of economic life. The economy, however, is itself a historical and political realm, shaped in fundamental ways by human choices, and the very way that people think about and try to make sense of the economy is influenced by historical circumstance. In this course, we will read and analyze works of economic philosophy and literature in order to understand the variety of ways that people have looked at economic life. Readings may include Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Friedrich Hayek.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1626 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

The Communication Revolutions

4 units Wed
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Paul Thaler

Description

We say we live in the Information Age as if such an age never existed before. But throughout time, the introduction of new forms of media and communication technologies have had a transformational effect on existing social, political, and economic life, creating new perceptual pathways to our understanding. This course examines history through the prism of these communication “revolutions,” beginning with the arrival of the spoken word, the development of writing systems, the spread of the printed word, the age of electricity, before focusing on the modern era of digital media. It is through our investigation of these previous revolutions that we may come to some greater understanding about the promise, and consequence, of our own technological age. Possible readings: Marshall McLuhan, Understanding; Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy; Susan Sontag, On Photography; Neil Postman, Technopoly; and Sherry Turkle, The Second Screen.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1193 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Culture as Communication

4 units Mon Wed
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Vasu Varadhan

Description

This course examines the concept of culture through its forms of communication. The shift from orality to literacy to electronic media and now digital media has important consequences for the social, political, and economic structures within a culture. If we take as axiomatic that every culture wishes to preserve itself through its forms of communication, we then need to ask ourselves which forms of communication are best suited for this purpose. What happens to cultures when traditional forms of communication are forced to compete with the newer technologies? What do we mean by “knowledge” in the age of information? The impact of written narrative on orality will be discussed as well as the changes brought about by the invention of the printing press. We will examine the development of electronic media, including the newer technologies such as the Internet, and analyze their effects on individual and cultural levels. Readings may include Plato’s  Phaedrus , Ong’s  Orality and Literacy , Achebe’s  Things Fall Apart , McLuhan’s  Understanding Media , and Carr's  The Shallows . There will also be selected handouts on the impact of social media in the political, social and economic spheres.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1632 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

"Woman" and the Political

4 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Rosanne Kennedy

Description

Feminist theorists have critiqued the canonical works of political theory as implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) premised on the exclusion of “woman” and the “feminine.” The “feminine” (private, domestic, passive) has been seen to be in opposition to the “masculine” political sphere (active, public, rational). In this course we will read works from the canon of political theory alongside feminist critiques. The question we will consider is: how does feminist critiques of the absence of “woman” and the “feminine” in discourses of the political affect our ideas of not only the private and public, but also those of citizenship, equality, freedom, the individual, and community? Readings may include Plato, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Locke, Marx, Arendt, Susan Okin, Luce Irigaray, Linda Zerilli, Carole Pateman, and Bonnie Honig.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1883 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2016

Aesthetic Justice

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Eugenia Kisin

Description

How is art made to matter through the law? How do policies for governing cultural heritage define art as a valued resource to be protected for future generations, and what are the histories and anxieties surrounding these regulations? This course will focus on several instances of art’s intersections with legal regimes, with special attention to the attempt to treat art as a form of property. We will look at examples of legal conflict over the status and meaning of art including: the censorship of “dangerous” art and exhibitions; the repatriation of Indigenous cultural property in the United States, Australia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, and Canada; uses of art as evidence in court hearings; and the place of propaganda in international art worlds. We will develop understandings of how art shapes and is shaped by the “lawfare” that regulates property and propriety. Moving beyond representational understandings of art, we will engage with the connective and critical practices of artists such as Bonnie Devine, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Félix González-Torres, James Luna, Fred Wilson, and Lorna Simpson. We will read texts by social and critical theorists who interrogate the relationships between aesthetics and justice, including Jennifer González, Audra Simpson, and Lynda Nead.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1880 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2016

Cities and Citizenship: Readings in Global Urbanism

4 units Thu
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Rosalind Fredericks

Description

Cities have long been viewed as the crucible of citizenship. But over the last few decades, the rapid urbanization of the global South has recalibrated Western derived models of cities and citizenship. This course draws on interdisciplinary readings from urban studies, geography, anthropology, and history to grapple with this global “urban revolution." Rejecting the language of crisis, chaos, and exception that is so often used to characterize cities in the global South, it will provide theoretically informed perspectives on social, cultural, and political life in rapidly urbanizing places throughout the postcolonial world. Attention will be paid to histories and legacies of colonialism alongside novel forms of governance and claims to the city. Though focused primarily on cities in the global South, the class is intended to probe how these cities reconfigure conventional understandings of being a citizen in the city (anywhere), and will also examine the global South within the ‘North’. Topics will include: the rights to the city, infrastructure and planning, gentrification, political ecologies, technologies of rule, informality and slum upgrading, and urban social movements. Selected authors may include: Ananya Roy, James Holston, Mamadou Diouf, Jane M. Jacobs, and AbdouMaliq Simone.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1698 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
EARLY
FA 2016

The Social Contract: Early Modern European Political Theory

4 units Fri
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Justin Holt

Description

What holds a society together? This course will explore one influential answer to this foundational question within philosophy and social theory, namely social contract theory as it developed within early modern European political philosophy. Modern assumptions about the relationship between individual and society, private property and ownership, rationality, economics and the market, and rights and responsibilities of citizenship have all been shaped by social contract theory. But, even though this theory has enjoyed great influence, it has been severely criticized as unrealistic and biased towards individualism and property holders. We will read the foundational social contract works in this course and try to understand their assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses. The works to be read will include: Hobbes' De Cive, Locke's Two Treatises of Government, and Rousseau's The Social Contract.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1552 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2016

Sociology of Religion: Islam and the Modern World

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Ali Mirsepassi

Description

This course is designed to explore the role of religion in modern societies. We will examine religion as an important social institution and also as a cultural system. We will study canonical and contemporary theories of religion. The focus of the course, however, will be Islam. We will look at the cultural context and historical construction of Islam, as well as the different social contexts within which Islam has evolved. We will examine the relationship between Islam and modernity, including secular ideologies, gender politics, and modern democracy. We will pay particular attention to the role that Islam plays in the everyday life of those who practice it, who are affected by it, or who struggle with it as their tradition. Our goal is to study Islam not as a fixed object or authentic tradition but as a social and cultural phenomenon subject to change, contestation, and critique. Texts may include Mernissi,  Islam and Democracy;  Arkoun,  Re-Thinking Islam ; Fernea,  In Search of Islamic Feminism ; and Armstrong,  Islam .

Notes

Same as MEIS-UA 785 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1900 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
EARLY
or GLOBAL
FA 2016

Indigenous Futures: Decolonizing NYC — Documenting the Lenape Trail

6 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM Thu
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Jack Tchen

Description

The seminar is a collaborative research project working with experts and knowledge bearers, including Algonquian language scholars, digital mappers, and artists, to explore the many facets of indigenous life along the Lenape Trail in 1609. Shrouded in the mythos of an island real estate deal for “baubles,” the “purchase” of colonial Nieuw Amsterdam has always been suspect. The Wayfinding Lab will use technologies, time-tested and cutting edge, to reconstruct fragments of the Lenape Trail now known as Broadway. The engaged, layered, multi-organized knowledge of the Lenape peoples linked to the coastal estuaries of Mannahatta has been scattered to all corners of North America. Yet revitalizing that indigenous philosophy, respecting the people, and reckoning with the unresolved past is foundational towards an enhanced understanding of how to change the here and now, especially in the era of environmental and climate degradation. The Wayfinding Lab will be experimenting with AR/VR conveying the simultaneous presence of pasts and futures on one parcel of Broadway.

Notes

This 6-unit course includes an additional meeting time. Permission of the instructor (jack.tchen@nyu.edu) required.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1849 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Black Lives Matter: Race, Resistance and Popular Protest

4 units Thu
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Frank Roberts

Description

The age of the Obama Presidency has been burdened by a number of highly publicized police cases involving the killings of unarmed black citizens at the hands of law enforcement and/or local vigilantes. In the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, and others, the recent #BlackLivesMatter movement has emerged largely in response to histories of state sanctioned violence against black and brown bodies. This seminar links the #blacklivesmatter” movement to four broader phenomena: 1) the rise of the U.S. prison industrial complex and the increasing militarization of inner city communities, 2) the role of media in influencing national conversations about race and racism, 3) the state of racial justice activism in the purportedly “post-racial” Obama Presidency, and 4) the increasingly populist nature of decentralized protest movements in the U.S. We will debate and engage with a variety of topics, including the moral ethics of “looting” and riotous forms of protest; violent vs. nonviolent civil disobedience; the media myth of “black on black” crime; coalitional politics and the black feminist and LGBTQ underpinnings of the #blacklivesmatter movement; and comparisons between the blacklivesmatter movement and the U.S. civil rights movement. Our course will likely include in-person visits from any prominent activists in the movement such as Dr. Cornel West, #BlackLivesMatter co-founder Alicia Garza, mayoral candidate Deray McKesson, and members of the New York City chapter of Black Lives Matter.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1648 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2016

Environment and Development in Africa

4 units Tue
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Rosalind Fredericks

Description

This course explores the political ecologies of African development in historic perspective. Drawing mainly from anthropology, geography, history, and development studies, it offers an inter-disciplinary perspective on the politics of African environments. The first part of the course focuses on the history of human-environment relations, paying particular attention to the exploitation of the natural environment during colonialism and patterns of extraction and trade set up during that time. Building on this history, we will then concentrate on the postcolonial period in order to compare different forms of exploitation across Africa and their connections to key development debates and national development trajectories. Specific topics may include: the extractive industries; export agriculture; wildlife conservation and tourism; Asian investments and the ‘land grab’; resources and violence; and urban ecologies. Aiming to provide more complex, critical, and nuanced understandings of human-environment relations on the continent, we will draw from academic texts, novels, as well as documentary films. Readings may include: James Ferguson, Gregg Mitman, Michael Watts, and Adam Hochschild.

Notes

Sect 002 for Environmental Studies majors.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1272 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Theorizing Politics

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

Description

This course analyzes what politics—as a practice and as a concept—has meant, means now, and could mean. In what ways has "politics" (as a noun) been used to name a distinctive practice (call it citizenship) located in a specific space in the social world, and in what senses has "political" been used as an adjective to depict certain dimensions of every human practice? How is practice and conceptualization related in different places and moments? Are there distinctive challenges (and gifts) entwined with politics and with the political dimensions of our lives? Are new dilemmas (and possibilities) emerging now, as globalization unsettles the nation-state form? We explore these questions by closely reading several canonical texts in political theory and using them to think about contrasting ways that human beings have practiced politics and invested it with meaning. In turn, working through several profound -and profoundly different- visions of politics will help us learn to “think politically” about collective circumstances, choices, and actions. Key theorists include Machiavelli,Marx, Arendt. Wittgenstein, and Foucault, paired with critical race, feminist, and queer theorists.

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1055 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Struggle for the Word: History of Media I

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Stephen Duncombe

Description

The history of the media is the history of struggle, a battle waged over words and images: who produces them, who has access to them, whose interests are served by them, and how they are interpreted. Media power has traditionally been the province of elites, from Church and State to multinational communication conglomerates. But this is only one side of the story, for everyday people have also fought for their right to speak and be spoken to. Media has moved from the elite to the masses, in the process becoming "democratized"…but also often commodified. Beginning with the printed word, and moving from the Bible through political pamphlet and popular song, the commercial penny press and immigrant newspapers, and ending with the web, this course will use the history of the printed word to explore enduring questions of power and culture. Texts will range from the Korean Sutra of the Great Incantations to the forced confessions of a barely literate sixteenth-century European miller; from Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson to Frederick Douglass; and from the literature and essays of James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Ursula Le Guin to the historical and contemporary appeals of marketers and advertisers.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1468 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Psychoanalysis and the Visual

4 units Mon
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Eve Meltzer

Description

At least since Freud’s “Dream Book,” psychoanalysis has taught us that psychic life is thoroughly steeped in images. This course will pursue the implications of Jacques Lacan’s theory of the subject, which elaborates and complicates Freud's thinking with respect to the ways in which psychic experience and visuality are intertwined. By examining a range of psychoanalytic texts alongside several films and photographs, we will begin with Lacan’s proposition that the “I” comes into being though the subject’s identification with his or her mirror image. This is ultimately a problem for sociality itself, for we learn to relate to others by way of how we relate to ourselves, our primordial other. Course materials include the writings of Borch-Jacobsen, Butler, Descartes, Fanon, Freud, Heidegger, Lacan, Laplanche as well as several films, including Capturing the Friedmans, American Psycho, and The Thin Red Line.

Notes

Same as ARTH-UA 850.003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1888 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Deconstructing the Wall: A Critical Examination of Current Issues in Education

4 units Mon Wed
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Benjamin Brooks

Description

This course will explore foundational philosophies of education and theories of learning to develop a vocabulary by which we can examine current controversies and debates about education in both K-12 and higher education. We will begin with core texts addressing the purpose of education in a democratic society, then analyze education sociologically, through questions like: Does education reproduce class divisions or enable social mobility? And more broadly, does education simply reproduce dominant social norms or does it enable social change? We will then engage modern texts drawing heavily from critical pedagogists, to examine contemporary issues in education, including the corporatization of schooling, the charter school movement, the relationship between poverty and educational access, the recently passed  Every Student Succeeds Act  and the use of high stakes testing, freedom of expression and diversity on college campuses, the impact of technology on learning, and the concept of school safety in its many forms. In turn, students will be able reflect on and critically engage their own educations and academic choices, while seeing the politics involved in determining the goals of education, what students are required to learn, and how the resources for learning are defined and distributed. Readings for this course may include Dewey,  Experience and Education ; Freire,  Pedagogy of the Oppressed ; hooks,  Teaching to Transgress ; Kozol,  The Shame of the Nation;  and Spring,  The American School ; as well as work by Apple, Bok, Darling-Hammonds, Durkheim, Giroux, Noddings, Tatum, and Weber.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9402 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 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-UG1839 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Freud

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Nina Cornyetz

Description

This course aims to give students an in-depth understanding of the fundamental concepts, vocabulary and theories of Sigmund Freud, the so-called “Father of Psychoanalysis.”’ We will read closely a wide range of texts by Freud, covering the earliest incarnations of Freudian psychoanalysis to its final formulations, including concepts of the subject, drive theory, the “talking cure,” transference, dream interpretation, and more. Our sights will also be set on the ways in which psychoanalytic thought has, from its very beginnings, been in fruitful dialogue with the humanities, broadly speaking—most specifically, literature, philosophy, and the arts, although we will also consider its relevance as a clinical practice. Texts will include: Studies on Hysteria, The Interpretation of Dreams, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Totem and Taboo, The Ego and the Id, On the History of the Psychoanalytic Movement, Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood, and a selection of his shorter papers.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1682 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2016

Thinking Sex/Gender Globally

4 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Ritty Lukose

Description

This interdisciplinary seminar explores how gender and sexuality simultaneously produce and is produced by global, transnational and international visions. For example, the project of identifying affinities between women across cultures and national boundaries has long grounded the work of feminist movements, scholars, journalists, institutions and activists in a variety of locations, both within and outside the Euro-American context. More recently, struggles for the rights of sexual minorities have become increasingly transnational. We explore such efforts to forge enabling alliances and solidarities. We also critically examine how such efforts navigate cultural and national differences, hierarchies within a global world order and complex histories of imperialism, paying attention to the different locations through which such projects intersect with the global. The course highlights the rise of a new post-war international order centered in the UN system, exploring the links between colonial legacies and new global trajectories. How and why are women and girls, gender and sexuality so central to this system? By examining development initiatives that target women and girls, anti-violence and anti-trafficking campaigns, and the rights of sexual minorities, we explore how gender and sexuality become grounds for debating global, transnational and international visions and frameworks that, in turn, shape feminist and queer politics in different locales. Readings include Antoinette Burton,  Burdens of History: British Feminists, Indian Women and Imperial Culture , Kumari Jayawardena's  Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World ,  Specters of Mother India: The Global Restructuring of an Empire  by Mrinalini Sinha ,  Afsaneh Najmabadi's  Women with Mustaches and Men Without Beards ,  Are Women Human?  by Catherine MacKinnon,  Transnational LGBT Activism: Working for Sexual Rights Worldwide  by Ryan Thoreson and  Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics  by Naisargi Dave .  

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 721.003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

LONDON: Immigration

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON. To provide an understanding of the main immigration trends in Britain, France and Germany since 1850 To provide an understanding of the problems attending the social and political integration of immigrants in contemporary Western Europe To compare the experience and understanding of immigration in Europe with the experience and understanding of immigration in the United States To examine the ways in which the memory of immigration is represented in literature and contemporary culture.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1300 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Militaries and Militarization

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

Description

What are the effects of a large, permanent military upon the political economy and society of the United States? What are the effects on other countries of their militaries? What are the effects on local societies of US military bases? What is the role of the various militaries in the history of colonial/neo-colonial control, and in contemporary empire? How are military establishments and violence linked to ethno-national, class and other social movements—and to the repression and domination of such movements? What does a military do to/for the people who staff it? What are the implications of militarization in such areas as gender, human rights, the environment, sports, knowledge and learning? What is the role of militias, “para-militaries”, and guerrillas? What methods can social or popular movements use in their attempts to subvert, paralyze, eliminate or otherwise struggle against militaries, military bases, and weapons? Texts may include: Lutz,  Homefront: A Military City and the American Twentieth Century ; Enloe,  Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives ; McCaffrey,  Military Power and Popular Protest: The U.S. Navy in Vieques, Puerto Rico ; and Green,  Fear as a Way of Life .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1527 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Finance for Social Theorists

4 units Mon
7:45 PM - 10:15 PM
Peter Rajsingh

Description

Financial literacy is often a gap in a liberal arts education. However, finance and economics are not subjects comfortably ignored. For instance, the effects of the financial crisis continue to be felt today and have a significant bearing upon us all. This seminar aims to provide students with conceptual, interpretive and analytical tools to understand finance. The approach is interdisciplinary and interpretive, drawing upon political theory, economics, psychology, basic statistics, financial theory and accounting. For example, we use the subprime crisis to explore core concepts associated with credit, banking, business ethics, monetary policy and macro economics. We reference key ideas from classic texts and also take up contemporary debates in finance. The aim is to help students become more literate and numerate as economic and social agents. Readings are drawn from key works in finance and economics as well as contemporary articles and commentaries. There is also a group entrepreneurial project.

Notes

Open to Gallatin students only. All others require permission of the instructor (pr9@nyu.edu)

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1412 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2015

Yellow Peril

4 units Tue
4:55 PM - 7:35 PM
Jack Tchen

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1412

Description

Fears of “yellow peril” (and brown “Turban tides”) run deep in the present and past of U.S. political and commercial culture. Its imagery and stories are just beneath the surface of everyday discourse and always latent—readily triggered by an incident, real or fabricated. SARS fears, charges of Chinese “pirating” U.S. cultural properties, the racial profiling of “Arab-looking” peoples, and Asians “taking over” U.S. higher education all illustrate contemporary forms of Asian “peril.” Americans are woefully unaware of this scapegoating tradition and its history, and consequently remain particularly vulnerable to its ideological and affective power. Seminar students will learn historical research skills and collaboratively document historical and contemporary case studies. We’ll explore what can and must be done to counter these fallacies and practices.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 380 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1822 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

The Politics of Work

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Rosanne Kennedy

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1822

Description

Work—especially wage labor—has come to be assumed as a necessary and unavoidable orientation of modern adult life. Even more, we assume that work is intrinsic to our sense of identity and self-worth. Attached to modern understandings of work are implicit values and morals, specifically the work ethic that frames work as individualistic, merit-based, and belonging to the private sphere. However, recent political critiques have begun to (re) question the ways in which labor and spaces of work constitute (or exclude) us as social and political subjects. In this seminar we will consider work as not only connected and buttressed by the political sphere but as itself political. Our aim will be to examine the unquestioned values that inhere in our understanding of work as well the ways in which the organization of modern forms of work constitute us and organize us a political subjects. In doing so we will consider how labor relations produce and reproduce us as embodied and affective subjects that sustain or exclude different classes, genders, races and ages. We will begin by first examining classical understandings and critiques of the organization of work in the writings of John Locke, Adam Smith, Marx, and Max Weber. We will then turn to contemporary critiques of work including those that point to postwork imaginaries. What would it look and feel like to live in a postwork society? How would we reorganize our time? What creative projects might ensue? What conditions (a basic universal income?) would make such a society possible? Readings for this section of the course may include: Arendt, Foucault, Baudrillard, Barbara Ehrenreich, Aronowitz, Negri, Bloch, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Kathi Weeks.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1643 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

The Politics of Law and Legal Thought

4 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Vasuki Nesiah

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1643

Description

This class introduces students to critical legal studies through focused engagement with diverse areas of law. It is anchored in reading cases that captured pivotal debates in American legal history, cases such as Brown v. Board of Ed., Roe v. Wade, Lochner v. NY, MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co., Univ. of CA v. Bakke, King v. Smith, Perry v. Schwarzenegger and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission . Through discussion of these cases, we examine different understandings of the relationship between legal debates and social justice. Can law be tilted towards the powerful, while also being 'indeterminate?' Does it undermine the 'rule of law’ if, as some scholars argue, legal rules contained ‘gaps, contradictions and ambiguities?' How do unjust outcomes appear legally necessary? How do different understandings of gender impact anti-discrimination law? How does the legal architecture of property impact labor rights? What are the legitimate roles, rights and responsibilities of different actors in the system—from judges to corporations to welfare recipients? In addition to reading cases and legal scholarship, we will also analyze films focused on law and society. Readings include Duncan Kennedy, Cornel West, Karl Klare, Janet Halley, Rich Ford, Martha Minow, Joe Singer, James Clifford, Austin Sarat, Alan Freeman and others.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1641 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

Health and Human Rights in the World Community

4 units Fri
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Allen Keller

Description

This course focuses on the relationship between health and human rights. First, it provides an overview of human rights violations in the world and it offers an analysis of the health consequences of human rights abuses. Second, it explores how individual and community health can be improved by protecting and promoting human rights. Third, it evaluates the ethical obligations of health professionals in the face of human rights violations, and it explores their role in caring for the victims. Intended for non-science as well as science majors, we use presentations and discussion to explore the link between health and human rights. Readings include Claude and Weston, Human Rights in the World Community: Issues and Actions , and Martin and Rangaswamy, eds., Twenty Five Human Rights Documents .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1628 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

Think Big: Global Issues and Ecological Solutions

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1628

Description

What are the most stimulating solutions to global climate change? If we were given an imaginary “client” with an unlimited budget and colossal power, what should we design? The resounding formula for green thinking is broadly interpreted in three meta-themes; apocalyptic, technological, and traditional. Each category promises solutions and/or interpretations of our current environmental calamity. We explore critical philosophical, artistic, and scientific positions in each meta-theme that help elucidate this dilemma. Students read, evaluate, and synthesize projects and texts from great minds such as William Cronon, Bill McKibben, Bruce Mau, Mike Davis, Marshall McLuhan, Bjorn Lomborg, David Orr, Paul Virilio, Marshall McLean, Laurence Buell, and others. The final project is the production of a mock Madison Avenue advertising campaign that promotes urban “sustainability.”

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1313 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

Ethics for Dissenters

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Bill Caspary

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1313

Description

This course is about dissent in a double sense: criticizing accepted ethical values, and criticizing old ways of philosophical thought about ethics. It is about affirmative ethics, not just criticism. Over the years the course has grown into a survey of classic writings in ethical philosophy from Socrates to Sartre. One third of the class is devoted to the classical Greek thought of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. There is a brief critical look at Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. The modern period covers the ethics of Romanticism, Marxism, Pragmatism, Existentialism, and Feminism—as dissenting alternatives to mainstream Kantian and utilitarian ethics. Authors include Dewey, Emerson, Hegel, Gilligan, James, Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Schiller. From these texts perspectives emerge on: (1) criticizing unjust (e.g. sexist) ethical standards, and inventing fair ones; (2) choosing ethical careers and life paths; (3) recognizing responsibilities to the larger community; (4) resolving ethical dilemmas; (5) forming and justifying visions of a better world; (6) dialoguing productively with adversaries by respecting different ethical positions without the cop-out of "anything goes;" and (7) getting beyond dead-end debate on idealism/realism, egotism/altruism, objectivism/relativism.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1586 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2015

Consumerism in Comparative Perspective

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Kimberly DaCosta

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1586

Description

Consumerism—the linking of happiness, freedom, and economic prosperity with the purchase and consumption of goods—has long been taken for granted as constitutive of the “good life” in Western societies. Increasingly, global economic shifts have made it possible for some developing countries to engage in patterns of consumption similar to those in the West, such that one quarter of humanity now belongs to the “global consumer class.” At the same time, however, nearly three billion people struggle to survive on less than $2 a day. This course takes an international and interdisciplinary approach to examine consumption in different societies, and we do so by asking several central questions: What are the key determinants of patterns of consumption, and how are they changed or reshaped over time? In turn, how do patterns of consumption shape class formation, racial inequality, identity, aesthetic sensibility, and international boundaries? How do practices of consumption inform the ways in which people understand their values and individuality, imagine success and failure, or conceive happiness? By reading widely in sociology, anthropology, and history we will develop a framework for analyzing the ethical, environmental and social justice implications of consumerism. Readings include case studies from the US, China, India, Europe and Africa Some likely texts are: Veblen, Theory of the Leisure Class ; Mauss, The Gift ; Bourdieu, Distinction ; Marx, “Commodity Fetishism”; Twitchell, Lead Us Into Temptation ; Bill McKibben, Deep Economy ; Lizabeth Cohen, A Consumer's Republic .

Notes

Same as SOC-UA 970-004.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1626 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

The Communication Revolutions

4 units Wed
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Paul Thaler

Description

We say we live in the Information Age as if such an age never existed before. But throughout time, the introduction of new forms of media and communication technologies have had a transformational effect on existing social, political, and economic life, creating new perceptual pathways to our understanding. This course examines history through the prism of these communication “revolutions,” beginning with the arrival of the spoken word, the development of writing systems, the spread of the printed word, the age of electricity, before focusing on the modern era of digital media. It is through our investigation of these previous revolutions that we may come to some greater understanding about the promise, and consequence, of our own technological age. Possible readings: Marshall McLuhan, Understanding; Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy; Susan Sontag, On Photography; Neil Postman, Technopoly; and Sherry Turkle, The Second Screen.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1821 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

Democracy and Difference

4 units Fri
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Rosanne Kennedy

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1821

Description

This seminar focuses on what political theorists call "democratic theory," which addresses the defining institutions, cultural meaning, inherent difficulties, and contemporary crisis of specifically "democratic" forms of political life. We begin by reviewing classical and contemporary formulations of what democracy is, for what can be called liberal, deliberative, communitarian, and agonistic approaches entail very definitions of democracy, contrasting senses of its dangers and possibilities, as well as divergent visions of citizenship and public life, political culture and modernity. Then we consider these approaches in relation to the issue of difference: how do they explain and address the persistence of racialized and gendered forms of inequality in regimes committed to formal and legal equality? Why are formally democratic societies typically characterized by intense struggle over issues of identity and difference, not only race, gender, and sexuality, but also immigration? Our seminar concludes by exploring the relation between democratic regimes and empire, state violence, and national security: how does "democracy" become the name for a regime engaged in permanent war, torture, surveillance of citizens, and suspension of civil liberties?

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

LONDON: Immigration

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON. To provide an understanding of the main immigration trends in Britain, France and Germany since 1850 To provide an understanding of the problems attending the social and political integration of immigrants in contemporary Western Europe To compare the experience and understanding of immigration in Europe with the experience and understanding of immigration in the United States To examine the ways in which the memory of immigration is represented in literature and contemporary culture.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1771 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

The Promise and Pitfalls of Markets

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Ngina Chiteji

Description

In his classic text, the Wealth of Nations, the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith argued that the human propensity to "truck, barter and exchange" would naturally lead to socially optimal outcomes if people were left to trade freely, without any government interference in markets. This idea that a competitive market can lead to efficient outcomes is a central tenet of economic theory today. Moreover, the more general belief that markets know what's best is widely held throughout U.S. society. This course is designed to teach students about what economics has to offer to the analysis of markets and the ways that firms make decisions. It also will include analyses of market outcomes from scholars in disciplines outside economics, and some discussion of firms' ethical obligations . In its exploration of these topics, the course draws largely on disciplines such as economics, sociology, moral philosophy, and the law. Readings may include texts such as the following: Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich, Winner-Take-All Markets by Robert Frank, and The Globalization Paradox by Dani Rodrik .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9100 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

BERLIN: European Environmental Policy

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-BERLIN. The course gives an introduction to various aspects of EU environmental policy making and policy implementation. After a brief recap of the basics of policy making in the EU, students will learn about the guiding principles and developments within EU environmental policy, the main actors and their interests in and influence on policy making. An optional part of the course might be a visit to the European House of the European Commission (EC) in Berlin where students either have the opportunity to role-play the decision-making process of the EC on the introduction of CO2-standards for cars or to engage in a debate with an EC representative. The second half of the course analyses EU environmental policies in different issue areas (e.g. climate change, biodiversity, waste) for their effectiveness in solving environmental problems. Different policy instruments are discussed for their merits and shortcomings (one example will be the EU Emissions Trading System) and linkages to other issue areas of EU policy making (e.g. industry and agriculture) are discussed. Finally, the course provides an international perspective on EU environmental policy making: sessions will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of EU environmental policy making at home and in international negotiations, compare it with US environmental politics, and discuss future challenges (e.g. EU enlargement) and trends for EU environmental governance.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1119 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

Democracy and Authority in Modern Political Thought

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1119

Description

A specifically “modern” politics seems to mean overthrowing the authority of god, church, and tradition—in the name of establishing freedom. In turn, “self-determination” in its personal and political senses seems to mean an ongoing “democratic experiment” that questions the authority of all cultural codes and social practices. Canonical political theorists from Rousseau to Marx gave modernity this democratic meaning against traditional forms of authority, deference, ascribed identity, and exclusion. But significant figures in "modern political thought" have also questioned this romance of emancipation in profound ways. Some theorists explored how democratic forms in Europe were entwined with slavery and colonization as specifically modern forms of authority. Some theorists showed how self-determination among the enfranchised actually produced mass conformity and political docility, while other theorists focused on the difficulties of anti-colonial revolution. If modern politics was animated by a narrative promising movement from domination to emancipation, a significant chorus of modern political theorists questioned it. In political, cultural, and psychological terms, in metropolitan and colonial scenes, and through a variety of genres, they disclosed new forms of subjection, while re-imagining the meaning and conditions of human freedom. Readings include: Tocqueville, Democracy in America; Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy, Beyond Good & Evil, and The Genealogy of Morals; Kafka, “The Penal Colony;” Dostoevsky, “The Grand Inquisitor;” Fanon, Wretched of the Earth; Arendt, The Human Condition; Freud, Moses & Monotheism; Jessica Benjamin, The Bonds of Love.

Notes

Prerequisite: IDSEM-UG 800 or IDSEM-UG 1272 or IDSEM-UG 1475 or IDSEM-UG 1592 or IDSEM-UG 1712 or IDSEM-UG 1735, or permission of the instructor (gms1@nyu.edu).

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9402 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2015

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-UG1188 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

The Emergence of the Unconscious: From Ancient Healing to Psychoanalysis

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Lee Robbins

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1188

Description

Recognized in the modern world as Freud’s id and Jung’s collective unconscious, what we call the unconscious has a long and dignified ancestry in the ancient healing art of shamanism and in the histories of both Eastern and Western religion, philosophy and medicine. Our focus will be to trace the development of the idea of the unconscious as it evolves in the Upanishads, Greek Mystery Religion, Plato and Augustine through the Enlightenment, Freud, Jung and beyond, to the postmodern condition. This academic course will challenge your preconceived notions about the human psyche.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1825 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2015

Human Rights: Local and Global

4 units Wed
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Vasuki Nesiah

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1825

Description

The term ‘International Human Rights’ invokes the notion of universalism as background presupposition, as practice and as promise. Yet human rights means something very different in different political contexts. How does the tension between supranational definitions of human rights and the situated knowledges of particular contexts get articulated? What are the harmonies and disharmonies between global and local practice? How do different locals relate to each other? How are questions of empire implicated in the human rights field? This course approaches these questions by looking at how human rights is invoked and negotiated in the United States and Sri Lanka in areas such as prison conditions and media freedom. This is a ten week course that combines classroom study of the human rights field with site visits to human rights organizations in both countries. First in the US and then in Sri Lanka, students will talk with experts in the field, visit with key national and international organizations, and explore how human rights mechanisms negotiate the ‘glocal’ space. The Sri Lankan component of the course will entail travel to the country over spring break. That week will include shared classroom learning with students from University of Colombo in the morning and site visits in the afternoon. We will read authors such as Sally Merry, David Kennedy, Makau Mutua, Radhika Coomaraswamy and Deepika Udagama as well as country reports by the UN and other organizations regarding the human rights issues in the USA and Sri Lanka.

Notes

This course includes travel to Sri Lanka during the week of Spring Recess, March 12-22. Permission required: Application deadline is October 24, 2014. For more information and to apply, please click on course title and then link to application.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1342 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

Language, Globalization, and the Self

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Maria-Luisa Achino-Loeb

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1342

Description

This course is intended as an exploration of language as vehicle for processes of globalization. What role did language play in the changes wrought by early capitalist transformations and the colonial expansion? Conversely, how have these global changes affected localized communities and the languages that identify them? And why should we care? To answer these questions we examine how the colonial experience has given rise to value-laden linguistic practices that mirror and sustain the racializing of privilege; and how the experience of language-loss encountered by voluntary and involuntary migrants can attack the integrity of the self. While ultimately concerned with language, our discussions have a wide scope ranging from issues of political economy to collective consciousness and individual psychology. Readings include Achino-Loeb's Silence: The Currency of Power , Anderson's Imagined Communities , Wolf's Europe and the People Without History , Hoffman's Lost in Translation , Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions , Richard Rodriguez’ Hunger of Memory as well as selected excerpts from other sources.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1592 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

American Narratives I: American Literature, Race and Politics

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1592

Description

The premise of this course is that profound thinking about politics occurs in American literary art. Indeed, formally "political” writers, like Madison and Hamilton in The Federalist Papers, present a world that seems antithetical to the world presented by, say, Melville and Morrison: one depicts rational bargaining and self-interested contracts among men in markets and legislatures, whereas the other depicts racial and sexual violence, rape and slavery, in domestic spaces or on "the frontier." One depicts rationality and progress, the other madness and tragedy. The literature thus makes visible what political rhetoric and canonical political thought typically make invisible - the centrality of race and gender in the formation of nationhood and operation of politics, but also the deep narrative forms structuring the culture as well as ideas of "America." Our goal, then, is to compare prevailing forms of political speech, theories of politics, and American literary art: How do literary artists narrate nationhood? How do they retell the stories that Americans tell themselves about themselves? What is the difference between a fiction that dramatizes a world, and a treatise that makes an argument about it? What can literary art do that theory cannot? How does that art re-orient people toward the assumptions, practices, and tropes that rule their world? To pursue these questions we read Herman Melville’s Moby Dick and Toni Morrison’s Beloved, while surrounding each text with typical political speech and canonical political theory.

Notes

Open to sophomores only

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1380 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2015

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-UG1527 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

Finance for Social Theorists

4 units Mon
7:45 PM - 10:15 PM
Peter Rajsingh

Description

Financial literacy is often a gap in a liberal arts education. However, finance and economics are not subjects comfortably ignored. For instance, the effects of the financial crisis continue to be felt today and have a significant bearing upon us all. This seminar aims to provide students with conceptual, interpretive and analytical tools to understand finance. The approach is interdisciplinary and interpretive, drawing upon political theory, economics, psychology, basic statistics, financial theory and accounting. For example, we use the subprime crisis to explore core concepts associated with credit, banking, business ethics, monetary policy and macro economics. We reference key ideas from classic texts and also take up contemporary debates in finance. The aim is to help students become more literate and numerate as economic and social agents. Readings are drawn from key works in finance and economics as well as contemporary articles and commentaries. There is also a group entrepreneurial project.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1545 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
WI 2015

On Freud's Couch: Psychoanalysis, Narrative and Memory

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
2:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Nina Cornyetz

Description

In this course we will read closely and thoroughly a selection of Sigmund Freud’s papers, including “Three Essays on Sexuality,” and “Screen Memories,” and three of his classic case histories: “Fragment of an Analysis of Hysteria,” (Dora), “From the History of an Infantile Neurosis,” (the Wolfman), and “An Autobiographic Account of a Case of Paranoia,” (Dr. Schreber). In general, we will focus on how the psychoanalytic method takes narrative seriously—that is, “at its word,” or literally—at the same time as it recognizes that whatever is articulated may be in a negative or “canted” (in other words, “encoded”) relation to what it “means.” We will watch a selection of films alongside the primary texts. We will explore how time, memory and history signify in psychoanalytic frameworks, and ask what literature, film and poetics might share with psychoanalysis. Finally, we will debate the validity of what might be called Freud’s “reductionism” in relation to drive theory and the sexual instincts.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1268 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SU 2015

Cultural Politics of Childhood

4 units Mon Wed
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Patrick McCreery

Description

This interdisciplinary seminar explores children and childhood in the United States from two vantage points—those of public policy makers and of parents. In what ways does public policy shape children’s lives? What historical trends influence the ways that people parent? What happens when parents disagree with laws or conventions regarding how to parent? The first half of the course examines common conceptualizations of the child figure historically and today. While all children possess some universal characteristics that transcend time, place and personal circumstance, we can also understand the contemporary child figure to be a social construction, with “childhood” as we know it emerging as a coherent life stage only in the past few centuries. Public policy—laws about healthcare, education and labor, in particular—have both shaped and responded to these conceptualizations of childhood. The second half of the course examines children as members of families. Just as we can understand the symbolic child figure as a social construction, so we will see that race, class, gender and sexual orientation are key factors influencing the lived experiences of actual children and their parents. Additionally, we will examine how the proscribed “best methods” of child-rearing seem to change continuously—parents who consult various “experts” often receive contradictory advice. Work we may engage include Guggenheim's What's Wrong with Children's Rights? , Lareau's Unequal Childhoods , Solomon's Far from the Tree , and the photography of Sally Mann. By the end of the course, we should have deeper understandings of childhood as a social construction, of the debates surrounding some of the issues that society currently deems relevant to children, and of differing child-rearing practices that parents employ.

Notes

Session II: July 6 - August 14

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1543 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SU 2015

Imagining the Middle East

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

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

Same as MEIS-UA 518. Session I: May 26 - July 2

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

TRAVL-UG9350 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SU 2015

Madrid: Faces of the Changing European City

4 units
Gianpaolo Baiocchi

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT N.Y.U. MADRID. This course explores the contemporary history and geography of Madrid, with a focus on recent changes. Compared to just twenty years ago, Madrid, like most European cities, is today more diverse, more interconnected (and subject to more complex governance arrangements), more unequal, more subject to volatile financial investments, and more environmentally vulnerable. This course explores both how residents have experienced these changes and how organized groups and institutions have sought to respond to these challenges.

Notes

This course meets in Madrid, June 27-July 20.

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)

IDSEM-UG1486 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SU 2015

Revolucion

4 units Mon Wed
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Alejandro Velasco

Description

Equating Latin America and revolution seems almost a truism. From Zapata to "Ché" to Chávez, the region's modern history is a tale of one movement promising epic change to the next, each more dramatic than the last and collectively giving rise to an image of Latin America as a cradle of firebrand leaders and riotous masses leaving in their wake endless cycles of unrest. But to look deeper into this history is to find a world of complexity, of peoples pursuing radical change but also gradual reform, at times taking up ballots and at times taking up arms, at times in the factory and at times on the farm, at times from the left and at times from the right. All of it "revolución," yes, but what kind? And through what means? And for what ends? And at what cost? This course traces the evolution of revolution in twentieth century Latin America, from the final collapse of Spanish colonialism in 1898 to the rise of chavismo in 1998, and finally considers the impact of this history on Latin America today. Authors may include, among others, Mariano Azuela, Eva Perón, Gustavo Gutierrez, Subcomandante Marcos, and Raul Zibechi.

Notes

Session II: July 6 - August 14

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1829 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

The Story of/in Psychoanalysis

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Marissa Dennis

Description

We spend our lives telling stories, listening to other people’s stories, trying desperately to remember a story, wishing we could forget a story, tell a different story. Joan Didion famously begins The White Album : “We tell ourselves stories in order to live….We live entirely…by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images…” But the process of trying to order our lives also has consequences. This course will be an inquiry into one particular type of story: the psychoanalytic story. Of what does this story consist? What role does the unconscious play in storytelling through dreams, distortion, and displacement? What role do dreams play in the stories that we live each day? What role does the analyst’s story play in the tales the patient comes to tell and understand as her own? These are some of the questions we will discuss throughout the semester as we attempt to find ways to talk about the phenomenology of stories that take place both consciously and unconsciously. Our primary texts will be theoretical readings in psychoanalytic theory, primary case material, and stories from psychoanalysts who write about their own internal processes. Readings may include selections from Sigmund Freud, Christopher Bollas, Janet Malcolm, Stephen Grosz, Thomas Ogden, and others.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9353 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

PARIS: What is Technology?

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE IN PARIS: Social transformation and technology cannot be theorized in isolation. The technological, mediological, and digital worlds constitute a part of a shared material culture with profound implications for human experience. In this course, attempt to develop a critical heuristic which maps the topoi of the socio-eco-techno system. Drawing on mediology, ethics, and the French school of the anthropology of techniques, we explore such topoi as a form of “deep” historical sediment and also to understand how our values are negotiated and transformed via our on-going rapport with the technological. Conducted in English.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1580 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

Between Rights and Justice in Latin America

4 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Alejandro Velasco

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1580

Description

What is the relationship between human rights and social justice? Do both always operate in conjunction? Are they ever mutually exclusive—one sacrificed at the expense of the other? This course explores key questions around the theory and practice of human rights promotion, surveying specialized literature and founding documents to consider the promise and challenge of existing human rights frameworks as they work for, but sometimes clash with, the promotion of social justice. We ask, are there universal rights? If so, how are these defined, and by whom? What is the relationship between "political" and "human" rights, between individual and collective rights? Can human rights be in conflict, and if so, how are such conflicts to be resolved? In regions rife with inequality—political, social, and economic—is promoting a global human rights agenda unrealistic, or more necessary than ever? After exploring these general questions, we will focus on Latin America, in particular on Argentina, Guatemala, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, and Mexico. How do human rights struggles in these countries change our view of the prevailing human rights regime? How do legacies of colonialism in these countries affect both the protection and violation of human rights in the present? Do these countries reveal a political tension between social justice and human rights? Readings will draw from Bartolomé de las Casas, Immanuel Kant, John Rawls, Martha Nussbaum, Ariel Dorfman, Paul Farmer, and Greg Grandin, among others.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1144 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Free Speech and Democracy

4 units Wed
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Paul Thaler

Description

The tension between free expression and social control has shadowed the Great American Conversation since the birth of this country. The constitutional ideal that our government "shall make no law" abridging free speech has given way, in fact, to laws that limit discussion, ostensibly for the public good. Likewise, new media technologies advance our ability to access and exchange ideas and information, but raise new questions as to the limits of such dialogue. This course, then, addresses the delicate balance between free speech and democracy, guided by seminal readings from Milton, Locke, Meikeljohn, among others, as well as important Supreme Court decisions that have critically shaped First Amendment rights in regard to hate speech, pornography, corporate control of mass media, the student press and the rights of journalists. The course also takes a case-study approach to issues related to free speech in wartime and political crisis, a tension made evident in recent debates over privacy rights and national security. With this foundation, we ask: Are there any forms of free speech that should be restricted? If so, which? And, who should decide?

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1552 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

Sociology of Religion: Islam and the Modern World

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Ali Mirsepassi

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1552

Description

This course is designed to explore the role of religion in modern societies. We will examine religion as an important social institution and also as a cultural system. We will study canonical and contemporary theories of religion. The focus of the course, however, will be Islam. We will look at the cultural context and historical construction of Islam, as well as the different social contexts within which Islam has evolved. We will examine the relationship between Islam and modernity, including secular ideologies, gender politics, and modern democracy. We will pay particular attention to the role that Islam plays in the everyday life of those who practice it, who are affected by it, or who struggle with it as their tradition. Our goal is to study Islam not as a fixed object or authentic tradition but as a social and cultural phenomenon subject to change, contestation, and critique. Texts may include Mernissi,  Islam and Democracy;  Arkoun,  Re-Thinking Islam ; Fernea,  In Search of Islamic Feminism ; and Armstrong,  Islam .

Notes

Same as MEIS-UA 785 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1847 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Dangerous and Intermingled: An Intensive Introduction to Critical Research Practices

8 units Fri
12:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Jack Tchen

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1847

Description

This course provides a foundation for critical, cross-cultural urban research methodologies, and challenges students to develop interdisciplinary, problem-focused analytic skills and insights by rethinking what we know about New York City. In the world of fundamentalists, intermingled New York has represented and still represents the epitome of danger and evil about the American experiment—the public mixture of classes, genders, races, sexualities, spiritualisms, and the-devil-knows-what-else!#? As elite Protestants created a refined European-affected "high brow" culture, they also created myriad "others." This intensive course will examine the historical formation of both sides of this false yet formative binary by walking Manhattan (and Red Hook) to get a grounded understanding of the way spaces have been built, ignored, and rebuilt over time. Course materials will include: Sanderson's Mannahatta maps, Burn's documentary "New York – a documentary" (1999), Smith's  Decolonizing Methodologies  (2006), and a course reader. Intensive dialogue-driven seminar approach. Walking shoes and passion for NYC prerequisites!

Notes

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors only. This course is recommended for students who wish to conduct advanced, independent, research as part of their subsequent studies. It combines the course sequence Dangerous and Intermingled I (WASP New York) and II (Subaltern New York), previously taught as IDSEM 1666 and 1667, respectively; students who have taken IDSEM 1666 and/or 1667 may not take this course for credit.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1193 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Culture as Communication

4 units Mon Wed
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Vasu Varadhan

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1193

Description

This course examines the concept of culture through its forms of communication. The shift from orality to literacy to electronic media and now digital media has important consequences for the social, political, and economic structures within a culture. If we take as axiomatic that every culture wishes to preserve itself through its forms of communication, we then need to ask ourselves which forms of communication are best suited for this purpose. What happens to cultures when traditional forms of communication are forced to compete with the newer technologies? What do we mean by “knowledge” in the age of information? The impact of written narrative on orality will be discussed as well as the changes brought about by the invention of the printing press. We will examine the development of electronic media, including the newer technologies such as the Internet, and analyze their effects on individual and cultural levels. Readings may include Plato’s  Phaedrus , Ong’s  Orality and Literacy , Achebe’s  Things Fall Apart , McLuhan’s  Understanding Media , and Carr's  The Shallows . There will also be selected handouts on the impact of social media in the political, social and economic spheres.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1839 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Freud

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Eve Meltzer

Description

This course aims to give students an in-depth understanding of the fundamental concepts, vocabulary and theories of Sigmund Freud, the so-called “Father of Psychoanalysis.”’ We will read closely a wide range of texts by Freud, covering the earliest incarnations of Freudian psychoanalysis to its final formulations, including concepts of the subject, drive theory, the “talking cure,” transference, dream interpretation, and more. Our sights will also be set on the ways in which psychoanalytic thought has, from its very beginnings, been in fruitful dialogue with the humanities, broadly speaking—most specifically, literature, philosophy, and the arts, although we will also consider its relevance as a clinical practice. Texts will include: Studies on Hysteria, The Interpretation of Dreams, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Totem and Taboo, The Ego and the Id, On the History of the Psychoanalytic Movement, Leonardo da Vinci and a Memory of His Childhood, and a selection of his shorter papers.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1648 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

Environment and Development in Africa

4 units Tue
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Rosalind Fredericks

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1648

Description

This course explores the political ecology of African development in historic perspective. Drawing from anthropology, geography, environmental history, development studies, and political science, the course joins theoretical and empirical perspectives on the politics of African environments. The first part will focus on the history of human-environment relations on the continent, paying particular attention to the exploitation of the natural environment during colonialism and patterns of extraction and trade set up during that time. Building on this history, we will then concentrate on the postcolonial period in order to compare different forms of exploitation across Africa and their connections to key development debates and national development trajectories. Specific topics may include: the extractive industries; the management of the urban environment; wildlife conservation and tourism; agriculture and rural livelihoods; and gendered access to resources. Aiming to provide more complex, critical, and nuanced understandings of human-environment relations on the continent, we will draw from academic texts and novels as well as documentaries. Readings may include: James Ferguson, Gregg Mitman, Michael Watts, and Adam Hochschild.

Notes

Sect 002 for Environmental Studies majors.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1848 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Expertise and Democracy

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Gianpaolo Baiocchi

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1848

Description

One of the central questions facing activists and reformers is that of expertise. We live an increasingly complex world in which experts of all sorts are unavoidable. Many of central issues facing us - from climate change to global poverty and vaccinations - are problems that require expert knowledge to adjudicate. What role should experts play in a democracy? How can we productively articulate expertise and democracy? Using activism and social change as a backdrop, students will explore theoretical questions as well as practical attempts from the world of social justice to resolve these issues. We will explore the literature in both science studies and in democratic theory and will explore a range of case studies of attempts to "democratize expertise." Guest speakers will include activists from local organizations and former Gallatin students who have gone on to pursue activism. Readings will include a range of “classic” and more contemporary texts on the connection between expertise and democracy, including: Paulo Freire, Martin Luther King, Cornel West,Frances Moore Lappe, among others.

Notes

Formerly titled and numbered, Tools for Social Change, CLI-UG 1403.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9402 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

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-UG1450 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
EARLY
FA 2015

Machiavelli: Popular Power and the Space of Appearances

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1450

Description

This two-credit course focuses on Machiavelli’s political theory. Our goal is two-fold: we learn the art of close reading, to reveal the complex and contradictory layers of meaning in our texts, and we explore the enterprise of political theory by lingering over the central questions Machiavelli raises. What is the nature of power? What is the character of “good” leadership? What is the relationship between morality and politics? How can human beings sustain forms of self-government, given their short-sightedness and fear, the predatory and narrow interests of ruling classes, and the tendency of institutions to become reified forms of power? We focus on his two greatest texts, but also read several of his greatest interpreters.

Notes

Open to sophomores only. Course meets last seven weeks,10/22-12/10.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1632 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

"Woman" and the Political

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Rosanne Kennedy

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1632

Description

Feminist theorists have critiqued the canonical works of political theory as implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) premised on the exclusion of “woman” and the “feminine.” The “feminine” (private, domestic, passive) has been seen to be in opposition to the “masculine” political sphere (active, public, rational). In this course we will read works from the canon of political theory alongside feminist critiques. The question we will consider is: how does feminist critiques of the absence of “woman” and the “feminine” in discourses of the political affect our ideas of not only the private and public, but also those of citizenship, equality, freedom, the individual, and community? Readings may include Plato, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Locke, Marx, Arendt, Susan Okin, Luce Irigaray, Linda Zerilli, Carole Pateman, and Bonnie Honig.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1527 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Finance for Social Theorists

4 units Mon
7:45 PM - 10:15 PM
Peter Rajsingh

Description

Why are some private, profit-making institutions “too big to fail?” Where is the Shadow Banking System? What is Minsky moment? The objective of this course is to provide students with conceptual, interpretive and analytical tools to understand finance. The approach is interdisciplinary and interpretive, drawing upon political theory, economics, psychology, basic statistics and accounting. For example, we use the subprime crisis to explore core concepts associated with credit, banking, business ethics, monetary policy and macro economics. We reference key ideas from familiar texts and also take up contemporary debates in finance. The aim is to help students become more literate and numerate as economic and social agents. Readings include Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (excerpts); John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy (excerpts); Peter Bernstein, Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk and Nassim Taleb, Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and in Life, as well as journal articles and pieces from the contemporary financial press. There is also an entrepreneurial team project.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1849 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Black Lives Matter: Race, Resistance and Popular Protest

4 units Thu
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Frank Roberts

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1849

Description

The age of the Obama Presidency has been plagued by a number of highly publicized police cases involving the shooting of unarmed black citizens at the hands of law enforcement and/or local vigilantes. In the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown, Vonderrick Myers, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, and others, the recent #blacklivesmatter movement has emerged largely in response to histories of state sanctioned violence against black and brown bodies. This seminar links the #blacklivesmatter” movement to four broader phenomena: 1) the rise of the U.S. prison industrial complex and the increasing militarization of inner city communities, 2) the role of media in influencing national conversations about race and racism, 3) the state of racial justice activism in the purportedly “post-racial” Obama Presidency, and 4) the increasingly populist nature of decentralized protest movements in the U.S. We will debate and engage with a variety of topics, including the moral ethics of “looting” and riotous forms of protest; violent vs. nonviolent civil disobedience; the media myth of “black on black” crime; coalitional politics and the black feminist and LGBTQ underpinnings of the #blacklivesmatter movement; comparisons between the blacklivesmatter movement and the U.S. civil rights movement; and the dynamics of political protest among the millennial and post-millennial generations. Readings will likely include writings by Cornel West, Michelle Alexander, James Cone, Osaygefo Sekou, Imani Perry, Frederick Harris. Our reading material will also be supplemented by guest speakers and media activists who have played prominent roles in the blacklivesmatter movement.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1682 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

Thinking Sex/Gender Globally

4 units Tue
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Ritty Lukose

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1682

Description

This interdisciplinary seminar explores how gender and sexuality simultaneously produce and is produced by global, transnational and international visions. For example, the project of identifying affinities between women across cultures and national boundaries has long grounded the work of feminist movements, scholars, journalists, institutions and activists in a variety of locations, both within and outside the Euro-American context. More recently, struggles for the rights of sexual minorities have become increasingly transnational. We explore such efforts to forge enabling alliances and solidarities. We also critically examine how such efforts navigate cultural and national differences, hierarchies within a global world order and complex histories of imperialism, paying attention to the different locations through which such projects intersect with the global. The course highlights the rise of a new post-war international order centered in the UN system, exploring the links between colonial legacies and new global trajectories. How and why are women and girls, gender and sexuality so central to this system? By examining development initiatives that target women and girls, anti-violence and anti-trafficking campaigns, and the rights of sexual minorities, we explore how gender and sexuality become grounds for debating global, transnational and international visions and frameworks that, in turn, shape feminist and queer politics in different locales. Readings include Antoinette Burton,  Burdens of History: British Feminists, Indian Women and Imperial Culture , Kumari Jayawardena's  Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World ,  Specters of Mother India: The Global Restructuring of an Empire  by Mrinalini Sinha ,  Afsaneh Najmabadi's  Women with Mustaches and Men Without Beards ,  Are Women Human?  by Catherine MacKinnon,  Transnational LGBT Activism: Working for Sexual Rights Worldwide  by Ryan Thoreson and  Queer Activism in India: A Story in the Anthropology of Ethics  by Naisargi Dave .  

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 721.003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1300 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Militaries and Militarization

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1300

Description

What are the effects of a large, permanent military upon the political economy and society of the United States? What are the effects on other countries of their militaries? What are the effects on local societies of US military bases? What is the role of the various militaries in the history of colonial/neo-colonial control, and in contemporary empire? How are military establishments and violence linked to ethno-national, class and other social movements—and to the repression and domination of such movements? What does a military do to/for the people who staff it? What are the implications of militarization in such areas as gender, human rights, the environment, sports, knowledge and learning? What is the role of militias, “para-militaries”, and guerrillas? What methods can social or popular movements use in their attempts to subvert, paralyze, eliminate or otherwise struggle against militaries, military bases, and weapons? Texts may include: Lutz,  Homefront: A Military City and the American Twentieth Century ; Enloe,  Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives ; McCaffrey,  Military Power and Popular Protest: The U.S. Navy in Vieques, Puerto Rico ; and Green,  Fear as a Way of Life .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

LONDON: Immigration

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON. To provide an understanding of the main immigration trends in Britain, France and Germany since 1850 To provide an understanding of the problems attending the social and political integration of immigrants in contemporary Western Europe To compare the experience and understanding of immigration in Europe with the experience and understanding of immigration in the United States To examine the ways in which the memory of immigration is represented in literature and contemporary culture.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1863 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

By Any Means Necessary: The Life and Times of Malcolm X and James Baldwin

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Frank Roberts

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1863

Description

This course considers the overlapping lives and legacies of two figures whose influence on the American Civil Rights movement was profound and far reaching: Malcolm X and James Baldwin. In this seminar we will examine the convergences and confluences of these two men’s political ideologies—and well as the worlds that shaped them. Though the American public rarely imagined them as political bedfellows in their time, a closer inspection of their lives reveals striking biographical similarities: both were born as the sons of Baptist ministers; both went on to become Harlem legends; and both emerged as “prophets” for the 1960s black freedom movement. Given that both of these men are often thought of as “revolutionaries”—we will move through this course searching for answers to questions such as: How was each of these men "revolutionary" and what precisely did each mean by "revolution"? What were their political differences in terms of envisioning race, racial politics, and the perils of American democracy? How were these concerns manifested in the form and force of their public lives, rhetoric, and written work? How are each of these men remembered, and what are the stakes in studying these figures in a "post" Civil Rights world? Our reading material will include  By Any Means Necessary: The Writings and Speeches of Malcolm X  and  The Fire Next Time.  Our course will also include trips to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture as well as the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Center in Harlem.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1786 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Trash Matters: Exploring Development, Environment, and Culture through Garbage

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Rosalind Fredericks

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1786

Description

This course considers the production, management, and disposal of garbage as a dynamic cultural phenomenon that can lend insight into a broad array of questions at the nexus of environment and development. Most broadly, unpacking waste’s deep political and cultural dimensions provides for critical reflection on urbanism, social relations of difference, global economic processes, and people’s relationships to nature. After exploring theories of waste and value, the first half of the course examines the rise of the discard society in the global North through looking at waste politics in the United States, with a special focus on New York City. The second half of the course expands the purview of our analysis to consider global waste geographies, focusing on waste trade and circulation in the context of uneven development. Specific topics may include: waste work in New York City; dumping and environmental justice in the US; the limits of recycling; toxic exports and the global e-waste trade; carbon as global waste; biocitizenship and the tragedy of Bhopal; waste-based social movements and rebellion through disorder; the art of rubbish. Authors may include: Mary Douglas, Gay Hawkins, Robin Nagle, Heather Rogers, and Sarah Moore.

Notes

Sect 002 for Environmental Studies majors.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1449 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
FA 2015

Plato: Tragedy, Philosophy, and Politics

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1449

Description

This two-credit course focuses on Plato’s  Republic . Our goal is two-fold: we learn the art of close reading to reveal the complex and contradictory layers of meaning in a text, and we introduce the enterprise of political theory by lingering over the central questions Plato raises. Those questions concern philosophy and its relationship to politics, the relationship between knowledge and power, the nature of justice, the role of art, poetry, and myth in politics and culture. we also read Sophocles'  Oedipus Tyrannos  to explore the relationship between tragedy and philosophy. We analyze these issues in relation to Plato’s world, and to our own.

Notes

Open to sophomores only. Course meets first seven weeks, 9/3-10/15.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1586 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

Consumerism in Comparative Perspective

4 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Kimberly DaCosta

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1586

Description

Consumerism—the linking of happiness, freedom, and economic prosperity with the purchase and consumption of goods—has long been taken for granted as constitutive of the “good life” in Western societies. Increasingly, global economic shifts have made it possible for some developing countries to engage in patterns of consumption similar to those in the West, such that one quarter of humanity now belongs to the “global consumer class.” At the same time, however, nearly three billion people struggle to survive on less than $2 a day. This course takes an international and interdisciplinary approach to examine consumption in different societies, and we do so by asking several central questions: What are the key determinants of patterns of consumption, and how are they changed or reshaped over time? In turn, how do patterns of consumption shape class formation, racial inequality, identity, aesthetic sensibility, and international boundaries? How do practices of consumption inform the ways in which people understand their values and individuality, imagine success and failure, or conceive happiness? By reading widely in sociology, anthropology, and history we will develop a framework for analyzing the ethical, environmental and social justice implications of consumerism. Readings include case studies from the US, China, India, Europe and Africa Some likely authors include: Veblen, Keynes, Marx; Twitchell; Sut Jhally; Bill McKibben; Arlie Hochschild, Lizabeth Cohen.

Notes

Same as SOC-UA 970-005.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1767 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Crime in the USA

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Ngina Chiteji

Description

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. This course examines the US criminal justice system, including (i) the causes and consequences of the rising incarceration rates that the nation has witnessed over the past 30 years, and the role of politics in driving society's appetite for locking people up; (ii) the labor market effects of having a prison record, along with the "spill-over" effects that incarceration has on ex-offenders' communities and families; and (iii) the costs borne at the state and federal levels of government. The course explores its subject matter from an interdisciplinary perspective, connecting ideas from economics, political science, sociology, and law. It will combine conceptual and statistical approaches to analysis. Possible texts include Bruce Western,  Punishment and Inequality in   America ; Garland, David,  Punishment and Modern Society ; Mary Pattillo, David Weiman and Bruce Western, eds.,  Imprisoning America:  The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration ; and Norval Morris and David Rothman,  The Oxford History of the Prison .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1381 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Creative Democracy: The Pragmatist Tradition

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Bill Caspary

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1381

Description

From Emerson, through William James, to John Dewey, and beyond, Pragmatism has been a uniquely American contribution to political theory and philosophy. The pragmatists are concerned with action in the world, to address “the problems of men and women.” They construct a philosophy for understanding and guiding that action. That philosophy values imaginative vision and exploratory experimentation. It looks forward to the new rather than dwelling on explaining, justifying, or condemning what exists. Pragmatism, like classical political theory, is concerned with politics as a way of achieving a good society, in which people can lead good lives. It does not view politics narrowly in terms only of elections and governments. Reading pragmatism as philosophy, in the first half of the course we will consider ethics, theory of knowledge, theory of science and social science, and put these in the service of democratic theory. Through the lens of the “Dewey-Lippmann controversy” we will consider the capacity of citizens for informed responsible participation. In the second half of the course we will consider democratic experiments: economic democracy, civic journalism, progressive education, participatory action research, and conflict resolution. Possible readings include Emerson’s “The American Scholar;” James’s “Moral Equivalent of War;” Dewey’s  The Public and Its Problems , “Creative Democracy,” and “The Economic Basis of the New Society;” Walter Lippmann's  Public Opinion , Jay Rosen's.  What Are Journalists For , William & Katherine Whyte's,  Making Mondragon , and so on.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1844 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Genre, Politics and Theory

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1844

Description

Our inquiry in this course concerns the relationship between how (through style and genre) we speak and what we are saying. To pursue this relationship, we ask: What are the worldly and political implications when theorists write in the contrasting forms of -for example- dialogue, a treatise, a manifesto, or when literary artists write in the genres of tragedy or melodrama? How does literary form shape a depiction of the world and our relation to it? When political figures seek to authorize action, what differences follow from their form of address? If political actors seek radical political change, must they confirm or disturb our expectations of literary form? Our goal is not to make rules to distinguish genres, but, instead, to think through the kinds of self-reflection and action that different genres foster in audiences. In the first half of the course texts may include: Sophocles'  Oedipus Tyrannos  compared to Pericles "Funeral Oration," Machiavelli's  The Prince  compared with Thomas More,  Utopia ; Marx,  The Communist Manifesto  compared to Nietzsche "Thus Spake Zarathustra." The second half of the semester focuses on the American case by reading texts that perform jeremiadic rhetoric, the frontier myth, racial melodrama, populist rage, progressive narration, and apocalyptic endings.

Notes

Open to sophomores and juniors only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1836 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

Fashion, Politics and Justice

4 units Tue Thu
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Paula Chakravartty

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1836

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)

IDSEM-UG1768 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Government and the Economy: What Every Citizen Should Know

4 units Tue
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Ngina Chiteji

Description

What are the different ways that the government intervenes in the economy? Why is government intervention so controversial in the United States? In this course students will learn how an economy functions at the macroeconomic level while also learning about the structure of the U.S. government and the way that the political process shapes economic policies. Our goal is to study the national economy in a way that situates basic economic insights in a political and historical context in order to fully understand the legislative and institutional environment in which policy decisions are made; and existing programs, policies, and outcomes, such as the Social Security Program, state and federal welfare programs, , the Federal Reserve's policies , and the $1.1 trillion budget deficit. The course combines conceptual and quantitative approaches to its subject matter. Readings may include David Wessel, Red Ink: Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget; Benjamin Bernanke, The Federal Reserve and the Financial Crisis; and The US Constitution.

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1764 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SU 2014

Media and Global Social Movements

4 units Mon Wed
1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Paula Chakravartty

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

Session I: May 27 - July 3

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1268 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SU 2014

Cultural Politics of Childhood

4 units Tue Thu
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Patrick McCreery

Description

This interdisciplinary seminar examines the ways that society has imbued children and childhood with meanings that are simultaneously symbolic and political. We begin our investigation broadly and gradually grow more specific. “Big” questions we engage include: Is the child figure as we know her a social construction, or does she possess some universal characteristics that transcend time, place and personal circumstance? What social forces of the Romantic and Victorian eras converged to help form the modern child? What do “moral panics” have to do with childhood? From here, the course becomes more specialized, focusing on highly contested topics: gender identity; ethnicity versus national identity; rights and representation. Throughout the course, we will focus on adult expressions of concern over the worth, safety and happiness of children’s lives. We also will study how children understand and represent themselves. A continual issue in the course is the extent to which such expressions are motivated by genuine worry for children’s well-being, by crass political maneuvering, or by some combination of the two. By the end of the course, we should have deeper understandings of childhood as a historical construction and of the debates surrounding some of the issues that society currently deems relevant to children. Works we will engage may include Lois Lowry’s The Giver , Neil Postman’s The Disappearance of Childhood , Roger Smith’s A Universal Child? , and Elisabeth Young-Bruehl’s Childism: Confronting Prejudice Against Children .

Notes

Session II: July 7 - August 15

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

TRAVL-UG9801 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
WI 2014

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

4 units
Rosalind Fredericks

Description

Application: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/utilities/forms/winter_travel.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 urbanism in the global South and beyond. This 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 (Senegal’s Islamic Mecca) to compare the form and function of these alternative urban histories and development strategies. Through a combination of course readings, classroom lectures, tours, walks, 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.

Notes

This three-week travel course goes to Dakar, Senegal, January 4-23. Permission required. Application deadline is October 25, 2013. For more information and to apply, please click on course title and link to application.

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)

IDSEM-UG1381 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

Creative Democracy: The Pragmatist Tradition

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Bill Caspary

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1381

Description

From Emerson, through William James, to John Dewey, and beyond, Pragmatism has been a uniquely American contribution to political theory and philosophy. Pragmatism, like classical political theory, is concerned with politics as a way of achieving the good life rather than viewing politics narrowly in terms of elections and governments. Through texts by and about the Pragmatists, especially Dewey, the course will introduce theories and practices of participatory democracy, economic democracy, civic journalism, progressive education, participatory action research, and conflict resolution. Reading Pragmatism as philosophy, in the Hegelian tradition, we will address many of the questions pursued by Marx, Nietzsche, and the postmodernists, and will uncover rich alternative answers. Possible readings include Emerson’s “Self Reliance”; James’s “Moral Equivalent of War”; Dewey’s The Public and Its Problems , “Creative Democracy,” and “The Economic Basis of the New Society”; Royce’s The Hope of the Great Community ; Seigfried’s Pragmatism and Feminism ; and West’s writings on “prophetic pragmatism.”

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1783 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SU 2014

Theories of Justice

4 units Mon Wed
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Peter Rajsingh

Description

Ideas of justice are central to discussions of morality, rule of law, politics and the good life in both the ancient and modern worlds. For instance, the concept of “liberty and justice for all” has potent normative force—undergirding narratives about legitimacy in liberal legalism, as well deployed to defend acts of civil disobedience. Justice has been invoked throughout history as belonging to a higher order moral scheme that supervenes over positive law and politics, serving as a way to endorse or critique social and political arrangements. But, while there tends to be broad acceptance of the general concept of justice, particular conceptions that instantiate the term continue to be matters of controversy and debate. This course explores ways in which conceptions of justice play out in politics, law and morality. We will examine particular forms of justice—distributive, retributive, procedural, substantive, restorative, constitutive etc., reading classic texts, legal opinions and journal articles. And we will discuss how accounts of justice are predicated on various kinds of arguments, such as naturalist claims concerning antecedent facts about the world, etc. We will also look at justice used in novel locutions, such as the term “environmental justice.” The approach will be interdisciplinary, drawing upon a variety of source texts ranging from Socratic propositions about justice (δικαιοσύνη) and virtue (ἀρετή) in Plato’s Republic and Crito to John Rawls’ Theory of Justice , landmark US Supreme Court cases and Albert Camus’ L’Etranger . Course objectives are to develop proficiency in moral theory, political philosophy, law and jurisprudential theory, using the concept of justice as the analytical window to highlight key moments in legal and political philosophy, and as a mechanism to understand conceptions of the good life from the ancient world into modernity. No prior knowledge of social and political philosophy is required or assumed.

Notes

Session II: July 7 - August 15

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1747 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SU 2014

Global Bioethics

4 units Tue Thu
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Allen Keller

Description

According to the philosopher Peter A. Singer, “Global bioethics seeks to identify key ethical problems faced by the world's six billion inhabitants and envisages solutions that transcend national borders and cultures.” In this course, we examine the emerging field of global bioethics, addressing questions such as: What bioethical concerns do the world’s populations share in common? What are the opportunities and challenges to establishing a common moral framework for addressing bioethical concerns worldwide? Are cultural and geographic variations of ethical concerns and means for addressing them inevitable and perhaps appropriate? We will explore the historical context, principles and practices of bioethics and global health, as well as their interrelationships. Other issues that we will discuss in this seminar include the social determinants of health, human rights, research ethics, HIV/AIDS, ethical issues at the end of life, and emergency/disaster relief. Throughout the course we will utilize case studies to compare and contrast bioethical dilemmas locally, nationally and internationally. Students will learn and apply a stepwise approach for conducting ethical analysis. Class activities will include simulated clinical bioethics committees, research ethics review committees as well as policy analysis and recommendations. Course readings will include scholarly articles and chapters from the medical and social science literature such as public health, political science and philosophy. Additionally, we will read from selected works of fiction that can inform and enrich our discussion of global bioethics including Camus’ The Plague and Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness .

Notes

Session I: May 27 - July 3

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1527 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

Finance for Social Theorists

4 units Mon
7:45 PM - 10:15 PM
Peter Rajsingh

Description

Why are some private, profit-making institutions “too big to fail?” The objective of this course is to provide students with conceptual, interpretive and analytical tools to understand finance. The approach is interdisciplinary and interpretive, drawing upon political theory, economics, psychology, basic statistics and accounting. For example, we use the subprime crisis to explore core concepts associated with credit, banking, business ethics, monetary policy and macro economics. We reference key ideas from familiar texts and also take up contemporary debates in finance. The aim is to help students become more literate and numerate as economic and social agents. Readings include Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (excerpts); John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy (excerpts); Georg Simmel, The Philosophy of Money ; Peter Bernstein, Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk ; Mohammed El-Erian, When Markets Collide ; and Nassim Taleb, Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and in Life .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1067 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

The Self and the Political: Plato to the Present

4 units Fri
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Rosanne Kennedy

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1067

Description

What defines the “self”? Is it possible to “know thyself”? Or is the self something opaque, unknowable, secret, or in the parlance of psychoanalysis, the effect of unconscious drives? Is selfhood an internal experience or does that very experience come from outside, from others? Is the self primarily autonomous, or the consequence of social and political forces? How do definitions of gender and/or race come into play when we define ourselves or others? What, then, are the possibilities and limitations of “self-fashioning” – in what ways are we free to (re)invent ourselves? – in what ways are we limited? These questions are important not only in terms of self-understanding, but also because the answers have political implications. In this course, we will thus consider how different authors imagine both the self and its relation to the political. We will begin by reading classic definitions of the self: Plato, Seneca, Montaigne. We will then turn to modern theorists of the self: Rousseau, Nietzsche, Freud, Foucault, and contemporary theorists.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1786 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

Trash Matters: Exploring Development, Environment, and Culture through Garbage

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Rosalind Fredericks

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1786

Description

This course considers the production, management, and disposal of garbage as a dynamic cultural phenomenon that can lend insight into a broad array of questions at the nexus of environment and development. Most broadly, unpacking waste’s deep political and cultural dimensions provides for critical reflection on urbanism, social relations of difference, global economic processes, and people’s relationships to nature. After exploring theories of waste and value, the course examines a broad selection of historic and contemporary geographies of waste from New York to Bangladesh for insight into specific debates and phenomena inscribed within these larger themes. Specific themes will include: the role of discourses and practices of waste in patterns of racial injustice and segregation in the colonial period to the contemporary era; concepts of pollution governing debates on sustainability and the urban environment; formal and informal labors of garbage management and questions of stigma and rights to the city; global waste circulations and capitalist globalization; the transformation of value and meaning involved in diverse processes of recycling; waste-based social movements and rebellion through disorder; the art of rubbish. Authors may include: Mary Douglas, Robin Nagle, Sarah Moore, Gay Hawkins, and Katherine Boo.

Notes

Sect 002 for Environmental Studies majors.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9402 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2014

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-UG1798 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

The Public Conversation on the Urban Environment

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Gianpaolo Baiocchi

Description

In this course students will work in four communities along Broadway doing Participatory Action Research on the nature of the public conversation about the urban environment at each site. Based on observations, interviews, focus groups, analyses of newspapers, blogs, and other community media, we will learn about the various ways in which people, especially young people, think about, experience, and find meaning in their urban environment. By the end of the semester students will stage a public forum at each site that will prompt an explicit conversation on the topic. Present at the conversation will be experts and community members alike. We will present the findings of our projects to policy makers and public artists identified by the instructor as interested in working in those communities.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1725 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

Cultures of Finance

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Robert Wosnitzer

Description

Why has the financial sector emerged as such a leading part of our contemporary economy? To what extent does the financial sector today model action across the political, cultural and social spheres of life? Often, we see finance as a realm determined by ‘objective’—and opaque—financial models and devices whose consequences seem out of reach to society. This course seeks to remedy that concept, focusing on the study of culture from within financial institutions and markets, and its development as playing an important role in everyday social life. In this course, we will define key features of the contemporary system of finance as part of the historical development of capitalism. We will consider the ways in the culture of finance has inflected, informed, and determined the wider culture that is increasingly described in financial terms and forms. We will visit the spatial arrangements of trading desks and central exchanges, their technological devices and models, financial instruments, and the people who occupy these spaces as our central object of inquiry, while considering the ways in which financial instruments are made to circulate through this system and the ways in which they are culturally negotiated. Readings may include Max Weber, Arjun Appadurai, Randy Martin, David Harvey, Tim Mitchell, Don MacKenzie, Karen Ho, and Caitlin Zaloom.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1698 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
EARLY
FA 2014

The Social Contract: Early Modern European Political Theory

4 units Fri
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Justin Holt

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1698

Description

What holds a society together? This course will explore one influential answer to this foundational question within philosophy and social theory, namely social contract theory as it developed within early modern European political philosophy. Modern assumptions about the relationship between individual and society, private property and ownership, rationality, economics and the market, and rights and responsibilities of citizenship have all been shaped by social contract theory. But, even though this theory has enjoyed great influence, it has been severely criticized as unrealistic and biased towards individualism and property holders. We will read the foundational social contract works in this course and try to understand their assumptions, strengths, and weaknesses. The works to be read will include: Hobbes' De Cive, Locke' Two Treatises of Government, and Rousseau's The Social Contract.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1272 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

Theorizing Politics

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1272

Description

This course analyzes what politics—as a practice and as a concept—has meant, means now, and could mean. In what ways has "politics" (as a noun) been used to name a distinctive practice (call it citizenship) located in a specific space in the social world, and in what senses has "political" been used as an adjective to depict certain dimensions of every human practice? How is practice and conceptualization related in different places and moments? Are there distinctive challenges (and gifts) entwined with politics and with the political dimensions of our lives? Are new dilemmas (and possibilities) emerging now, as globalization unsettles the nation-state form? We explore these questions by closely reading several canonical texts in political theory and using them to think about contrasting ways that human beings have practiced politics and invested it with meaning. In turn, working through several profound -and profoundly different- visions of politics will help us learn to “think politically” about collective circumstances, choices, and actions. Key theorists include Machiavelli, Marx, Arendt, and Foucault, paired with contemporary thinkers and issues.

Notes

Open to juniors only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1193 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

Culture as Communication

4 units Mon Wed
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Vasu Varadhan

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1193

Description

This course examines the concept of culture through its forms of communication. The shift from orality to literacy to electronic media and now digital media has important consequences for the social, political, and economic structures within a culture. If we take as axiomatic that every culture wishes to preserve itself through its forms of communication, we then need to ask ourselves which forms of communication are best suited for this purpose. What happens to cultures when traditional forms of communication are forced to compete with the newer technologies? What do we mean by “knowledge” in the age of information? The impact of written narrative on orality will be discussed as well as the changes brought about by the invention of the printing press. We will examine the development of electronic media, including the newer technologies such as the Internet, and analyze their effects on individual and cultural levels. Readings may include Plato’s Phaedrus , Ong’s Orality and Literacy , Achebe’s Things Fall Apart , McLuhan’s Understanding Media , and Carr's The Shallows . There will also be selected handouts on the impact of social media in the political, social and economic spheres.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1300 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

Militaries and Militarization

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

Description

What are the effects of a large, permanent military upon the political economy and society of the United States? What are the effects on other countries of their militaries? What are the effects on local societies of US military bases? What is the role of the various militaries in the history of colonial/neo-colonial control, and in contemporary empire? How are military establishments and violence linked to ethno-national, class and other social movements—and to the repression and domination of such movements? What does a military do to/for the people who staff it? What are the implications of militarization in such areas as gender, human rights, the environment, sports, knowledge and learning? What is the role of militias, “para-militaries”, and guerrillas? What methods can social or popular movements use in their attempts to subvert, paralyze, eliminate or otherwise struggle against militaries, military bases, and weapons? Texts may include: Lutz, Homefront: A Military City and the American Twentieth Century ; Enloe, Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives ; McCaffrey, Military Power and Popular Protest: The U.S. Navy in Vieques, Puerto Rico ; and Green, Fear as a Way of Life .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1785 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2014

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

4 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Marie Cruz Soto, Paula Chakravartty

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1785

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-UG1518 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2014

Globalization: Promises and Discontents

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Ritty Lukose

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1518

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-UG1803 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

Debating Capitalism in America

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
David Huyssen

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1803

Description

Capitalism can often seem as American as apple pie---yet from the Haymarket bombing in 1886 to the epic market collapse of 2008, it has endured periods of significant criticism and public doubt in the United States. Through history, film, economic thought, and music, this course will examine such moments of debate in U.S. history with an eye and ear toward understanding their influence on American social, political, and economic life. How has Americans' understanding of capitalism changed? How has historical context affected its reputation as a system for organizing economic life? How have alternatives to capitalism been envisioned or pursued? Debates over capitalism have arisen equally from moments of adversity and ascendancy in U.S. and global history, and this course will cover both. Readings will include Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Andrew Carnegie, Emma Goldman, Lewis Corey, Milton Friedman, and David Harvey.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG800 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

The Politics of Culture and the Culture of Politics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

4 units
Section 003
Tue
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Ritty Lukose

Description

One of the hallmarks of our contemporary commonsense is that everything we do in our everyday life is political—the food we eat, the music we listen to, the clothes we wear, the poetry we read. Yet, we also continue to view certain people (i.e. elected officials, street protestors) and certain practices (ie voting and throwing rocks at police) as properly the domain of politics. Further still, dominant western conceptions of politics assert that only certain kinds of cultures can produce democracy, for example one that is “modern”, “westernized” and “secular”. Each of these assertions assume a relationship between something called “culture” and something called “politics”—fundamental concepts within a range of disciplines and theories that seek to understand how societies reproduce and are transformed. This interdisciplinary seminar will examine the following questions: What is culture and how has it been defined in different texts and disciplines? What is politics and how has it been defined in a range of texts and disciplines? How and why have scholars and activists sought to put the cultural and the political in some dynamic relationship to each other? The seminar will not only include a range of texts across disciplines but will enact an interdisciplinary perspective by having three instructors from a range of disciplines (anthropology, political theory, and literary studies).

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG800 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

The Politics of Culture and the Culture of Politics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

4 units
Section 004
Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
George Shulman

Description

One of the hallmarks of our contemporary commonsense is that everything we do in our everyday life is political—the food we eat, the music we listen to, the clothes we wear, the poetry we read. Yet, we also continue to view certain people (i.e. elected officials, street protestors) and certain practices (ie voting and throwing rocks at police) as properly the domain of politics. Further still, dominant western conceptions of politics assert that only certain kinds of cultures can produce democracy, for example one that is “modern”, “westernized” and “secular”. Each of these assertions assume a relationship between something called “culture” and something called “politics”—fundamental concepts within a range of disciplines and theories that seek to understand how societies reproduce and are transformed. This interdisciplinary seminar will examine the following questions: What is culture and how has it been defined in different texts and disciplines? What is politics and how has it been defined in a range of texts and disciplines? How and why have scholars and activists sought to put the cultural and the political in some dynamic relationship to each other? The seminar will not only include a range of texts across disciplines but will enact an interdisciplinary perspective by having three instructors from a range of disciplines (anthropology, political theory, and literary studies).

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG800 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

The Politics of Culture and the Culture of Politics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

4 units Mon
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Sinan Antoon, Ritty Lukose, George Shulman

Description

One of the hallmarks of our contemporary commonsense is that everything we do in our everyday life is political—the food we eat, the music we listen to, the clothes we wear, the poetry we read. Yet, we also continue to view certain people (i.e. elected officials, street protestors) and certain practices (ie voting and throwing rocks at police) as properly the domain of politics. Further still, dominant western conceptions of politics assert that only certain kinds of cultures can produce democracy, for example one that is “modern”, “westernized” and “secular”. Each of these assertions assume a relationship between something called “culture” and something called “politics”—fundamental concepts within a range of disciplines and theories that seek to understand how societies reproduce and are transformed. This interdisciplinary seminar will examine the following questions: What is culture and how has it been defined in different texts and disciplines? What is politics and how has it been defined in a range of texts and disciplines? How and why have scholars and activists sought to put the cultural and the political in some dynamic relationship to each other? The seminar will not only include a range of texts across disciplines but will enact an interdisciplinary perspective by having three instructors from a range of disciplines (anthropology, political theory, and literary studies).

Notes

Sophomores only. Course start date is Monday, Sept. 8th; no classes week of Sept. 1st. This course is taught by Sinan Antoon, Ritty Lukose, and George Shulman. In order to register, students must enroll in one of the recitations, IDSEM-UG 800 002004, which then automatically enrolls them in the lecture, IDSEM-UG 800 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG800 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

The Politics of Culture and the Culture of Politics: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

4 units
Section 002
Wed
4:55 PM - 6:10 PM
Sinan Antoon

Description

One of the hallmarks of our contemporary commonsense is that everything we do in our everyday life is political—the food we eat, the music we listen to, the clothes we wear, the poetry we read. Yet, we also continue to view certain people (i.e. elected officials, street protestors) and certain practices (ie voting and throwing rocks at police) as properly the domain of politics. Further still, dominant western conceptions of politics assert that only certain kinds of cultures can produce democracy, for example one that is “modern”, “westernized” and “secular”. Each of these assertions assume a relationship between something called “culture” and something called “politics”—fundamental concepts within a range of disciplines and theories that seek to understand how societies reproduce and are transformed. This interdisciplinary seminar will examine the following questions: What is culture and how has it been defined in different texts and disciplines? What is politics and how has it been defined in a range of texts and disciplines? How and why have scholars and activists sought to put the cultural and the political in some dynamic relationship to each other? The seminar will not only include a range of texts across disciplines but will enact an interdisciplinary perspective by having three instructors from a range of disciplines (anthropology, political theory, and literary studies).

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1667 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

Dangerous and Intermingled II: Subaltern New York

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1667

Description

In the world of political moralists, intermingled New York has and still represents the epitome of danger and evil about the American experiment—the public intermixture of classes, genders, races, sexualities, spiritualisms, and the-devil-knows-what-else!#? As elite Protestants created a refined European-affected “high brow” culture, they also created myriad “others”—a transgressive, lowly polyglot city of shadows, miscegenation, and impurity. The docks, the Bowery, The Five Points, Greenwich Village, LES/Loisaida, Chinatown, and Harlem were all forged against the repressed imaginings of the powerful and the distinguished. This peoples’ Gotham, this disdained intertwined underworld of music, slang, jokes, songs, stories, foodways, and marvels of people will be the focus of this advanced research seminar. Course materials will include: Wallace & Burrow’s Gotham , Burns’ documentary New York , Smith’s Decolonizing Methodologies , and a course reader. Students will learn how to conduct a case study using primary sources.

Notes

Permission of the instructor (jack.tchen@nyu.edu) required. Same as SCA-UA 380 003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1466 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

The Philosophy and Welfare Politics of Distributional Justice

4 units Fri
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Justin Holt

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1466

Description

Are the outcomes of capitalist exchanges fair or unfair? Is capitalism supportive or detrimental to democratic virtues? Does the welfare state rectify the problems of capitalism or exacerbate them? John Rawls’ work A Theory of Justice has greatly shaped these considerations of the welfare state. His theory refined many of the debates concerning the fairness of capitalist economic outcomes and the effects capital accumulation has on democratic virtues. According to Rawls, the welfare state in some form was necessary for capitalism to have morally acceptable outcomes. But, critics of Rawls have called into question welfare state interventions, many finding them economically inefficient and detrimental to democratic virtues. Other critics have founds Rawls’ theory to be too limited in its impact, thereby supporting more extensive interventions into capital accumulation. In this course we will try to answer questions about the morality of capitalist accumulation by studying theoretical conceptions of Rawls’ work and the responses of his critics. The main texts of Rawls’ critics we will consider are Nozick’s Distributive Justice and Cohen's Rescuing Justice and Equality . These theoretical conceptions will be contrasted with the case studies contained in Esping-Andersen’s The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1520 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2014

Streetroots of Latin America II: Urban Social Movements

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Alejandro Velasco

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1520

Description

Long viewed as a region of landless peasants and landed elites, Latin America is now a continent of cities and mega-cities on whose streets vibrant social movements confront the challenges of metropolitan life. From Buenos Aires to Porto Alegre to Mexico City, new “streetroots” movements forge political identities, goals, and strategies out of a very particular experience of urbanization stretching back hundreds of years. This course examines the trajectory of these streetroots movements, asking: what social, political, and economic forces have shaped their strategies and demands over time? In turn, how have Latin American urban movements shaped developments in the region and beyond? What kinds of cleavages—geographic, generational, tactical—potentially hinder the broad appeal and usefulness of these movements? Among others, readings will include the work of João José Reis (Brazil), Peter Winn (Chile), and Deborah Levenson (Guatemala) to examine the interplay of race, class, and gender in the development of urban social movements, and first-hand accounts of urban activism by Abraham Guillén (Uruguay) and Hebe de Bonafini (Argentina). We will frame our analysis around seminal theories of urban social movements by E.P. Thompson, Manuel Castells, and Alejandro Portes, as well as contemporary contributions by Javier Auyero, Leonardo Avritzer, and Marina Sitrin.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1342 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

Language, Globalization and the Self

4 units Mon
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Maria-Luisa Achino-Loeb

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1342

Description

This course is intended as an exploration of language as vehicle for processes of globalization. What role did language play in the changes wrought by early capitalist transformations and the colonial expansion? Conversely, how have these global changes affected localized communities and the languages that identify them? And why should we care? To answer these questions we examine how the colonial experience has given rise to value-laden linguistic practices that mirror and sustain the racializing of privilege; and how the experience of language-loss encountered by voluntary and involuntary migrants can attack the integrity of the self. While ultimately concerned with language, our discussions have a wide scope ranging from issues of political economy to collective consciousness and individual psychology. Readings include Achino-Loeb's Silence: The Currency of Power , Anderson's Imagined Communities , Wolf's Europe and the People Without History , Hoffman's Lost in Translation , Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions , Richard Rodriguez’ Hunger of Memory as well as selected excerpts from other sources.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1412 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2014

Yellow Peril

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1412

Description

Fears of “yellow peril” (and brown “Turban tides”) run deep in the present and past of U.S. political and commercial culture. Its imagery and stories are just beneath the surface of everyday discourse and always latent—readily triggered by an incident, real or fabricated. SARS fears, charges of Chinese “pirating” U.S. cultural properties, the racial profiling of “Arab-looking” peoples, and Asians “taking over” U.S. higher education all illustrate contemporary forms of Asian “peril.” Americans are woefully unaware of this scapegoating tradition and its history, and consequently remain particularly vulnerable to its ideological and affective power. Seminar students will learn historical research skills and collaboratively document historical and contemporary case studies. We’ll explore what can and must be done to counter these fallacies and practices.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 380 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1719 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

China Gazing

4 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Chinnie Ding

Description

Ever since Marco Polo’s travels in the 13th century, China has provoked the Western imagination less as a place than a set of ideas—a cipher of difference and a test-case for universals. For thinkers from Leibniz to Kristeva, and in recent controversies around Ai Weiwei as much as FoxConn, determining how China and the Chinese are (or ought to be) like or unlike other states and cultures has sounded out essential questions about governance, civilizational progress, epistemology, creativity, and the bounds of fellow-feeling. Guided by the history of diplomatic, economic, and cultural exchanges between China and the Western world, this course is built around several key tropes that have persisted adaptively throughout that history, such as despotism and internationalism, the laboring body and the revolutionary masses. Our emphasis is on critical analysis of the political as well as the aesthetic imagination. Readings span literature, history, political philosophy, and travel writing. We also scrutinize several works of art, film, theatre, and performance.

Notes

This class presumes prior coursework in critical theory, comparative literature, or postcolonial studies; some knowledge of Chinese history would be useful as well.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1771 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

The Promise and Pitfalls of Markets

4 units Mon Wed
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Ngina Chiteji

Description

In his classic text, the Wealth of Nations , the Scottish economist and moral philosopher Adam Smith argued that the human propensity to "truck, barter and exchange" would naturally lead to socially optimal outcomes if people were left to trade freely, without any government interference in markets. This idea that a competitive market can lead to efficient outcomes is a central tenet of economic theory today. Moreover, the more general belief that markets know what's best is widely held throughout U.S. society. This course is designed to teach students about what economics has to offer to the analysis of markets and the ways that firms make decisions. It also will include analyses of market outcomes from scholars in disciplines outside economics, and it will touch on emerging ideas about social entrepreneurship in order to examine ways that the concept of a producer or an "entrepreneur" has been expanded to include more than individuals who are concerned with simply maximizing profits and personal enrichment. Readings may include texts such as the following: Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich and Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles Wheelan.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1055 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

Struggle for the Word: History of Media I

4 units Mon Wed
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Stephen Duncombe

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1055

Description

The history of the media is the history of struggle, a battle waged over words and images: who produces them, who has access to them, and whose interests are served by them. Beginning with the Bible and moving through plays and popular song; pamphlets, penny press and advertisements; this course will use the history of the printed word to explore enduring questions of power and culture. Readings will range from Genesis and Plato to the forced confessions of a barely literate sixteenth-century miller, Thomas Jefferson to Frederick Douglass, slave songs to early newspapers, and writings of public relations impresarios like Edward Bernays to the words of the novelist James Joyce.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1643 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

The Politics of Law and Legal Thought

4 units Tue Thu
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Vasuki Nesiah

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1643

Description

This class introduces students to critical legal studies through focused engagement with diverse areas of law. It is anchored in reading cases that captured pivotal debates in American legal history, cases such as Brown v. Board of Ed., Roe v. Wade, Lochner v. NY, MacPherson v. Buick Motor Co., Univ. of CA v. Bakke, King v. Smith, Perry v. Schwarzenegger and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission . Through discussion of these cases, we examine different understandings of the relationship between legal debates and social justice. Can law be tilted towards the powerful, while also being 'indeterminate?' Does it undermine the 'rule of law’ if, as some scholars argue, legal rules contained ‘gaps, contradictions and ambiguities?' How do unjust outcomes appear legally necessary? How do different understandings of gender impact anti-discrimination law? How does the legal architecture of property impact labor rights? What are the legitimate roles, rights and responsibilities of different actors in the system—from judges to corporations to welfare recipients? In addition to reading cases and legal scholarship, we will also analyze films focused on law and society. Readings include Duncan Kennedy, Cornel West, Karl Klare, Janet Halley, Rich Ford, Martha Minow, Joe Singer, James Clifford, Austin Sarat, Alan Freeman and others.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9402 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2014

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-UG1313 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

Ethics for Dissenters

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Bill Caspary

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1313

Description

This course is about dissent in a double sense: criticizing accepted ethical values, and criticizing old ways of philosophical thought about ethics. It is about affirmative ethics, not just criticism. Over the years the course has grown into a survey of classic writings in ethical philosophy from Socrates to Sartre. One third of the class is devoted to the classical Greek thought of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. There is a brief critical look at Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. The modern period covers the ethics of Romanticism, Marxism, Pragmatism, Existentialism, and Feminism—as dissenting alternatives to mainstream Kantian and utilitarian ethics. Authors include Dewey, Emerson, Hegel, Gilligan, James, Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Schiller. From these texts perspectives emerge on: (1) criticizing unjust (e.g. sexist) ethical standards, and inventing fair ones; (2) choosing ethical careers and life paths; (3) recognizing responsibilities to the larger community; (4) resolving ethical dilemmas; (5) forming and justifying visions of a better world; (6) dialoguing productively with adversaries by respecting different ethical positions without the cop-out of "anything goes;" and (7) getting beyond dead-end debate on idealism/realism, egotism/altruism, objectivism/relativism.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1475 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

American Politics After 9/11: Empire, Race and Democracy

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1475

Description

The central goal of this course is to examine the relationship between democracy and empire in the American case. Partly that means asking theoretical and historical questions about the relationship between the universalist claims of "liberal democracy" on the one hand, and practices of exclusion, racial domination, and military coercion on the other hand. Partly that means considering the ways that culture, livelihood and politics "at home" are shaped (in anti-democratic ways) by the institutions that enable global power. We at first relate these questions to domestic and international politics around the 9/11 attack, but we will focus on the Obama years. How have Americans understood and responded to economic crisis? How should we understand the pervasive language of economic and national decline? How do we explain bi-partisan support among elites for Bush-era "national security" policies, yet intense polarization over "domestic" policies whether taxes, (in)equality, "entitlements," immigration, abortion or gay marriage? What is the racial subtext of these debates? We will study the rhetoric and narratives of Obama, and of the "Tea Party" and "Occupy Wall Street" movements, to consider their different visions of democratic citizenship. To conclude we will compare the representational strategies in recent Hollywood movies that star George Clooney as a character awakening to (and trying to redeem) his complicity in imperial power, political corruption, and economic crisis.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1641 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

Health and Human Rights in the World Community

4 units Fri
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Allen Keller

Description

This course focuses on the relationship between health and human rights. First, it provides an overview of human rights violations in the world and it offers an analysis of the health consequences of human rights abuses. Second, it explores how individual and community health can be improved by protecting and promoting human rights. Third, it evaluates the ethical obligations of health professionals in the face of human rights violations, and it explores their role in caring for the victims. Intended for non-science as well as science majors, we use presentations and discussion to explore the link between health and human rights. Readings include Claude and Weston, Human Rights in the World Community: Issues and Actions , and Martin and Rangaswamy, eds., Twenty Five Human Rights Documents .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9100 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

BERLIN: European Environmental Policy

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-BERLIN. The course gives an introduction to various aspects of EU environmental policy making and policy implementation. After a brief recap of the basics of policy making in the EU, students will learn about the guiding principles and developments within EU environmental policy, the main actors and their interests in and influence on policy making. An optional part of the course might be a visit to the European House of the European Commission (EC) in Berlin where students either have the opportunity to role-play the decision-making process of the EC on the introduction of CO2-standards for cars or to engage in a debate with an EC representative. The second half of the course analyses EU environmental policies in different issue areas (e.g. climate change, biodiversity, waste) for their effectiveness in solving environmental problems. Different policy instruments are discussed for their merits and shortcomings (one example will be the EU Emissions Trading System) and linkages to other issue areas of EU policy making (e.g. industry and agriculture) are discussed. Finally, the course provides an international perspective on EU environmental policy making: sessions will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of EU environmental policy making at home and in international negotiations, compare it with US environmental politics, and discuss future challenges (e.g. EU enlargement) and trends for EU environmental governance.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1628 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

Think Big: Global Issues and Ecological Solutions

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

Description

What are the most stimulating solutions to global climate change? If we were given an imaginary “client” with an unlimited budget and colossal power, what should we design? The resounding formula for green thinking is broadly interpreted in three meta-themes; apocalyptic, technological, and traditional. Each category promises solutions and/or interpretations of our current environmental calamity. We explore critical philosophical, artistic, and scientific positions in each meta-theme that help elucidate this dilemma. Students read, evaluate, and synthesize projects and texts from great minds such as William Cronon, Bill McKibben, Bruce Mau, Mike Davis, Marshall McLuhan, Bjorn Lomborg, David Orr, Paul Virilio, Marshall McLean, Laurence Buell, and others. The final project is the production of a mock Madison Avenue advertising campaign that promotes urban “sustainability.”

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1144 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

Free Speech and Democracy

4 units Thu
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Paul Thaler

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1144

Description

The tension between free expression and social control has shadowed the Great American Conversation since the birth of this country. The constitutional ideal that our government "shall make no law" abridging free speech has given way, in fact, to laws that limit discussion, ostensibly for the public good. Likewise, new media technologies advance our ability to access and exchange ideas and information, but raise new questions as to the limits of such dialogue. This course, then, addresses the delicate balance between free speech and democracy, guided by seminal readings from Milton, Locke, Meikeljohn, among others, as well as important Supreme Court decisions that have critically shaped First Amendment rights in regard to hate speech, pornography, corporate control of mass media, the student press and the rights of journalists. With this foundation, we ask: Are there any forms of free speech that should be restricted? If so, which? And, who should decide?

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

LONDON: Immigration

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON. To provide an understanding of the main immigration trends in Britain, France and Germany since 1850 To provide an understanding of the problems attending the social and political integration of immigrants in contemporary Western Europe To compare the experience and understanding of immigration in Europe with the experience and understanding of immigration in the United States To examine the ways in which the memory of immigration is represented in literature and contemporary culture.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1768 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

Government and the Economy: What Every Citizen Should Know

4 units Fri
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Ngina Chiteji

Description

What are the different ways that the government intervenes in the economy? Why is government intervention so controversial in the United States? In this course students will learn how an economy functions at the macroeconomic level while also learning about the structure of the U.S. government and the way that the political process shapes economic policies. Our goal is to study the national economy in a way that situates basic economic insights in a political and historical context in order to fully understand the legislative and institutional environment in which policy decisions are made; and existing programs, policies, and outcomes, such as the Social Security Program, state and federal welfare programs, the "death" tax, the Federal Reserve's Quantitative Easing (QE) initiatives, and the $1.1 trillion budget deficit. Readings may include David Wessel, Red Ink:  Inside the High-Stakes Politics of the Federal Budget ; Stella Theodolou, Public Policy:  The Essential Readings (excerpts); and James Madison's The Federalist No. 39 .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1299 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

Objectivity and the Politics of the Journalism Revolution

4 units Wed
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Paul Thaler

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1299

Description

At the birth of this nation, it was assumed by journalists and their readers that journalists were partisans, telling stories from particular points of view. But the growth of the modern newspaper combined with the ideals of science transformed the image, self-image, and practice of journalism, which now claims to worship at the altar of objectivity, to present information or “news” without bias. This ethic has carried over to the contemporary media, despite challenges from critics. Rather than multiple media outlets presenting different optics or lenses through which to see events and their contexts, media outlets claim to speak impartially. In this course we examine this ideal or promise: is it possible? desirable? To pursue this inquiry we consider challenges to objectivity by figures such as Truman Capote, who linked a “new journalism” to a personal point of view, Robert McChesney, whose corporate media perspective provides a powerful macro analysis of modern journalism, and Jay Rosen, who articulates the postmodern shifts brought on by the Internet that have redefined and realigned the relationship between the journalist and audience. Readings include Walter Lippmann, John Dewey, Tom Wolfe, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, and Ben Bagdikian.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1632 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

"Woman" and the Political

4 units Wed
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Rosanne Kennedy

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1632

Description

Feminist theorists have critiqued the canonical works of political theory as implicitly (and sometimes explicitly) premised on the exclusion of “woman” and the “feminine.” The “feminine” (private, domestic, passive) has been seen to be in opposition to the “masculine” political sphere (active, public, rational). In this course we will read works from the canon of political theory alongside feminist critiques. The question we will consider is: how does feminist critiques of the absence of “woman” and the “feminine” in discourses of the political affect our ideas of not only the private and public, but also those of citizenship, equality, freedom, the individual, and community? Readings may include Plato, Machiavelli, Rousseau, Locke, Marx, Arendt, Susan Okin, Luce Irigaray, Linda Zerilli, Carole Pateman, and Bonnie Honig.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1552 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2014

Sociology of Religion: Islam and the Modern World

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Ali Mirsepassi

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1552

Description

This course is designed to explore the role of religion in modern societies. We will examine religion as an important social institution and also as a cultural system. We will study canonical and contemporary theories of religion. The focus of the course, however, will be Islam. We will look at the cultural context and historical construction of Islam, as well as the different social contexts within which Islam has evolved. We will examine the relationship between Islam and modernity, including secular ideologies, gender politics, and modern democracy. We will pay particular attention to the role that Islam plays in the everyday life of those who practice it, who are affected by it, or who struggle with it as their tradition. Our goal is to study Islam not as a fixed object or authentic tradition but as a social and cultural phenomenon subject to change, contestation, and critique. Texts may include Mernissi, Islam and Democracy; Arkoun, Re-Thinking Islam ; Fernea, In Search of Islamic Feminism ; and Armstrong, Islam .

Notes

Same as MEIS-UA 785.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1767 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2014

Crime in the USA

4 units Mon Wed
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Ngina Chiteji

Description

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. This course examines the US criminal justice system, including (i) the causes and consequences of the rising incarceration rates that the nation has witnessed over the past 30 years, including the role of politics in driving society's appetite for locking people up; (ii) the labor market effects of having a prison record, along with the "spill-over" effects that incarceration has on ex-offenders' communities and families; and (iii) the costs borne at the state and federal levels of government. The course explores its subject matter from an interdisciplinary perspective, connecting ideas from economics, political science, sociology, and law. It will combine conceptual and statistical approaches to analysis. Possible texts include Bruce Western, Punishment and Inequality in America ; Garland, David, Punishment and Modern Society ; Mary Pattillo, David Weiman and Bruce Western, eds., Imprisoning America:  The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration ; and Norval Morris and David Rothman, The Oxford History of the Prison .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1380 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2014

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-UG1527 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

Finance for Social Theorists

4 units Mon
7:45 PM - 10:15 PM
Peter Rajsingh

Description

Why are some private, profit-making institutions “too big to fail?” The objective of this course is to provide students with conceptual, interpretive and analytical tools to understand finance. The approach is interdisciplinary and interpretive, drawing upon political theory, economics, psychology, basic statistics and accounting. For example, we use the subprime crisis to explore core concepts associated with credit, banking, business ethics, monetary policy and macro economics. We reference key ideas from familiar texts and also take up contemporary debates in finance. The aim is to help students become more literate and numerate as economic and social agents. Readings include Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (excerpts); John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy (excerpts); Georg Simmel, The Philosophy of Money ; Peter Bernstein, Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk ; Mohammed El-Erian, When Markets Collide ; and Nassim Taleb, Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and in Life.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9100 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

BERLIN: European Environmental Policy

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-BERLIN. The course gives an introduction to various aspects of EU environmental policy making and policy implementation. After a brief recap of the basics of policy making in the EU, students will learn about the guiding principles and developments within EU environmental policy, the main actors and their interests in and influence on policy making. An optional part of the course might be a visit to the European House of the European Commission (EC) in Berlin where students either have the opportunity to role-play the decision-making process of the EC on the introduction of CO2-standards for cars or to engage in a debate with an EC representative. The second half of the course analyses EU environmental policies in different issue areas (e.g. climate change, biodiversity, waste) for their effectiveness in solving environmental problems. Different policy instruments are discussed for their merits and shortcomings (one example will be the EU Emissions Trading System) and linkages to other issue areas of EU policy making (e.g. industry and agriculture) are discussed. Finally, the course provides an international perspective on EU environmental policy making: sessions will evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of EU environmental policy making at home and in international negotiations, compare it with US environmental politics, and discuss future challenges (e.g. EU enlargement) and trends for EU environmental governance.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1380 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2013

Three Revolutions: Haiti, Mexico, Cuba

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1380

Description

We compare and contrast the revolutionary events, processes and outcomes in Haiti, Mexico, and Cuba. None were simple reflexes of European or North American ideas and politics, although such external factors were among their causes and effects. 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. We consider the roles of such 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; 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, power and 19th century Haiti; Gonzales, The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940 ; Olcott et al., Sex in Revolution: Gender, Politics, and Power in Modern Mexico ; Pérez Cuba, Between Reform and Revolution ; Kapcia, Cuba in Revolution: A History Since the Fifties ; Foran, Theories of Revolution , and later works.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1719 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

China Gazing

4 units Mon
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Chinnie Ding

Description

Ever since Marco Polo’s travels in the 13th century, China has provoked the Western imagination less as a place than a set of ideas—a cipher of difference and a test-case for universals. For thinkers from Leibniz to Sontag to Badiou, and in recent controversies around Ai Weiwei as much as FoxConn, determining how China and the Chinese are (or ought to be) like or unlike other states and cultures has sounded out essential questions about governance, human rights, civilizational progress, epistemology, and the bounds of fellow-feeling. Guided by the history of diplomatic, economic, and cultural exchanges between China and the Western world, this course is built around several key tropes that have persisted adaptively throughout that history, such as despotism and internationalism, the laboring body and the revolutionary masses. Our emphasis is on critical analysis of the political as well as the aesthetic imagination. Writing assignments consist of weekly response papers, a midterm essay, and a final research project. Readings span literature, history, political philosophy, critical theory, and travel writing. We also scrutinize several works of art, film, theatre, and performance.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1628 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Think Big: Global Issues and Ecological Solutions

4 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Mitchell Joachim

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1628

Description

What are the most stimulating solutions to global climate change? If we were given an imaginary “client” with an unlimited budget and colossal power, what should we design? The resounding formula for green thinking is broadly interpreted in three meta-themes; apocalyptic, technological, and traditional. Each category promises solutions and/or interpretations of our current environmental calamity. We explore critical philosophical, artistic, and scientific positions in each meta-theme that help elucidate this dilemma. Students read, evaluate, and synthesize projects and texts from great minds such as; William Cronon, Bill McKibben, Bruce Mau, Mike Davis, Marshall McLuhan, Bjorn Lomborg, David Orr, Paul Virilio, Marshall Mclean , Laurence Buell, and others. The final project is the production of a mock Madison Avenue advertising campaign that promotes urban “sustainability.”

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1342 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Language, Globalization and the Self

4 units Mon
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Maria-Luisa Achino-Loeb

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1342

Description

This course is intended as an exploration of language as vehicle for processes of globalization. What role did language play in the changes wrought by early capitalist transformations and the colonial expansion? Conversely, how have these global changes affected localized communities and the languages that identify them? And why should we care? To answer these questions we examine how the colonial experience has given rise to value-laden linguistic practices that mirror and sustain the racializing of privilege; and how the experience of language-loss encountered by voluntary and involuntary migrants can attack the integrity of the self. While ultimately concerned with language, our discussions have a wide scope ranging from issues of political economy to collective consciousness and individual psychology. Readings include Achino-Loeb's Silence: The Currency of Power , Anderson's Imagined Communities , Wolf's Europe and the People Without History , Hoffman's Lost in Translation , Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions , Richard Rodriguez’ Hunger of Memory as well as selected excerpts from other sources.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1299 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Objectivity and the Politics of the Journalism Revolution

4 units Thu
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Paul Thaler

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1299

Description

At the birth of this nation, it was assumed by journalists and their readers that journalists were partisans, telling stories from particular points of view. But the growth of the modern newspaper combined with the ideals of science transformed the image, self-image, and practice of journalism, which now claims to worship at the altar of objectivity, to present information or “news” without bias. This ethic has carried over to the contemporary media, despite challenges from critics. Rather than multiple media outlets presenting different optics or lenses through which to see events and their contexts, media outlets claim to speak impartially. In this course we examine this ideal or promise: is it possible? desirable? To pursue this inquiry we consider challenges to objectivity by figures such as Truman Capote, who linked a “new journalism” to a personal point of view, Robert McChesney, whose corporate media perspective provides a powerful macro analysis of modern journalism, and Jay Rosen, who articulates the postmodern shifts brought on by the Internet that have redefined and realigned the relationship between the journalist and audience. Readings include Walter Lippmann, John Dewey, Tom Wolfe, Michael Herr, Eric Alterman, Kathleen Hall Jamieson, and Ben Bagdikian.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1573 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

The New American Society

4 units Mon
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Laurin Raiken

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1573

Description

Until 2007-08 we took for granted that in the past sixty years following World War II, the industrialized Western world experienced unprecedented economic expansion, and the United States was economically and geopolitically.” the dominant superpower, indeed America was the primary coordinator and beneficiary of the post World War II period. Only a few keen observers detected economic flaws or geopolitical vulnerability in what has been called “The American Century.” Since the mid-1970s however, there have been enormous changes in the United States and the world. New forms of violence, major economic shifts and geopolitical reversals have seriously undermined and changed the world order and particularly American lives and even more pointedly the lives of American youth. Recently the self-destruction and breakdown of the U.S. financial and economic systems triggered a deep global destabilization and The Great Recession. For a growing number of Americans life has become the equivalent to the severe dislocations of the Great Depression of the 1930s. With this broad historical are in view, this seminar offers a critical history of Post World War II America, focusing especially on major social, political, ideological, extremist “teavangelical” obstructionist aggression and the world historical economic collapse. Readings include social and political thinkers such as C. Wright Mills, Barrington Moore Jr., Hannah Arendt, and Arthur J. Vidich and economists such as, John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, John Kenneth Galbraith, the essayist John Lanchester, and Nobel Laureates Paul Krugman and Joseph Stieglitz. We read “Ill Fares the Land,” by the late New York University historian Tony Judt, and be inspired by the work of the great world class political economist and unsung American radical thinker, Thorstein Veblen. How do the emerging realities of today portend the future?

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1717 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

The Keynesian Century

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Andrew Bossie

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1717

Description

This class explores the intellectual history of economics during the 20th Century, and particularly the central economist of that century: John Maynard Keynes. What factors led to the ascendency of Keynesian economics during the middle of the 20th Century? What role did historical events such as the Great Depression, World War II, the Vietnam War and Stagflation play in determining this ascendance? What did the new, post-WWII technocratic class take from Keynes and what did they ignore? What led economists to largely disavow Keynes’ insights towards the end of the 20th Century? What does “Keynesian economics” even mean? We also examine works from the various schools of economic thought that emerged during the 20th century, all of which—in no small part—defined themselves either in support of or in opposition to Keynes’s ideas . Readings also include selections from Joan Robinson, Fredrick Hayek, Robert Lucas, Milton Friedman David Harvey, James Tobin, John Kenneth Galbraith and others.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1042 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Digital Revolution: History of Media III

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Stephen Duncombe

Description

We are in the midst of a revolution. Computers permeate nearly every aspect of our life, yet we understand relatively little about how they work, their historical development, and their impact on our thought and actions. As with previous technological and communications revolutions like the rise of print and the ascendency of the image, computing is transforming our economic and political landscape, bringing with it new possibilities as well as new problems. In this course we explore this ever changing and rapidly expanding terrain, paying special attention to how computers and the Internet are transforming how we experience and understand identity and community, control and liberation, simulation and authenticity, creation and collaboration, and the practice of politics. Authors whose works we read may include: Jean Baudrillard, Jorge Luis Borges, Yochai Benkler, Nicholar Carr, the Critical Art Ensemble, Galileo, Donna Haraway, Lawrence Lessig, Lewis Mumford, Plato, the RAND Corporation, Sherry Turkle, and Ellen Ullman.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

LONDON: Immigration

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON. To provide an understanding of the main immigration trends in Britain, France and Germany since 1850 To provide an understanding of the problems attending the social and political integration of immigrants in contemporary Western Europe To compare the experience and understanding of immigration in Europe with the experience and understanding of immigration in the United States To examine the ways in which the memory of immigration is represented in literature and contemporary culture.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1703 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

The Green Dream

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Meredith Theeman

Description

The modern notion of "greenness" equates the natural environment with goodness. What do we make of this equation? This seminar takes an interdisciplinary approach to analyzing the way that people have conceptualized their relationship with nature and the natural, and how these views impact our behavior. We employ psychological theory and empirical research to explore how people form their values with regard to the environment. Possible texts include Hippocrates, Yi-Fu Tuan, E.O. Wilson, William Cronon, Ernest Callenbach, Rachel Carson, Alan Weisman, Michael Pollan and Ruth Ozeki.

Notes

Section 3 for Environmental Studies majors only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1577 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2013

The Ethnographic Imagination

4 units Thu
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Ritty Lukose

Description

Ethnography has been narrowly construed as the research methodology that defines the discipline of cultural anthropology, but this course explores ethnography as both a mode of inquiry and a genre of writing through we grapple with the experience of Self and Other at the intersection of overlapping cultural worlds. We begin by linking modern ethnographic writing to early travel narratives, to missionary accounts, and to colonial reports serving evolving imperial formations.We then examine the consolidation of an "ethnographic" perspective in the emerging discipline of anthropology, as well as more recent critiques of this genre. Our own method is reading classic and contemporary ethnographic works. These reveal ongoing tensions between the scientific and the literary; between abstract "theory" and ethnographic "practice;" and between the claim to truth-telling and the power and limits linked to the positioning of the author. In response to these tensions we also trace the textual experimentation that mixes ethnography, poetry, memoir, and travel writing, fiction, and film. Our goal is to develop a self-reflective ethnographic imagination, open to the possibilities and difficulties in cross-cultural understanding, as we consider the complexities in encounter and contact, looking and describing, representing and translating. Possible texts include travel writings from the period of early European expansion, Conquest of America by Todorov, Argonauts of the Western Pacific by Malinowski, Coming of Age in Samoa by Margaret Mead; Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography by Clifford and Marcus, Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment by J. Biehl, In an Antique Land by Amitav Ghosh, and the films of Trin Minh Ha.

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1360 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Intellectuals and Power: Reading Through Foucault, Lenin, and Gramsci

4 units Mon
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
René Francisco Poitevin

Description

This course uses Lenin, Gramsci, and Foucault to pursue two questions: first, how does power operate in society? Second, what is the role of intellectuals in relation to power and politics? On the one hand, we ask: what is power? (Is it located in the state? corporations? media? in discourse? In what ways is power a problem and in what ways a resource?) On the other hand, we ask: what is “the intellectual?” What sort of social category and institution is thereby denoted? What do intellectuals claim to know and what is the political impact of their authority? Our goal is to explore how intellectuals give us a language to “see” power, but also how they have been implicated in the very forms of power they teach us to analyze. Readings include texts by Lenin, Gramsci, and Foucault, among others.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1486 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2013

Revolucion

4 units Wed
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Alejandro Velasco

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1486

Description

Equating Latin America and revolution seems almost a truism. From Zapata to "Ché" to Chávez, the region's modern history is a tale of one movement promising epic change to the next, each more dramatic than the last and collectively giving rise to an image of Latin America as a cradle of firebrand leaders and riotous masses leaving in their wake endless cycles of unrest. But to look deeper into this history is to find a world of complexity, of peoples pursuing radical change but also gradual reform, at times taking up ballots and at times taking up arms, at times in the factory and at times on the farm, at times from the left and at times from the right. All of it "revolución," yes, but what kind? And through what means? And for what ends? And at what cost? This course traces the evolution of revolution in twentieth century Latin America, from the final collapse of Spanish colonialism in 1898 to the rise of chavismo in 1998, and finally considers the impact of this history on Latin America today. Authors may include, among others, Mariano Azuela, Eva Perón, Gustavo Gutierrez, Subcomandante Marcos, and Raul Zibechi.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1313 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Ethics for Dissenters

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Bill Caspary

Description

This course is about dissent in a double sense: criticizing accepted ethical values, and criticizing old ways of philosophical thought about ethics. It is about affirmative ethics, not just criticism. Over the years the course has grown into a survey of classic writings in ethical philosophy from Socrates to Sartre. One third of the class is devoted to the classical Greek thought of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. There is a brief critical look at Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau. The modern period covers the ethics of Romanticism, Marxism, Pragmatism, Existentialism, and Feminism—as dissenting alternatives to mainstream Kantian and utilitarian ethics. Authors include Dewey, Emerson, Hegel, Gilligan, James, Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Schiller. From these texts perspectives emerge on: (1) criticizing unjust (e.g. sexist) ethical standards, and inventing fair ones; (2) choosing ethical careers and life paths; (3) recognizing responsibilities to the larger community; (4) resolving ethical dilemmas; (5) forming and justifying visions of a better world; (6) dialoguing productively with adversaries by respecting different ethical positions without the cop-out of "anything goes;" (8) and getting beyond dead-end debate on idealism/realism, egotism/altruism, objectivism/relativism.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1682 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2013

What Is Global About Gender?

4 units Wed
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Ritty Lukose

Description

This interdisciplinary seminar explores how discourses about women, gender and sexuality depend on and produce visions of the global, the transnational and the international. The project of identifying affinities between women across cultures and national boundaries has long grounded the work of scholars, journalists, social movements, institutions and activists in a variety of locations, both within and outside the Euro-American context. Such efforts are intended to forge enabling alliances and solidarities, often within the larger horizon of “women’s rights” or “feminism”, yet must navigate cultural and national differences, hierarchies within a global world order and complex histories imperialism. The course explores histories of feminism and empire that unravel how imperial visions based on the "civilizing mission" ground their arguments on the "treatment of women". We then explore the rise of a new post-war international order centered on human rights and the UN system. How and why are women and girls, gender and sexuality so central to this system? By examining development initiatives that target women and girls, anti-violence and anti-trafficking campaigns, and more contemporary discourses of the rights of sexual minorities, we explore how gender and sexuality become grounds for debating global, transnational and international visions. Readings include Kumari Jayawardena's Feminism and Third World Nationalism , Afsaneh Najmabadi's Women with Mustaches and Men with Beards , Are Women Human? by Catherine MacKinnon, Human Rights and Gender Violence by Sally Merry, Scattered Hegemonies by Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 721 003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1622 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2013

International Human Rights

4 units Tue Thu
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Vasuki Nesiah

Description

Human rights has become the privileged political vocabulary for justice in a range of contexts: from Untied Nations meetings on the millennium development goals to media reports on Darfur, from court rooms adjudicating the treatment of Guantanamo detainees to street protests regarding the WTO. For some, it provides inspiration for struggle and progressive change. For others it carries the taint of illusory promises; a fig leaf for liberal hubris and imperial intervention. What historical dynamics have shaped this debate? What potential does human rights carry for different groups? Is human rights the language of dissent and revolution or is it the language of global governance? The course travels a two-pronged path—partly focused on key debates that have structured the history and theory of human rights, and partly focused on debates internal to specific topics such as torture, homelessness and genocide. In addition to key human rights cases, we read authors such as Phillip Alston, Talal Asad, Wendy Brown, Andrew Clapham, Karen Engle, David Kennedy, Susan Marks, Sally Merry, Samuel Moyn, Makau Mutua, Jacques Ranciere, Henry Steiner, Gayatri Spivak and others.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9402 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

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-UG1300 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2013

Militaries and Militarization

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

Description

What are the effects of a large, permanent military upon the political economy and society of the United States? What are the effects on other countries of their militaries? What are the effects on local societies of US military bases? What is the role of the various militaries in the history of colonial/neo-colonial control, and in contemporary empire? How are military establishments and violence linked to ethno-national, class and other social movements—and to the repression and domination of such movements? What does a military do to/for the people who staff it? What are the implications of militarization in such areas as gender, human rights, the environment, sports, knowledge and learning? What is the role of militias, “para-militaries”, and guerrillas? What methods can social or popular movements use in their attempts to subvert, paralyze, eliminate or otherwise struggle against militaries, military bases, and weapons? Texts may include: Lutz, Homefront: A Military City and the American Twentieth Century ; Enloe, Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives ; McCaffrey, Military Power and Popular Protest: The U.S. Navy in Vieques, Puerto Rico ; and Green, Fear as a Way of Life .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1272 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2013

Theorizing Politics

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1272

Description

This course analyzes what politics—as a practice and as a concept—has meant, means now, and could mean. In what ways has "politics" (as a noun) been used to name a distinctive practice (call it citizenship) located in a specific space in the social world, and in what senses has "political" been used as an adjective to depict certain dimensions of every human practice? How is practice and conceptualization related in different places and moments? Are there distinctive challenges (and gifts) entwined with politics and with the political dimensions of our lives? Are new dilemmas (and possibilities) emerging now, as globalization unsettles the nation-state form? We explore these questions by closely reading several canonical texts in political theory and using them to think about contrasting ways that human beings have practiced politics and invested it with meaning. In turn, working through several profound -and profoundly different- visions of politics will help us learn to “think politically” about collective circumstances, choices, and actions. Key theorists include Machiavelli, Marx, Arendt, and Foucault, paired with contemporary thinkers and issues.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1626 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2013

The Communication Revolutions

4 units Thu
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Paul Thaler

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1626

Description

We say we live in the Information Age as if such an age never existed before. But throughout time, the introduction of new forms of media and communication technologies have had a transformational effect on existing social, political, and economic life, creating new perceptual pathways to our understanding. This course examines history through the prism of these communication “revolutions,” beginning with the arrival of the spoken word, the development of writing systems, the spread of the printed word, the age of electricity, before focusing on the modern era of digital media. It is through our investigation of these previous revolutions that we may come to some greater understanding about the promise, and consequence, of our own technological age. Possible readings: Jay David Bolter, Turing’s Man: Western Culture in the Computer Age ; James Carey, Culture as Communication ; Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Press as an Agent of Change ; Eric Havelock, Preface to Plato ; Marshall McLuhan, Gutenberg Galaxy ; Lewis Mumford, Technics and Civilization ; Walter Ong, Orality and Literacy ; Susan Sontag, On Photography ; Neil Postman, Technopoly ; and Sherry Turkle, The Second Screen .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1725 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2013

Cultures of Finance

4 units Mon Wed
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Robert Wosnitzer

Description

Why has the financial sector emerged as such a leading part of our contemporary economy? To what extent does the financial sector today model action across the political, cultural and social spheres of life? Often, we see finance as a realm determined by ‘objective’—and opaque—financial models and devices whose consequences seem out of reach to society. This course seeks to remedy that concept, focusing on the study of culture from within financial institutions and markets, and its development as playing an important role in everyday social life. In this course, we will define key features of the contemporary system of finance as part of the historical development of capitalism. We will consider the ways in the culture of finance has inflected, informed, and determined the wider culture that is increasingly described in financial terms and forms. We will visit the spatial arrangements of trading desks and central exchanges, their technological devices and models, financial instruments, and the people who occupy these spaces as our central object of inquiry, while considering the ways in which financial instruments are made to circulate through this system and the ways in which they are culturally negotiated. Readings may include Max Weber, Arjun Appadurai, Randy Martin, David Harvey, Tim Mitchell, Don MacKenzie, Karen Ho, and Caitlin Zaloom.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1666 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2013

Dangerous and Intermingled I: WASP New York

4 units Mon
6:20 PM - 7:35 PM Fri
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Jack Tchen

Description

In the world of fundamentalists, intermingled New York has and still represents the epitome of danger and evil about the American experiment—the public mixture of classes, genders, races, sexualities, spiritualisms, and the-devil-knows-what-else!#? As elite Protestants created a refined European-affected "high brow" culture, they also created myriad "others"—a transgressive, lowly polyglot city of shadows, miscegenation, and impurity literally and symbolically “below the grid.” This two-semester interdisciplinary, multimedia course will examine the historical formation of both sides of this false yet foundational binary. We’ll spend much of our time walking lower Manhattan. Dangerous 1 focuses on the colonization and romance of Mannahatta from Lenni Lenape coastal communities to Kieft's War to Henry James' Washington Square to Tom Wolfe’s “Ennuchs of the Universe.” The rise of wealthy white Anglo American Protestants (WAAP) from port trade becomes the basis for an unresolved, striving elite culture constantly moving uptown away from intermingled, non-WAAP others and from it's own repressive self-disciplining. Dangerous Intermingled II, taught Spring 2014, will focus on "Subaltern New York." Course materials will include: Sanderson's Mannahatta maps, Burn's documentary, New York , Smith's Decolonizing Methodologies , and a course reader. Intensive dialogue-driven seminar approach. Students will learn how to become the expert of a chosen artifact, a semester-long research project using primary sources. Walking shoes and passion for NYC are prerequisites! Friday lab required. Dangerous Intermingled I and II can be taken separately or together in any sequence.

Notes

Permission of the instructor (jack.tchen@nyu.edu) required. Same as SCA-UA 380.001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1555 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2013

Imagining India: From the Colonial to the Global

4 units Tue
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Ritty Lukose

Description

India is a crucial site for discussions about globalization within the US and beyond. While some discourses fearfully worry about the loss of American jobs to outsourcing within India, other discourses herald “India Rising” to take its place among powerful global players. Drawing on an interdisciplinary set of readings about India, this course explores how the liberalization of the Indian economy and the forces of globalization are transforming the fraught and difficult emergence, out of colonial domination, of the nation-state of India. First, we explore a variety of pre-colonial and colonial imaginings of South Asia and examine politicized assertions of a unified Indian identity during the anti-colonial nationalist movement. Here, nation is not only a political entity, but also a cultural project that re-shapes ideas of self, religion, community, region, family, gender and kinship. The post-independence period is explored through writings on the Partition that created India and Pakistan, “development” as a key concept that has been central to nation-building, and struggles around caste, gender, sexuality, tribal identity, environment, region and religion. How the state contends with majority and minority identities and claims, the complexities of secularism, notions of equality and difference, all in the context of vibrant social movements and a large NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) sector will enable an in-depth exploration of how democracy, as idea and practice, happens in India. Having explored the cultural and political project of modern nation-state formation within India, we will then explore how globalization is transforming politics, economy and culture. Readings include: Ronald Inden’s Imagining India, Amitav Ghosh on the Indian Ocean World, Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy by Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal, the writings of Gandhi, Nehru, and Amdedkar, subaltern studies collective writings on nationalism in India, The Nation and its Fragments by Partha Chatterjee, Manu Joseph’s Serious Men , Menon and Bhasin’s Borders and Boundaries: Women in India’s Partition and India’s New Middle Class: Democratic Politics in an Era of Economic Reform by Leela Fernandes.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2013

LONDON: Immigration

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-LONDON. To provide an understanding of the main immigration trends in Britain, France and Germany since 1850 To provide an understanding of the problems attending the social and political integration of immigrants in contemporary Western Europe To compare the experience and understanding of immigration in Europe with the experience and understanding of immigration in the United States To examine the ways in which the memory of immigration is represented in literature and contemporary culture.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1767 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2013

Crime in the USA

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Ngina Chiteji

Description

The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world. This course examines the structure of the criminal justice system, including the costs borne at the state and federal levels of government; and the causes and consequences of the rising incarceration rates that the nation has witnessed over the past 30 years, including the role of politics in driving society's appetite for locking people up, the labor market effects of having a prison record, and the "spill-over" effects that incarceration has on ex-offenders' communities and families. The course explores its subject matter from an interdisciplinary perspective, connecting ideas from economics, political science, sociology, and law. It will combine conceptual and quantitative approaches to analysis. Possible texts include Bruce Western, Punishment and Inequality in America; Glenn C. Loury, Race, Incarceration and American Values ; Mary Pattillo, David Weiman and Bruce Western, eds., Imprisoning America:  The Social Effects of Mass Incarceration ; and Steven Raphael and Michael A. Stoll, eds., Do Prisons Make Us Safer ?

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1381 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2013

Creative Democracy: The Pragmatist Tradition

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Bill Caspary

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1381

Description

From Emerson, through William James, to John Dewey, and beyond, Pragmatism has been a uniquely American contribution to political theory and philosophy. Pragmatism, like classical political theory, is concerned with politics as a way of achieving the good life rather than viewing politics narrowly in terms of elections and governments. Through texts by and about the Pragmatists, especially Dewey, the course will introduce theories and practices of participatory democracy, economic democracy, civic journalism, progressive education, participatory action research, and conflict resolution. Reading Pragmatism as philosophy, in the Hegelian tradition, we will address many of the questions pursued by Marx, Nietzsche, and the postmodernists, and will uncover rich alternative answers. Possible readings include Emerson’s “Self Reliance”; James’s “Moral Equivalent of War”; Dewey’s The Public and Its Problems , “Creative Democracy,” and “The Economic Basis of the New Society”; Royce’s The Hope of the Great Community ; Seigfried’s Pragmatism and Feminism ; and West’s writings on “prophetic pragmatism.”

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9402 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2013

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-UG1527 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2013

Finance for Social Theorists

4 units Mon
7:45 PM - 10:15 PM
Peter Rajsingh

Description

Why are some private, profit-making institutions “too big to fail?” The objective of this course is to provide students with conceptual, interpretive and analytical tools to understand finance. The approach is interdisciplinary and interpretive, drawing upon political theory, economics, psychology, basic statistics and accounting. For example, we use the subprime crisis to explore core concepts associated with credit, banking, business ethics, monetary policy and macro economics. We reference key ideas from familiar texts and also take up contemporary debates in finance. The aim is to help students become more literate and numerate as economic and social agents. Readings include Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (excerpts); John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy (excerpts); Georg Simmel, The Philosophy of Money ; Peter Bernstein, Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk ; Mohammed El-Erian, When Markets Collide ; and Nassim Taleb, Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and in Life .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1764 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2013

Media and Global Social Movements

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

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.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1268 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SU 2013

Cultural Politics of Childhood

4 units Mon Wed
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Patrick McCreery

Description

This interdisciplinary seminar examines the ways that society has imbued children and childhood with certain cultural meanings. We start by focusing on two widespread assumptions about children—that they are naturally innocent and that they are routinely endangered by social problems such as violent crime, drug abuse, and sexual predators. Next, we study how these cultural assumptions originated in Romantic and Victorian visions of childhood and how “childhood” itself emerged as a coherent life stage only in the past several centuries. Finally, we study how childhood increasingly has become the focus of academic attention, popular concern, and state control. While the main focus of the course is on cultural understandings of childhood, we also examine how children themselves have made sense of their lives. Texts come from the fields of literature, history, political science, psychology, and queer theory. They may include Ariès’s Centuries of Childhood , Barrie's Peter Pan , Levine’s Harmful to Minors, and Postman's Disappearance of Childhood .

Notes

Session II: July 8 - August 16

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1747 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SU 2013

Global Bioethics

4 units Tue Thu
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Allen Keller

Description

According to the philosopher Peter A. Singer, “Global bioethics seeks to identify key ethical problems faced by the world's six billion inhabitants and envisages solutions that transcend national borders and cultures.” In this course, we examine the emerging field of global bioethics, addressing questions such as: What bioethical concerns do the world’s populations share in common? What are the opportunities and challenges to establishing a common moral framework for addressing bioethical concerns worldwide? Are cultural and geographic variations of ethical concerns and means for addressing them inevitable and perhaps appropriate? We will explore the historical context, principles and practices of bioethics and global health, as well as their interrelationships. Other issues that we will discuss in this seminar include the social determinants of health, human rights, research ethics, HIV/AIDS, ethical issues at the end of life, and emergency/disaster relief. Throughout the course we will utilize case studies to compare and contrast bioethical dilemmas locally, nationally and internationally. Students will learn and apply a stepwise approach for conducting ethical analysis. Class activities will include simulated clinical bioethics committees, research ethics review committees as well as policy analysis and recommendations. Course readings will include scholarly articles and chapters from the medical and social science literature such as public health, political science and philosophy. Additionally, we will read from selected works of fiction that can inform and enrich our discussion of global bioethics including Camus’ The Plague and Conrad’s The Heart of Darkness .

Notes

Session II: July 8 - August 16

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1403 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SU 2013

The Global Neighborhoods of Downtown Manhattan

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
René Francisco Poitevin

Description

This course explores the ‘global city’ of New York from the standpoint of three downtown Manhattan neighborhoods: the Lower East Side, Chinatown, and SoHo (South of Houston.) What are the historical and political roots of these communities? What are the social and global economic forces shaping their identity, from architecture and public space to labor markets and community organizing? How is gentrification—and the subprime housing crisis—transforming them? Through lectures, films, theory, literature, and walking-tours of each of these three neighborhoods, students will gain a firsthand understanding of the idiosyncrasies and struggles that make New York City such an unique place.

Notes

Three-week Intensive: May 28 - June 14

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1403 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
WI 2013

The Global Neighborhoods of Downtown Manhattan

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
René Francisco Poitevin

Description

This course explores the ‘global city’ of New York from the standpoint of three downtown Manhattan neighborhoods: the Lower East Side, Chinatown, and SoHo (South of Houston.) What are the historical and political roots of these communities? What are the social and global economic forces shaping their identity, from architecture and public space to labor markets and community organizing? How is gentrification—and the subprime housing crisis—transforming them? Through lectures, films, theory, literature, and walking-tours of each of these three neighborhoods, students gain a firsthand understanding of the idiosyncrasies and struggles that make New York City such an unique place.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1636 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2013

The Political Economy of Development

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1636

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. Part 1 examines the most influential theories of development, distinguishing between "big D" Development as a post-war international project and "little D" development as a historical process of global capitalist transformation. 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: James Ferguson, Michael Goldman, and Dambisa Moyo.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1527 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Finance for Social Theorists

4 units Mon
7:45 PM - 10:15 PM
Peter Rajsingh

Description

Why are some private, profit-making institutions “too big to fail?” The objective of this course is to provide students with conceptual, interpretive and analytical tools to understand finance. The approach is interdisciplinary and interpretive, drawing upon political theory, economics, psychology, basic statistics and accounting. For example, we use the subprime crisis to explore core concepts associated with credit, banking, business ethics, monetary policy and macro economics. We reference key ideas from familiar texts and also take up contemporary debates in finance. The aim is to help students become more literate and numerate as economic and social agents. Readings include Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations (excerpts); John Stuart Mill, Principles of Political Economy (excerpts); Georg Simmel, The Philosophy of Money ; Peter Bernstein, Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk ; Mohammed El-Erian, When Markets Collide ; and Nassim Taleb, Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and in Life .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1641 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Health and Human Rights in the World Community

4 units