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Courses

Found 1200 courses
IDSEM-UG1686 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2013

Self Fashioning in Literaure and Drama

4 units Mon Wed
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Jeanette Tran

Description

In 1980, literary critic Stephen Greenblatt coined the term “self-fashioning” to describe the 16th century phenomenon by which men in England developed an increasing self-consciousness about their ability to shape or “fashion” their identities. Anyone familiar with Shakespeare’s often quoted lines, “All the world’s a stage/ and all the men and women merely players,” has already received an introduction to this idea that identity is “fashion-able” or “performative.” Taking Greenblatt’s concept as a point of departure, this course explores identity and the concept of “self-fashioning” as it relates to performance. How does one fashion an identity, and how does knowledge of the theater inform our understanding of how identities are fashioned? What degree of autonomy does an individual have in fashioning his or her identity? How are our social, sexual, and racial identities mediated and shaped by our speech, our appearance, our institutions, and finally, our audiences? This course engages with both primary and secondary sources. Students examine early modern literature and drama alongside theories of performance from multiple disciplines. Authors include Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson, Castiglione, Pico della Mirandola, Erving Goffman, J.L Austin, and Judith Butler.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1661 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Total War, Terror and Critique

4 units Mon
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
A.B. Huber

Description

There is currently a loud contest over what counts as terrorism, but there is also a quieter and wider crisis in our capacity to name and demarcate violence—the United States' and other's. It is no longer clear what counts as war, what constitutes a combatant, nor what kind of peace we might hope to make. What then can be said to confront, critique or rethink violence? We begin the seminar by familiarizing ourselves with the origins and logics of the Just War Theory (including Aristotle, Cicero, and Augustine) and we go on to consider the historical and philosophical contexts of Kant’s call for Perpetual Peace. But the seminar focuses primarily on critical theory’s engagement with the form and logics of modern warfare. Together we read work from the Frankfurt School in order to begin to reckon the relationship between politics, aesthetics, and violence. Finally, with the help of contemporary theorists (including Asad, Butler, Chow, Mamdani, Mahmood, Redfield) we turn toward questions of technology, terror, and the changing face of war in the twenty-first century. Can critique help us in anyway to abate violence or the anguish of its aftermath?

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1732 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Intermedia and Interdisciplinary Art Practices

4 units Mon Wed
4:55 PM - 6:10 PM
Meleko Mokgosi

Description

This seminar focuses on the development of interdisciplinary approaches in art practices from the 1960's to the present. Course material begins with Dick Higgins’ concept of ‘intermedia’, which was initially used to propose interdisciplinarity as the necessity of crossing genres, such as using painting, performance, video, film, poetry, and theatre as part of a viable artistic practice. By moving away from privileging one medium over another, this approach, which we explore, aimed at challenging notion of authenticity in art and erasing the boundary between producer and viewer as well as between linguistic and visual production. Consideration is then given to contemporary interdisciplinary methods. Course investigations are also framed by questions pertaining to the place of ethics and critical discourses in art; the shape and aesthetic that ‘critical’ art projects assume; as well as the relevance and limits of political and critical art projects in exhibition systems. In addition to reading texts from writers such as Amelia Jones, Hal Foster, Nicolas Bourriaud, Andrea Fraser, Liam Gillick, and Miwon Kwon, there will be visits to exhibitions within the city.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1589 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2013

The Vietnam War

4 units Tue Thu
4:55 PM - 6:10 PM
Hannah Gurman

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1589

Description

The Vietnam War occupies a special place in U.S history and foreign relations. For decades, it was known as America’s longest war, the only war the United States ever lost, a war that shattered Americans' faith in their government and spawned a culture of protests that divided one generation from another. More recently, it has become the conflict against which the U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya are most often compared and contrasted. In this course, we examine the history of the Vietnam War both in its own context and as part of ongoing debates about U.S. foreign policy and military interventions. In addition to considering the war from the U.S. perspective, we also read texts that offer insights into the Vietnamese experience. We cover a wide range of genres and disciplines, including: official documents written by Robert McNamara, George Ball, and Daniel Ellsberg; historical scholarship by Leslie Gelb, David Hunt, and Marilyn Young; and novels, films, and poetry of Eugene Burdick, Norman Mailer, Yusef Komunyaaka, and Tim O’Brien.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1718 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Hegel: Spirit, History and Forgiveness

4 units Fri
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Justin Holt

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1718

Description

German Idealist thinker G.W.F. Hegel's views of historical and cultural change have been tremendously influential. Hegel asks us to consider: is there a logic to historical development? Can human knowledge ever be complete? Is a past of domination required for a future of freedom? Hegel raises these questions, and more, in The Phenomenology of Spirit . This course introduces students to this seminal work, exploring Hegel's ideas about the development of civilization, the nature of knowledge, the status of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution as projects of intellectual and political liberation, and the prospect of forgiveness for historical wrongs. We also look at some other works that draw on similar themes, such as Kant's Perpetual Peace and Sophocles' Antigone.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9102 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

BERLIN: Topics in German Cinema

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-BERLIN. Course description coming soon.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1072 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1493 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Sports, Race and Politics

4 units Wed
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Millery Polyné

Description

Beyond spectacular touchdowns and walk-off grand slams, sport remains a vital institution for analyzing the ideological/theoretical frameworks of nationalism, diplomacy, economic development, corruption, gender and race. From Joe Louis's historic fight against Max Schmeling in June 1936 to the role of FIFA's World Cup played in South Africa's structural development, sport should be understood beyond masculine bravado, violence and the joy and agony of competition, but also as a serious vehicle for conceptualizing and analyzing the triumphs and limitations of our society and its complicated history. This course examines sports (baseball, boxing, soccer, basketball and cricket), primarily from a U.S. and Latin American context, during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In what ways do these sports reify concepts of race and gender? How is it utilized as a tool of diplomatic relations? We read key articles and seminal books in the field of the sport studies that illuminate the significance of sport in shaping culture and politics in our global society.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9151 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9352 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

PARIS: Topics in French Literature: Paris Modern Literature & Art

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-PARIS. Course description coming soon.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1451 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2013

Ancient Reflections in a Time of Modern War

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1451

Description

In this class we explore ancient Greek attitudes toward war, as represented in epic, drama, and historiography. Among the topics we consider are: rhetoric and rationales for and against war; war and social cohesion; war and empire; the stakes of civil war; war and gender; the social costs of war; the implications for our contemporary situation. Readings may include, Homer, Iliad ; Sophocles, Ajax ; Aeschylus Seven Against Thebes ; Euripides, Iphigeneia in Aulis and Trojan Women ; Aristophanes, Peace ; Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War ; and twentieth century mediations on the problematic of war, such as Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain ; Jonathan Shay, Achilles in Vietnam ; Simone Weil, The Iliad, or the poem of force .

Notes

Course meets 1/29- 3/12 only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1646 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2013

Fractured States: Border Crossings, Divisions, and Partitions

4 units Mon Wed
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Valerie Forman

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1646

Description

This course explores what happens when geographical spaces get divided and people are dislocated, forced to migrate, or become part of a new political entity. We focus on these geographical divisions both as larger political crises and as events that have effects at more personal and local levels, for example, on familial ties, the ability to find work, or to practice one's religion. We focus on a few regions whose borders have been and still are in crisis in different ways: Haiti and the Dominican Republic; India and Pakistan; and Israel and Palestine. Some specific questions we explore: In what ways do geographical borders participate in the creation of national, racial, or religious, identities? What happens to individuals or groups of people who live in a nation to which they do not feel a primary allegiance and to people who have multiple allegiances? In what ways do borders facilitate or demand the production of social difference? How do writers imagine the relationship of subjects to divided spaces and the relationship of those subjects to each other? How do fictional and historical works address the relationships between possibilities for peace and security and notions of justice? The class focuses primarily on literary texts and narrative films, which we place in dialogue with oral histories, personal memoir, and documentary films. Some likely authors we read in the course include: Edwige Danticat, Junot Díaz, Salman Rushdie, Sami Michael, and Ghassan Kanafani.

Notes

Same as COLIT-UA 800 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1734 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2013

Renaissance and Renewal in the 9th Century

2 units Mon
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Andrew Romig

Description

The European Early Middle Ages may seem an unlikely place to find a renaissance. In our popular imagination, the era remains a foreign and backward place, a “Dark Age”: its systemic violence, its brutal social injustices, and its intellectual and artistic poverty. In fact, however, the Early Middle Ages of Europe was far more diverse and vibrant than our common narratives of the “brutish” medieval past suggest. In this course, we focus on the long 9th century, which saw a proliferation of scholarship and art under the patronage of Charlemagne and his heirs that in some ways harkened back to artistic world of imperial Rome. Carolingian courts became centers of learning, bringing the finest thinkers of Europe together in conversation, and recalling the aesthetics of the ancient world while also forging new styles and forms of scientific thought and artistic creation. Carolingian rulers engaged diplomatically with the world beyond—not just England and Scandinavia beyond the North Sea, but Muslim Spain and Baghdad, Jerusalem, and North Africa. In important ways, the Carolingian renaissance paved the way for the inventions and revolutions of the later Middle Ages and beyond. It thus provides a key early comparative example for the study of “renaissances” in all eras. No previous coursework required. Texts may include Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne , the “Coronation Gospels,” The Utrecht Psalter, the Heliand , and the Waltharius .

Notes

Course meets 1/28- 3/11 only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9550 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
SP 2013

TEL AVIV: The Present Past: Archaeology and History of the Land of Israel and its Relevance for Today

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-TEL AVIV. The course examines the archaeological findings, the biblical text and ancient Near Eastern records in an attempt to reconstruct the history of ancient Israel in the first Millennium BCE. The study of ancient Israel in biblical times attracts the imagination of millions around the world. Biblical accounts on kings such as David and Solomon are at the heart of most cultures today and it is no wonder that pure academic debates about the historicity of these biblical accounts echoes into public realm. Can we use archaeology and biblical scholarship in order to reconstruct a better image of these decisive events? Five currently hotly debated subjects in biblical history will be discussed with the students in class meetings, in field trips and with the help of guest speakers who will present their side of the argument.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1116 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2013

Fate and Free Will in the Epic Tradition

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1116

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1318 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2013

Shakespeare and the London Theatre

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Bella Mirabella

Description

In this class we take a visit to London in the years 1590 to 1616, in search of Shakespeare and the London in which he lived and wrote. During this period, London at the height of its Renaissance power, was a center of dramatic arts unparalleled in the rest of Europe. Volumes of plays were written, theaters were built all over London, and each day, during the season, those theaters were filled with audiences who were drawn from every social and economic class and both genders. Theater was a craze. It was the center of cultural life in London. And in the center of this remarkably, vibrant creative world, Shakespeare was a superstar. We examine the city of London, Shakespeare, and theater from literary, historical, political and cultural perspectives. Our consideration of the theater is in relation to other forms of popular entertainment, such as singing, dancing and mountebank performances, and how they might have influenced Shakespeare. We read a selection of plays written by Shakespeare such as As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III, Othello , and Measure for Measure . We also see film versions of some of the plays and go to the New York theatre.

Notes

Same as MEDI-UA 986 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9251 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

LONDON: Art and War, 1914-2004

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1735 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

American Narratives II

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1735

Description

The goal of this course is to create a conversation between post world war two North American literature, and contemporary political theory. We focus especially on the relationship between theorists making arguments using the genre of the treatise or monograph, and literary artists dramatizing protagonists acting in fictional worlds. What theoretical and political difference do differences of genre make in how readers (and citizens) apprehend and act in the world? But we also pursue more substantive questions. First, how is politics (and the meaning of democracy) represented and recast? Second, how do literary artists and theorists view the political role of language in the world, compared to the ways they use language in their texts? Third, how are issues of race and gender addressed? Fourth, what is the relationship between re-imagining (and redeeming) American nationhood, and in contrast, investing in post- (or anti-) national identifications? "Theorists" include Norman O. Brown, Sheldon Wolin, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Jacques Ranciere, Lauren Berlant, Kimberlee Crenshaw, and Eve Sedgwick; literary artists include Thomas Pynchon, Norman Mailer, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Allan Ginsberg, Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison, Phillip Roth.

Notes

Prerequisite IDSEM-UG 1592 or IDSEM-UG 1712 or IDSEM-UG 1475, or permission of the instructor.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9401 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

PRAGUE: Kafka and His Contexts

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9200 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

FLORENCE: History of Italian Fashion

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9403 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

PRAGUE: Central European Film

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9551 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2013

TEL AVIV: Food and Identity in the Middle East and its Jewish Communities

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-TEL AVIV. The objective of the course is threefold. First (weeks 1-3), it exposes students to the relationships between food, class and gender and to the extent to which food is part of our symbolic system and mode of thought. This discussion introduces students to the main issues in food studies and provides them with a theoretical ground for the course. Second, (weeks 4-7), we will look at the ways in which food has been used to support the Zionist ideology and the formation of the Jewish nation-state. Lectures focus on the ways in which women have been involuntarily recruited into the process of nation building via food practices. Additionally, I address the various immigrant communities in Israel that, although encouraged to change their food habits, have kept their foodways at the level of the home. We will analyze the ways in which immigrants change their domestic foods and the reasons for the changes. Our discussion will question the social, political and economic circumstances that have pushed immigrants to use food as a means of making a living and the changes their dishes have undergone in aim of appealing to a wide array of consumers. Moreover, in order to understand the relationship between ideology, migration and ethnicity in Israel, we will look at the role food and feeding have played in the formation and protection of the ideology of the traditional kibbutz, as opposed to the new kibbutz. Finally, we shall look at various Israeli open-air food markets and their contribution to the preservation of ethnic hierarchies in Israeli society. We will conclude the second part of the course with a field trip to the “Mahane Yehuda food market” in Jerusalem (week 8) and an in-class short midterm followed by a movie on week nine. The third part of the course (weeks 10-14) looks at social and political processes that have affected Middle Eastern cuisines. Our discussion on food and colonialism will elaborate on issues such as the identity of the Palestinian citizens of Israel and the role food occupies in creating a distinctive national identity. Also we shall look at the modernization of the Middle East and its effect on local diets. We will conclude the course by analyzing the consequences of globalization on local diets and the way in which certain Middle Eastern foods have gone global.

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9150 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

BUENOS AIRES: Tango and Mass Culture

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1687 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2013

Cross-Cultural Encounters on the Renaissance Stage

4 units Mon Wed
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Valerie Forman

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1687

Description

The Renaissance witnessed both an explosion in theatrical innovation and an increasingly global world--the beginnings of global trade, the “discovery” of the New World, and bouts of both conflict and cooperation among the world’s powers. By reading plays that stage encounters between Europeans from different countries and of different religions, between Europeans and the Ottoman Empire, among natives of “India,” and among Europeans, Native Americans, and African slaves, we explore how and why the stage became such a significant site for the representation of cross-cultural encounters. Some questions we explore include: how do these plays represent conflict—between self and other and over goods and territory—and what possibilities for reconciliation do they imagine? How does the theatre participate in the production of a global consciousness? How do these plays understand the differences encountered as a result of travel, trade, and exploration? Why did the theatre develop a fascination with the exotic (for example, with cannibals and pirates)? In what ways did what it means to be European, Christian, or even a good wife or husband get defined and altered by these encounters? In keeping with the theme of encounters, this course stages a number of creative encounters from the period: between works from different European nations; between plays and the prose works with which they were in dialogue; and between written and visual materials, for example, engravings of the New World and its inhabitants. We also read some newly translated accounts of how Arabs viewed Europe. Likely authors include, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Cervantes, Montaigne, Behn, Fletcher, DeBry, and Massinger.

Notes

Same as MEDI-UA 996 001 and ENGL-UA 800 002.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9100 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1289 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Narrative Investigations II: Realism to Postmodernism

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1289

Description

In this class we continue to explore the concept of narrative and the way writers interrogate literary and social conventions. As we consider how stories shape our notions of history, gender, class, and sexual identity, we examine how the thinking of readers, and stories, changed from the nineteenth century to the twentieth. Tracing the evolution of literary narrative from realism, to modernism and postmodernism, we see a new form of narration emerge, where protagonists include not only characters, but also time, place, the city, the reader, and language itself. Our readings include Stendhal’s The Red and the Black , Joyce’s Ulysses , and Jeanette Winterson’s Written on the Body , as well as writing on film by Seymour Chatman and films such as Memento .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9201 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9404 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

PRAGUE: Literature and Place of Central Europe

4 units

Description

THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE AT NYU-PRAGUE. You are now in the center of Europe, where West melds with East, creating a melting-pot. What does central Europe mean in terms of literature? Which authors reveled in their location, thus inspiring others, and which longed to be free from this by-and-large geographically land-locked mass? Discover the prose and poetry of this space that has belonged to others for centuries and that now belongs to you as well. The literature will also be supplemented with various Central European photographs and culinary investigations!

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1590 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Walter Benjamin: Theory for Gleaners

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

Description

Long before the current vogue for eco-living, recycling, and repurposing, there have been people surviving with little fanfare on leftovers and discards, and theorists meditating on the revolutionary possibilities of refuse and junk. This seminar introduces students to the work of Walter Benjamin, who is both a central figure in critical theory and an early, powerful commentator on the politics and aesthetics of the cast-off. We begin the course with Agnès Varda’s film The Gleaners and I , and we continue to explore the relation between theory and the collecting and recycling of ideas, images, and objects, especially those that have been overlooked or abandoned. What, if anything, do ragpickers or dumpster divers have to teach us about subjects as large as theory, history, modernity, and the city? Our primary text is Benjamin's expansive and unfinished work of citations and brief commentaries, The Arcades Project (1927-1940), but we consider the work of other 19th and 20th century collectors and archivists. We read widely from Freud, Marx, and the Frankfurt School, with additional materials ranging from the photographs of Eugène Atget to the films of Chris Marker. What did Benjamin and the moderns make of dross, and what can we glean from their thought for our own times?

Notes

Same as COLIT-UA 800 002.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1729 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2013

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

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Susanne Wofford

Description

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

Notes

Open to sophomores and juniors only. Same as ENGL-UA 252 002 and MEDI-UA 996 002.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1181 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

A Sense of Place

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Steve Hutkins

Description

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

Notes

Section 3 for Environmental Studies majors only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1692 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

The Transformation of Music in a Century of Electronica

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Herbert Deutsch

Description

This course examines the effect of electronics on the inventions and the artistic and social activities that shaped musical thought throughout the twentieth century and into today. From the initial “magic” of capturing sound through recording - until the invention and development of electrical and electronic musical instruments, these changes in art and music during the century of electronica were unique and often mind-blowing. The interaction of impressionism, “modernism”, abstract art and dadaism on musical compositions during their times are explored as are the profound effect of both analog and digital devices on creativity and performance. The primary text is Electronic and Experimental Music by Thom Holmes, and recommended readings include Analog Days , by Pinch and Trocco; Theremin , by Albert Glinsky; and Electroacoustic Music , by Herbert Deutsch.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1695 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
SP 2013

Competing Images of the Sage: Confucius and Lao Tzu

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1695

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1631 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2013

The U.S. Empire and the Americas

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1631

Description

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

Notes

Same as HIST-UA 282 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1693 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Travel Narratives

2 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Steve Hutkins

Description

This course examines several nineteenth- and twentieth-century travel narratives in an exploration of the experience of travel and the many questions it raises about social identity and cultural difference, the traveler's search for adventure and “authenticity,” the relationship between tourism and colonialism, and the pervasive use of travel metaphors in the discourse of postmodernism. Readings include a variety of nonfiction travel books, such as Flaubert in Egypt , Orwell's Down and Out in Paris and London , Chatwin's Songlines , Theroux's The Old Patagonian Express , Phillips’ The European Tribe , and Jamaica Kincaid’s A Small Place, as well as scholarly articles about the genre of travel narrative and the sociology of travel.

Notes

Course meets 3/26 - 5/9 only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1563 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Women’s Text(iles)

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Myisha Priest

Description

Textile arts have been so firmly linked with women’s writing that one of the central metaphors of women’s writing traditions has become the metaphor of the quilt. This course explores this metaphor that proposes the making of beautiful, functional wholes out of fragments and scraps, using it to explore the cultural work of African American women and illuminate connections between writers and artists. This rich intersection of writing and art allows us to consider broader questions about power; we investigate the ways in which the written works and textiles articulate, challenge and transform representations of race, gender, sexuality, as well as the meanings of art. This course takes us out into the city, where we view the textile creations of Black women artists like Faith Ringgold, Brenda Amina Robinson and Carrie Mae Weems at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the American Craft Museum, and the Museum of Folk Art. Written texts may include: Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Gloria Naylor, Mama Day; Faith Ringgold, Tar Beach; Ntozake Shange, Sassafras, Cypress and Indigo. We also participate in a quilt-making workshop, where each student creates his or her own textile interpretation of the major issues of the course.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1716 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2013

Literature and Film of The Maghreb

4 units Mon Wed
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Hoda El Shakry

Description

This course explores twentieth century literary and cinematic works of the region of North Africa referred to as the Maghreb—namely Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. We examine Arabophone and Francophone works representative of the diverse cultural, social and political histories of the region. In this regard, we address issues of linguistic and ethnic pluralism, colonialism, nationalist rhetoric, Arabization policies and Islamic reform. More crucially, the course asks how these works engage with the lengthy and often violent history of French imperialism in the Maghreb in relation to dominant and emerging narratives of national identity, language and culture. These concerns are framed alongside the theories of orientalism, postcolonialism, deconstruction and semiotics. We read works by Muhammad Berrada, Driss Chraïbi, Assia Djebar, Abdelkebir Khatibi, Ahlam Mosteghanemi and al-Tahir Wattar, in addition to watching the films of Moufida Tlatli, Rachid Bouchareb and Nouri Bouzid.

Notes

Same as COLIT-UA 800 003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1722 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Writing the Present Day Life

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1722

Description

This course examines the impact of the digital age on questions of writing, identity construction, ethics, trauma and love. Our entry into the digital age has been compared to the cultural shift that occurred when the Gutenberg Bible enabled the wide distribution of the written word. What is the relationship between the “spirit of an age” or Zeitgeist and its narratives and texts? For example, at the end of Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando (1928), her time-traveling and sex-changing Elizabethan hero-ine Orlando, enters “the present day.” By the novel’s end, Orlando has grown into a young woman in “present day” London. Who might Orlando be today? Reading a range of texts including Whitman’s Leaves of Grass , Duras’ The Lover , essays on the gaze and gender and trauma and contemporary representation, Cindy Sherman’s photographs and the films Persona and Modern Times , we explore identity and writing, in previous periods and in the Digital Age. We conclude with students writing their own last chapter of Orlando , situated in New York, 2012.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1514 Lib Arts
SCI
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2013

Science and Religion

4 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Matthew Stanley

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1514

Description

In this course we examine the complex interactions between science and religion through history. While most popular presentations of science and religion often descend into simplistic models of conflict (the secular nature of modern science and its repeated conflicts with religion) or cooperation/co-existence (science and religion each have clearly defined domains), we explore a wider variety of relationships between the two. Moving beyond claims of superiority or mutual isolation, we consider the complicated negotiation of boundaries and proper authority between science and religion. We mainly focus on the relationship of science and Christianity, but we also discuss Buddhism, Judaism, and atheism. Topics include: religion and the laws of nature; how scientists can be religious; natural theology; evolution and religion; miracles and medicine; the social role of science and religion; and the nature of life. Readings may include: Augustine, Galileo, Hume, Darwin, Einstein, Dawkins.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1726 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

The Novel and Society: Victorian Secrets

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

Description

In the twenty-first century, the Internet arguably makes secrecy difficult, but the exposure of secrets is already an important theme in many 19th-century British novels. In part, this reflects a society in which identity seems increasingly malleable through greater social class mobility, the questioning of traditional gender roles, and imperialist opportunities. In these novels, fake identities conceal a murderer and a madwoman, among others. And the societal constraints inspiring the fictional secrets also led the authors to keep secrets of their own. The unmarried Wilkie Collins, for example, secretly maintained two families, using an assumed name when with one. But does the novel genre, particularly the "realist" Victorian novel, with its emphasis on an omniscient narrator and intersecting plots, have a special relationship to secrets? We attempt to uncover the answer by studying the well-known Jane Eyre , by Charlotte Bronte, and Great Expectations , by Charles Dickens, along with Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White , George Eliot's Middlemarch , and George Gissing's The Odd Women . Theory includes selections from Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality , Edward Said's Culture and Imperialism , Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar's The Madwoman in the Attic , and Judith Walkowitz's City of Dreadful Delight .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1535 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2013

Narrating Memory, History and Place

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1535

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1277 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Alchemy and the Transformation of Self

4 units Tue Thu
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Lee Robbins

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1277

Description

The focus of this course is the history of the human being’s need for the experience of transformation. We explore the etymology of the word ‘transformation’ and ask ourselves why humans have invoked the ecstasies and agonies of the process to explore the breadth and depth of the human psyche as it moves toward greater degrees of consciousness of self and world. We answer these questions by tracing the ancient science of alchemical transformation from its roots in the Stone Age, through the Eastern spiritual practices of China and India, into the embalming practices of ancient Egypt and the astrological symbol system of the Greeks, culminating in the work of C.G. Jung who discovered the ancient art of alchemy as the philosophical antecedent and language to his own transformational psychology, and so introducing the ancient art into the post modern world. Readings include: Eliade’s The Forge and the Crucible ; Edward Edinger’s Anatomy of the Psyche : Stan Marlan’s Black Sun ; Edinger’s Mystery of the Coniunctio and selections from The Alchemy Reader and Splendor Solis, together with readings from Freud, Winnicot, Jung and Hillman.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

LONDON: Seeing London's Architecture

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

K20.1318 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2008

Shakespeare and the London Theatre

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

Description

In this class we will take a visit to London in the years 1590 to 1616, in search of Shakespeare and the London in which he lived and wrote. During this period, London at the height of its Renaissance power, was a center of dramatic arts unparalleled in the rest of Europe. Volumes of plays were written, theaters were built all over London, and each day, during the season, those theaters were filled with audiences who were drawn from every social and economic class and both genders. Theater was a craze. It was the center of cultural life in London. And in the center of this remarkably, vibrant creative world, Shakespeare was a superstar. We will examine the city of London, Shakespeare, and theater from literary, historical, political and cultural perspectives. Our consideration of the theater will be in relation to the roles women played as performers and to other forms of popular entertainment, such as dancing and mountebank performances. We will read a selection of plays written by Shakespeare such as As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III, Othello, and The Tempest. We will also see film versions of some of the plays and go to the New York theatre.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

TRAVL-UG9125 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SU 2014

Dickens' Jurisdictions: Bleak House and the Social and Legal Worlds of Nineteenth-Century London

4 units
Sara Murphy

Description

Application: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/utilities/forms/summersaapp.html For more information: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/academics/undergraduate/global/travelcourses/london--dickens--jurisdictions.html Description: Dickens' novel, Bleak House (1852-53), is an omnibus of mid Victorian society, encompassing a wide range of themes: wealth and poverty, children and parents, legacies, the place of women, illness and health, crime and punishment, tradition and reform--all against the background of the rapidly growing, foggy, filthy city that is nineteenth-century London. Often it is said that this novel is 'about the law;' the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce is a central driver of Dickens' sprawling story. Dickens also takes us into the broader world of legal London, offering some of the most memorable lawyer characters in nineteenth-century fiction. In this course, we focus intently on a slow and careful reading of Bleak House, supplemented by readings and field trips designed to help us understand nineteenth-century London and the Victorians. While locating the course in London will still not let us experience at first-hand Dickens' world, we can bring what might seem like very distant and strange locations closer through outside-the-classroom experiences that permit us to reflect on the city, which is in effect a character in the novel. We will frame our investigation with the idea of jurisdiction. Jurisdiction refers to the expertise or command of a particular court, but we will broaden this idea--as Dickens does in his novel--to think about space, place, and time, affect and desire, and the " jurisdiction" of literature. Who gets to "say the law" where and with what authority? What is the space of the literary? And how does the space of nineteenth-century London shape Dickens' fiction?

Notes

This three-week course meets in London, May 31 - June 21. Permission required. Application deadline is March 1, 2014. For more information and to apply, please click on course title and link to application.

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)

IDSEM-UG1782 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SU 2014

Madness and Civilization

4 units Tue Thu
1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Yevgeniya Traps

Description

“Much madness is divinest sense,” Emily Dickinson wrote, further observing that “much sense [is] starkest madness.” The poet insisted that the majority sets and enforces the standard by which sanity is evaluated, and we will take this notion as our starting premise. How are social standards for what is and is not normal set? How are they enforced? What is at stake in maintaining definitions of mental health? How have these definitions changed over time? What is the price of transgressing the boundaries of sanity? What might be the privileges conferred by madness? Using writing as a way of reading closely and thinking critically, students will produce three analytical and literary critical essays and a research paper, as well as present on a topic or issue connected to the course theme. Our readings may include works by Michel Foucault, Chester Brown, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Anne Sexton, Sigmund Freud, and Ken Kesey. We will also consider a number of visual works by artists like Yayoi Kusama and Henry Darger.

Notes

Session II: July 7 - August 15

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1542 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
WI 2014

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

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Michael Dinwiddie

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1612 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
WI 2014

Contexts of Musical Meaning: What and How Does Music Mean?

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
10:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Gregory Erickson

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1612

Description

Is it possible to say that a piece of music “means” something? Can music communicate emotion, narrative, or philosophy? Can it embrace or resist political ideology? In what ways is music influenced by, or in what ways does it influence, society? For Richard Wagner, music and words together are capable of expressing the deepest thoughts and feelings that a human can have, and according to Nietzsche, music provides access to the nature of reality itself. On the other hand, Eduard Hanslick insisted that music should be divorced from the extramusical world, and Stravinsky famously claimed that music, by its very nature, is essentially powerless to express anything at all. More recently, thinkers have stressed the importance of approaching music as a cultural construct to reveal its encoded ideological meanings. This course looks at the nature of musical meaning from all these perspectives. We listen to and discuss forms of Western art (i.e. “classical”) music as well as genres of popular and folk music as we explore the relationship of gender, race, class, and politics to musical works. Each unit in this course takes a specific musical text (Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, John Coltrane’s Love Supreme, the Beatles’ White Album) and explores different theoretical, philosophical and musicological approaches to the music’s “meaning.” We read philosophical works of aesthetics and hermeneutics by Plato, Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Heidegger, essays by musicologists and cultural studies scholars such as Carl Dahlhaus, Theodor Adorno, Leo Treitler, Paul Gilroy, Susan McClary, and Robert Walser, and creative pieces by James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, and John Cage.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1061 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2005

Literary Forms: The Craft of Criticism

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1375 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

Romantics and Revolutionaries: The Birth of Modern Political Theatre

4 units

Description

In the period of the American and French Revolutions, theater and theatricality took on powerful political significance. This course explores the convergence between theatre and politics during the Age of Revolution, while seeking parallels to the theatricality of our own political culture. Partly, we examine the historical conditions and cultural innovations that fueled writers and artists during this volatile and dynamic period between 1770 and 1850. Partly, we examine dramaturgy and theatre aesthetics exploring the links between history, and theories of drama, playwriting and stage practice, performance styles and critical reception. In addition to class discussions, students will be responsible for an extensive research project (paper and presentation). Course materials may include works by such figures as Voltaire, Rousseau, Sheridan, Blake, Schiller, Byron, Goethe, Stendhal, Robespierre, Washington, Pitt, and Paine; the music of Mozart and Beethoven; and the art of Piranesi, David, Ingres, and Delacroix.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1135 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

The Medieval Mind

4 units

Description

The cultural legacy of the Middle Ages continues to challenge and enchant us: its soaring architecture, its large philosophical and theological questions, its magnificent art, literature, and music. This course explores the genius of the medieval mind and its transcendent vision of life. A major focus of the course will be a study of the Realist-Nominalist controversy spurred by Aquinas and Ockham and its effect on writers such as Chaucer and Dante, as well as on the painting, music, and architecture of the period. Readings may include selections from Dante's Inferno, Aquinas' Summa Theologica, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and the writings of the Pearl Poet. The course may include field trips to the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a performance of medieval music.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1432 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

The Meaning of Home

2 units

Description

"Home," Spengler wrote in The Decline of the West, "is a profound word." This course examines the concept of home as it has been studied in literature, philosophy, psychology, and art. It examines the issues of home as a place in which we dwell, a place where we find our center. It examines the idea of home in relation to the physical world, cultural ties, and a changing world, a world where homelessness and exile are common. Readings may include: The Odyssey, King Lear, E.M. Forster's Howards End, and selections from the works of Frost, Freud, and Jung.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1318 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

Shakespeare and the London Theatre

4 units

Description

In this class we will take a visit to London in the years 1590 to 1616, in search of Shakespeare and the London in which he lived and wrote. During this period, London at the height of its Renaissance power, was a center of dramatic arts unparalleled in the rest of Europe. Volumes of plays were written, theaters were built all over London, and each day, during the season, those theaters were filled with audiences who were drawn from every social and economic class and both genders. Theater was a craze. It was the center of cultural life in London. And in the center of this remarkably, vibrant creative world, Shakespeare was a superstar. We will examine the city of London, Shakespeare, and theater from literary, historical, political and cultural perspectives. Our consideration of the theater will be in relation to the roles women played as performers and to other forms of popular entertainment, such as dancing and mountebank performances. We will read a selection of plays written by Shakespeare such as As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III, Othello, and The Tempest. We will also see film versions of some of the plays and go to the New York theatre.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1072 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1314 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

Literary and Cultural Theory: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1116 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

Fate and Free Will in the Epic Tradition

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1116 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

Fate and Free Will in the Epic Tradition

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1314 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

Literary and Cultural Theory: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1375 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

Romantics and Revolutionaries: The Birth of Modern Political Theatre

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

Description

In the period of the American and French Revolutions, theater and theatricality took on powerful political significance. This course explores the convergence between theatre and politics during the Age of Revolution, while seeking parallels to the theatricality of our own political culture. Partly, we examine the historical conditions and cultural innovations that fueled writers and artists during this volatile and dynamic period between 1770 and 1850. Partly, we examine dramaturgy and theatre aesthetics exploring the links between history, and theories of drama, playwriting and stage practice, performance styles and critical reception. In addition to class discussions, students will be responsible for an extensive research project (paper and presentation). Course materials may include works by such figures as Voltaire, Rousseau, Sheridan, Blake, Schiller, Byron, Goethe, Stendhal, Robespierre, Washington, Pitt, and Paine; the music of Mozart and Beethoven; and the art of Piranesi, David, Ingres, and Delacroix.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1061 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

Literary Forms: The Craft of Criticism

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1432 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

The Meaning of Home

2 units Tue
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM

Description

"Home," Spengler wrote in The Decline of the West, "is a profound word." This course examines the concept of home as it has been studied in literature, philosophy, psychology, and art. It examines the issues of home as a place in which we dwell, a place where we find our center. It examines the idea of home in relation to the physical world, cultural ties, and a changing world, a world where homelessness and exile are common. Readings may include: The Odyssey, King Lear, E.M. Forster's Howards End, and selections from the works of Frost, Freud, and Jung.

Notes

last seven weeks

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1072 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1135 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

The Medieval Mind

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

Description

The cultural legacy of the Middle Ages continues to challenge and enchant us: its soaring architecture, its large philosophical and theological questions, its magnificent art, literature, and music. This course explores the genius of the medieval mind and its transcendent vision of life. A major focus of the course will be a study of the Realist-Nominalist controversy spurred by Aquinas and Ockham and its effect on writers such as Chaucer and Dante, as well as on the painting, music, and architecture of the period. Readings may include selections from Dante's Inferno, Aquinas' Summa Theologica, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and the writings of the Pearl Poet. The course may include field trips to the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a performance of medieval music.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1072 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1314 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

Literary and Cultural Theory: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1116 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

Fate and Free Will in the Epic Tradition

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1061 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

Literary Forms: The Craft of Criticism

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1135 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2005

The Medieval Mind

4 units

Description

The cultural legacy of the Middle Ages continues to challenge and enchant us: its soaring architecture, its large philosophical and theological questions, its magnificent art, literature, and music. This course explores the genius of the medieval mind and its transcendent vision of life. A major focus of the course will be a study of the Realist-Nominalist controversy spurred by Aquinas and Ockham and its effect on writers such as Chaucer and Dante, as well as on the painting, music, and architecture of the period. Readings may include selections from Dante's Inferno, Aquinas' Summa Theologica, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and the writings of the Pearl Poet. The course may include field trips to the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a performance of medieval music.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1116 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2005

Fate and Free Will in the Epic Tradition

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1072 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2005

Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1432 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2005

The Meaning of Home

2 units

Description

"Home," Spengler wrote in The Decline of the West, "is a profound word." This course examines the concept of home as it has been studied in literature, philosophy, psychology, and art. It examines the issues of home as a place in which we dwell, a place where we find our center. It examines the idea of home in relation to the physical world, cultural ties, and a changing world, a world where homelessness and exile are common. Readings may include: The Odyssey, King Lear, E.M. Forster's Howards End, and selections from the works of Frost, Freud, and Jung.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1318 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2005

Shakespeare and the London Theatre

4 units

Description

In this class we will take a visit to London in the years 1590 to 1616, in search of Shakespeare and the London in which he lived and wrote. During this period, London at the height of its Renaissance power, was a center of dramatic arts unparalleled in the rest of Europe. Volumes of plays were written, theaters were built all over London, and each day, during the season, those theaters were filled with audiences who were drawn from every social and economic class and both genders. Theater was a craze. It was the center of cultural life in London. And in the center of this remarkably, vibrant creative world, Shakespeare was a superstar. We will examine the city of London, Shakespeare, and theater from literary, historical, political and cultural perspectives. Our consideration of the theater will be in relation to the roles women played as performers and to other forms of popular entertainment, such as dancing and mountebank performances. We will read a selection of plays written by Shakespeare such as As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III, Othello, and The Tempest. We will also see film versions of some of the plays and go to the New York theatre.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1314 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2005

Literary and Cultural Theory: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1135 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

The Medieval Mind

4 units

Description

The cultural legacy of the Middle Ages continues to challenge and enchant us: its soaring architecture, its large philosophical and theological questions, its magnificent art, literature, and music. This course explores the genius of the medieval mind and its transcendent vision of life. A major focus of the course will be a study of the Realist-Nominalist controversy spurred by Aquinas and Ockham and its effect on writers such as Chaucer and Dante, as well as on the painting, music, and architecture of the period. Readings may include selections from Dante's Inferno, Aquinas' Summa Theologica, Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, and the writings of the Pearl Poet. The course may include field trips to the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and a performance of medieval music.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1318 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

Shakespeare and the London Theatre

4 units

Description

In this class we will take a visit to London in the years 1590 to 1616, in search of Shakespeare and the London in which he lived and wrote. During this period, London at the height of its Renaissance power, was a center of dramatic arts unparalleled in the rest of Europe. Volumes of plays were written, theaters were built all over London, and each day, during the season, those theaters were filled with audiences who were drawn from every social and economic class and both genders. Theater was a craze. It was the center of cultural life in London. And in the center of this remarkably, vibrant creative world, Shakespeare was a superstar. We will examine the city of London, Shakespeare, and theater from literary, historical, political and cultural perspectives. Our consideration of the theater will be in relation to the roles women played as performers and to other forms of popular entertainment, such as dancing and mountebank performances. We will read a selection of plays written by Shakespeare such as As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III, Othello, and The Tempest. We will also see film versions of some of the plays and go to the New York theatre.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1432 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

The Meaning of Home

2 units

Description

"Home," Spengler wrote in The Decline of the West, "is a profound word." This course examines the concept of home as it has been studied in literature, philosophy, psychology, and art. It examines the issues of home as a place in which we dwell, a place where we find our center. It examines the idea of home in relation to the physical world, cultural ties, and a changing world, a world where homelessness and exile are common. Readings may include: The Odyssey, King Lear, E.M. Forster's Howards End, and selections from the works of Frost, Freud, and Jung.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1061 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2004

Literary Forms: The Craft of Criticism

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1072 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop

4 units Wed
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Michael Dinwiddie

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1593 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2010

Barbarians: Ancient Conceptions of the Outsider

4 units Mon Wed
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Hallie Franks

Description

The conceptions of people outside of one's own culture are complex and multi-layered, and this was as true in the ancient world as it is today. From the conquered Elamites that were depicted on the palace walls of the Neo-Assyrian Assurbanipal, to the mythical Ethiopians of Homer's epics, or to the Gauls with whom Julius Caesar did battle, representations of other kinds of people serve as a backdrop against which a distinctive sense of cultural identity is clarified or reinforced. This seminar explores the representation of "foreign" peoples in the visual arts and literature of the ancient Near Eastern, Greek, and Roman worlds. Using visual (reliefs, vase-painting, sculpture, mosaics, and wall-painting) and written (inscriptions, epic poetry, drama, histories, novels) sources, we pursue the following questions: What role do local ideals play in the construction and definition of another culture? What are the political or social motivations for the representations of foreigners in ancient art and literature? To what extent does the definition of an "other" reflect an already defined identity, and to what extent is identity constituted by imagining difference? Readings may include Claude Lévi-Strauss, Jean-Paul Sartre, Aeschylus The Persians, Herodotus, Caesar The Gallic Wars, Heliodorus Aethiopika (The Ethiopian Romance).

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1216 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2010

Doing Things with Words: Arts and Politics Across Cultures

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Nina Cornyetz

Description

This course will focus on an eclectic group of mostly contemporary, politically-directed writers and artists from various ethnic or racial minority backgrounds. We begin with performance proper, and then narrow our focus to discuss what elements of performance are incorporated into narrative text to produce "performative writing." Does minority positioning affect the content, structure, and manner in which these artists perform or write, and in turn, how they are received? How might sexual/gender politics nuance that positioning? Rather than seeking division under the rubric of "national literature," or the multicultural versions such as "African-American" or "Asian-American" writers/artists, the course will look for structural and contextual models that cross these categories—concern with oral histories and family-community genealogies, for example. We will also analyze how specific power politics inform these artists' activities across their broadly diverse sociocultural, ethnic, and geopolitical contexts. Artists and texts may include: Amiri Baraka, Ruth Ozeki, Japanese butoh dance and the Takarazuka all-women theater troupe, Ntozake Shange, William Faulkner, Brecht, Foucault.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1512 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

Fashion's Fictions: The Texts of Clothing

4 units Wed
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Patricia Lennox

Description

The topic of clothing and adornment embraces a broad spectrum, from the need for protective covering to the desire for individual expression to the profit of international industries. Encompassing the history of civilization, clothing epitomizes the way a fundamental necessity has been transformed by cultural construction—as well as desire and creativity—into a complex social indicator, a matrix of culture, class, and gender identity. But it is also about aesthetics and the love of beauty. This course looks at the topic from varied perspectives including: sociology, art, social history—and above all, literature, including early texts from ancient Mesopotamia, the Roman Empire, Elizabethan England, and writers up to the twenty-first century, including current fashion magazines. In order to establish a critical grid and vocabulary to use with which to discuss clothing/fashion our writers may include: art historian Anne Hollander, sociologist Diana Crane, fashion expert Fred Davis and Vogue editor Diana Vreeland. We will look at the way ancient, medieval and Renaissance writers use clothing as indicators of civilization, guilt, individuality, sensuality, polymorphous gender, and conspicuous consumption. Literature will include Gilgamesh, Genesis, and works by Longus, Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Zola. We will also visit at least one costume collection exhibit.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1432 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

The Meaning of Home

2 units Fri
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Pat Rock

Description

"Home," Spengler wrote in The Decline of the West, "is a profound word." This course examines the concept of home as it has been studied in literature, philosophy, psychology, and art. It examines the issues of home as a place in which we dwell, a place where we find our center. It examines the idea of home in relation to the physical world, cultural ties, and a changing world, a world where homelessness and exile are common. Readings may include: The Odyssey, King Lear, E.M. Forster's Howards End, and selections from the works of Frost, Freud, and Jung.

Notes

2 credits; last seven weeks

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1567 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
or GLOBAL
SP 2010

The Arabian Nights

4 units Mon Wed
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Sinan Antoon

Description

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

Notes

sophomores only

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1590 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

Walter Benjamin: Theory for Gleaners

4 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
A.B. Huber

Description

Long before the current vogue for eco-living, recycling, repurposing, and 'cash for your trash,' there have been people surviving with little fanfare on other people's leftovers and discards, and theorists meditating on the revolutionary possibilities of refuse and junk. This seminar is designed to introduce students to the work of Walter Benjamin, who is both a crucial figure in critical theory and an early and powerful commentator on the politics and aesthetics of the cast-off. We will begin the course with Agnes Varda's film The Gleaners and I, and we will continue to explore the relation between theory and the collecting and recycling of ideas, images, and objects, especially those that have been overlooked or abandoned. What, if anything, do ragpickers or dumpster divers have to teach us about subjects as large as theory, history, modernity, and the city? Our primary text will be Benjamin's expansive and unfinished work of citations and brief commentaries, The Arcades Project (1927-1940), but we will also consider other modern collectors and archivists, including Freud (The Interpretation of Dreams), Aragon (Paris Peasant), Atget (photographs), Braque (collages). What did Benjamin and these moderns make of junk, and what can we glean from their thought for our own times?

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1584 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
SP 2010

Shakespeare's Mediterranean

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

Description

This course examines Shakespeare's Mediterranean plays in relation to the cultural geography of the early modern period. It also provides a brief introduction to the new field of "ocean studies" and includes readings in marine environmental studies. We focus on the ways in which the various cultures around the Mediterranean opened emotional, physical, imaginative and political possibilities for English subjects, as exemplified in Shakespeare's plays and other contemporary readings. But that also means considering the sea as a space of economic and political possibility and threat; exploring the differences created by intermingling gender, genre and diverse geographies; analyzing romance and comedy and their relation to travel writing; tracing how early map making relates to other kinds of representation; examining the attraction, fear, and representation of what is considered exotic or foreign. Our work will link this past to our present in two ways especially: how do early modern travel accounts and literary art, as well as maps and prints, represent divisions between the Christian and Muslim worlds in ways that remain powerful? How does this maritine past create an environmental history that continues to affect us? Our readings begin with Mediterranean comedies by the classical Greek playwright Plautus, as well as classical geographies and selections from Vergil's Aeneid. We then turn to late medieval/early modern fictional accounts of the Mediterranean, such as Boccaccio's Decameron, and Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, Othello and other plays. Lastly, we read "the captive's tale" in Don Quixote, historical accounts of captivity including pirate narratives, and texts by Arab travelers about Europe in this period.

Notes

Same as V65.0986001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1388 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Thinking About Seeing

4 units Tue
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Keith Miller

Description

Through an art historical lens, this course explores visual communication in a media-saturated society. We will analyze how people “speak” through images and symbols as well as words and how we “read” what we see. This class will attempt to understand the tools used to reach an audience. Images and texts from the past and present will help us assess the character of various media and their personal as well as political implications. Texts will include works by Barthes, Baudrillard, Benjamin, Lev-Strauss, McLuhan, Sontag and other seminal essays on the media.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1122 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
FA 2010

Discourses of Love: Antiquity to the Renaissance

4 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 PM
Bella Mirabella

Description

This course explores the impulse to define, understand, contain, praise, analyze, lament, restrain, and express love. Through a study of philosophy, poetry, drama, religion, art, and music we will endeavor to discourse on the meaning of this profound emotion. However, in order to understand the place of love within the lives of humans, we need to look at love in its historic, cultural, social, and political contexts. We want to consider its multiple roles with regard to desire, seduction, betrothal, marriage, manners, morals, political power, and the pursuit of wisdom, as well as its role in class, gender, and race. Possible readings will include Plato’s Symposium , mystical, and philosophical writings, the poetry of Sappho, Catullus, the female troubadours, and Dante, as well as selected plays of Shakespeare.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1614 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2010

Narrating Seduction: The Tale of Genji

2 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Nina Cornyetz

Description

Written in the eleventh century by a noble lady of the Japanese court, the Tale of Genji has been called the world’s first novel, and even the world’s first psychological novel. But can we really use the terms “novel” and “psychological” to describe the narrative? In this seven-week course we will read and compare two English translations of the text, by Seidensticker and Tyler. Each week we will supplement our readings with selected secondary sources to focus our attention on such topics as: narration, visuality, sexual politics, relation to reality, poetics, and aesthetics in the text.

Notes

Course meets for the first seven weeks only, September 8–October 20.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1229 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

"Chinatown" and the American Imagination

4 units Wed
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Jack Tchen

Description

What is a “Chinatown”? The word alone evokes many images, sounds, smells, tastes from many different sensibilities. For recent immigrants it can be a home away from home, for “outsiders” an exotic place for cheap eats, for male action flic fans Chow Yun Fat (or Mark Walhberg) in “The Corruptor,” and for you ?!? (fill in the blank). We’re going to explore the nooks and crannies of Chinatown in the American imagination and in its New York real-time, non-virtual existence. How do we know what we know and do not know? What does Chinatown have to do with the formation of normative “American” identities? What are the possibilities (and limits) of crossing cultural divides? Class members will individually and/or in groups research, experience, and document a chain of persons, places, and/or events creating their own narrative “tour” of this place’s meanings. Novels, history books, tourist guides, films, and pop culture will supplement the primary “text” of New York Chinatown. This will be a collaborative, discussion-intensive, field research-driven class.

Notes

Same as V18.0370.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1607 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Philosophes and Follies: Theatre of the Enlightenment

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Christopher Cartmill

Description

“The pit of a theatre is the one place where the tears of virtuous and wicked men alike are mingled.”—Denis Diderot. Voltaire, Diderot and Rousseau all wrote for and about the theater. In the Age of Enlightenment, the stage was a place for philosophical exploration. Drama was perceived as an important instrument for the breaking of what the historian Peter Gay called “the sacred circle” of dogma. This class will examine the convergence of theatrical arts and ideas in the eighteenth century—a dramatic expression that would ultimately prove to be the rehearsal and the scripting for the Age of Revolution. This will include: analysis of sample plays of the era; philosophical writings that were influenced by, or responded to, these works; and contemporary accounts of theatrical performances and their implications. Included in our examination of the intersection of Enlightenment thought and theatricality will be a study of the works of visual artists such as Boucher, Chardin, Reynolds, Goya, etc., as well as the musical compositions of Haydn, Glück, Salieri, etc. Course readings may include: the plays and other writings of Voltaire, Denis Diderot, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Gotthold Lessing, Louise Gottsched, Goethe, Ramón de la Cruz, Ekaterina Dashkova, Carlo Goldoni, Oliver Goldsmith, and Richard Brinsley Sheridan; modern critical works such as, Dena Goodman’s The Republic of Letters and Samuel S. B. Taylor’s Theater of the French and German Enlightenment .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1197 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
FA 2010

Narratives of African Civilizations

4 units Mon
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Dan Dawson

Description

African civilizations speak to us as much through monumental edifices, visual artifacts, sign systems, oral tradition, and films as they do through alphabetic texts. In their varied expressions, these societies, ancient and contemporary, present us with new ways of knowing. When we encounter these social imaginations through their multiple texts, the experience is reflexive, double-imaged, because of the complex interaction of the perceptions of Africa with the West’s own image of itself. Texts may include hieroglyphics, architectural symbolism, music, visual art, epics, folktales and proverbs, cosmologies and rituals (such as the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead) , The Epic of Sundiata (which explores medieval Ghana and Mali), and the society of the Dogon and its extraordinary cosmology. African modernist art and writing will also be represented, through novels like Conde’s Segu, Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions , and Mda’s Ways of Dying , and films like Lumumba, Mandabi, and Hyenas .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1211 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2012

Buddhism and Psychology

4 units Tue Thu
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Lee Robbins

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1211

Description

This course introduces basic concepts of Buddhist psychology, and then compares Buddhist insights into the nature of the mind with the modern depth psychologies of Freud and Jung. Special attention will be given to theories of the self in Buddhist and Western texts, for it is the idea of the "false self" that has emerged as a key common ground between Buddhist and Western forms of Psychology. While Western psychology attributes the false self to the deficiencies of upbringing, Buddhist psychology takes the false self as its starting point, to claim that traditional models of therapeutic intervention fail to free people from narcissistic craving. Our goal is to bring this insight, and classical Buddhist strategies for healing the mind, into conversation with the models and strategies of Western psychology. Texts may include: Olendski, The Radical Experiential Psychology of Buddhism ; Suler, Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Eastern Thought; Gay, The Freud Reader ; Epstein, Thoughts Without a Thinker ; Jung, Psychology and the East ; Meckel and Moore, Self and Liberation: Jung and the Buddhist Dialogue ; Gethin, The Foundations of Buddhism ; Bhikku Bodi, In The Words of the Buddha (translation of suttas from the Pali Cannon).

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1563 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2012

Women’s Text(iles)

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Myisha Priest

Description

Textile arts have been so firmly linked with women’s writing that one of the central metaphors of women’s writing traditions has become the metaphor of the quilt. This course will explore this metaphor that proposes the making of beautiful, functional wholes out of fragments and scraps, using it to explore the cultural work of African American women and illuminate connections between writers and artists. This rich intersection of writing and art will allow us to consider broader questions about power; we will investigate the ways in which the written works and textiles articulate, challenge and transform representations of race, gender, sexuality, as well as the meanings of art. This course will take us out into the city, where we will view the textile creations of Black women artists like Faith Ringgold, Brenda Amina Robinson and Carrie Mae Weems at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim, the American Craft Museum, and the Museum of Folk Art. Written texts may include: Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye; Gloria Naylor, Mama Day; Faith Ringgold, Tar Beach; Ntozake Shange, Sassafras, Cypress and Indigo. We will also participate in a quilt-making workshop, where each student will create his or her own textile interpretation of the major issues of the course.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1589 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2012

The Vietnam War

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Hannah Gurman

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1589

Description

The Vietnam War occupies a special place in U.S history and foreign relations. For decades, it was known as America’s longest war, the only war the United States ever lost, a war that shattered Americans' faith in their government and spawned a culture of protests that divided one generation from another. More recently, it has become the conflict against which the U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya are most often compared and contrasted. In this course, we will examine the history of the Vietnam War both in its own context and as part of ongoing debates about U.S. foreign policy and military interventions. In addition to considering the war from the U.S. perspective, we will also read texts that offer insights into the Vietnamese experience. We will cover a wide range of genres and disciplines, including: official documents written by Robert McNamara, George Ball, and Daniel Ellsberg; historical scholarship by Leslie Gelb, David Hunt, and Marilyn Young; and novels, films, and poetry of Eugene Burdick, Norman Mailer, Yusef Komunyaaka, and Tim O’Brien.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1103 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2012

Pride and Power: Renaissance Revolutions in Art and Culture

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1103

Description

The Renaissance in Europe remains one of the most creative, prolific, and dramatic eras in human history. It was a period in which tumultuous events—such as the bubonic plague, the Protestant Reformation, revolutions in science, political transformation and intrigue—were accompanied by an unprecendented explosion in the arts, with the work of Dante, Michelangelo, Shakespeare, and many female writers such as Christine de Pizan, Gaspara Stampa and Veronica Franca. This course examines the politics, literature, philosophy, visual arts, and music of this period, as well as the social behavior of manners, morality, and the role of the Other, such as women and Jews. We will explore the new ideas about existence, the self, and humankind fostered by humanism, philosophy, and the arts. Readings may include Christine de Pizan’s The Treasure of the City of Ladies , Machiavelli’s The Prince , Castiglione’s The Courtier , Shakespeare’s plays, and the work of the Italian female poet, Gaspara Stampa.

Notes

Same as MEDI-UA 994 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1668 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2012

Ocular Anxiety: Visuality in the Nineteenth Century

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Rachel Oberter

Description

The nineteenth century was an age of “ocularcentrism.” A culture of looking emerged with the development of new visual technologies and reproduction techniques, the opening of art museums, and the expansion of the art market. This was the heyday of the illustrated book and the beginning of photography. The visual was used not only to make sense of the external world, but also to reveal internal truths and the realm of the invisible. In the mid-nineteenth century, Europeans and Americans alike had great confidence in vision. Yet as the century drew on, there were increasingly moments when this confidence wavered. This course will look at moments of both optimism and skepticism about the ability of the brush, the camera, and the engraver’s tool to capture what the eye could see. This course will cover a range of media, including painting, photography, book illustrations, and even “optical toys.” Focusing on how shifting theories of vision affected art production and reception, we will discuss a wide variety of art movements active in France, Britain, and the U.S. during the second half of the nineteenth century including Realism, Pre-Raphaelitism, Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism, and Symbolism. We will have at least one museum visit.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1339 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2012

Foucault: Biopolitics and the Care of the Self

4 units Thu
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Bradley Lewis

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1339

Description

French philosopher and cultural historian Michel Foucault’s radical approach to the power, knowledge, and subjectivity destabilized rigid distinctions between the individual and discursive structures, and it anticipated a new form of "bio-politics." These approaches have been broadly influential across the humanities, cultural studies, and social theory. Foucault’s later work on care of the self was devoted to understanding philosophy as a way of life, a spiritual exercise, and a practice of freedom. This work opens up new ways of thinking about ancient philosophy and religious life. To help unpack the religious aspects of Foucault’s later work we will collaborate and share readings with Joseph Thometz’s Postmodern Religious Thought class. Authors we will discuss beyond Foucault include Stuart Hall, John Caputo, Pierre Hadot, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, Thomas Merton, and Thich Nhat Hahn.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1678 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2012

Masters of Japanese Cinema

2 units Wed
12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Nina Cornyetz

Description

We will view three films from the celebrated masters of Japanese filmmaking Ozu, Kurosawa and Mizoguchi, each of whom are famous for their technical innovations in cinematic space, time, and depth of field. The course focus will be on formal film syntax and how these filmmakers arrived at a set of filmic codes independent or in advance of what became the standard Hollywood ones. We will also consider how the films comment on the huge cultural shifts, particularly of values, in Japan’s twentieth century. Specifically, we will look at the ways in which the films handle gender relations, women’s roles, notions of truth, family, and “traditional values.” Readings will include selections from: Timothy Corrigan, A Short Guide to Writing About Film , David Bordwell, Ozu and The Poetics of Cinema , Stephen Prince, The Warrior’s Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa , Mark Le Fanu, Mizoguchi and Japan. The films will likely be: “Tokyo Story,” “Rashomon,” and “Sisters of the Gion.”

Notes

Course meets 1/25- 3/7 only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)