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Found 540 courses
IDSEM-UG1698 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
EARLY
WI 2017

The Social Contract: Early Modern European Political Theory

4 units Tue Wed Thu Fri
2:00 PM - 5:15 PM
Justin Holt

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Between Rights and Justice in Latin America

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1580

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9401 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

PRAGUE: Kafka and His Contexts

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1523 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

Feminism, Empire and Postcoloniality

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

Description

Jamaica Kincaid once said, “I now consider anger as a badge of honor. [It is] the first step to claiming yourself.” Anger, rather than Betty Friedan’s “problem that has no name,” has haunted the life of many women whose negotiations of the meaning of gender, race and sexuality are marked by the violence of colonial-imperial encounters. Accordingly, this course examines the following questions: How have colonial-imperial encounters shaped the imagination of gender, race and sexuality? How have women built feminist solidarities amidst, or perhaps based on, the shared experience of violence and anger? In turn, how has the imagination of gender, race and sexuality redefined the histories of colonies and empires? To pursue these questions, course readings include literary and other scholarly texts engaging feminist and postcolonial theory. Readings range from Kincaid’s  The Autobiography of My Mother  and Rigoberta Menchú’s  I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala  to other texts by scholars like Uma Narayan, Patricia Mohammed, Vandana Shiva, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Ann Stoler.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 721 002.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1144 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Free Speech and Democracy

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9550 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
FA 2015

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

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

Sociology of Religion: Islam and the Modern World

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1552

Description

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

Notes

Same as MEIS-UA 785 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1847 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Dangerous and Intermingled: An Intensive Introduction to Critical Research Practices

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1847

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1838 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
FA 2015

Narrating Seduction: The Tale of Genji

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1838

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 course we will carefully and closely read  The Tale of Genji  alongside selected secondary sources to focus our attention on such topics as: narration, visuality, sexual politics, relation to reality, poetics, and aesthetics in the text.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1835 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

The Poetics and Politics of Mourning

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

Description

If “the past is never dead,” as Faulkner wrote, how does it continue to live on? How do its ghosts continue to haunt the political present? Can these ghosts be exorcised or does one have to learn to live with them? These questions become especially urgent and consequential in the aftermath of war and catastrophe, as writers and artists confront the legacy of violence and try to memorialize annihilated bodies and spaces. The aesthetic modes they choose to address both the dead and the living and the ways in which they narrate the past have political consequences for the future. We will explore and try to answer these questions by reading a selection of texts (fiction, poetry, film, and visual art) as sites and acts of mourning. Our main focus will be on Iraq, but we will also read works from and about Armenia, Palestine, Lebanon, and the US. Readings will include Benjamin, Boulus, Butler, Darwish, Derrida, Freud, Khoury, Morrison, and Youssef.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1193 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Culture as Communication

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1193

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1839 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Freud

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1357 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
FA 2015

The Qur'an

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

Description

The political upheavals and events of recent years have focused much attention on “Islam” and its cultures and texts, especially the Qur’an. Most of the attention and interest in the Qur’an, however, has been reductive and superficial, amounting to no more than de-contextualized misreadings of certain verses in most cases. This seminar will serve as an introduction to the Qur’an as scripture, but also as a generative and polyphonic cultural text. We will start with a brief look at the legacy of Qur’anic studies within the larger paradigm of Orientalist scholarship and “Western” approaches to all things Islamic. We will, then, address the historical and cultural background and context of the Qur’an’s genesis as an oral revelation, its intimate affinities with Biblical and Near Eastern narratives, and its transformation into a written and canonized text after the death of Muhammad. We will then examine the Qur’an’s structure as a “book” and read selections from its most famous chapters and explore how they were deployed in various discourses as Islam became the official religion of a civilization and an empire. Readings and discussions will focus on the themes of prophecy, gender and sexuality, violence and peace. The seminar neither assumes nor requires any prior knowledge of Islamic studies or Arabic.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Environment and Development in Africa

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1648

Description

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

Notes

Sect 002 for Environmental Studies majors.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1848 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Expertise and Democracy

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1848

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

PRAGUE: Civil Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1450 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
EARLY
FA 2015

Machiavelli: Popular Power and the Space of Appearances

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1450

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1351 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
or GLOBAL
FA 2015

Passion and Poetics in Early Japan

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1351

Description

It can be argued that until the 1880s one thing was almost entirely absent in Japanese literary and performing arts: the notion of an interiorized subject. In fact, the ancient Japanese arts are examples of extreme "exteriority" that privilege form, word play and intertextuality and enfold the human being and human erotic passions within rituals for purity and harmony with a cosmology of the heavens. This course will explore ancient and premodern Japanese poetics and prose, performing and visual arts, from the very first writings through the nineteenth century, in relation to sociocultural history and belief systems such as Buddhism and Shintoism. Texts will include: selections of poetry,  emaki  (picture scrolls), noh and puppet plays, selections from  The Tale of Genji ,  The Pillow Book , and the earliest forms of manga.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1632 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

"Woman" and the Political

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1632

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1646 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

Fractured States: Border Crossings, Divisions, and Partitions

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

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 550.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1810 Lib Arts
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

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

4 units Thu
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Alejandro Velasco

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1810

Description

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

Notes

This is a co-taught course. Students in New York and Buenos Aires meet simultaneously via video conference and work from the same syllabus.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1711 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

Politics, Writing and the Nobel Prize in Latin America

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1711

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1527 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Finance for Social Theorists

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1849 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Black Lives Matter: Race, Resistance and Popular Protest

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1849

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1854 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

Architecture and the Modern

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Anooradha Siddiqi

Description

This course examines a global framework for “the modern,” using architecture and urbanism as concrete objects for the study of this contentious category in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The theory and practice of architecture and urbanism embody and yet contest the universalizing aspirations of concepts of modernism, modernization, and modernity, as highly specific cultural, political, social, and technological enterprises. Taking as a premise that architecture is a site and subject for critical inquiry, what does it tell us about modernities, globalization, and politics, as well as history, theory, and criticism as epistemological approaches? In addition to a range of cultural theorists and historians of architecture and urbanism, students will be introduced to a critical selection of architects and architectural voices from the past and present, each with some stake in (or counter-claim against) the “modern,” including practitioners, critics, and institutions—from Le Corbusier to Rem Koolhaas, Reyner Banham to Manfredo Tafuri, the Bauhaus to the Rural Studio, and the Museum of Modern Art to the City of New York. We will engage architectural concepts and designs by learning to critically read and assess drawings and buildings closely within their historical contexts, drawing on designs, built artifacts, journals, books, films, and web-based materials. The class will also visit significant local works, archives, and institutions.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Thinking Sex/Gender Globally

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1682

Description

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

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 721.003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9150 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

BUENOS AIRES: Tango and Mass Culture (in Spanish)

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1300 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Militaries and Militarization

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1300

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

LONDON: Immigration

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9151 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2015

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1863 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

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

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1863

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1786 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

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

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1786

Description

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

Notes

Sect 002 for Environmental Studies majors.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Plato: Tragedy, Philosophy, and Politics

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1449

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Consumerism in Comparative Perspective

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1586

Description

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

Notes

Same as SOC-UA 970-005.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1767 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Crime in the USA

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1381 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Creative Democracy: The Pragmatist Tradition

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1381

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1844 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Genre, Politics and Theory

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1844

Description

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

Notes

Open to sophomores and juniors only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Fashion, Politics and Justice

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1836

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1768 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2015

Government and the Economy: What Every Citizen Should Know

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

Description

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

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

The Social Contract: Early Modern European Political Theory

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1698

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Sociology of Religion: Islam and the Modern World

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Ali Mirsepassi

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1552

Description

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

Notes

Same as MEIS-UA 785 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Indigenous Futures: Decolonizing NYC — Documenting the Lenape Trail

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1900

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1849 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Black Lives Matter: Race, Resistance and Popular Protest

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Environment and Development in Africa

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1648

Description

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

Notes

Sect 002 for Environmental Studies majors.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

BUENOS AIRES: Tango and Mass Culture (in Spanish)

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1272 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Theorizing Politics

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

Description

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

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1055 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Struggle for the Word: History of Media I

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1055

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9355 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2016

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

4 units

Description

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

Notes

Same as IDSEM-UG 1871. Students who have taken IDSEM-UG 1871 (Civilization, the Extreme West, and the Argentine Artist Léon Ferraril) will not receive credit for IDSEM-UG 9355. Course is not repeatable.

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1468 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Psychoanalysis and the Visual

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as ARTH-UA 850.003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1632 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

"Woman" and the Political

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1632

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1351 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
or GLOBAL
FA 2016

Passion and Poetics in Early Japan

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1351

Description

It can be argued that until the 1880s one thing was almost entirely absent in Japanese literary and performing arts: the notion of an interiorized subject. In fact, the ancient Japanese arts are examples of extreme "exteriority" that privilege form, word play and intertextuality and enfold the human being and human erotic passions within rituals for purity and harmony with a cosmology of the heavens. This course will explore ancient and premodern Japanese poetics and prose, performing and visual arts, from the very first writings through the nineteenth century, in relation to sociocultural history and belief systems such as Buddhism and Shintoism. Texts will include: selections of poetry,  emaki  (picture scrolls), noh and puppet plays, selections from  The Tale of Genji ,  The Pillow Book , and the earliest forms of manga.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1630 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2016

Pictures at a Revolution: Film as Political Rhetoric

4 units Fri
12:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Rahul Hamid

Description

V.I. Lenin called cinema the most important art because of its power to persuade. And in fact, cinema has played a key role in many of the revolutionary movements of the twentieth century, in particular for the Russian and Cuban revolutions. In this course we will examine how the cinema works as political language by introducing a variety of theoretical writings both on revolutionary politics and on political aesthetics. We will explore the boundaries between propaganda and political cinema, and we will analyze whether there is a tension between the aesthetics of modernism and the clarity purportedly necessary for effective political persuasion. As we examine how filmmakers attempt to translate revolutionary ideas into cinema, our topics will include: Italian Neorealism, the French New Wave, Brazilian Cinema Novo, and New Queer Cinema. Readings will include: Franz Fanon, Trinh T.Minh-ha, Sergei Eisenstein, Bertolt Brecht and Glauber Rocha.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Aesthetic Justice

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1523 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2016

Feminism, Empire and Postcoloniality

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

Description

Jamaica Kincaid once said, “I now consider anger as a badge of honor. [It is] the first step to claiming yourself.” Anger, rather than Betty Friedan’s “problem that has no name,” has haunted the life of many women whose negotiations of the meaning of gender, race and sexuality are marked by the violence of colonial-imperial encounters. Accordingly, this course examines the following questions: How have colonial-imperial encounters shaped the imagination of gender, race and sexuality? How have women built feminist solidarities amidst, or perhaps based on, the shared experience of violence and anger? In turn, how has the imagination of gender, race and sexuality redefined the histories of colonies and empires? To pursue these questions, course readings include literary and other scholarly texts engaging feminist and postcolonial theory. Readings range from Kincaid’s  The Autobiography of My Mother  and Rigoberta Menchú’s  I, Rigoberta Menchu: An Indian Woman in Guatemala  to other texts by scholars like Uma Narayan, Patricia Mohammed, Vandana Shiva, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Ann Stoler.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 721 002.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Cities and Citizenship: Readings in Global Urbanism

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1880

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

PRAGUE: Kafka and His Contexts

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

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

Politics, Writing and the Nobel Prize in Latin America

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1711

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Fashion, Politics and Justice

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1836

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1381 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Creative Democracy: The Pragmatist Tradition

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1381

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

The Ethnographic Imagination

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

Description

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

Notes

This course is now open to all undergraduate students.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1268 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Cultural Politics of Childhood

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1268

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1337 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Beyond the Invisible Hand: The History of Economic Thought

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1913 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

The Politics of Food, Hunger, and Sustainability

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Alison Heslin

Description

How do politics influence food production and consumption? How does food production and consumption shape societies and development? How can we understand the coexistence of surplus production and hunger? What implications do changes in food production and availability have for society and the environment? In this course, we will explore the relationship between the food system, the ecosystem, and society. We look at the relationship between food and culture; the rise of global, industrial agriculture; the global food system; and the dichotomy of hunger and abundance that exists domestically and internationally. We will also discuss and visit institutional and grassroots movements which offer remedies or alternatives to the current system. By the end of the course, you will be aware of the complexity of the global food system and its consequences on society and the environment, familiar with domestic and international policies that shape food access, and introduced to programs and organizations working on issues of food, hunger, and sustainability in New York and throughout the world. Authors will include Michael Pollan and Amartya Sen.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1626 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

The Communication Revolutions

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1626

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

The U.S. Empire and the Americas

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as HIST-UA 749 001

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

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.

Notes

Open to Gallatin first-year students only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1193 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Culture as Communication

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1193

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1888 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

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

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1888

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

PRAGUE: Civil Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1893 Lib Arts
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2016

Africa/City

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

Description

Through a survey of forms and evolution of human settlement, planning, and design at the urban scale on the African continent, this course poses two central questions: what is “African” about the city and its forms, and what is "urban" about Africa? From Jenne to Cairo to Zanzibar to Lagos, we will visit “Africa” and “city,” as actualized and as imaginary, contemplating each through form in history, and through the relationship of each term to the other. The course aims to examine the constructions of each through the other, using the dynamic relationships between multiple subjectivities and spaces in specific cities at specific times to investigate the idea of urbanism and its stakes in Africa. Secondary literature and image-based primary sources for the course are structured around specific cities, built and constructed environments, aesthetically organized landscapes, and virtual and social spaces.

Notes

Same as ARTH-UA 550

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1839 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Freud

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1839

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Thinking Sex/Gender Globally

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 721.003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1915 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Power and Politics

4 units Tue Thu
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Alison Heslin

Description

To study politics is to study power, and as such, this course addresses the production, conservation, and distribution of power, addressing questions such as: What is power? How is power exerted? How is it gained and lost? How do power centers get challenged? We begin with theoretical understandings of power, applying philosophical and sociological theories of power to social problems including global inequality, national welfare policy, residential patterns, and racial and gender discrimination. We investigate the mechanisms by which groups maintain power historically and currently including the use of force, the control of media, and the dissemination of propaganda through art, film, and literature. Lastly, we address challenges to power structures posed by social movements. Authors include Mills, Chomsky, Gaventa, and Domhoff.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

LONDON: Immigration

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1300 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Militaries and Militarization

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1527 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2016

Finance for Social Theorists

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

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Imagining the Middle East

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1543

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Media and Global Social Movements

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1764

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

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

4 units
Rosalind Fredericks

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)

IDSEM-UG1849 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SU 2016

Black Lives Matter: Race, Resistance and Popular Protest

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

Description

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

Notes

Session II: July 5 - August 14

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1830 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SU 2015

Arab Cinema(s)

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
12:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Sinan Antoon

Description

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

Notes

Session I Intensive: June 15 - July 2

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1268 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SU 2015

Cultural Politics of Childhood

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

Description

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

Notes

Session II: July 6 - August 14

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Imagining the Middle East

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

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

TRAVL-UG9350 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SU 2015

Madrid: Faces of the Changing European City

4 units
Gianpaolo Baiocchi

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)

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

Revolucion

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

Description

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

Notes

Session II: July 6 - August 14

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1829 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

The Story of/in Psychoanalysis

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9353 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

PARIS: What is Technology?

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

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

Three Revolutions: Haiti, Mexico, Cuba

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Narrating Memory, History and Place

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1771 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

The Promise and Pitfalls of Markets

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Poetry and the Politics of Decolonization

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1866

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1466 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

The Philosophy and Welfare Politics of Distributional Justice

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1466

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1628 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Think Big: Global Issues and Ecological Solutions

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1628

Description

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

Notes

Sect 002 for Environmental Studies majors.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Globalization: Promises and Discontents

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1518

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9550 Lib Arts
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

TEL AVIV: Queering the Middle East

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

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

PRAGUE: Kafka and His Contexts

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

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

The Modern Arabic Novel

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Exhibitions: A History, A Theory, An Exploration

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

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Political Theology

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1521

Description

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

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

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

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1810 Lib Arts
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

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

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1810

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1821 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Democracy and Difference

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1821

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1299 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Objectivity and the Politics of the Journalism Revolution

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1299

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1468 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Psychoanalysis and the Visual

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as ARTH-UA 850 004.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

BUENOS AIRES: Tango and Mass Culture (in Spanish)

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1359 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

American Capitalism in the Twentieth Century

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as HIST-UA 699 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1877 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

An Analysis of Leadership: Drinking the Kool-Aid

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1877

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Global Noodles: Silk Routes & Subway Connections

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1867

Description

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

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 380 003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Global Noodles: Silk Routes & Subway Connections

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1867

Description

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

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 380 002.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Global Noodles: Silk Routes & Subway Connections

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1867

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Competing Images of the Sage: Confucius and Lao Tzu

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

Syllabus

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-UG1641 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Health and Human Rights in the World Community

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

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

Modern Architectures of South Asia

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

The U.S. Empire and the Americas

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as HIST-UA 699 002.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1313 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Ethics for Dissenters

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1313

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Labor and the Global Market: Literature, Film and History

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as COLIT-UA 550.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Consuming the Caribbean

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 721 003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1864 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Museums as Sites of Social Change

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1765 Lib Arts
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2016

Media and Empire

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1765

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

The Arabian Nights

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1843 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Psychoanalysis Beyond Freud

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1843

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Japan and the Discovery of Interiority

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1369

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

PRAGUE: Civil Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1342 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Language, Globalization, and the Self

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1342

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

LONDON: Immigration

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9353 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

PARIS: What is Technology?

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1851 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Politics of Protection and Global Governance

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1851

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1858 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2016

Couture Culture: Sexual Politics on the Runway

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9100 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

BERLIN: European Environmental Policy

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

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

Three Revolutions: Haiti, Mexico, Cuba

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1380

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-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-UG1719 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

China Gazing

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1628 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Think Big: Global Issues and Ecological Solutions

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1628

Description

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

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1342 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Language, Globalization and the Self

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1342

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1299 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Objectivity and the Politics of the Journalism Revolution

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1299

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-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)

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-UG1573 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

The New American Society

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1573

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1717 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

The Keynesian Century

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1717

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1042 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Digital Revolution: History of Media III

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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)

IDSEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

LONDON: Immigration

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1703 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

The Green Dream

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

Description

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

Notes

Section 3 for Environmental Studies majors only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

The Ethnographic Imagination

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

Description

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

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1360 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

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

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Revolucion

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1486

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1313 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Ethics for Dissenters

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-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

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-UG1682 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2013

What Is Global About Gender?

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 721 003.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

International Human Rights

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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)

SASEM-UG9402 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

PRAGUE: Civil Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-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

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)

K20.1313 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

Ethics for Dissenters

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

Description

This course is about dissent in a double sense: criticizing accepted ethical values, and criticizing old ways of philosophical thought about ethics. It is about affirmative ethics, not just criticism. Topics will grow from student questions and concerns, as well as the professor's. Suggested topics include viewpoints and skills to: (1) Criticize unjust ethical standards, e. g. sexist ones, and invent fair ones; (2) Choose ethical careers and life paths; (3) Recognize responsibilities to the larger community; (4) Resolve ethical dilemmas; (5) Justify visions of a better world; (6) Dialogue productively with adversaries; (7) Respect different ethical positions without "anything goes;" (8) Learn, and question, and still have principles; (9) Get beyond dead-end debate on idealism/realism, egotism/altruism, objectivism/relativism? (When is it justified to defeat adversies politically, as with civil rights laws? Is force justified, as in the American Civil War?) Readings from feminist, pragmatist, existentialist, ecological, nonviolence and conflict resolution, neo-classical, Marxist, and humanistic and developmental psychology approaches—as alternatives to mainstream Kantian and utilitarian ethics. Authors include de Beauvoir, Dewey, Emerson, Gandhi, Gilligan, James, Kohlberg, Marx, Maslow, Nietzsche, Nussbaum, Rogers, Sartre.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1193 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2008

Culture as Communication

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1518 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2008

Globalization: Promises and Discontents

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

Description

In popular and scholarly discourse, the term "globalization" is widely used to put a name to the shape of the contemporary world. In the realms of advertising, policymaking, politics, academia, and everyday talk, "globalization" references the sense that we are now living in a deeply and ever-increasingly interconnected, mobile, and speeded-up world that is unprecedented, fueled by technological innovations and geopolitical and economic transformations. Drawing on perspectives from history, anthropology, cultural and literary studies, geography, political economy, and sociology, this course will explore theories, discourses, and experiences of globalization. Running through the course are three central concerns: 1) exploring claims about the "new-ness" of globalization from historical perspectives, 2) examining how a variety of social and cultural worlds mediate globalization and 3) analyzing a contested politics of globalization in which the opportunities for social mobility and transformation are pitted against renewed intensifications of exploitation and vulnerability along long-standing vectors of difference and inequality. Readings include: World Systems Theory; theories of globalization in the social sciences; studies of environmental and indigenous rights activism, gender and labor issues, and consumer culture; as well as a selection of films and novels.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1513 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2008

New Deal Liberalism: Its Rise and Fall

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

Description

This course will examine the rise and fall of New Deal liberalism as the dominant political and social order of mid- twentieth century America. It will begin with the onset of the Great Depression as the event which sets in motion profound transformations in the economy, in the balance of political power, in the role of the State, and in the relations between social classes and ethnic/racial groups. It will explore the rise of the labor movement and the creation of the welfare state. It will analyze the impact of the Cold War on domestic politics. Discussions will probe the emergence of the civil rights, anti-war, and counter-culture movements. The class will analyze the conservative reaction against the New Deal culminating in the election of Ronald Reagan in 1980. Students will analyze primary documents, novels, and films such as the Grapes of Wrath and Dr. Strangelove, as well as read secondary works including Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal by William E. Leuchtenberg, America in Our Time by Godfrey Hodgson, and Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Media and Global Social Movements

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

Description

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

Notes

Session I: May 27 - July 3

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1268 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SU 2014

Cultural Politics of Childhood

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

Description

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

Notes

Session II: July 7 - August 15

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

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

4 units
Rosalind Fredericks

Description

Application: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/utilities/forms/winter_travel.html For more information: http://gallatin.nyu.edu/academics/undergraduate/global/travelcourses/SenegalPostcolonialUrbanisms.html Description: This travel course examines urban development in the postcolonial global South through the lens of cities in Senegal, West Africa. Like elsewhere across the global South, Senegal is rapidly becoming urban. This process implies a host of important transformations and challenges for development, the environment, and the socio-political lives of city-dwellers. Owing to the country’s particular development trajectory, long history of urbanization, and important legacy as one of Africa’s strongest democracies, Senegal provides an especially fascinating place to examine these dynamics and grapple with their implications for urbanism in the global South and beyond. This course will be based in Senegal’s capital city, Dakar, but will include overnight trips to the other important Senegalese cities of Saint Louis (the colonial capital of French West Africa) and Touba (Senegal’s Islamic Mecca) to compare the form and function of these alternative urban histories and development strategies. Through a combination of course readings, classroom lectures, tours, walks, and field visits, we will explore the legacies of colonialism and unpack a number of key contemporary debates and challenges faced by urban planners and city residents.

Notes

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

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)

K20.1144 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

Free Speech and Democracy

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1193 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

Culture as Communication

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1313 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

Ethics for Dissenters

4 units

Description

This course is about dissent in a double sense: criticizing accepted ethical values, and criticizing old ways of philosophical thought about ethics. It is about affirmative ethics, not just criticism. Topics will grow from student questions and concerns, as well as the professor's. Suggested topics include viewpoints and skills to: (1) Criticize unjust ethical standards, e. g. sexist ones, and invent fair ones; (2) Choose ethical careers and life paths; (3) Recognize responsibilities to the larger community; (4) Resolve ethical dilemmas; (5) Justify visions of a better world; (6) Dialogue productively with adversaries; (7) Respect different ethical positions without "anything goes;" (8) Learn, and question, and still have principles; (9) Get beyond dead-end debate on idealism/realism, egotism/altruism, objectivism/relativism? (When is it justified to defeat adversies politically, as with civil rights laws? Is force justified, as in the American Civil War?) Readings from feminist, pragmatist, existentialist, ecological, nonviolence and conflict resolution, neo-classical, Marxist, and humanistic and developmental psychology approaches—as alternatives to mainstream Kantian and utilitarian ethics. Authors include de Beauvoir, Dewey, Emerson, Gandhi, Gilligan, James, Kohlberg, Marx, Maslow, Nietzsche, Nussbaum, Rogers, Sartre.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1144 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

Free Speech and Democracy

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1342 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

Language, Globalization and the Self

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1193 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2006

Culture as Communication

4 units

Description

This course examines the concept of culture through its forms of communication. The shift from orality to literacy and on to electronic processing has important consequences for the social, political, and economic structures within a culture. If we take as axiomatic that every culture wishes to preserve itself through its forms of communication, we then ne