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Courses

Found 879 courses
IDSEM-UG1686 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2013

Self Fashioning in Literaure and Drama

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1661 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Total War, Terror and Critique

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1732 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Intermedia and Interdisciplinary Art Practices

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-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-UG1718 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Hegel: Spirit, History and Forgiveness

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1718

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9102 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

BERLIN: Topics in German Cinema

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1072 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1493 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Sports, Race and Politics

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9151 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9352 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

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

Ancient Reflections in a Time of Modern War

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1451

Description

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

Notes

Course meets 1/29- 3/12 only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Fractured States: Border Crossings, Divisions, and Partitions

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1646

Description

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

Notes

Same as COLIT-UA 800 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Renaissance and Renewal in the 9th Century

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

Description

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

Notes

Course meets 1/28- 3/11 only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

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

Fate and Free Will in the Epic Tradition

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1116

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Shakespeare and the London Theatre

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as MEDI-UA 986 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9251 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

LONDON: Art and War, 1914-2004

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1735 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

American Narratives II

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1735

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9401 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

PRAGUE: Kafka and His Contexts

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9200 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

FLORENCE: History of Italian Fashion

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9403 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

PRAGUE: Central European Film

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

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

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9150 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

BUENOS AIRES: Tango and Mass Culture

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

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

Cross-Cultural Encounters on the Renaissance Stage

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1687

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9100 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1289 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Narrative Investigations II: Realism to Postmodernism

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1289

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9201 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9404 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

PRAGUE: Literature and Place of Central Europe

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1590 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Walter Benjamin: Theory for Gleaners

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as COLIT-UA 800 002.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

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

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

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-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-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-UG1181 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

A Sense of Place

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

Description

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

Notes

Section 3 for Environmental Studies majors only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1692 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

The Transformation of Music in a Century of Electronica

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Competing Images of the Sage: Confucius and Lao Tzu

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1695

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

The U.S. Empire and the Americas

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1631

Description

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

Notes

Same as HIST-UA 282 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1693 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Travel Narratives

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

Description

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

Notes

Course meets 3/26 - 5/9 only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1563 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Women’s Text(iles)

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-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)

IDSEM-UG1722 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Writing the Present Day Life

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1722

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Science and Religion

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1514

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1726 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

The Novel and Society: Victorian Secrets

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Narrating Memory, History and Place

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1535

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1277 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

Alchemy and the Transformation of Self

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1277

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2013

LONDON: Seeing London's Architecture

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

K20.1318 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2008

Shakespeare and the London Theatre

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

TRAVL-UG9125 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SU 2014

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

4 units
Sara Murphy

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)

IDSEM-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-UG1782 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SU 2014

Madness and Civilization

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

Description

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

Notes

Session II: July 7 - August 15

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

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

4 units
Rosalind Fredericks

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)

IDSEM-UG1542 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
WI 2014

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

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1612 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
WI 2014

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

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1612

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1061 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2005

Literary Forms: The Craft of Criticism

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1375 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

Romantics and Revolutionaries: The Birth of Modern Political Theatre

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1135 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

The Medieval Mind

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1432 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

The Meaning of Home

2 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1318 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

Shakespeare and the London Theatre

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1072 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1314 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

Literary and Cultural Theory: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1116 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2006

Fate and Free Will in the Epic Tradition

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1116 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

Fate and Free Will in the Epic Tradition

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1314 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

Literary and Cultural Theory: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1375 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

Romantics and Revolutionaries: The Birth of Modern Political Theatre

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1061 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

Literary Forms: The Craft of Criticism

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1432 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

The Meaning of Home

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

Description

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

Notes

last seven weeks

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1072 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1135 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2008

The Medieval Mind

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1072 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1314 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

Literary and Cultural Theory: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1116 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

Fate and Free Will in the Epic Tradition

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1061 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

Literary Forms: The Craft of Criticism

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1135 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2005

The Medieval Mind

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1116 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2005

Fate and Free Will in the Epic Tradition

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1072 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2005

Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1432 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2005

The Meaning of Home

2 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1318 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2005

Shakespeare and the London Theatre

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1314 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2005

Literary and Cultural Theory: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1135 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

The Medieval Mind

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1318 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

Shakespeare and the London Theatre

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1432 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2004

The Meaning of Home

2 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

K20.1061 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2004

Literary Forms: The Craft of Criticism

4 units

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1072 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Barbarians: Ancient Conceptions of the Outsider

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Doing Things with Words: Arts and Politics Across Cultures

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1512 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

Fashion's Fictions: The Texts of Clothing

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1432 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

The Meaning of Home

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

Description

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

Notes

2 credits; last seven weeks

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

The Arabian Nights

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

Description

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

Notes

sophomores only

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1590 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

Walter Benjamin: Theory for Gleaners

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Shakespeare's Mediterranean

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as V65.0986001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1388 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Thinking About Seeing

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Discourses of Love: Antiquity to the Renaissance

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Narrating Seduction: The Tale of Genji

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

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1229 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

"Chinatown" and the American Imagination

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as V18.0370.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1607 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Philosophes and Follies: Theatre of the Enlightenment

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Narratives of African Civilizations

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1211 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2012

Buddhism and Psychology

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1211

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1563 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2012

Women’s Text(iles)

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

The Vietnam War

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1589

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Pride and Power: Renaissance Revolutions in Art and Culture

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1103

Description

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

Notes

Same as MEDI-UA 994 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1668 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2012

Ocular Anxiety: Visuality in the Nineteenth Century

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1339 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2012

Foucault: Biopolitics and the Care of the Self

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1339

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Masters of Japanese Cinema

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

Description

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

Notes

Course meets 1/25- 3/7 only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1634 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2012

Postcolonial African Cities

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1634

Description

Africa is quickly becoming urban, with profound implications for African socio-economic structures, environments, and political systems. Recent scholarship representing African cities, however, is often divided. On the one hand is a perspective which concentrates on colonial legacies and Africa’s place in international capitalist circuits. On the other is an emphasis on emergent forms of citizenship and the dynamic ways that African cities work. This class holds both in tension while exploring key themes of African urbanism. It begins with a brief history of African cities to lay the groundwork for an examination of colonial legacies. Then, it delves into cross-cutting contemporary issues related to: infrastructure and planning, economies and livelihoods, and politics and identities, including contestations around religion, generation, and gender. Finally, insights gained will be used to reflect on theories of the city and international development. Authors include: AbdouMaliq Simone, Achille Mbembe, Michael Watts, Jennifer Robinson, and Mamadou Diouf.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1686 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2012

Self Fashioning in Literature and Drama

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Jeanette Tran

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1457 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2012

The Odyssey: Estrangement and Homecoming

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1457

Description

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

Notes

Course meets 1/24- 3/6 only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1448 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2012

Herodotus

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1448

Description

Referred to both as “the father of lies” and as the founder of the discipline of history, Herodotus (5th cent. B.C.E.) stands at the threshold of historical and ethnographic discourse in the West. Through its primary topic, the wars between Greece and Persia, Herodotus’ Histories examines the distinctive social, political, and religious characters of the major cultures of the ancient mediterranean world. In this class, our reading of the Histories will include a consideration of the following questions: how does the perspective of the Histories contribute to, and complicate, contemporary notions of exoticism and “otherness”; what is the relation of the Histories (with its recognition of cultural pluralism) to the themes and structure of Athenian tragedy? How does Herodotus construct a history out of travel, hearsay, participant-observation? What can we learn from Herodotus about historical method? Our readings will include (in addition to the primary text) selections from: Michel De Certeau, The Writing of History ; Carlo Ginzburg, Clues, Myths and Historical Method ; Leslie Kurke, Coins, Bodies, Games, and Gold: The Politics of Meaning in Archaic Greece .

Notes

Course meets 1/25- 3/7 only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1585 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2012

Memory Wars: Japanese Representations of WW II

4 units Wed
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Nicole Cohen

Description

This course will examine intersections between historical memory and representations of wartime experience in mediums ranging from art and literature to museums and textbooks. We will consider: What is history, what is memory, and what is the relationship between the two? How is the experience of war translated into different art forms like film, fiction, photography, and documentary? What constraints--historical and ethical—may limit the representation of past traumatic events? We will explore such questions with respect to the Japanese experience in World War II while creating comparisons with war memories elsewhere, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Students will read historical and social theories of memory written by Paul Ricoeur, Pierre Nora, and others before exploring the history of the Pacific War and allied occupation of Japan. Theory will serve as a launching pad from which to explore accounts and representations of Japan's wartime past in fiction, anime, manga, oral histories, visual arts, and documentary. Finally, we will address the use and abuse of history while discussing controversies over the history textbooks, the military "comfort women," the Smithsonian exhibit on the Enola Gay, and the Rape of Nanking.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1116 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2012

Fate and Free Will in the Epic Tradition

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1116

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1568 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2010

Narrating Memory, History and Place

4 units Tue
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Marie Cruz Soto

Description

Films can hold a special place in the imagination of communities and their history. This course examines how films have functioned as representational mediums from where to negotiate collective understandings of the past, specifically of the past of the Americas. It further explores how films interact with other historical narratives, at times pushing forth and at other times defying and complicating official histories. Some of the questions guiding the study of the relationship between film and history in the Americas focus on how different communities: cope with the legacies of violent pasts, envision change and revolution, contest the meaning of places and negotiate racial and gender identities. To approach the subject, the course builds upon films like Luis Puenzos La historia oficial and Rea Tajiris History and Memory. The course also builds on texts from directors and film scholars such as Toms Gutirrez Alea and Natalie Zemon Davis.

Notes

2 credits; first seven weeks only

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1116 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2010

Fate and Free Will in the Epic Tradition

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1135 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

The Medieval Mind

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Clair McPherson

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1314 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

Literary and Cultural Theory: An Interdisciplinary Introduction

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

Description

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

Notes

sophomores only

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1215 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
EARLY
SP 2010

Narrative Investigations I

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1580 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2010

Between Rights and Justice in Latin America

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

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 social justice and human rights? Readings will draw from Bartolomé de las Casas, Ariel Dorfman, Elena Poniatowska, Alison Brysk, and Greg Grandin, among others.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1482 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2010

Consuming the Caribbean

4 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 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 Terry McMillan's How Stella Got Her Groove Back , 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 which 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, symbol, or even character. This course takes an interdisciplinary (history, literature, anthropology and sociology) and transnational approach by examining the themes of race, freedom, gender, tourism and consumption in the Caribbean. As a conglomeration of nationalities, languages, and cultures, what are the connections between the historical legacy of slavery, European colonialism and migration to the Caribbean's current realities of inequality? Some of the texts we will engage are Mimi Sheller's Consuming the Caribbean , Jamaica Kincaid's A Small Place , and Denise Brennan's What's Love Got to Do With It: Transnational Desires and Sex Tourism in the Dominican Republic .

Notes

SNY

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1585 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2010

Memory Wars: Japanese Representations of WW II

4 units Wed
9:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Nicole Cohen

Description

This course will examine intersections between historical memory and representations of wartime experience in mediums ranging from art and literature to museums and textbooks. We will consider: What is history, what is memory, and what is the relationship between the two? How is the experience of war translated into different art forms like film, fiction, photography, and documentary? What constraints--historical and ethical—may limit the representation of past traumatic events? We will explore such questions with respect to the Japanese experience in World War II while creating comparisons with war memories elsewhere, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. After exploring the background of the Pacific War and the allied occupation of Japan, students will read historical and social theories of memory written by Paul Ricoeur, Pierre Nora, and others. Theory will serve as a launching pad from which to explore accounts and representations of Japan's wartime past in fiction, anime, manga, oral histories, visual arts, and documentary. Finally, we will address the use and abuse of history while discussing controversies over the history textbooks, the military "comfort women," the Smithsonian exhibit on the Enola Gay, and the Rape of Nanking.

Notes

SNY

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1470 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2010

(Re) Imagining Latin America

4 units Tue Thu
6:20 PM - 7:35 PM
Alejandro Velasco

Description

In Bolivia, where non-indigenous elites long ruled exclusively, an indigenous president now leads a socialist revolution; in Argentina, where governments once massacred youth by the thousands, citizens now fill the streets to demand accountability; in Guatemala, where Catholicism long reigned supreme, evangelicals now find rapt audiences. Throughout the region, the once unthinkable is becoming normative, and everywhere pundits wonder: are these the stirrings of a new Latin America or the rumblings of old ghosts in different form? This course has two aims: on one hand to decipher how Latin America has conventionally been imagined, by introducing students to major themes in the region’s study like mestizaje and machismo, authoritarianism and revolution, dependency and industrialization; on the other hand to question how valid these imaginaries remain against the backdrop of contemporary examples of social, political, and economic transformation in Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, and elsewhere. Readings draw widely from academic articles in history, anthropology, and political science, excerpts from memoirs and contemporary journalism, and samplings of music and visual arts, generating thematic student papers asking: is it time to re-imagine Latin America in this new century, and if so, how? Authors include Simón Bolívar, Gabriela Mistral, Gabriel García Márquez, Gustavo Gutiérrez, Hermano Vianna, Javier Auyero, and Mariano Azuela.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1604 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Close Readings in Critical Cultural Theory: Walter Benjamin

2 units Mon Wed
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Sara Murphy

Description

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) was a literary critic, philosopher and social theorist whose work has proven enormously influential across a number of disciplines, including literary study, media and popular culture studies, urban studies and political theory. Closely associated with the Frankfurt School, Benjamin’s work is itself interdisciplinary, drawing from Marxism, psychoanalysis, sociology, literature and religion. In this course, we will spend time reading some of his major essays as well as parts of his great unfinished Arcades Project in order to attempt to track the thinking of one of the twentieth century’s most astute and complex analysts of culture and politics. While we will also look at some central secondary writing on Benjamin, we will focus most closely on reading his work. Among our readings: essays on Baudelaire and Paris, the “Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” “Theses on the Philosophy of History” and possibly One Way Street .

Notes

Course meets for the first seven weeks only, September 8–October 25.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1640 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
FA 2010

The History of Kindness

4 units
Section 017
Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Andrew Romig

Description

Does kindness have a history? How have human beings conceived of benevolent behavior toward others differently across time and place? The so- called “Golden Rule” of treating others as one would be treated is present in the ethical philosophies of all of the world’s major religions. Yet humans have found it perpetually difficult to live together in peace, to tolerate cultural difference, and to provide for public welfare. In this course, we will explore the history of thought about benevolent behavior from the ancient world, through the Middle Ages, and into the present. We will read recent studies concerning the evolutionary biology of altruism (is there a “kindness gene”?), sociological studies of gender difference (is hostility a male trait?), and anthropological studies of how culture regulates conduct. We will study the rise of the state and the ways in which ideals of social welfare have changed over time. Key texts will include Plato’s Republic, The Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, Augustine’s City of God, Alcuin of York’s On the Virtues and Vices, Chaucer’s Tale of Melibee, Hobbes’ Leviathan, Voltaire’s Treatise on Tolerance, Ghandi’s The Story of My Experiments with Truth, and the Dalai Lama’s Ethics for the New Millennium. As part of the course, students will also conduct individual studies of how “kindness” is enacted and organized throughout the New York metropolitan area today, with the opportunity to combine research with internship work.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1613 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Secular Politics and Its Discontents

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

Description

During the European Enlightenment, political philosophers set out to establish a novel form of politics—one not grounded in divine authority. We will begin by studying two of the major figures in this endeavor—Thomas Hobbes and John Locke—in light of the sacred scriptures they aimed to overturn. In so doing, we will simultaneously gain an understanding of how the Bible was read as politically normative and how these thinkers co-opted, reinterpreted and undermined the biblical teachings in order to found a secular politics. Even before these ideas started to take root within the early American republic, the viability and desirability of secular politics began to be questioned by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The second part of this course will study the discontents of secularism as articulated by Rousseau in his critique of the Enlightenment vision of politics and by Alexis de Tocqueville in his observations on religion in American democracy.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1603 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Modern Poetry and the Actual World

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1586 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2010

Consumerism in Comparative Perspective

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

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 racial inequality and identity, class formation, aesthetic sensibility, and international boundaries? At the same time, 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, history and literature 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, but some likely texts are: Veblen, Theory of the Leisure Class ; Mauss, The Gift ; Bourdieu, Distinction ; Marx, “Commodity Fetishism;” Twitchell, Lead Us Into Temptation ; Bill McKibben, Deep Economy ; Colson Whitehead, Apex Hides the Hurt ; Van Jones, Green Collar Economy.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

TRAVL-GG2060 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SU 2012

Italian Renaissance, Art and Literature: The Culture Explosion

4 units
Bella Mirabella

Description

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

Notes

Course meets in Florence, June 3 - 24.

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-GG)

TRAVL-UG9301 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SU 2012

Black in the City of Light, Paris

4 units
Section 002

Myisha Priest

Description

From the written works of Harlem Renaissance writers Langston Hughes, Claude McKay and Countee Cullen that fomented the Negritude movement, to the performances of Josephine Baker, to the art of Henry Ossawa Tanner and Beauford Delaney, to the music of jazz musicians Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Bill Coleman, to the political philosophies and writings of W.E.B Dubois and James Baldwin, Paris's influence on the creation of African American culture has been profound. Less noted is the degree to which the African American presence in Paris influenced international art and political thought, from the use of African cubism among European artists to the shaping of the philosophies of thinkers like Sarte, Camus and de Beauvoir. We will focus on Paris as a site of exchange—as an intersection through which pass influential ideas, forms and actions. We will consider the degree to which the encounter with Paris paradoxically made African American writers and artists more aware of and intent upon defining and articulating their Americanness, and finding in it a foundation for increased political activism and shaping of a Pan-African sensibility and community. This class will examine the literature, art, food, geographies and politics of African American expatriates in Paris, paying particular attention to the ways that the view from another shore shaped political thought and activism arising from a deepened awareness of national and international identity that Paris inspired.

Notes

Course meets in Paris, May 26 - June 16

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)

IDSEM-UG1622 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2010

International Human Rights

4 units
Section 018
Mon
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Vasuki Nesiah

Description

The course studies the discourses, practices and institutions of human rights. In addition to providing an overview of the international human rights framework, it will engage with the politics of human rights as a local/global movement for social change, a contested family of legal rules and norms, and a repertoire of globalized vocabularies and policy prescriptions enhancing and delimiting justice. This will be a conversation about the work 'human rights' does in relation to systemic injustices and dominant ideologies - the activism and social change agendas that it enables, and those it closes off; what it privileges and legitimates and what it obscures and excludes; its desires and obsessions and its phobias and repulsions. The latter half of the course will look at how human rights laws and norms have been imagined, invoked and negotiated in relation to specific topics; these may include questions of socio-economic justice, minority rights, war crimes, multi-national corporations, sexual trafficking, torture and taboo. Readings will draw from Karl Marx, Hannah Arendt, Phillip Alston, David Kennedy, Sally Merry, Wendy Brown, Mahmood Mamdani, Hanif Kureishi, Thomas Pogge and Talal Asad. Readings will also include a number of legal cases involving the human rights framework.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1623 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Labor and Its Representations

2 units
Section 021
Mon Wed
4:55 PM - 6:10 PM
Valerie Forman

Description

Labor has long been associated with pain and toil, and more recently with exploitation and the production of commodities. 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. Some primary questions we will explore are: How does labor create value? How do some gain control of the labor of others? How does this relationship of power change over time? How are those who labor valued in society, and represented in art? How are distinctions of gender and race entwined with the division of labor? How has the demand for labor required migration and imposed geographical dislocations? How do laborers themselves seek to shape practices of laboring and how they are valued? To answer these questions we will explore representations of unfree labor--both slavery and indentured servitude--in dialogue with representations both of "free labor" and of migration. Along the way, we will consider how laborers organize themselves and the ways they develop community in new locations. We will begin by looking at a seventeenth-century play (Shakespeare's The Tempest ) and a contemporary novel (Toni Morrison's A Mercy ) that reflects back on the seventeenth century--the period when systems of global capitalist production were being invented, but before the relationship between race and categories of laborers were firmly fixed. Then we will use writings by Karl Marx to explore how these institutions of labor and production became central to the modern world. In addition to the texts mentioned above, additional works may include documentaries, murals, and fiction, as well as early modern ethnographies, works of political philosophy, and modern scholarship by literary and cultural critics, historians, and anthropologists.

Notes

Course meets for the last seven weeks only, October 27–December 15.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1357 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
FA 2010

The Qur'an

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

Description

The political upheavals and events of recent years have focused much attention on “Islam” and its culture s 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. In addition to the Qur’an and its exegesis (in translation), secondary sources may include Marx, Said, Bell, Sells, Bouhdiba and Ahmed.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1504 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Guilty Subjects: Guilt in Literature, Law and Psychoanalysis

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Sara Murphy

Description

This seminar will explore guilt as the link between the three broad disciplinary arenas of our title. Literary works from ancient tragedy to the modern novel thematize guilt in various ways. Freud places it at the center of his practice and his theory of mind. While law seems reliant mainly upon a formal attribution of guilt in order to determine who gets punished and to what degree, we might also suggest it relies upon “guilty subjects” for its operation. With all of these different deployments of the concept, we might agree it is a central one, yet how to define it remains a substantial question. Is the prominence of guilt in modern Western culture a vestige of a now-lost religious world? Is it, as Nietzsche suggests, an effect of “the most profound change man ever experienced when he finally found himself enclosed within the wall of society and of peace?” Freud seems to concur when he argues that guilt must be understood as a kind of internal self-division where aggressivity is turned against the self. Is guilt a pointless self-punishment, meant to discipline us? Or does it continue to have an important relation to the ethical? Readings may include Freud, Nietzsche, Foucault, Slavoj Zizek, Toni Morrison, Ursula LeGuin, W.G. Sebald, and some case law, among others.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1606 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Staging Ancient Drama: Text, Culture, and Performance

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

Description

This course is designed to enhance students' understanding of ancient Greek theater and its stagecraft, through directorial practice and close examination of selected plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes. Combining textual study with workshops and exercises focused on staging, we will create a framework for approaching the original environment of the plays and their reception in Athens of the fifth century BCE. The course will investigate the performative aspects of each play (such as character, status, gender, etc.) and will use the insights gained from practical workshops to explain important material elements such as masks, scenic design, and stage properties, as well as to explore the theatrical dynamics involved in the use of the chorus, messengers, entrances and exits. We aim to guide students to a deeper understanding of the plays and to possible techniques for translating them to the modern page and stage.

Notes

Same as V27.0293. Permission required. Students should contact Prof. Meineck (pm57@nyu.edu) to arrange a brief conversation about their interests and the aims of the course.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1609 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
FA 2010

Dante's World

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

Description

This course will explore the social, political, intellectual and religious evolution of the late medieval dantesque world, by focusing on Dante’s Divine Comedy . A close reading of The Divine Comedy will serve as a forum to discuss and analyze Dante's writings and those important works that helped to shape the thirteenth-century Florentine society that ultimately served as a stepping stone for the humanist movement that paved the way for the Italian Renaissance. But Dante’s Divine Comedy is not just a text of and for its own time. It has left readers fascinated and shuddering for over 700 years because its poetical and literary tropes enable them to confront their experience of the human condition and transform what and how they desire. During the class, therefore, students will conduct research projects on more historical and more enduring aspects of Dante’s Commedia . As well, field trips to museums, cinematic recreations, documentaries, music and other visual and auditory aids will be used to enrich our sense of the text’s meaning and context. Readings include: The Divine Comedy, The Confessions, The Consolation of Philosophy, The Aeneid , and The Book of the Zohar .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1621 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Theorizing the Visual: Toward a Politics of Representation

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Lissette Olivares

Description

In a world mediated by images how can we critically approach the visible? This course focuses on the politics of representation, offering students critical approaches and methodologies in the field of visual studies. Exploring the relationship between aesthetic movements and theoretical production, we interrogate how artists and theorists frame and define art and visual politics. How do regimes of the visible render certain subjects and histories invisible? In what different ways, and with what political consequences, has the meaning and practice of “art” been denaturalized and redefined in the twentieth century? To pursue these questions, we explore a diversity of theoretical paradigms and their implications, including formalism, feminism, psychoanalysis, semiotics, the ‘social’ history of art, post-structuralism, performance, post-colonial theory, and museum studies. Our goal is to build a theoretical toolkit that will help us to analyze art and visual culture broadly. Readings may include: Stuart Hall, Rey Chow, Michel de Certeau, Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, bell hooks, Lucy Lippard, T.J Clark, Amelia Jones.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1564 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Race and Religion in African American Culture

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

Description

The ways in which Americans have imagined and represented the sacred have been profoundly shaped by race and slavery, and this intersection has become a foundation for many kinds of cultural practices and the development of political philosophy in African American culture. Two central questions therefore motivate this course: How has race shaped the production of sacred meaning and African American sacred art? How have spiritual discourses of salvation and redemption motivated political and cultural action? To pursue these questions we will explore representations of the sacred in several genres, including the Bible, essays, sermons, and art, as well as performances of African American sacred music and dance. Also, each student will select a contemporary cultural form and examine how it is shaped by the desire to represent both racialized experience and the sacred. Students can research cultural forms of interest to them, including familiar forms like contemporary music (rap, gospel rap, and more), or films, but could also tackle less familiar forms like public performances (inauguration, anyone?), historical sites and public spaces. Primary texts include: Exodus; Frederick Douglass, Narrative ; W.E.B. Dubois, Souls of Black Folk ; James Weldon Johnson, God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse, including Aaron Douglass illustrations; Dr. Martin Luther King, selected speeches; Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens ; Alvin Ailey dance performance; spirituals performed by Sweet Honey in the Rock; and gospel music (may include a church visit).

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1523 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2010

Feminism, Empire and Postcoloniality

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 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.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1596 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Domesticating the Wild in Children's Literature

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

Description

The Ur-text of literatures for children is the encounter between a child and a Wild Thing. From Little Red Ridinghood to Peter and the Wolf to Charlotte’s Web , the border between the child and the wild is a rite of passage marking the transformation of the child into an adult and is the site of a child’s most fundamental education about how to be human. Works of children’s literature agree that literature can be used to explicitly structure the relationship between children and the wild, and to construct subjectivities by nurturing a deeper awareness of what that relationship should be. Yet, what, exactly, is the wild in children’s literature? Representations of the wild reflect adult ideas about children—do they have a privileged relationship to nature and innate understanding of the connection between humans and the world around them? Or are they wild things themselves, in need of templates for human/humane behavior toward other beings? Representations of the wild are also informed by ideology, shaped by societal ideas about race and gender, domination and subjection, power and privilege. In this course we will be thinking and writing about the surprising ways in which children’s texts imagine the wild as a charged cultural, political and racialized space, and how these texts imagine and construct subjectivities based on these relations of power. Text may include Babar, The Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland, Where the Wild Things Are, Ricky Tiki Tavi and Fantasia .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1627 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Green Design from Geddes to Gore

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

Description

Students will explore the designers, cultures, and suppositions about the contemporary environmental movement. Who are the key figures that first ignited the green design revolution and its ensuing agenda? Who effectively promoted maxims such as; “energy crisis”, “climate change”, and “sustainability”? Many books, films, projects, and actions contributed to the irresistible success of mainstream eco-values. Which readings initially established the core underpinning of this environmental debate; Hiroshima by John Hersey, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, or Ecology of Freedom by Murray Bookchin , and how are they linked today? The class will review architecture and art, and unpack texts by thinkers such as Patrick Geddes, Henry David Thoreau, Ebenezer Howard, John Muir, Louis Sullivan, Ivan Illich, Buckminster Fuller, Sim Van der Ryn, Victor Papanek, Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, William McDonough, Marc Reisner, Jared Diamond, and Al Gore. In tandem, we acutely review seminal designs and works by Antoni Gaudi, Norman Bel Geddes, Bruce Goff, Rudolf Steiner, Samuel Mockbee, and others. The overall objective is twofold; to survey the lager historical context of ecological design and define specific contributions to the green movement.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1610 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Darwin and the Literary Imagination

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

Description

This course will focus on Darwin’s writing, from The Voyage of the Beagle to Vegetable Mould (his last book, about worms), attending to the particular qualities that went into the development of his theory and the sustaining arguments. It will include consideration of contemporary (i.e., early nineteenth century) science writers, and it will also juxtapose literary writers we know Darwin read and valued immensely (like Milton) with one or two contemporary literary texts (like George Eliot’s Middlemarch ). The point will be to read Darwin in a cultural context that clearly had significant effect on his own writing and thinking strategies. We will try to understand better the special qualities required to make his great argument and the singularity (and typicality, where that works) of his engagement with imagination, hypothesis and speculation, thought experiments, close observation, and rigorous reasoning. The course will address the question of the relation of these qualities to qualities usually regarded as literary, and thus the question of the relation of literary qualities to science.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1618 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Media and Fashion

4 units Fri
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Moya Luckett

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1615 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2010

Language and Desire: Mishima Yukio

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

Description

The Japanese author Mishima has been called “everyone’s favorite homo-fascist.” And, he may be better known in the West for his performative suicide in 1970 by ritual disembowelment than for his writings. But he is well known for his fiction as well—a complex set of narratives that follow an aesthetic that privileges art above life, or reality. In this course we will read a selection of fiction by Mishima, alongside supplementary secondary sources, and screen the films Patriotism and Black Lizard , as well as various YouTube videos. We will ask: what can queer theory bring to an analysis of Mishima’s narratives? How and why did his life become so intertwined with his art? What was performative about his life and writings? Why have so many Western critics psychoanalyzed Mishima? We will hope to come away from the course with a better understanding of both Mishima the man and his literature.

Notes

Course meets for the last seven weeks only, October 27–December 8.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1567 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
or GLOBAL
SU 2012

The Arabian Nights

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
5:30 PM - 9:00 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 an d 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, Rushdie, Irwin) and will end by watching and exploring how the Nights fared in adaptations in popular culture, especially in the US.

Notes

Three-week Intensive: May 21-June 8.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1239 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SU 2012

Classic Texts and Contemporary Life

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1239

Description

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

Notes

Session I: May 21-June 29.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1612 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
WI 2012

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

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

Description


Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1542 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
WI 2012

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

4 units Mon Tue Wed Thu
2:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Michael Dinwiddie

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

TRAVL-UG9700 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
WI 2012

Culture, Development and Globalization in India

4 units
Ritty Lukose

Description

Contemporary representations of India either paint the subcontinent as a vast treasure trove of exotic culture and tradition and/or as an emergent economic powerhouse, rapidly modernizing to overtake the West. Sitting uneasily between these two images is the idea of India as a third world country, struggling with disparities of well being by trying to "develop" itself. During this two-week course based in Bangalore, India, students are offered an interdisciplinary learning experience that explores the dynamics of culture and development within globalizing India. Bangalore, considered the “Silicon Valley” of India, is at the epicenter of India’s information technology boom—its changing urban landscape a microcosm of third world urban development and globalization. In the classroom, students will be introduced to the philosophical underpinnings and practice of “development” as an important framework through which ideas of culture, economy, politics, tradition and modernity are organized and managed by the Indian state and international organizations. Background historical works will explore how the idea and practice of development are linked to colonialism and anticolonialism, capitalism, nationalism and globalization. Readings will also explore the cultural politics of tradition, tourism, heritage and monuments and the environment in order to understand how tourism is linked to development.

Notes

Permission and application required. Application deadline is October 14, 2011. For information or application, please contact Melissa Daniel at 212-998-7316 or melissa.daniel@nyu.edu

Type

Travel Courses (TRAVL-UG)

IDSEM-UG1061 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

Literary Forms and the Craft of Criticism

4 units Wed
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Sharon Friedman

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1589 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2010

The Vietnam War

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

Description

The Vietnam War occupies a special place in American history and foreign relations. It was America's longest war, the only war it ever lost, a war that shattered Americans' faith in their government and spawned a culture of protests that divided one generation from another. It has been said that Vietnam was the "most traumatic experience for the United States in the twentieth century." In this course, we will examine the Vietnam War through the lens of literature, film, official documents, memoirs, and historical analysis, under the premise that each of these sources offers different, yet important insights into the cause, experience, and effect of the war. Texts will include novels, films, and poetry of Eugene Burdick, Norman Mailer, Yusef Komunyaaka, and Michael Cimino, official documents written by Robert McNamara, George Ball, and Walt Rostow, and scholarship by David Halberstam, Erik Logevall, and Leslie Gelb.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1574 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
SP 2010

Christian Heresy and the Western Imagination

4 units Tue Thu
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Gregory Erickson

Description

In the development of Christianity the definition of "heresy" was crucial to defining "orthodox" belief and worship. Indeed, every faith seems to struggle over what is deemed heretical as part of defining what is deemed normative, and it is hard to imagine any ideology (even an anti-ideology ideology) that does not draw a boundary to mark what is subversive or unacceptable to it. This course pursues these ideas by asking two central questions: Can there be any form of (religious or secular) faith without such boundaries? What does the study of these boundaries reveal about some of the basic assumptions that have formed (and still form) our society? In the first part of this course we use primary texts to study several of the most divisive theological moments in Christian history: debates over the nature of Christ and God in the fourth century, the reemergence of arguments over heresy in the twelfth century, the Protestant Reformation, and several nineteenth century American sects. In the second part we read literary art that uses and wrestles with the idea and ideas of heresy. We conclude by considering how theological arguments over orthodoxy and heresy are rescripted and reenacted in current debates about censorship, education, constitutional interpretation, the environment, crime and punishment, and torture. Readings will include letters and sermons by Athanasius, Arius, Eusebius, and Augustine, Luther's 95 Theses, the Book of Mormon, poems by William Blake, Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Milton's Paradise Lost, Dostoevsky's 'Grand Inquisitor' Parable, and sections from Ulysses, Moby Dick, Doctor Faustus, and Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose. Contemporary theorists will include Mark Taylor, Harold Bloom, and Slovoj Zizek.

Notes

SNY

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1558 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

The Travel Habit: On the Road in the Thirties

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

Description

The Great Depression turned millions of people into travelers. Many of the unemployed took to the road in search of work, preferring to give up their homes rather than their cars; others hitchhiked and rode the rails. Ironically, it was also a time for leisure travel too, and this was the era when taking a family trip on a paid vacation became a national ritual. Government and industry promoted tourism to help the economy—and to pacify the working class. But getting people to travel required a deliberate, large-scale effort. As one tourism promoter put it, “The travel habit was not born with Americans. It’s an acquired taste that must be religiously and patiently cultivated.” So the Roosevelt administration created a national travel bureau to assist the hospitality industry, poured millions of dollars into roads and highways, and put authors like Eudora Welty, Saul Bellow, and Ralph Ellison to work writing WPA travel guides. The travel theme attracted novelists like Nathaniel West and Nelson Algren, who used the journey motif in their fictions, and writer-and-photographer teams like James Agee and Walker Evans traveled to document the suffering of sharecroppers and migrant workers. This course will survey the travel writing of the 1930s and provide an introduction to the social history of travel and tourism during the period. Readings may include Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath , West’s A Cool Million , Kromer's Waiting for Nothing , Caldwell and Margaret Bourke-White’s You Have Seen Their Faces , and Agee and Evans’ Let Us Now Praise Famous Men , as well as the WPA travel guides and histories of the Depression and the tourist industry.

Notes

Course meets for the first seven weeks only, September 7–October 21.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1289 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Narrative Investigations II: Realism to Postmodernism

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1605 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Close Readings in Critical Cultural Theory: Theodor Adorno

2 units Mon Wed
3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Sara Murphy

Description

Theodor Adorno (1903-69) was a philosopher, cultural theorist, music theorist and a central force in the Frankfurt School. His work, departing from the philosophical tradition of German idealism, draws from Marxism, psychoanalysis, and sociological thought. His sometimes controversial writings on literature, popular culture in the middle of the twentieth century, the category of experience in modernity, and the aftermath of the Holocaust repeatedly call us back to the question of the relation of politics, culture and the ethical. Adorno’s work is dense and often difficult to read; we will consult some of the leading secondary sources on his writing, but we will apply most of our energy to examining closely some key shorter texts concerned with literature, art, and politics closely. Among our reading: Notes to Literature, Prisms , sections of The Dialectic of Enlightenment coauthored with Max Horkheimer, and, perhaps, parts of his posthumous Aesthetic Theory .

Notes

Course meets for the last seven weeks only, October 27–December 15.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1389 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Sappho and David: The Greek and Hebrew Poetic Traditions

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Clair McPherson

Description

From Sappho’s love songs to the Psalms of David, poetry in the ancient Greek and Hebrew traditions expressed the gamut of human thought, feeling, and experience. We will explore the Book of Psalms and Sappho, along with the Song of the Sea, the Songs of Songs, and the oracles of the Prophets in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), and the odes of Pindar, the poetry of Anacreon, and Archolochus, and lyrical portions of the Iliad and Odyssey . We will consider historical setting (from war-tribes to kingship and city-state); culture (from the heroic to the democratic and the theocratic); theme (love, God, honor, sexuality, justice, forgiveness); function (the who, what, where, when, and why of any poem). Art and architecture, philosophy, and religious literature will also be examined to provide an in-depth, three-dimensional sense of the context. And finally, we will, throughout the semester, ask the question why these poems, some of them 3000 years old, speak to us with such startling immediacy, power, and urgency in the twenty-first century.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1202 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
FA 2010

Tragic Visions

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

Description

This course studies the nature of the tragic form in dramatic literature and performance, as well as its role in human existence. Focusing on the two great periods of tragedy in Western literature and culture­—ancient Greece and Renaissance England—we read selected tragedies by Aeschuylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Shakespeare. We examine these works in their social, political, and cultural contexts, while considering questions such as gender, the role of women, and the origins and evolution of tragedy as a literary and political genre. Readings might include Agamemnon and Medea , as well as Hamlet and Macbeth. Special attention is paid to performance.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1608 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Justice and the Political

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

Description

Justice is often understood as a concept that structures political life, by indicating who should be enfranchised, how to rule fairly, who should be punished and how. Even more broadly, justice indicates what constitutes a common good as well as who should benefit (and how) from collective actions. But how is the definition of justice established and implemented? Does justice denote a transcendent standard we access by philosophy or by revelation and then “apply” to and in political life? Or is any definition of justice necessarily shaped by political struggles by actors with contrasting interests and points of views? Must we escape politics to determine justice rightly, or is that an impossible and ultimately tyrannical idea? But if we define justice through politics, is what we call justice necessarily going to be the rule of the strong? This course will consider four attempts to define justice that also explore its relationship to politics: Plato’s Republic , Kant’s Groundwork for a Metaphysics of Morals , Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, and several works by Marx.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1433 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

The Simple Life

2 units Thu
6:20 PM - 9:00 PM
Pat Rock

Description

This course examines a theme common to Eastern and Western philosophical traditions—the call to a simple life. Great thinkers in both traditions warn of mindlessly accumulating possessions and entering into a dangerous, frenetic competitiveness. This course examines the value of a simple life and asks such questions as: Is it possible to lead a simple life in an urban setting or does it imply living close to nature? Does such a life lead to a dangerous passivity or does it, as Plato suggests, provide reflective leaders for the society? Does it improve our relationships with others or does it affect them adversely? Texts may include selections from Plato’s Republic , Aristotle’s Ethics , Shakespeare’s The Tempest , Thoreau’s Walden , and the poetry and essays of Wendell Berry.

Notes

Course meets for the first seven weeks only, September 9–October 21.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1565 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2010

Critically Queer: The Cultural Politics of Deviant Sexuality and Gender

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

Description

Since the 1990s, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender identities and subcultures have come into mainstream visibility in popular media and through political and consumer targeting. If the term “queer” has been used to describe cultural critiques of heterosexual and gender normativity, does “queer” still apply to these more mainstream representations? This course pieces together a mapping of “queer theory” and “queer studies” as critical and disciplinary formations that surface in the cultural landscape following the gay liberation, civil rights, power, third world, and feminist social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. We will explore critical strategies that emerge in the aftermath of these contending social struggles. The course takes an intersectional approach towards the analysis of sexuality, gender, race, class, immigration, and ethnicity. It will also look to the emergence of transgender studies for new critical possibilities. Readings may include excerpts from: Harry Benshoff, Queer Cinema, The Film Reader ; Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldúa, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color ; Suzanne Danuta Walters, All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America ; Monique Truong, The Book of Salt: A Novel ; and Michel Foucault, T he Use of Pleasure . Screenings may include: Daniel Peddle, The Aggressives ; Sundance Channel/Logo, Transgeneration ; and Olaf de Fleur Johannesson, The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1572 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

America in the 1970s and 1980s: From Recession Blues to Free Market Frenzy

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

Description

The historical epoch starting in the early 1970s and stretching up to the present has been referred to as the "age of Reagan," the era of neoliberalism, and the decline of capitalism's Golden Age. This interdisciplinary history class will look at the 1970s and 1980s as decades that mark the beginning of many of the problems that we confront today: the rise of economic inequality; the origins of globalization; the first awareness of an "energy crisis;" the birth of social movements like feminism, gay rights, and black power; the deepening of urban poverty and the expansion of the criminal justice system; the ascendance of the stock market and financial deregulation; the transition to a service economy; the growth of new forms of art and music like hip-hop and punk; the rise of evangelical Christianity as a political force; the emergence of a conservative movement; the end of Soviet Communism. The class will ask students to consider how the social problems of the 1970s and 1980s anticipate those of the present day, and also how America today is different than in this earlier period. We will use political speeches, manifestos, poetry, film, and novels as well as works of historical scholarship in order to try to understand the period. Readings may include Garry Wills, George Gilder, Jerry Falwell, Kwame Ture, Tom Wolfe, Thomas Frank and Alice Echols.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1411 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

What Was Conceptualism, and Why Won't It Go Away?

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

Description

This course examines the conceptual art movement, the hopes that shaped its political and aesthetic stratagems, and its legacy. We will begin by revisiting some of the major assumptions and conditions that catalyzed conceptualism, including the cultural climate of the 1960s, the critique of the object-status of art, concerns about the broader social function of the artist, as well as commodity culture. We will then take up our topic from various thematic vantages: the historical and philosophical question of language; the notions of "dematerialization" and documentation, particularly as aesthetic strategies aimed at "suppressing the beholder"; the practice of institutional critique and the broader idea of the world as system; the relationship between art, "information," and the technological imaginary of the times. A few seminar meetings will be dedicated to focusing on a single artist or artwork. As we proceed we will also keep an eye on the question of why and in what ways conceptualism has persisted beyond its founding moment in the late 1960s, and what its more recent iterations in artistic production—as 'global-', 'neo-', and 'post-conceptualisms'—have to offer.

Notes

Same as V43.0850.005.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1586 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2010

Consumerism in Comparative Perspective

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Kimberly DaCosta

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 3 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 racial inequality and identity, class formation, aesthetic sensibility, and international boundaries? At the same time, how do practices of consumption inform the ways that people understand their values and individuality, imagine success and failure, or conceive happiness? By reading widely in sociology, anthropology, history and literature 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, but some likely texts are: Veblen, Theory of the Leisure Class; Mauss, The Gift; Bourdieu, Distinction; Marx, "Commodity Fetishism;" Twitchell, Lead Us Into Temptation; Bill McKibben, Deep Economy; Colson Whitehead, Apex Hides the Hurt; Van Jones, Green Collar Economy.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1578 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

Racial, Sexual Interfaces: Film, New Media and Globalization

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

Description

This seminar explores shifts in film analysis and cinematic reception, as initiated by new digital technologies and the growing popular consumption of global cinemas. We will track the development of film aesthetics and critique in relation to other visual mediums, including photography and the computer. How has the specificity of film changed with the speed and mobility of digital media? The course will also speculate on the links between the cultivation of formal film analysis and the increased circulation of images of racial, sexual, and ethnic difference. How have transnational economies of production and viewing impacted cinematic reception? Readings may include excerpts from: Harry Benshoff and Sean Griffin, America on Film; David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction; Kara Keeling, The Witch''s Flight; Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media; and Jim Pines and Paul Willeman, Questions of Third Cinema. Screenings may include: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Babel; David LaChapelle, Rize; and Alain Resnais, Hiroshima Mon Amour.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1380 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2010

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. 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 ; Fick, The Making of Haiti ; Trouillot, Haiti: State Against Nation ; Gonzales, The Mexican Revolution, 1910-1940 ; Nugent, The Spent Cartridges of Revolution ; Stephen, Zapata Lives! ; Kapcia, Cuba: Isle of Dreams ; Saney, Cuba: A Revolution in Motion ; Pérez-Stabli, The Cuban Revolution .

Notes

not visible on Albert

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1318 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

Shakespeare and the London Theatre

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1375 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2010

Romantics and Revolutionaries: The Birth of Modern Political Theatre

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1503 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2010

American Poetics: Inventions and Intimate Dialogues in the Making of a Hemisphere

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

Description

The idea of an America/América has been diffracted but reconstituted by a number of theorists, policymakers, (forced) laborers, artists and revolutionary activists. Each of these actors sought to craft a new existence that distinguished itself from "Old World" tyranny and tensions, particularly through the creation of imagined communities of identity (i.e. racial, political, religious or sexual). America/América proved to be an extraordinarily malleable idea that liberated, united and modernized. Yet, the narrative of "Our America" also revealed its internal contradictions and fissures (the underside of modernity) within institutions and social phenomena it helped to perpetuate such as slavery, race, sexuality, diaspora (exile), and empire. This undergraduate course examines the cultural and political investments that have characterized the American Hemisphere and its components. The matrix of race, class and gender has been a useful lens to analyze the systems and structures in place that both benefited and suppressed American peoples and their contributions to the construction of America/América. Yet, the themes of migration, nationalism, sexuality, creolization, and empire-building also serve as essential tools to untangling and mapping the roots and routes of American development. Through a diverse set of materials (primary documents, secondary readings, films, music, and art) that utilize a multimedia and interdisciplinary approach to a range of anthropological, historical, literary, political and economic questions central to American experience(s), this course will critically engage the writings of thinkers (José Martí Walter Mignolo, Amy Kaplan, Toni Morrison) who have helped us better understand the "contact zone where Anglo and Latin America meet up, clash and interpenetrate."

Notes

SNY

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1558 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2012

The Travel Habit: On the Road in the Thirties

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1558

Description

The Great Depression turned millions of people into travelers. Many of the unemployed took to the road in search of work, preferring to give up their homes rather than their cars; others hitchhiked and rode the rails. Ironically, it was also a time for leisure travel too, and this was the era when taking a family trip on a paid vacation became a national ritual. Government and industry promoted tourism to help the economy—and to pacify the working class. But getting people to travel required a deliberate, large-scale effort. As one tourism promoter put it, “The travel habit was not born with Americans. It’s an acquired taste that must be religiously and patiently cultivated.” So the Roosevelt administration created a national travel bureau to assist the hospitality industry, poured millions of dollars into roads and highways, and put authors like Eudora Welty, Saul Bellow, and Ralph Ellison to work writing WPA travel guides. The travel theme attracted novelists like Nathaniel West and Nelson Algren, who used the journey motif in their fictions, and writer-and-photographer teams like James Agee and Walker Evans traveled to document the suffering of sharecroppers and migrant workers. This course will survey the travel writing of the 1930s and provide an introduction to the social history of travel and tourism during the period. Readings may include Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath , West’s A Cool Million , Kromer's Waiting for Nothing , Caldwell and Margaret Bourke-White’s You Have Seen Their Faces , and Agee and Evans’ Let Us Now Praise Famous Men , as well as the WPA travel guides and histories of the Depression and the tourist industry.

Notes

Course meets during the first seven weeks only, September 4–October 18.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1482 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2012

Consuming the Caribbean

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 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 721.001

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1724 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
FA 2012

Race, Ethnicity, and Popular Media

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1724

Description

What does critical race theory look like or sound like when we encounter it on the radio, on a dance-floor, or on a movie screen? What does it mean to use media as a site of cultural critique? In this course we will pay close attention to the racial politics of what neo-Marxist philosopher Theodor Adorno once famously called “the culture industries”: namely film, television, radio and popular music. More specifically, we will examine how contemporary cultural workers of color (musicians, filmmakers, artists, etc.) have utilized mass-mediated forms to resist, respond to, and reveal the conundrum of “race” in the 21st century. Our readings will include perspectives from a range of ethnic studies scholars such as Stuart Hall, Tricia Rose, Cornel West, Mark Anthony Neal and Daphne Brooks. We will also survey the more embodied or “performative” theoretical insights offered by figures such as Spike Lee, Lil Kim, R. Kelly, Tyler Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Amy Winehouse, Savion Glover and Beyonce Knowles, among others. In short, in this course we will think about media as more than simply a site for “representing” race, but rather also as a site for forming and constructing race as we know it (i.e. racial formation).

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1122 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
FA 2012

Discourses of Love: Antiquity to the Renaissance

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1122

Description

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

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1197 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
FA 2012

Narratives of African Civilizations

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1197

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1503 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2012

American Poetics: Inventions and Intimate Dialogues in the Making of a Hemisphere

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

Description

The idea of an America has been diffracted but reconstituted by a number of theorists, policymakers, (forced) laborers, and artists. Each of these actors sought to craft a new existence that distinguished itself from “Old World” tyranny, particularly through the creation of imagined communities of identity (i.e. racial, political, religious or sexual). America proved to be an extraordinarily malleable idea. Yet, the narrative of “Our America” also revealed its internal contradictions and fissures within institutions and social phenomena it helped to perpetuate such as slavery, race, and empire. This course examines the cultural and political investments that have characterized the American Hemisphere. The matrix of race, class and gender has been a useful lens to analyze the systems and structures in place that both benefited and suppressed American peoples and their contributions to the construction of America. Yet, the themes of migration, exile, nationalism, sexuality, creolization, and empire-building also serve as essential tools to untangling and mapping the roots and routes of American development. Through a diverse set of materials (primary documents, secondary readings, films, music, and art) that utilize a multimedia and interdisciplinary approach to a range of anthropological, historical, literary, political and economic questions central to American experience(s), this course will critically engage the writings of thinkers (José Martí Walter Mignolo, Amy Kaplan, Toni Morrison) who have helped us better understand the spheres where Francophone, Anglophone and Hispanophone worlds collide, coalesce and interpenetrate.

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 816.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1648 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2012

Environment and Development in Africa

4 units Wed
3:30 PM - 6:10 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 will include: the extractive industries; the management of the urban environment; wildlife conservation and tourism; agriculture and rural livelihoods; environmental governance regimes; environmental health and justice; gender and environment; natural resources and war; and vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. 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, Paul Richards, James Fairhead, and Adam Hochschild.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1552 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2012

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 .

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1216 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2012

Doing Things with Words: Arts and Politics Across Cultures

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1216

Description

The course will focus on an eclectic group of mostly contemporary, politically-directed writers and other artists primarily from various ethnic or racial minority backgrounds. We begin with performance proper, and then narrow our focus to discuss what elements of performance are incorporated into narrative text to produce “performative writing.” Does minority positioning affect the content, structure, and manner in which these artists perform or write, and in turn, how they are received? How might sexual/gender politics nuance that positioning? Rather than seeking division under the rubric of “national literature,” or the multicultural versions such as “African-American” or “Asian-American” writers/artists, the course will look for structural and contextual models that cross these categories - concern with oral histories and family-community genealogies, for example. We will also analyze how specific power politics inform these artists’ activities across their broadly diverse sociocultural, ethnic, and geopolitical contexts. Texts may include: fiction by William Faulkner, Nakagami Kenji, Ruth Ozeki and Toni Morrison, and theoretical selections from Jacques Derrida, Antonin Artaud, Judith Butler.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1736 Lib Arts
SCI
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
FA 2012

Making a Scientific Revolution: Medieval Christendom and Islam

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Daniel Newsome

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1736

Description

The roots of the "Scientific Revolution" were formed in the Middle Ages - both in Christian and Muslim lands. Science co-developed alongside monothesitic religions in this period of vibrant trade, scholarship, and intellectual development. This course focuses on how the sciences examined the relationships between the human being, nature and the divine. We will read original primary sources (in English) and use period tools and techniques to further our study. We will follow several of these sciences into the "Scientific Revolution" and discuss how they relate to the standard narrative of a revolution in science. Scientific themes will include mathematics, music theory, astronomy/astrology, perspective/optics, alchemy/chemistry, atomism, medicine/physiology, and physics. Readings may include Plato, Aristotle, Lucretius, Ptolemy, Galen, Plotinus, Boethius, Al-kindi, Alhazen, Avicenna, Ibn Tufayl, Averroes, Thomas Aquinas, Buridan, Oresme, Vesalius, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, and Leibniz.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1135 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

The Medieval Mind

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Clair McPherson

Description

The legacy of the Middle Ages is our legacy. From modern architecture (the Chrysler Building) to postmodern science (the Theory of Relativity), modern art (Matisse and Modigliani) to recent movies ( Beowulf , Tristan and Isolde ), the Medieval mind continues to inform, challenge, and inspire. Our course will trace the development of that mind through its philosophy, religion, poetry, and art. Beginning with the thinkers of Late Antiquity such as Augustine of Hippo, continuing through the creative Early medieval poets and artists who gave us Beowulf and the Niebelungenlied, to the high medieval synthesis of Thomas Aquinas and the soaring Gothic Cathedrals, we shall explore the development of medieval culture in all its manifestations. The course concludes with a visit to the Cloisters, for an on-site experience of medieval architecture and artifacts. Other options may include a concert of medieval music and the viewing of Ingmar Bergman’s classic film The Seventh Seal.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1072 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Poets in Protest: Footsteps to Hip-Hop

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1630 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Pictures at a Revolution: Film as Political Rhetoric

4 units Fri
2:00 PM - 4:45 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, Sergei Eisenstein, Film Form; Bertolt Brecht and Glauber Rocha.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1412 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2011

Yellow Peril

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

Description

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

Notes

Permission of the instructor required (jack.tchen@nyu.edu). Same as V18.0380002.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1634 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2011

Postcolonial African Cities

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

Description

Africa is quickly becoming urban, with profound implications for African socio-economic structures, environments, and political systems. Recent scholarship representing African cities, however, is often divided. On the one hand is a perspective which concentrates on colonial legacies and Africa’s place in international capitalist circuits. On the other is an emphasis on emergent forms of citizenship and the dynamic ways that African cities work. This class holds both in tension while exploring key themes of African urbanism. It begins with a brief history of African cities to lay the groundwork for an examination of colonial legacies. Then, it delves into cross-cutting contemporary issues related to: infrastructure and planning, economies and livelihoods, and politics and identities, including contestations around religion, generation, and gender. Finally, insights gained will be used to reflect on theories of the city and international development. Authors include: AbdouMaliq Simone, Achille Mbembe, Michael Watts, Jennifer Robinson, and Mamadou Diouf.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1318 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Shakespeare and the London Theatre

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1539 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
SP 2011

Travel Classics

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

Description

Modern tourism begins in the eighteenth century with the Grand Tour---the rite-of-passage, "study abroad" experience of young aristocrats. This course focuses on the literature of travel before tourism, from the ancient world of Homer and Herodotus to the Renaissance explorations of the New World. We focus on several classics of travel writing, with attention to the conventions of the genre, the influence of myth and hero literature on the traveler’s tale, the Old World’s encounter with the New, and the many social and political questions raised by travel. Readings may include selections from Homer’s Odyssey , Herodotus’ History of the Persian Wars , Travels of Marco Polo, The Travels of Ibn Battuta , Sir John Mandeville’s Travels , The Four Voyages of Christopher Columbus, The Narrative of Cabeza de Vaca , and Shakespeare’s The Tempest .

Notes

Course meets 1/25 - 3/10 only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1572 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

America in the 1970s and 1980s: From Recession Blues to Free Market Frenzy

4 units Mon Wed
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Kimberly Phillips-Fein

Description

The historical epoch starting in the early 1970s and stretching up to the present has been referred to as the "age of Reagan," the era of neoliberalism, and the decline of capitalism's Golden Age. This interdisciplinary history class will look at the 1970s and 1980s as decades that mark the beginning of many of the problems that we confront today: the rise of economic inequality; the origins of globalization; the first awareness of an "energy crisis;" the birth of social movements like feminism, gay rights, and black power; the deepening of urban poverty and the expansion of the criminal justice system; the ascendance of the stock market and financial deregulation; the transition to a service economy; the growth of new forms of art and music like hip-hop and punk; the rise of evangelical Christianity as a political force; the emergence of a conservative movement; the end of Soviet Communism. The class will ask students to consider how the social problems of the 1970s and 1980s anticipate those of the present day, and also how America today is different than in this earlier period. We will use political speeches, manifestos, poetry, film, and novels as well as works of historical scholarship in order to try to understand the period. Readings may include Garry Wills, George Gilder, Jerry Falwell, Kwame Ture, Tom Wolfe, Thomas Frank and Alice Echols.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1561 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Visions of Greatness: Alexander and his Legacies

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Hallie Franks

Description

Since his short life in the fourth century BCE, Alexander the Great has enjoyed a legacy that has nearly overshadowed his actual accomplishments. Various cultures, from his own to ours, have honored, embellished, and even reshaped entirely Alexander’s powerful personality and his conquest of the Persian Empire. For some, he exemplifies the benevolent conqueror, interested primarily in unifying mankind; for others, he represents the hubristic thirst for power, to which even the best-intentioned rulers can become victims. This course investigates the figure of Alexander and his legend in a range of cultural contexts: his own lifetime, the Roman and Byzantine Empires, the Islamic world, early modern Europe, and in the 20th century. Using visual and literary sources, we will investigate the following questions: What qualities of Alexander are valued or condemned in various periods and cultures? How do later cultures reinterpret earlier sources on Alexander’s life and image, and to what extent is their conception of Alexander an imagined one? How is the figure of Alexander used to reflect—or subvert—the values of a given culture and its politics? Where, if anywhere, might we find the “real” Alexander? Readings include Plutarch, Life of Alexander; Arrian, Campaigns of Alexander; Diodorus, Books 17-18 of The Histories; Pseudo-Callisthenes, Greek Alexander Romance; The Persian Iskandernamah (selection); Ferdawsi, Shahnamah (selection); Dante, Inferno (Canto 12); and Rudyard Kipling, The Man Who Would Be King.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1578 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Racial, Sexual Interfaces: Film, New Media and Globalization

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

Description

This seminar explores recent shifts in theories and practices of film, visual media, and spectatorship, as provoked by digital technologies, global economies of production and consumption, and the racial sexual coding of imagery and information. We will track the transformation of aesthetic, ideological, and subjective conceptions of film---the pre-eminent cultural form of the twentieth century---by the media convergence enabled by the computer and the Internet at the turn of the 21st century. How have digital simulation and interactivity changed cinematic representation and viewing? And how does the transnational production and consumption of multimedia cinema impact its form and content? Alongside questions concerning changes in technological medium, the course examines the racial and sexual underpinnings of aesthetic and technological conceptions of cinema and new media. For instance, how do fantasies of sexual and racial hybridity feed the idea of "cyberspace"? Also, how can cine ma and digital media change our understandings of gender, sexual, and racial representation? Readings may include: David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction ; Ella Shohat and Robert Stam, Multiculturalism, Postcoloniality, and Transnational Media ; Jessica Evans and Stuart Hall, Visual Culture: The Reader; Toby Miller, Nitin Govil, John McMurria, and Ting Wang, Global Hollywood 2 ; Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media ; and Lisa Nakamura, Digitalizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet . Screenings may include: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Babel (2007); Alain Resnais, Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959); and Neill Blomkamp, District 9 (2009).

Notes

Formerly titled "Death of the Moving Image? Film, New Media, and Globalization."

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1567 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
or GLOBAL
WI 2011

The Arabian Nights

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

iDSEM-UG1682 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2012

What Is Global About Gender?

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

Description

This interdisciplinary seminar will explore the ways in which cross-cultural, transnational, global and international perspectives on women, gender and sexuality are imagined and struggled over by scholars, social movements, and activists in a variety of contemporary locations, both within and outside the Euro-American context. Such efforts are intended to forge politically enabling alliances and solidarities yet must navigate cultural and national differences, hierarchies within a global world order and complex histories of colonialism and imperialism. Beginning with histories and genealogies of feminist movements around the world, the course will first explore the links forged by colonialism, gender and sexuality with the expansion of Western imperialism. We will pay particular attention to the rise of anti-colonial nationalisms and the role of women, gender and sexuality within these formations. In the second part of the course, we will explore the rise of a new post-war international order centered on human rights and the UN system in the period of third world decolonization. Within this context, we will explore the ways in which women and girls, gender and sexuality become objects of development programs and initiatives, anti-violence and sex-trafficking campaigns, war and conflict resolution, among other issues. We will pay particular attention to the ways these international efforts and mobilizations intersect with national and local initiatives and the rise of NGOs as crucial mediators between international and local communities. Finally, we will examine how globalization and transnationalism have shaped frameworks for the study of gender and sexuality within the US context, paying particular attention to how solidarities and differences are imagined and struggled over. It is hoped that this course will help students to critically engage the complex terrain of forging global alliances and solidarities. Readings will include Kumari Jayawardena’s Feminism and Third World Nationalism , Afsaneh Najmabadi’s Women with Mustaches and Men with Beards , Lila Abu-Lughod (ed) Remaking Women: Feminism and Modernity in the Middle East , Aiwa Ong and Michael Peletz, Bewitching Women and Pious Men: Gender and Body Politics in Southeast Asia, “Thinking Sexuality Transnationally” by Elizabeth Povinelli and George Chauncy, Recasting Women: Essays in Colonial History by Kumkum Sangari and Sudesh Vaid, Human Rights and Gender Violence by Sally Merry, Scattered Hegemonies by Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan, Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity by Chandra Mohanty.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (iDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1669 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2012

Legal Fictions: Novel, Law, and Society

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1669

Description

In response to the bafflement expressed by Kafka’s hapless Josef K, one of his warders explains that the law is attracted to the guilty. We might adapt this remark to say that the law has been attracted to the novel—and vice versa. From Daniel Defoe to the Jacobin fictions of William Godwin and Mary Hayes to Anthony Trollope, Charles Dickens and the sensation novelists of the nineteenth century, to more recent narratives from Kafka’s Trial to Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians , novels have focused on the ways in which law operates to mediate social relationships, to define public space, to frame questions of justice and injustice. In this course, we’ll engage in a study of the novel as form, while interrogating relations between the novel and the law. By supplementing our readings of novels with theoretical and historical texts and legal cases, we’ll be able to pose some fundamental questions about this strange mutual attraction between law and the novel. Some of our questions: Do novels offer an alternate vision of justice to that posited by law and even a critique of modern legal apparatus? Or do they instead teach people how to understand themselves as legal subjects, schooling them? Do novels present themselves as law’s supplement in some sense? Or are they always somehow in advance of the law, offering visions of society and the ethical to which law must catch up? Authors studied may include Godwin, Dickens, Eliot, Braddon, Coetzee; and Morrison. We will also consult works by critics and theorists, and perhaps some contemporary popular media narratives.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1593 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
SP 2012

Barbarians: Ancient Conceptions of the Outsider

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Hallie Franks

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1593

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1680 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2012

The Global Citizen?

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Omar Kutty

Description

The term global citizen has been used to think about the expansion of citizenship rights, responsibilities and activism onto a global scale. This course will introduce students to the contemporary theory, history and anthropology of this concept of global citizenship while situating its development in the contexts of unequal capitalist development, international institutions, and the increasing interconnectedness of world populations. The course will address such topics as: nation-state sovereignty and its challenge to global citizenship; the tensions between global citizenship, international law and the moralities embedded in particular legal systems and cultures; the political economy of transnational activism. The guiding question of the class will be: can global citizenship exist in the contemporary world and, if not, can we imagine the conditions under which it might someday emerge? Class texts will include works by: Walter Mignolo, Gloria Anzaldua, Paul Gilroy, Immanuel Kant and William Robinson.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1412 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2012

Yellow Peril

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1412

Description

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

Notes

Permission of instructor required (jack.tchen@nyu.edu). Same as SCA-UA 380 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1692 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2012

The Transformation of Music in a Century of Electronica

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1607 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
SP 2012

Philosophes and Follies: Theatre of the Enlightenment

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1607

Description

“The pit of a theatre is the one place where the tears of virtuous and wicked men alike are mingled.”—Denis Diderot. Voltaire, Diderot and Rousseau all wrote for and about the theater. In the Age of Enlightenment, the stage was a place for philosophical exploration. Drama was perceived as an important instrument for the breaking of what the historian Peter Gay called “the sacred circle” of dogma. This class will examine the convergence of theatrical arts and ideas in the eighteenth century—a dramatic expression that would u