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Found 855 courses
IDSEM-UG1653 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2011

Friendship And Love Between Men in Takeshi Kitano’s Movies

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1653

Description

Takeshi Kitano, aka Beat Takeshi, is probably the most famous contemporary Japanese actor, filmmaker, and personality. This course will take up the issue of a continuum, or a “thin blue line,” between male homosociality and homosexuality as theorized by Eve Sedgwick in her Between Men , by exploring the role of desire in male friendship, male love and homophobia in the context of three Kitano films: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence , Sonatine , and Taboo . We will be attentive to how male friendships are protected from, or conversely, directly confront homoeroticism, as well as to how women figure as objects between men. We will consider other issues in relation to the specific historical contexts of the three films: (1) colonialism, wartime ethics, and racial politics for Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence ; (2) Yakuza characters as film tropes and Okinawan-Japanese ethnic politics for Sonatine ; and (3) the politics of male-male relations in samurai culture for Taboo . Readings may include the following: selections from Eve Sedgwick, Between Men and Epistemology of the Closet, Gregory Pflugfelder, Cartographies of Desire , Lydia N. Yu-Jose, Japan Views the Philippines, 1900-1944, and Bhabha, The Location of Culture; Earl Jackson, “Desire at Cross-Cultural Purposes,” positions; Timothy Corrigan, A Short Guide to Writing About Film; and Bob Davis, “Takeshi Kitano,” Senses of Cinema.

Notes

Course meets during the last seven weeks only, October 26–December 13.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1664 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
FA 2011

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

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1664

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1351 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
or GLOBAL
FA 2011

Passion and Poetics in Early Japan

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1351

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1648 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2011

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 he alth 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-UG1359 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2011

American Capitalism in the Twentieth Century

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as HIST 112 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1527 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Finance for Social Theorists

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1644 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2011

Labor and the Global Market: Literature, Film and History

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

Description

Globalization has become a much-debated and deeply controversial topic. In this class, we will focus on the ways that labor has been represented and understood, especially in relationship to the development of capitalism in its global form. In order to do so, we will explore how the movement of capital, commodities, and workers across the globe and with seeming indifference to national borders shapes the idea of work and those who perform it. Of equal importance in our study will be the way that work transforms the structure of the global economy. Some primary questions we will explore are: How has the demand for labor required migration and imposed geographical dislocations? How does labor create value within these new locations? How do some gain control of the work of others? How do workers organize themselves and develop community in new locations? How does this relationship of power change over time? Some likely texts for the course include: Shakespeare, The Tempest; Ngugi wa Thiong'o, I will Marry When I want; a Haitian novel about a sugar cane worker who migrates to the Dominican Republic; a French novel about Algerian auto workers in Paris on the eve of Algeria's independence; Toni Morrison, A Mercy; and Amitav Ghosh, Sea of Poppies. We will place these works of fiction in conversation with visual representations by Diego Rivera and others, works by Marx, by anthropologists and narrative filmmakers on sex tourism, and by documentary filmmakers and historians on global corporations and utopian economies.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1313 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Ethics for Dissenters

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1643 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Law and Legal Thought

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

Description

This class is aimed at introducing students to law and social theory through focused engagement with diverse areas of law - from property law to labor law. Paying particular attention to critical traditions in law and social thought in the United States, we will study legal realism, critical legal studies, critical race law and feminist legal studies. This course will examine the relationship between legal institutions and social justice from many different angles and try to develop critical tools with which to approach every day legal debates. How do different understandings of gender offer alternative trajectories for anti-discrimination law? What is the role of judges and courts in a democracy? In addition to reading legal scholars and social theorists, the course will also draw on films that reproduce or contest different understandings of law and society. Readings will include Roberto Unger, Duncan Kennedy, Michel Foucault, Martha Minow, Austin Sarat, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Karl Klare, John Locke, Margaret Radin, Joe Singer, Nancy Fraser, Richard Ford, Karl Marx and Patricia Williams.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1573 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

The New American Society

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

Description

Until 2008 we took for granted that in the fifty years following World War II, the industrialized Western World experienced unprecedented economic expansion, and the United States was geopolitically the dominant superpower, indeed, the primary coordinator and beneficiary of the post World War II period. Only a few keen observers detected economic flaws or geopolitical vulnerability. Over the past two decades, however, new forms of violence, major economic shifts, and geopolitical reversals have seriously threatened world order. Recently, the self-destruction and breakdown of the U.S. financial system triggered a deep global destabilization and recession. To many, American life is becoming similar to the severe dislocations of the Great Depression. With this broad historical arc in view, this seminar offers a critical history of the Post World War II period, focusing especially on major social changes and world-historical economic collapse. Readings will include sociologists C. Wright Mills, Barrington Moore Jr. and Arthur J. Vidich; as well as economic thinkers as diverse as Milton Friedman, J.K Galbraith, Paul Krugman. Overall, our approach is influenced by the work of the great unsung American radical, Thorstein Veblen.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1513 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

New Deal Liberalism: Its Rise and Fall

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM
Steve Fraser

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1342 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Language, Globalization and the Self

4 units Thu
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Maria-Luisa Achino-Loeb

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1589 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2011

The Vietnam War

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

Description

The Vietnam War occupies a special place in U.S 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. In addition to considering the war from the U.S. perspective, we will also read texts that offer insights into the Vietnamese experience. Texts will include novels, films, and poetry of Eugene Burdick, Norman Mailer, Yusef Komunyaaka, and Tim O’Brien, official documents written by Robert McNamara, George Ball, and Daniel Ellsberg, and scholarship by Leslie Gelb, David Elliott, and Marilyn Young.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1568 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2011

Narrating Memory, History and Place

4 units Mon Wed
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Marie Cruz Soto

Description

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

Notes

Formerly titled "Narrating the Americas: History and Film."

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1626 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

The Communication Revolutions

4 units Wed
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Paul Thaler

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1300 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Militaries and Militarization

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1144 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Free Speech and Democracy

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1552 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2011

Sociology of Religion: Islam and the Modern World

4 units Tue Thu
3:30 PM - 4:45 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-UG1093 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2011

The Enlightenment and Its Legacy

4 units Tue Thu
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Rosanne Kennedy

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1093

Description

The Enlightenment, the 18-century cultural and intellectual movement in the West, has had a lasting influence on our present values and political thought. Reason, freedom, skepticism, critical thought, progress - and even democracy - are values and commitments we have inherited from this era. In order to specify the thought of this period (as well as debates and disagreements), we will first read various authors of the Enlightenment, including Montesquieu, Rousseau, Kant, and Wollstonecraft. In the second part of the course we will turn to the legacy of the Enlightenment. We will consider the doubts and critiques that have arisen. For example, Nietzsche and Freud (and psychoanalysis) have questioned the primacy of reason in both individual and collective action; Adorno and Foucault have questioned the ethics of political rationalism; and recent feminists have noted the paradoxes of the Enlightenment's rather narrow and implicitly gendered view of equality and citizenship. Do such criticisms alter our view of the basic tenets of Enlightenment thought? Or, on the contrary, might we read them as continuing the "spirit of critique" inaugurated by the thought of the 18th century?

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1523 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2011

Feminism, Empire and Postcoloniality

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1471 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2011

Black Intellectual Thought in the Atlantic World

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

Description

This course examines the foundations, implementations, and implications of intellectual thought(s) of the African diaspora from the period of slavery in the Americas and post-emancipation societies through the present. Arguably, black intellectualism maintains roots in African-descended religious and cultural societies that pre-dates slavery in the West, however, this seminar seeks to explore the emergence of critical thought through historical, sociological, literary, autobiographical, religious and ethnographic writing that addressed vital issues facing African-descended peoples in the modern world. The matrix of race, class and gender has been a useful lens to analyze the systems and structures in place that both benefited and impeded racial progress. Yet, the themes of migration, nationalism, humor, music and empire-building also serve as essential tools to untangling and mapping the roots and routes of black intellectualism on four continents. Through a diverse set of materials (primary documents, films, music, and art) that utilize a multimedia and interdisciplinary approach to a range of historical, literary, political and economic questions central to Afro-diasporic experience(s), this course will critically engage the writings of thinkers who were at the vanguard of the Afro-modern and theoretical world, such as Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Anna Julia Cooper, Arturo Schomburg, Richard Wright, C.L.R. James, Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Paule Marshall, and Angela Davis.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1656 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2011

Environmental Psychology: Place and Behavior

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Meredith Theeman

Description

Environmental Psychology examines the intersections between behavior, mood, place and space. We will define "environment" and learn about the ways in which environments can impact our behavior, beliefs, and feelings. Does living in an urban place change the way you act in public? How can city planning impact the way you commute from home to school? Can exposure to a garden help you recover from surgery? When you are sick, can where you live impact how your symptoms are treated? This class will examine these questions related to natural and built environments by incorporating the theoretical perspectives and research methodologies of Ecology, Environmental Psychology, Geography, Physiology, and Sociology. Topics may include attachment to place, the concept of "home", the benefits of being outside, institutional spaces (e.g., schools, jails, and hospitals), privacy, and navigation. Readings may include: Benjamin, Arcades Project; Gibson, The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception; Kaplan & Kaplan, The Experience of Nature; Lynch, The Image of the City; Nasar, The Evaluative Image of the City; Thoreau, Walden; and Wilson, Biophilia.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1398 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2011

Birth Control: Population, Politics and Power

4 units Mon
3:30 PM - 6:10 PM
Lauren Kaminsky

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1398

Description

What is the political and economic value of people? Who has the right to control human reproduction and why? How do individuals express reproductive autonomy, and how do states exercise population control? This course will focus on birth control (broadly defined as the management of human reproduction) as a lens through which to see how the evaluation and cultivation of national populations has shaped government in the modern world. In discussing and writing about topics such as race and eugenics, overpopulation and sustainability, sterilization and abortion, human rights and demographic nationalism, students will draw on a variety of primary and secondary sources to develop their own ideas about government and self-government in the age of birth control. Readings will include works by Angela Davis, Thomas Malthus, Emma Goldman, Michel Foucault and Margaret Sanger.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1475 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2011

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

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1475

Description

The central goal of this course is to examine the relationship between democracy and empire that is displayed repeatedly in history: the Athenian polis, the Roman republic, and parliamentary Great Britain professed democratic principles and practiced imperial politics. We will focus on this paradoxical relationship in the American case. Partly, we ask theoretical questions, to explore what we count as "imperial" forms of power, and to trace how "empire" is internal (or "at home") and not only external (or "abroad"). Partly, we ask historical questions to relate democratic principles, exclusionary practices, and national expansion in American history. Have forms of imperial power (and their justification) changed over time? In what ways do citizens knowingly authorize or allow imperial politics? How have anti-imperial voices justified themselves? Partly, we assess post-9/11 politics to explore how the "war on terror” is related to historic white supremacy and a hundred years of anxiety about aliens and communism. In turn, how is the emergence of Obama (and also the Tea Party Movement) related to issues of imperial power? Have we entered a “crisis of the republic,” and if so, what is to be done? Readings may include Hannah Arendt, Imperialism and Crises of the Republic; J.M. Coetze, Waiting for the Barbarians; Margaret Atwood, Handmaid's Tale;   Allan Ginsberg, Wichita Vortex Sutra ; Norman Mailer, Armies of the Night and Why Are We In Vietnam?;   Judith Butler, Precarious Life; Talal Asad, On Suicide Bombing ;   recent essays by political theorists about post-9/ll politics.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1055 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2011

Struggle for the Word: History of Media I

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1055

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1381 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2011

Creative Democracy: The Pragmatist Tradition

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1381

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1555 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2011

Imagining India: From the Colonial to the Global

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1555

Description

Drawing on an interdisciplinary set of readings about India, this course explores a fraught and difficult dynamic within the modern world – democratic nation-building. We move from a variety of pre-colonial and colonial imaginings of South Asia to politicized assertions of a unified Indian identity during the anti-colonial movement. Here, nation is not only a political entity, but also a cultural project that re-shapes ideas of self, religion, community, region, family, gender and kinship. The post-independence period is explored through writings on the Partition that created India and Pakistan, “development” as a key concept that has been central to nation-building, and struggles around caste, gender, sexuality, tribal identity, environment, region and religion. How the state contends with majority and minority identities and claims, the complexities of secularism, notions of equality and difference, all in the context of vibrant social movements and a large NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) sector will enable an in-depth exploration of how democracy, as idea and practice, happens in India. How globalization shapes contemporary understandings of India will be explored towards the end of the course. Readings include: Ronald Inden’s Imagining India , Amitav Ghosh on the Indian Ocean World, Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy by Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal, the writings of Gandhi and Nehru, subaltern studies collective writings on nationalism in India, The Nation and its Fragments by Partha Chatterjee, Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children , Menon and Bhasin’s Borders and Boundaries: Women in India’s Partition and India’s New Middle Class: Democratic Politics in an Era of Economic Reform by Leela Fernandes.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1587 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2011

Who Owns Culture?: Intellectual Property Law and the Cultural Commons

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

Description

Can a yoga pose be considered “private property?” Who owns the genetic sequences found in your DNA? What are the rights of an author/artist and how do those rights overlap with the rights of the community to engage with works of art? What is the significance of the “public domain” and the “cultural commons” in a free-market economy? In this course, we will deepen our understanding of the cultural and ethical implications of copyright, trademark and patent law by placing the concepts of ownership and authorship in both historical and global context. In addition to scholarly essays drawn from the fields of history, legal studies, anthropology and sociology, this course will also draw on a range of texts from the visual arts, music, and literature. Course requirements include a research essay, research-based creative projects and in-class presentations. Texts studied may include Peñalver’s Property Outlaws , Coombe’s The Cultural Life of Intellectual Properties . Visual and audio sources from Girl Talk, Negativeland, DJ Spooky and Joy Garnett may also be included.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1527 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2011

Finance for Social Theorists

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1419 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
FA 2011

Primary Texts: Plato and Machiavelli on Philosophy and Politics

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1419

Description

This course compares Plato’s Republic to Machiavelli’s two great texts, The Prince and The Discourses. Our goal is two-fold. On the one hand we learn the art of close reading to reveal the complex and contradictory layers of meaning in a text. On the other hand, we introduce the enterprise of political theory by exploring two of the greatest (and apparently antithetical) thinkers about politics. For Plato, philosophy seems to provide standards of judgment and order in politics: human life can flourish only if rulers gain philosophic knowledge of justice. He thus consigns political life, and the “mere” opinions of those who inhabit it to a “cave” which can be escape (and ruled) only by those who pursue philosophy. In contrast, Machiavelli denies that philosophic truth is relevant to politics: we do not need to leave “the cave” of the political world, for we can produce forms of order and standards of justice through political life itself. If he seems to embrace the moral dilemmas, contingency, and risk that Plato seems to avoid by turning to philosophy, it is no wonder he has been cast as a corrupt even “evil” figure! To stage a conversation between Plato and Machiavelli, therefore, is to confront the fundamental questions about politics: what is the nature of power? What is justice? What is the best form of regime? How is myth and art related to political life? Is force or fraud ever justified? What characterizes human excellence? In what consists human freedom? We pursue these questions by focusing on primary texts, but also by reading essays about the contemporary stakes of their arguments. This class is limited in enrollment to sophomores.

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1660 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2011

The Concept of Race in Society and History

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1660

Description

This course offers a comparative sociohistorical analysis of race. Using a wide range of empirical and theoretical materials, we problematize what is too often considered settled: what constitutes race. We explore historical and cross-national variations in the bases of racial division, as well as the mechanisms through which racial domination is (re)produced. We begin with the prevailing assumption that race is a biological fact. By showing how even biologists reject the notion of race on scientific grounds, we open the way to exploring race as a social construct--one that has changed over time, and varies across societies. Rather than study the history of particular groups, we explore mechanisms of racial domination, including classification, prejudice, discrimination, segregation, ghettoization, and violence. We read selections from sociology, anthropology, history and literature on ethnoracial division in the US, Western Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Readings may include works by Stephen Gould, George Fredrickson, Virginia Dominguez, Carl Degler, DeVos and Wagatsuma, Barbara Fields, Pierre Bourdieu, Loic Wacquant, Ann Stoler, Zygmunt Bauman, Nancy Scheper Hughes and Colson Whitehead.

Notes

Same as SOC-UA 970 002.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1470 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2011

(Re) Imagining Latin America

4 units Tue Thu
2:00 PM - 3:15 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.

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1337 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Beyond the Invisible Hand: The History of Economic Thought

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1636 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2011

The Political Economy of Development

4 units Mon Wed
12:30 PM - 1:45 PM
Rosalind Fredericks

Description

Why did Asian countries become economic tigers while African nations saw their economies shrink? This course provides an introduction to the political economy of international development in order to explore the historical origins of the uneven geographies of wealth we see today. Part 1 examines the most influential theories of development, distinguishing between "big D" Development as a post-war international project and "little D" development as a historical process of global capitalist transformation. Part 2 illuminates the key actors, institutions, and discourses of Development, through tracing the history of the Bretton Woods project, in relation to the history of capitalist development. Part 3 analyzes regional trajectories of socio-spatial change in theory and history through detailed case studies of Africa and East Asia. Finally, Part 4 examines key themes in contemporary development studies, including: environment, gender, and cities. Possible readings may include: James Ferguson, Michael Goldman, and Dambisa Moyo.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1493 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2011

Sports, Race and Politics

4 units Tue Thu
11:00 AM - 12:15 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 will 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)

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-UG1641 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Health and Human Rights in the World Community

4 units Fri
2:00 PM - 4:45 PM
Allen Keller

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1632 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

"Woman" and the Political

4 units Tue Thu
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Rosanne Kennedy

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1306 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Critical Social Theory: The Predicament of Modernity

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

Description

The central theme of this course is modernity as a social and intellectual project. We will read a number of critical social theory texts which deal with modernity as their central theoretical subjects. The goal of this class is to introduce various theoretical perspectives about modernity and to examine different aspects of the current debate on modernity and its fate in our time. In the first three weeks of the class we will study earlier social theorists of modernity (Karl Marx, Emile Durkhiem, and Max Weber). We will then read two modernist texts (Habermas’ Transformation of Public Sphere and Berman’s All That Is Solid Melts Into Air ), two texts critical of the modernity project (Foucault’s Knowledge/Power and Lyotard’s Postmodern Condition ), and a text which deals with modernity’s colonial impact (Said’s Orientalism ). This is a relatively advanced social theory course, and student participation in the course requires some knowledge of classical social theory.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1747 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SU 2013

Global Bioethics

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

Description

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

Notes

Session II: July 8 - August 16

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1403 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SU 2013

The Global Neighborhoods of Downtown Manhattan

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

Description

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

Notes

Three-week Intensive: May 28 - June 14

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1403 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
WI 2013

The Global Neighborhoods of Downtown Manhattan

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1663 Lib Arts
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2011

The Egyptian Revolution and Its Culture

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

Description

The Arab world was long thought to be inhospitable to democracy, both as an idea and a practice. Its culture and societies, dominated by Islam, could only produce authoritarian rule, at best, or Islamic fundamentalism and t

Notes

Same as MEIS-UA 720 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1628 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2011

Think Big: Global Issues and Ecological Solutions

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1493 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2011

Sports, Race and Politics

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
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 will 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)

IDSEM-UG1611 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
FA 2011

Past As Prelude: Thinking Historically

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

Description

In a much-remarked campaign speech on race relations, then-candidate Barack Obama drew on Faulkner to remind Americans of the continuing legacies of racism in the US: “the past is never dead,” he noted, “it’s not even past.” In doing so Obama called upon a familiar trope in critical thought, that history is just as dynamic and elusive as the present, each one (past and present) continuously shaping and informing the other. This begs the question: what is history? What does it mean to think historically, to understand history not as an array of facts but as process, not as a field of study but as a sensibility, as a way to analyze the world around us? This course is designed for students seeking to add meaningful historical dimensions to their concentrations. We begin by surveying conventional approaches to historical analysis, from Herodotus to Hegel to Marx to Benjamin. Then we draw from Nietzsche, Foucault, Hayden White, and Michel-Rolph Trouillot to consider how history is constructed, used, and misused. We will then examine how jurists, anthropologists, novelists, sociologists, and human rights activists think historically to inform and deepen their craft, reading from Tolstoy, Justices Breyer and Scalia, Eric Wolf, Charles Payne, and Daniel Wilkinson. We end with workshops that consider what it would mean to think historically about your own concentrations. What kinds of questions and materials would you include as you prepare for your rationale, booklist, colloquium, and ultimately, life after NYU, armed with a sense of history?

Notes

Same as HIST-UA 275 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1299 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2011

Objectivity and the Politics of the Journalism Revolution

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1299

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1193 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2011

Culture as Communication

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1193

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1646 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2011

Fractured States: Border Crossings, Divisions, and Partitions

4 units Tue Thu
3:30 PM - 4:45 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 will 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. Our readings will likely begin with a medieval romance and an early modern dramatic text that explore crossings of the line dividing Christian Europe from the Ottoman Empire. We will then focus on a few regions whose borders have been and/or are in crisis in periods ranging from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries: Haiti and the Dominican Republic; the United States, Texas, and California; India and Pakistan; and Israel and Palestine. Some specific questions we will explore: how do writers imagine the relationship of subjects to newly divided spaces? 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? How do these texts address the relationships between possibilities for peace and security and notions of justice? Some likely authors we will read in the course include: Christopher Marlowe, Alejo Carpentier, Edwige Danticat, Junot Díaz, Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie, and Babsi Sidhwa. We will place these literary texts and others in dialogue with oral histories and works by social historians, anthropologists, filmmakers and geographers, as well as with a television series created by an Israeli-born Palestinian journalist working in Jerusalem.

Notes

Same as COLIT-UA 141.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1197 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or GLOBAL
FA 2011

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-UG1614 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2011

Narrating Seduction: The Tale of Genji

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1614

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 during the first seven weeks only, September 6–October 23.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1666 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
FA 2011

Dangerous and Intermingled I: WASP New York

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

Description

In the world of fundamentalists, intermingled New York has and still represents the epitome of danger and evil about the American experiment—the public mixture of classes, genders, races, sexualities, spiritualisms, and the

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1380 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
FA 2011

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 ; 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-UG1394 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Latinos and the Politics of Race

4 units Mon Wed
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
René Francisco Poitevin

Description

This course takes a look at the history of racial and ethnic relations in the U.S. from the standpoint of Latinos. We will explore how recent changes in Latino demographics, now the largest minority group in the U.S., are challenging our notions of whiteness, blackness, and the dominant White-Black race paradigm. Are Latinos the ‘new whites’? Or are they becoming instead the ‘new blacks’? What does this mean for politics and public policy debates? Through memoirs, fiction, videos, and social science theory, we will trace the history of racialization in the U.S. (from slavery to our latest Latino immigration cycle) in order to interrogate both the fluidity and the challenges confronting race relations in U.S. society. Readings will include Michael Omi, David Roediger, Leo Chavez, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Lisa Lowe, Clara Rodriguez, Piri Thomas, and Samuel Huntington.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1093 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

The Enlightenment and Its Legacy

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

Description

The Enlightenment, the 18-century cultural and intellectual movement in the West, has had a lasting influence on our present values and political thought. Reason, freedom, skepticism, critical thought, progress - and even democracy - are values and commitments we have inherited from this era. In order to specify the thought of this period (as well as debates and disagreements), we will first read various authors of the Enlightenment, including Montesquieu, Rousseau, Kant, and Wollstonecraft. In the second part of the course we will turn to the legacy of the Enlightenment. We will consider the doubts and critiques that have arisen. For example, Nietzsche and Freud (and psychoanalysis) have questioned the primacy of reason in both individual and collective action; Adorno and Foucault have questioned the ethics of political rationalism; and recent feminists have noted the paradoxes of the Enlightenment's rather narrow and implicitly gendered view of equality and citizenship. Do such criticisms alter our view of the basic tenets of Enlightenment thought? Or, on the contrary, might we read them as continuing the "spirit of critique" inaugurated by the thought of the 18th century?

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1486 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2011

Revolucion

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1585 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2011

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-UG1380 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2014

Three Revolutions: Haiti, Mexico, Cuba

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9150 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2014

BUENOS AIRES: Tango and Mass Culture (in Spanish)

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1527 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

Finance for Social Theorists

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1615 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2014

Language and Desire: Mishima Yukio

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1615

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 during the first seven weeks only, First Class: January 29; Last Class: March 12.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1810 Lib Arts
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2015

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

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1810

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1771 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

The Promise and Pitfalls of Markets

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

SASEM-UG9100 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

BERLIN: European Environmental Policy

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1119 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

Democracy and Authority in Modern Political Thought

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1119

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1644 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2015

Labor and the Global Market: Literature, Film and History

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

Description

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

Notes

Same as COLIT-UA 550.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

PRAGUE: Civil Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1478 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2015

The Modern Arabic Novel

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

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

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1771 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

The Promise and Pitfalls of Markets

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1055 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

Struggle for the Word: History of Media I

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1055

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1643 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

The Politics of Law and Legal Thought

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1643

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1631 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2014

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)

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

PRAGUE: Civil Resistance in Central and Eastern Europe

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1630 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2014

Pictures at a Revolution: Film as Political Rhetoric

4 units Fri
11:00 AM - 1:45 PM Fri
2:00 PM - 3:15 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-UG1313 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2014

Ethics for Dissenters

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1313

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

PRAGUE: Kafka and His Contexts

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

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

Consumerism in Comparative Perspective

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1586

Description

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

Notes

Same as SOC-UA 970-004.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

BUENOS AIRES: Tango and Mass Culture (in Spanish)

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (SASEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1626 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

The Communication Revolutions

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1821 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

Democracy and Difference

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1821

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG9250 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

LONDON: Immigration

4 units

Description

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

Type

Global Programs (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1188 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

The Emergence of the Unconscious: From Ancient Healing to Psychoanalysis

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1188

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Human Rights: Local and Global

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1825

Description

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

Notes

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1567 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
PREMOD
or EARLY
or GLOBAL
SP 2015

The Arabian Nights

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1342 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

Language, Globalization, and the Self

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1342

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1592 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

American Narratives I: American Literature, Race and Politics

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1592

Description

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

Notes

Open to sophomores only

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Three Revolutions: Haiti, Mexico, Cuba

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1527 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

Finance for Social Theorists

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1813 Lib Arts
HUM
Hist & Cult
GLOBAL
SP 2015

Exhibitions: A History, A Theory, An Exploration

2 units Mon Wed
2:00 PM - 3:15 PM
Florencia Malbran

Description

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

Notes

Course meets during the last seven weeks only, First Class: March 23; Last Class: May 11. Students should not schedule any classes immediately before or after this class to allow ample time to travel to off-site locations including museums and galleries. Students are expected to pay for their own travel expenses.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1545 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
WI 2015

On Freud's Couch: Psychoanalysis, Narrative and Memory

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

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

Yellow Peril

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1412

Description

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

Notes

Same as SCA-UA 380 001.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1822 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

The Politics of Work

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1822

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1643 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

The Politics of Law and Legal Thought

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1643

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1641 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

Health and Human Rights in the World Community

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

Description

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

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)

IDSEM-UG1628 Lib Arts
SOC
Hist & Cult
SP 2015

Think Big: Global Issues and Ecological Solutions

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

Syllabus

IDSEM-UG1628

Description

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

Notes

Open to sophomores only.

Type

Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)