Class Schedules

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Fall 2014 Class Schedule - updated October 22, 2014 at 04:56 pm

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
 
CLAS 294-02  Medieval Political Thought
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am CARN 06A Andrew Latham
*Cross-listed with PHIL 294-02 and POLI 266-01* Interested in the roots of contemporary political life (including issues such as state sovereignty, separation of church and state, constitutionalism, just war, property rights, “the people”, nationalism, democracy, rule-of-law, and human rights)? Then this course is for you. Through a careful examination of the political thought of Latin Christendom (Western Europe) during the later Middle Ages (c. 1050-c. 1550) we explore the deep roots of the contemporary world order, demonstrating the ways in which medieval thinkers such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, John of Salisbury, John of Paris, Giles of Rome, Marsilius of Padua, Dante, Las Casas, ibn Sina, Moshe ben Maimon, and ibn Rushd “invented” many of the ideas that we – presumptuously and erroneously – have come to associate with the modern era. As an intermediate-level offering, this course is designed primarily for Political Science majors and non-majors in cognate fields (such as Philosophy or Classics) who have some experience in the discipline. The course has no pre-requisites, however, and is therefore suitable for all students seeking to satisfy an interest in political theory/philosophy or the medieval roots of contemporary political life. This course fulfills the Political Science Department’s Theory Requirement.

ENGL 294-02  Comparative Feminisms: Whiteness and Postcolonialisms
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm MAIN 009 Sonita Sarker
*Cross-listed with WGSS 240-01*

ENGL 367-01  Postcolonial Theory
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am CARN 105 David Moore
*Cross-listed with INTL 367-01*

ENGL 394-03  Dead White Men
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm NEILL 214 Kiarina Kordela
*Cross-listed with GERM 337-01, MCST 337-01 and PHIL 294-03; taught in English* The shift away from feudal theocracy (when divinity grounded truth and political authority) to secular capitalist modernity has entailed unforeseen re-conceptualizations of both time and of the distinction between truth and fiction—the latter approaching extinction, as truth is increasingly perceived as a culturally arbitrary (hence fictional) construct. To examine these modern mutations of the central categories of time and truth-fiction, the course will pursue two parallel itineraries. On the one hand, the two competing modes of the secularization of time, as (a) human history progressing toward a certain telos (end or aim), and (b) as a machinic time within which inter-relations within an autonomous structure (one not controlled by humans) determine its participants. And, on the other hand, the replacement of faith with modern philosophy, ideology, and biopolitics. No prerequisites.

FREN 416-01  Of a Beautiful Mind: Literature and Philosophy at Crossroads
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm ARTCOM 102 Jean-Pierre Karegeye
*Cross-listed with PHIL 294-01*

‘What is the beautiful?’ Plato, Hippias Major

‘To love beauty is to see light’ Victor Hugo

A 2012 New York Times article entitled “Is Philosophy Literature?” raised the following question: “Do people read philosophy for pleasure?” The question clearly suggests that the article’s author links “pleasure” to literature. Indeed, in a general manner, literature is understood as a work of aesthetic language and, above all, imagination through its narrative, spatiotemporal, mythical, and symbolic manifestations. There are those who would assert that philosophy is reflection on the whole of reality- the study of ideas about knowledge. In other words, literature is beautiful and philosophy is intelligent (smart); however, these distinctions about pleasure and rationality are neither radical nor absolute. Conversely, we may explore how literature “makes you think” and how philosophy delves into the “pleasure of the text”. While distinct, the two disciplines are mutually dependent, to some extent.

This course scrutinizes the encounter or dialogue between literary and philosophical texts in light of critical theory, as well as through the examination of case-topics (e.g. moral choice, human freedom, commitment, gender issues). Readings will include writings by Plato, Aristotle, Voltaire, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Gérard Genette, Paul Ricoeur, Julia Kristeva, Simone de Beauvoir and Léopold Sédar Senghor. We will follow three axes:

1. The discovery of literature as a vehicle for philosophical ideas

2. A discussion of philosophical content posed by the literature in view

3. A discussion of critical theories that blend literature and philosophy, including Narratology, Structuralism, Phenomenology, Deconstruction and Feminist theories.

This interdisciplinary course is taught in English. In order for it to count toward the French major or minor, students are required to write their papers in French and to meet every three weeks for a ‘Café philo-littéraire’.

GERM 337-01  Dead White Men
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm NEILL 214 Kiarina Kordela
*Cross-listed with ENGL 394-03, MCST 337-01 and PHIL 294-03; taught in English* The shift away from feudal theocracy (when divinity grounded truth and political authority) to secular capitalist modernity has entailed unforeseen re-conceptualizations of both time and of the distinction between truth and fiction—the latter approaching extinction, as truth is increasingly perceived as a culturally arbitrary (hence fictional) construct. To examine these modern mutations of the central categories of time and truth-fiction, the course will pursue two parallel itineraries. On the one hand, the two competing modes of the secularization of time, as (a) human history progressing toward a certain telos (end or aim), and (b) as a machinic time within which inter-relations within an autonomous structure (one not controlled by humans) determine its participants. And, on the other hand, the replacement of faith with modern philosophy, ideology, and biopolitics. No prerequisites.

GERM 394-01  Concepts of Freedom from Aristotle to Agamben
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm NEILL 216 David Martyn
*Taught in English* "Free choice" is a concept we can neither explain nor do without. Democracy, the "free" market, the emancipation movements of the 20th century: these and other institutions could not function without the assumption that humans are free agents; but a coherent theory of free agency has yet to be invented. This course will approach the problem of free will by historicizing it. We will read authors from Greek antiquity to the present to understand what freedom meant at different junctures in the history of thought. In the process, we will discover just how peculiar to our own capitalist and secular epoch our notion of freedom is. Discussion topics will include free will in Stoic, religious, and secular thought; the emergence of modern individualism and its effect on the concept of freedom; freedom between Marxism and capitalism; the questionable freedom of "coming out" (Foucault, Judith Butler); art, science, politics, and love as forms of freedom (Badiou); freedom and states of exception (Agamben). Selected readings from Epictetus, Augustine, Luther, Leibniz, Kant, Marx, Hannah Arendt, Milton Friedman, and the other authors mentioned. Course requirements: one reading response per week, two 6-page papers. Core course for the Critical Theory Concentration.

INTL 294-01  Photography: Histories and Practices of an International Medium
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm CARN 404 Zeynep Gursel
*Cross-listed with MCST 294-01; first day attendance required*

INTL 367-01  Postcolonial Theory
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am CARN 105 David Moore
*Cross-listed with ENGL 367-01*

INTL 394-01  Cultures of Neoliberalism
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm CARN 404 Adamson, Gursel
*Cross-listed with MCST 394-01; first day attendance required* Neoliberal theory posits the relative autonomy of the economic sphere from both culture and politics. Rejecting this assumption, the course will give students the ability to understand the interconnection of economic, political and cultural practices as well as the ways that economic theories are shaped by cultural assumptions about what constitutes a person, a life, a society, etc. We will read some of the foundational texts from the neoliberal school of economic thought (Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman) alongside more contemporary reflections on the culture and politics of neoliberalism from the fields of Anthropology, Geography, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, and Critical Race Studies. Additionally, we will look at both the global institutions that craft and enforce economic policies as well as their impacts in multiple international contexts. This course will emphasize interdisciplinarity and original research. Finally, in addition to key texts we will examine recent documentaries that attempt to render economic structures visible.

MCST 294-01  Photography: Histories and Practices of an International Medium
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm CARN 404 Zeynep Gursel
*Cross-listed with INTL 294-01; first day attendance required*

MCST 337-01  Dead White Men
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm NEILL 214 Kiarina Kordela
*Cross-listed with GERM 337-01, ENGL 394-03, and PHIL 294-03* Today we often hear people dismiss the Western (mostly European) philosophical tradition as a bunch of “dead white men.” In other words, the argument goes, these thinkers harbored such passe notions as universal truths, a universal subject, and an individual in total control of itself and endowed with a pure reason unadulterated by rhetoric, imagination, fiction, and politics. Why should we bother with “dead white men” now that we understand that truth depends on historical context, that the self is decentered by the unconscious, that identity is constituted by gender, race, class, and other cultural factors, that truth is linked to power, and that ideology is omnipresent? Unfortunately, this all-too-familiar attitude overlooks its own faulty presupposition: it presumes a clear-cut break between philosophical tradition and contemporary thought, as if contemporary thought had no tradition out of which it emerged and could, therefore, merely discard what preceded it. Hence the popularity of phrases like “philosophy is dead.” It is all the more ironic to see this attitude prevail in the West at the very moment that multiculturalism has become our cause celebre : all cultural traditions are supposed to be “respected,” except the West’s own tradition. (Perhaps as a new way for the West to reinstate surreptitiously its superiority as the sole culture with no tradition?) This course pursues a close reading of texts by various “dead white men” as the unconscious (i.e., repressed and, for that matter, all the more powerful) undercurrent of contemporary thought. Assigned texts will include: Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Pascal, Spinoza, Kant, Hegel, Marx, as well as texts by twentieth-century thinkers that stress the dependence of contemporary thought on philosophy. No pre-knowledge required; all readings in English. With different reading lists this course may be taken more than once for credit . Alternate years. (4 credits)

MCST 394-01  Cultures of Neoliberalism
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm CARN 404 Adamson, Gursel
*Cross-listed with INTL 394-01; first day attendance required*

MUSI 155-01  Music and Freedom
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm MUSIC 228 Mark Mazullo
*First Year Course only* The concept of freedom both lies at the heart of human rights discourse and provides the spark that ignites any number of musical movements. Intended for students with strong interests in the intersection between the performing arts and the humanities, this course serves as an introduction both to the concept of freedom as it has developed in Western societies since the late eighteenth century and to the history of music in the cultures that have fostered such ideals. It intends to introduce students to the study of music (and, by association, the arts in general) from social, cultural, and critical perspectives, using the framework of freedom as a common theme. It also aims to contextualize the discourse of human rights within the history of arts and ideas, providing students with a sense of the term's changing meanings and emphases over time and across space. We will explore traditions in both Western art music (also known as "classical music") and American popular (recorded) music in a search for the ways in which music has served social-political ideologies -- overtly through the aims of its composers and performers, and unintentionally through the conditions of its reception. Historical readings on the concept of freedom from a variety of disciplinary perspectives (history, philosophy, political science, critical theory) will introduce students to several of the most influential thinkers on the subject and the central concerns and questions that animate the discourse on freedom. No prior background in music is required for the course, although it is assumed that students will have a true interest not only in popular music of the twentieth century but also other traditions and genres, such as opera and symphonic music. "Freedom" signifies a number of ideals, which operate in real-political and abstract-aesthetic realms. Music can represent, convey, and "mean" freedom in infinite ways, and it is the intention of this course to introduce students to this diversity.

PHIL 294-01  Of a Beautiful Mind: Literature and Philosophy at Crossroads
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm ARTCOM 102 Jean-Pierre Karegeye
*Cross-listed with FREN 416-01*

PHIL 294-02  Medieval Political Thought
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am CARN 06A Andrew Latham
*Cross-listed with CLAS 294-02 and POLI 266-01* Interested in the roots of contemporary political life (including issues such as state sovereignty, separation of church and state, constitutionalism, just war, property rights, “the people”, nationalism, democracy, rule-of-law, and human rights)? Then this course is for you. Through a careful examination of the political thought of Latin Christendom (Western Europe) during the later Middle Ages (c. 1050-c. 1550) we explore the deep roots of the contemporary world order, demonstrating the ways in which medieval thinkers such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, John of Salisbury, John of Paris, Giles of Rome, Marsilius of Padua, Dante, Las Casas, ibn Sina, Moshe ben Maimon, and ibn Rushd “invented” many of the ideas that we – presumptuously and erroneously – have come to associate with the modern era. As an intermediate-level offering, this course is designed primarily for Political Science majors and non-majors in cognate fields (such as Philosophy or Classics) who have some experience in the discipline. The course has no pre-requisites, however, and is therefore suitable for all students seeking to satisfy an interest in political theory/philosophy or the medieval roots of contemporary political life. This course fulfills the Political Science Department’s Theory Requirement.

PHIL 294-03  Dead White Men
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm NEILL 214 Kiarina Kordela
*Cross-listed with ENGL 394-01, GERM 337-01 and MCST 337-01; taught in English* The shift away from feudal theocracy (when divinity grounded truth and political authority) to secular capitalist modernity has entailed unforeseen re-conceptualizations of both time and of the distinction between truth and fiction—the latter approaching extinction, as truth is increasingly perceived as a culturally arbitrary (hence fictional) construct. To examine these modern mutations of the central categories of time and truth-fiction, the course will pursue two parallel itineraries. On the one hand, the two competing modes of the secularization of time, as (a) human history progressing toward a certain telos (end or aim), and (b) as a machinic time within which inter-relations within an autonomous structure (one not controlled by humans) determine its participants. And, on the other hand, the replacement of faith with modern philosophy, ideology, and biopolitics. No prerequisites.

POLI 160-01  Foundations of Political Theory
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm CARN 206 Franklin Adler
 
POLI 266-01  Medieval Political Thought
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am CARN 06A Andrew Latham
*Cross-listed with CLAS 294-02 and PHIL 294-02* Interested in the roots of contemporary political life (including issues such as state sovereignty, separation of church and state, constitutionalism, just war, property rights, “the people”, nationalism, democracy, rule-of-law, and human rights)? Then this course is for you. Through a careful examination of the political thought of Latin Christendom (Western Europe) during the later Middle Ages (c. 1050-c. 1550) we explore the deep roots of the contemporary world order, demonstrating the ways in which medieval thinkers such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, John of Salisbury, John of Paris, Giles of Rome, Marsilius of Padua, Dante, Las Casas, ibn Sina, Moshe ben Maimon, and ibn Rushd “invented” many of the ideas that we – presumptuously and erroneously – have come to associate with the modern era. As an intermediate-level offering, this course is designed primarily for Political Science majors and non-majors in cognate fields (such as Philosophy or Classics) who have some experience in the discipline. The course has no pre-requisites, however, and is therefore suitable for all students seeking to satisfy an interest in political theory/philosophy or the medieval roots of contemporary political life. This course fulfills the Political Science Department’s Theory Requirement.

SOCI 194-01  Moral Panics and the Other
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm CARN 208 Khaldoun Samman
*First Year Course only* This course will focus primarily on how fears spread and become moral panics of our time. We will deal with a number of issues like pedophilia, gangs, and drug scares, but fear of Muslims and Islam will be the most visible example of the course. Through the works of Foucault (discursive formations and incitement), Laclau and Mouffe (hegemony and articulation), and others, this course will attempt to restore the most significant contribution Moral Panic theory offers: the constitutive nature of moral panics in the production of new racial and political identities. A major sub theme of the course will be to trace the incitement process through certain networks and what sociologists call “claims makers” and “moral entrepreneurs” (think tanks, groups like Jihad Watch, the Military Industrial complex), especially right wing groups but also liberals, mainstream feminists, academics, and other experts. We will also look at the construction of crime waves, but of a particular sort, the kind that reconstitutes the way we understand cultural differences, human rights, immigration, culture and crime, gender inequality, patriarchy, domestic abuse, military occupation, and so on.



WGSS 240-01  Comparative Feminisms: Whiteness and Postcolonialisms
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm MAIN 009 Sonita Sarker
*Cross-listed with ENGL 294-02* This course brings together discourses that have remained somewhat parallel and unrelated--Whiteness Studies and Postcolonial Studies. It is based on the premise that 'whiteness' as an academic/social framework stems from and is intertwined with social and political identity-based movements (feminist, critical race, etc.). In other words, studies of the intersection of gender, race, class, and nation initiated in the post-colonizing imagination seeks to shake up paradigms of power, and whiteness studies shares in this effort. This course explores where and how the notion of 'whiteness' converges and diverges from post-colonialism.

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Spring 2015 Class Schedule - updated October 22, 2014 at 04:56 pm

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
 
POLI 160-01  Foundations of Political Theory
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm CARN 107 Franklin Adler
 
SOCI 272-01  Social Theories
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm CARN 204 Khaldoun Samman
 
WGSS 300-01  Advanced Feminist/Queer Theories and Methodologies
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm MAIN 009 Sonita Sarker
*Cross-listed with INTL 300-01*

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