d3c29cd3-ebcb-474d-9eac-6f897466419f

Spring 2017   Fall 2017   Spring 2018  

Spring 2017

ART 394-02

Globalization and Contemporary Art

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: ARTCOM 102
  • Instructor: Joanna Inglot

Notes: Globalization processes are forcing artists, curators and museum directors to rethink the way we study and understand contemporary art. The increasingly international art market and auction houses, art fairs, festivals, and biennales in places such as Dubai, Istanbul, or Cairo, have done much to spark the excitement about the contemporary art around the globe and move us beyond the traditional centers of gravity in Europe and the United States.This course will introduce students to global artistic production from the 1990s to the present. Using a series of geographical case studies, we will examine how social and political contexts have shaped artistic developments in various regions in the world, beyond the Western canon. Students will study the shift of the dominant western avant-garde in Europe and the United States to more global art world and learn about contemporary art practices in Asia, Africa, India, Latin America, Russia, Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Middle East. While analyzing a diverse range of artistic practices, we will also look critically at discourses of multiculturalism, postcolonialism, and globalization. Classes will be primarily structured around lectures and group discussions of class readings.

ENGL 294-03

Introduction to Literary Theory

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: NEILL 213
  • Instructor: Taylor Schey

Notes: If you’ve taken courses in the humanities, then you’re probably aware of a field that goes by the nickname of “theory.” You may have heard of thinkers such as Judith Butler, Jacques Derrida, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, though chances are you haven’t yet studied how their writings grew out of a common engagement with questions of language and textuality. This course offers you the opportunity to do so. Beginning with Ferdinand de Saussure’s groundbreaking Course in General Linguistics, we’ll trace the development of literary theory through structuralism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, feminism, queer theory, postcolonial theory, posthumanism, and ecocriticism. Our approach will be to treat literary theory as a field of study in itself (rather than as an assortment of methodologies to apply to works of literature and other cultural texts), and, to that end, we’ll be reading exclusively primary texts from this field—though, if you engage these texts seriously, they will most likely change the way you read just about everything, from poems to images to television shows to text messages. This course will be of interest to all students who wish to learn about literary theory as well as to those who plan to pursue Ph.D. programs in literary studies. Authors include J. L. Austin, Roland Barthes, Lauren Berlant, Judith Butler, Hélène Cixous, Jacques Derrida, Lee Edelman, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Donna Haraway, Luce Irigaray, Roman Jakobson, Jacques Lacan, Claude Lévi-Strauss, Paul de Man, Timothy Morton, Ferdinand de Saussure, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak.

GERM 194-01

Movies of the Third Reich

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 402
  • Instructor: Linda Schulte-Sasse

Notes: *Cross-listed with MCST 194-01* Although Donald Trump is, despite the many comparisons, a far cry from Hitler, examining how Nazism sold itself may help us understand the reasons for Trump’s victory, as populist/völkisch movements share common themes across time. The Nazis were masters of propaganda, brilliant at mobilizing the modern media to disseminate their (ironically often anti-modern) world view. Even before seizing power, they recognized the power of film in sustaining their imaginary, and created a film industry that rivaled (and resembled) Hollywood. What did Nazi movies look like? How did they balance film propaganda with film entertainment? Was resistance possible in this system? Instead of asking “What is a fascist film,” we’ll explore how film functioned under fascism. Taught in English; no prerequisites.

Student obligations: attendance, journal responding to readings and films, oral sequence analysis, midterm and final exams, one longer paper.

GERM 394-01

Spinoza and the Enlightenment

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: NEILL 212
  • Instructor: Kiarina Kordela

Notes: The Dutch philosopher Baruch/Benedict de Spinoza (1632-1677) was the son of Sephardic Portuguese immigrants and had a turbulent life which includes excommunication from the Jewish community, the banning of his books by the Catholic Church, exile, and finally a premature death caused by lung illness, likely the result of his life-long breathing of glass dust as a professional lens grinder. His life is followed by his highly controversial legacy, in which he has been claimed, or attacked, by divergent thinkers in various fields, notably, philosophy, critical theory, and political and social theories. Some see him as representative of pantheism and others of atheism; for some he is the forerunner of the Enlightenment, for others an anomaly in the tradition of the Enlightenment; for some he is the “prince of the philosophers,” the ancestor of Freudian psychoanalysis, and the forerunner of modern theoretical physics, while for others he is simply “absurd.” We shall focus both on his Ethics and his political writings and we shall examine his relation to other philosophical and political theories from the sixteenth century to his further reception (e.g., Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz, Rousseau, Hegel, Mendelsohn, Novalis, Schopenhauer), including his increasingly ardent revival since the mid-twentieth century (e.g., L. Althusser, E. Balibar, G. Deleuze, B. Lord, P. Macherey, W. Montag, A. Negri). All course readings in English, no prerequisites.

INTL 300-01

Advanced Feminist/Queer Theories and Methodologies

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: MAIN 003
  • Instructor: Sonita Sarker

Notes: *Permission of instructor required; first day attendance required; cross-listed with WGSS 300-01*

This course is an in-depth study of some specific theories and methodologies on which contemporary feminist and queer thinkers have based their analysis, critique, and reconstruction of men's and women's roles. Some guiding questions are: What is a nation? Who are its citizens? How do language and gender roles shape the ways we imagine our roles as men and women? Do sexuality or economy affect how we subscribe to or resist political ideologies? In previous offerings, the course has explored the intersection of Postcolonialism (specifically gendered critiques of colonizing sociopolitical structures) with Postmodernism (specifically gendered critiques of language and sexuality). The course will include film, photography, music, and the writings of Butler, Foucault, Chodorow, Kristeva, hooks, Spivak, and Trinh, among others. It offers ways to create links with local community and social-work organizations. (4 credits)

INTL 321-01

Cultures of Neoliberalism

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: ARTCOM 202
  • Instructor: Bradley Stiffler

Notes: *Cross-listed with MCST 321*


MCST 194-01

Movies of the Third Reich

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 402
  • Instructor: Linda Schulte-Sasse

Notes: *Cross-listed with GERM 194-01* Although Donald Trump is, despite the many comparisons, a far cry from Hitler, examining how Nazism sold itself may help us understand the reasons for Trump’s victory, as populist/völkisch movements share common themes across time. The Nazis were masters of propaganda, brilliant at mobilizing the modern media to disseminate their (ironically often anti-modern) world view. Even before seizing power, they recognized the power of film in sustaining their imaginary, and created a film industry that rivaled (and resembled) Hollywood. What did Nazi movies look like? How did they balance film propaganda with film entertainment? Was resistance possible in this system? Instead of asking “What is a fascist film,” we’ll explore how film functioned under fascism. Taught in English; no prerequisites.

Student obligations: attendance, journal responding to readings and films, oral sequence analysis, midterm and final exams, one longer paper.

MCST 321-01

Cultures of Neoliberalism

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: ARTCOM 202
  • Instructor: Bradley Stiffler

Notes: *Cross-listed with INTL 321-01*

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. (4 credits)

PHIL 300-01

20th Century Contintental Philosophy

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: MAIN 111
  • Instructor: Diane Michelfelder

Notes: This course, taught every two years, is focused on close reading, reflection, and analysis of philosophical work within the tradition of 20th Century European philosophy. The theme for this year’s course is inspired by Prince, who left behind him a vast number of unreleased recordings in a vault in his Paisley Park studio. In this course, we will be exploring writings that were left behind on the desks and in the metaphorical vaults of some 20th century philosophers at the time of their death and which have subsequently been published. These writings will be Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s The Visible and Invisible (which includes “Working Notes”) and Martin Heidegger’s lecture course The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World, Finitude, Solitude and selections from The Black Notebooks (along with some critical commentary). We will also take up selections from Jacques Derrida’s The Beast and the Sovereign, Part II and his Heidegger: The Question of Being and History, published this past summer and which we will read side-by-side with some passages from Heidegger’s Being and Time. While will close out the course with an essay of Derrida’s published during his lifetime: “The Eyes of Language: The Abyss and the Volcano,” the question will linger: What can we learn from reading work that has come to a sudden end about open questions in philosophy, and what it means to ask a philosophical question itself?

POLI 160-01

Foundations of Political Theory

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: CARN 105
  • Instructor: Charmaine Chua

Notes: An examination of the evolution of fundamental western political ideas from the Greeks to the present. (4 credits)

Foundations Courses: Courses numbered in the 100s are Foundations courses. These courses are designed principally for beginning political science majors, as well as non-majors seeking an introduction to the discipline's various sub-fields. The purpose of these courses is threefold: To provide foundational knowledge of the key actors, structures, institutions and/or historical dynamics relevant to the respective sub-fields; to introduce the major theoretical trends, perspectives and debates that have shaped the evolution of the respective sub-fields; and to begin to develop a range of practical competencies (esp. research/writing skills) essential to further scholarly inquiry within the discipline of political science.


POLI 394-04

Boundaries of Political Community: Political Theory Appr to Human, Animals and Cyborgs

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: OLRI 370
  • Instructor: Althea Sircar

Notes: *Sophomore standing or permission of instructor required* Why do non-human animals and other beings matter for politics? How do we understand the political subject or the idea of citizenship in an increasingly hybrid and technological world? How do human beings relate to other living and non-living entities? These questions have deep roots. Human beings have defined themselves in relation to animals, plants, gods, and machines for a very long time. In addition, while many claim that they can explain “human nature,” there is a lot of disagreement in science, philosophy, religion, literature, and politics about what this “nature” is. At the same time, ecological and technological change continue to shape our understanding of the interdependence of human, animal, and plant life. Just as social theorists have argued for millennia about the most ethical and harmonious ways to structure human societies, twenty-first century thinkers are asking about what it

means to live in societies comprised of humans, animals, cyborgs, and possible hybrids of these. We will join these thinkers in this project, examining relationships between humans and nonhuman entities from multiple perspectives. Our readings will range from the ancient to very contemporary. Since these questions matter in many parts of social life, we will consider how cinematic, literary, and visual representations of the human and its boundaries relate to the ongoing project of defining who and what matters in politics.


SOCI 272-01

Social Theories

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: CARN 105
  • Instructor: Khaldoun Samman

Notes: This course is designed to engage students with the most sophisticated and useful schools of thought available in the social science disciplines. The course raises a number of questions: How can we best understand the complexities of self and society? Are these units of analysis useful in and of themselves? Are they contained in an essential body or polity that we can identify as some unitary entity

called Jenny and John Doe, American, French, Arab/Jew, black/white, modern/primitive, developed/underdeveloped, Oriental/ Occidental, homo/heterosexual, male/female? Or are they socially produced units that have no essence in-of-themselves, produced and made real only through performance with the "Other"? Furthermore, is there something unique about modernity that has fundamentally transformed the notions of our selves, bodies, polities, races, and civilizations? If the answer to the last question is in the affirmative, how and why did this come to be the case, and what consequences does it hold for our

understanding of the past and of the future? These are the kinds of questions that great figures in sociology have been asking since the nineteenth-century, including classic theorists like Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Karl Marx, as well as more recent writers such as Ervin Goffman, Michel Foucault, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Edward Said.

SOCI 290-01

Colonialism, Modernity, and Identities in the Middle East

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: CARN 204
  • Instructor: Khaldoun Samman

Notes: How can we best understand the complexities of the present U.S. "War on Terrorism"? Should it be understood as a clash between two different cultural systems, one modern and democratic and the other feudal and fanatic? Or, is the violence systemic, taking a variety of forms in different parts of the globe? What role does power and inequality on a global scale have to do with it? These and many other questions will be dealt with in this course. We will trace the conflict historically to assess moments of violence and tensions and other periods of calm and symbioses. Finally, we will analyze how modernity transformed the relationship between Islam and the West, Jew and Arab, male and female, and nation/race and identity. (4 credits)


WGSS 240-01

Comparative Feminisms: Then and Today

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: MAIN 009
  • Instructor: Sonita Sarker

Notes: *First day attendance required; cross-listed with AMST 294-03 and ENGL 294-10*

Feminisms today show new ways of being and also carry the legacies of feminisms past. This course will explore the similarities and differences in feminist concepts and practices in the 20th and 21st centuries, through writings from North and South America, Western Europe, and South Asia. We will compare and contrast inside and also across generations. We will address issues such as racial/ethnic difference, political and sexual autonomy, nationalism, violence, and consumerism, through literature, film, music and other performative arts, and internet publishing. Some writers included are Gwendolyn Bennett, Victoria Ocampo, Grazia Deledda (from past generations) and shani jamila, Sonia Shah, and Adriana Lopez (from recent generations). (4 credits)

WGSS 300-01

Advanced Feminist/Queer Theories and Methodologies

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: MAIN 003
  • Instructor: Sonita Sarker

Notes: *Permission of instructor required; first day attendance required; cross-listed with INTL 300-01*

This course is an in-depth study of some specific theories and methodologies on which contemporary feminist and queer thinkers have based their analysis, critique, and reconstruction of men's and women's roles. Some guiding questions are: What is a Nation? Who are its citizens? How do language and gender roles shape the ways we imagine our roles as men and women? Do sexuality or economy affect how we subscribe to or resist political ideologies? In previous offerings, the course has explored the intersection of Postcolonialism (gendered critiques of colonizing sociopolitical and economic structures) with Postmodernism (gendered critiques of language, sexuality, culture, and nation). The course will include film, photography, music, and the writings of Butler, Foucault, Chodorow, Kristeva, hooks, Spivak, and Trinh, among others. It offers ways to create links with local community and social-work organizations. Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 200 highly recommended as prerequisite. (4 credits)

Fall 2017

GERM 279-01

Value: The Bad, the Ugly, and the Cheap

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 03:30 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: NEILL 212
  • Instructor: Kiarina Kordela

Notes: *Cross-listed with MCST 279-01; taught in English*

For thousands of years value has been scrutinized in philosophy, art history, and economic analysis, as it cuts across three constitutive aspects of social, cultural, and political life: economy, aesthetics, and ethics. Not only do we have and impose on the world our moral, aesthetic, and exchange values, but these three fields often become difficult to distinguish, as is evident in the slippery flexibility of words that allow us to say as much “this painting is bad or worthless” as “I think this person is bad or worthless,” or “this is a bad, or worthless, remark” and “this is a bad or worthless check.” This course will focus primarily on influential accounts of value in aesthetic theory, while also examining the ways in which aesthetic value demarcates itself from or implicates its moral and economic counterparts, and what the interplays among the three fields entail for aesthetic value. Our readings will focus on the impact of primarily German thought on the formation of modern aesthetic theory—from the early eighteenth century through the Enlightenment and Romanticism to high modernism and the Frankfurt School.

Class and readings in English. No pre-knowledge required. This course is appropriate for all level students. (4 credits)

GERM 314-01

Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: NEILL 215
  • Instructor: David Martyn

Notes: *Cross-listed with PHIL 214-01; taught in English*

We all have values; but what are they based on? Perhaps no two thinkers have asked this question as persistently and approached it with such intrepid originality as Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. Writing in an age when religious belief had lost credence as a foundation for ethics, Nietzsche and Freud confronted the groundlessness of value systems while recognizing the impossibility of living without them. Both were reacting to Darwin’s discovery of natural selection, which dispelled nature’s divine aura and inaugurated what Nietzsche would call the “death of God.” The course explores the challenges to value judgments in the wake of Darwin and attempted solutions to them, centering on the four domains of ethics, subjectivity, aesthetics, and cultural value. Readings will include excerpts from Darwin’s The Origin of Species; Nietzsche’s The Genealogy of Morals, The Gay Science, and the texts posthumously published as The Will to Power; Freud’s Totem and Taboo, Civilization and Its Discontents, and Beyond the Pleasure Principle; as well as other works. Cross-listed with Philosophy 214. Alternate years. (4 Credits)

MCST 279-01

Value: The Bad, the Ugly, and the Cheap

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 03:30 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: NEILL 212
  • Instructor: Kiarina Kordela

Notes: *Cross-listed with GERM 279-01; taught in English*

For thousands of years value has been scrutinized in philosophy, art history, and economic analysis, as it cuts across three constitutive aspects of social, cultural, and political life: economy, aesthetics, and ethics. Not only do we have and impose on the world our moral, aesthetic, and exchange values, but these three fields often become difficult to distinguish, as is evident in the slippery flexibility of words that allow us to say as much “this painting is bad or worthless” as “I think this person is bad or worthless,” or “this is a bad, or worthless, remark” and “this is a bad or worthless check.” This course will focus primarily on influential accounts of value in aesthetic theory, while also examining the ways in which aesthetic value demarcates itself from or implicates its moral and economic counterparts, and what the interplays among the three fields entail for aesthetic value. Our readings will focus on the impact of primarily German thought on the formation of modern aesthetic theory—from the early eighteenth century through the Enlightenment and Romanticism to high modernism and the Frankfurt School.

Class and readings in English. No pre-knowledge required. This course is appropriate for all level students. (4 credits)

PHIL 214-01

Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: NEILL 215
  • Instructor: David Martyn

Notes: *Cross-listed with GERM 314-01; taught in English*

We all have values; but what are they based on? Perhaps no two thinkers have asked this question as persistently and approached it with such intrepid originality as Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud. Writing in an age when religious belief had lost credence as a foundation for ethics, Nietzsche and Freud confronted the groundlessness of value systems while recognizing the impossibility of living without them. Both were reacting to Darwin’s discovery of natural selection, which dispelled nature’s divine aura and inaugurated what Nietzsche would call the “death of God.” The course explores the challenges to value judgments in the wake of Darwin and attempted solutions to them, centering on the four domains of ethics, subjectivity, aesthetics, and cultural value. Readings will include excerpts from Darwin’s The Origin of Species; Nietzsche’s The Genealogy of Morals, The Gay Science, and the texts posthumously published as The Will to Power; Freud’s Totem and Taboo, Civilization and Its Discontents, and Beyond the Pleasure Principle; as well as other works. Cross-listed with German Studies 314. Alternate years. (4 Credits)

POLI 160-01

Foundations of Political Theory

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: CARN 204
  • Instructor: David Blaney

Notes: *First Year Course only*

An examination of the evolution of influential political concepts and theories from ancient cultures to the present day, by those writing in/from/to the West. Introduction through textual analysis to historical and contemporary understandings of key terms such as authority, legitimacy, liberty, republicanism, democracy, revolution and “the good.” Additionally, the course provides an introduction to political theory methods of analysis and critique, through the development of skills in reading, critical thinking, and writing. (4 credits)

Foundations Courses: Courses numbered in the 100s are Foundations courses. These courses are designed principally for beginning political science majors, as well as non-majors seeking an introduction to the discipline's various sub-fields. The purpose of these courses is threefold: To provide foundational knowledge of the key actors, structures, institutions and/or historical dynamics relevant to the respective sub-fields; to introduce the major theoretical trends, perspectives and debates that have shaped the evolution of the respective sub-fields; and to begin to develop a range of practical competencies (esp. research/writing skills) essential to further scholarly inquiry within the discipline of political science.


POLI 265-01

Work, Wealth, Well-Being

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: CARN 206
  • Instructor: David Blaney

Notes: Wealth has held an allure for many modern thinkers; the creation of a wealthy society often associated with "civilization" itself. The relationships among work, wealth and well-being are a perennial concern and have been central to the study of political economy, since its inception in the mid- to late-18th century. How does work produce wealth for the individual and for society? How, or when, does individual and social wealth translate into individual and/or social well-being? And, how does the character of work affect individual well-being or happiness? This course will examine the answers given to these questions (and myriad corollary questions) by writers within the political economy tradition. (4 credits)

POLI 266-01

Medieval Political Thought

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: CARN 107
  • Instructor: Andrew Latham

Notes: This course deals with the political thought of Latin Christendom (Western Europe) during the later Middle Ages (c. 1050 - c. 1550). This body of thought is worthy of sustained study for two reasons. First, it is one of the glories of human civilization. In seeking to answer the timeless question "how we should live our lives as individuals" and "how we should live together in peace and justice" late medieval political thinkers produced a body of political thought second to none in the history of human philosophical speculation. Second, late medieval political thought is worthy of study because it gave rise to many of the concepts that continue to shape our collective lives today (including state sovereignty, separation of church and state, constitutionalism, just war, property rights, "the people," nationalism, democracy, rule-of-law, and human rights). Indeed, it is impossible to really understand contemporary political life without delving deeply into the way in which late medieval thinkers engaged with the big political issues of their day.

The main goal of this course is to provide a solid introduction to the political thought of this crucially important era in human history. In it, we will critically examine the relevant works of thinkers such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, John of Paris, Marsilius of Padua, Bartolus of Sasseferato, and Baldus de Ubaldi. To the extent that they shed light on late medieval thought, we will also touch on classical political theorists such as Aristotle and Cicero as well as Muslim and Jewish thinkers such as ibn Sina, Moshe ben Maimon, and ibn Rusd. (4 credits)


WGSS 240-01

Comparative Feminisms: Whiteness and Postcolonialisms

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: MAIN 009
  • Instructor: Sonita Sarker

Notes: *First day attendance required* 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.

Spring 2018

ENGL 367-01

Postcolonial Theory

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: David Moore

Notes: *Cross-listed with INTL 367-01*

Traces the development of theoretical accounts of culture, politics and identity in Africa, South Asia, the Caribbean and related lands since the 1947¿1991 decolonizations. Readings include Fanon, Said, Walcott, Ngugi and many others, and extend to gender, literature, the U.S., and the post-Soviet sphere. The course bridges cultural representational, and political theory. Prior internationalist and/or theoretical coursework strongly recommended. (4 credits) Cross-listed with International Studies 367.

GERM 277-01

Metaphysics in Secular Thought

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Kiarina Kordela

Notes: *Cross-listed with POLI 277-01 and RELI 277-01*

A widespread tendency in contemporary Western societies is to associate metaphysics with religion, if not with what is often dismissively called the "irrational." This course will dismantle this myth by reading closely European philosophy and political theory, mostly since the seventeenth century, in their relation to theology and their reception by twentieth-century critical theory. This will allow us to examine the ways in which secular thought emerges not as an alternative to metaphysics—something which thought cannot supersede anyway—but rather as a different way of dealing with the very same metaphysical questions and issues that concern religion, from the meaning of life to the imminence of death, and from (actual or imagined) guilt to the hope for redemption. We shall endeavor to identify the similarities and differences between the 'secular' and the ‘religious’ ways, including their respective relations to rationality. Readings will include: Aristotle, Talal Asad, George Bataille, Walter Benjamin, Kenneth Burke, Richard Dienst, Emile Durkheim, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Peter Harrison, Jacques Lacan, Karl Marx, Marcel Mauss, Carl Schmitt, Baruch Spinoza, Alberto Toscano, Max Weber, Slavoj Zizek.

All readings in English. No pre-knowledge required. Cross-listed with Religious Studies 277 and Political Science 277. 4 credits

GERM 365-01

Kafka: Gods, Animals, and Other Species of Modernity

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Kiarina Kordela

Notes: *Taught in German*

This course approaches Kafka's work both as a case for literary analysis and as a text that reveals insights into modernity - the historical era characterized by capitalism, secularization, the nation-state, increasing bureaucratization, the commodification of art, the development of technology and media. In addition to reading closely a selection of Kafka's short stories and exerpts from his novels, we shall also read some influential commentaries on his work, as well as texts that address major phenomena that characterize modernity. Taught in German. (4 Credits)

INTL 367-01

Postcolonial Theory

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: David Moore

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENGL 367-01*

Traces the development of theoretical accounts of culture, politics and identity in Africa, South Asia, the Caribbean and related lands since the 1947-1991 decolonizations. Readings include Fanon, Said, Walcott, Ngugi and many others, and extend to gender, literature, the U.S., the post-Soviet sphere, and Europe. The course bridges cultural, representational, and political theory. Prior internationalist and/or theoretical coursework strongly recommended. (4 credits) Cross-listed with English 367.

MUSI 155-01

Music and Freedom

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: MUSIC 228
  • Instructor: Mark Mazullo

Notes: 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 humanities, this course serves as an introduction both to the concept of freedom as it 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, 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 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 the American popular (recorded) music in a search for 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. (4 credits)

POLI 160-01

Foundations of Political Theory

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Althea Sircar

Notes: An examination of the evolution of influential political concepts and theories from ancient cultures to the present day, by those writing in/from/to the West. Introduction through textual analysis to historical and contemporary understandings of key terms such as authority, legitimacy, liberty, republicanism, democracy, revolution and “the good.” Additionally, the course provides an introduction to political theory methods of analysis and critique, through the development of skills in reading, critical thinking, and writing. (4 credits)

Foundations Courses: Courses numbered in the 100s are Foundations courses. These courses are designed principally for beginning political science majors, as well as non-majors seeking an introduction to the discipline's various sub-fields. The purpose of these courses is threefold: To provide foundational knowledge of the key actors, structures, institutions and/or historical dynamics relevant to the respective sub-fields; to introduce the major theoretical trends, perspectives and debates that have shaped the evolution of the respective sub-fields; and to begin to develop a range of practical competencies (esp. research/writing skills) essential to further scholarly inquiry within the discipline of political science.


POLI 277-01

Metaphysics in Secular Thought

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Kiarina Kordela

Notes: *Cross-listed with GERM 277-01 and RELI 277-01*

A widespread tendency in contemporary Western societies is to associate metaphysics with religion, if not with what is often dismissively called the "irrational." This course will dismantle this myth by reading closely European philosophy and political theory, mostly since the seventeenth century, in their relation to theology and their reception by twentieth-century critical theory. This will allow us to examine the ways in which secular thought emerges not as an alternative to metaphysics—something which thought cannot supersede anyway—but rather as a different way of dealing with the very same metaphysical questions and issues that concern religion, from the meaning of life to the imminence of death, and from (actual or imagined) guilt to the hope for redemption. We shall endeavor to identify the similarities and differences between the 'secular' and the ‘religious’ ways, including their respective relations to rationality. Readings will include: Aristotle, Talal Asad, George Bataille, Walter Benjamin, Kenneth Burke, Richard Dienst, Emile Durkheim, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Peter Harrison, Jacques Lacan, Karl Marx, Marcel Mauss, Carl Schmitt, Baruch Spinoza, Alberto Toscano, Max Weber, Slavoj Zizek.

All readings in English. No pre-knowledge required. Cross-listed with German Studies 277 and Religious Studies 277. 4 credits

RELI 277-01

Metaphysics in Secular Thought

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Kiarina Kordela

Notes: *Cross-listed with GERM 277-01 and POLI 277-01*

A widespread tendency in contemporary Western societies is to associate metaphysics with religion, if not with what is often dismissively called the "irrational." This course will dismantle this myth by reading closely European philosophy and political theory, mostly since the seventeenth century, in their relation to theology and their reception by twentieth-century critical theory. This will allow us to examine the ways in which secular thought emerges not as an alternative to metaphysics—something which thought cannot supersede anyway—but rather as a different way of dealing with the very same metaphysical questions and issues that concern religion, from the meaning of life to the imminence of death, and from (actual or imagined) guilt to the hope for redemption. We shall endeavor to identify the similarities and differences between the 'secular' and the ‘religious’ ways, including their respective relations to rationality. Readings will include: Aristotle, Talal Asad, George Bataille, Walter Benjamin, Kenneth Burke, Richard Dienst, Emile Durkheim, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Peter Harrison, Jacques Lacan, Karl Marx, Marcel Mauss, Carl Schmitt, Baruch Spinoza, Alberto Toscano, Max Weber, Slavoj Zizek.

All readings in English. No pre-knowledge required. Cross-listed with German Studies 277 and Political Science 277. 4 credits

SOCI 272-01

Social Theories

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Khaldoun Samman

Notes: This course is designed to engage students with the most sophisticated and useful schools of thought available in the social science disciplines. The course raises a number of questions: How can we best understand the complexities of self and society? Are these units of analysis useful in and of themselves? Are they contained in an essential body or polity that we can identify as some unitary entity

called Jenny and John Doe, American, French, Arab/Jew, black/white, modern/primitive, developed/underdeveloped, Oriental/ Occidental, homo/heterosexual, male/female? Or are they socially produced units that have no essence in-of-themselves, produced and made real only through performance with the "Other"? Furthermore, is there something unique about modernity that has fundamentally transformed the notions of our selves, bodies, polities, races, and civilizations? If the answer to the last question is in the affirmative, how and why did this come to be the case, and what consequences does it hold for our

understanding of the past and of the future? These are the kinds of questions that great figures in sociology have been asking since the nineteenth-century, including classic theorists like Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, and Karl Marx, as well as more recent writers such as Ervin Goffman, Michel Foucault, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Edward Said.

WGSS 300-01

Advanced Feminist/Queer Theories and Methodologies

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room:
  • Instructor: Sonita Sarker

Notes: *Permission of instructor required; cross-listed with INTL 300-01; first day attendance required*

This course is an in-depth study of some specific theories and methodologies on which contemporary feminist and queer thinkers have based their analysis, critique, and reconstruction of men's and women's roles. Some guiding questions are: What is a Nation? Who are its citizens? How do language and gender roles shape the ways we imagine our roles as men and women? Do sexuality or economy affect how we subscribe to or resist political ideologies? In previous offerings, the course has explored the intersection of Postcolonialism (gendered critiques of colonizing sociopolitical and economic structures) with Postmodernism (gendered critiques of language, sexuality, culture, and nation). The course will include film, photography, music, and the writings of Butler, Foucault, Chodorow, Kristeva, hooks, Spivak, and Trinh, among others. It offers ways to create links with local community and social-work organizations. Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies 200 highly recommended as prerequisite. (4 credits)