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Fall 2015

H = Humanities elective

S = Social science elective

H/S = Counts as either a humanities or social sciences elective

 
African-American Studies 116 
Slavery and African American Life Before 1865 
H/S
This course will examine the origins of the African slave trade, and explore political, economic, demographic and cultural factors shaping African American life and culture prior to 1865.
 
African-American Studies 139 
Criminal Justice in the Community
Jones
S
 
Anthropology 150
Art and Power in Modern Times
H/S
The 20th century was dominated by utopian visions of the future happy society. Artists, filmmakers, photographers, musician in competing social systems – in capitalism, communism, fascism -- played a central role in developing these utopian visions. “Avant-garde artists” in Europe (futurists, constructivists, surrealists, etc) aspired to involve art in the construction of the new society and “the new man.” However, these artistic experiments were filled with paradoxes. Some of them contributed to the creation not only of liberating and progressive ideals and values but also of oppressive regimes and ideologies. At the same time, even the most violent political regimes of the century were also full of paradoxes – for example, many of them inspired remarkable works of art that we continue admiring today. Because of the unpredictable and changing nature of these artistic projects and art forms they serves as an excellent anthropological material to discuss many issues that are central for the understanding of the relationship between art and politics more generally. What is the nature and purpose of art? What can art achieve at its best and what it can destroy at its worst? What is the relationship of art to ethics, politics, and power? This course grapples with these questions by focusing from an anthropological perspective on artistic forms and imaginations and the role of artists in the formation of moderns political societies. The main geographical focus of the course is on Western and Eastern Europe and the United States, but some examples also come from other parts of the globe.
 
Anthropology 196-2
After Communism: the cultural politics of post-communist transformation in the former Soviet Union
S
This course will investigate comparatively the diverse processes of radical social, cultural, political, and moral transformation that have been going on in the former Soviet Union since its collapse 25 years ago. We will draw on the literature about and materials from Russia, Ukraine, the Baltics, the Caucuses, Central Asia and occasionally (non-Soviet) Eastern Europe. The course will be organized into seven themes (each two-three weeks long) by periods and concepts, including: the unexpected Soviet collapse; the making of a post-Soviet self; political protests and political art; contesting sovereignties, borders, and territories; the economy of traumas and nostalgias; biopolitics and death.
 
Comparative Literature 190
Literature and Human Rights
Kahn
H
This course will explore the history of the idea of human rights and the role of literature in depicting human rights abuses and in advancing human rights claims, with particular focus on twentieth-century literature. How does literature contribute to the invention of the concept of human rights? How do the authors talk about human dignity? What issues do they identify as central in their discussions of social justice? What narrative strategies do the authors employ to represent violence without sensationalizing it or turning the reader into a voyeur? What is the role of literature in testifying to human rights abuses? Can literature make a difference in the real world? We will read fictional texts and memoirs from the U.S., the former Soviet Union, China, South Africa, the Balkans, Germany, and Argentina.
 
English 175
Literature and Disability
Langan
H
In this course we will think about the concept of literature via the category of disability. We are told that "poems make nothing happen" (Auden); for speech-act theory, fictional utterance is a peculiarly "parasitic" form of speech (Searle). Noting the negativity of these definitions, we will consider how literature can operate to disable "normal," instrumental assumptions about communication, enabling a challenge to standards of value. The course will have several components. An introductory section will provide students with a grounding in disability theory, with special attention to the attempt to provide a common theory of disability categories (sensory, cognitive, motor; illness/injury; ugliness/fatness/queerness; legal disabilities of race/gender/class/religion). We will then shift to an examination of the role of literature in the "humanization" of disability, beginning with Enlightenment attempts to teach language to the deaf, dumb, and blind. We'll then read a series of texts that work at once to represent disability and to "disable" generic norms. Finally, we'll consider the extent to which print literature is a medium "disabled" by the advent of new media (film, record, computer)--which will give us a chance to consider ways media and other designed objects produce as well as neutralize disabilities. Students will write 2 short essays and one longer (8-10 page) essay; there will be no final exam, but regular attendance is required. There will also be at least two film screenings (probably Majidi's The Color of Paradise and von Trier's Idiots).
This is a core course for the Disability Studies Minor.
 
English 190
Race and Rumors of Race in American Prose
Giscombe
H
Race in 2015 is still a taboo topic in many literary conversations.  In Race and Rumors of Race in American Prose we’ll take a look back and a look forward.  We’ll start with Toni Morrison’s Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination and we’ll read two of the texts she discusses—Willa Cather’s Sapphira and the Slave Girl and Twain’s Huckleberry Finn.  We’ll read Nella Larsen’s novel Passing and William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! and Richard Wright’s Native Son.  We’ll read Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel, American Born Chinese, and Oscar Zeta Acosta’s Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo.  We’ll finish with two futuristic novels—Kindred, Octavia Butler’s time-travel fantasy, and Zone One, Colson Whitehead’s tale of zombie apocalypse.  And we’ll watch the final film in the Alien series, Resurrection.  Requirements: two ten-page papers, class presentations, participation in the life of the class.
 
French 118A
Eighteenth Century Literature -- The French Enlightenment and its Afterlife
S. Maslan
H
Recent, tragic events in France have put the French Enlightenment front and center in national and international debates. Once again Voltaire has become a bestseller as people in France try to come to grips with issues that define national and cultural identity and even modernity itself. The cartoons in Charlie Hebdo, the murderous attacks on the artists and writers, the massive reaction the attacks provoked, all of these send us back looking for answers to questions first publicly debated in the eighteenth century, questions like what is freedom of expression? What is, or should be, the relation between religion and the State? What do secularism or freedom of religion really mean? What do we mean when we talk about freedom and equality? “Dare to know” was the watchword Kant retrospectively assigned to the readers and writers of the Enlightenment. For a more detailed description, please click on the course title.
 
French 162A
Perspectives on History -- Islam in Contemporary France: are we all “Charlie”?
S. Tlatli
H
This course is shaped by the tragic events that recently took place in France. On January 7, 2015 a terrorist attack on the satirical paper “Charlie Hebdo” left twelve people dead. It was followed, two days later, by an attack on a kosher supermarket that left four Jewish people dead. In reaction to this bloodshed more than a million people marched in the streets of Paris as a show of unity, claiming “Je suis Charlie”. We will first retrace these events in their historical context. We will then examine the complex situation of Islam in contemporary France as well as questions such as: freedom of speech, satire and secularism. We will also focus on the question of political Islam as instrumentalized by both the French government and fundamentalist groups. For a more detailed description, please click on course title.
 
History 100
Crime, Punishment, and Power in U.S. History
McClennan
S
 
History 125
Soul Power: African American History 1861-1980
Martin
S
This course will examine the history of African Americans and ethno-racial relations from the Civil War and Emancipation (1861-1865) to the modern African American Freedom Struggle (1954-1972). Social, cultural, economic, and political developments will be emphasized. Topics to be covered include: Black Reconstruction; black life and labor in the New South; leadership; class; gender; Jim Crow; migration; urbanization; war and social change; the Harlem Renaissance; civil rights; and Black Power.
 
Legal Studies 190
Surveillance, Privacy, and the Law
Rule
H/S
 
Peace and Conflict Studies 126
International Human Rights
Zook
S
This course provides an overview to the historical, theoretical, political, and legal underpinnings that have shaped and continue to shape the development of human rights. Students are introduced to substantive topics within human rights and provided an opportunity to develop critical thinking, oral presentation, and writing skills. We discuss where the concept of human rights originates, how these ideas have been memorialized in international declarations and treaties, how they develop over time, and how they are enforced and monitored. We examine a variety of issues and encourage students to think differently--to analyze world and community events through a human rights framework utilizing some of the necessary tools to investigate, research, and think critically about human rights and the roles that we may assume within this arena. The course requires two six-page papers, participation in a team debate, and an independent reading assignment.
 
Political Science 191
Transitional Justice
Silverberg
S
This interdisciplinary course explores the different approaches taken by individual countries and the international community to violations of international human rights. It focuses in particular on the challenges raised by the demand for accountability during periods of political transition, as countries move from authoritarian regimes and civil wars to societies based on democracy and the rule of law. It examines current principles of accountability as well as the various mechanisms for enforcing these principles, including truth and reconciliation commissions, international criminal tribunals, legal actions by third-party countries under the theory of universal jurisdiction, “lustration” laws that bar perpetrators of human rights abuses from holding public office, and reparations for victims of human rights violations. The course also considers the obstacles to achieving accountability for international human rights violations, including domestic political instability, national amnesty laws, institutional weaknesses, and geopolitical concerns. 
 
Political Science 191
Human Rights, Global Politics and International Law
Silverberg 
S
This course examines the interplay among domestic politics, international relations and international law in the creation, diffusion and enforcement of human rights norms. It considers the theories, principles and concepts related to human rights and their role in global politics and international law, the role of national and international institutions and actors in the current international human rights regime, recent developments in human rights law and their impact on the relations among states.  We will also discuss current debates about how to enforce human rights norms, including whether military intervention is justified.
 
Public Policy 190
Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy
Johnson
S
This course will examine the nature and extent of poverty in the U.S., its causes and consequences, and the antipoverty effects of existing and proposed government programs and policies. The types of questions to be addressed include the following: What is poverty? Why is poverty so persistent? Why are poverty rates for minorities so high? Is there a culture of poverty? What are the interrelationships among poverty, family structure, inner city neighborhoods, labor market conditions and public policies? Is poverty passed on from generation to generation? The first ten weeks of this course (Topics 1-6) focuses on social science theory and evidence about the causes, consequences and costs of poverty. The last four weeks of the course (Topics 7-9) examines child poverty policies, employment policies, and setting an overall agenda for poverty policy.
 
Public Policy 190
The People vs. the State: U.S. Social Movements and Policy
Jayaraman
S
This course will survey major historical and ongoing social movements in the United States, including the labor, women’s, civil rights, and welfare rights movements, and more recently,
Occupy, immigrant rights, and the growing movement , catapulted to national attention by events in Ferguson, MO, around racialized criminalization. Students will examine policy and
other tools that these movements have utilized and fought for, and the ways in which policy has been used by those in power to both address and subdue such movements. Students
will also hear from current social movement leaders and examine current policies moving through local, state and federal legislatures.
 
Sociology 124
The Sociology of Poverty
Jankowski
S
This class explores the nature and extent of poverty in the United States. We will look at its causes and consequences. We will also explore the antipoverty effects of existing and
proposed government programs and policies. The types of questions that we will be addressing throughout the quarter include the following: What is poverty? Why is poverty so persistent? How has it changed over time? Why are poverty rates for minorities so high? Is there a culture of poverty? What is the relationship between poverty, family structure, inner city neighborhoods, labor market conditions, and public policies? Is poverty passed on from one generation to the next?
 
Sociology 127
Development & Globalization
Page
S
In this course we will consider the various debates over development and globalization from post-WWII to the present, how the global economy and relationships
between and within nations have changed during this period, the actors involved in shaping the nature of this change, and the social, economic and environmental outcomes of the prevailing way of conceiving of and structuring development and globalization. We will consider various theories of development, approaches to development and their outcomes, as well as explore three topics in-depth (labor in today’s global economy, global finance, and the environment). We will conclude the course by considering alternative approaches to pursuing development (South-South development), and alternative conceptualizations of development as offered by social movements. Over the course of the semester we will compare and contrast the development experience of countries in different regions of the world.
 
Sociology 130
Social Inequalities
Schneider
S
This course explores the extent, causes, and consequences of social and economic inequality in the U.S. The course begins with a discussion of key concepts and metrics that we
will use to discuss and measure inequality and we take a close look at occupational stratification, income and wealth inequality, and intergenerational mobility. We then follow a life-course perspective to trace out the institutions through which inequality is structured, reproduced, and experienced in the contemporary United States. We examine how disadvantage is manifest and reproduced through such institutions as the family, the neighborhood, the educational system, and the criminal justice system.
 
Sociology 140
Politics and Social Change
Tugal
S
This course focuses on the interaction between the political sphere and society, and how social change comes about. We will examine different forms of political action and politics - such as voting, political parties, social movements, revolution - and discuss the impact of each of these forms of political action has on social change. We will explore these forms of politics in different national contexts, and look at both historical examples and contemporary cases.
 
Spanish 135W.1 
Cultura de la Transición española hacia la democracia [Culture and Spain’s Transition to Democracy]
Saum-Pascual
H
Este curso de escritura intensiva analizará respuestas culturales al proceso de democratización política que comenzó en España tras la muerte del dictador Francisco Franco en 1975. Recorreremos los últimos 40 años de historia española gracias a la lectura de novelas y poemas a la par que veremos películas y escucharemos canciones que surgieron como respuesta al fin de la censura franquista y a la nueva situación de apertura social y política. Exploraremos cuestiones relacionadas a la autobiografía, la historia, y la recuperación de la memoria (años 70-80) para observar cómo estos temas son tratados o abandonados en la novela y cine postmodernos (80-90) y la cultura de la actualidad (2000-2010). A lo largo del curso los estudiantes estarán encargados de producir ensayos académicos que exploren estas y otras cuestiones relacionadas con la cultura de la Transición gracias a su participación en talleres de escritura donde compartirán y revisarán su trabajo en grupo. Para esto, se recomienda encarecidamente que los estudiantes hayan cursado clases de escritura y literatura previas y sean “majors” de español.