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Spring 2018 Courses

Core Course

CTCP 71088 Critical Theory: Foundations and Practices
Prof. Vincent Crapanzano Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [38068]

Elective Courses

ANTH 72300/PSYC 80103 Ethnography of Space & Place
Prof. Setha Low Thursday 2:00-4:00 [38546]

ANTH 81500: Black Atlantic Political Imagination
Prof. Gary Wilder Thursdays 11:45-1:45 [38552]

ART 76020 History and Theory of the European Avant-garde: 1905-1945 and Postscript
Prof. Emily Braun Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [38159]

ART 86030 Urban Episodes: 1900-1961
Profs. Romy Golan & Marta Gutman Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [38163]

ART 86040 Media/Art
Prof. David Joselit Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [38164]
 
CLAS 81100 Presocratic Philosophy
Prof. David Sider Mondays 6:30-8:30 NYU [38169]

CL 80100 Theory and History of Translation
Prof. Bettina Lerner Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [38097]

CL 89000 Nietzsche Lévinas Blanchot
Prof. John Brenkman Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [38095]
 
CL 89200 History of Literary Criticism II
Prof. Charity Scribner Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [38096]

CL 80100/HIST 72400/71902 Existentialism:  From Dostoevsky to Satre
Prof. Richard Wolin Mondays 6:30-8:30 [38101]

ENGL 86600 Politics of the Refugee
Prof. Siraj Ahmed Mondays 6:30-8:30 [38197]

ENGL 86600 Race, Capital, and Culture in the Transpacific
Profs. Kandice Chuh & Thuy Linh Tu Tuesdays 4:15-6:15PM NYU [38198]
 
ENGL 82100 Early Modern Trans History and Theory
Prof. Will Fisher Tuesdays 11:45-1:45 [38201]
 
ENGL 84300 Brontës, Hardy, Lawrence
Prof. Richard Kaye Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 [38205]
 
ENGL 82100 Sovereignty
Prof. Feisal Mohamed Wednesdays 11:45-1:45 [38208]

ENGL 80600 Theorizing Celebrity Culture
Prof. Robert Reid-Pharr Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [38209]

FREN 71110 French Literary History: The Novel
Prof. Domna Stanton Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [38019]
 
HIST 72100/PSC 71902 The History of Liberalism from Locke to Rawls
Prof. Helena Rosenblatt Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [38105]

HIST 72800 Slavery and the Disciplines
Prof. Herman Bennett Thursdays 6:30-8:30 [38117]
 
IDS 81660 The Culture of Fashion: Theories and Practices
Prof. Eugenia Paulicelli Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 [38135]

SPAN 87000 Ugly Feelings: Post-Utopic Fiction and Film from Central America
Prof. Magdalena Perkowska Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [38055]
 
MUS 86500 Critical Approaches: Music Aesthetics
Prof. Scott Burnham Tuesdays 10:00-1:00 [38081]
 
MUS 86400 Musicology Seminar: Medievalism and the Modernist Musical Imagination
Prof. Anne Stone Fridays 10:00-1:00 [38080]

PHIL 76100 Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
Prof. Angelica Nuzzo Mondays 9:30-11:30 [38423]

PHIL 77500 Philosophy of Feminism: Gender and the Body
Prof. Linda Alcoff Mondays 2:00-4:00 [38245]
 
PHIL 77600 Rawls, Race, and Gender
Profs. Charles Mills & Siybl Schwarzenbach Mondays 4:15-6:15 [38246]

PHIL 77700 Art, Morality, and Politics
Prof. Noel Carroll Tuesdays 11:45-1:45 [38247]
 
PHIL 77100 Subjectivity and Objectivity in Morality
Prof. Miranda Fricker Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [38249]

PSC 71901 Critical Reason: The Basics
Prof. Susan Buck-Morss Mondays 4:15-6:15 [38393]
 
PSC 80303 Political Theory of Capitalism
Prof. Corey Robin Mondays 6:30-8:30 [38381]
 
PSC 73100 Modern Social Theory
Prof. Uday Mehta Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [38384]
 
PSC 82001 Ancient & Medieval Political Thought
Prof. Benedetto Fontana Thursdays 6:30-8:30 [38393]

PSYC 79102 Environmental Social Science II: Ecological and Contextual Concepts in Psychology
Prof. Susan Saegert Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [38470]

SSW 85000 Fueling Critical Race Scholarship and Undermining Whiteness in Academia
Prof. Michelle Billies Mondays 11:05-1:00 [38031]

SOC 80000 Social Theory and Islam
Prof. Mucahit Bilici Thursdays 2:00-4:00 [38743]
 
SOC 82800 Food, Culture, and Society
Prof. Barbara Katz Rothman Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 [38289]
 
THEA 85700: Seminar in Contemporary Performance Theory and Technique: Dramaturgy and the Reinvention of Contemporary Theatre
Prof. Peter Eckersall Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [38563]

THEA 81600 Film Theory
Prof. Jerry W. Carlson Mondays 2:00-6:00 [38561]

UED 75200 The Hidden Curriculum of Gender and Sexuality in Schools: A Critical Race Theory Perspective
Prof. Sherry Deckman Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 [38126]

UED 71200 Critical Urban Literacies
Prof. Adriana Espinosa Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [38123]


CTCP 71088 Critical Theory: Foundations and Practices
Prof. Vincent Crapanzano Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [38068]
The focus of this seminar will be on the relationship between various conceptions of and attitudes toward language and recent theories of interpretation and hermeneutical practices in the human sciences and literary study.  We will consider the effect of the stress on reference over other language functions – the pragmatic, poetic -- on notions of text, genre, and rhetoric. How does this stress configure meta-critical understanding? How does it foster the often promiscuous play of divergent, at times analytically incompatible, approaches to interpretation so characteristic of contemporary theory? Readings will include works by Nietzsche, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, de Saussure, Lévi-Strauss and/or Gennette, Foucault, Michael Silverstein and his school, Bakhtin, Lacan and Deleuze.             
 

ANTH 72300/PSYC 80103 Ethnography of Space & Place
Prof. Setha Low Thursday 2:00-4:00 [38546]

 
ANTH 81500: Black Atlantic Political Imagination
Prof. Gary Wilder Thursdays 11:45-1:45 [38552]
 
 
ART 76020 History and Theory of the European Avant-garde: 1905-1945 and Postscript
Prof. Emily Braun Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [38159]
This lecture course addresses key movements of the historical avant-garde in France, Germany, Italy, and Russia, from pre-WWI through the rise of totalitarian regimes. The material covered includes the main protagonists, group manifestos, and multi-media artistic production, as well as a focus on issues of gender politics, nationalism, mass culture, elitism, “primitivism” and colonialism, transnational networks, the so-called return to order, and strategies of irony and cultural disruption. While constructed as a deep and selective historical survey (with close readings of material objects), the course simultaneously digs into discursive and ideological frameworks. A subtheme is the theorization of the neo-Marxist “aporias” of the avant-garde begun in the late 1930s and in earnest in the 1960s. The course will end with a look at the ways in which the historical avant-garde proved a model for post-colonial artistic practices through the 1980s.  Though given as a lecture course, there are substantial weekly readings and a portion of each class will be dedicated to class discussion.  Accepts auditors.


 
ART 86030 Urban Episodes: 1900-1961
Profs. Romy Golan & Marta Gutman Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [38163]
This seminar examines artists and architects in Vienna, Barcelona, New York, Paris, Moscow, Mexico City, Algiers, and Berlin (east and west), from 1900- 1961. Expect to examine the intersection of art and architecture with politics, culture, and place. Accepts auditors.


ART 86040 Media/Art
Prof. David Joselit Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [38164]
Focused around recent art-historical scholarship on time-based media, as well as selected texts from media theory and media archaeology, this course will span the invention of cinema in the late 19th century to the rise of the Internet.  Issues will include media art’s redefinition of publics; questions around the changing agency of images during the long twentieth century; how architecture and media converge in infrastructure, and how image worlds may affect the nature of citizenship. No auditors.
 
 
CLAS 81100 Presocratic Philosophy
Prof. David Sider Mondays 6:30-8:30 NYU [38169]
In this course we shall survey the path of Greek philosophy from its beginnings until just short of Plato. Most of this will be on natural science (such as evolution, the big bang theory, and subatomic particles, to be anachronistic) and the attempts to grapple with the concept of existence, but what little remains of early philosophical ethics will also be examined. Since all of early Greek thought is known primarily from later sources who quote (not always consistently), paraphrase (often tendentiously), and interpret (often erroneously), it must be approached in the first instance philologically fragment by fragment before being put into historical and then philosophical contexts.
 

CL 80100 Theory and History of Translation
Prof. Bettina Lerner Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [38097]
This seminar explores the history and theory of translation in the West. We will read and discuss major theoretical texts that have shaped the field of translation studies from Cicero and St. Jerome to Du Bellay, Dolet, Schlegel, Schleiermacher, Goethe, Benjamin, Jakobson, Borges, Venuti, Derrida, Berman, Spivak, Kilito and Apter among others in order to work our way through the various aesthetic, ethical and political questions raised by the practice of translation. Alongside these theoretical essays, we will examine key translations of literary and other texts as case studies that test the limits of these theories. At the end of the term, each student will redact a discussion of a specific translation theory or set of theories, an analysis of a specific translation or an original translation accompanied by a critical introduction. The class will be taught in English, but participants should have working knowledge of at least one language other than English, preferably French, German or Spanish.

 
CL 89000 Nietzsche Lévinas Blanchot
Prof. John Brenkman Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [38095]
The friendship between Maurice Blanchot and Emmanuel Lévinas has fascinated, and often baffled, commentators on these major literary and philosophical thinkers of the 20th century. This seminar will explore the relation between Blanchot’s thought and Lévinas’s through the lens of their respective relation to a set of themes inaugurated by Nietzsche’s writings, in particular: the symbolic-affective connections of morality and power, the multiple facets of nihilism in the modern age, and the philosophical status of the human and otherness.
Primary texts: Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals; The Will to Power; Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Lévinas, The Levinas Reader; Otherwise than Being; Proper Names. Blanchot, The Space of Literature; The Infinite Conversation.

 
CL 89200 History of Literary Criticism II
Prof. Charity Scribner Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [38096]
A study of the development of thought about literature from the eighteenth century to the present, with readings from Kant, Schiller, Wordsworth, Arnold, Woolf, Tolstoy, Bakhtin, Lukács, Benjamin, Barthes, and Kristeva. This course will not only address issues pertaining to the evolution of modern aesthetics, but it will also examine current critical methodology.
 

CL 80100/HIST 72400/71902 Existentialism:  From Dostoevsky to Satre
Prof. Richard Wolin Mondays 6:30-8:30 [38101]
Existentialism revolutionized twentieth-century thought and culture. Heidegger’s Being and Time (1927) and Sartre’s Being and Nothingness (1943) established the movement’s contours and tenets, although Karl Jaspers and Simone de Beauvoir also made essential contributions.

Existentialism challenged Western metaphysics by rejecting the notion of “essence” as a conceptual straitjacket that restricted the notion of human possibility. Its watchword may be succinctly summarized as: existence is prior to essence. As an intellectual current, existentialism followed in the wake of Nietzsche’s critique of European nihilism: since traditional Western values had lost their cogency and meaning, a “transvaluation of values” was required.

Nineteenth-century developments provided the backdrop for existentialism’s emergence. Both Schelling and Kierkegaard lamented traditional philosophy’s trafficking in lifeless abstractions and lack of concern with “lived experience.” Theories of “alienation” in the work of Marx, Durkheim, and Simmel provided existentialism with a grounding in contemporary social theory and critique.
 
Existentialism also derived inspiration from major works of literature: Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground,” Tolstoy’s “The Death of Ivan Ilych,” and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary became indispensable points of reference. According to one witness, Heidegger’s constant companions while composing Being and Time were Dostoevsky’s novels and a recent edition of van Gogh’s letters. Sartre’s novels and plays, Nausea and No Exit, are often treated as exemplars of literary existentialism.
 
Finally, existentialism has often been criticized from the left for glorifying alienation and (bourgeois) decadence. During the late 1940s, the Frankfurt School philosopher and ex-Heidegger student, Herbert Marcuse, wrote a landmark critique of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. During the 1960s, Theodor Adorno accused Heidegger’s approach of smoothing over the tensions of late capitalism by offering a “pseudo-concreteness” in place of a critical social theory.
 
Booklist:
 
Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground
Kierkegaard, A Kierkegaard Anthology
Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych
Nietzsche, The Will to Power
Simmel, “Metropolis and Mental Life” + “The Tragedy of Culture”
Lukács, Soul and Form
Kafka, “Before the Law,” “An Imperial Messenger”
 
 
Heidegger, Being and Time
Wolin, ed., The Heidegger Controversy
Sartre, Nausea
Sartre, Being and Nothingness
Sartre, “Existentialism is a Humanism”
Adorno, “Understanding Endgame”
 
 
ENGL 86600 Politics of the Refugee
Prof. Siraj Ahmed Mondays 6:30-8:30 [38197]
In a brief Word War II period essay entitled ‘We Refugees’ published in a Jewish-American journal, Hannah Arendt claimed that each of Europe’s refugee populations constitute the vanguard of its people—and diasporic Jews that of humanity in general. Exactly fifty years later, in the immediate wake of the Oslo I Accord, Giorgio Agamben returned, in an essay entitled ‘Beyond Human Rights,’ to Arendt’s argument. He suggested that the practice European states developed during the twentieth century of denationalizing their own citizens reveals the truth of contemporary politics. One enjoys political protection only by virtue of one's citizenship, and even those who possess this virtue no longer possess any guarantee they will continue to do so. Agamben attempted consequently to imagine a politics based no longer on citizenship but instead on the ancient and medieval principle of refugium, the provision of sanctuary to exiles.
           
The refugee crises now besetting Europe’s borders have once again occasioned calls—from Alain Badiou to Slavoj Zizek and beyond—for a politics of the refugee. But perhaps the figure of the refugee encompasses not merely those fleeing civil war in the Middle East and Africa. Climate change and ecological collapse may soon place a humanity much more universal than even Arendt imagined into flight. The need to imagine a politics of the refugee has thus become more urgent than ever.
           
In response to that need, this class will explore the hypothesis that refugees are natural by-products not of any particular political order—pace Arendt, Agamben, Badiou, et al—but of our concept of politics as such. This concept’s modern roots lie in the creation of the European interstate system (conventionally dated to 1648 Peace of Westphalia), which began to replace religious dynasties with secular nation-states and thus inaugurated the political order to which we remain wedded today. But the rarely acknowledged raison d’être of the interstate system was to redirect European sovereigns’ war-making powers from inside the new ‘lines of amity’ to its outside, where violence (and primitive accumulation) could occur without limit. In other words, the very point of modern politics was, originally, to displace environmental destruction—the conquest of territory, the dispossession of indigenous populations, the exhaustion of natural resources—from Europe to the rest of the world. Refugee-making might, therefore, be much more fundamental to our political way of life than Western philosophy has yet acknowledged. According to Carl Schmitt, the sovereign is the one who has the power to declare a state of emergency. But perhaps it would be more precise to say that from its modern origins, Western sovereignty has lain, instead, in the power to make environments so unlivable, life so precarious, that a different politics becomes practically impossible. 
 
We will read early modern political thinkers such Grotius and Locke and contemporary critical theorists such as those listed above. But we will also turn to those postcolonial authors—such as J.M. Coetzee, Amitav Ghosh, and Mahmoud Darwish—most attuned to the interrelationship of politics and refugee-making and most concerned to imagine a way out of this vicious cycle.
 
This class will help first-years students in the English Ph.D. Program draft the annotated bibliography and/or the review essay components of their portfolio examinations.

 
ENGL 86600 Race, Capital, and Culture in the Transpacific
Profs. Kandice Chuh & Thuy Linh Tu Tuesdays 4:15-6:15PM NYU [38198]
Major contemporary shifts in American policy towards the Pacific, from those that address the region as crucial to U.S. economic and political interests, to the intensely antagonistic stance of the current administration, which sees it as a military and industrial threat, renew the longheld and constitutive ambivalence of the U.S.'s attitude toward the Pacific.  In this course, we will explore how these views have long been intertwined and have been shaped by the histories of war and empire, and by contemporary flows of images, ideas, feelings, bodies, capital and commodities across the Pacific, Americas, and Europe.  We will address such questions as: how do race and racialization operate in a Transpacific context? In what ways are they meaningful, and how do they overlap with and diverge from Atlantic world racial formations?  What do the specificities of their operations tell us about capitalism and culture past and present?   How do these specificities key us into the contemporary conjuncture and the apparent return of Cold War geopolitics?  To engage such questions, we will examine a range of historical, theoretical, and aesthetic work that focus critical attention on the Transpacific and help us understand not only the importance of this concept and geography to apprehending how race and capital function, but also that of the inextricable relationship between culture and political economy.  Written requirements of the course include short response papers and a longer seminar paper. 
 
This team caught course is offered across the CUNY Graduate Center’s Ph.D. Program in English and the Department of Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU. 
 
 
ENGL 82100 Early Modern Trans History and Theory
Prof. Will Fisher Tuesdays 11:45-1:45 [38201]
This class will offer a broad survey of possible sites of inquiry for transgender (trans) scholarship on early modern English texts, and explore the intersections between the fields of early modern studies and trans studies. It will address questions like: How might gender-variant characters and historical figures speak to contemporary trans inquiries? What are the major premodern trans texts? How do recent developments in trans studies impact the way we read early modern texts, and vice versa? What are the methodological issues involved in understanding gender variability before the introduction of terms like trans, genderqueer, nonbinary, genderfluid, pangender, agender, and cisgender? How does early modern thinking about sex/gender and the body compare with contemporary thinking about these topics as articulated in trans studies?
 
READINGS:
Literary texts will include canonical works like Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Middleton and Dekker’s The Roaring Girl, John Lyly’s Gallathea (along with other early modern iterations of the Iphis and Ianthe story), and Ben Jonson’s Epicoene, as well as lesser-known works like Francis Beaumont’s Salmacis and Hermaphroditus and seventeenth-century broadside ballads about gender-variant individuals.
 
In addition, we will be examining a range of non-literary sources, including the court cases of individuals like Eleanor/John Rykener and the “female husbands” of the late-seventeenth century like Amy Howard/James Howard. We will also study early modern medical writing about gender and the body, including the accounts of spontaneous gender transformation from the period and the discussions of intersexed individuals, in order to consider whether – or how – this material might help contest assumptions about the historical dominance of binary models of gender identity.
 
Finally, trans theorists like Susan Stryker, Jack Halberstam, Joanne Meyerowitz, Cheryl Chase, and Dean Spade will be read alongside the work of early modern scholars like Simone Chess, Colby Gordon, M.W. Bychowski, and Leah DeVun.

 
ENGL 84300 Brontës, Hardy, Lawrence
Prof. Richard Kaye Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 [38205]
This course considers an important strain in British fiction in the writing of four major Victorian novelists and one innovative modernist writer. In the novels of the Brontës and Hardy, the setting is invariably a harsh rural landscape, in which crises of class, social restriction, female choice, mental discord, psychological derangement, bigamy, romantic love, and erotic desire dominate the narratives.  We begin with Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights, ignored on publication and saturated in stark, unresolved dualities, violent clashes, and Romantic archetypes, as we test Leo Bersani’s landmark “queer” reading that argues that Brontë’s novel represents two radically opposed works of fiction, one an asocial, anarchic narrative and the other a tame, convention-bound Victorian text.  We will consider Jane Eyre, a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic, as we consider Brontë’s self-consciously anti-Austenian conceptions of desire, individual psychology, and the novel form. The class will discuss the novel’s paradigmatic standing as a feminist work as well as its enduringly controversial status as an unconsciously colonialist text. In Anne Brontë’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, adultery, addiction, and marital abuse are central themes, with the rakish Arthur Huntington representing Anne’s more skeptical (arguably norm-preserving) version of the figures of Heathcliff and Rochester.  We will consider, as well, the “Brontë Mystique” as it was formed in such influential accounts as Elizabeth Gaskell’s 1857 biography, Muriel Spark’s 1951 critical/biographical study of Emily, Daphne Du Maurier’s speculative 1960 biography of Branwell Brontë, Sylvia Plath’s several poetic tributes to the Brontë sisters, and Douglas Martin’s 2006 lyrical novel Branwell. Noting Hardy’s early start as a “sensation” writer, the class will explore the novelist’s absorption in the thematics of sexual scandal, working-class consciousness, tragic determinism, female transgression, and besieged masculinity in Far from the Madding Crowd, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, and Jude the Obscure.  Brontëan and Hardyesque concerns permeate Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, The Rainbow, Women in Love, and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.  Like Hardy, Lawrence struggled in his fiction to undermine Victorian sexual norms and class divisions as he registered historical trauma (the end of the Industrial Revolution, the catastrophe of the First World War) in direct and indirect terms. In Lawrence’s book-length essay Study of Thomas Hardy, the writer developed a major statement of his own modernist aesthetic, revealing, as well, his conflicted relation to Hardy as Lawrence insists on a more visionary conception of the novel and a non-deterministic conception of individual destiny.  Greed, overreaching, the experimental excitement in human relationships (sometimes expressed as a male or female homoerotic sublime)--as well as the value of an “animal self” in an undestroyed natural landscape--emerge as Lawrence’s central preoccupations.  We discuss, too, Hardy and Lawrence’s relatively neglected poetic work. Given that the Brontës, Hardy, and Lawrence have generated some of the most successful adaptations of British fiction in film, we will view clips of film adaptations of Wuthering Heights (including Andrea Arnold’s recent adaptation of Wuthering Heights in which Heathcliff is racialized as Black) and Jane Eyre as well as John Schlesinger’s “Far from the Madding Crowd,” Roman Polanski’s “Tess,” Michael Winterbottom’s “The Claim” and “Jude,” Ken Russell’s “Women in Love,” and Michael Almeyreyda’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner.” Critical readings and theoretical readings will be drawn from a variety of perspectives—-among them, Marxist, Feminist, Psychoanalytic, Humanist, Post-Humanist, Post-Human, Queer, Formalist, Post-Colonial, New Formalist, and Eco-Critical approaches. Among the critics we will consider: Virginia Woolf, R.P. Blackmur, Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar, Irving Howe, Gayatri Spivak, George Levine, Nina Auerbach, Scott Sanders, Marianna Torgovnick, Christopher Craft, James Wood, Elaine Showalter, John Bayley, and Terry Eagleton. Oral presentations and a final paper.

 
ENGL 82100 Sovereignty
Prof. Feisal Mohamed Wednesdays 11:45-1:45 [38208]
“The theory of sovereignty,” Foucault declares in Society Must be Defended, was “the great instrument of the political and theoretical struggles that took place around systems of power in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.” If one were to revise this observation, it would be only to add that the theory of sovereignty continues to be at the center of struggles around systems of power. In recent months we have certainly been reminded in thunder of the political charge of sovereignty in our own moment: with Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, with the rise of strongman politics in countries where democracy had always been precarious, such as the United States, Russia, Turkey, and India, to name but a few examples. Depersonalized authority, rule of law, proceduralism and overlapping consensus all seem especially now to be self-deluding liberal fantasies.

This course will thus focus on English literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries with an eye to later theoretical approaches to the questions of sovereignty. In exploring early modern material, we will pay attention to constitutional debates on the role of the sovereign, but also to the role of England’s rising imperial ambitions and to the complex political self-positioning of the period’s women writers. We will take into account recent scholarship on political theology, and examine how writers of this tumultuous period reinscribe the political imaginary implicit in various literary modes, epic, tragedy, satire, and pastoral. Especially important to the theoretical content of the course will be the cluster of theorists witnessing up close the collapse of liberal order in the Weimar Republic: Hannah Arendt, Walter Benjamin, Carl Schmitt, and Leo Strauss. We will also read theorists of our own moment of anxiety on sovereignty, such as Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, and Wendy Brown. Seminar participants will be expected to make a conference-style presentation leading to a research paper of 14-16 pages.
 
Preliminary list of literary texts:
William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece, The Tempest, Macbeth
Ben Jonson, Sejanus
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, Book 1; View of the Present State of Ireland
John Donne, Satyres
Aemilia Lanyer, The Description of Cooke-Ham
Margaret Cavendish, The Blazing World
John Milton, A Masque, Lycidas, Paradise Lost (selections), Paradise Regained, Samson Agonistes
Lucy Hutchinson, translation of Lucretius’ De rerum natura (selections); Order and Disorder, cantos 1-5
Andrew Marvell, Upon Appleton House, An Horation Ode, The First Anniversary, the Advice-to-a-Painter Poems
Aphra Behn, Oroonoko, or the Royal Slave

 
ENGL 80600 Theorizing Celebrity Culture
Prof. Robert Reid-Pharr Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [38209]
We will work in this seminar both to track the ways that celebrity, especially literary celebrity, has developed in the United States since the Second World War as well as the ways in which the basic ideological structures of celebrity—and celebration—are imagined as at once obvious and omnipresent, innocuous and inconsequential.  As a consequence, the key role that celebrity plays in not only our cultural lives but also our political and social lives is often deeply misunderstood.  Indeed the inability of cultural critics to understand the attraction of vulgar forms of celebrity demonstrates a continued incapacity, particularly among so-called cultural elites, to recognize the importance of celebrity to the reproduction of the basic, if hotly contested, ideological and discursive structures that allow for the maintenance and reproduction of a common American society.  Texts that we will examine include: Pierre Bourdieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste; Anne Anlin Cheng, Second Skin: Josephine Baker and the Modern Surface; Frantz Fanon, Black Skin/White Masks; Nicole Fleetwood, On Racial Icons; Joshua Gamson, Claims to Fame: Celebrity in Contemporary America; Loren Glass, Literary Celebrity in the Modern United States, 1880 – 1980; Stuart Hall,  Familiar Stranger: Life Between Two Islands; Leonard J. Leff, Hemingway and His Conspirators: Hollywood, Scribner’s, and the Making of American Celebrity Culture; Norman Mailer, Marilyn; P. David Marshall, Celebrity and Power: Fame and Contemporary Culture; Joe Moran, Literary Celebrity in America; and Michelle Stephens, Skin Acts: Race, Psychoanalysis, and the Black Male Performer.

 
FREN 71110 French Literary History: The Novel
Prof. Domna Stanton Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [38019]
This course on the history and theory of the novel will begin with a set of readings (Scholes, Bakhtin, Brooks, Genette, Barthes, Sedgwick) on aspects of narrative and narratology. We will then read closely six novels beginning with La Princesse de Clèves (Folio Classique, 2000) and Les liaisons dangereuses (Petits Larousse Classiques, 2007), followed by Mme de Duras' Ourika (Folio Classique 2007) and Madame Bovary (Folio Classique 2001) and ending with Du côté de chez Swann (Folio Classique, 1988) and Djebar's Ombre sultane (Livre de Poche, 2006) . [These editions will be on reserve in the GC Library, but if you purchase your own texts, please make sure to buy the same editions so we are all on the same page.] Our discussions will be informed by critical readings for each text, listed in the syllabus, and available on Blackboard.
Goals of this course include: gaining an understanding of the sweep of the French novel; reading novels intensively for their narratological, thematic, stylistic, ideological/political and gender scripts; writing analytical papers on literary texts; doing literary research; reading critical theory critically; and improving spoken and written literary/critical French (or English).
Work for the course, over and above class preparation and engaged participation, involves for those taking the course for 4 credits: two short papers 5-7 pp), one of these a class presentation of a critical text,  a final 15-page paper (topic developed in consultation with the instructor ), and a final exam; for those taking the course for 2 credits: there will be the class presentation of a critical text (written up into 5-7 pp); and the final exam, in addition to class preparation and participation.
 
The course will be conducted in French; written work will be in French for students in French; students from other departments may write their papers in English.
For further information and all questions, please contact Domna Stanton (dstanton112@yahoo.com).
 
 
HIST 72100/PSC 71902 The History of Liberalism from Locke to Rawls
Prof. Helena Rosenblatt Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [38105]
This course is an in-depth introduction to some of the founding thinkers and texts of the liberal tradition. We will read canonical texts and works of interpretation in an effort to answer questions such as:  What do we mean when we speak of liberalism? What if any, are its core principles and values? What is alive and what is dead in the liberal tradition? We will focus on works by Locke, Wollstonecraft, Rousseau, Constant, Mill, Green and Spencer, and conclude with an examination of Rawls.  Main Themes: Property and the Role of Government; Women’s Rights and Roles; Social Contract and the Individual; Morals and Empire.

 
HIST 72800 Slavery and the Disciplines
Prof. Herman Bennett Thursdays 6:30-8:30 [38117]
At its core, this course takes up concerns animated by both the persistent and emergent focus on slavery in the disciplines.  It asks how and why distinct disciplines are suddenly approaching the study of slavery?  Obviously this dynamic portends to far more than an engagement with the study of slavery solely as an economic system or as a technique of power.  Slavery, as a result, is no longer restricted to the domain of historians and the study of the enslaved past.  For this reason, the course“Slavery & the Disciplines” offers a wide-ranging examination of slavery’s presence and impact on disciplinary formation.  In discerning the work of slavery in various disciplines, notably Anthropology, English, Philosophy, Political Theory, Religion, and Sociology, this course explores how scholars of distinction disciplinary formations employ the study of slavery to press on the extant cultural logic but also framings of the past, present and future. 
 
Robert Reid-Pharr has recently written that “even as we joyously celebrate the victories of our enslaved ancestors, even as we take satisfied stock of how far we have come, we must studiously avoid the triumphalist narratives that are the hallmarks of humanist discourse.” Reid-Pharr’s trenchant critique is not alone.  A variety of intellectuals and scholars have leveled a similar broadside against the epistemology configuring Western thinking and its enduring legacy.  Rather than reduce this to a generational critique framed as an inquiry into the history of the present, we might be better served asking how and why this engagement with slavery and its legacy arises at this precise moment among a range of scholars in various disciplines?  What, in other words, does this engagement and critique say about our historical moment, previous representation of the slave past, and slavery’s sublimated presence in contemporary life?  What might be conveyed by invocation of slavery’s enduring afterlife?  What are the implications for the University and its constituent elements—disciplines?
 
Over the course of the semester, the seminar participants will deliberate over slavery and freedom as these subjects have been broached and now are treated by distinct disciplines.
Syllabus here

 
IDS 81660 The Culture of Fashion: Theories and Practices
Prof. Eugenia Paulicelli Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 [38135]
The course will take the form of an interdisciplinary exploration into the art of making, craftsmanship and technology in today’s globalized world. In particular, we will call attention to the larger systems that influence the state of fashion, craft and aesthetics constantly under development and in flux. The course will focus on specific case studies such as the Made in Italy, Made in New York etc. within a transnational context and in relation to gender, race, class and labor.
 
Bringing to the fore new systems developing within the industry, the course will emphasize the intersection of tradition, sustainability, social justice, ethics and beauty as they influence new collaborative modes and design and production.
 
The course will draw on writings from critical theory, history, fashion studies, material culture, literature, and the objects that are part of a digital archive project and exhibition at the Art Center, Queens College (October-December 2017). In addition, the course will feature guest speakers, field work and a research lab component that requires students to carry out a creative project. A visit will be scheduled to the Brooklyn/Pratt Fashion + Design accelerator and other sites. Major authors to be studied will include Richard Sennett, Pierre Bordieau, Peter Stallybrass, Walter Benjamin, Georg Simmel, David Harvey, Jane Schneider, Roland Barthes and others.
 
 
SPAN 87000 Ugly Feelings: Post-Utopic Fiction and Film from Central America
Prof. Magdalena Perkowska Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [38055]
Ugly feelings, as defined by Sianne Ngy in her eponymous study, are “minor and generally unprestigious” emotions of a strong, diagnostic nature because they have the capacity to shed light on “a real social experience and a certain kind of historical truth.” Central American cultural texts (novels, short stories and films) produced during the last two decades are full of such feelings: disenchantment, bitterness, anguish, anxiety, fear, disdain, frustration, sorrow, pain, melancholia, loss, and confusion are signifiers of disappointment with past utopias and present neoliberal restoration or reaffirmation of market capitalism. This course explores a selection of Central American fictions and films which will be read in conjunction with theoretical approaches to affect and emotions (Phillip Fischer, Sianne Ngy, Sara Ahmed, Ruth Leys, Martha Nussbaum, among others), neoliberalism (David Harvey, Wendy Brown), and politics and aesthetics (Jacques Rancière).  We will examine unresolved tensions articulated through affects and emotions, and will fathom what commitments, if any, are encoded in these ‘feeling texts.’  
 

MUS 86500 Critical Approaches: Music Aesthetics
Prof. Scott Burnham Tuesdays 10:00-1:00 [38081]
The course will focus on several predominant aesthetic issues at play in contemporary musical thought.  Chief among these will be the contested role of Beauty in music.  After a quick survey of music aesthetics starting with Hanslick’s On the Beautiful in Music, we will examine recent treatments of beauty by philosophers Elaine Scarry (On Beauty and Being Just) and Alexander Nehamas (Only a Promise of Happiness:  The Place of Beauty in a World of Art), as well as musicologist Karol Berger (Theory of Art).  Other themes in the seminar will include Presence (Gumbrecht, Production of Presence and Steiner, Real Presences) and Materiality.  Whenever possible, we will take up specific musical works in conjunction with each of these themes.

 
MUS 86400 Musicology Seminar: Medievalism and the Modernist Musical Imagination
Prof. Anne Stone Fridays 10:00-1:00 [38080]
The list of composers who have engaged in some way with medieval music reads like a who’s who of musical modernism in Europe and the United States: Benjamin, Berio, Birtwistle, Britten, Hindemith, Maxwell Davies, Messiaen, Pärt, Perle, Saariaho, Stravinsky, Tavener, Webern, and Wuorinen, just to name a few.
 
This seminar will explore the intersections between selected modernist composers and the specter of the Middle Ages. Is the relationship merely one of numerous isolated references, a collection of case studies, or is there a deeper affinity between the project of modernist music and the collective notion of the medieval? What do modernist composers think they are doing when they allude to medieval musical processes or literary themes? Is there a coherent "medievalism" discernible in modern music akin to that of neoclassicism or exoticism?
 
We will start by considering two recent operas that take troubadours as their subject: Kaija Saariaho’s L’amour de loin (2000) and George Benjamin'sWritten on Skin (2012). Later topics will include Paul Hindemith’s direction of the Yale Collegium Musicum, George Perle’s analysis of Machaut, Luciano Berio’s collaboration with the medievalist Edoardo Sanguineti, and medieval-ish works by Peter Maxwell Davies and Harrison Birtwistle.
 
Requirements: weekly reading and written response, posted to Dropbox the Wednesday before each class; a short presentation and 5-page paper early in the semester; and a longer presentation and paper (15 pages) at the end; the longer paper may be an elaboration of the earlier paper, or on a different topic.
 
 Readings will include two recent books from art history and English respectively: Alexander Nagel, Medieval Modern: Art out of Time (London: Thames and Hudson, 2012); Bruce Holsinger, The Premodern Condition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005); other reading will include articles and essays by Walter Benjamin, Luciano Berio, Bertold Brecht, Umberto Eco, Paul Hindemith, Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, Ezra Pound, George Perle, and Kirsten Yri.
 

PHIL 76100 Kant's Critique of Pure Reason
Prof. Angelica Nuzzo Mondays 9:30-11:30 [38423]
This course will give a comprehensive account of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (1781, 1787). In this fundamental work Kant proposes the new idea of “transcendental philosophy,” offers his critique of traditional metaphysics and a new idea of metaphysics beyond the rationalist and the empiricist tradition, and provides the foundation of his critical epistemology. We will address issues such as Kant's idea of transcendental philosophy, the meaning of the Copernican Revolution in philosophy, the nature of space and time and the status of the a priori, the function of the transcendental unity of apperception.

 
PHIL 77500 Philosophy of Feminism: Gender and the Body
Prof. Linda Alcoff Mondays 2:00-4:00 [38245]
The question of the relation of gender identity to embodiment has been central in feminist theory and received sustained analysis since Simone de Beauvoir. Bodies are not all the same, and their differences have been accorded various cultural meanings with political effects. Today there is a lot of focus on the plasticity of bodies and the need to reduce the importance of bodily difference, even while the “delusions of gender,” as Cordelia Fine call them, continues to play a strong role in the sciences. Phenomenological approaches to embodiment offer a corrective to some the extreme views today, so this course will focus on these readings. What role do (or should) bodies play in identity, social roles, or laws? Are female bodies inherently limiting, with increased dependence? How should we understand the role of embodiment in regard to sexual violence? What is the role of reproduction in the formation of gender identity? This course will primarily focus on gender but consider also embodiment issues in relation to race, sexuality, disability, intersex, and trans identities. We will also consider the relation of women and of feminism to the practice and discipline of philosophy.

 
PHIL 77600 Rawls, Race, and Gender
Profs. Charles Mills & Siybl Schwarzenbach Mondays 4:15-6:15 [38246]
The seminar will be an in-depth study of the philosophy of John Rawls, and will focus on central analyses and criticisms of his work primarily from two directions: feminist and critical race theory perspectives. In the first half of the semester we will grapple with basic concepts and themes of A Theory of Justice, -- with ideas such as the basic structure of society (as the subject of justice), the method of reflective equilibrium, ideal versus non-ideal theory, the original position, its resulting two principles of justice, the constitutional convention, Rawls’s moral psychology, and so forth. In each case, we will ask whether such notions can be salvaged and adapted for progressive (race and feminist) purposes or must be jettisoned altogether. Attention will also be given to Rawls’s later Political Liberalism and Justice as Fairness, as commentaries on his main argument and with their new notions of public reason and the burdens of judgment. The seminar will end with a discussion of Rawls’s work on international justice, The Law of Peoples, again asking to what degree this work can be helpful or simply obfuscates.

 
PHIL 77700 Art, Morality, and Politics
Prof. Noel Carroll Tuesdays 11:45-1:45 [38247]
This seminar is an overview of the several of the relations between art, morality, and politics. We will look at some classic texts on the topic (Plato, Augustine, Rousseau, Kant, Bell, Brecht) as well as contemporary debates between autonomism and various forms of moralism. The diverse ways in which moral norms are circulated and readjusted by the arts will be explored from several perspectives, including non-western ones and from the perspective of evolutionary psychology. The nexus of art and morality as mediated through society will also be addressed through several political themes including state patronage, censorship, propaganda, ideology, and social criticism. There are no course prerequisites. Students are expected to participate in class discussions, to make a class presentation, and to write a term paper.

 
PHIL 77100 Subjectivity and Objectivity in Morality
Prof. Miranda Fricker Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [38249]
In this class we will explore both historical and contemporary views of morality that advance either a subjectivist (sentimentalist) or an objectivist (rationalist) conception. The arc of the course will originate with David Hume’s moral sentimentalism, including his notions of natural and artificial virtue, and Adam Smith’s distinct but not dissimilar picture. This will give us a clear idea of the historical roots of more current ways of approaching morality from the point of view of moral emotion. The more current approaches we shall discuss take their direct inspiration from P. F. Strawson’s ‘moral reactive attitudes and feelings’, and build upon that foundation to work up a theory of responsibility (R. Jay Wallace, Angela Smith), or a theory of the complex interpersonal normativity found to be implicit in these attitudes (Stephen Darwall).

We will then discuss moral luck (Bernard Williams, Thomas Nagel) and notions of ‘penumbral agency’ (David Enoch, Susan Wolf) as a bridge to thinking about a diametrically opposite conception of morality from that which is grounded in the moral emotions. Indeed the conception of morality we shall now turn to is one that excludes emotion altogether from the moral frame, just as it excludes moral luck: Kantian objectivism. We will focus on Kant’s Groundwork in order to get clear about the mechanics of his view, and then perhaps look to the work of Christine Korsgaard for a modified contemporary Kantian moral philosophy. And we will consider the most powerful critiques of Kant’s view – such as Williams’ attack on it as embodying ‘the morality system’, which saddles us with falsely purified ideas of moral obligation and practical necessity, of the nature of moral deliberation and agency, and of the place of luck in moral life.
 
What are the implications for morality of this staunch attack on the morality system and the objectivist conception of morality that it embodies? In the last phase of the course we shall look closely at Williams’ contributions to positive possibilities on this score—in particular his cognitivism and argument for (non-objective) moral knowledge with the use of ‘thick’ ethical concepts; and his vindicatory use of State of Nature genealogy—much inspired by Nietzsche’s debunking genealogy, but closer in spirit to Hume’s positive mini-genealogy of (the artificial virtue of) justice, which we will have looked at right at the start. The arc of the course thus lands not too far from where it originated, namely with the moral emotions and a naturalistic idea of virtue; however these virtues are now theorized as divisible between those that grow from absolutely basic human-cultural needs on the one hand (i.e. in the State of Nature), and on the other, those that are formed or re-formed by more contingent pressures of history and culture. We shall draw our own conclusions as to how far this picture leaves us with sufficiently balanced measures of subjectivity and objectivity in moral life to deliver a satisfying philosophical view.
 
 
PSC 71901 Critical Reason: The Basics
Prof. Susan Buck-Morss Mondays 4:15-6:15 [38393]
This course deals with basic concepts and problems of Western Critical Theory. The readings focus on three key authors: Kant, Hegel and Adorno. Philosophy is considered from the perspective of the political. Concepts include: critical reason, transcendental claims, phenomenology, dialectics, non-identity, materialist metaphysics, history, causality, and freedom. Students who are non-specialists are encouraged to read extremely difficult texts (Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason, Hegel’s Phenomenology, Adorno’s Lectures on History and Freedom) with the goal of developing critical capacities for concrete, historical analyses of political, social and economic life. The challenge is to make the concepts of the readings meaningful for contemporary projects of critique. Seminar requirements: sustained, active seminar participation, one short midterm paper, and one final paper (or exam option).

 
PSC 80303 Political Theory of Capitalism
Prof. Corey Robin Mondays 6:30-8:30 [38381]
In ancient Greece, the dominant political form was the city-state. In Rome, it was the republic and the empire. After the fall of Rome, it was the Church. In the early modern era, it became the state. Today, it is capitalism. But where Greece, Rome, the Church, and the state all produced their own distinctive political theories, capitalism has not. Indeed, it’s greatest—and, with the exception of Hayek, perhaps only—political theorist devoted his attentions to capitalism solely in order to bring it to an end. For many, capitalism is not a political form at all; it is strictly a mode of economic organization. What is entailed in that distinction—between the political and the economic—and whether and how it can be sustained will be a central preoccupation of this course.

Through an examination of the classics of political economy, as well as some less canonical texts, we will assess whether capitalism has (or can have) a political theory, and if so, what that theory is. Rather than assume that the political question of capitalism is exhausted by the state’s relationship to the economy, we will examine how capitalism produces a distinctive and independent political form of its own, with its own rules and values. Readings will be drawn from some combination of the following thinkers: Aristotle, Locke, Hume, Smith, Hegel, Malthus, Ricardo, Marx, Jevons, Weber, Keynes, Schumpeter, Arendt, Hayek, Becker, Friedman, Foucault, Brown, Harvey.

 
PSC 73100 Modern Social Theory
Prof. Uday Mehta Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [38384]
This seminar will consider the following broad questions with respect to Tocqueville, Marx, Durkheim and Weber: 1) what makes society cohere as a unit of subjective, social and political experience. 2) How do societies change, develop, and come apart? Relatedly, how does one understand social change? 3) What is gained and lost in conceiving of societies in terms of the material interests of its members or groups of members, as distinct from viewing them in terms of the values and beliefs of its members? 4) What is the relationship between social and political institutions and the cohesion of societies? What, for instance, makes societies prone to revolutionary transformation? 5) What is the role of ideas in development and transformation of societies? 6) What is the standing of “traditions” in societies that are wedded to the idea of individual freedom?


PSC 82001 Ancient & Medieval Political Thought
Prof. Benedetto Fontana Thursdays 6:30-8:30 [38393]
The course focuses on basic texts of selected political thinkers, from the ancient Greeks to the Renaissance, namely, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, and Machiavelli. In the process, central political ideas (for example, liberty, equality, law, justice, community, property, meaning and change in history) are examined and related to the writers’ political and theoretical projects. In addition, it considers the relation between the nature of rule and the forms of rule (types of government or regimes): monarchy, aristocracy, democracy, tyranny, despotism, oligarchy, dictatorship, constitutionalism, republicanism, and the master/slave (domination/subordination) relation.


PSYC 79102 Environmental Social Science II: Ecological and Contextual Concepts in Psychology
Prof. Susan Saegert Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [38470]

This course is the first of two theory courses designed to prepare doctoral students to understand and be able to deploy theoretical positions across the social sciences. This course focuses on the psychological level of analysis. The theories explored lend themselves to accounts of psychology that can mesh with other levels of analysis. The course also covers some of the historically important thinkers in environmental and critical social/personality psychology. The overall objective of the course is for each student to develop a reasoned and reasonably satisfying answer to the following question: How is the psychologically experienced self related to the social and physical context? Achieving this objective requires answering another question: What is the unit of analysis of psychology? Some of the positions prominent in psychology assume the answer would be either particular psychological processes or the biological substrate/determinants of experience and behavior.  This course introduces an alternative approach in which we see selves as socially and materially contingent and knowledge of selves as contingent.  In the latter approach a student must develop an answer to the question “Contingent in what way?”


SSW 85000 Fueling Critical Race Scholarship and Undermining Whiteness in Academia
Prof. Michelle Billies Mondays 11:05-1:00 [38031]

This interdisciplinary course creates an incubator for students seeking support and inspiration for their analyses of race. Readings span critical race theory and methods; transnational feminisms; Black geographies and Caribbean philosophies; indigenous studies and critical ethnic studies; critical whiteness studies; disability studies; social welfare history; and activist scholarship. Students may use assignments to deepen an understanding of a particular theorist or body of work; self-reflexive thinking/feeling through internalized dominance or internalized racism and its relationship to the student’s scholarly work and/or activism; retooling the philosophical or theoretical underpinning of the student’s research; collaborating with each other to generate theory; or other experiments. Students will be invited (not required) to contribute a reading to the syllabus.
 

SOC 80000 Social Theory and Islam
Prof. Mucahit Bilici Thursdays 2:00-4:00 [38743]

In this course, we will begin by identifying and critiquing the scope and nature of treatments of Islam in the writings of classical theorists (Marx, Weber, Durkheim). In the second half, we will focus on some classical Islamic concepts that have gained popular notoriety in our contemporary culture for various political and intellectual reasons. Chief among these concepts are jihad, caliphate, and sharia. Each of these concepts will be held up as theoretical entities to be approached in a way that makes them both legible to and relevant for western social theory.
 

SOC 82800 Food, Culture, and Society
Prof. Barbara Katz Rothman Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 [38289]

This course explores major issues in foodways—food habits from production through consumption—through readings and discussions as well as through primary research in food and society.  The scholarly study of food invokes issues of gender, class, labor, and cultural identities and demands an interdisciplinary approach.  Theoretical frameworks include the food voice (Hauck-Lawson), cultural studies, political economy, and symbolic interactionism.

The key focus in the course is going to be the application of theory and methods from the disciplines represented by students, faculty and invited guests in the course, to Food Studies.

Rather than a standard paper, each student will, in consultation with the professor and the other students, develop a project that best fits in with her/his own work –for example,  a food-focused dissertation chapter, an internship, a series of published book reviews, or a paper presentation at a professional conference in the student’s home discipline.
 

THEA 85700: Seminar in Contemporary Performance Theory and Technique:Dramaturgy and the Reinvention of Contemporary Theatre
Prof. Peter Eckersall Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [38563]

This course is an examination of the theories and practices of dramaturgy as a critical tool in devising contemporary performance. We will preface our study with consideration of the development of dramaturgy in historical and modern times, including discussions of the foundations of dramaturgy in Aristotle’s ‘The Poetics,’ G. E Lessing’s ‘Hamburgische Dramaturgie,’ and writing on modern theatre and dramaturgy by Bertolt Brecht and Antonin Artaud, among others.  We will further investigate dramaturgy as a perceptibly transforming agency in the construction, presentation, and reception of contemporary performance. Hence, we consider the provocation that contemporary performance has an intrinsic dramaturgical aspect and that the proliferation of dramaturgical practices has led to a substantial reinvention of contemporary theatre. We will consider how the practice of ‘new dramaturgy,’ a term coined by Marianne Van Kerkhoven to describe the work of dramaturgs in aiding the development of interdisciplinary performance, has led to this awareness.  Her work was predicated on dramaturgy as the basis for an emergent hybridity in theatre that we will examine with reference to case studies. Moreover, dramaturgy has revived an interest in how live performance engages with social contexts and political themes, and we will consider how the field of contemporary performance has grown as a result of this.  Theories of dramaturgy now engage with the theme of cultural transformation and we examine notions such as dramaturgy and ecology, new media dramaturgy, and dramaturgies of place. In this situation, dramaturgy has become what Van Kerkhoven described as ‘a means to handle complexity’ and we consider the nature of this complexity, how it has evolved and the implications of this for theatre and society. Finally, the course will examine the changing work of dramaturgs in this expanded territory.  What do dramaturgs now do in rehearsal studios and how is their work perceived by other artists?  We will investigate these questions through examination of documentation of production processes, published interviews, and writing by dramaturgs. 
 
Student evaluation for this course will be:

  • A long research essay of 15-20 pages that will consider an aspect of historical, modern, or contemporary dramaturgical practice.
  • A dramaturgical analysis of a piece of contemporary performance either seen live or from documentation that considers how the ideas and inspiration of the performance are translated into artistic practice. This should be written-up in 5-6 pages.
  • A group exercise to develop and present a dramaturgical activity.


THEA 81600 Film Theory
Prof. Jerry W. Carlson Mondays 2:00-6:00 [38561]

FSCP 81000 will offer an analytical survey of film theory from its classical period to its multiple voices in the 21st century. The course will explore the robust and never predictable conversation between film theory and film practice. Different film theories perform different functions. Each theoretical position will be examined in its historical context and for its own claims of purpose. To what degree are theories prescriptive, descriptive, practical, analytical, or some dynamic mixture of functions?  Theorists under consideration, among others, may include Arnheim, Balázs, Barthes, Bazin, Deleuze, Deren, Fanon, Eisenstein, Hall, Jameson, Kracauer, Metz, Mulvey, Naficy, Rich, Shohat, and Stam. In addition, each theoretical position will be examined next to a film from the period of the theory and a film from another historical moment. What do theories tell us about films? But, equally important, what do films tell us about theories? The repertoire of films will reach beyond Hollywood and Europe to the riches of global cinema. The key textbook will be Critical Visions of Film Theory: Classic & Contemporary Readings by Timothy Corrigan & Patricia White with Meta Mazaj
 
 
UED 71200 Critical Urban Literacies        
Prof. Adriana Espinosa Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [38123]

This course engages participants in examining the possibilities that literacies offer for the development of identities, the role of agency, examination of social justice issues, and democratic participation in society. It considers literacies as social practices. It examines the role of literacies from different perspectives: socio-cultural approaches, feminist and poststructuralist orientations, Freirean-based critical pedagogy, new literacy studies, notions of racial literacies and approaches to analyzing texts from a phenomenological perspective. This course also critically examines contemporary literacy policies and programs, as well as other literacy campaigns worldwide. Participants will engage in analysis of texts created by youth and for youth.         
 
 
UED 75200 The Hidden Curriculum of Gender and Sexuality in Schools: A Critical Race Theory Perspective
Prof. Sherry Deckman Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 [38126]

This course explores the role of gender, sexuality, and race, and the intersection of these facets of identity, in contributing to young people’s schooling experiences, opportunities, and outcomes, and to the social context of schools more broadly.  In many ways, the course is about the “hidden curriculum” of racialized heteronormativity, or the subtle practices in schools that privilege particular heterosexual, gendered, and raced identities and ways of being.  In the course, we will engage with a variety of texts including theoretical works, qualitative and quantitative, empirical research, and applied, practical texts in analyzing how social differences are fundamentally entangled, and enmeshed with the making of identities. We will also engage the concept of the hidden curriculum and the lens of critical race theory as analytic tools for studying, understanding, and responding to how gender, sexuality, and race intersect with other social constructs with regard to schooling, and how these intersections contribute to shaping students’ identities. In particular, we will examine how these identities shape—and are shaped by—marginalized students’ experiences with inequity in schools. Lastly, we will apply our theoretical understandings to inquiry projects that will provide opportunities to ground the theoretical understandings that will be cultivated.