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Current Courses

Spring 2020 Courses
UED 70600 Intro. to Research Methods in Urban Education (Open to UED Students Only) R 4:15 – 6:15 PM, Mangual Figueroa

UED 75200 Qualitative Methods (Open to UED Students Only) W 4:15 – 6:15 P, Luttrell
UED 70500 Educational Policy (Open to UED Students Only) M 6:30 – 8:30P, Shedd
UED 75200 Law and Policy Workshop W 4:15 – 6:15 P, Bloomfield

The Law & Policy Workshop focuses on the American policy-making process at the federal, state, and local levels with an emphasis on Urban Education (other topics possible with instructor permission) through legislation, regulation, contracts, and case law. The course takes an activist approach, not only discussing how the public is affected by law-based policies but how students can used these instruments to advance their own policy goals. The aim is for students to find this course fun, interesting, and useful. No previous knowledge of law, legal research, or drafting is assumed.
UED 75200: Countering the Carceral Continuum (Permission Only) M 4:15 – 6:15 P, Shedd
This seminar explores the linkages across three important adolescent developmental settings: neighborhoods, schools, and the juvenile punishment system. By conducting and/or analyzing research on central practices and policies within/across each of these contexts in New York City, students will track the connections between adolescents’ institutional experiences and their pathways toward or away from formal systems of juvenile/criminal punishment.
UED 75200 Critical Perspectives on Hope, Love and Care in Urban Schooling R 4:15 – 6:15 P, Rivera-McCutchen
Neoliberal “high stakes” accountability measures come at a high cost in urban schools, where low-income Black, Latinx and other minoritized youth are often concentrated. Schools become sites of transactions, rather than sites of transformation. In this course, we will explore a more humanistic approach to urban schooling, focusing specifically on critical conceptions of care, love, and hope. Beginning with the premise that schooling must be explicitly focused on creating equitable and socially just learning environments where educators must actively work to disrupt structural inequality, this course will explore scholars whose work examines (theoretically and empirically) these concepts.
UED 75200 What’s Foucault Got To Do With It?: Race, Gender and Neoliberalism As Educational Spaces R 4:15 – 6:15 P, Sonu
This course will take a Foucauldian approach to understanding power/knowledge and governmentality as it relates to racialization, gender-making, neoliberalism, and subjectivity. Readings will be theoretical as well as empirical and will take up education broadly. Assignments include small research activities and scaffolded writing projects intended for future journal publication.
UED 75200 Troubling “Normal” in Education and Culture: Examining Disability through a Social Justice Perspective M 6:30 – 8:30PM, Valle
Throughout history and across cultures, people with disabilities have been understood through a deficit-based perspective—lacking in ability, incomplete, less than fully human. At worst, people with disabilities have been banished, hidden, segregated, and even killed; at best, they have been expected to be cured, fixed, remediated, or restored to an approximation of culturally determined “normalcy.” Thus, central to this course will be an interrogation of the construct of “normal”: When, where, and why did “normal” emerge as a construct? How has “normal” morphed and shifted over time and why? What is the process by which “normal” is enforced within society? Such questions lead to an examination of the role  “normal” plays in the structure of public schooling—particularly in regard to the institution of special education and its reliance on scientific, medicalized, psychological understandings of disability. Special education’s master narrative of disability will be (re)considered through the work of scholars in disability studies (DS) and disability studies in education (DSE) who critique limiting and oppressive conceptualizations of disability within special education practice. Moreover, this course explores “life writings” by people with disabilities that situate disability within a sociological context that acknowledges the intersectional influence of race, class, gender, and culture upon the disability experience. Through the lens of a social model of disability, we will analyze long-standing educational problems such as overrepresentation of children of color in special education, resistance to inclusive education, the achievement gap, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the “color blind’ stance of decontextualized educational research. In sum, this course requires a deep dive into the examination of disability as an issue of social justice.
UED 75200 Race/ism and Intersectionality in Urban Education: Theory, Praxis, and Transformation T 6:30 – 8:30PM, Deckman
This course will engage class members in a semester-long exploration of intersectionality in education, using race/ism as the starting point. Together we will probe the foundations and central tenets of intersectionality, from its origins in Critical Legal Studies and Black feminism, to current applications, debates, and evolutions in education. We will ask: How are racism and other systems of power and oppression (such as ableism, sexism, and heterosexism) mutually constitutive in educational contexts and to what end? How has educational research and practice responded and contributed to these dynamics? In addition, how have communities engaged in transformational, intersectional praxis in educational contexts? Finally, as an act of critical practice within the context of this course itself, students will co-construct the curriculum—determining course materials and co-facilitating one course meeting—and apply theoretical understandings to self-designed inquiry projects.
UED 75200 Approaches to Discourse Analysis in Language and Literacy Research  T 4:15 – 6:15 PM, Schieble
Discourse analysis is a study of the relationship between the form and function of talk and text and the social world. This course will explore various approaches to discourse analysis as both theory and method. Starting with theories about language and literacy as social practice, the course will move into an exploration of multiple approaches to discourse analysis based on scholarly tradition and including emerging approaches such as temporal and positive discourse analysis. Practices including the construction of a multimodal transcript and ways to engage in researcher reflexivity and social action will be addressed. The course will place particular emphasis on critical approaches to discourse analysis for engaging in language and literacy research that is oriented to investigating systems of oppression, liberation, structure, and agency. 
UED 75200 Shaping the City: Schools and the Racial Geography of New York M 6:30 – 8:30PM, Kafka
Schools don't just reflect their communities; they help to shape them. This course will explore the dynamic relationship between New York City schools and the spatial, social, racial, economic and political development  of the city. We will examine how decisions about school siting, enrollment, and governance created and affirmed neighborhood development, as well as how policies and practices related to housing, voting, and policing (among other government functions) impacted school communities.  Assigned readings draw on an interdisciplinary body of literature and utilize a variety of research methodologies -- including historical, geospatial, political, and sociological means of analysis.  Students will have the opportunity to investigate a particular school and/or neighborhood of interest to them.
UED 75200 Critical University Studies M 4:15 – 6:15 PM, Brier
This seminar on Critical University Studies (CUS), offered in the Urban Education program and cross-listed in MALS, will explore the role of higher education, especially public universities, at the intersection of issues of race, class, gender, culture, political economy, and politics, with a particular emphasis on the City University of New York. CUS is a relatively new field of interdisciplinary inquiry, drawing theoretical inspiration from the fields of Cultural Studies and Critical Legal Studies. It focuses on the critical examination of the institutional structures, ideologies, histories, and changing curricular forms and methods of scholarly inquiry and teaching in higher education institutions in the United States and beyond. It analyzes the neoliberal attacks over the past four decades on public universities by politicians and business interests and the oppositional responses of college faculty and staff as well as undergraduate and graduate students and the larger communities they serve to the savage funding cuts and ideological and intellectual critiques faced by public higher education systems around the country. We will read deeply in recent and landmark literature on CUS and seminar members will conduct scholarly research and writing on relevant CUS topics or areas of interest in public higher education, with a special emphasis on the historical development and contemporary situation of the City University of New York.
The seminar will:
•              explore the history of public university systems (especially, though not exclusively, CUNY);
•              analyze recent and current efforts to transform public higher education institutions and systems across the country.
•              hypothesize about where the public university is headed in the coming decades in the midst of austerity and neoliberal politics and policies as well the unrelenting impact of new technologies and the rise of contingent forms of academic labor.
We will read both classic and contemporary studies of public universities, explore available physical and digital university archives (including the CUNY Digital History Archive [CDHA] currently being developed at the Graduate Center), and undertake new research and scholarly and public publication projects on CUS. Graduate student participants will be expected over the course of the semester to conceive and launch individual and/or collaborative research and publication projects in CUS, with a special focus on CUNY.
The seminar is open to all GC PhD students in social science and humanities disciplines, as well as MALS and other Master’s students interested in exploring the changing nature and role of public higher education in contemporary society. The course is taught by Professor Stephen Brier, faculty member in the PhD program in Urban Education and in the MALS and M.A. in Digital Humanities programs and the certificate programs in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy and American Studies. Brier recently co-authored (with Michael Fabricant) a CUS-themed book, Austerity Blues: Fighting for the Soul of Public Higher Education (Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 2016). The seminar sessions will include presentations by several GC and outside presenters active in the CUS field.
We will make full use of the digital affordances of the CUNY Academic Commons to extend the reach of the seminar, including developing our own public-facing blog on CUS- and CUNY-related issues (similar to the “Remaking the University” blog developed by faculty in the University of California system, which everyone in the seminar should subscribe to and read).
The course focuses on a series of key questions that have roiled American society over the last century and a half (and especially since the end of World War II) about the nature and meaning of public education:
•              What is the purpose/role of public higher education in a democratic society?
•              Is the role of public higher education solely practical (i.e., job training to assure national economic progress and individual social mobility)?
•              Or is the role of education broadly political and/or ideological (educating students for their role in a democracy and teaching them how to be critical thinkers vs. providing students with tools to help them become productive members of and advanced capitalist society)?
•              How should those who work and learn in institutions of higher education respond to efforts to transform the mission of the public university in the face of increasing uses of technology and contingent labor?
UED 75200 Cultural Praxis: Designing Research Methods in Partnership with Teachers, Children and other Field-Based Researchers R 6:30 – 8:30PM, Ferholt
This course will support students as they develop their own means of collaborating with traditionally excluded knowledge, knowers and means of knowing to develop new research methods. Students will be invited to join existing studies in which young children, artists and teachers work with researchers to design aesthetic, play-based research methods that are theoretically informed by the work of L. S. Vygotsky, a scholar of resistance, play and art; or to design similarly situated, ethical, historical methods within their own ongoing or new research projects.  We will explore the work of researchers in a variety of fields who have engaged methods of research from outside the academy, such as methods of trance, art and play, to make phenomena that may have previously appeared to be outside the purview of scientific study, available for study in their full, dynamic complexity.  This work can be situated in the following areas, amongst others: ethnographic film (Jean Rouch), preschool practice (Monica Nilsson), developmental psychology (Anna Stetsenko), creativity in early childhood (Vea Vecchi), performance studies (Dwight Conquergood), Native Science (Douglas Medin and Megan Bang) and anthropology (Edith Turner).  The foci of the class will include challenging the divide between method and object in conventional social sciences, as well bridging barriers between professions and generations in research design.

UED 75200  Community Based Research W 9:30 – 11:30 AM, Torre
UED 75200  Language, Literacies and Citizenship M 2:00-4:00 PM, Wan
In January 2019, an email from an administrator in the Duke University biostatistics program in their medical school went viral. In it, the administrator warns Chinese international students about the unintended consequences of their use of Chinese in social settings in the college’s common areas. This email (and its backlash) reflects how institutional power can be yielded at the intersection of race, language, and literacy. This class will explore such intersections with a focus on the ways literacies are used to define, restrict, confine and cultivate citizenship.

Readings will range from histories of race, civil rights, and immigration in the US, theories on literacy and citizenship, and rhetorics of institutions, public policy, and social movements in order to analyze the complexities of these moments. While US education and citizenship will be a common example in some of the readings, the course material also takes into account the transnational movement of people and the global economy, as well as questions the value, ideal, and construct of citizenship itself. Additionally, students will also be asked to interrogate their own positions as educators who work for or who hope to work for institutions. Drawing from L.A. Paperson’s A Third University is Possible, part of the work of the class will be to identify spaces where resistance and transformation are possible. Assignments will include the opportunity to practice academic genres such as an annotated bibliography, book review essays, and conference proposal/presentation. Students are encouraged to bring their own projects and interests to the class (although a specific project is not necessary), and all disciplines and specializations are invited to join.
Students will read an average of 100 pages a week and will likely be drawn from Piya Chatterjee and Sunaina Maira’s The Imperial University: Academic Repression and Scholarly Dissent, Candace Epps-Roberton’s Resisting Brown: Race, Literacy, & Citizenship in the Heart of Virginia, Haivan V. Hoang’s Writing Against Racial Injury: The Politics of Asian American Student Rhetoric, Scott Richard Lyons’s X-Marks: Native Signatures of Assent, Ersula Ore’s Lynching: Violence, Rhetoric, and American Identity, L.A. Paperson’s A Third University is Possible, Jonathan Rosa’s Looking Like a Language, Sounding Like a Race: Raciolinguistics Ideologies and the Learning of Latinidad, Kate Vieira’s American by Paper: How Documents Matter in Immigrant Literacy, Shui-Yin Sharon Yam’s Inconvenient Strangers: Transnational Subjects and the Politics of Citizenship (I am also open to suggestions, particularly those that interrogate positionalities other than the ones represented here).

See also:

HIST 78400, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Corporations, Health and Democracy, 1900 to the Present: Modern Capitalism and the Fate of Health, T 4:00-5:50 pm, Freudenberg and Markowitz
How does 21st century capitalism influence health? How has its impact on health changed since 1900?  To answer these questions, this course engages students with historical, epidemiological and sociological evidence on the impact of corporations on population health. It reviews how changes in capitalism influenced patterns of health and disease in the United States and how globalization, financialization, technological changes and neoliberalism changed how capitalism and corporations shaped living conditions. Through interdisciplinary investigations of selected products and practices, students will analyze the changing pathways and mechanisms by which corporate practices influence the well-being of consumers , workers and the environment in the United States and globally. It will also consider the roles of governance, democracy, academics, health professionals, civil society and social movements in efforts to control harmful practices.  Among the topics to be studied are the changing roles of food, pharmaceutical, health care, automobile and chemical industries on the health of  workers, consumers, communities and planetary well-being. Students write a case study of a specific industry or product.  Masters and doctoral students will have different assignments for this class. The class is open to doctoral students in public health, history, sociology, psychology, geography, political science and related disciplines and Masters students in public health, liberal studies, or related programs