WSCP 71700 – Proseminar: Multicultural/Transnational Feminisms
GCW 4:15-6:15pm, Room 6493, 3 credits, Prof. Roopali Mukherjee
This course explores the diversity and ambiguity of various feminisms through a number of frames, such as postcolonialism, reproductive rights, environmentalism/ biodiversity, NGOizing, and economic justice with particular attention paid to regional, national, and local histories and geographies.
WSCP 80801 – Major Feminist Texts
GCW 6:30-8:30pm, Room 3209, 3 credits, Prof. Sandi Cooper
[CRN 96617, cross-listed with MALS 72100]
This class will explore the recovered traditions of modern feminist thought beginning with Christine de Pizan in the fourteenth to fifteenth centuries and concluding with contemporary analyses. Occasional guest speakers will alternate with student rapporteurs during class meetings. Texts will include works by such authors as Sor Juana de la Cruz, Mary Wollstonecraft, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill, the first campaigns for women’s “emancipation,” Clara Zetkin, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Friedan as well as documents addressing issues of race, gender, class and sexual orientation arising from second wave feminism notably international feminism and human rights. Readings will be available on reserve (either in hard copy or on Blackboard) as well as in purchased texts.
WSCP 80802 – Contemporary Feminist Thought
GCT 6:30-8:30pm, Room 6114, 3 credits, Prof. Jamie Bianco
The course offers students the opportunity to explore some of the writings that have shaped feminist scholarship. The general aims of the course are, first, to explore a range of critical reflections on the experiences of women and men in terms of differences of gender, sexuality, race, class, ethnicity and nationality. Particular attention will be paid to texts that have rendered and shaped these experiences in various historical periods and various geopolitical settings. Second, the course will introduce students to the history and logics of feminist scholarship, its various epistemologies and methods, its relationship to the disciplines and to other critical approaches, and the political and theoretical claims involved. In addition, the possibilities for the future of feminist scholarship are mapped in terms of the opportunities and challenges, both local and global, that face us today.
WSCP 81000 – African American Drama
GCM 6:30-8:30pm, Room 4433, 3 credits, Prof. James L. De Jongh
[CRN 96756, cross-listed with ENGL 85500]
The focus of this seminar will be dramatic literature by African Americans since 1916. The period from 1916-1959 encompasses the black theatre of the Harlem Renaissance, the Little Theatre Movement, and the Harlem Unit of the Federal Theatre Project. The period from 1959 to the present, the major portion of the semester, will be devoted to the study of major plays and playwrights from the watershed production of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun(1959) to the recent Pulitzer Prize playTop Dog, Underdog(2001)by Suzan-Lori Parks. However,discussion will be designed to address the history and development of African American drama in the United States from its origins. We will explore the roots of African American Drama, 1751-1916 with an examination of early stage images of blacks, the nineteenth-century stage stereotypes of Minstrelsy andUncle Tom’s Cabin, and the relatively unknown initialachievements of The African Grove Theatre and the brief flourishing of black musical theatre at the end of the nineteenth century.
WSCP 81000 – Postcolonial Theory: Core and Periphery
GCW 6:30-8:30pm, Room 6300, 3 credits, Prof. Peter Hitchcock
[CRN 96759, cross-listed with ENGL 86600]
This course has two major aims: first, to introduce some of the key contributions to the emergence of postcolonial theory in the writings of Fanon, Cesaire, James, Said, Spivak, and Bhabha; second, to register and explore thought that both extends and deepens this rich tradition and to come to terms with contemporary theory that in some measure breaks with the founding principles of postcolonial knowledge in the work of Mbembe, Young, Djebar, Cheah, San Juan Jr., Lazarus, Hardt and Negri. The idea is to present both a survey of essential postcolonial theoretical texts and to provide some research avenues into the ways in which postcolonial analysis is being reconceptualized. In a sense, it is the limits of the core/periphery model (borrowed from world systems theory) that reveals an alternative matrix for inquiry. It is not too fanciful to suggest that postcolonial theory has been marked not by evolution but by involution, a process that finds the far away a good deal closer than traditional mapping would permit. This is the challenge of thinking postcolonial theory in relation to history and politics, but it also underlines new hermeneutic possibilities in the face of gestural “endism” (the end of history, the end of colonialism, the end of communism, etc.). How is postcolonialism defined by the fate of nation as a concept? Does postcolonialism linger because colonialism haunts? What elements of criticism define a postcolonial methodology? Do these influence other critical approaches? In literary studies can we speak of postcolonial genres? Does world literature supercede what we understand of postcolonial writing? These and other questions will set the scene for our discussions. We will also take up some specific literary examples to help ground our dialogue. A class presentation is expected and it is hoped that this will provide the groundwork for the required term paper.
WSCP 81000 – Flow Charts: Adventures in Postmodern Poetics
GCT 4:15-6:15pm, Room 5382, 3 credits, Prof. Wayne Koestenbaum
[CRN 96761, cross-listed with ENGL 86200,FSCP 81000 and ASCP 82000]
In this seminar, we will read book-length modern and contemporary poems (some in prose) that practice the arts of flow, accretion, spill, and spread. These experiments approach logorrhea but largely avoid it through strategies of measurement and episode. Voice, however tattered and splayed, remains the lifeboat for these utopic excursions into lyric (or post-lyric) time, where “book” behaves as storage space, as box, as tunnel, as brain, as liquid, as crystal, as diagram, as briefcase, as dump, as archive, as soap, as weather report, and as failure. Possibilities for the syllabus are Vicente Huidobro’s Altazor,Fernando Pessoa’sThe Book of Disquiet,Gertrude Stein’sStanzas in Meditation, Edmond JabPs’sThe Book of Questions,Nazim Hikmet’sHuman Landscapes,Francis Ponge’sSoap,John Wieners’s707 Scott Street,Clark Coolidge’sThe Crystal Text,Bernadette Mayer’sMidwinter Day,James Schuyler’sThe Morning of the Poem,John Ashbery’sFlow Chart,Lyn Hejinian’sMy Life,Kevin Young’sBlack Maria, and Myung Mi Kim’sDura.All these books attempt, in the words of Henri Michaux, to engage in “the constant widening of the thinkable.” (Works in French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Turkish will be read in English translation, in bilingual editions if available.) Course requirements include a final essay or poetic project.
WSCP 81000 – Experimental Selves: Modernism to Transnationalism
GCR 4:15-6:15pm, Room 8203, 3 credits, Prof. Nancy Miller
[CRN 96763, cross-listed with ENGL 87500]
“I do not know how far I differ from other people,” Virginia Woolf declares in “A Sketch of the Past.” Woolf’s perplexity summarizes the memoirist’s dilemma. In this course we will explore the process of self-discovery undertaken by writers and intellectuals for whom questions of identity and difference have required experiments in form. In addition to memoirs and essays, seminar readings will include contemporary autobiography theory and criticism. Gloria Anzaldúa, Roland Barthes, Samuel Delany, Leslie Feinberg, Maxine Hong Kinsgton, Mary McCarthy, Michael Ondaatje, Adrienne Rich, Gertrude Stein, John Wideman, Virginia Woolf.
WSCP 81000 – Colonial and Early Federal American Literature
GCW 4:15-6:15pm, Room 6494, 3 credits, Prof. David S. Reynolds
[CRN 96764, cross-listed with ENGL 75000 and ASCP 82000]
This course covers the formative phase of American literature, from early writings of exploration through Puritanism to the American Enlightenment. Among the topics considered are encounters between European settlers and ethnic “others”; the culture and aesthetics of Puritanism; the evolution of American religion; African Americans and slavery; women’s writings; shifting definitions of America; literary self-fashioning in journals and autobiographies; revolutionary writings that fueled separation from England; and the rise of American poetry and fiction. We examine the entire range of early American writings, canonical and noncanonical, with full ethnic and gender representation. Active participation in class discussion is encouraged. A 15-page term paper is required.
WSCP 81000 – Literacy and Conquests: Guns, Germs and Texts
GCR 6:30-8:30pm, Room 4422, 3 credits, Prof. Ira Shor
[CRN 96765, cross-listed with ENGL 89010]
InGuns, Germs, and Steel,Jared Diamond’s Pulitzer-prize study of why Europe conquered the world, writing and texts share the stage with the three weighty items named in the title. In fact, this immensely popular book calls writing “possibly the most important single invention of the last few thousand years.” (p. 30) Given the influence of Diamond’s arguments, his remarks on texts invite further reflection on how writing and books enable power relations. Certainly, we can speculate that without textual tools, Europe’s conquest of every continent may not have happened or have been so hugely successful. Without the weapon of writing, European societies may not have amassed such vast wealth from world domination. However, textuality does not confer uniform or universal powers. Its effect is conditional. For example, the Cherokees’ extraordinary invention of their own literate system, a unique syllabary used to publish books and newspapers in their tongue, did not save them from the Trail of Tears in 1837, their turn in an American Holocaust visited generally on Indian tribes. Elsewhere, a century later, the intense textuality of European Jews prior to World War II did not save them from the ovens of the German Holocaust. What conditions, then, make textuality consequential in the social relations of power? Further complicating the matter, while Diamond establishes the crucial role of writing and book-learning for European conquest, these same tools have been represented as instruments of liberation in diverse settings, as potent means to resist conquest. Antonio Gramsci designated “the desertion of the intelligentsia” from the status quo as a turning point in revolution. Michel Foucault identified “disqualified discourses” and “subjugated knowledges” as crucial resources for scholars to circulate in questioning authorities. Paulo Freire developed an adult literacy process which enfranchised peasants and workers in Brazil, making him the target for repression in the Washington-supported coup of April, 1964. At that same time, Ivan Illich called for informal learning networks to deschool society. In antebellum America, the South made it illegal to teach reading and writing to slaves, so fearful were plantation barons of these implements. While literacy campaigns typically accompany revolutions in modern times, literacy crises typically attend hegemonic campaigns from the Right. In contradictory ways, then, writing and texts have simultaneously been sites and instruments of domination as well as resistance. These diverging and conditional roles of textuality will preoccupy this seminar. Once carefully restricted to a royalist elite of scribes and scholars, writing and book-learning have been in mass circulation for only two centuries, with high stakes for all classes, races, and genders. Consider the ongoing efforts of the Chinese Government, Google and Microsoft to censor the emerging Internet in China and the high stakes of textuality become plain. In this course, we will explore the politics of writing and texts across groups, times, places, and conditions, reading Foucault, Bourdieau, Gramsci, Scholes, Ohmann, Graff, Lankshear, Pratt and others for background.
WSCP 81000 – Women and Learning in Early Modern Europe, 1350-1750
GCR 6:30-8:30pm, Room 8203, 3 credits, Prof. Margaret King
[CRN 96767, cross-listed with HIST 74300 and RSCP 83100]
From the fourteenth through eighteenth centuries, European women emerged from the silence of the Middle Ages to become eloquent, forceful participants in the mainstream of civilization. At first, primarily those authorized by their holiness—nuns, mystics, tertiaries, anchoresses—spoke of their visions and their mission. Then, triggered by the first publication in 1361 ofOn Famous Women by the Italian author Giovanni Boccaccio, there followed a stream of works, by both men and women, defending the targets of a misogynistic tradition embedded in the respected disciplines of law, medicine, philosophy, and theology. By the early 1500s, the availability of the print medium and the maturation of the European vernaculars permitted women authors to explore verse and prose fiction, even as thequerelle des femmes(“the debate about women”) soared to its climax in the first half of the seventeenth century. By this date, writing by women and about women had moved from periphery to center of European culture, and the major issues pertaining to women’s nature and capacity had been addressed. These were the foundations on which Mary Wollstonecraft erected her manifesto of 1792, challenging her contemporaries to recognize the due rights of woman even as the French Revolution, then still in progress, established the rights of man.
This course examines a few of the key works, originally in Latin and four European vernaculars, that trace this story. In addition to reading in common the works listed below (weekly readings will average about 100 pages), students will prepare historiographical essays (15-25 pages) based on at least six monographs (or the equivalent), or similar project with the instructor’s approval, due on the date of the scheduled final examination. Many of the assigned readings are available in inexpensive editions; the library has been asked to place all works on reserve; some smaller selections will be available on E-RES; and one work is available in full online. Online bibliographies of relevant secondary works are available on my website at
http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/history/king/BiblioWomen.htm and at http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/history/king/OVEMEBibliography.Secondary.050227.pdf. Bibliographies and course website will be updated by August 1, 2006.
WSCP 81000 – Historical Literature of the Middle East, 20th Century
GCT 6:30-8:30pm, Room 5212, 3 credits, Prof. Beth Baron
[CRN 96769, cross-listed with HIST 87900]
This course examines the historical literature of the Middle East in the twentieth century.It covers the period from World War I and the break up of the Ottoman Empire through until the end of the century.It touches on such themes as postwar revolts, colonial rule and reactions, gender and nationalist movements, 1948 and partition, sectarianism and the state, social revolution, authoritarianism, oil and development, and Islamic political movements.
WSCP 81000 – Sexuality’s Century: Europe and the U.S., 1900-2000
GCT 4:15-6:15pm, Room 3305, 3 credits, Prof. Dagmar Herzog
[CRN 96770, cross-listed with HIST 70900]
In the twentieth century, sex became ever more central to individual identity. The growing interest—and success—in controlling fertility changed heterosexual experiences, albeit in often contradictory ways. At the same time, the growing professionalization of research into sex—in dialectical interaction with the self-representations of sexual minorities—generated an intensifying preoccupation with questions of sexual orientation. Throughout the twentieth century, sexual matters also acquired growing political salience. Sexuality became a key element in processes of secularization and religious renewal, a main motor of commercial development, and a locus of increasing government-citizen negotiation (whether in courtrooms, classrooms, military brothels, government-funded maternal welfare or marital guidance clinics, or street demonstrations). In a constantly reconfigured combination of stimulus and regulation, prohibition and exposure, norm-expounding and obsessed detailing of deviance, liberalizing and repressive impulses together worked to make conflicts over sexual matters consequential for politics writ large. More recently, however, scholars have argued that under the impact of psychopharmacology and internet porn, the era of sexuality—as the twentieth century understood it—may now be behind us.
This course will use the subject of sexuality as a focus for thinking through broader challenges facing historians. Among other things, we will emphasize the epistemological problems raised by the topic: What exactly are the relationships between ideologies, social conditions, bodies, and emotions, and how might the operation of these relationships have changed over time? How can we use the tools of comparative history (including comparisons between European nations and between Europe and the U.S.) in order to find more compelling answers to difficult questions of causation, periodization, and interpretation? After all, what drives historical change in this realm that is at once so intimate and so publicly scrutinized? Is it market forces and technological advances, or the party-political balance of power within governments? Do shifting popular values lead to pressure for legal change, or is it vice versa? How important are individual activists for sparking society-wide transformations? How important are scandals? What explains the revival of sexual conservatism within both Islam and Christianity in recent years? We will read up-to-date and classic scholarship as well as primary documents on subjects ranging from same-sex relations to contraception, sex radicalism to disability rights, abortion to sex education, domesticity to pornography, and will cover countries from Scandinavia and Britain to the Netherlands, Germany, France, and Italy to the Soviet Union and the U.S. Requirements include one short critical review, one pedagogy assignment, and one longer research paper based on primary materials.
WSCP 81000 – World War I and Modernist Culture
GCW 4:15-6:15pm,Room 6421, 3 credits, Profs. Jane Marcus and Sandi Cooper
[CRN 96766, cross-listed with IDS 81630]
Beginning with a review of current historical scholarship analyzing World War I from all aspects—political, military, socio-economic, psychological, cultural—the course will then explore specific texts that address the formation of modernist consciousness, the effect of that address, the formation of modernist consciousness, the effect of the change of warfare into an anti-civilian activity and the impact of the war on literary and cultural production. If World War I was the beginning of the Thirty Years’ War of the twentieth century—a growing commonplace among historians—then what is the permanent role of the war narrative in contemporary culture? The importance of the global memory of the war in fiction, memoir and historical writing will address this question.
WSCP 81000 – Gender and Public Policy
GCW 4:15-6:15pm, Room 3306, 3 credits, Prof. Joyce Gelb
[CRN 96773, cross-listed with PSC 82503]
This course will compare the how systems of representation and participation in the
United States and other selected democratic nations (to be drawn from Britain, the Scandinavian countries, Canada, France and Japan, although this is not an exclusive list) affect women's political options and opportunities. Women's political role and impact will be analyzed through examination of electoral and social movement/interest group politics, as well as assessment of structures of local and national policy making within the nation-states. Readings and discussion will also address the emerging impact of transnational feminism and changing international gender equity norms on national policies. Which political systems appear most "women friendly"; are there rules changes which foster a greater role for women in politics and policy making? While the course focus is on gender, students with an interest in the political inclusion of other marginal groups (racial, ethnic et al) are encouraged to join the class as well. Students are also welcome to suggest other nations to analyze, expanding the course focus. The class structure is seminar style. Students will prepare a review of the role of women in politics in one nation of their choice, write a paper on the topic, and make a class presentation. Course reading will include Mazur on Comparative Feminist Policy, Keck and Sikkink on Activism Beyond Borders, and Klausen and Maier on Has Liberalism Failed Women.
WSCP 81000 – Advanced Qualitative/Ethnographic Analysis (Fieldnotes, Interviewing, and
GCW 2:00-4:00pm, Room 6494, 3 credits, Prof. Setha M. Low
[CRN 96778, cross-listed with PSY 80100]
I will cover all of these methods and their analysis in a sequence, so that those of you who want to take only interviewing can attend for the four weeks and claim one unit of credit. Those of you who want to take fieldnotes will also be able to take just this segment for one unit, and those who want just the data analysis (which means that you have data already collected to work on), will be able to just take the final six weeks. For students who would like to work on their qualitative skills for a full semester, you will be able to enroll for three credits and take the entire course. **All students interested must attend the first class and register so that I will have adequate enrollment to carry the course. I will also need to know what you want to take to organize the syllabus.**
WSCP 81000 – Social (In)Justice
GCM 11:45am-1:45pm, Room 6114, 3 credits, Prof. Michelle Fine
[CRN 96779, cross-listed with PSY 80103]
Students will be expected to read broadly and deeply the psychological, anthropological and sociological literatures on experiences and perceptions of social injustice. Students engage in writing two major pieces for the course: an intellectual autobiography around an idea that compels them through the readings, and a short fictional story written from a situated perspective in the midst of conditions of injustice (e.g., perspective of privilege, intersectionality). Readings bridge across critical theory, feminist theory, queer theory and critical race theory. Conversation with the instructor preferred prior to enrollment.
WSCP 81000 – Stress, Coping, Trauma and Resilience
GCR 9:30-11:30am, Room 6114, 3 credits, Prof. Tracey A. Revenson
[CRN 96780, cross-listed with PSY 80103]
In 1962, a seminal, observational study of adjustment to chronic disease appeared in the Archives of General Psychiatry (Visotsky, Hamburg, Goss, & Lebovits, 1962). Its authors posed questions regarding adjustment to polio that continue to stimulate research today: "How is it possible to deal with such powerful, pervasive, and enduring stresses as are involved in severe polio? What are the types of coping behavior that contribute to favorable outcomes?" (p. 28). Four decades later, theoretical and empirical consideration of these questions have produced multifaceted conceptualizations of adjustment, theoretical frameworks for understanding determinants of adjustment, and empirical evidence regarding factors that contribute to untoward or favorable outcomes. The seminar focuses on the intersections among the constructs of stress, coping, trauma, and resilience (or positive adaptational outcomes)—in particular, those theories that provide clues on those factors that enhance adaptation. We will explore how stress affects psychological functioning and physical health, and the interpersonal and environmental resources that individuals and communities draw upon to cope with stress/trauma. Historically, in psychology, we have focused almost on negative health and mental health consequences of stress and trauma. But what factors allow individuals, communities, and societies to flourish in the face of stress/trauma?
To answer these questions, we will read the literature while focusing on several areas—the terrorist events of 9/11, the experience of cancer, and loss and bereavement. Although this is not a clinical course, our study will include some research on psychosocial interventions designed to minimize the impact of trauma.
WSCP 81000 – Social Construction of Identity
GCW 4:15-6:15pm, Room 6114, 3 credits,Profs. Cynthia Fuchs Epstein and Kay
[CRN 96775, cross-listed with SOC 86800 and PSY 80103]
Various theories (e.g, sociological, social psychological, and psychodynamic) offer interpretations of the ways in which people’s identities are formed. In this course, we will focus on thesocial determinants of identity formation. We will explore the social construction of identity, as a dynamic process of individual negotiation and as a culturally and politically shaped phenomenon. In the course we will acknowledge the multiplicity of identities that people construct and experience in post-industrial society—aspects of self that include gender, race and ethnicity, nationality, class, and sexual orientation. In considering these various sources of identity definition and the ways in which they may be interdependent, we will also deal with topics such as biculturalism, intersectionality, and transnational identities.
Using research across a number of disciplines, as well as literary sources, we will consider how the public world of social institutions, such as family, religion, work organizations, and political spheres, connect with individuals’ notions of “who they are” and what they may become. We will also ask how, as social scientists, we can assess these processes and bring some new perspectives to the understanding of identity. Included in the course will be discussions of the historical foundations of the study of self and identity, the development and change of social identities, organizational practices and policies as they impact on individual identity, the impact of social movements, an analysis of immigration as it presents a context for identity modification, and the more general influences of popular culture.
WSCP 81000 – Issues in Soc Theory: Foucault and State Racism
GC R 4:15-6:15pm, Room 6421, 3 credits, Prof. Patricia T. Clough
[CRN 96777, cross-listed with SOC 80000]
Beginning with Foucault’sHistory of Sexuality andSociety Must be Defended, we will explore the relationship of racism to sociality at this time and in multiple locations of the world, while focusing on the continuities and discontinuities between colonialism and neocolonialism, slavery and affective labor, settlement and diaspora, subject identities and bodies, and macro and molecular organizations of populations. There will be a consideration of the way in which recent thinking about the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality and nation is insufficient for addressing the current situations of racial oppressions, and may in fact, when appropriated in neoliberal reform, function to elaborate and justify new forms of violence, terror and bodily subjection. Our consideration of racism and sociality therefore is drawn to explore current expressions of racism that function in contemporary political economies of life and death that extend beyond the individual subject or human organism, not only to populations or species, but also to the sub-individual or the molecular, pointing therefore to a capital accumulation in the domain of life itself. We will also examine the way governance engages racism in assisting this accumulation making ready the production of surplus value through securitizing the life and health of some populations and the morbidity and death of others. We will take as our case studies: mass criminalization, migration and war, and counter/terrorism. We will also explore the current deployment of the discourses of biotechnology, scientific-medical practices, informatics, genetics, and bio-prospecting in order to rethink bodily matter—its materiality, its technicity, its ontologies—in relationship to racism. Finally we will outline what changes in methodology are necessary to grasp sociality now.
WSCP 81000 – Empire, Torture, and Identity
GCR 6:30-8:30pm, Room 6114, 3 credits, Prof. Marnia Lazreg
[CRN 97582, cross-listed with SOC 82800]
In the past few years, a revisionist history of colonialism has emerged. European colonial history is presented in a positive light and often contrasted with negative assessments of post-colonial societies. At the same time, immigrant communities from former colonies have been the targets of increased violence and find it difficult to be integrated in Europe and North America. Concomitantly, the Afghan and Iraq wars have revealed treatments of prisoners strikingly similar to those used in the nineteenth century by colonial powers. Torture has been used by the U.S. Army and its allies; it is also subcontracted to friendly countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Morocco. This has been accompanied by a revival of interest, especially among military authorities, in the Algerian War.
The Algerian War (1954-1962) was characterized by the use of systematic torture and a massive psychological campaign featuring propaganda and brain-washing. In justifying their methods, French officers, many of whom were veterans of the Viet Nam War, claimed to be rescuing France and Europe from a Communist conspiracy, and saving the lives of innocent people from terrorist attacks staged by the nationalists. Taking the Algerian War as a case study, this course examines from a historical perspective the process through which torture became a war imperative. It assesses its professionalization; intellectual and religious justifications; gendered methods; practitioners; the sites of its application; and its psychological, political, as well as military consequences. Torture will be used as a category of analysis through which to understand the process of imperial identity construction, the significance of “civilization” as an ideology of psychological immunization against empathy with the tortured, the development of a population control policy that uprooted over two million villagers, and the transformation of a professional army into bands of (counter-) guerillas. Special attention will be given to the sociological and psychological theories used by French military strategists in formulating a doctrine that informed the systematic use of torture and brainwashing. In addition, the political and legal institutional frameworks within which torture took place will be described.
Although focused on Algeria, the course will make comparisons with the British Empire’s methods of fighting “insurgency” in Kenya and with the U.S. military action in Iraq. The course will draw on military archives, veterans’ diaries and confessions, memoirs of survivors of torture as well as those of military advocates of a “total war.” The works of a broad range of social theorists and leading figures in the humanities will be discussed, including Pierre Vidal-Naquet, Henri Alleg, Pierre-Henri Simon, Jean-Paul Sartre, Frantz Fanon, Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvoir, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Elaine Scarry, Peter Paret, and Mark Danner. The film,The Battle of Algiers, will be viewed to analyze representations of the war and torture. At least one more film made by French cinematographers will also be used for comparative purposes. Students will be expected to become fluent in theories of empire, and the use of sociological and psychological theories by military strategists to conduct total wars of “counter-insurgency.” Class presentations and a term paper will be required. This course is geared to students with interests in theory, colonial empires, psychology, gender, and political sociology.
WSCP 81000 – Sociology of Bodies
GCT 6:30-8:30pm, Room 6421, 3 credits, Prof. Victoria Pitts
[CRN 96776, cross-listed with SOC 86800]
The purpose of this course is to identify the “social body,” or the body as seen from sociological and cultural perspectives, and to examine its centrality in contemporary social life. The course texts describe the emergence of a post-essentialist, post-biological view of the body—a body that is not determined by biology or genetics, but is instead constructed, malleable, or influenced by social and cultural factors. We will link this emergence to broad shifts in social thinking, economics, politics, and culture in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries (as well as some earlier shifts linked to the Enlightenment). Because the biological view is more highly valued in a medicalized society than the other, this course highlights the richness of a social view of the body, which, of course, complicates purely biological views. We examine important themes that a sociology of the body is pressed to consider, including with its response to medicine and its relationship to medical sociology, the body’s relationship to law, and including issues raised by feminism and postmodernism, consumer culture, race and racialization, postcolonialism, technology and culture.
WSCP 81000 – Social Welfare Policy and Planning I
HT 2:00-4:00pm, Room TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Mimi Abramovitz
[CRN 96781, cross-listed with SSW 71000]
Permission of instructor required
This course is an advanced introduction to social welfare policy in the United States. It reviews the history of the U.S. welfare state, contemporary social welfare policies, forces contributing to the expansion and contraction of the welfare state, and alternate welfare state models. It develops a framework for analyzing social welfare policy and the skills for critical analysis. Special attention is paid to dynamics of race, gender and class and to feminist theories of the welfare state.