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Courses

ANTH 80900/CL 85000 Existentialism/Phenomenology: Philosophy, Literature and Critique
Prof. Vincent Crapanzano Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [25255]

ANTH 81200 Internationalism/Cosmopolitanism/Justice
Prof. Gary Wilder Thursdays 11:45-1:15 [25146]

ART 70000 Methods of Research: Readings in the History of Art
Prof. Romy Golan Wednesdays 11:45-1:45 [25085]

ART 76020 Paris as Gameboard
Prof. Romy Golan Thursdays 11:45-1:45 [25087]

ART 76040 The Readymade
Prof. David Joselit Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [25014]

ART 83000 Thingness and Materiality in Medieval Objects
Prof. Cynthia Hahn Tuesdays 11:45-1:45 [25093]

CL 89100 History of Literary Theory and Criticism I
Prof. Monica Calabritto Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [25253]

CL 80100/HIST 72400/ PSC 71902 The Outcome of Classical German Philosophy: From Hegel-Adorno
Prof. Richard Wolin Mondays 4:15-6:15 [25278]
 
CL 89000 Historicism and Post-Historicism: Benjamin/Auerbach: Origins and Legacies
Prof. Martin Elsky Mondays 6:30-8:30 [25280]

CL 88500 Antonioni and Fellini:  The Challenge of Post Modernist Cinema
Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi Tuesdays 6:30-10:00 [25257]

ENGL 86600 Postcolonial Globality: On the Speed of Place
Prof. Peter Hitchcock Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [25036]

ENGL 80200. ‘Thinking without Thinking:’ Cognition Theory and the Novel
Prof. Gerhard Joseph Fridays 11:45-1:45 [25446]

ENGL 85500 Theorizing the African Diaspora
Prof. Robert Reid-Pharr Thursdays 2:00-4:00 [25040]

ENGL 79010 Speaking Truth to Power: Discourses of Domination and Resistance
Prof. Ira Shor Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 [25044]

FREN 87100 Human Rights and Critical Theory
Prof. Domna Stanton Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [25119]

Hist. 71000 /PSC 71901 The Politics of the Enlightenment
Prof. Helena Rosenblatt Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [25185]

PHIL 76100 Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment
Prof. Thomas Teufel Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [25284]

PSC 80302 Biopolitics
Prof. Paisley Currah Mondays 2:00-4:00 [25656]

PSC 80301 Critical Reason: The Basics
Prof. Susan Buck-Morss Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [25613]

PSC 80304 Modern Political Thought
Prof. Uday Mehta Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [25619]

PSC 80303 The Political Theory of Capitalism
Prof. Corey Robin Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [25621]

PSYC 80103 Liberation: Social and Community Psychology
Prof. Roderick Watts Mondays 2:00-4:00 [25593]

PSYC 80103 Communities and Environmental Change
Prof. Melissa Checker Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [25603]

SOC 80000 Bodies, Media, and Sociality
Prof. Patricia Clough Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [25327]

SOC 80101 The Origins of Capitalism: Comparative-Historical Sociology
Prof. Charles Post Mondays 6:30-8:30 [25365]

SOC 84001 Race and Social Class in US History
Prof. Stanley Aronowitz Thursdays, 4:15-6:15 [25344]

THEA 80300 Heeding the Ordinary: Theatre History as Microhistory
Prof. Amy Hughes Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15 [25108]

THEA 81300 Theatre and Related Performing Arts:  Performance and the State
Prof. Sara Brady Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [25110]

U ED. 75100 New Media Literacy
Prof. Mark Zuss Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 [25424]



ANTH 80900/CL 85000 Existentialism/Phenomenology: Philosophy, Literature and Critique
Prof. Vincent Crapanzano Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [25255]

This seminar will be devoted to readings in the philosophy, literature, and literary criticism influenced by phenomenology and existentialism. We will consider such questions as intentionality of consciousness, the priority of consciousness over existence or existence over consciousness, other minds, being/Being, nonbeing, bad faith, guilt, freedom, commitment, ethical responsibility, care, and despair. Particular attention will be given to the problem of language in phenomenological description and existential hermeneutics.  Readings will include selections from Husserl, Sartre, Heidegger, Binswanger, and Merleau-Ponty, Bachelard, and Poulet as well as (but not limited to) novels by Blanchot, Sartre, Sarraute, Camus, and Robbe-Grillet.” Students will be encouraged to consider the relationship between phenomenology, existentialism and social and cultural description.


ANTH 81200 Internationalism/Cosmopolitanism/Justice
Prof. Gary Wilder Thursdays 11:45-1:15 [25146]

This course will examine past and present efforts, both progressive and regressive, to envision and organize supranational forms of freedom, democracy, justice, and solidarity, along with efforts to separate the promise of self-determination from assumptions about state sovereignty. Readings will be drawn from philosophy, political theory, international law, history, and social science. They will include some combination of the following: theoretical reflections on cosmopolitanism and the challenge of global justice such as those by Kant, Proudhon, Mazzini, Arendt, Jaspers, Jacuqes Maritain, Jacques Derrida, Paul Ricouer, Jean-Luc Nancy, Jurgen Habermas, Ulrich Beck, Etienne Balibar, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Anthony Appiah, and Judith Butler; works on actual cosmopolitan formations such as Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker, Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutioary Atlanti,  Benedict Anderson, Under Three Flags, Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination, Paul Gilroy, The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness, Brent Edwards, The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation and the Rise of Black Internationalism, Christopher J. Lee, Making a World After Empire: The Bandung Moment and Its Political Afterlives, Aihwa Ong, Flexible Citizenship: The Cultural Logics of Transnationality; criticism of cosmopolitanism, human rights, humanitarianism, just war, global governance, international law, and the liberal internationalism institutionalized in the League of Nations and the United Nations such as in Carl Schmitt, The Nomos of the Earth in the International Law of Jus Publicum Europeaum, and in works by Richard Tuck, Anthony Anghie, Mark Mazower, Erez Manela, Neil Smith, Talal Asad, Samuel Moyn, Didier Fassin, Pheng Cheah, David Kennedy, Nathaniel Berman, Gary Bass, and Kamari Clarke. It may also include recent writings about legal pluralism, global constitutionalism, and cosmopolitan democracy by scholars such as Gunther Teubner, Nico Krisch, David Held, Daniele Archibuji, Richard Falk, and Jean L. Cohn.


ART 70000 Methods of Research: Readings in the History of Art
Prof. Romy Golan Wednesdays 11:45-1:45 [25085]

This course will focus on readings in the history of art, looking at theoretical questions internal to the discipline such as: the becoming historical of art, the concept of Kunstwollen vs. the vicissitudes of style, aura vs. reproduction, intermediality, post-colonialism and cultural difference, time-warps vs. timelines, biennials and globalization, the blurring between art history and art criticism.

Requirements: weekly assigned readings, short weekly papers for class discussion.
Preliminary reading:
•    Martin Heidegger, “The origin of the work of art” (1935)


ART 76020 Paris as Gameboard
Prof. Romy Golan Thursdays 11:45-1:45 [25087]

Walter Benjamin’s reflections on Paris as the "Capital of the Nineteenth Century" were formulated during the interwar years of the twentieth century.  In many ways the spatial tropes he brought to bear on the visual culture of the nineteenth century equally shape our thinking about twentieth-century Paris. This course will examine Paris as a site of profane illuminations, urban drift, word fair spectacle, transmediality, outmoded spaces, psychogeographies, techno-utopias, and revolution from 1900 to 1968.

Requirements: weekly assigned readings, mid-term and final exams.
Preliminary reading:
•    Andre Breton, Nadja, 1928


ART 76040 The Readymade
Prof. David Joselit Tuesdays 2:00-4:00
[25104]
Since its invention in 1913 by Marcel Duchamp, the readymade has become a fundamental strategy in modern and contemporary art.  This class will consider the various forms it has taken from the early 20th century to the present in light of significant critical theories of objects and objectivities.  Not only will we consider how the readymade has figured importantly in the history of western art—from Duchamp through Sherrie Levine—but we will also address how it functions as one of the most important strategies in global contemporary art, where artists from around the world, ranging from Song Dong in China to Abraham Cruzvillegas in Mexico make use of “local” readymades in an international context.  Our genealogy of the readymade will be paralleled by theoretical readings drawn from important post-structuralist, post-modern and post-colonial thinkers, as well as recent challenges to the nature of objectivity posed by Speculative Realism.


ART 83000 Thingness and Materiality in Medieval Objects
Prof. Cynthia Hahn Tuesdays 11:45-1:45 [25093]

Art history has returned to the object and "materiality" with enthusiasm. Nevertheless, our approach to the object is not/cannot be unmediated.   This course will explore medieval materiality through the use of "Thing Theory," a multi-disciplinary consideration that will include the "social life of things," philosophy's "speculative realism," and historical investigations of matter and material.  We will read Appadurai, Bynum, Harman, and others. Students will choose an object or group of objects to re-vision using these methodological approaches, examples might include reliquaries and other art objects of "use" from the Middle Ages (or other eras with permission).

Preliminary Readings:
•    Bryant, Levi, Nick Srnicek, and Graham Harman, eds. The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism. Victoria, Australia: re.press, 2011.

•    Bynum, Caroline. Christian Materiality: an Essay on Religion in Late Medieval Europe, New York: Zone Books, 2011.


CL 89100 History of Literary Theory and Criticism I
Prof. Monica Calabritto Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [25253]

With readings from Plato, Aristotle, and Longinus to Dante, Sidney, Boileau, Dryden, and Lessing, this course will examine the history and evolution of literary theory in the classical, medieval, and early modern periods. It will also examine such fundamental terms as truth, beauty, nature, and artifact with which pre-Romantic Western critics have attempted to understand literary works of art. This course will also explore the legacy and limitations of these and other terms and their impact on criticism today.


CL 80100/HIST 72400/ PSC 71902 The Outcome of Classical German Philosophy: From Hegel-Adorno
Prof. Richard Wolin Mondays 4:15-6:15 [25278]

In 1886, Friedrich Engels wrote a perfectly mediocre book, Ludwig Feuerbach and the Outcome of Classical German Philosophy, which nevertheless managed to raise a fascinating and important question that is still being vigorously debated today: how should we go about evaluating the legacy of German Idealism following the mid-nineteenth century breakdown of the Hegelian system? For Engels, the answer was relatively simple: the rightful heir of classical German philosophy was Marx’s doctrine of historical materialism. But, in truth, Engels’ response was merely one of many possible approaches. Nor would it be much of an exaggeration to claim that, in the twentieth-century, there is hardly a thinker worth reading who has not sought to define him or herself via a confrontation with the heritage of Kant and Hegel.   Our approach to this extremely rich material will combine a reading of the canonical texts of German Idealism (e.g., Kant and Hegel) with a sustained and complementary focus on major twentieth-century thinkers who have sought to establish their originality via a critical reading of Hegel and his heirs: Alexandre Kojève, Georges Bataille, Jean Hyppolite, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Theodor Adorno, and Jürgen Habermas. But we will also seek acknowledge the importance of the contemporary North American Hegel renaissance, as exemplified by the work of philosophers such as Robert Pippin, Michael Forster, Terry Pinkard, and Allen Wood.  In his “Discourse on Language” Foucault warns us appositely that, “Truly to escape Hegel involves an exact appreciation of the price we have to pay to detach ourselves from him. It assumes that we are aware of the extent to which Hegel, insidiously perhaps, is close to us; it implies a knowledge that permits us to think against Hegel, of that which remains Hegelian. Thus we have to determine the extent to which our anti-Hegelianism is possibly one of his tricks directed against us, at the end of which he stands, motionless, waiting for us.” Foucault’s insightful caveat will, in many respects, function as our interpretive watchword as we seek to decode and reconstruct the legacy of German Idealism and its most significant contemporary heirs.
 

CL 89000 Historicism and Post-Historicism: Benjamin/Auerbach: Origins and Legacies
Prof. Martin Elsky Mondays 6:30-8:30 [25280]

This course takes as its starting point the friendship and mutual influence of Walter Benjamin and Erich Auerbach, which reached its full intensity during a time of political extremes in the 30s when they were both in the process of fleeing fascist Europe. They each embodied radically different critical styles and approaches to history that converged in their shared experience. We will examine these two critical traditions and their transformation in the Benjamin-Auerbach relationship during European crisis and collapse, as illustrated by their antithesis, Charles Maurras.  1) We will read Auerbach’s Mimesis and his formative essays (now made available in translation for the first time) in light of the philological-historical tradition he inherited from Hegel, Vico, and Taine; we will consider the rise of historical thinking about literature in the service of empire, nation, and religious ideology.  2) We will read Benjamin on criticism and allegory, as well as the Arcades Project in the tradition of counter-philology, with special attention to his introduction of a new kind of temporality; we will consider his work in light of the anti-historicism which began with Nietzsche’s campaign against philology and its influence among his academic followers. 3) The course will conclude with the current incarnation of these issues in the debate between historicism and post-historicism in transnational literary theory and the movement towards Presentism. Readings will include selections from Agamben, Bhabha, Casanova, and recent theorists of Presentism.


CL 88500 Antonioni and Fellini:  The Challenge of Post Modernist Cinema
Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi Tuesdays 6:30-10:00 [25257]

This course will juxtapose the rich and complex film production of two Italian auteurs, Federico Fellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. While Fellini and Antonioni’s films differ in style, narrative preference, and political orientation, they evidence a common self-reflexive concern for the relationship of cinematic images, sounds, and stories. Neorealism will serve as a starting point for an analysis of Fellini’s postmodern negotiation of autobiographical surrealism as well as Antonioni’s peculiar reframing of cinematic modernism.  This course will analyze Antonioni and Fellini’s most important films, placing their work in (film) historical contexts, and theorizing their interest in the aesthetics of cinematic representation and the politics of storytelling. Students will be asked to watch 2 movies a week, one in class and one at home, so that by the end of the course they will be familiar with the majority of these filmmakers’ work.  Films to be screened include:  Story of a Love Affair (Antonioni, 1950), La Signora Senza Camelie (Antonioni, 1953), The Vanquished (Antonioni, 1953), Love in the City (Antonioni/Fellini, 1953), Le Amiche (Antonioni, 1955), Il Grido (Antonioni, 1957), L’Avventura (Antonioni, 1960), La Notte (Antonioni, 1961), L’Eclisse (Antonioni, 1962), Red Desert (Antonioni, 1964), Blowup (Antonioni, 1966), Zabriskie Point (Antonioni, 1970), The Passenger (Antonioni, 1975), Beyond the Clouds (Antonioni, 1995), Eros (Antonioni, 2004), The White Sheik (Fellini, 1952), I Vitelloni (Fellini, 1953), La Strada (Fellini, 1954), Il Bidone (Fellini, 1955), Nights of Cabiria (Fellini, 1957), La Dolce Vita (Fellini, 1960), 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963), Juliet of the Spirits (Fellini, 1965), Satyricon (Fellini, 1969), Roma (Fellini, 1972), Amarcord (Fellini, 1973), Orchestra Rehearsal (Fellini, 1978), And the Ship Sails On (Fellini, 1983), Ginger and Fred (Fellini, 1986). The course will be conducted in English and all films will be screened with English subtitles


ENGL 86600 Postcolonial Globality: On the Speed of Place
Prof. Peter Hitchcock Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [25036]

Theorists have long attempted to unravel the vexed imbrication of postcolonialism with globalization.  On the one hand, the West’s desire to be “at home in the world” (often expressed as imperialism) linked global forces of trade and politics to a colonial episteme; on the other hand, globalization tout court has also spurred vibrant forms of critical transnationalism and new ways to understand cultures of migration and diaspora.  Rather than read these contexts and contacts as binaries for cultural critique, this course will examine how postcolonialism destabilizes from within the normative and by all means hegemonic assumptions of globalization.


ENGL 80200. ‘Thinking without Thinking:’ Cognition Theory and the Novel
Prof. Gerhard Joseph Fridays 11:45-1:45 [25446]

This course will look at the Victorian Mind/Brain problem as “conscious”/ “unconscious cerebration” (Frances Power Cobb, William Carpenter as representative anticipators of Freud) in four kinds of works: 1) the commentary on mind in Victorian “physiological psychology” by the Victorians themselves (Alexander Bain, G.H. Lewes, Herbert Spencer), 2) 21st-century characterization of Victorian to Modern Cognition (George Levine, Rick Rylance, Amanda Anderson, Nicholas Dames, Virginia Ryan), 3) recent neuro-aesthetic applications of a Victorian theory of mind and our reading of that theory (Kay Young and Lisa Zunshine)  and 4) cognitive cultural theory run-throughs of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda, Wilkie Collins’ The Moonstone, Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Albert Camus’ The Stranger, and Richard Powers’ The Echo Maker. Requirements: an oral report and a term paper.


ENGL 85500 Theorizing the African Diaspora
Prof. Robert Reid-Pharr Thursdays 2:00-4:00 [25040]

This seminar will introduce students to some of the more significant critical and theoretical trends within African Diaspora Studies. Participants will be expected both to develop sophisticated understandings of the history of the African Diaspora as well as to understand the complex issues of identity and aesthetics that attend that history.  Students will do in-class presentations and will write a series of short papers. Texts that we will examine include: V.Y. Mudimbe, The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge; Aime Ceasire, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land; Aime Cesaire, Discourse on Colonialism; Michael Gomez: Reversing Sail: A History of the African Diaspora; Michele M. Wright, Being Black: Creating Identity in the African Diaspora; Sarah Nuttall, ed., Beautiful/Ugly: African and Diaspora Aesthetics; Isidore Okpewho and Nkiru Nzegwu, The New African Diaspora; Michel Rolph-Trouillot, Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History; Richard Price, The Convict and the Colonel; and Edouard Glissant, Poetics of Relation.


ENGL 79010 Speaking Truth to Power: Discourses of Domination and Resistance
Prof. Ira Shor Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 [25044]

With a new populist Mayor, New York City may see changes to its runaway inequality and feeble democracy. Can Mayor DeBlasio reverse the triumph of the billionaires? One lens through which to watch the evolving conflict is the domain of rhetoric and discourse. Certainly, many things will signal ups and downs in this class and race war; but, rhetoric and discourse are consequential tools for all sides. The success of democratic reform will depend on them. This is so because any egalitarian leader facing entrenched oligarchy can advance only by the force of mass activism from the bottom up; countless bodies of average people filling public squares are the best counter-weight against the formidable mountains of money blocking the way; a mass counter-weight to great wealth can only be rallied through discourses which inspire and lead conquered people to fight against plutocrats for the public good. This fight will take many forms, but one form will be a rhetorical contest between discourses of domination and discourses of opposition.

Discourses are specific acts of communication through which rhetors move receivers to see things a certain way, to prefer these ways of knowing and doing rather than those. Discourses flood everyday life with meanings that develop habits, preferences, perceptions, allegiances, and orientations (Bourdieu’s notion of “habitus”). The dense discourses of daily life can shape people in certain directions because human communication is inherently “suasive” (according to Kenneth Burke, Jerome Bruner, and Michel Foucault). Discourse, then, is a material force through which human subjects are socially constructed. Through discourse, we are acted upon and act on ourselves, on others, and on the conditions we are in. Ideology is the component of discourse which achieves this shaping effect on human subjects and social sites, through a process sometimes called interpellation (Althusser). Ideology in discourse achieves its formative impact by representing to us what is good, what is possible, and what exists(as Goran Therborn explains this process).    

Rhetoric emerged as a persuasive practice 2500 years ago in the “civic assembly” or agora of ancient Athens, a “town hall” open only to the male citizens of that city-state. Rhetoric still functions as a tool-kit of techniques for composing discourses to effect our intentions and to affect our listeners and environs. One kind of rhetoric, “speaking truth to power,” appeared in ancient Athens as “parrhesia”(“fearless speech” according to Foucault, or “speaking truth to power” or “truth-telling”).

This seminar will examine rhetoric and discourse vis a vis power relations in society. How does rhetoric manage the composition of discourses and how does discourse manage the composition of human subjects and society? Dominant rhetorics guide the composing of discourses through which compliant human subjects are interpellated; dissident rhetorics guide the composing of opposition discourses for developing critical human subjects. One is a tool of the status quo; the other a tool of transformation. As Kenyan playwright Ngugi Wa’Thiongo pictured Europe’s conquest of Africa, he wrote that “the night of the sword was followed by the morning of the chalkboard”—guns defeated the natives and created imperial possibilities which were consolidated by rhetoric and discourse (in this case colonial education and European languages). In our town and time, a disfavored populist surprisingly won at the polls, creating an opening to the left which rhetoric and discourse may yet consolidate.      

Readings: Foucault (Society Must Be Defended; Discipline and Punish; Fearless Speech), Bourdieu(Distinction; Language as Symbolic Action), Scott (Domination and the Arts of Resistance; Thinking Like a State), Pratt(“Arts of the Contact Zone”), Therborn(The Ideology of Power); Hardt/Negri (Declaration); Chomsky(Understanding Power); Ngugi Wa’Thiongo, Decolonizing the Mind; plus other sources.


FREN 87100 Human Rights and Critical Theory
Prof. Domna Stanton Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [25119]

This course aims to grapple with the problematics of human rights praxis (discourse and activism) from the perspective of post-enlightenment critical and literary theory. It both recognizes the crucial importance of the human rights movement and it examines its blind spots and exposes the need – and questions the possibility-- of its re-formation, even as some are predicting this regime's "end." Can human rights become an openly progressive political movement?; or will it be further eroded by its claimed "neutralism" and its complicity with global capitalism?

Starting with a close, critical reading of the major human rights documents, the course will be organized into two parts. A first part will focus on enlightenment notions of human rights (including Kant, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Declaration of the Rights of Women) and their critique in Arendt, Lyotard, Rorty and Derrida. It will involve a rapid historical overview to 1950 (including imperial humanitarianism and the civilizing mission) and close with discussions of the current impasse in human rights in political terms (Feher, Hopgood) and in global economic terms (Cheah). We will then tackle a series of problems with the help of particular theorists: the universal vs the local divide; the question of the human in human rights; and the claims that women’s, gay/queer and transgender rights are human rights.

In the second half of the course, we will look more closely at ways we can read/analyze critically human rights discourse and stories (Nussbaum, Appiah), in, for example, traumatic testimonials (Felman), life-writing (Smith) and the bildung (Slaughter); in news reports, popular culture and the new media in the United States (Solomon, Volpp); and in globally circulated visual images (eg of and by the children of Darfur; and the Abu Graib images and the spectacle of suffering [Butler]).

Work for the semester includes: close reading and class participation; an oral presentation on mediatic representations of an individually chosen current human rights issue; a final paper on a topic selected in consultation with the instructor (this will lead to submitting a thesis statement, an outline, and a final draft [a first draft is optional]; and a final take-home exam.

Classes will be conducted in English, which will also be the language of the written work. Readings will mostly be in English, and any texts first written in French, for instance, will appear in that language in the course pack with accompanying translations in English.

The course pack will be uploaded through the Graduate Center portal before the beginning of the fall term.


Hist. 71000 /PSC 71901 The Politics of the Enlightenment
Prof. Helena Rosenblatt Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [25185]

Since the mid 20th century, the Enlightenment has been under attack for a variety of purported sins, including Eurocentrism, imperialism, racism, sexism, and proto-totalitarianism. In fact, Enlightenment-bashing has become such a popular sport that many intellectuals are now feeling the need to “rescue,” “reclaim” and “redeem” it for the progressive goals they say were at its core.  In this course, we will read texts by some of the most important political writers of the Enlightenment (Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Ferguson, Jefferson and Wollstonecraft) with a focus on the following themes: the social contract and the role of government, property and commerce, race and slavery, women and religion. We will also read recent critiques and defenses of the Enlightenment, with a view to deciding for ourselves whether it is worth “reclaiming”.


PHIL 76100 Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment
Professor Thomas Teufel Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [25284]

Kant’s Critique of the Power of Judgment is best known for its seminal contributions to modern aesthetics as well as to the philosophy of biology. Less well known or understood (despite the book’s title!) is the fact that Kant’s aesthetics and teleology are grounded in the third Critique’s deep and incisive reflection on the nature of judgment. Without an adequate understanding of Kant’s theory of judgment, Kant’s aesthetics and teleology must ultimately remain (and have indeed remained) mysterious. Equipped with such an understanding, it is possible to articulate with precision what Kant’s aesthetic and teleological theories are, how they relate to each other and how they fit into Kant’s critical philosophy at large. In this course, we will study the third Critique in its entirety, paying close systematic attention to the theory of judgment Kant develops in it.


PSC 80302 Biopolitics
Prof. Paisley Currah Mondays 2:00-4:00 [25656]

Governments kill, but they foster life as well. States attend to the health of their populations by counting and measuring inhabitants (vital statistics), by regulating the health of the population, by tracking them through the issuance of identity documents,  by marking life passages with birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates. After setting out the theoretical scaffolding of biopolitics, we will examine technologies of power and the development of mechanisms for governing the life, health, and death of populations by exploring their operation in particular institutions and discourses such as public health, immigration, surveillance apparatuses, and human security studies. We will read theories of biopower and apply those theories to issues such as reproduction and reproductive technologies, biocitizenship and genetic testing, legal and social constructions of citizenship, terror, security, surveillance, homelessness, and incarceration. This course will center feminist, anti-racist, queer and post-colonial perspectives on biopolitics.


PSC 80301 Critical Reason: The Basics
Prof. Susan Buck-Morss Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [25613]

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 80304 Modern Political Thought
Prof. Uday Mehta Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [25619]

This course will be an introduction to the study of modern political philosophy organized around classic texts by Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Hegel.  The questions that will structure this course will include:
What do the various philosophers take to be the underlying motivations and contexts for the formation of political society?
How do these motivations and contexts conform with the normative and institutional prescriptions that are proposed?
What are the limits of legitimate political authority, and what are the philosophical justifications for them?
What are the justifications underlying the various proposed institutional arrangements?
Finally, does the organizing of political life as advanced by these philosophers do violence to other conceptions of human potentiality?



PSC 80303 The Political Theory of Capitalism
Prof. Corey Robin Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [25621]

In this course we'll examine the classics of political economy in order to assess whether capitalism has (or can have) a political theory, and if so, what that political theory is. We will be especially interested in how political economy as an idiom translates or sublimates some perennial themes of political theory: authority, obedience, consent, fortuna. Specific topics to be considered will include: the nature of value; labor as a mode of obedience and action; rent and profit as distinctive political modes of accumulation; slavery and imperialism; risk. We'll also be interested in whether and how capitalism reproduces aristocracy and dynastic accumulations of wealth and power. We will open with programmatic readings from Arendt and Albert Hirschman and close with a reading of Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Along the way we'll read Smith, Malthus, Ricardo, Mill, Marx, Schumpeter, Luxemburg, Keynes, and Hayek. With perhaps some supplemental readings about slavery in the Old South.


PSYC 80103 Liberation: Social and Community Psychology
Prof. Roderick Watts Mondays 2:00-4:00 [25593]

This survey course draws from multiple disciplines and emancipatory perspectives. The readings are international with an emphasis on scholars from disenfranchised groups or with origins in the global south.  The aim is to bring together, critique and discuss theory and research through the lens of action for social-cultural justice and equality. Potential topics include: critical consciousness, social/cultural/racial identities, (internalized) oppression, community-organizing, ideologies of superiority (the “-isms”) empowerment, sociopolitical development, the psychology of colonialism, emancipatory social-psychological interventions, and empowerment. Participatory action-research will be at the center of the course’s coverage of research methodology. Authentic action-reflection is part of classroom dialog and assignments, which benefits from an action component that occurs outside the classroom. Thus, it is a course requirement that students participate in an “action experience” outside of the classroom that is relevant to the course material. Consistent with the spirit of enfranchisement, the course includes a participatory process for determining its content: everyone will take part on identify which of the potential topics above should be included in the reading list and the details of the course requirements. 


PSYC 80103 Communities and Environmental Change
Prof. Melissa Checker Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [25603]
This course traces theoretical lineages in the social sciences and applies them to the study of human relationships to environmental change. Each week, we will read the work of an influential theorist, such as Marx, Foucault, Gramsci, Bourdieu, Habermas, Giddens, and etc. We will then pair the “classic” work with a piece of recent scholarship that uses it to study how human societies understand and relate to contemporary environmental problems. In this way, we will not only become familiar with key social theorists, but also with how their ideas are reformulated to shed new light on present-day issues. Ultimately, students will gain a better understanding of how to usefully apply social theory to their own research findings.


SOC 80000 Bodies, Media, and Sociality
Prof. Patricia Clough Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [25327]

Among media scholars especially those who have been categorized as new media or digital media scholars, there has been a reluctance to accept the category of new media and instead to profoundly rethink media (as well as communication and information) and to move media criticism beyond the categories of good and bad. While such an undertaking involves a critical engagement with media that is both archeological and genealogical, it also raises the question of the social. What is sociality given a rethinking of media? Bodies are a thread in an exploration of sociality as bodies change--actually and conceptually-- in relationship to different media technologies. In this sense, media are not only or primarily an epistemological matter but rather operate to produce ontological effects, opening the study of media to discussions about matter/energy, information/communication, representation/performance. The course will explore bodies and sociality by taking up the genealogy/archeology of media (text, sound, film and TV) while focusing on debates around biosciences/neurosciences; digitality and the screen, the platform, and the program; social media, governance and the derivative economy; the relation of affective capacity to gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity; representation, big data, measure and method; subjectivity, objects, things and consciousness. As media has been defined in liberalism and neo-liberalism in terms of a certain configuration of state, economy and civil society—or what has been called the private and public spheres, rethinking media means rethinking this configuration and the effects of its various reconfigurations on sociality and the body.


SOC 80101 The Origins of Capitalism: Comparative-Historical Sociology
Prof. Charles Post Mondays 6:30-8:30 [25365]

This course will serve as an introduction to one of the central themes of comparative-historical sociology, the origins of capitalism. We will begin with the classical sociological and historical discussions of the origins of capitalism (Smith, Marx, Weber, Polanyi), before moving to examining the ongoing debates on the ‘first transition’ in seventeenth century England. The course will proceed with a discussion of the ‘later transitions’ in the United States, Germany, Italy, France and Japan, before concluding with an overview of discussions of the problems of capitalist development (and non-development) in the global South. Among the themes addressed will be the respective role of markets, social conflict and states in the origins of capitalism. Readings will be substantial, varied in perspectives and range widely over time and place.


SOC 84001 Race and Social Class in US History
Prof. Stanley Aronowitz Thursdays, 4:15-6:15 [25344]

The relation of race and class has had a turbulent history in the Americas. Economic and political structures in the United States the Caribbean and Latin America were crucially formed by slavery. Slavery became a legacy of capital accumulation, in the emergence of the industrial working class and of course the civil war and reconstruction.  The 19th and 20th century labor movements developed, in part, along race lines; racial formation , especially the US, the Caribbean and Brazil. Among the readings are DubBois Black Reconstruction;  Omi and Winant: Racial Formation; Nicholson: Selections from Labor’s Story in the United States; Williams: Capitalism and Slavery, Freeman: Working Class New York; Aronowitz: How Class Works; and selections from works by Roediger, Ignatin and other writing on whiteness as an ideological category. Class presentations will address the work of Patterson’s Slavery and Social Death, Genovese Roll, Jordan Roll, Gutman The Black Family; Frazier Black Bourgeoisie and others.


THEA 80300 Heeding the Ordinary: Theatre History as Microhistory
Prof. Amy Hughes Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15 [25108]

This interdisciplinary seminar explores the opportunities and challenges of investigating ordinary, under-documented, and/or overlooked people and events in order to understand a historical moment. In recent decades, scholars working within the fields of theatre history, literary studies, and American Studies have complemented conventional historical narratives by focusing on unknown individuals and neglected primary sources. Their work, described by some as "microhistory," has shown that rich insights are often hidden in the mundane details of ordinary people’s lives. Such scholarship questions and complicates many of the customary concerns that shape historiography, including what topics are considered "significant" and what evidence may be deemed "representative." How and when should we account for the everyday or the quotidian in our research? How can we do so responsibly and respectfully? When pursuing a microhistorical endeavor, how can we extrapolate a "macrohistory" without losing sight of our subject’s singularity? To address these questions, we will read scholarship that reflects the episteme, techne, and/or ethos associated with microhistory, including work by Thomas Augst, Patricia Cline Cohen, Robert Darnton, Peter Davis, Carlo Ginzburg, Odai Johnson, Jill Lepore, Heather Nathans, Andrew Sofer, and Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, among others, as well as prominent theorists whose ideas have something in common with this paradigm (e.g., Michel de Certeau, Clifford Geertz). When possible, we will also read (in tandem) the sources that these scholars analyze (e.g., plays, diaries, newspapers, ephemera). Students will pursue an original research project drawing heavily on archival materials and/or primary sources; pre-1900 subjects are strongly encouraged. The project will involve several steps, including an archive visit, a presentation of preliminary research (a "mini-microhistory"), a conference abstract with bibliography, an optional first draft, and a final draft. Students will also read (in full) one book listed on the syllabus and make a formal presentation about it in class.


THEA 81300 Theatre and Related Performing Arts:  Performance and the State
Prof. Sara Brady Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [25110]

The theme for this course arises from the confrontation between artistic performances and acts initiated by the state. Such "enactments of power," as Ngugi wa Thiong’o calls them, have occurred in diverse contexts over time and space. In this course we will critically engage with a number of key questions: How does the state perform? To what end(s)? How have artists found ways in performance to deny the state power? In what contexts do performers collaborate with the state? In what instances have state-sanctioned performers or politicians enacted more theatre than reality? When—and for what reasons—does the state use "make belief"? How does the state perpetuate a reliance on performance? When has theatre become more efficacious than the state? Engaging with theoretical readings from Theodor Adorno, Giorgio Agamben, Louis Althusser, Judith Butler, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Jacques Ranciere, Elaine Scarry, Diana Taylor, and others, we will analyze several case studies in which state and artistic performances are both active—whether in conflict or cooperation. We will revisit the origins of the antitheatrical bias and consider its use and misuse since Plato’s rejection of the artist from his ideal Republic and Aristotle’s defense of drama. We will attend to non-Western conceptions of theatre and performance that deny a strong demarcation between art and life and ask how such worldviews move between power and representation. The performative aspects of colonial rule beginning in the 15th century will be compared to the postcolonial nationmaking of the 19th and 20th centuries. Theatre’s relationship with power and the use of spectacle by the state will also be carefully considered with diverse case studies selected from Ancient Rome and Renaissance Europe through the Russian Revolution, Nazi Germany, and contemporary North Korea. Students will make a class presentation and develop a research project and final fifteen-to-twenty-page paper.


U ED. 75100 New Media Literacy
Prof. Mark Zuss Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 [25424]

The seminar will examine the pedagogical and cultural implications of new media and digital literacies. A transformative cultural logic is altering the balance and ratio of the visual in relation to the symbol, word and text.  The historical and sociocultural changes the new media represent compel educators to assess the novel challenges current media practices present to all textual communities in the formation of individual and collective literate identity. Within critical historical and anthropological perspectives we will investigate new media as supplements, replacements  or remediations of traditional text based learning environments. Critical examinations will be conducted of  the potentials of emergent  ‘cultural software’ and media formats, including Facebook, Twitter, instagam, websites such as CNN, and the proliferation of apps. Core themes that will orient our investigation of new media will include aspects of visual culture, technologies of the sign, historically situated technology as specific modes of human technics, and their formative role in shaping the cultural conditions for cognition, perception and embodiment.