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ANTH 80900/CL 80100 Existentialism/Phenomenology: Philosophy, Literature and Critique 
Prof. Vincent Crapanzano Thursdays 2:00-4:00 [32044]

ANTH 72400/EES 79903/PSYC 78103 Social and Cultural Theories
Prof. Setha Low Thursdays 11:45-1:45 [32132]

ANTH 81300/EES 79903/PSYC 80103 Emotion, Affect, and Space
Prof. Setha Low Fridays 2:00-4:00 [32143]

ANTH 78200/ LING 79100/SPAN 80000 Language & The Politics of Pride & Profit
Prof. José del Valle Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [32234]

ART 70000 Methods of Research: Readings in the History of Art
Prof. Romy Golan Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [32021]

ART 79000 Topics in the History of Photography: Italian Modernities: Photography and Mass Culture
Prof. Antonella Pelizzari Thursdays 2:00-4:00 [32024]

ART 89000 Selected Topics in the History of Photography: Photography and Violence
Prof. Siona Wilson Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [32029]

CLAS 81300 Aristotle’s Metaphysics
Prof. Marko Malink Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 (NYU) [32034]

CL 85000 Neorealism and Beyond: The Golden Age of Italian Cinema
Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi Wednesdays 6:30-10:00 [32048]

CL 80100/HIST 72400/PSC 72100 The Political Thought of Hannah Arendt
Prof. Richard Wolin Mondays 6:30-8:30 [32052]

CL 89100 History of Literary Theory and Criticism I
Prof. Monica Calabritto Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [32050]

CL 75100/ENGL 88000 Postwar Women Writers and Intellectuals
Prof. Nancy Miller Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [32078]

CL 80100/ENGL 76000 Modernism, Nihilism, and Belief
Prof. John Brenkman Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [32058]

CL 85000/FREN 87100 Feminist Theories and their Differences
Prof. Donna Stanton Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [32105]

CL 86500/PHIL 77800 Philosophy of Motion Pictures
Prof. Noel Carroll Tuesdays 11:45-1:45 [32399]

ENGL 86500 Barbarism
Profs. Meena Alexander and Feisal Mohamed Fridays 2:00-4:00 [32057]

ENGL 81100 Space and the Material Culture of Privacy in Early Modern Literary Genres
Prof. Martin Elsky Mondays 6:30-8:30 [32059]

ENGL 82100 Early Modern Race and Globalization
Prof. William Fisher Thursdays 2:00-4:00 [32060]

ENGL 86800 The Theory and Practice of World Literature
Prof. Peter Hitchcock Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [32063]

ENGL 80600 Beckett and Sustainability
Prof. Nico Israel Tuesdays 11:45-1:45 [32064]

ENGL 85400 Transamerican Historical Imagination
Prof. Dalia Kandivoti Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [32065]

ENGL 81100 Scandalous Hybrids: Illegitimate Genres and Children in Early Modern Texts
Prof. Tanya Pollard Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [32083]

ENGL 80200 American Aesthetics: Entanglement, or “spooky action at a distance”: A Theory of Reading & Writing
Prof. Joan Richardson Thursdays 2:00-4:00 [32071]

ENGL 79010 Power is Knowledge: Rhetorics of Domination and Resistance
Prof. Ira Shor Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 [32073]

ENGL 80600 Thinking in Pieces: Pascal, Dickinson, Wittgenstein
Prof. Joshua Wilner Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 [32077]

ENGL 80700 Problems in Posthumanism
Prof. Karl Steel Mondays 2:00-4:00 [32074]

FREN 84000/HIST 71200 The 18th Century Enlightenment
Prof. Helena Rosenblatt Mondays 4:15-6:15 [32104]

SPAN 70200 Hispanic Critical & Cultural Theory
Prof. Silvia Dapía Mondays 4:15-6:15 [32229]

SPAN 87100 When Narrative & Image Interact: Intermedial Spaces in Latin American Writing & Photography
Prof. Magdalena Perkowska Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [32232]

HIST 72300 Gender Theory for Historians
Prof. Dagmar Herzog Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [32169]

HIST 70900 Human Science in the Age of Extremes
Prof. Andreas Killen Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [32173]

MUS 84000 Music and Cultural Disability Studies
Prof. Joseph Strauss Wednesdays 2:00-5:00 [32298]

PHIL 77500/PSC 80203 Adam Smith-Rousseau-Kant: Moral and Political Philosophy
Prof. Catherine Wilson Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 [32402]

PHIL 76800 Linguistic Pragmatism
Profs. Michael Devitt and Stephen Neal Wednesdays 9:30-11:30 [32403]

PHIL 77700/PSC 87800/UED 75100 Dewey and American Society
Prof. Steven Cahn Mondays 11:45-1:45 [32395]

PSC 71901 Contemporary Political Theory
Prof. Robyn Marasco Thursdays 11:45-1:45 [32564]

PSC 72100 American Political Thought
Prof. Ruth O’Brien Mondays 4:15-6:15 [32203]

PSC 80302 Bio Politics
Prof. Paisley Currah Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [32193]

PSC 80304 Modern Classics in Political Philosophy
Prof. Uday Mehta Mondays 2:00-4:00 [32188]

PSYC 74003 Historical and Theoretical Foundations of Critical Psychology
Prof. Susan Opotow Wednesdays 9:30-11:30 [32686]

PSYC 80103 "Challenging" Constructs
Prof. Michelle Fine Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [32766]

SOC 80000 Foucault, Bourdieu, and Baudrillard
Prof. Marnia Lezreg Mondays 4:15-6:15 [32213]

SOC 80000 Issues in Contemporary Theory: The Psyche and the Social
Prof. Patricia Clough Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [32214]

SOC 82301 Black Intellectual Thought
Prof. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy Tuesdays 11:45-1:45 [32558]

SOC 82800 Dynamics of Urban Politics and Society
Prof. Stanley Aronowitz Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [32627]

SOC 86800 Culture and Cognition
Prof. Thomas DeGloma Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [32626]

THEA 80300 Seminar in Theatrical Theory and Criticism:  Marxism, Theatre, Performance: Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Pierre Bordieu, and Raymond Williams
Prof. David Savran Fridays 2:00-4:00  [32243]

UED 71100 Introduction to Urban Literacies
Prof. Terri Epstein Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 [32282]

UED 75100 Power, Discourse and Knowledge in Education: Postmodernist and postcolonial critical theory
Prof. Ofelia García Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [32285]

UED 75100 Learning & Development: Sociocultural, Critical, Dialectical Approaches
Prof. Anna Stetsenko Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 [32291]

 
ANTH 80900/CL 80100 Existentialism/Phenomenology: Philosophy, Literature and Critique 

Prof. Vincent Crapanzano Thursdays 2:00-4:00 [32044]
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 72400/EES 79903/PSYC 78103 Social and Cultural Theories
Prof. Setha Low Thursdays 11:45-1:45 [32132]

This course is intended to provide a broad overview of theoretical approaches to the study of space, place and culture.

Three observations must be stressed. First, this course is explicitly theoretical in nature. It is concerned with the relation between concepts and the capacity of concepts to help us understand and critically analyze spatial and environmental phenomena. It would be a mistake, however, to assume that because this is a course on theory, it has no interest in empirical matters. Quite the opposite is true: theory is not separate from the world; rather, it is an attempt to grapple with what we encounter in everyday life. It emerges from our engagement with the world, not from separating ourselves from it. In turn, theory informs how we act in the world. Accordingly, it would be false to claim a divide between theory and the empirical world, or between theory and practice. As we will see in this class, such dichotomies obscure much more than they reveal.

The second observation is that the course is a survey. This has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that by the end of the semester, you should have a general sense of the diversity of theoretical approaches that have been developed to make sense of environmental and geographical phenomena. The disadvantage is that we can only skim the surface of what is an immense literature. Over the semester, you should identify the theoretical approaches that seem most relevant, or most compelling, to you, and make these approaches a matter of sustained inquiry over the coming years. Part of being a good scholar is taking the initiative to understand the history of intellectual traditions and the debates within them and between them.
 
The final observation is simply this: the readings in this course are often difficult. They will take time (and a degree of patience) to read. At certain points you will find yourself confronted by unfamiliar vocabulary, and with neologisms that will at least at first frustrate you. But over time you'll begin to see why this vocabulary is being used, and why new words are invented, rather than returning to the common sense of old ones.

The syllabus is organized into three broad sections. In each we will explore a number of different themes, as well a dip into a number of different intellectual traditions. The purpose of this course, however, is not to adjudicate between the many different theoretical approaches that scholars have developed, with a final destination in mind. Nor is it to narrate a linear or developmental history of ideas about space, place and culture that assumes that earlier ideas can be relegated to the rubbish bin, and that later ideas necessarily supersede them. As we will see, intellectual history is far too complicated to be squeezed into such simple narratives.
 
Nevertheless, the course has a certain order and logic. In the first section "From culture to history," we will explore theoretical accounts that in manifestly different ways attempt to identify underlying processes or structures that are assumed to determine the environmental and geographical dimensions of social life. We will begin with attempts to understand society through analogy with nature, through applying ecological concepts to society, or through understanding society as a set of adaptations to environmental conditions. Each of these attempts locates in nature the explanation for social or cultural phenomena. In subsequent weeks we will examine other approaches that reverse the lens, but still assume that there is something above, beneath, or beyond everyday life that explains its geographical and environmental contours: language, culture, or society in the case of structuralism and symbolism, or the economy in the case of Marxist political economy.

The second section of the course "From structuralism to poststructuralism" examines reactions to structuralism. These take various forms, from criticism of the ahistoricism and functionalism of key structuralist thinkers, to questions about the way that structuralisms tend to posit a dimension separate from the dimension of everyday life that determines the lltter's form. We will begin with begin a number of thinkers in the Marxist tradition (Lefebvre, Gramsci) who seek to displace the economic determinism found in certain political economic accounts. We then move on to (non)Marxist thinkers such as Michel Foucault in whose work is found a complex relationship to both Marxism and structuralism, in the sense that it can be seen as working with its terms, even as he produces a crisis within them. In their different ways, these thinkers have emphasized the historical contingency of social forms and the impossibility of achieving a final closure around meaning or for that matter, around the figure of the human or the self. Both do so, however, without taking recourse to a liberal subject who is thought to be autonomous and present to self. For them, the subject is itself an effect or outcome.  As we will see, from this perspective spatial and environmental practices are part of how subjects are constituted as individuals with certain capacities and forms of consciousness. The final two weeks in this section explore how these insights have been taken up within constructivist accounts of social life, with a focus on three key categories--race, gender and sexuality--through which we tend to understand our social and geographical lives.
 
The third section of the course "Theories of practice" further examines the poststructuralist insight that social life is constituted through specific situated practices, and has no essence or pre-given order apart from these practices. This requires, however, that we think about what we mean by practice, and how we understand practice to be related to the world that we see constituted around us. We will focus explicitly on the approaches to practice and society developed by ethnomethodologists, the practice theory of Pierre Bourdieu, as well as writers such as Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari  ewho emphasize the emergent qualities of the world, and the continuous process by which new and novel forms are produced. We conclude with a discussion of modernity and postmodernity and the new emergent form of self and spatial relations that is identified with late capitalism.
 

ANTH 81300/EES 79903/PSYC 80103 Emotion, Affect, and Space
Prof. Setha Low Fridays 2:00-4:00 [32143]

 
ANTH 78200/ LING 79100/SPAN 80000 Language & The Politics of Pride & Profit
Prof. José del Valle Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [32234]

In this seminar we will examine the linguistic ideologies of high modernity by using Monica Heller and Alexandre Duchêne’s proposal as a point of departure. The explanatory power as well as the limitations of the pride and profit framework developed by these authors will be examined, first, by placing it in dialectic relation with alternative sociological and political views of language (e.g. Blommaert, Crystal or Phillipson) and, second, by putting it into play in the analysis of specific sociolinguistic spaces. These will include, but not be limited to, normalization policies on behalf of minority languages in Europe, language revitalization processes in Latin America, and the politics of language and ethnic and national identity in the United States. The readings will include: Monica Heller and Alexandre Duchêne, Language in Late capitalism (2013); Jan Blommaert, The Sociolinguistics of Globalization (2010); Robert Phillipson, Linguistic Imperialism Continued (2010); David Crystal, English as a Global language (2003); Jacqueline Urla, Reclaiming Basque: Language, Nation, and Cultural Activism (2012); Serafín Coronel-Molina, Language Ideology, Policy and Planning in Peru (2015); Norma Mendoza-Denton, Homegirls: Language and Cultural Practices among Latina Youth Gangs (2008). [The seminar will be conducted in various types of English; papers may be submitted in any language or languages I can read]
 

ART 70000 Methods of Research: Readings in the History of Art
Prof. Romy Golan Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [32021]

This course will focus on readings in the history of art focusing on theoretical questions internal to the discipline such as: the historicity of art, the Kunstwollen, empathy theory, art as symbolic form, the Pathos formula, art history as a colonial / post-colonial enterprise, responses to Structuralism, the social history of art, art and feminism, art and agency, the museum as mausoleum vs. the museum without walls, exhibitions and globalization.
Authors will include: Alois Riegl, Heinrich Wöllflin, Erwin Panofsky, Wilhelm Worringer, Hans Sedlmayr, Aby Warburg, Theodor Adorno,  Meyer Schapiro, Georg Kubler, Michael Baxandall, T.J. Clark, Michel Foucault, Louis Marin, Julia Kristeva, Linda Nochlin, Abigail Solomon-Godeau, Edward Said, André Malraux, Alfred Gell, Georges Didi-Huberman.
Requirements:
Weekly short papers (2-3 pages doubled spaced) for class discussion on the readings. They should center on two key questions you will devise.
Attendance to the Rewald lectures, scheduled on Tuesdays at 5:30 in room 3416, are an integral part of the course. They will be discussed in class.

 
ART 79000 Topics in the History of Photography: Italian Modernities: Photography and Mass Culture
Prof. Antonella Pelizzari Thursdays 2:00-4:00 [32024]

Within the history of modern art, Italy presents the particular case of an avant-garde developed under the repressive regime of Fascism. This overt contradiction has challenged scholars in the past twenty years, leading to numerous field-specific studies focusing on architecture, film, literature, and the figurative arts. This seminar revisits this history and its most significant theorizations, placing a special emphasis on photography as expression of a modern visual culture that was not always driven by the regime’s rhetoric, but was also deployed in the fragmentary and montage-based aesthetics referred by Walter Benjamin as revolutionary. Borrowing its language from Soviet and Weimar practices, photography was a modern conduit to the mass culture of advertising, illustrated magazines, temporary installations, and proved the constant negotiation of art and politics. The seminar investigates these complex dynamics, looking at photography across media and repositioning Italian modernity into the larger narrative of avant-garde art.

 
ART 89000 Selected Topics in the History of Photography: Photography and Violence
Prof. Siona Wilson Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [32029]

How do philosophical and political debates about violence intersect with questions of photographic representation, unrepresentability, witnessing, and the ethics of viewing images? This seminar will focus on war imagery and the question of state violence in relation to historical examples from the post-World War I period to the Holocaust, postcolonial state formation, dictatorship and violence in Latin America, and recent conflicts in the Middle East. We will address the two-way street between philosophical questions about violence and photographic practice. Rather than seeing theory simply as an interpretative tool for understanding images, we will address the way in which transformations in photographic practice and media dissemination have substantively shaped philosophical inquiry into ethics, politics, gender and archivality. The class will begin in the interwar period with Ernst Friedrich’s 1924 Krieg dem Kriege [War Against War] and Virginia Woolf’s Three Guineas (1938) as key examples of the contrasting uses of photography as part of an anti-war politics. We move on to read classic essays by Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt, Frantz Fanon, Jacques Derrida, and Susan Sontag as well as more contemporary writing by Judith Butler, Giorgio Agamben, Georges Didi-Huberman, and Ariella Azoulay. The historical breadth offered in this seminar aims to provide students with a broader engagement with the history of photography than they receive in more historically focused classes.



CLAS 81300 Aristotle’s Metaphysics
Prof. Marko Malink Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 (NYU) [32034]

Book Zeta of Aristotle's Metaphysics, sometimes characterized as "the Mount Everest of ancient philosophy", is devoted to the question, What is substance (ousia)? Aristotle explores several potential answers to this question, specifying substance as subject, essence, universal, or genus. In addition, he provides a detailed exposition of hylomorphism, the view that a large number of objects are compounds of matter and form. Further questions discussed in Zeta include: Do non-substantial beings have an essence or definition? Should the parts of a thing be mentioned in the definition of that thing? What role do essences play in scientific explanations? The seminar will be a close reading of Zeta. Knowledge of Greek not required.
 
 
CL 85000 Neorealism and Beyond: The Golden Age of Italian Cinema
Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi Wednesdays 6:30-10:00 [32048]

This course will examine the flowering of Italian cinema after World War II and its transformation in the 1960s by focusing initially on the production of Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti, Antonioni, and Fellini. It will explore the historical, social, and theoretical roots of Neorealism and the different ways each of these directors participated in this movement and was in turn influenced by it. The course will then show some of the directions they took in their later work, which focused more on the malaise of the middle class, and was often more personal, more psychological, more historical, more operatic, or more theatrical. Later, the course will also explore the work of important younger directors who first emerged in the 1960s, including Pasolini, Olmi, Bertolucci, Bellocchio, and Scola, and will briefly conclude with a discussion of the legacy of the masters of Italian cinema in contemporary film directors such as Gianni Amelio, Paolo Virzì, Matteo Garrone, and Paolo Sorrentino. Readings will include essays by theorists of Neorealism, such as Zavattini and Lizzani, and by a range of film critics spanning from André Bazin, James Agee, and Peter Brunette to Millicent Marcus, David Forgacs, and Sam Rohdie.
 
Course requirements: Students will watch one film at home and one in class. They will be expected to submit a 25-page research paper at the end of the course.

 
CL 80100/HIST 72400/PSC 72100 The Political Thought of Hannah Arendt
Prof. Richard Wolin Mondays 6:30-8:30 [32052]

Since her untimely death in 1975, Hannah Arendt’s stature as a political thinker has increased exponentially. In 1950 she authored the first important study of totalitarianism – a work that, today, among scholars remains an indispensable point of reference. In the late 1950s and early 1960s she published, in rapid succession, a series of pathbreaking works that consolidated her reputation as one of the twentieth-century’s most significant and innovative political philosophers: the Human Condition (1958), On Revolution (1962), and Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963). During the 1920s she studied philosophy with the two titans of German existentialism, Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers, and she played an indispensable role in introducing their ideas to the English-speaking world. During her Paris exile, she befriended the literary critic Walter Benjamin and helped to introduce his work to an American public. Arendt also excelled as a letter writer and as a public intellectual, contributing regularly to Partisan Review and the New York Review of Books. She has been the subject of numerous biographical and academic studies. Plays and films have been devoted to her fascinating intellectual itinerary. In Germany there are not one, but two think tanks devoted to her work (Hamburg and Dresden). And during the 1990s, also in the country of her birth, she received the ultimate accolade: a high-speed train was named in her honor.
 
As a thinker Arendt never shied away from taking risks – “thinking without bannisters,” she called it. Aspects of her work have proved controversial: above all, her employment of the epithet, “the banality of evil,” to describe Adolf Eichmann’s role in the Final Solution.
 
In our course, we will focus primarily on Arendt’s contributions as a political thinker, in major works such as Origins of Totalitarianism, The Human Condition, and On Revolution. But we will also consider her status and role as a flashpoint for some of the major intellectual controversies and debates of her time – and ours.


CL 89100 History of Literary Theory and Criticism I
Prof. Monica Calabritto Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [32050]
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 75100/ENGL 88000 Postwar Women Writers and Intellectuals
Prof. Nancy Miller Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [32078]

Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts was published posthumously in 1941. Beginning here, with the death of this author, we will read the work of women writers who produced essays, novels, and poetry from the war years through the advent of second-wave feminism: Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, Carolyn Heilbrun, Julia Kristeva, Audre Lorde, Mary McCarthy, Adrienne Rich, Susan Sontag, Simone Weil, Virginia Woolf. As intellectual figures and cultural icons, they also have often played an important role in public debate. Of special interest to the seminar will be the relations among these women, who sometimes admired, sometimes detested one another. We will conclude with work by contemporary women writers, including Claudia Rankine and Rebecca Solnit.
 
Work for the course: one oral presentation, weekly responses, and one term paper, due at the end of the semester.


CL 80100/ENGL 76000 Modernism, Nihilism, and Belief
Prof. John Brenkman Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [32058]

The once widely accepted equation of modernity and secularization has been more and more thrown in doubt. The seminar will examine several facets of this controversy through various thinkers and through the poetry of T.S. Eliot, Jorie Graham, and Anne Carson. The conceptual framework will derive from theorists who address the complex relation of the secular and the sacred, nihilism and belief, symbols and ideas, as a problem in the theory and practice of interpretation: Paul Ricoeur, Emmanuel Lévinas, Julia Kristeva, Peter Sloterdijk, and Gianni Vattimo.
 
Texts: T.S. Eliot The Complete Poems and Plays, 1909-1950 and Christianity and Culture; Jorie Graham, From the New World: Poems 1976-2014; Anne Carson, Glass, Irony & God; Paul Ricoeur, Figuring the Sacred; Emmanuel Lévinas, Beyond the Verse; Julia Kristeva, The Incredible Need to Believe; Peter Sloterdijk, God’s Zeal; Gianni Vattimo, After Christianity.


CL 85000/FREN 87100 Feminist Theories and their Differences 
Prof. Donna Stanton Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [32105]

This course will examine the various strains of feminist thought since the l970s, and strains within feminist theoretical positions.  Beginning with conflicts around poststructuralism and postmodernism, we will analyze the women's studies/gender studies issue; the paradigm shift that writing of women of color represented (and the invisibility of whiteness); the sex wars; écriture féminine; the essentialist debates;  postcolonial and transnational feminisms and (im)migration studies; women's rights as human rights; material feminisms, class and social inequalities; and queerness and transgenderism.  The course will end with summary readings of some of the theories we did not discuss: ecocriticism, disability studies, the posthuman and technoscience. Our last session will debate the necessary but problematic connections between advocacy and activism to theoretical work (praxis); the relation of feminist theories to other oppositional practices.
 
Work for the course: Whether the course is taken for 2, 3, or 4 credits, all students will  be responsible for doing the readings closely and for engaging consistently in class discussion.
a.  Students who take the course for 2 credits will present in class a critical reading of one theoretical text,  a reading that will also be submitted in writing (c 5-7 pp); these students will also take the final exam.
b.  Students who take the course for 3 credits, will do all of the above and in addition, they will do a 10-page paper on a topic they select, in consultation with the instructor. They will also submit a thesis statement, a bibliography and an outline (the schedule will be indicated on the syllabus).
c.  Students who take the course for 4 credits will do all of the above, but instead of a 10-page paper, they will do a 20-25 page paper on a topic they select, in consultation with the instructor; they will also submit a thesis statement, a bibliography and an outline (the scheduled will be indicated on the syllabus).
All readings and the syllabus for the course will be posted on Blackboard by August 20, 2016 at the latest.
 
Goals of the course:
1. to  become conversant in the various theoretical strains in feminist thought from 1970s to today.
2. to develop a capacity to read feminist theoretical texts critically.
3. to write analyses and critiques of theoretical texts (for the final exam; for the class presentations; and either in the 10 -page paper for 3 credits or the 20-25 page paper for 4 credits.)
 
Please address all questions to Domna Stanton (dstanton112@yahoo.com).


PHIL 77800 Philosophy of Motion Pictures
Prof. Noel Carroll Tuesdays 11:45-1:45 [32399]

This course will explore the fundamental question in the philosophy of motion pictures including: what is the moving image, medium specificity, the nature of the cinematic image, cinematic sequencing,nonfiction cinema, movie genres, cinema and affect, cinema and morality, cinema and knowledge cinema as philosophy and related topics.  Grading is based on class participation, a class presentation, and a research paper.  There are no prerequisites.


ENGL 86500 Barbarism
Profs. Meena Alexander and Feisal Mohamed Fridays 2:00-4:00 [32057]

“La France sera impitoyable,” declared François Hollande in the wake of the November 2015 Paris attacks, “à l’égard des barbares de Daech” (“France will have no pity with respect to the barbarians of Daesh"). That deployment of “barbarian” will feel familiar, focusing political energy on the slaughter of enemies. But this course will seek to inquire more deeply into this stubborn construct, taking into its ken several locales and periods, from the early modern period; to Indian Partition; to postcolonial subjectivities and ISIS poetry in the present day. Our course will culminate in a reading of Antigone raising questions on borders between human and nonhuman, dike and justice, national belonging and unbelonging. We will see Western and non-Western, pre- and post-Enlightenment, arguments on the barbaric, complicating an easy anti-colonial and anti-Enlightenment resistance to the term. Ultimately we will wonder if a humanist and cosmopolitan politics and poetics can ever fully dispense with culture’s menacing opposite. What might it mean to produce a progressive, enlightened theorization of the barbaric? Potential texts: Theodor Adorno, Negative Dialectics; J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians; Mahasweta Devi, Imaginary Maps; Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth; Christopher Marlowe, Tamburlaine; Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses; Sophocles, Antigone (possibly in Anne Carson translation, Antigonick); Edmund Spenser, Faerie Queene. The course will be run as a seminar with weekly readings and student presentations and a final research paper. Additional readings will be uploaded to the course dropbox. Books for purchase will be on order at Book Culture, 536 W 112 St (between Broadway and Amsterdam).
 

ENGL 81100 Space and the Material Culture of Privacy in Early Modern Literary Genres
Prof. Martin Elsky Mondays 6:30-8:30 [32059]

This course starts with a consideration of the “spatial turn” in literary criticism and adapts it to the cultural mapping of the house as a spatial artifact.  Our point of departure is “studiolo culture,” or the spaces of privacy in the new domestic architecture of the Renaissance and its incorporation in Early Modern literature.  We will look at the new concept of the house as a template for literary space: its arrangements for redirecting social circulation in a layout that divided common, public spaces from a series of increasingly private, intimate spaces. We look at the literary representation of these new architectural arrangements as accommodations of social, political, gender, and religious developments.  Themes will include: rooms as performance spaces of social and sexual identity; room décor and expression of affect through things; gendered division of household space and interaction of masculine and feminine spaces; spaces of women’s property; the disparity between domestic private space as marker of cultivated status and fear of privacy as place of anti-social, aberrant, violent behavior. Reading from several genres: lyric (Petrarch, Philip Sidney); prose romance (Philip Sidney, Mary Wroth); life writing (Anne Clifford, Thomas Whythorne ); drama (Thomas Middleton, Thomas Heywood).  Readings and visual materials also from architectural history and art history. The course will end with thoughts about the end of studiolo culture in contemporary houses. Assignments: oral presentation and semester paper. 

 
ENGL 82100 Early Modern Race and Globalization
Prof. William Fisher Thursdays 2:00-4:00 [32060]

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries are often referred to as the period when modern forms of globalization – including global capitalism and imperialism – began. This course will explore how English literature and culture from the period was shaped by the engagement with “new” territories and trade routes, mercantile relationships, colonial energies, and various types of exchange. It will include a strong emphasis on early modern thinking about race. We will proceed, in part, by considering England’s relationship with some of the different regions/peoples of the world – especially the Ottomans (and Islam more generally), Africa, The “New” World and the Caribbean, and the Far East. In each instance, we will address how English writers imagine and engage with these diverse places and cultures.
 
READINGS:
Literary texts will include canonical works such as Shakespare’s Othello and The Tempest, Jonson’s The Masque of Blackness and Behn’s Oroonoko, as well as lesser known works such as Fletcher’s The Island Princess and Peele’s The Battle of Alcazar.
 
We will also be examining a range of non-literary sources: we will spend a day focusing on maps and globes from the period; another on travel narratives; another on representations of colonial commodities like sugar, cotton, and tobacco; and finally, one on visual depictions of people from across the globe.
 
Theoretical texts by Dipesh Chakrabarty, Edward Said, Sanjay Subrahmanyam, and Immanuel Wallerstein will be read along with the work of early modern scholars like Ania Loomba, Jyotsna Singh, Kim Hall, Barbara Fuchs, and Dan Vitkus.

 
ENGL 86800 The Theory and Practice of World Literature
Prof. Peter Hitchcock Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [32063]

The resurgence of world literature as a concept and as a definable body of literature remains deeply problematic for English studies.  On the one hand, it appears to be business as usual, as anthologies and special issues of journals promote the melding of classical and contemporary texts as a tweaked version of a “great tradition,” “the best that has been thought and said” as it were, which combines a liberal dream of inclusionism with a conservative one of unyielding touchstones; on the other hand, contemporary cosmopolitanism is hardly an innocent gesture, and the “world” at stake is a significantly contested terrain, culturally, politically, and economically.  Rather than heal the wounds inflicted by world literature’s disciplinary zeal, this course will examine the ways in which the contradictions of world literature’s episteme are a creative challenge in our writing and research.  From the perspective of postcolonial studies, for instance, the claims of world literature seem to embody both the colonial unconscious of its traditions and an attempt to absorb the effects of decolonization on its prescriptions.  If postcolonialism is a way to read the world, does world literature negate that practice?  What is the relationship between world literature and globalization?  Is world literature “flat”?  Is it English and/or Anglophone?  Is it writing from elsewhere that moves a reader, and/or is it a writer who has moved from elsewhere?  Is it a Pharmakon for both English and Comparative Literature departments, as well as one for nation? 

The course will begin with Goethe’s celebrated pronouncements on the topic, and we will hope to encourage perhaps a more nuanced understanding of their overdeterminations.  We will then examine three central arguments for world literature’s prescience in the work of Moretti, Damrosch, and Casanova.  For each I will raise conceptual difficulties from other quarters, including those of Nancy, Hardt/Negri, Wallerstein, Arrighi, Spivak, Chow, and me.  I am particularly interested in how literature itself challenges all kinds of worldliness in the current conjuncture, particularly in examples drawn from Coetzee, Pamuk, Bulawayo, Hamid, NDiaye, Djaout, Vera, Arenas, Dasgupta, Ngugi, and Liu.  By coming to terms with its vexed genealogies students will be encouraged to ponder world literature’s provocation for their own “worldviews.”

Course Requirements: a short class presentation and a 20-25 page term essay written in consultation with the instructor.

 
ENGL 80600 Beckett and Sustainability
Prof. Nico Israel Tuesdays 11:45-1:45 [32064]

“You must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on”:  So concludes The Unnamable, final novel in Samuel Beckett’s celebrated mid-1940s trilogy, which the self-exiled Irish author translated "back" into English from French in the late 50s.  “Going on,” in Beckett’s desperately spare, utterly uncompromising writing, implies something more (or other) than simply confronting, and overcoming, adversity; rather, it implies a process, by turns excruciating and laughable, through which contradiction, failure, and the anxiety of hope are irresistibly entwined. This process, which might tendentiously be called “sustainability,” has important implications for both aesthetics and politics, and indeed entails a reconsideration of the relation between the two terms across the twentieth century.  With this reconsideration in mind, our seminar will explore texts from Beckett’s long, long, writing career, from the early poems and critical essays (of the late 1920s-early 30s), through the novelistic trilogy and major plays (40s and 50s), to the incursions into film and television (60s and 70s), to the fragmented plays and prose experiments (of the late 70s and 80s). Far from being a “Single Author” course—after all, it was Beckett’s writing to which Foucault referred when posing the ground-clearing question “What is an Author?” —the seminar will approach Beckett’s writing as a constellation into the study of language, literature, theatre, genre, ethics and politics (especially postcolonial politics) across the century.  We will also explore the work of those continental philosophers who have directly encountered Beckett’s writing, including Blanchot, Adorno, Deleuze, Agamben and Badiou. Reading knowledge of French helpful but not essential.  Requirements: regular attendance and participation, twelve-minute oral presentation, 5000-word final research essay.


ENGL 85400 Transamerican Historical Imagination
Prof. Dalia Kandivoti Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [32065]

In this course, we will examine the conjuncture of critical Latina/o, hemispheric, and Atlantic perspectives primarily in contemporary U.S. Latina/o literature as well as in Latin American, Latina/o Canadian, Sephardic, and Arab American writing. The fictional works we will read assemble histories, genres, literary traditions, and new literary forms inspired by the enduring legacies in the Americas of Iberian history, expulsions, and conquest. Victor Hernández Cruz, Achy Obejas, Sandra Cisneros, Kathleen Alcalà, Ana Castillo, Laila Lalamy, Carlos Fuentes, and Guillermo Verdecchia will likely be among our authors. We will study in this body of contemporary work the de/colonial traces and legacies in the present of the “multiple 1492s” (Shohat); the “return to” and resurgence of Iberian and Americas history in Latina/o and other literature and cultural discourses, with particular reference to "global memory booms," “global fiction,” and “historical fiction”; the interlocking meanings and histories of Latina/o, Moorish/Muslim, and Sephardic/Mizrahi identities; Orientalism in the Americas; hemispheric indigenism/o; multiculturalism, migration, and diaspora; the cultural and historical links between the Americas, Iberia, and the Middle East and North Africa. These issues will be linked to ideas developed in U.S. and transamerican Latina/o thought, such as border thinking, mestizaje, tropicalization, transculturation, coloniality and “the decolonial imaginary” et al. and discussed through the critical work of, for example, Gloria Anzaldúa, Emma Pérez, Walter Mignolo, Ramón Grosfoguel, Edward Said, Ella Shohat, Robert Stam, Anouar Majid, as well as a variety of comparative and Latina/o literary criticism about transnational and historical approaches to literature.

 
ENGL 81100 Scandalous Hybrids: Illegitimate Genres and Children in Early Modern Texts
Prof. Tanya Pollard Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [32083]

This course will explore the perils and pleasures of merging tragic and comic modes, through reading both theory and practice of tragicomedy in classical Greek, Roman, and early modern English texts.  We will attend to the scandal associated with generic hybridity, the ambivalence linked with satisfying perceived audience desire, and the running association between tragicomic illegitimacy and bastard offspring in a series of critical and dramatic texts. Texts will include Plato’s Symposium, Aristotle’s Poetics, Euripides’ Alcestis and Helen, Plautus’ Amphitryo, Sidney’s Apology for Poetry, Fletcher’s Faithful Shepherdess, and Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale.

 
ENGL 80200 American Aesthetics: Entanglement, or “spooky action at a distance”: A Theory of Reading & Writing
Prof. Joan Richardson Thursdays 2:00-4:00 [32071]

It is not in the premise that reality
Is a solid. It may be a shade that traverses
A dust, a force that traverses a shade.  
                                                  
This closing stanza from Wallace Stevens’s “An Ordinary Evening in New Haven” will serve as the room of the idea—to borrow Jonathan Edwards’s excellent concept—in which we will explore a new way of thinking about how we read and why we write. “Entanglement,” or “spooky action at a distance” is, as we know, a feature of the quantum reality first described by Niels Bohr in the 1920s. Stevens read Bohr, and Bohr read Lucretius, from whose description in De Rerum Natura, he derived his own description of atomic structure. Bohr also read William James, from whom he derived the notion of “complementarity.” Albert Einstein resisted the idea of “spooky action at a distance,” and yet…. Charles Sanders Peirce, a generation earlier than Einstein and Bohr, in “A Guess at the Riddle” and “Man’s Glassy Essence,” suggested through his idea of synechism, that human being was continuous—synechism means “continuity,” derived from “holding together”—with the order of the cosmos, that things are, in some sense, the same all the way up and all the way down. Peirce, persistently extrapolating from the Darwinian information, devised pragmatism as a method to adapt ourselves to what it means to inhabit a universe of chance: guesses, hunches elaborated into hypotheses, are central to the method. Where do the guesses come from? “Undoubtedly we have no questions to ask which are unanswerable,” Emerson offered in the Introduction to Nature (1836), and continued:

We must trust the perfection of the creation so far, as to believe that whatever curiosity the order of things has awakened in our minds, the order of things can satisfy. Every man’s condition is a solution in hieroglyphic to those inquiries he would put. He acts it as life, before he apprehends it as truth.

Peirce developed Emerson’s idea of the hieroglyphic into his semeiotic, a theory of signs far more complex than what Saussure would offer; unlike Saussure, Peirce’s speculations were informed by his always having been attentive, since childhood, to the “cosmic weather.”

What does it mean to read? Why do we read what we do? What are the “strange attractors” in our experience that draw us to this or that writer, thinker, artist. And why do we write? What happens when we do? We will pursue these questions and more in the room of the idea opened by the framing above. Readings will be drawn from all those mentioned above (including Bohr’s “Light and Life”), as well as from Merleau-Ponty’s The Visible and the Invisible, Barthes’ The Neutral, Herwig Friedl’s essays on American literature, Susan Howe, Anne Carson, Stanislas Dehaene’s Reading in the Brain and Consciousness and the Brain, plus articles from journals such as Science News and Nature as appropriate.

 
ENGL 79010 Power is Knowledge: Rhetorics of Domination and Resistance
Prof. Ira Shor Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 [32073]

College graduation rates have never been higher, yet economic inequality grows worse each year. Millions of Americans enter academe and finish degrees, yet cannot convert their educational gains into economic ones, living angrily with diplomas and debt. Perhaps something terrible has gone wrong; perhaps we lack knowledge to decode it; or, perhaps we know too much already, too much knowledge with too little power; perhaps this is what it looks like when things go very right for the 1%. Nowhere is the situation more grave than in the public sector where we work, looted as it is by a private sector pirating the national treasure.   

Vast wealth and power afford the billionaire class hegemony in all domains, including the circulation of discourses in society. The discourses of power occupy the whole “social body,” as Michel Foucault proposed. Such power relations generate compliance and resignation as well as resistance, according to Foucault as well as Pierre Bourdieu and Raymond Williams among others. Apparently, like rust, contention never sleeps but fills everyday life with performative options, interventions, and openings, as Judith Butler put the matter, and as Michel deCerteau named such everyday agency as bricolage. Defiance, most often furtive or fugitive, as DeCerteau and James Scott both maintained, sometimes fills central squares against the status quo, sometimes fills huge arenas with thousands cheering for an insurgent candidate calling for a “political revolution against a rigged economy,” sometimes erupting unpredictably in an unstable status quo at a moment of “disjunctive disarticulation” as Goran Therborn describes it. Whether polarized open conflict or furtive everyday defiance, rhetoric and discourse play key roles in enabling and changing power relations.

Rhetoric emerged as a persuasive practice 2500 years ago in the “civic assembly” or ekklesia 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 underpin the composition of discourse and how does discourse compose human subjects and society? Dominant rhetorics deploy discourses for composing busy and compliant human subjects; dissident rhetorics guide opposition discourses for developing critical human subjects who question the status quo.

Readings: Foucault(Society Must Be Defended; Discipline and Punish; Fearless Speech), Bourdieu(Distinction; Language as Symbolic Action), Scott(Domination and the Arts of Resistance; Seeing Like a State), Pratt(“Arts of the Contact Zone”), Therborn(The Ideology of Power); Hardt/Negri (Declaration); Butler (Gender Trouble); Ngugi Wa’Thiongo, Decolonizing the Mind; Harvey, Rebel Cities; hooks, Teaching to Transgress plus other sources.

 
ENGL 80600 Thinking in Pieces: Pascal, Dickinson, Wittgenstein
Prof. Joshua Wilner Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 [32077]

That the immediate historical and cultural contexts in which Pascal, Dickinson, and Wittgenstein wrote differed widely as did their intellectual and imaginative projects scarcely needs pointing out: Pascal was a mathematician turned religious controversialist in 17th Century France, Dickinson a reclusive 19th Century American poet, and Wittgenstein a Viennese 20th Century philosopher of language who lived much of his adult life in Cambridge. The obvious differences harbor numerous grounds of comparison, however: each lived in a period of acute historical crisis that was intensified in each case by some sense of spiritual crisis and personal asceticism. Each left as his or her primary legacy a posthumous collection of pieces of writing that both call for and resist being gathered into wholes; correlatively, the compositional methods of all three involved processes of assembling and reassembling those pieces of writing - Pascal's bundled pensées; Dickinson's similarly bundled "fascicles" of poems; the fragmentary remarks that Wittgenstein arranged and rearranged in different boxes and manuscripts. For each, the relationship of "inner experience" to the body, to language and to the other is a central question. Each writes and thinks in ways that draw on while radically concentrating the signifying power of everyday language. In each the mathematical imagination - comparing and manipulating figures and quantities, working with proportions, performing calculations, undertaking proofs - plays a central role, though always in the service of demonstrating its limits. Each conducts an on-going dialogue between the voicing of belief and the voicing of doubt. In some cases, a pre-occupation may be shared by two writers that is not by a third: thus, for example, Christianity and the Bible are central to an understanding of Pascal and Dickinson but not (it would seem) of Wittgenstein; the nature of philosophy and scientific thinking are explicit questions for Pascal and Wittgenstein in ways that they are not for Dickinson; fantasies of mental privacy haunt Dickinson and Wittgenstein in ways they do not Pascal (or not as obsessively). In other cases, similar issues surface in each writer in a different way: how does Wittgenstein's emphasis on language-games, for example, relate to Dickinson's serious playing with language, or to Pascal's famous use of probability theory to argue for belief in God as "a good bet" or to his extended meditation on custom and "divertissement"? Our aim in this course will be to familiarize ourselves with each writer on his or her own terms while also exploring some of the numerous points and areas of intersection among them, always through careful attention to individual pieces of writing. Through our own more or less experimental juxtapositions, hopefully we may gain a further appreciation of how these writings work and how their workings engage with history. Principle readings: Pascal's Pensées, the corpus of Dickinson's poetry, and Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. Reading knowledge of French desirable but not essential.

 
ENGL 80700 Problems in Posthumanism
Prof. Karl Steel Mondays 2:00-4:00 [32074]

It is too easy for a posthumanist critique to retroactively construct a concept of the “human” that invisibly possesses all the characteristics of an able, straight white man, well-off and comfortable, who, by being pushed out of his humanism, can somehow lead us all -- whoever "we" are -- into a new and better engagement with “the world.” This seminar will aim to linger on the variegated category of the human, alongside, with, and through categories of the “animal” and “nature,” considering them all both historically and alongside critiques of and engagements with posthumanism from a queer, gender, disability, and critical race theory perspectives. We will read work by Stacy Alaimo, Donna Haraway, Mel Y Chen, Alexander G. Weheliye, the GLQ special issue on “Queer Inhumanisms,” among others. Although our readings will largely be focused in critical animal theory and ecocriticism, we will use various well-known literary texts as laboratories for our critical practice. Since I am a medievalist, these texts will largely, but not entirely, be drawn from the Middle Ages, although some early modern writers (like Margaret Cavendish) will also be considered. Apart from the usual requirements of a seminar (a seminar paper, leading discussion), you will also be asked to practice writing in several academic genres (a sample syllabus, a book review, a call for papers). Reading knowledge of Middle English is welcome, although not required.
 
 
FREN 84000/HIST 71200 The 18th Century Enlightenment
Prof. Helena Rosenblatt Mondays 4:15-6:15 [32104]

It is a widely recognized fact that the modern Western world owes many of its fundamental concepts to the European Enlightenment. It is also true that since the mid-20th century, the Enlightenment has come under sustained attack. It is accused of a variety of purported sins, including Euro-centrism, imperialism, racism, sexism, and proto-totalitarianism. In this course, we will read texts by some of the most important writers of the Enlightenment (Hume, Lessing, Locke, Mendelssohn, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Wollstonecraft) with a focus on the following themes: the social contract and the role of government, property and commerce, religion, race and slavery, sex and gender. We will also read recent critiques and defenses of the Enlightenment, with a view to deciding for ourselves what we might still be able to learn from it.
 
 
SPAN 70200 Hispanic Critical & Cultural Theory
Prof. Silvia Dapía Mondays 4:15-6:15 [32229]

"Why did theory come about?  What qualifies as theory under different historical conditions? What difference could it make to our reading of literature? What is “affect,” “post-hegemony,”  "infrapolitics," “post-sovereignty” and why did these notions appear? The aim of this course is to give a map of the main concepts and currents of contemporary theory while providing historical and philosophical understanding of those theories and concepts.  Included on our map will be post-Lacanian psychoanalysis (Slavoj Žižek), post-Marxism (Ernesto Laclau, Chantal Mouffe, Jacques Rancière), biopolitics (Roberto Esposito) and affect theory (Lauren Berlant, Antonio Negri, Sianne Ngai).  We will place these theories in their historical and institutional contexts and explore the way in which fundamental assumptions are at stake. The goal is to understand them in their place, time, and traditions, but also to see what is of “use” for literature in their thought. Other thinkers who may be included are Benjamin Arditi, Gabriela Basterra, Oscar Cabezas, Jon Beasley-Murray, Alberto Moreiras, Bruno Bosteels, Pilar Calveiro, Eduardo Subirats, and León Rozitchner."

 
SPAN 87100 When Narrative & Image Interact: Intermedial Spaces in Latin American Writing & Photography
Prof. Magdalena Perkowska Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [32232]

Since the discovery of photography in 1839, and despite its long association with the mechanical reproduction of reality, the photographic image has increasingly assumed the role of participating in or indeed embodying literary projects. This course explores different modalities of interaction between photography and literary texts in contemporary Latin American writing and between photography and narrativity.  It will cover fictional questioning of photographic ethics (Julio Cortázar, Roberto Bolaño), fiction with photographs (Eduardo Belgrano Rawson, Mario Bellatín), the photographic essay (Diamela Eltit, Eduardo Lalo), the photographic narrative (Susan Meiselas, Juan Manuel Echavarría), and the photograph as (a source of) narrative (Marcelo Brodsky). We will examine these intermedial spaces in conjunction with theoretical readings on photography and literature in relation to affect, memory, ethics, and politics (Walter Benjamin, Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag, W.J.T. Mitchell, Jacques Rancière, Marianne Hirsch, Ariella Azoulay, Margaret Olin). The crossing of medial boundaries produces an imagetext  (Mitchell) or sentence-image (Rancière), a site of tension, slippage, transformation, displacement or interference, which impugns the notion of a single, fixed meaning; challenges representation by revealing its inescapable heterogeneity; reorganizes textual-visual visibilities and hierarchies;  and  posits questions about ethics of reader- and spectatorship.


HIST 72300 Gender Theory for Historians
Prof. Dagmar Herzog Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [32169]

This graduate seminar is designed to introduce students to both classic and more recent texts in the overlapping areas of women’s and gender history, queer studies, and feminist, psychoanalytic, deconstructionist and poststructuralist theory, with forays into a wide range of historiographical styles and occasional excursions into anthropology, sociology, literary criticism, and political philosophy. There will be special emphasis on: the historical intersections of gender, race, economics, empire, religion; the histories of subjectivities and epistemologies; and the histories of psychiatry, sexuality, disability, reproduction. Most of the texts will focus on the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East since the 18th c., with many focused on the recent past and near-present. Throughout, the goal will be to understand the practical usefulness of varieties of gender theory for the diverse historical research projects you all are engaged in. Requirements include thorough reading of the assigned materials, two critical questions about each assigned text sent to instructor and classmates in advance of class every time, thoughtful and active participation in class discussions, two short summary analyses of weekly readings also sent to instructor and classmates in advance of class (we will divide up the reading list amongst ourselves on the first day), and one longer final paper exploring the relevance of and putting to use some aspect(s) of gender theory for your own work. Questions and summaries must be emailed by 7 a.m. on Tues.
 
HIST 70900 Human Science in the Age of Extremes
Prof. Andreas Killen Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [32173]

During the 20th century the human sciences became caught up in large-scale processes of social reform, revolution, war, postwar reconstruction, and decolonization. Many of these disciplines – psychiatry, criminology, psychoanalysis, sexology, anthropology and allied fields – underwent formative phases of their development within the shadow of the political conflicts and wars that marked what the historian Eric Hobsbawm called the “age of extremes.” What was the relation between politics and these disciplines? What kinds of hopes and promises marked the birth and development of these fields? In what way did these “young sciences” (to paraphrase Freud) become entangled within reformist, utopian, or – in some cases – deeply transgressive modes of social and human engineering? What conceptual, methodological, and ethical responses mark the history of these entanglements? This class will be organized around a combination of seminal theoretical readings (ranging from Michel Foucault and Ian Hacking to Franz Fanon) and works of historical scholarship that together will help us explore these issues.
 
 
MUS 84000 Music and Cultural Disability Studies
Prof. Joseph Strauss Wednesdays 2:00-5:00 [32298]

This course lies at the intersection of musicology/music theory and cultural disability studies, probing what each can learn from the other.  We will read standard texts in cultural disability studies (Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Lennard Davis, Tobin Siebers, and others) and a wide range of recent scholarship in music (including the recently published Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies).

 
PHIL 77500/PSC 80203 Adam Smith-Rousseau-Kant: Moral and Political Philosophy
Prof. Catherine Wilson Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 [32402]

This course will focus on the moral and political philosophy of these three 18th century philosophers and their contemporaries. Topics to be addressed include the roles of convention and sentiment in moral philosophy and the Kantian reaction against this development, philosophical attitudes to war and conquest, 'stadial' theories of history, theories of progress, and the role of women. Readings will include portions of Adam Smith's Theory of Moral Sentiments and Wealth of Nations; Rousseau's Discourse on the Origins of Inequality; and portions of Kant's Anthropology and his political essays, along with selections from Buffon, Diderot, Condorcet, and Fourier.

 
PHIL 76800 Linguistic Pragmatism
Profs. Michael Devitt and Stephen Neal Wednesdays 9:30-11:30 [32403]

An exciting development in recent philosophy of language has been the debate surrounding “linguistic pragmatism” and “linguistic contextualism”. Paul Grice is the founding father of this movement. Its seminal work is Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson’s Relevance. Contributions to the debate to be examine in the seminar include those by Kent Bach, Robyn Carston, François Récanati, John Searle, and others. We aim, first, to look critically at competing methodologies at work in the debate, and second, to tackle substantive issues about the semantic properties of a range of linguistic expressions and constructions.
 
The folk distinguish what a person says in uttering something from what the person means, from the intended message. Almost everyone thinks the folk are onto something with this distinction. Grice’s distinction between what is said and what is implicated is based on it, as is Sperber and Wilson’s distinction between explicature and implicature. And there are other similar distinctions. These distinctions raise many questions. What is the principled basis for putting something on one side rather than the other? Is it appropriate to rely on intuitions in making judgments of this sort? If not, what?  Is a distinction of this sort to be found in nonlinguistic communication?  How much truth is there in claims that what is said constituted by things other than linguistic convention—for example, context, common ground, conversational maxims, nonlinguistic norms, and the contents of beliefs and intentions relevant to resolving potential lexical, structural, referential, and anaphoric ambiguities and potential cases of underspecification? What substance is there in the claim made by some pragmatists that “truth-conditional semantics” should be replaced by “truth-conditional pragmatics”?  What hangs on this difference between “pragmatics” and “semantics”? Most important of all: Why is any distinction in question theoretically interesting?  What role does it play in theoretical explanations of linguistic phenomena? The course will address these difficult questions.
 
This is not an introduction to the philosophy of language. Anyone wishing to enroll who is not a philosophy graduate student or who is new to the philosophy of language should consult with us beforehand.
 

PHIL 77700/PSC 87800/UED 75100 Dewey and American Society
Prof. Steven Cahn Mondays 11:45-1:45 [32395]

An exploration of John Dewey's views on democracy, education, ethics, politics, and religion. We shall read THE QUEST FOR CERTAINTY, DEMOCRACY AND EDUCATION, EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION, THEORY OF VALUATION, FREEDOM AND CULTURE, and A COMMON FAITH.

 
PSC 71901 Contemporary Political Theory
Prof. Robyn Marasco Thursdays 11:45-1:45 [32564]

This course provides a rigorous introduction to major works of political theory in the twentieth century.  Our seminar will proceed as close readings of whole books and essays, on the assumption that political theory is best digested in non-excerpted form and that a different group of interpretive muscles are flexed when we linger on a work in its (exhaustive and exhausting) entirety. Readings will include works by Carl Schmitt, Leo Strauss, Hannah Arendt, CLR James, Theodor Adorno, Louis Althusser, Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, John Rawls, Catherine MacKinnon, and Jacques Ranciere.  This seminar is designed primarily for Political Science graduate students preparing a concentration in political theory, but it is also open to students in Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, Women’s Studies, and related fields.  This seminar will be especially useful for students preparing for their comprehensive exams in political theory.
By the end of the semester, you should expect to:

  1. Distinguish among various approaches to contemporary political theory and the traditions upon which they build.
     
  2. Develop reading & writing skills and, especially, the capacity to build compelling, arguments on major thinkers and topics in contemporary political theory.
 

SPSC 72100 American Political Thought
Prof. Ruth O’Brien Mondays 4:15-6:15 [32203]

This seminar examines American political thought in historical perspective. It breaks this perspective down into the revolutionary; founding, civil war; populist; Social Darwinist; bourgeois individualist; progressive; industrial capitalist, New Deal; and identity politics periods. Original texts ranging from: James Madison’s Federalist Papers; John Dewey’s The Public and Its Problems; Malcolm X’s Autobiography to Gloria E. Anzaldua’s This Bridge Called my Back will be read. In addition, to concentrating on the standard interpretations of these texts, some radical interpretations will be emphasized, particularly black feminist thought. Also, the seminar gives more weight to the latter half of American political thought written about capitalism and identity politics in the late-19th and 20th centuries rather than the founding or the civil war eras in the 18th and early and mid-19th centuries.

 
PSC 80302 Bio Politics
Prof. Paisley Currah Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [32193]

If sovereign power is the power to “take life or let live,” biopower is “the power to foster life or disallow it to the point of death.” In this course we will spend the first few weeks closely examining Foucault’s writings and lectures on the concept of bio politics, which operates through both the bio political regulation of populations and the disciplinary institutions and discourses brought to bear on individuals. After becoming familiar with the historical and theoretical scaffolding Foucault provides, we will consider reappraisals and re-deployments of biopolitics in light of new techniques for disassembling the individual and convening populations. Centering feminist, anti-racist, queer, post-colonial perspectives, readings may cover: population racism; the commodification of reproduction on a global scale; new forms of neoliberal governance; precarity and slow death, bio-citizenship; bio-medicalization; gender, nationalism, and the policing of bodies and borders; the securitization of risk; the carceral state; and necropolitics and the refigured relation between death and politics. Students will be encouraged to apply the theoretical and empirical work on biopower to their own research interests.

 
PSC 80304 Modern Classics in Political Philosophy
Prof. Uday Mehta Mondays 2:00-4:00 [32188]

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 interests, values and anxieties motivate the formation of political society? How might political society be distinguished from other social forms? How do the motivations underlying political society conform to the normative and institutional prescriptions proposed by different philosophers?  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?
 
 
PSYC 74003 Historical and Theoretical Foundations of Critical Psychology
Prof. Susan Opotow Wednesdays 9:30-11:30 [32686]

This is a required course for all first year Critical Social/Personality students. We read and
discuss materials that exemplify: (1) the link between the intellectual concerns of personality
and social psychologists; (2) the need to approach human behavior through a variety of levels of
analysis from the individual to organizational and societal levels, and (3) the importance of an
historical, theoretical, and critical approaches in to research. Students are introduced to classic
and contemporary texts in critical social/personality psychology. 
 
The course is designed so that students will:
 
  • Recognize the personal, cultural, political, and historical influences in the work we do
  • Be aware of the variety of theoretical approaches in the field and to develop personal strategies for working with and selecting among them
  • Understand how theory connects with diverse psychological methods and societal contexts
  • Develop a way of working in critical social/ personality that includes the use of historical and theoretical perspectives
  • Attend to the interplay among micro, meso, and macro levels of analysis
  • Be aware of the influence that physical and social contexts make to attitudes, beliefs, and behavior and, in turn, the influence of attitudes, beliefs, and behavior on these contexts.

 
To register, permission of the professor is required.


PSYC 80103 "Challenging" Constructs
Prof. Michelle Fine Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [32766]

“Challenging” constructs is designed to critically examine the history and transformations of key theoretical, and epistemological turns in social sciences.  The course will be designed as a series of conversations between researchers who interrogate similar topics through distinct theoretical/epistemological lens, and then two retreats in which students will present critical historic deconstructions of key conceptual and epistemological constructs in their own work.

 
SOC 80000 Foucault, Bourdieu, and Baudrillard
Prof. Marnia Lezreg Mondays 4:15-6:15 [32213]

Like Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu as well as Jean Baudrillard addressed issues pertaining to the transformations of French-qua-Western culture.  Yet they also sought, directly or indirectly, to distinguish their sociology from Foucault’s social philosophy.  In 1977 Jean Baudrillard wrote that Foucault’s conception of power is a “mythic discourse” rather than a discourse that purportedly reveals the truth about the nature of power relations.  In 1968, Bourdieu, a one-time former student of Foucault, turned Foucault’s question “What is an Author?”  into “How to read an Author.”  However, Baudrillard also shared with Foucault a rejection of the core concepts of Cartesian rationalism and a “poststructuralist” orientation, while Bourdieu intended to stake out a sociological perspective that incorporated a number of Foucault’s critical theoretical insights.  What historical, philosophical, political and biographical factors account for these French sociologists’ mixture of reticent admiration for and skepticism about Foucault’s ideas and political engagements?  Did they resolve the ambiguities and antinomies present in Foucault’s theoretical orientation and methodology? To what extent sociology transforms or is transformed by Foucault’s social philosophy?
 
 
SOC 80000 Issues in Contemporary Theory: The Psyche and the Social
Prof. Patricia Clough Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [32214]

Focusing on contemporary psychoanalytic writings as well as looking back to classical works of Freud, Klein, Lacan, Winnicott, the course will stage an encounter between psychoanalysis and contemporary philosophical turns to affect, objects, ecologies and technologies in order to rethink the psyche and the social today.   We will then evaluate the potential of social psychoanalytic thinking for addressing contemporary cultural and political issues, especially the implication of races, genders, sexualities in biopolitics, contemporary global capitalism, neocolonialism and terrorism. 
 
 
SOC 82301 Black Intellectual Thought
Prof. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy Tuesdays 11:45-1:45 [32558]

This course explores the development and evolution of the Black intellectual tradition in the United States in the 20th and 21st centuries. In particular, the course explores two distinct areas: 1) conceptualizing and interrogating the diversity of scholarly approaches to the African-American condition and 2) what role(s) can/should intellectuals play in the Black freedom struggle. The course surveys ideological traditions that include, but are not limited to, Black nationalism, Black conservatism, Black feminism, Black Marxism, etc. These traditions are presented to raise greater consideration of the influence of ideology, diversity within the tradition, and the weight of ontological claims on programs of racial uplift and social change. Through an exploration of critical voices from inside and outside of academia, the course seeks to locate sites for potential intellectual intervention, pragmatic struggle, and redefinitions of the boundaries of Blackness. Readings from authors such as WEB Du Bois, Harold Cruse, Audre Lorde, Jared Sexton, Joy James, and Patricia Hill Collins are designed to survey existing approaches to social and intellectual problems facing Black peoples. Requirements for the class include: 1) thorough reading and discussion of the assigned course materials, 2) weekly response papers submitted digitally to the instructor, and 3) an in-depth term research paper on Black Intellectual Tradition.


 
SOC 82800 Dynamics of Urban Politics and Society
Prof. Stanley Aronowitz Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [32627]

The urban landscape is rapidly changing. Major manufacturing centers are either depleted or have disappeared. For example, New York, which at one point had 1.1 million factory workers, now has less than 100,000. This course explores both historically and conceptually the economic, social, and cultural dimensions of the city and suburbs focusing on the dynamics of power. The course will focus on the work of Lewis Mumford and Henri Lefebvre, and will include articles and books by others.

 
SOC 86800 Culture and Cognition
Prof. Thomas DeGloma Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [32626]

This course will provide a comprehensive overview of cognitive sociology. In general, the purpose of this course is to help you build an understanding of the relationship between culture and the mind. In other words, you will learn how the communities to which we belong shape our mental processes. More particularly, you will be introduced to various sociological studies and theories that illuminate the ways people perceive and understand the world around them, attribute meaning to events and experiences, comprehend their identities and the identities of others, draw boundaries and separate the world into categories, experience time, and remember or envision the past. While our mental processes are seemingly personal, they are actually products of culture. The studies and theories we will cover in this course are relevant to a huge range of topics, issues, and areas of sociological study: from mental health to war, from political power relations to sexual attraction, from the social logic of fear and taboo to the politics of memory, from the cultural dynamics of identity (with regard to the wide diversity of identity categories and reference groups) to the ways individuals tell stories about growth and transformation in their lives, and much more. 
 
 
THEA 80300 Seminar in Theatrical Theory and Criticism:  Marxism, Theatre, Performance: Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Pierre Bordieu, and Raymond Williams
Prof. David Savran Fridays 2:00-4:00  [32243]

Since the 1920s, Marxist philosophers and theorists have debated the political import of theatrical, musical, and literary performances. Focusing on four major figures—Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Pierre Bourdieu, and Raymond Williams—this course will study the many and ongoing debates about theatre and performance that helped shape Western Marxism, disputes about popular culture, expressionism, epic theatre, cultural hierarchy, imperialism, and racial formations. We will read key works by these four theorists (and their recent critics and interlocutors) which analyze the socioeconomics and aesthetics of theatre as an institution and the effectivity of performance practices. Final grades will be determined by participation in seminar, two written reports, and a final paper. Students not enrolled in the Theatre department must contact the instructor (dsavran@gc.cuny.edu) for permission to register for this class.
 
 
UED 71100 Introduction to Urban Literacies
Prof. Terri Epstein Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 [32282]

The course will examine a range of conceptual and empirical studies on literacy practices in urban contexts.  Course topics include comparative definitions of the term “literacies”; the role of social identities in shaping literacy practices; the formation, development and mis/alignment of literacy practices in homes, schools and communities, and culturally responsive/sustaining approaches to teaching and learning literacies in urban contexts.  In addition to readings framed by critical and sociocultural theories, students also will explore research that utilizes the following: critical race theory, latcrit (Latino) theory, tribalcrit (Native American), queer theory, cultural funds of knowledge, and culturally relevant/sustaining pedagogies. Coursework includes weekly reflection papers, student-led presentations and a research paper, based on student interest and course readings. 

 
UED 75100 Power, Discourse and Knowledge in Education: Postmodernist and postcolonial critical theory
Prof. Ofelia García Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [32285]

This seminar explores the contributions of critical theorists whose work impacts contemporary educational debates. In particular, we focus on theories that explore the relationship between power, discourse and knowledge, and how these are used as a form of social control in society and especially in educational institutions. The seminar builds on postmodernist and postcolonial scholarly literature to examine how structures of discourse shape institutions and how power is closely linked to system of discursive practices, particularly in education.  Using the theories of representative scholars, we analyze how knowledge is created, controlled and distributed in schools, and how minoritized people are represented and given the “right” to speak or not, and to what degree and how.  Among the scholars whose work we will read are:  Gloria Anzaldúa, Mikhail Bakhtin, Homi Bhabha, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, Jacques Derrida, Frantz Fanon, Michel Foucault, Stuart Hall, Walter Mignolo, Aníbal Quijano, Edward Said, Gayatri Chakraviorty Spivak, and Ngugi wa Thing’o. 
 

UED 75100 Learning & Development: Sociocultural, Critical, Dialectical Approaches
Prof. Anna Stetsenko Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 [32291]

This course will explore a broad spectrum of approaches and theories at the intersection of human development and education. The focus will be on novel frameworks including situated, dialectical, critical, and sociocultural approaches as they have evolved from the key theories of the twentieth century including those by Dewey, Vygotsky, and Freire. We will explore how these novel frameworks are embedded within the socio-intellectual and political contexts to understand and critique their applications and dynamics. In surveying connections between theoretical ideas and practical applications, the focus will be on implicit epistemologies and methods of inquiry, as well as visions and ideologies at the intersections of culture, knowledge and power. The goal is to analyze the major trends and paradigms “in the making” and gain the conceptual tools to challenge standard ways of thinking in developing insights to guide research and social practices.