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Courses

ANTH 81000/CL 78200 Life Histories, Self, and Other
Prof. Vincent Crapanzano Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [28932]

ANTH 72400 Markets: A Critical Historical Approach
Prof. Michael Blim Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [28923]

ART 70000 Methods: Readings in the History of Art
Prof. Romy Golan Mondays 2:00-4:00 [28563]

CLAS 73400 Cognitive Theory and Classics
Prof. Peter Meineck Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 at NYU [28513]

CL 79500 Theory and Practice of Literary Criticism and Scholarship
Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 [28678]

CL 89000 Returning to Form: New Historicism and its Discontents
Prof. Martin Elsky Mondays 6:30-8:30 [28683]

CL 89100 History of Literary Theory and Criticism I
Prof. Andre Aciman Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [28684]

EES 79903/PSYC 80103 Critical Social and Environmental Policy
Prof. John Seley Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [29036]

ENGL 84500 Worlding Victorian Studies
Prof. Tanya Agathocleous Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [28533]

ENGL 80600 Children’s and Young Adult Literature: Reflections on Theory and Method
Prof. Carrie Hintz Mondays 6:30-8:30 [28537]

ENGL 86600 Postcolonialism/Poststructuralism/Postmarxism: Theoretical Postings From the Present
Prof. Peter Hitchcock Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [28538]

ENGL 85800 The Digital Caribbean
Prof. Kelly Josephs Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [28540]

ENGL 76000 Modernity and Consciousness
Prof. Allison Pease Wednesdays 11:45-1:45 [28547]

ENGL 85500 Black Lives
Prof. Robert Reid-Pharr Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [28549]

ENGL 80600 Contemporary Narrative Theory
Prof. David Richter Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [28552]

ENGL 79010 Speaking Truth to Power: Rhetorics of Domination and Resistance
Prof. Ira Shor Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 [28554]

ENGL 83500: Enlightenment Readings in Literature and Philosophy
Prof. Nancy Yousef Thursdays 2:00-4:00 [28561]

FREN 71110 Problems in French Literary History:  The Novel
Prof. Bettina Lerner Thursdays 6:30-8:30 [28628]

FREN 73000 Orientalisms in the Seventeenth Century
Prof. Domna Stanton Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [28629]

FREN 76000 Le genre romanesque en France au 20ème siecle
Prof. Royal Brown Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00 [28630]

HIST 72800 The Medium of Culture
Prof. Dagmar Herzog Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [28823]

HIST 71200 Intellectual Politics of the French Revolution
Prof. Helena Rosenblatt Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [28826]

HIST 72100/PSC 71903 Dictatorship: The Career of a Concept from Robespierre to Lenin and Beyond
Prof. Richard Wolin Mondays 4:15-6:15 [28827]

HIST 78110 The Iranian Revolution in Comparative Perspective
Prof. Ervand Abrahamian Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 [28836]

MUS 83500 (Ethno)Musicology and Social Theory
Prof. Jane Sugarman Wednesdays 10:00-1:00 [28900]

PHIL 77800 Contemporary Problems in the Philosophy of Art
Prof. Noel Carroll Tuesdays 9:30-11:30 [28805]

PHIL 77600 Kant's Ethics and Politics
Prof. Sibyl Schwarzenbach Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [28807]

PSC 80302 Policing the Social: Aristotle, Foucault, Rancière
Prof. Leonard Feldman Thursdays 11:45-1:45 [28872] 

PSC 71901 Critical Reason: The Basics
Prof. Susan Buck-Morss Tuesdays 2:00-4:00 [28860]

PSC 71902 Social Contract Theory
Prof. Mira Morgenstern Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [28868]

PSC 80301 Ancient Political Thought
Prof. Uday Mehta Wednesdays 2:00-4:00 [28866]

PSYC 74003 Historical and Theoretical Foundations of Critical Social/Personality Psychology
Prof. Susan Opotow Wednesdays 9:30-11:30 [29100]

PSYC 80103 Program Evaluation and Theories of Change
Prof. Roderick Watts Mondays 2:00-4:00 [29129]

PSYC 80103 The Politics of Reproduction
Prof. Dana-Ain Davis Mondays 4:15-6:15 [29134]

SOC 80000 Michel Foucault and the Paradox of Culture
Prof. Marnia Lazreg Mondays 4:15-6:15 [28880]

SOC 80000 Social Theory and Non-Human Environment
Prof. Patricia Clough Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 [28879]

SOC 82303 Global Climate Crisis: Social and Political Aspects
Prof. Stanley Aronowitz Thursdays 4:15-6:15 [29270]

SPAN 70200 Hispanic Critical & Cultural Theory
Prof. Oswaldo Zavala Tuesdays 6:30-8:30 [28731]

SPAN 87200 The Cinema of Pedro Almodovar and Guillermo del Toro
Prof. Paul-Julian Smith Wednesdays 4:15-6:15 [28732]

SPAN 87400 Asaltos a la biblioteca: Scenes of Reading in Latin America
Prof. Fernando Degiovanni Mondays 4:15-6:15 [28728]
 
THEA 80400 Seminar in Theatre Theory:  Extending Queer:  Theory and Performance
Prof. Sean Edgecomb Mondays 4:15-6:15 [28649]


ANTH 81000/CL 78200 Life Histories, Self, and Other
Prof. Vincent Crapanzano Wednesdays 2:00-4:00

This seminar will focus on the expression of self and other in life-historical texts and oral accounts. We will read exemplary life histories, ranging from Saint Augustine’s Confessions to Milarepa, The Biography of a Tibetan Yogi by way of Montaigne, Kierkegaard, Woolf, Blanchot, and Barthes.  Particular attention will be given to how the other figures in these narratives: the way it constitutes the self, the subject, and subjectivity. Is it opaque, transparent, friendly, inimical, seductive, internalized, frozen, or dead? How does it figure in the intimate surround of the self-narrator? Attention will be given to modes of self-reflection and objectification, to bad faith, the unsayable and the unsaid, to solipsism, exceptionalism, and the moral challenge self-narratives pose, including those generated through the ethnographic interview. Theoretical readings will include, Hegel, Schiller (on Bildung), Freud, Sartre, Bataille, Lacan, and Foucault.


ANTH 72400 Markets: A Critical Historical Approach
Prof. Michael Blim Thursdays 4:15-6:15

This seminar explores the concept of markets from several standpoints. First, we examine the development of the concept itself and the work it was intended to do in resolving the relations between human needs and their fulfillment in society. Second, we entertain the hypothesis that markets as means of satisfying human needs were “overtaken” by the rise of capitalism and transformed into social structures of accumulation for bourgeois classes in various times and places. Third, we sort out the conditions whereby markets can be disentangled or in the stronger sense reconstituted to some degree semi-autonomously from capitalism. This exercise entails picking apart the currently circulating notions that markets are inherently efficient, transparent, and rational, the last characteristic signifying that markets represent at any given moment the true value of commodities for the satisfaction of people’s needs.

Readings consist of classic texts, historical accounts of markets and capitalism, as well as provocative examples of contemporary market settings that reveal the frailties of current economic analysis as well as provide material for rethinking the problem of markets and capitalism.

For anthropology students or advanced graduate students in other disciplines.



ART 70000 Methods: Readings in the History of Art
Prof. Romy Golan Mondays 2:00-4:00
This course will focus on readings in the history of art focusing on 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 culturaldifference, 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 readings: Martin Heidegger, “The origin of the work of art” (1935)


CLAS 73400 Cognitive Theory and the Classics
Prof. Peter Meineck Tuesdays 4:15-6:15 at NYU

The course examines how cognitive science, cognitive theoretical approaches and neuroscience is being applied to the study of the ancient world. We will explore new approaches ancient material culture, performance and literature, aesthetics, language and linguistics, ancient concepts of the mind and social psychology. No specialized knowledge of the cognitive science is required. The class will involve guest speakers, field trips, one research paper and a final presentation.


CL 79500 Theory and Practice of Literary Criticism and Scholarship
Prof. Giancarlo Lombardi Tuesdays 6:30-8:30

This course will survey issues in contemporary literary theory, with particular attention to structuralism, reader-response theory, narratology, psychoanalysis, deconstruction, post-colonial and subaltern studies, neo-historicism, feminism, and cultural studies. Readings by Barthes, Gadamer, Eco, Genette, Lacan, Freud, Derrida, De Man, Johnson, Felman, Said, Appiah, Spivak, Foucault, Kristeva, Irigaray, Cixous, and others.


CL 89000 Returning to Form: New Historicism and its Discontents
Prof. Martin Elsky Mondays 6:30-8:30

The context of this course will be the current critical debates about the revival of literary form, specifically the formalist critique of, and response to the dominance of historicism and neglect of form over the past decades.  We will begin with the arguments against New Historicism posed by the New Formalism and “surface reading.” We will then survey the major theories of literary form as the mediator of ethical experience, affect, and cognition in: antiquity (Plato, Aristotle), the Middle Ages (Dante on allegory), the Renaissance (debates among Mintorno, Castelvetro, Tasso, Sidney), Romanticism (the Schlegels, Schleiermacher, Wordsworth, Coleridge), and the New Criticism (Brooks, Warren, Wimsatt). Assignments include oral report and longer term project.


CL 89100 History of Literary Theory and Criticism I
Prof. Andre Aciman Tuesdays 4:15-6:15

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.


EES 79903/PSYC 80103 Critical Social and Environmental Policy
Prof. John Seley Wednesdays 4:15-6:15
This seminar is an introduction to the issues and methods of policy analysis.  We start with a comprehensive overview of the many facets of understanding policy making in order to differentiate the approaches to policy analysis.  Using a series of exercises, we examine issues like the market versus the polis, equity and efficiency, and the use of numbers.  Subject areas may include education, economic development, health care, the economy, and, of course, the environment. For each, we will ask what researchers have done, why, and with what "success."
 
The next part of the course is devoted to more direct policy analysis exercises conducted by students. We will examine concerns like the collection of data and the use of best practices.  The last third of the class is devoted to environmental policy.  How are environmental concerns understood by the public and policy makers?  How do we overcome the built-in constraints of status quo media and corporate influence?  How does an understanding of policy lead to action? 
 
By the end of the course, the student is expected to have a basic understanding of different approaches to policy and policy analysis and the important questions used to interrogate policy solutions.  There will be a series of assignments/exercises as well as a final paper on a topic of the student’s choosing.


ENGL 84500 Worlding Victorian Studies
Prof. Tanya Agathocleous Thursdays 4:15-6:15

Victorian Studies, the only literary field still identified with a British ruler, has recently shifted in scope, expanding beyond its national emphasis in a range of ways. This course examines the theoretical, methodological and formal implications of this shift. For example: in what ways does thinking about literature in terms of “things,” “networks,” or “affects” change the scope of the field and the kinds of questions we ask of it? What would a surface reading of imperial culture look like? How might we close read texts in translation? After analyzing the range of “worlds” constructed within in the field—variously labeled imperial, oceanic (Black Atlantic, Indian Ocean, transatlantic), international, cosmopolitan, transnational and geopolitical—we will discuss the research methodologies that best serve these different approaches and apply them to literary case studies (texts may include Jane Eyre, The Moonstone, The Way We Live Now, and Sea of Poppies, as well as essays, poems and periodicals). Finally, we will think about the historical as well as geographic parameters of the field by investigating the ways eighteenth-century and modernist scholars have used non-national paradigms. Alongside literary-critical works focused on specific texts, theoretical readings are likely to include works by Anderson, Apter, Bhabha, Berlant, Chakrabarty, Foucault, Gilroy, Harvey, Jameson, Latour, Marx, Moretti, Said, and Sedgwick.

 
ENGL 80600 Children’s and Young Adult Literature: Reflections on Theory and Method
Prof. Carrie Hintz Mondays 6:30-8:30

The course will explore secondary and theoretical texts in the field of Children’s and Young Adult literature to explore how scholars develop their research—and their methodological and theoretical underpinnings as they do so.
After looking at a couple of formative texts (Beverly Lyons Clark and Jacqueline Rose), we will focus on books and articles published over the last 5-10 years, selectively reading relevant primary texts.   A number of the books and articles we cover will be those honored with prizes by the Children’s Literature Association—but not all of them.

Critical methods explored will include, but not be limited to: historicism, critical race theory, feminist theory, object-oriented-ontology, psychoanalysis, visual and sound studies, the new formalism, affect theory, postcolonial theory, popular culture theory and criticism (esp. film and television), genre theory, material culture approaches, and childhood studies approaches.
 
The course will be useful not only to those who seek to incorporate children’s and YA into their own scholarship, but also to students who would like to examine theoretical methodologies within the field of English studies more generally (and good for those working on their Passport essay).
 

ENGL 86600 Postcolonialism/Poststructuralism/Postmarxism: Theoretical Postings From the Present
Prof. Peter Hitchcock Wednesdays 4:15-6:15

 We are so used to “post”ing theory that understanding its nuance is already lost to generalization and conflation of differing forms of “post” in its articulation. There is also a deadening presentism prevalent in the politics of post that must, at any cost, announce a fetishistic timeliness by post-dating any current theoretical position (this is basically academic Snapchat). Thirdly, one cannot discount the power of posting theory because a politics of “after” is after the idea theory is often a luxurious and elitist alibi for the real foundations evident in otherwise relatively simple truths. This course will argue for a somewhat more conflictual, reflexive, and situated understanding of theory in the era of the post-it. On the one hand it will serve as a polemical introduction to some of the more prominent figures and theories associated with my troublesome trio; on the other, the course will advance a critical paradigm in the service of a practical cross-talk in their otherwise disparate concerns. This does not mean the politics of continued decolonization, rigorous anti-structuralism, and Marxist exceptionalism are the same. Far from it. Nevertheless, I hope to clarify the notion that theoretical difference has a politics of alignment and the obfuscation of this possibility principally girds the will-to-post in contemporary theorization and its discontents. We will attempt to avoid the supermarket approach to theory (“better reference this Italian, French or “other” somewhere”) and a new passion for dismissing theory as some hermeneutical fib. If we take theory more seriously we might better appreciate its ability to conceptualize radically our research agendas, even if this might mean suspending the pretensions of post in such endeavor (seen, for instance, is some forms of eco-criticism), or subjecting its matter-of-factness to committed reevaluation (approaches that can extend to a variety of posts, like postfeminism, postnationalism, postcommunism, and, most awkwardly, post-postcolonialism, etc.). The course will conclude with a view to the future of “posts,” and theories most likely to inform or supercede it.
 
Readings will be drawn from Spivak, Mbembe, Brown, Foucault, Derrida, Baudrillard, Butler, Jameson, Foster, Balibar, Ranciere, Zizek, Negri, Agamben and Badiou, but not exclusively. Pre-posts will include Spinoza, Marx, and Fanon. While prior knowledge of such theory would be greatly appreciated it will not be assumed. The basis of our discussions will be critical curiosity not estimable fluency. A class presentation and essay will be required in consultation with the instructor.


ENGL 85800 The Digital Caribbean
Prof. Kelly Josephs Wednesdays 2:00-4:00

In its rhizomatic structure and development, the internet is analogous to Caribbean culture: born out of disparate pieces and peoples; always already predicated on an elsewhere as home or authority; always already working to ignore geography and physical space as barriers to connection. This seminar probes the various epistemological, political and strategic ways in which cyberspace intersects with the formation and conceptualization of the Caribbean.
What constitutes the Caribbean is, of course, not a new question. As we explore the digital media productions that continue to reconfigure the social and geographic contours of the region, we will build on familiar debates surrounding study of the Caribbean. Issues to be addressed include: Geography: What challenge, if any, might cyberspace pose to our geo-centered conceptualization of Caribbean cultures? Community: In what ways do online spaces that claim (or are claimed by) the Caribbean struggle, together or individually, to articulate a cohesive culture? Archival history and voice: Does the ephemerality of online life and the economics of access endanger or enable what we may call the Caribbean subject?  Identity and representation:  What indeed comprises “the Caribbean subject”? How do questions of authenticity get deployed in crucial moments of tension involving diasporic subjects, particularly in the sped-up world of digital production? These questions, framed by Caribbean Studies, will be our primary focus, but they will be articulated with questions and theories from new digital media studies about knowledge production and circulation, digital boundaries and the democracy of access and usage.
Taking the concept of articulation (primarily as it was developed by Stuart Hall in the Cultural Studies context) as a starting point, this course begins by suggesting how Caribbean culture online can be mapped along select nodes of articulation, which carry within them registers of identity formation as well as resistances to structures of dominance. For example, what spaces serve as joints between academic, social, cultural, institutional and pedagogical sites? How, across these spaces and intersections, does cyberspace create the Caribbean? That is, we have long looked at film and literature to think the epistemology of this ever-shifting geo-cultural site, but how does a turn to the transtextual internet and the usage thereof affect what we think we know about the region and its diaspora? As the majority of graduate students are both scholars and future teachers, we will continuously consider the pedagogical and professional aspects of working with not only digital texts, but specifically those produced to represent a minority culture, particularly given the increasing digitization of academic work. Texts: This course melds theories of Caribbean culture with those of digital culture to conduct critical study of online spaces. In addition to examining primary digital sources, we will read articles from writers including: Stuart Hall, Kamau Brathwaite, Edouard Glissant, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, David Scott, Annie Paul, Curwen Best, Lisa Paravisini-Gebert, Anna Everett, Karim H. Karim, Lisa Makamura, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Jennifer Brinkerhoff and others. Requirements: Oral presentation, blog and in-class participation, and a term paper (15-20 pages) or digital project.
 

ENGL 76000 Modernity and Consciousness
Prof. Allison Pease Wednesdays 11:45-1:45

The search for subjectivity, for authentic self-presence, is the subject of some of the most provocative and exciting, if challenging, literature and theory of the twentieth century.  What does it mean to be a self, and can meaning emanate from the self alone?  In this course we will read theories of modernity and consciousness alongside novels, plays, and stories from the twentieth century in search of answers to these questions.  Writers and thinkers on the reading list may include Rene Descartes, Mathew Arnold, Walter Pater, Jurgen Habermas, W.E.B. DuBois, Sigmund Freud, Paul Gilroy, Henry James, William James, May Sinclair, Virginia Woolf, Nella Larsen, James Joyce, Joseph Conrad, Dorothy Richardson, and Samuel Beckett.
 

ENGL 85500 Black Lives
Prof. Robert Reid-Pharr Tuesdays 2:00-4:00

We will begin with the assumption that the very idea of a socially alive blackness continues to be intensely contested both philosophically and socially. The field of Black Studies is designed in part to address this situation. In most instances, however, the fundamental belief of scholars of black identity and culture has been that if the humanities and social sciences could only be weaned from the most vulgar forms of white supremacy they might yet provide key locations for the articulation of truly inclusive universalist ideals. In this course we will ask simply if this assumption is true. We will read both life writing and key works addressing questions of black subjectivity. These include: Frantz Fanon, Black Skin/White Masks; Alexander G. Welheliye, Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human. Selections from Katherine McKittrick, ed. Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis; Fred Moten and Stefano Harvey, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study; Nahum Chandler, “Of Exorbitance: The Problem of the Negro as a Problem of Thought.”  Criticism 50:3 (2008): 345 – 410; Stuart Hall, “Race, Articulation, and Societies Structured in Dominance.” In Sociological Theories: Race and Colonialism, Paris: UNESCO, 1980; Sylvia Wynter, “On How We Mistook the Map for the Territory and Re-imprisoned Ourselves in our Unbearable Wrongness of Being, of Désêtre: Black Studies Toward the Human Project,” in Lewis Gordon and Jane Gordon, eds. Not Only the Master’s Tools: African American Studies in Theory and Practice; Frank B. Wilderson, Incognegro: A Memoir of Exile and Apartheid; Lucille Clifton, Good Woman: Poems and a Memoir; Richard Wright, Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth; James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son; Samuel Delany, The Motion of Light in Water; M. Nourbese Philip, Zong; Gary Fisher, Gary in Your Pocket: Stories and Notebooks of Gary Fisher.  Students will be responsible for two in class presentations and a final paper.

 
ENGL 80600 Contemporary Narrative Theory
Prof. David Richter Tuesdays 4:15-6:15

After a brief but respectful glance at early twentieth century narrative theory (Henry James's The Art of Fiction; E.M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel; M.M. Bakhtin's Discourse in the Novel), the course will move to the two most fertile sources of contemporary narratology, Wayne C. Booth's The Rhetoric of Fiction and Gérard Genette's Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method.
In the main part of the course, we will be reading theoretical and applied texts by scholars from the four principal branches of contemporary narrative theory: (1) rhetorical narratology, including  Seymour Chatman, James Phelan, Peter Rabinowitz, and me; (2) cognitive narratology, including David Herman, Alan Palmer, Marie-Laure Ryan, and Lisa Zunshine;  (3) "unnatural" narratology, adapting narrative theory to experimental, minimally mimetic or anti-mimetic texts, including  Jan Alber, Henrik Skov Nielsen, and Brian Richardson; and (4) identity narratology (my shorthand term for theories that view gender/race/national markings as central rather than peripheral to the reading of narratives), including Susan Lanser, Gerald Prince, and Robyn Warhol. 
We will be discussing the controversies that arise from these approaches over topics that will include (1) authors, narrators, characters; (2) plot, progression, time; (3) narrative worlds: space, setting, perspective; (4) reception and the reader; (5) ethical values and aesthetic values.
Special topics late in the term may include adaptation of narrative across media; graphic media and music (how paintings and musical composition tell stories), and (3) unreliability in film narration. 
Students will work on individual projects that they will present to the class.

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

Vast wealth and power afford the billionaire class obvious hegemony in all domains, including the circulation of discourses in society. But, like rust, opposition never sleeps. Discourses of resistance are called into being by the very status quo silencing them. Most often in the margins, resistance sometimes fills the central squares of great cities with historic effect.
The global conflict now between armed oligarchy and unarmed democracy also takes place with linguistic weapons from rhetoric and discourse. Democratic forces advance by mass activism, what Negri and Hardt called “multitudes” and which they and David Harvey propose as a new rhetoric of the communal public sphere. A mass counter-weight to great wealth can consolidate through discourses which inspire subordinated people to demand public goods against plutocratic looting of national wealth. A key terrain of this ongoing conflict is a rhetorical contest between discourses of domination and discourses of opposition.
Discourses are signifying acts or texts which orient receivers or audiences to understand their conditions and experiences in certain ways (named “terministic screens” by Kenneth Burke and “frames” of perception by George Lakoff). Pierre Bourdieu called this effect “habitus” or the social construction of the self through the experiential discourses of everyday life from which we internalize ways of knowing and doing. For Bourdieu and for Michel Foucault, such structuring discourses give us ways of being that develop habits, preferences, perceptions, allegiances, and orientations. The discourses of daily life thus shape development because all signifying practices are inherently “suasive” (according to Burke, Foucault, and Jerome Bruner, among others). Discourses or signifying practices, then, are material forces through which human subjects are socially produced.
In this social construction of human subjects, ideology is the component of discourse which politically shapes people, processes, and sites, through a process called “interpellation” by Louis 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 effect).   
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 direct the composition of discourses and how does discourse achieve the composition of human subjects and society? Dominant rhetorics deploy discourses which produce busy and compliant human subjects; dissident rhetorics guide opposition discourses for developing critical human subjects. When Kenyan playwright Ngugi Wa’Thiongo pondered Europe’s disastrous 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 then consolidated by rhetoric and discourse (in this case metropolitan education, dispossession of local wealth and culture, and the primacy of European languages over native ones).      
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; Harvey, Rebel Cities plus other sources.


ENGL 83500: Enlightenment Readings in Literature and Philosophy
Prof. Nancy Yousef Thursdays 2:00-4:00
Often associated with restricting, even damaging, forms of rationalism, the period known as “the enlightenment” has become a familiar object of critique at the same time as it has become an increasingly rare subject of study.  This course will offer an opportunity to engage with central texts in eighteenth century philosophy and literature and thereby to develop a nuanced sense of an intellectual and cultural history that extends to, and has shaped, modern forms of social criticism.  Our focus will be the problem of knowing and being known by others as it emerges in philosophy of mind, ethics, and social contract theory, and as it is explored in key novels of the period.  Readings will cluster around three figures from the early, middle, and late parts of the century: Locke, Rousseau, and Kant (with supplementary shorter selections from Hobbes, Hume, Diderot, Smith and Burke).  Novelists to be studies include Heywood, Richardson, Radcliffe, and Austen.


FREN 71110 Problems in French Literary History: The Novel
Prof. Bettina Lerner Thursdays 6:30-8:30

In this seminar we will examine the evolution of the French novel from the early modem to the modern period.  We will begin with a brief overview of theoretical challenges posed by the novel as a literary genre that has repeatedly sought to redefine itself. We will then explore how this protean narrative form developed into a privileged site for cultural struggle. Over the course of the semester, we will see how each novel frames and negotiates a number of tensions that structure the literary field, including sentimentality and realism, politics and aesthetics, high and low, individual and society, history and memory. These readings will be paired with critical texts to which students will be asked to respond through bi-weekly response papers. In addition to these informal writing assignments, students will also redact a final paper on a topic of their choosing as well as complete an in-class final exam. Discussion will be in French. Students in the French department must write their final papers in French. Students from other departments may choose to write their final papers in English. Novels will most likely include: La Princesse de Clèves, Les liaisons dangereuses, Indiana, L'Éducation sentimentale, Du côté de chez Swann and W, ou le souvenir d'enfance.


FREN 73000 Orientalisms in the Seventeenth Century
Prof. Domna Stanton Tuesdays 4:15-6:15
This course will focus on Orientalisms in France's relations with the Ottoman  empire in the context of globality. Beginning with 16th-century orientalists such as Postel (long before Said's Orientalism begins to track these figures), we will examine theories of Orientalisms as well as a number of discourses, including cartographic representations and travel narratives and letters; commercial relations (and the European desire for oriental luxury items); pilgrimages; conversion narratives from Christian to Muslim to Christian; phantasms of oriental harems and baths and the gendering of the Orient itself as feminine and effeminate, despite the coincident stereotypy of Turks as militaristic, violent, and cruel. We will consider closely theatrical works produced in France (Paris and the port city of Rouen) in the period 1600-1680, when openness and "tolerance" of alterity (e.gg Manfray,  La rhodienne (1621), Scudéry, L'amant libéral (1638), Desfontaines, Perside [1644])  seem to close down during the reign of Louis XIV (e.g. Molière, Le bourgeois gentilhomme; Racine, Bajazet),just when the Ottoman threat to Europe is temporarily ended by the European victory at Vienna in l683.  We will examine the nature of the perceived threat (and desire) of Oriental despotism during the long reign of Louis XIV.
The course will be conducted in English. A reading knowledge of early-modern French is important, but translations, where they exist, will be made available. In addition to close readings of primary as well as historical and theoretical texts, work for the course will include an in-class presentation of one primary reading and a final exam. After consultation with the instructor, those taking the course for four credits will submit a 25-page research paper; those taking it for three credits, will produce a 10-12-page research paper. Those who wish to take the course for two credits will turn in their class presentation and take the final exam.
The research papers can deal with sites other than early-modern France, including ones bordering the Mediterranean or then England and Northern  Europe.
The syllabus for the course will be posted on line by August 15. Readings for the course will appear on Blackboard before the first class.
Please address any questions to domna stanton at dstanton112@yahoo.com


FREN 76000 Le genre romanesque en France au 20ème siecle
Prof. Royal Brown Wednesdays, 2:00-4:00
In this course we will examine major 20th century French novels that appeared following Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu. These will include Gide: Les Faux-monnayeurs; Céline: Voyage au bout de la nuit; Malraux: La Condition humaine; Sartre: La Nausée; Camus: La Peste; Duras: Moderato cantabile; and Robbe-Grillet: La Jalousie. We will also screen and discuss L’Éden et après, one of the films written and directed by Robbe-Grillet.
            Goals of the course:
  1. An understanding of the important aesthetic, political, and philosophical currents that manifest themselves in the 20th-century French novel;
  2. The ability to analyze both orally and in writing the currents mentioned above.


HIST 72800 The Medium of Culture
Prof. Dagmar Herzog Tuesdays 2:00-4:00
This class is an experiment in educating ourselves about important recent developments in theoretically informed writing in history and allied disciplines, focused on puzzles of causation, interpretation, and uses of evidence. The five core topics we will explore, historically and conceptually (knowledge, faith, desire, violence, madness) are ones which have strong resonance in our present, even as assumptions about their meanings and functions have changed dramatically across eras and locations. All five challenge us to think more critically and carefully about the relations between individuals’ values and behaviors and social structures and polities – and the role of culture in mediating all of these. Because of its special expertise in theorizing culture, the discipline from which we will borrow the most is anthropology. But we will also read many historians, as well as philosophers, sociologists, literary critics, and journalists. One goal will be for you to acquire competence in reading a great variety of theoretically informed work, but another will be to understand the practical usefulness of this variety of cultural theory for the diverse historical research projects you are yourselves engaged in. Critical thinking about gender and sexuality will be integrated throughout.

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 on the first day), and one longer final paper exploring the relevance of and putting to use some aspect(s) of cultural theory for your own work. 


HIST 71200 Intellectual Politics of the French Revolution
Prof. Helena Rosenblatt Tuesdays 4:15-6:15
This course is an in-depth introduction to the French Revolution and the scholarly debates it has engendered. We will privilege political/cultural/intellectual perspectives, reading some of the most innovative and thought-provoking recent work on a number of topics, such as the causes of the Revolution and its radicalization; the nature and legacies of the revolutionary wars and Terror; the question of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s influence; and the Revolution’s performance in the areas of gender, race and nationalism. We will have occasion to focus on the Revolution's relationship with "modernity" and its various ideologies (liberalism, socialism, totalitarianism, feminism, etc.) Scholarship on the French Revolution will also be placed in historical and political context in an effort to answer the question: "what is at stake when scholars adopt certain methodologies and perspectives on the French Revolution?"


HIST 72100/PSC 71903 Dictatorship: The Career of a Concept from Robespierre to Lenin and Beyond
Prof. Richard Wolin Mondays 4:15-6:15
In retrospect, the “great dictators” of the twentieth century – Lenin, Mussolini, Stalin, and Hitler – have become negative moral and political templates: paragons of political evil. Nor have dictatorship’s ills been confined to the European theatre. According to recent estimates, Chairman Mao was responsible for some 40 million deaths. His disciple, Pol Pot (aka, Saloth Sar or “Brother Number 1”) managed, in three short years, to do away with 15% of the Cambodia’s indigenous population.
 
Yet, the contemporary moral aversion to dictatorial rule is the exception. Dictatorship was a hallowed Roman political institution in times of emergency, until its “abuse” by Sulla and Caesar. Philosophes like Voltaire and Diderot, who were otherwise champions of “toleration,” also favored the idea of “enlightened despotism.” The historical verdict on the Jacobin dictatorship is still out; to this day, there is a Paris metro station named after Robespierre, the “Incorruptible.” And as is well known, Marx recommended a transitional period of working class rule he denominated the “dictatorship of the proletariat.” Marx’s Russian disciples, Lenin and Stalin, took this prescription all-too literally. Dictatorship became the cornerstone of Bolshevik rule from October 1917 until Stalin’s death in 1953. (Alluding to Kant, the philosopher Ernst Bloch famously described the Bolshevik Revolution as “The Categorical Imperative with revolver in hand.”)
 
Of course, historically speaking, when it comes to dictatorship, the left has no monopoly. In the nineteenth century, apostles of Counterrevolution, inspired by the Inquisition and the age of Absolutism, dreamed of a right-wing dictatorship that would surpass anything the left could dream up. They held that dictatorship alone could put an end to the “godless secularism” represented by the rising tide of socialism and anarchism. This ideal found its consummate literary embodiment in the “Grand Inquisitor” parable of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.
Undoubtedly, the greatest twentieth-century theorist of dictatorship was Carl Schmitt, whose pathbreaking study, Dictatorship, appeared in 1921. Schmitt lauded Mussolini’s 1922 March on Rome as a emblematic of a (in his view) propitious political trend: the abandonment of political liberalism (which, for Schmitt, represented a type of anti-politics) and a turn toward a strong conception of sovereignty based on the “state of exception.” As Schmitt asserts in Political Theology (1922): “Sovereign is he who decides on the state of exception.”
 
In many respects, an understanding of dictatorship represents an indispensable key to comprehending the political history of the last two centuries.
 
Booklist (Primary Texts)
 
Rousseau, Social Contract
Zizek, ed., Robespierre, Virtue and Terror
Marx, The Eighteenth Brumaire Louis Bonaparte
Marx, The Civil War in France
Dostoevsky, “The Grand Inquisitor”
Lenin, What is to Be Done?
Schmitt, Dictatorship (1921)
Schmitt, Political Theology (1922)
Schmitt, The Crisis of Parliamentary Democracy (1923)
Schmitt, The Concept of the Political (1927)
Zizek, ed., Mao Zedong, On Contradiction and On Practice
Pol Pot Plans the Future
Badiou, The Communist Hypothesis


HIST 78110 The Iranian Revolution in Comparative Perspective
Prof. Ervand Abrahamian Wednesdays 6:30-8:30

The course will explore the diverse theoretical approaches that ave been used to explain the 1979 revolution in  Iran. The main approaches to be  examined will be the Cultural, Weberian, Durkheimian, Behavioral, Intellectual,  Feminist, Discourse, Tillian, Structural, and Marxist. 
 

MUS 83500 (Ethno)Musicology and Social Theory
Prof. Jane Sugarman Wednesdays 10:00-1:00

The analysis of music's relationship to the communities that produce and consume it has long been a major concern of music scholarship.  This course is designed to introduce you to some of the classic and contemporary schools of social thought that music scholars have drawn on in recent decades to address that topic.  Over the course of the semester, theoretical writings in sociology, anthropology, philosophy, history, cultural studies,feminist and postcolonial studies, and related fields will be paired with case studies that situate musical creation, performance, dissemination, and reception within the unfolding of societal processes.   Writings that have been of particular use to ethnomusicologists will be emphasized, but the music readings illustrating them will be drawn from all branches of music studies.  We will begin with Marxist theory, continue with structuralism and semiotics, interpetive anthropology, and poststructuralist theory, and conclude with recent writings on gendered andracial identity, nationalism, modernity, and neoliberalism.


PHIL 77800 Contemporary Problems in the Philosophy of Art
Prof. Noel Carroll Tuesdays 9:30-11:30
This course will examine several recent discussions in the philosophy of art including the definition of art, the nature of aesthetic experience, the concept of art criticism, the relation of art to the emotions, especially the negative emotions, and humor.  Readings will include work by Gary Iseminger, Dominic Lopes, James Grant, Jenefer Robinson, Dan Dennett and others.  Students will be required to make a class presentation and to write a term paper.


PHIL 77600 Kant's Ethics and Politics
Prof. Sibyl Schwarzenbach Tuesdays 2:00-4:00

The seminar will focus on Kant's moral philosophy as set forth primarily in his Groundwork (1785), Critique of Practical Reason (1788), and the Metaphysics of Morals (1797) but we will also move on to his later political (and even anthropological) writings. Topics will include the standard ones: the notion of the good will, duty, autonomy, the distinction between empirical and pure practical reason, the categorical imperative and the "fact of reason," but also Kant’s doctrine of virtue and of moral feeling, of political right, republican government and international cosmopolitan law.

Throughout the seminar we will evaluate a Kantian ethics in the face of criticism from utilitarian, Hegelian and communitarian, feminist and critical race theorists, as well as in the context of contemporary discussions of globalization and cosmopolitan community.
 
Main Texts (all by Immanuel Kant)
    
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785)
Critique of Practical Reason (1788)
Religion Within the Limits of Reason Alone (1793),
                                 trans. T. M. Greene & H. Hudson. NY: Harper Torchbooks, 1960.
The Metaphysics of Morals (1797), trans. M. Gregor. Cambridge: Cambridge U.
                                                                Press, 1991. 
Political Writings, (1784 -1797), ed. H. Reiss. Cambridge: Cambridge U. Press, 1970.


PSC 80302 Policing the Social: Aristotle, Foucault, Rancière
Prof. Leonard Feldman Thursdays 11:45-1:45
This course examines the writings of three political theorists—Arendt, Foucault, and Ranciere—who sought to make sense of distinctively modern forms of governance, ordering and exclusion in part through critical engagement with, and selective appropriation of, Aristotle’s Politics. We will look at some of the key contributions of each including Focuault’s account of biopower, governmentality and police in History of Sexuality vol 1, and selections from his 1978 and 1979 lectures Security, Territory, Population and The Birth of Biopolitcs, Ranciere’s distinction between (democratic) politics and police and the notion of the police order, and Arendt’s theory of the rise of the social and critique of natural rights in the nation-state system. The course will also examine three texts of 21st century political theory that each draw upon one of these thinkers to provide insight into contemporary political problems: Wendy Brown on neoliberalism (Foucault); Ayten Gundogdu on migrants and statelessness (Arendt) and Davide Panagia on the sensory basis of democracy (Ranciere).

 
PSC 71901 Critical Reason: The Basics
Prof. Susan Buck-Morss Tuesdays 2:00-4:00
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 71902 Social Contract Theory
Prof. Mira Morgenstern Wednesdays 4:15-6:15
This course examines the social contract tradition and its effect on modern political discourse.  While the social contract tradition is popularly identified with early modern political thought, approximations and appreciations of this idea are found in Plato, as well as in the more well known texts associated with this tradition:  Hobbes (Leviathan), Locke (Second Discourse; and other essays), Rousseau (Social Contract & Discourses), Rawls (A Theory of Justice, The Law of Peoples).  We will also look at early modern appraisals  (Hume) and emendations (Freud) of social contract discourse, as well as more contemporary rereadings and critiques of the social contract tradition (Pateman, Mills, Sen).  Course requirements include class attendance and participation, an oral presentation, and a research paper.


PSC 80301 Ancient Political Thought
Prof. Uday Mehta Wednesdays 2:00-4:00

This course will offer an introduction to the political thought of Plato, Aristotle and Cicero.  It is organized around five important and classic texts of the Western philosophic tradition.
 
The questions around which the course will be structured will include:  Why is the study of politics and ethics some thing about which we need to, and can, have abstract theories? What is the status of an "ideal" polity with respect to actual polities? How does the question of justice relate to issues of interests, human identity and knowledge? What is the meaning of constitutionalism? What do Plato, Aristotle and Cicero take to be the original motivation underlying the formation of political society?  How do these motivations conform to the normative prescriptions that they propose? How do notions such as friendship, duty and virtue relate to the understanding of citizenship?  What are the justifications underlying the various proposed institutional arrangements? Finally, does the organizing of political life related to other conceptions of human needs and potentiality?
 

PSYC 74003 Historical and Theoretical Foundations of Critical Social/Personality Psychology
Prof. Susan Opotow Wednesdays 9:30-11:30
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.
 
This course is open to registered students in other programs with permission of the instructor.


PSYC 80103 Program Evaluation and Theories of Change
Prof. Roderick Watts Mondays 2:00-4:00

In this course program evaluation is situated in the larger context of community assessment, intervention (program) development, collaboration, and organizational consultation. Program evaluation requires intervention and applied research expertise, but it also operates in the larger theater of social forces and control, funding accountability, and the organization’s mission. The rise of evidence-based practice has also had an impact on the field. The course will take into account all of these systemic dynamics along with the consultative and technical skills necessary for to be a competent program evaluator. A critical and ethical stance will accompany the introduction of a wide variety of evaluation methods including empowerment and collaborative evaluation, mixed-method, quasi-experimental, and case study approaches. Evaluation research in small to medium-sized organizations will be emphasized, but not tothe exclusion of large-scale evaluations with national policy implications. Students will also gain an appreciation of how program evaluation expertise can be part of a socially-beneficial and personally rewarding career.

Learning Objectives
Students who take this course will learn to:
1. Describe and critique program evaluation in the broader context of social forces, social justice, organization dynamics, program development and consultation.
2. Review information on real-world intervention and describe some of the best options for a credible and valid evaluation design, one that take into account the priorities of principal stakeholders.
3. Be able to articulate essential theoretical and conceptual aspects of PE, and how organization dynamics influence the application of these principles in PE design, implementation, and utilization.
4. Design a program evaluation for an intervention in a small to medium-sized non-profit organizations.

 
PSYC 80103 The Politics of Reproduction
Prof. Dana-Ain Davis Mondays 4:15-6:15


SOC 80000 Michel Foucault and the Paradox of Culture
Prof. Marnia Lazreg Mondays 4:15-6:15

Thirty four years after his death, Michel Foucault's work continues to be explored and applied to ever increasing domains across the social sciences and the humanities.  Yet remarkable as the expansion of Foucault's ideas has been, one issue central to his epistemology has been neglected:  his conception of cultural difference, and the role it played in his approach to the uniqueness of Western culture.  This course intends to open up a space in which productive critical analysis of Foucault's struggles with how to situate non-Western cultures, especially the "Orient," in relation to Western rationality can be thoroughly examined.  Importantly, it asks whether Foucault's critique of Immanuel Kant's cosmopolitan anthropology enabled him to develop an alternative anthropology/ sociology, or paradoxically reasserted the need for a humanistic conception of culture.  To answer this question, the course requires a close reading of a number of foundational texts, interviews and archival materials with a view to tracing the itinerary of Foucault's approach to culture as well as elucidating key concepts such as "philosophical originary," "limit-experience," or "the  death of man." Additionally, Foucault's cultural conundrum will be explored through his experiential journeys in non-western cultures, specifically Japan, Iran and Tunisia.
     
   This is a demanding course that  will be conducted as an advanced seminar in which texts will be read attentively and examined from the perspectives  of the history of ideas, the sociology of knowledge, as well as historical sociology.  The overarching goal is to move forward debates on post-modernist/"anti-humanist" theory as they bear upon understanding culture and cultural difference. 
 
   Students will be expected to seriously engage the course materials, and feel free to formulate new ways of reading the texts. Required is an extensive research paper to be shared with the class before submission.  Drafts of the paper will follow a schedule aimed at assessing progress in thinking through issues related to the course objectives.


SOC 80000 Social Theory and Non-Human Environment
Prof. Patricia Clough Tuesdays 4:15-6:15
The course brings together a number of strands of criticism, theory and philosophy that address the non-human, such as: affect theory, actor-network theory, new materialisms, animal studies, cognitive sciences, new media theory, speculative realism, new media studies, accelerationism, and post-cybernetic studies.  Across the social sciences, the humanities and the arts, the non-human turn differs from post-humanism in that the former focuses more on the relationship that always has existed between the human and non-human objects, things, other species and environments such that the human is identified precisely by this indistinction from the nonhuman. Studying noted authors such as Wendy Chun, Steven Shaviro, Mark B.N. Hansen, A.N.Whitehead, Bruno Latour, Luciana Parisi, Brian Massumi and Timothy Morton, the focus will be on the implications for understanding the social, the political, the psychic, and what we have thought in terms of identity, race, class, gender and sexuality.


SOC 82303 Global Climate Crisis: Social and Political Aspects
Prof. Stanley Aronowitz Thursdays 4:15-6:15
There is widespread agreement that the world is on a disastrous course with respect to climate change. The frequency of hurricanes, damaging storms and unexpected droughts and floods has already devastated towns and parts of major cities worldwide.  The food supply in many parts of the globe is either endangered or has been seriously damaged so that many areas face starvation and mass rural unemployment. But agreement has not yet yielded concrete proposals for stemming the deterioration of our environment.
This course will focus on four areas: the scientific theories and evidence; the political economy of climate change; medical and social consequences of pollution and other features of the crisis; and the history of the environmental movement, political subjectivity and the crisis of governmental responses.
In each of these areas, there are significant disagreements concerning both analysis and remedies. These will be explored. The works of Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein, James O’Connor, Joel Kovel as well as papers by leading environmental scientists will be considered. Also several histories of the environmental movement.


SPAN 70200 Hispanic Critical & Cultural Theory
Prof. Oswaldo Zavala Tuesdays 6:30-8:30
The most  pressing  debates  currently taking  place in the  field  of  literary studies  activate  a wide  range  of theoretical notions that inscribe a genealogy of schools of thought, movements and interventions branching out across the Western world. These theories  have  in  turn  become  central  to  our  comprehension of  literature as it intersects the  general experience of  culture, politics,  economics  and  history.  The present course will examine a historical arch of literary theory, from the early twentieth century to the latest developments conditioning relevant discussions on recent cultural productions. The course  will  explore  approaches  to  literary texts  and  other  cultural objects  through linguistics  and semiotics, post-structuralism and deconstruction, (Neo}Marxism, gender  and race, post-colonialism, psychoanalysis  and anthropology, politics, ethics and sociology. The course will pay particular attention to theorizations and interventions from and on Latin America. The class will be conducted entirely in Spanish.


SPAN 87200 The Cinema of Pedro Almodovar and Guillermo del Toro
Prof. Paul-Julian Smith Wednesdays 4:15-6:15
This course examines the works of contemporary Spain and Mexico's most successful filmmakers, critically and commercially. These two figures might appear to be very different and, indeed, have formally collaborated only when Almodovar produced del Taro's The Devil's Backbone, shot and set in Spain. Although he has greater transnational projection than perhaps any other European filmmaker, Almodovar has filmed all seventeen features in his home country and language; while del Taro, with just eight films, has made for himself a nomadic career in two languages and three countries.
 
Yet it can be argued that the pair has a great deal in common. For example, both directors have embraced transmedia;· going beyond  the feature film. Almodovar’s production company has expanded into television and theater; del Toro is a respected creator in the fields of the comic book and novel. Their internet presence is also substantial.
 
The aims of the course are industrial, critical, and theoretical. First, Almodovar is placed in the context of audiovisual production in Spain, while del Toro (as director and producer) is contextualized within the ‘golden triangle’ of Mexico, Europe, and the US. Second, both cineastes are interrogated for signs of auteurship  (a consistent  aesthetic  and media image),   sharing  as  they   do  a  self-fashioning  that   takes   place,  unusually, within   the   confines  of  genre  cinema (comedy/melodrama and fantasy/horror,  respectively). Finally, the course explores how English-language critics have assimilated these   two  Spanish-speaking   directors to   debates   in   Anglo-American    film   studies   that   draw   on psychoanalysis, feminism, queer theory, and the transnational.
 
Recommended, but not required, is the book Desire Unlimited: The Cinema of Pedro Almodovar (3rd edition, 2014), written by the instructor (on reserve at GC library).             ·
 
Grading is by written exam (25%), student oral participation and presentation (25%) and final paper (50%).
 
The course will be conducted in English.
 
 
SPAN 87400 Asaltos a la biblioteca: Scenes of Reading in Latin America
Prof. Fernando Degiovanni Mondays 4:15-6:15
This course will look into the way in which the figure of the reader has been portrayed in Latin American verbal and visual artifacts ·from the 19th century through the present.  By focusing on a variety of fictional and nonfictional pieces, we will discuss to what extent representations of interactions between people and books, libraries and other cultural artifacts have served as vehicle for addressing questions of cultural value, thinking about the connection between politics and the publishing market, and interpreting gender and social issues.   Drawing on theoretical contributions by Robert Darnton, Roger Chartier,and Jacques Ranciere, among others, we will go from the study of portraits of real and imaginary  readers by several Latin American visual artists (such as Carlos Enrique Pellegrini and Antonio Berni) to the analysis of narrations of proletarian and rural workers’ relations with canonical and noncanonical books (as viewed, for instance, by Roberto Arlt and Jorge Luis Borges). Special attention will be paid to the consumption of best sellers in Latin America (including Jorge Isaac's "Marfa,” Jose Marfa Vargas Vila's "Fior de Fango,” as well as novels by writers of the Boom). The course will end by examining the discourses and practices of alternative  publishing projects, like editoriales cartoneras, as articulated  in  their  public  interventions  and the  fiction  of  Washington Cucurto. The course will be conducted in Spanish.


THEA 80400 Seminar in Theatre Theory:  Extending Queer:  Theory and Performance
Prof. Sean Edgecomb Mondays 4:15-6:15
This seminar presents a comprehensive and pluralist study of queer theory as it may be applied to critically analyze performance, both theatrical and lived.  Moreover this course will consider queerness (as theory/identity and performance) as it continues to develop in a global context.   A deep engagement with text that is often dense, esoteric, and even contradictory will be essential. The course is divided into three sections: 1) Foundations,  2) Affect, and 3) Globalization. It begins with an investigation of queer theory through its post-Foucauldean origins, including theories of Butler, Sedgwick, Jagose, Berlant, Savran, and Warner and considering early queer performers and artists ranging from Charles Ludlam, Ethyl Eichelberger, and Split Britches to the “NEA 4.”  The second unit traces what Ann Pelligrini deems queer theory’s “affective turn,” considering the anti-identitarian and minoritarian work of key scholars including Muñoz, Freeman, Dolan, Halberstam, Cvetkovich, Love, Puar, Ahmed, Cohen, Edelman, and Rodriguez.  Theatre and performance artists considered may include Vaginal Davis, Taylor Mac, Heather Cassils, Nina Arsenault, Justin Vivian Bond, Nath Ann Carrera and Amber Martin's Witch Camp, Big Freedia, and Annie Sprinkle. The third unit of the course introduces a second wave of queer theory, focusing on a global approach to queer and trans performance that traces queer theory’s recent non-Anglophone developments in places such as Southeast Asia, France, the Balkans, Brazil, China, Australia, and beyond.  Theorists studied will include: Eng, Coehlo, Gomez, Stephens, Edgecomb, Sa’at, Lim, Duggan, Fierstein, Massad, Boone, and Ho.  Artists considered may include: Karla Dickens, Alexander Guerra, Queers for Economic Justice, Pink Dot, Viet Le, Takarazuka Review, Marga Gomez, Justin Chin, David Hoyle, Stacy Makishi, and Shi Tou.  Final evaluation will be based on active class discussion, a 30-minute in-class oral presentation on an assigned topic and a final 20-page research paper on a preapproved queer artist that applies at least two of the theorists studied in class. Students will be encouraged to independently engage with queer performances taking place throughout NYC. Please contact the instructor for permission to register.