FALL 2016 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
MALS 70000 - Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
Envisioning the Body: Gender, the Body, and the Rise of #SelfieNation
R, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Elizabeth Wissinger
What do the Kardashians have to do with contemporary race and gender politics? How do fashionable images play into world power relations? How is today’s explosive availability of images affecting concepts of selfhood, agency, and bodily worth?
This course will explore theories of visualization technologies and bodies, taking students from classic approaches to ways of seeing through an interdisciplinary trajectory encompassing media, feminist, cultural, and sociological studies of how the body is performed and iterated through evolving technological frames. Representation, always a thorny issue, has philosophical, sociological, scientific, and political implications. These implications are urgently in need of interrogation as digital culture has pushed the primacy of the image in social life to the extreme, where a picture can speak a thousand words (or launch a thousand tweets).
Using curated readings to guide our thinking, we will make use of the vibrant visual culture of online and social media, as well as visit key examples of the cultural institutions, built environment, and streets of NYC, to explore how the body is constructed by the gaze of cinema, diced and sliced by the glance of television, and shattered into bits by the digitization of the internet and social media. Throughout, we will consider the role of the malleable body, artifice and authenticity, gender politics, and the rise of self-branding as it feeds into neoliberal values and biopolitical frames.
In addition to developing critical thinking and writing skills, by visiting museums, viewing films, walking neighborhoods, and inspecting branded environments, students will develop their fieldwork and research skills, while learning the intricacies of how to conduct visual analysis of urban, cultural, and digital spaces.
In addition to building an intellectual framework from which to develop their Master’s thesis, students will have the opportunity to explore this course’s ideas by engaging in critical making, creating their own media or imaging objects. In so doing, students will hone their thinking and analytic abilities through critically examining the lenses through which we experience our contemporary visual world.
MALS 70000 - Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
Dividing Lines: Borders in the American Landscape
T, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Libby Garland
How has the demarcation of spatial boundaries both reflected and shaped the social divisions that have defined the United States? How do different kinds of borders—the formal and informal lines between nations, regions, states, jurisdictions, electoral districts, neighborhoods, and properties, for example—delimit economic and political possibilities? How have these different kinds of spatial borders produced racial, class, and ethnic divides in new ways over time? When and how have people challenged the boundary lines designed to contain them? In this course, students will explore these questions by engaging with the work of historians, sociologists, geographers, anthropologists, urban planners, and artists. Students will present on and lead discussion regarding a text in class. They will also design, workshop and complete a final research project, which may be a traditional article-length piece of writing or a digital project of comparable sophistication.
MALS 70000 - Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
W, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, TBA
MALS 70000 - Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
R, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Karen Miller
Is the United States an empire? If so, what might that mean? If not, what other metaphors can we use to explain U.S. global relations? We will examine transformations of U.S. global power and international relations from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present. Clearly, the United States does not hold political sovereignty over a broad range of colonies. Aside from the 50 United States, the U.S. holds Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, the Northern Marianas, and American Samoa. But, the U.S. has the largest military in the world, sustains the world’s biggest economy, and has unparalleled political power. That power is constantly shifting, under continuous challenge, and never as complete as U.S. leaders would like. Our task in this class is to interrogate that power, to understand how it emerged and changed over time, to explore its relationship to other forms of global power and other colonial projects, to examine the dynamics and contradictions that animate it, to consider its limits, and to understand its challengers. We will also explore how global engagements have transformed the United States’ domestic terrain: just as the U.S. helps shape the world, the world also changes the United States, through immigration, culture, commerce, and other connections. Our interdisciplinary study of these questions will be organized both chronologically and thematically. Students will be asked to write frequently and to produce a final paper.
MALS 70000 - Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Aránzazu Borrachero
Inspired by Foucault’s theories of discursive formation, we will examine the gender discourses that 20th century Spanish, Italian and German fascist dictatorships developed, and their important role within the nation-building plans of those regimes. What can we learn by looking at these discourses from a gender-studies perspective? What comparisons can we make with contemporary gender discourses in the Western world? We will read current scholarship from various disciplines on women, gender and fascism and we will interpret related art, political propaganda, commercial advertising and film. We will begin studying Francoist Spain (1936-1975) and its National Catholicism ideology, a repressive system that predicated the natural subordination of women to men, and pervaded all aspects of women’s lives: education, sexuality, marriage, labor, and citizenship. We will analyze textual, visual and audio-visual representations of Spanish women created by social agents such as the Catholic Church, fascist women organizations, and economic interests. The class methodology will include independent reading, class discussions, short written reflections, presentations, and a final project. The analysis of gender practices in Spain will prepare students to conduct their own intellectual inquiry of the Italian and German fascist gender agendas. Each student’s research will contribute to the whole group’s compilation of a bibliography for the study of gender discourses and representations under the Italian and German dictatorships. Class readings will be in English, but students will be encouraged to conduct research in Spanish, German and Italian if they know any of those languages.
MALS 70200 – Metropolis: A Political, Historical, and Sociological Profile of New York
W, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Cindy Lobel, 
This interdisciplinary course will explore New York City’s rise and role as the nation’s metropolis, examining several key themes in the city’s development. In particular, we will look at Gotham as a center of work, culture and residency as well as at the diverse populations that have called the city home through its four-century history. We will examine New York City from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including history, sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science.
MALS 70600 - The Enlightenment and Critique
W, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Martin Burke
MALS 70700 – Transformations of Modernity, 1914 - Present
W, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Sarah Danielsson
Modernism, and modernity can be discussed in terms of bureaucracy, rationalization, secularization, alienation, commodification, individualism, subjectivism, objectivism, universalism, chaos, mass society, homogenization, diversification, hybridization, democratization, centralization, mechanization, totalitarianism, and many, many more. The meanings of “Modernity” and “Modernism” have been debated to a great extent in scholarship and are often applied differently in history, prose, philosophy, art, music, theater or poetry. Its counterpart “Postmodernism” also provides important juxtaposition and meaning to the terms. There are a myriad of ways in which one can discuss the transformations of modernity in the twentieth century: this course will look through the lens of intellectual history. Starting with the viewpoint of Marshall Berman’s seminal discussion of modernity, “All that is Solid Mets into Air,” this course will look at the challenges of modernity in the intellectual history of the twentieth century: The modernity and postmodernity of: Totalitarianism; Existentialism; anti-Colonialism and the challenge of Human Rights; etc. Among others, we will read authors such as Hannah Arendt, Michael Foucault, Edward Said, Walter Benjamin, Franz Fanon, Joseph Conrad, etc.
MALS 71000 – Forms of Life Writing 
M, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Brenda Wineapple
"To live over people's lives," wrote Henry James, "is nothing unless we live over their perceptions, live over the growth, the change, the varying intensity of the same-- since it was by these things they themselves lived."
This course will interrogate various forms of so-called "life writing" (biography/fictional biography/memoir) to investigate the meaning, aims, ethics, pitfalls, and possibilities of the genre as practiced in literature. We will therefore examine a wide range of topics that various forms of life-writing encounter: the relation between fact and fiction; the significance of politics and historical context; the impact of individual psychology; point of view in narration; the function of imagination; the use or exploitation of marginal figures. And to the extent that life-writing depends on the creation of character, this course looks closely at how such characters are created from real people: how a living, breathing person seems to arise out of a mass of sometimes contradictory “facts”; how characters are made to change, that is, if they do; how characters can make a story move; and of course how or if traditional forms of life-writing might be liberated from its brick-like borders.
Writers/books will likely include Lytton Strachey, Natalie Zemon Davis (The Return of Martin Guerre), Virginia Woolf (Orlando), Richard Holmes (Footsteps), Janet Malcolm (on Sylvia Plath biographies), Henry James, The Aspern Papers, Gertrude Stein, Adam Phillips on Freud and biography, Julia Blackburn and her biographical inventions about Daisy Bates, Robert A. Caro on Lyndon Johnson, W. G. Sebald, Hilton Als.
MALS 71200 – The Culture of Fashion/The Fabric of Cultures
W, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Eugenia Paulicelli
Cross-listed with IDS 81660
The course will take the form of an interdisciplinary study of fashion and fabric and their bearing on a heterogeneous cultural identity. Fashion and identity – personal, collective, transnational—are the results of the multilayered fabric of cultures. They are also the manifestation of a dynamic process, a dialogue between self and other. Self and identity are not defined on the basis of closure and homologous relations, but in terms of interplay between similarities, differences, reuses and translations. Identity is a process of negotiation and understanding, a journey of becoming.
This process, although expressed with different aesthetic results, is very much at work in the textiles and clothing we will examine in the course.
The course will draw on writings from history, fashion studies, material culture, literature, and objects that are part of a digital archive project designed to highlight and embrace the rich multicultural composition of New York and its boroughs and the central role of clothing in our lives. The digital archive is a further development of an earlier project and exhibition: “The Fabric of Cultures. Fashion, Identity, Globalization” held at Queens College in 2006. In addition, the course will feature guest speakers and a research lab component that require students to carry out a creative project.
MALS 71400 - Introduction to International Studies
M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Tomohisa Hattori
The two main purposes of this course are to introduce you to theoretically informed historical analyses of international relations (IR) and to help you apply one of the theories of IR to an international subject of your choice. While the historical contexts and theories of IR will help you engage in further studies in IR, your paper will enhance your understanding of how you may gain social scientific knowledge by reviewing relevant theoretical literature, conceptualizing your subject matter, developing research questions, figuring out how to answer them, gathering information about them, organizing the research result as evidence for your answer to the research question, and developing your answer as an argument about a particular phenomenon or relationship on the chosen topic in the context of existing theoretical arguments.
MALS 71800 - Cross-Cultural & Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on Work & Family Issues
M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Caryn Medved
Cross-Cultural & Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on Work & Family Issues, is designed to broaden and deepen your perspective by addressing more complex issues, and taking a cross-national perspective to these topics. The course will emphasize the importance of context for understanding individual work and family experiences, as well as broader policies and practices that vary across countries. In addition, we will learn about how work and family issues are approached by several social science disciplines, each of which offers a unique perspective and different insights.
MALS 72300 – Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies
T, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. James Wilson
In Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us Kate Bornstein writes, “The first question we usually ask new parents is: ‘Is it a boy or a girl?’” Bornstein recommends the response, “We don’t know; it hasn’t told us yet.” This course explores the ways in which gender and sexuality are pronounced, embodied, and negotiated within specific historical and cultural contexts. Through a close reading of interdisciplinary, foundational, and recent scholarship the class will examine and theorize the ways in which categories of gender and sexuality inform and shape our understanding of the world. Investigating the intersections and collisions of gender and sexuality with race, class, ability, nationality, ethnicity, and age, the class will consider societal and institutional systems of power, privilege, oppression, and marginalization. Course requirements include an oral presentation, two 4-6 page response papers, and a 15-20 page, staged researched essay.
MALS 73200 - American Social Institutions
T, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Lucia Trimbur
MALS 73400 - Africana Studies: Introduction
TBA, 3 credits
MALS 74500 - Great Digs: important sites of the Classical, Late Antique and Islamic Worlds
T, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis
Cross-listed with CLAS 74400 & ART 82000
This course introduces students to archaeological methods and important archaeological sites from the Classical, Late Antique and Islamic worlds. The course assumes no previous knowledge of archaeology. The two primary methods of archaeological inquiry—excavation and survey—are first introduced, discussed and problematized in this course. We will then consider specific sites – cities, towns and, in certain cases, residences – to understand how archaeology has contributed to our knowledge of these sites. Sites, such as Athens, Alexandria, Rome, Jerusalem and others, will each be the focus of a lecture or seminar. By the end of the course students will gain a knowledge of the principles of archaeological excavation and survey; an understanding of major classes of archaeological evidence and key archaeological theories; some of the important issues and challenges, such as war and cultural destruction, confronting archaeologists today; and a knowledge of important archaeological sites from the Classical, Late Antique and Islamic worlds.
The course is composed of lectures and seminars. In addition to completion of all required readings and active participation in class discussion, there are two major assignments in this course. First, a seven to ten page (2,500- 3,000 words) paper that discusses an archaeological theory, methodology, or type of evidence. This paper may be revised and resubmitted, as this course aims to help students develop their academic writing. Second, students will create a digital site report (effectively a website) about a site of their choice from the Classical, Late Antique or Islamic worlds that has not been discussed in class; this site can be a city or a smaller, specific site. This project aims to teach students how to interpret a site from an archaeological and historical perspective. It should also enable a student to understand and interpret archaeological data and publications, demonstrate the significance of the selected site, and to designed website on a specific site. Students will be supported in creating their website reports through two seminars where the digital skills required to create these site reports will be discussed and demonstrated.
MALS 75400 - Introduction to Digital Humanities
Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Profs. Stephen Brier/Lisa Rhody
MALS 77200 - History of Cinema I: 1895-1930
T, 4:15-8:15 p.m., Rm. C-419, 3 credits, Prof. Anupama Kapse
Cross-listed with THEA 71500, ART 79500 & FSCP 81000
This class will survey the emergence of cinema from inter-related perspectives that situate early experiments with moving images alongside older moving image technologies and theatrical practices that often coexisted with the new medium. The course will not only focus on cinema’s so-called progress but its ability to radically enhance viewing possibilities, alter public culture, change perceptions of modernity, picture new women, mobilize race-gender politics and effect social transformation. We will situate these topics within the larger context of international film movements, the development of national cinemas worldwide, and broader questions of film archaeology and historiography. Although our primary examples will be drawn from American silent cinema, we will also consider British, Indian, Chinese, Russian, Swedish and German examples to better understand the global spread and varied applications of the medium. Finally, we will examine the initial impact of sound on cinema though, as we will see, silent cinema often included some sort of aural accompaniment.
Students will be encouraged to think of film history as a practice that extends beyond silent cinema into a host of related areas: these include not only ‘discarded’ media and film formats but medium crossings between theater, literature and local performance traditions such as shadow puppetry, and the various incarnations of opera. To that end, this class will ask students to explore the different methods available for producing film history and ask how film continues to proliferate after the ‘death’ of celluloid.
Screenings will include selections and/or whole features, as well as additional viewing, to be completed outside class: The Movies Begin: A Treasury of Early Cinema, 1894-1913, Edison: The Invention of the Movies: 1891-1918, Landmarks of Early Film, Vol. 1, George Méliès: First Wizard of Cinema, More Treasures from American Film Archives 1894-1931, Griffith Masterworks, extracts from American, British, and French serials, The Birth of Krishna (1919), shorts by Chaplin and Keaton, The Thief of Baghdad (1924), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Ingeborg Holm (1913), Man with a Movie Camera (1929), The Goddess (1934), Pandora’s Box (1929), Falling Leaves (1912), and Where are my Children? (1916).
Requirements: Readings must be completed before the day for which they are slotted. Please come to class on time. Full attendance, engaged viewing, and active classroom participation are vital for your success. Discussion--20%. Reading responses and discussion questions-10 %. A research paper with original content (20-25 pages) on a topic of your choice will fulfill a major requirement for this course—70%. Your topic must be chosen in consultation with me. A one page proposal will be due five weeks before the final paper is due, after which we will meet to discuss your topic.
MALS 77400 - International Migration
W, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Pyong Gap Min
We have ushered into the global migration period since the early 1990s. Not only traditionally immigrant-accepting countries, including the U.S. and three former British colonies in the “New World” (Canada, Australia and New Zealand), but also Western European countries and Asian countries have annually received large numbers of formal immigrants or migrant workers/brides over the last two decades. In particular, the U.S. has received the largest number of immigrants annually since the late 1960s The influx of immigrants to the U.S. over the last 50 years has changed the face of the U.S., impacting neighborhoods, the economy, the school systems, cuisines, politics, healthcare, and sports.
This course, focusing on international migration, has three main objectives. First, it will provide an overview information about immigration patterns in three areas for students: (1) the U.S., (2) Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and (3) Europe. Immigration patterns include immigration policies, the annual number of immigrants, their national and regional origins, and their racial, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. Second, it will compare two mass migration periods in the U.S. (the classical and contemporary periods) in immigration patterns and immigrants’ adaptations. Third, it will help students to learn about U.S. immigrants’ and their children’s adaptations (settlement patterns, socioeconomic adaptations and racialization) and theories of adaptations, especially regarding second-generation immigrants’ adaptations. To summarize the main objectives, this course aims to provide general information about global migration patterns, but focuses on the U.S. context in examining immigrants’ and their children’s adaptations with special attention to the differences between turn-of-the twenty-century white immigrant and contemporary immigrant groups.
MALS 78100 - Issues in Urban Education
W, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Bethany Rogers