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Spring 2013 Courses

MALS 70000 – Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies [20414]
Becoming Lewis Mumford: Studying, Analyzing and Writing About the Architecture of New York City
Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. 6494, 3 credits, Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis

This course will introduce students to critical thinking and techniques of academic reading and writing with a specific focus on the urban form, history and architecture of New York City. This introductory course is designed for students interested in history, urbanism, architecture, and the politics of space. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach drawing upon anthropology, history, archaeology, geography and architectural history among others to teach students how scholars study, research and write about the built environment and urban space, as well as how people experience and use space and architecture in New York City. We will look at various theories of architecture and space. This course will also emphasize fieldwork and visits to various monuments, buildings, and institutions in New York City so that students can learn the process of researching in New York City. Thus students will develop critical thinking, writing and researching skills in this class.

Students will write weekly papers about architecture, critique scholarship, assemble an annotated bibliography, write an abstract for their final paper, and complete a final research paper that will be presented to the class in an informal workshop setting. Class attendance and participation is vital. This class has a strong emphasis on writing and revision of written work.

MALS 70000 – Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies [20416]
Decoding Celebrity
Mondays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. 7395, 3 credits, Linda M. Grasso

What is celebrity? How is it achieved? What purposes does it serve? In this course, we explore these questions using twentieth-century painter Georgia O’Keeffe as a focal point. Reading art history, cultural criticism, film studies, women’s history, autobiography, and popular culture biography, we consider the ways in which O’Keeffe’s celebrity enables an understanding of larger issues such as how celebrities are commodified and consumed by a variety of constituencies for a multitude of reasons. Viewing works of art, photographs, advertisements, documentaries, and YouTube videos, we also consider the complex ways in which celebrity images are created and circulated in multiple public domains. Conducted as a research seminar, the course requires students to study texts intensively, design and execute a research project, and share findings with peers.

MALS 70000 – Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies [20415]
Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. 7395, 3 credits, Sylvia Tomasch

Why zombies?  And why zombies now?  Not only do audiences seem unable to resist the onslaught of the undead in fiction, film, television, video, and graphic novels, etc., but the term has also spread, seemingly unstoppably, to other areas of modern life (e.g., zombie computers, zombie insects, zombie missiles).  In fact, google “zombie” and you’ll get well over 200 million hits.  So why the current epidemic of zombies? To address this question, we’ll consider zombies historically (from before the term entered English in the late nineteenth century), cross culturally (including African and Caribbean instances), and encounter modern instances from many different disciplines.  Using elements of cultural, monster, and zombie theory, students will have opportunities to chew on the zombie-area they feel least resistible, most digestible.

MALS 70000 – Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies [20417]
Thinking With Food
Mondays, 4:15-6:15, 3 credits, Rm. 8405, Megan Elias

This course serves as an introduction to graduate level reading and writing and will help students to identify a disciplinary approach that suits their interests and personal perspectives. We will be focusing on the topic of food, which appeals to scholars from a wide range of disciplines.  We will read and write about texts from a variety of academic fields to discern disciplinary differences in argument formation, methodologies, sources, and conclusions. Assignments will make use of the rich diversity of food-related experiences and archives in New York City as well as introducing students to some of the ways in which digital humanities can enhance our ability to share our research with others.

MALS 70100 – Narratives of New York: Literature and the Visual Arts [20418]
Mondays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. 6494, 3 credits, Robert Singer

Stephen Crane, Edith Wharton, Weegee, Diane Arbus, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, and Tony Kushner … this course will explore the work of these artists, among others, as each envisions critically significant representations of New York City–its people, places, and history–in various narrative forms. Particular attention will be given to evaluating the manner in which literature interrelates with film and other visual media and how each venue reflects cultural and historical ideologies. For example, what makes a text a “New York” narrative? Do literary and visual narratives mirror the city’s psyche, or serve to analyze it in penetrating ways?

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to reading texts and works of art critically, from a variety of perspectives, as well as to relevant theoretical discourses. There is an end-term paper.

MALS 70400 – Cultural Studies and the Law [20419]
Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. 6300, 3 credits, Leonard Feldman
Cross listed with P SC 72001

This course will introduce students to legal scholarship in the humanities, emphasizing cultural studies and critical theory. We will focus predominantly on two broad questions: How does law function as a cultural formation, a system of meaning, and how is law represented and imagined in other social locations, discourses and media? In order to examine law as it is represented, law as a system of representation, and the interaction between the two, we will read from the following texts: Rosen, Law as Culture, Cover, “Nomos and Narrative,” and “Violence and the Word,” Sarat and Simon, Cultural Analysis, Cultural Studies, and the Law, Sarat, Douglas and Umphrey, Law on the Screen, Merry, Colonizing Hawai’I, Coombe, The Cultural Life of Intellectual Properties, Sherwin, When Law Goes Pop and Kahn, The Cultural Study of Law.

MALS 70500 – Classical Culture  [20420]
Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. 3307, 3 credits, Marie Marianetti

The course will be a survey of selected pieces of ancient literature and legend that have subsequently influenced Western civilization. The chosen literary works will be analyzed from an interdisciplinary perspective, combining literature, history, archaeology, religion, culture, politics and philosophy. Certain universal issues will be considered as they are conveyed through the literary genres. The class will concentrate upon a thorough examination and discussion of the following primary sources: The Epic of Gilgamesh, Hesiod’s Theogony, Homer’s Odyssey, Aeschylus’ Oresteia, Sophocles’ Oedipus Cycle (the Theban plays), Euripides’ Iphigeneia in Aulis, Aristophanes’ The Clouds, Plato’s Apology and Symposium and Virgil’s Aeneid.

MALS 70600 – Religion and the Enlightenment [20421]
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. 4433, 3 credits, David Sorkin,  Cross listed with HIST 71300

This course explores the relationship between the Enlightenment and religion. Our first session will be devoted to definitions of the Enlightenment in the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries. We will then probe two related issues. First, how did the philosophes view religion? We will read such key thinkers as Locke, Pufendorf, Voltaire, Rousseau and Lessing on such critical issues as toleration, natural religion and the relationship between reason and revelation.

We will then shift to ask the less conventional question of the uses theologians or clergy made of the Enlightenment. In this connection we will read thinkers affiliated with movements of religious renewal such as the Anglican Moderate William Warburton, the Reform Catholic Lodovico Muratori and the maskil (Jewish Enlightener) Moses Mendelssohn.

The course will cross national borders (England, France, German states and Habsburg empire) and confessional boundaries (Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism). Our focus will be Western and Central Europe.

MALS 70800 – Transformations of Modernity [20422]
Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. 7314, 3 credits, Richard Kaye

This course explores the intellectual and cultural phenomenon of modernism and postmodernism as it considers the relation between both of these protean movements in Europe and America. We will begin with the brilliant experimental outpouring of modernist work in the literary achievement of T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence, and Henry James, the visual innovations of Picasso and Matisse, the discordant music of Igor Stravinsky Richard Strauss, and Arnold Schoenberg, the philosophical writings of Henri Bergson and the psychological breakthroughs of Sigmund Freud. Suddenly “difficulty,” fragmentation, and a heightened anti-realist subjectivity are given a high premium in all of the arts.  After exploring the aestheticist and decadent movements at the fin-de siècle, we will consider the impact of the First World War in generating new modes of thought and expression as well as in reviving older traditions, beliefs, and models (in the return to classicism in the arts, for example, and the popularity of spiritualism as a way of communicating with the dead.) In the aftermath of World War II, we will trace the avant-garde’s shift from Paris and London to New York, as Abstract Expressionism becomes dominant. With a reading of the political philosopher Hannah Arendt’s “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” we will examine how moral and political certainties have been upturned by totalitarianism, as the “banality” of bureaucrats supplants an earlier epoch’s “radical evil.” As the class turns to the anti-humanist challenge of postmodernism to modernism’s claims of universality and radical breakthrough, we will investigate the writings of such diverse thinkers as Theodor Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Michel Foucault, and Rosalind Krauss. Finally, we will consider the recent fiction of novelists such as Will Self and Cynthia Ozick for their revisionary attempts at questioning the conventions of narrative.   We will consider two films—Jean-Luc Godard’s “Contempt,” which contrasts contemporary despair, mass culture, and personal betrayal with an exalted epic Homeric past, and Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Conformist,” which offers a psychological rationale for fascism. Among the works we will read: Oscar Wilde, “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” T.S. Eliot, “The Waste Land,” Virginia Woolf, “Jacob’s Room,” D.H. Lawrence, “Selected Stories,” Henry James, “The Ambassadors,” Henri Bergson, “Matter and Memory,” Sigmund Freud, “Civilization and Its Discontents,” Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Meyer Schapiro, “Modern Art,” Charles Rosen, “Arnold Schoenberg,” Harold Rosenberg, “The American Action Painters,” Susan Sontag, “On Photography,” Rosalind Krauss, “The Myth of the Avant-Garde,” Michel Foucault, “The History of Sexuality,” Robert Venturi, “Learning from Las Vegas,” Will Self, “Dorian,”  Cynthia Ozick, “Foreign Bodies,” Theodor Adorno, “The Culture Industry.”

MALS 71000 – Forms of Life Writing [20423]
Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. 3306, 3 credits, Gail Levin

This course focuses on contemporary life writing in three major genres: memoir, autobiography, and biography. We will concentrate on an analysis of form and technique, not emphasizing content, but examining how content relates to form. How, for example, is it possible to portray the interaction of the life events of a creative individual (e.g. poet, novelist, painter, photographer, film director, actor, or composer) and the resulting products of that person? What are the problems that the writer must solve? Discussion of both research and writing techniques so that students will develop both an understanding of what goes into writing modern and contemporary biography, autobiography, and memoir and a critical sense of how they both overlap and differ. Students will develop skills in narrative writing in either biography or memoir. Term papers assigned.

MALS 71200 – The Culture of Fashion: Theories and Practices [20424]
Thursdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. 7395, 3 credits, Eugenia Paulicelli,  Cross listed with IDS 88230, ART 80010, WSCP 81000 & ASCP 81500

The seminar will focus on New York and the birth of American fashion, covering a time span from the sweatshops of the second half of the nineteenth century where Jewish and Italian immigrants worked, to the gilded age, department stores, the emergence of the “American Look” in the 1930s and 1940s, on to the subsequent shifts that occurred in the 1960s, up until the present of the New York Fashion week and New York as a global fashion capital. We will focus on the major role played by women who have worked in the industry as designers, stylists, and journalists (such as the New York-based Claire McCardell, Elizabeth Hawes, Diana Vreeland, Jo Copeland and others). We will go on to examine the New York socio-cultural context out of which these women emerged, the relationship the city has with fashion and modernity, with fashion’s role as a creator of national and local identity, and image.  Fashion in New York will be studied as an industry, an economic force, a phenomenon that creates and performs identities and fosters interplay between gender, the body and sexuality. Particular attention will be given to those periods of great transformation in the history of the city when fashion played an important role in shaping the city’s culture and identity, and had an impact on lifestyles and gender perception in the workplace and in other social and private spaces. Visits to museums and archives will be scheduled during the semester to complement the topics covered in class. Readings will be drawn from theoretical and historical texts as well as novels, magazine articles, memoirs and films.

Authors will include W. Benjamin, R. Barthes, D. Harvey, S. Buck-Morss, N. Rantisi, C. Millbank, V. Steele, N. Green, P. Stallybrass, D. Soyer, D. Gilbert, C. Breward, Rebecca Arnold, Edith Wharton, Lois Gould (a memoir about her mother, the fashion designer Jo Copeland,) short films by D.W. Griffith on fashion, consumption, modernity, documentaries on the garment district, Bill Cunningham and others. Students will be encouraged to conduct original research and use the museum and clothing archives in the city as well as the libraries for their final project.

Should you have any questions, please contact the instructor: Eugenia Paulicelli (email:

MALS 71500 – Critical Issues in International Studies [20425]
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. 3212, 3 credits, Tomohisa Hattori

The main purposes of this course is to help you understand the nature of global political economy.  This semester we will try to do so by examining the past economic crises.  While reading about events leading to past economic crises helps you understand the context of the past crises, the course also examines various theoretical explanations of crises in capitalist political economy.  You will assess the plausibility and adequacy of various explanations offered by these theories.  This analysis of economic crises will gradually help you see the hidden nature of capitalist political economy.   The course will also examine the current crisis in depth and try to understand why it is lasting for over 5 years.  I suggest you will apply one of these theories to the analysis of a particular crisis at a particular place and time in your term paper though some students may choose other relevant international topics for their paper.

MALS 71800 – Cross-Cultural and Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on Work and Family Issues [20822]
Mondays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. 6421, 3 credits, Karen Lyness/Kristen Shockley, Cross listed with PSYCH 80103

Cross-Cultural and Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on Work-Family Issues
is one of two core courses in the Psychology of Work and Family track. (The first course focuses on the Psychology of Work and Family, i.e., understanding work and family issues for individuals, couples, and families, as well as employers’ programs and U.S. laws that are relevant to these issues.)  This second course is designed to broaden students’ perspectives and understanding of contemporary work and family issues from a cross-national perspective. Please note that the two courses may be taken in either order.

This course, Cross-Cultural and Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on Work-Family Issues, will introduce important aspects of national context – such as cultural, political, and socioeconomic characteristics – that are critical for understanding work and family issues, and how individual experiences might differ across countries or cultures. In addition, the course will introduce students to multi-disciplinary approaches to work and family issues, such as psychology, family studies, sociology, anthropology, political science, law, and economics, each of which offers a unique perspective. For each discipline, the course will cover examples of relevant theories, research findings, and research methodologies to better equip students to pursue their individual interests related to work and family.

Pitt-Catsouphes, M., Kossek, E. E., & Sweet, S. (Eds.). (2006). The work and family handbook:  Multi-disciplinary perspectives and approaches. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Additional readings about cross-cultural and contemporary issues will be assigned and posted on Blackboard.

MALS 72100 – Feminist Texts and Contexts: Madame de Staël and the Problem of the Female Intellectual [20426]
Mondays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. 7395, 3 credits, Helena Rosenblatt,  Cross listed with FREN 74000, HIST 72100 & WSCP 81000

What were the Enlightenment’s notions of womanhood? How did these interact with ideas of genius and intellectual or artistic creativity? These are questions we will explore before delving into Madame de Staël’s life and work, from her great novels, Delphine and Corinne, to some of her more overtly political texts. To what extent did Madame de Staël imbibe and reflect reigning notions of gender, and to what extent did she subvert them? After reading some of the best and most recent scholarship on 18th century attitudes toward the female intellectual, we will turn to a consideration Madame de Staël’s own literary and political productions to see how she navigated the constraints and opportunities offered by the revolutionary times in which she lived. We will also consider whether contemporary approaches to Madame de Staël do justice to her stature as a female intellectual.

MALS 72200 – Contemporary Feminist Theories [20823]
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. 3207, 3 credits, Kyoo Lee,  Cross listed with WSCP

This course aims to introduce students to a broad range of foundational texts and contemporary classics associated with Women’s Studies, Feminist/Gender/Queer/Transgender Theories. We will use an interdisciplinary approach to consider some of the central questions, dilemmas, methods, and findings of this evolving scholarship. We begin with the discourse of crises over the very possibility of a field demarcated as such, when the sign of woman or perhaps gender itself has been deconstructed or diversified, if not destabilized. The rest of the material is organized into three broad themes: Being/Becoming (Ontology), Knowing/Unknowing (Epistemology), and Doing/Undoing (Praxis).

MALS 73100 – American Culture & Values [20427]
Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. 8203, 3 credits, Robert Reid-Pharr,  Cross listed with
ASCP 81000

With a particular emphasis on how scholars of American culture have utilized images of space, we will consider the development of the field of American Studies through examination of key Americanist texts treating frontier, urbanism, migration. and immigration. Each participant will be responsible for an in class presentation and a longer essay.

MALS 73200 – American Social Institutions: Proseminar in American Studies [20428]
Fridays, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Rm. 8203, 3 credits, Kandice Chuh, Cross listed with ASCP 81500

This course is designed to accomplish three goals: 1) to offer practical research training to student scholars for whom a primary field of engagement is American studies; 2) to deepen understanding of the key questions in contemporary Americanist discourses; and 3) to provide a structured forum for participants to develop and workshop essays for publication consideration in a peer reviewed journal or equivalent venue in the field.

To accomplish these goals, participants will engage in such questions as, what is a research question? What are exigency and methodology? How does one embed her- or himself into a field? What do disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity mean theoretically as well as practically?  In addition to participants’ essays, the texts for the course will include examples of recently published articles and chapters; calls for papers for journals and editions; and the readings for the public seminars offered by the Revolutionizing American Studies initiative, which participants are expected to attend as part of the work of this course.

Much of the workshopping will be accomplished by using the Academic Commons resources.  Participants should establish an Academic Commons account if they have not yet done so.  For the first class meeting (1 Feb), students should prepare a 1-page description of their respective projects for the semester, which should include primary field(s) of engagement and target publication venue(s).

Students interested in registering in this course should contact Kandice Chuh at with a brief description of the specific project she or he has in hand and plans to develop during the semester.

MALS 73500 – Africana Studies: Global Perspectives  [20429]
Black Postmodernism: African American Fiction Since the 1970s
Tuesdays, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. 7395, 3 credits, Barbara Webb, Cross listed with AFCP 73100, ENGL 75600, WSCP 81000 & ASCP 82000

A study of the poetics and politics of postmodernism in the fiction of African American writers since the 1970s. Although the last three decades of the twentieth century were undoubtedly the most productive and innovative period in the development of African American literature and literary criticism, it was also a period of extreme social and cultural fragmentation in African American communities. In this course we will examine how African American writers have addressed the problems of literary representation when faced with increased commodification of culture and knowledge, the proliferation of new forms of literacy and orality, and the breakdown of traditional forms of community. Our readings will also include some selections not usually considered postmodernist but that address similar concerns about identity, culture, writing and possibilities for social change. We will read selected essays by theorists of postmodernism such as Hutcheon, Jameson, Harvey and Bhabha as well as essays by literary critics and cultural theorists who have been involved in ongoing discussions about the relevance of postmodernism for African Americans at the turn of the 21st century such as bell hooks, Cornel West, W. Lawrence Hogue, Wahneema Lubiano, and Madhu Dubey. Requirements: Oral presentations and a term paper (15-20 pages). The course will be conducted as a seminar with class discussions of assigned readings and oral presentations each week. Texts: Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo; Clarence Major, My Amputations; Toni Cade Bambara, The Salt Eaters; John Edgar Wideman, Sent for You Yesterday; Charles Johnson, Middle Passage; Toni Morrison, Jazz; Gayle Jones, The Healing; Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist; Madhu Dubey, Signs and Cities: Black Literary Postmodernism.

MALS 74300 – Bioethics: Policies and Cases: Medical Ethics [20798]
Mondays, 6:00-8:00 p.m., 3 credits, Stefan Baumrin, Cross listed with PHIL 77900
Felt Conference Room Annenberg 5th Floor
Mount Sinai School of Medicine

The first seminar is January 28th.

MALS 74300 – Bioethics: Policies and Cases—Medicine and Social Justice [20430]
Tuesdays, 5:00-7:00 p.m., 3 credits, Rosamond Rhodes, Cross listed with PHIL 77900
Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Justice is a major concern in theoretical ethics and political philosophy and a huge literature is devoted to trying to explain what it entails. In this course our aim will be to examine a broad spectrum of issues in medicine, medical research, and public health that raise questions about justice. In light of these critical examples, we shall review and critique an array of philosophical views on justice. Throughout the seminar we shall be engaged in two activities: (1) using clinical dilemmas and health policies as touchstones for developing a clear understanding of justice, and (2) developing an understanding of how theories of justice apply in different contexts. By going from practice to theory and from theory back again to practice we shall advance our understanding of the theoretical literature as well as the requirements of justice in medicine and other areas of the social world.

This course will begin with an examination of issues that raise questions about justice, and then move on to examining contemporary (John Rawls) work on justice and a review of some theoretical work by authors who focus their attention on justice in medicine (Norman Daniels & Paul Menzel). In the course of the seminar, we shall also develop an understanding of how the U.S. happens to have developed the mechanisms that we now have for the delivery of health care, how medical resources are actually distributed here, elsewhere, and in various contexts.  Throughout we shall consider ways in which those allocations do and do not express justice. We shall consider some of the problems that become apparent when you attend to the special needs of social groups (e.g., the poor, children, women, the elderly, African-Americans) and examine dilemmas and conflicts that are raised by issues such as the treatment of premature and compromised neonates.


Medicine and Social Justice: Essays on the Distribution of Health Care, 2nd edition, Rosamond Rhodes, Margaret P. Battin & Anita Silvers, editors, 2012, Oxford University Press,

Contact information:

Rosamond Rhodes, Ph.D.
Director, Bioethics Education
Associate Professor, Medical Education
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Box 1108
One Gustave Levy Place
New York, NY 10029
phone:  212-241-3757

MALS 74400 – From Alexander to Muhammad: Introduction to the Cultures of the Ancient Mediterranean [20431]
Special Focus: The art and architecture of the Greco-Roman Near East and Egypt
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. 3308, 3 credits, Elizabeth Macaulay Lewis, Cross listed with ART 820 & CLAS 74100

The goal of the course it to investigate the key themes, debates and issues that underline the art of the Greco-Roman Near East and to understand how art and architecture are used in the formation of cultural identities.  It considers art and architecture in the Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt and Near East from the death of Alexander (323 BCE) through early Late Antiquity (ca. 600 CE).  This course aims to provide students with an overview of the art produced at key sites, such as Alexandria, Jerusalem, Petra, Jerash, and Palmyra, while also considering critical issues such as Romanization, art as resistance, the distinctive nature of the art produced at these different sites. Despite the adoption of similar aspects of Greek and Roman art, such as style and subject matter, local cultural identities remain distinctive in their unique blending of local and classical elements.  It should help prepare students interested in the early Islamic and Byzantine periods to understand the cultural and artistic world in which Islam came and in which the Byzantine Empire existed, and how this world shaped both of these dynamic periods. It aims not only to increase students’ understanding of the ancient world, but its relevance to contemporary society, especially in the region of the Middle East.


This course is organized into weekly seminars.


There are two assignments:

(1)          A short 2000-2500 word analysis and critique of one of the sources from the recommended reading list or from the introductory works.

(2)          Digital Project. Rather than writing a traditional research paper, students will research a site and create a website using wordpress in the CUNY Academic Commons.

General Bibliography:

Ball, Warwick. 2000. Rome in the East the transformation of an empire. London: Routledge

Bowersock, G. W. 1983. Roman Arabia. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Butcher, Kevin. 2003. Roman Syria and the Near East. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum.

Capponi, Livia. 2011. Roman Egypt. London: Bristol Classical Press.

Graf, David Frank. 1997. Rome and the Arabian frontier: from the Nabataeans to the Saracens. Aldershot, Hampshire, Great Britain: Ashgate.

Isaac, Benjamin H. 1998. The Near East under Roman rule: selected papers. Leiden: Brill.

MacAdam, Henry Innes. 2002. Geography, urbanisation and settlement patterns in the Roman Near East. Aldershot, Hampshire, Great Britain: Ashgate/Variorum.

Millar, Fergus. 1993. The Roman Near East, 31 B.C.-A.D. 337. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Sartre, Maurice. 2005. The Middle East under Rome. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. (English translation)

Sartre, Maurice. 2001. D’Alexandre à Zénobie: histoire du Levant antique, IVe siècle avant J.-C.-IIIe siècle après J.-C. [Paris]: Fayard.

MALS 75500 – Digital Humanities: Methods and Practices [20432]
Mondays, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Rm. 3307, 3 credits, Arienne Dwyer

This is a hands-on course in doing Digital Humanities. Its practice generally entails four main stages: data capture, annotation, exploration and analysis, and dissemination. Workshops surveying the tools, methods, and standards entailed in these stages are a regular part of the weekly class. In addition to training in these skills, the course will explore the profound cultural changes that the practice of digital humanities instantiates and reflects. First, the tools and data we choose shape the research questions we ask. Second, the digital humanities generally aim to create community resources, going beyond the work of the individual. Students will be assessed on their applying this new approach to scholarship and information to a project of their choice. The course has no prerequisites, and welcomes students from all humanities and social-science disciplines.

MALS 77100 – Aesthetics of Film [20434]
Wednesdays, 2:00-6:00 p.m., Rm. C419, 3 credits, David Gerstner, Cross listed with FSCP 81000, THEA 71400 & ART 79400.

This course introduces the properties of cinematic form by exploring film in relationship to the other arts. Since its beginnings, film was theorized—as art, as political tool, as entertainment—against the backdrop of the aesthetic properties of painting, theatre, literature, and, in some instances, magic.  By studying the specific properties of cinema, the content it ultimately delivers, and its use of and break from the other arts, we will investigate (through the writings of filmmakers and theorists) film aesthetics as a dynamic and modernist negotiation of multi-mediated texts. In this way, this course will engage issues of genre, style, and narrative as they are transformed through the mode of cinematic production and address. Students will be expected to write short weekly response papers to the readings and screenings (1-2 pages), be prepared to discuss the films and readings, and complete a 7500-word final paper. Bibliography available in the Certificate Programs Office (Room 5110).

MALS 77300 – Film History II [20435]
Wednesdays, 6:30-10:00 p.m., Rm. C419, 3 credits, William Boddy,  Cross listed with FSCP 81000, THEA
71600 & ART 79500.

This course will explore major developments in US and global film culture from the introduction of sound to the advent of the “blockbuster” era in Hollywood in the mid-1970s. We will analyze works from a number of national cinemas, artistic movements, and major directors, including Fritz Lang, Jean Renoir, Howard Hawks, Roberto Rossellini, Billy Wilder, Jean-Luc Godard, and Martin Scorsese.  Topics addressed include the problem of film authorship, the development of film genres and aesthetic styles, and the relationship of the classical Hollywood studio system to alternative models of film production in the United States and elsewhere.  Emphasis will be placed on the historical, aesthetic, and ideological contexts of the films examined.  Learning goals for students in this course include the demonstration of intellectual competency in the field, the ability to apply effective and appropriate research tools and techniques, and the development of competence in the integration and presentation of research knowledge in written and oral communication. Required Text: David Cook, A History of Narrative Film fourth edition (New York: Norton, 2004).

Some of the screenings on the class schedule involve selected extracts from the films indicated; films will be placed on reserve at the Graduate Center library and are available for viewing outside of class.   Course Requirements:  In addition to participation in seminar discussion, each student will prepare ten short response papers to the films and readings, write a 15 page research paper on a topic approved by the instructor, and prepare a brief oral presentation of the research project to the seminar.  Written work submitted late will be penalized.  Course Schedule available in the Certificate Programs Office (Room 5110).

MALS 77400 – International Migration [20685]
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. 6114, 3 credits, Mehdi Bozorgmehr,  Cross listed with
SOC 82800

This pilot course is being offered in anticipation of a new MALS track on “Migration and Global Cities.”

This course offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary overview of the key current topics and issues in the burgeoning field of international migration. The field is unique in its interdisciplinary nature, stretching from history, anthropology, demography and economics, through political science, geography and sociology. Methodologically, it is also very eclectic, ranging from the use of quantitative data to ethnography and oral history of migrants. While the course will aspire to incorporate the experiences of major immigrant receiving countries around the world, the main comparative focus will be on Europe and North America, where the major theories and key concepts are most fully developed. The emphasis is on exploring both the theoretical debates in the field and the empirical data and case studies on which these debates hinge. Attention will be paid to detailed discussions of “classic” issues of immigration, such as assimilation, incorporation/integration, the labor market, race and ethnic relations, gender and the family, transnationalism, and the second generation. Throughout, the course will take into account the way in which global cities, as contexts of reception, affect the immigrant experience, and in turn, are transformed by immigrants.

MALS 78100 – Issues in Urban Education: New York City Community Control Struggles over Education in the 1960s [20966]
Cross listed with U ED 71200
Thursdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. 7314, 3 credits, Steve Brier

This research seminar focuses on the historic struggles over community control of education that wracked New York City neighborhoods and schools during the “long decade” of the 1960s. The seminar will start with the failed efforts by parents and activists to integrate the NYC public school system beginning in the late 1950s and extending through the mid-1960s, then focus closely on the epochal 1968 UFT strike against community control of the public schools that shutdown the entire school system in the fall of that year, and finally look at the battles in the City University beginning in the late 1960s to open admissions to a broader, more representative cross section of the city’s public school graduates. Seminar participants, who will hopefully be drawn from a range of social science disciplines and from the MALS program, will begin by doing close reading of extant secondary analyses of these historical events. We will then immerse ourselves in primary source materials, including contemporary reportage, oral interviews (some of which we will conduct ourselves), governmental and agency reports and data, as well as cultural and visual sources, to develop a broad understanding of what happened during the critical long decade of the 1960s and the implications for understanding the current status of NYC’s educational institutions. Students will be expected to develop single-authored or collaborative research projects on a historical subject of particular interest to them, resulting in research papers and/or multimedia presentations that can and should be publishable. Emphasis will be placed on learning how to “read,” evaluate and contextualize historical documents and sources.

MALS 78200 – The Politics of Contemporary Urban Education: The School Reform Agenda [20436]
Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. 8202, 3 credits, Joel Spring,  Cross listed with U ED

This course will be a discussion seminar focused on major topics and documents related to the current school reform agenda.  Topics such as common core standards, Race to the Top, charter schools, privatization, the future of collective bargaining, control of education, and the role of technology are among the topics/issues to be discussed.  Professor Spring will be joined by Urban Education faculty including David Steiner, Anthony Picciano and Nick Michelli in presenting and leading weekly discussions.  There will also be at least one meeting at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College.

MALS 78500 – Big Data, Visualization, and Digital Humanities
Mondays, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. 3309, 3 credits, Lev Manovich, [20686] Cross listed with IDS

The explosive growth of social media on the web, combined with the digitization of cultural artifacts by libraries and museums opens up exiting new possibilities for the study of cultural processes. For the first time, we have access to massive amounts of cultural data from both the past and the present. How do we navigate these collections? How do we combine close reading of individual artifacts and “distant reading” of patterns across millions of these artifacts?  What visualization and computational tools are particularly suited for working with large cultural data sets? What new theoretical concepts and models we need to deal with the new scale of born-digital culture? How do we use visualization as a research method in the humanities?

This course explores the possibilities, the methods, and the tools for working with large cultural data sets, with a particular focus on data visualization. We will also discuss cultural, social and technical developments that placed “information” and “data” in the center of contemporary social and economic life (the concepts of information society, network society, software society). We will critically examine the fundamental paradigms developed by modern societies to analyze patterns in data – statistics, visualization, data mining. This will help us to employ computational tools more reflexively. At the same time, the practical work with these tools will help us to better understand how they are used in society at large – the modes of thinking they enable, their strengths and weaknesses, the often unexamined assumptions behind their use.

The course combines readings, discussion, exercises to learn tools and techniques, and collaborative work in groups to carry out original digital humanities projects. Students will be introduced to a number of popular open source tools for data analysis and visualization including R, Processing, Mondrian, as well as the tools developed by Manovich and his students for analyzing large sets of images and video (see

The course is suitable for students from any area of humanities. No technical skills are required beyond the basic digital media literacy. Students will be required to complete a few practical assignments and a group project where they will use their newly learned skills to analyze a large cultural data set.

MALS 78500- Reassessing Inequality and Reimagining the 21st Century: East Harlem case study
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. 6417, 3 credits, Wendy Luttrell/Caitlin Cahill, [20980] Permission of instructor required.  Cross listed with EES 79903, PSYC 80103 & U ED 75200.

Engaging broad questions of economic inequality and its impact on the “commons,” or public sphere, this seminar will combine a political economic analysis with an examination of lived experiences, counter-narratives and everyday forms of resistance; and consider the role that new technologies can play in offering alternative ways to document, study, and resist inequalities.   The seminar will engage these issues from the ground-up, as they play out in a particular place, East Harlem (El Barrio/Spanish Harlem). East Harlem is a neighborhood saturated with complex personal and collective narratives of demographic change, economic hardship, vibrant cultural creativity, social movements, community organizations, and decades of public representations as a site of urban poverty and struggle. Keeping in mind how growing inequality in wealth, income, and debt is affecting public services and institutions, the seminar will take a particular look at housing and public education. The course will take a hybrid form – including face-to-face weekly sessions situated in a digitally mediated environment.  The course will also include community engagement events and participatory research in East Harlem.   Sessions will  be facilitated by CUNY faculty members drawn from a range of social science and humanities disciplines, and will include a prominent list of intellectuals, activists, and experts drawn locally and from around the world, with unique expertise on various aspects of inequality. Simultaneously, this course will engage critical questions with regards to how new technologies can be used for community-engaged teaching and scholarship.  The course will offer a different take on the “MOOC” (massively open, online course), here re-conceived as a “POOC” a participatory, open, online course that hopes to engage community members, and people from around the world, in dialogue with the ideas in the course.  The seminar is designed to problematize issues related to representations of inequality; notions of community; and useable and meaningful research while simultaneously providing access to, and motivation for using, new digital tools and methods for addressing inequality.

Students should contact Wendy Lutrell ( or Caitlin Cahill ( for permission to enroll.