FALL 2014 COURSES
In some cases, MALS core courses will be cross-listed with other programs. Students who would like to have these courses satisfy the core course requirement for their chosen tracks must register for the MALS course number. Please keep this in mind as you register.
MALS 70000 Intro to Grad Liberal Studies 
Is Who You Are Where You Are?
M, 6:30-8:30, Rm. TBA, Professor Shifra Sharlin, 3 credits
(This course has been cancelled)
MALS 70000 Intro to Grad Liberal Studies 
Decoding Celebrity: Georgia O'Keefe as a Case Study
M, 6:30-8:30, Rm. TBA, Professor Linda M. Grasso, 3 credits
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 Intro to Grad Liberal Studies 
W, 6:30-8:30, Rm. TBA, Professor Rachel M. Brownstein, 3 credits
We will spend the first four weeks of the term reading and discussing the four life stories in Michael Hulse’s translation of The Emigrants (1996), a book by W.G. Sebald originally published as Die Ausgewanderten in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, in 1992. (We will also read some reviews and essays about the book; students will do some reports and writing.) During this time, we will list, discuss, and develop possible subjects for research papers, which will be due at the end of the term. (Areas in which subjects might occur include: translation; exile; butterflies; Manchester Jews; candlewick bedspreads; photographs as evidence; mountain climbing; charcoal as a medium. The trick of course is to find and choose your own particular subject, argument, and voice.) The next three weeks will be devoted to working on the research paper: in class we will discuss methods, databases, and bibliographies; outlines, paragraphs, sentences, punctuation, etc. In the last segment of the course, students will share and discuss one another’s papers, preparatory to rewriting the final draft.
MALS 70000 Intro to Grad Liberal Studies 
New Media: Historical Reflections and Current Practices
R, 6:30-8:30, Rm. TBA, Professor Joan Greenbaum, 3 credits
Analyzing and engaging with new media is a great jumping off place to get acquainted with liberal studies. We will reflect on historical examples of 'new media' including printing, radio, and television and examine the arguments and concepts that surrounded the introduction of these media. Currently popular media envelopes us in hype, particularly about social media. Using a critical eye and an interdisciplinary analytical lens we will dissect popular media slants around current issues in social media. Popular ideas and practices will be filtered through concepts from philosophy, literature, science, art, and their socio-economic underpinnings. In studying (and using) new media this seminar's focus is on material culture--the artifacts that we as socio-economic societies shape and that, in turn, inform our lived experience.
While this seminar relies heavily on the traditions of graduate education (reading, writing, discussion, citations, critical sources), we are also interested in expanding our understanding of learning by engaging in many forms of media including images, websites, tweets, clips, films, etc. Issues surrounding educational practices, surveillance, jobs, inequality, identities, public spaces, social action and social justice will be explored. Course processes and products include: independent research; active analysis and discussion of syllabus materials; a collective (or individual) short empirical project; two short essays reflecting on course materials; one research paper; and a presentation (individually or collectively). There will also be a course website.
MALS 70200 Metropolis: A Political, Historical, and Sociological Profile of New York 
W, 6:30-8:30, Rm. TBA, Professor Cindy R. Lobel, 3 credits
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-decade history. We will examine New York City from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including history, sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science.
MALS 70300 Law, Politics and Policy 
W, 2:00-4:00, Rm. TBA, Prof. Leslie Paik, 3 credits
Cross-listed with SOC 84505
This seminar examines the relationship between law and society, considering how the law shapes social life and how social change affects law and legal institutions. The seminar takes a “law in action” approach to studying law that focuses on the social, political, economic, and cultural contexts of law. We first will discuss readings about classic sociological theories of law; peoples’ perceptions and experiences of the law (e.g., legal consciousness, procedural justice) and the limits and power to “rights” discourses to lead to social change. We then will turn to consider how the law has defined and evolved from our experiences and understandings of race, immigration, gender and family in the US. This seminar will provide a broad socio-legal foundation for students working on those substantive topics, as well as for those interested in social control, social movements and social change.
MALS 70600 The Enlightenment and Critique 
R, 4:15-6:15, Rm. TBA, Professor Helena Rosenblatt, 3 credits
Cross-listed with HIST 71000
Since the mid 20th century, the Enlightenment has been under attack for a variety of purported sins, including Eurocentrism, imperialism, racism, sexism, and proto-totalitarianism. In fact, Enlightenment-bashing has become such a popular sport that many intellectuals are now feeling the need to “rescue,” “reclaim” and “redeem” it for the progressive goals they say were at its core. In this course, we will read texts by some of the most important political writers of the Enlightenment (Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Ferguson, Jefferson and Wollstonecraft) with a focus on the following themes: the social contract and the role of government, property and commerce, race and slavery, women and religion. We will also read recent critiques and defenses of the Enlightenment, with a view to deciding for ourselves whether it is worth “reclaiming”.
MALS 70700 The Shaping of Modernity, 1789-1914 
W, 6:30-8:30, Rm. TBA, Professor David Gordon, 3 credits
Passion, Power and Politics in Nineteenth Century Europe
Most of the great and terrible movements that shape our world today were born in the nineteenth century. That was when most of the first great discoveries of modern science were made. Modern utopian movements, among them Marxism, were born in the same period. The promise of endless rational and scientific progress seemed to suggest the perfectibility of human existence. Yet what seemed (and seems) so hopeful and beneficial soon also turned monstrous. Madness was born out of genius, as Darwinian theory led to Social Darwinism, and belief in perfectibility led to a commitment to boundless slaughter to achieve it. This course will examine the relationship between modern science, industrialization, urbanization and politics that produced the passionate political and social movements that consumed so much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and which continue to inform our lives today.
MALS 70900 Approaches to Life Writing 
W, 6:30-8:30, Rm. TBA, Professor Annalyn Swan, 3 credits
“Approaches to Life-Writing” will be a sustained look at what makes biography/autobiography, at its best, a genre that combines the strengths of both non-fiction and fiction. Great life-writing tells the tale with panache, in short, wedding the precision of scrupulous scholarship with the insight and narrative thrust of a good novel. The course will explore the art of life-writing through a range of subjects, styles and periods—from Boswell’s seminal Life of Johnson to Frank McCourt’s evocative Angela’s Ashes, from group portraits to individual memoir. Writing assignments will mix close critical analysis with a chance for some life-writing of one’s own.
MALS 71500 Critical Issues in International Studies: Human Rights and the Rule of Law 
T, 6:30-8:30, Rm. TBA, Professor Chiseche Mibenge, 3 credits
This course examines the origin of contemporary human rights standards and more specifically, how this impacts the interpretation and enforcement of human rights at an international, regional and domestic level. This inquiry will raise questions about the universality of human rights and how particular traditions interpret the adoption and/or enforcement of rights. The inquiry will be guided by the major critiques of human rights discourse and will be framed by political, justice and security preoccupations of the day, such as counter-terrorism measures post 9/11, and processes of international criminal justice before ad hoc tribunals and the International Criminal Court.
MALS 71700 Psychology of Work and Family: An Introduction 
M, 6:30-8:30, Rm. TBA, Professor Kristen Shockley, 3 credits
Cross-listed with PSYC 80103
An Introduction emphasizes the psychological aspects of work and family issues as they are experienced by the individual, such as conflicts between work and family roles, and will introduce the student to major work-family (or work-life) theories and research primarily in the psychology literature. In addition, the course will cover organizational policies and programs that are designed to help employees manage work and family responsibilities.
MALS 72200 Contemporary Feminist Theories 
T, 4:15-6:15, Rm. TBA, Professor Linda Alcoff, 3 credits
Cross-listed with WSCP 81001
This course provides a broad overview of the issues and critical texts of feminist theory. The instructor will use an interdisciplinary approach to consider some of the major questions, methodologies, and findings of Women’s Studies Scholarship. The course will cover a selection of theoretical texts from multiple disciplines, both classic and contemporary. In addition, students will explore the ways in which the field of women’s studies has raised new questions and brought new perspectives to those areas where the humanities and social and behavioral sciences intersect, with material which is interdisciplinary in nature and frequently poses a challenge to conventional disciplinary boundaries.
MALS 72600 Social Impacts of Science and Technology 
T, 4:15-6:15, Rm. TBA, Professor Joseph W. Dauben, 3 credits
MALS 73100 American Culture and Values 
R, 6:30-8:30, Rm. TBA, Professor Martin Burke, 3 credits
Cross-listed with ASCP. 81000
This course examines the intellectual and institutional histories of scholarship in American Studies, and the American Studies movement, from the middle decades of the twentieth century to the present. We will read and discuss classic and contemporary texts, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary works in cultural history, literary studies, and the social sciences. In particular, we will consider such models and metaphors as “culture,” “civilization,” “mind,” “myth,” and “national character,” and how they have been employed by academics and social critics.
MALS 73400 Africana Studies: An Introduction 
Day:TBA, Time:TBA, Rm. TBA, Staff: TBA, 3 credits
MALS 74500 Great Digs: Important Sites of the Ancient, Late Antique and Islamic Worlds 
W, 4:15-6:15, Rm. TBA, Professor Elizabeth Macaulay Lewis, 3 credits
Cross listed with MES 78000 & ART 72000
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. It aims to demonstrate how interconnected these worlds were. 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. Following the hour of lecture, each seminar will focus on the discussion of a particular archaeological question, technique, or a site. 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; some of the key issues and challenges 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 at which attendance is mandatory. 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; for example, a student could discuss dendrochronology and how archaeologists use this technique for dating. This paper maybe be revised and resubmitted, as this course aims to help students develop their academic writing. Second, students 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.
Provisional Course Outline (Subject to revision)
Week 1: Introduction to the course and the discipline of Archaeology
Week 2: Introduction to the nature of archaeological evidence and theory
Week 3: Introduction to archaeological survey
Week 4: Athens: from Acropolis to the Elgin Marbles
Week 5: Alexandria: maritime archaeology and trade
Week 6: Rome and virtual archaeology
Week 7: Pompeii, Fishbourne and advent of garden archaeology
Week 8: Dura Europos: identity and archaeology
Week 9: The art and archaeology of early Christianity: the catacombs, iconography and churches
Week 10: Digital Seminar
Week 11: The archaeology of Early Islam: Jerusalem and numismatics
Week 12: Selected Sites from the Islamic world: Qusayr ‘Amra and Samarra
Week 13: War Zones, Cultural Heritage and Archaeology
Week 14: Digital Seminar
MALS 75400 Introduction to the Digital Humanities 
R, 4:15-6:15, Rm. TBA, Professor Matthew K. Gold and Professor Stephen Brier, 3 credits
Cross-listed with IDS 81640
The dramatic growth of the Digital Humanities (DH) over the past half dozen years has helped scholars re-imagine the very nature and forms of academic research and teaching across a range of scholarly disciplines, encompassing the arts, the interpretive social sciences, and traditional humanities subject areas. This course will explore the history of the digital humanities, focusing especially on the diverse pioneering projects and core texts that ground this innovative methodological and conceptual approach to scholarly inquiry and teaching. It will also emphasize ongoing debates in the digital humanities, such as the problem of defining the digital humanities, the question of whether DH has (or needs) theoretical grounding, controversies over new models of peer review for digital scholarship, issues related to collaborative labor on digital projects, and the problematic questions surrounding research involving “big data.” The course will also emphasize the ways in which DH has helped transform the nature of academic teaching and pedagogy in the contemporary university with its emphasis on collaborative, student-centered and digital learning environments and approaches. Along the way, we will discuss broad social, legal and ethical questions and concerns surrounding digital media and contemporary culture, including privacy, intellectual property, and open/public access to knowledge and scholarship. Students will be expected to participate actively in class discussions and online postings (including on blogs and wikis) and to research and write a final multimedia presentation on a key topic in the digital humanities. Students completing the course will gain broad knowledge about and understanding of the emerging role of the digital humanities across several academic disciplines and will begin to learn some of the fundamental skills used often in digital humanities projects.
Note: this course is part of an innovative "Digital Praxis Seminar," a two-semester long introduction to digital tools and methods that will be open to all students in the Graduate Center. The goal of the course is to introduce graduate students to various ways in which they can incorporate digital research into their work.
MALS 75600 Sustainability Science and Education 
R, 4:15-6:15, Rm. TBA, Professor Sophia P. Perdikaris, 3 credits
Sustainability for environments, economies, and societies (the triple bottom line) has become a central objective that unites disciplines in sciences, arts, and humanities; engages educators, activists, policy makers, NGO's and indigenous rights organizations; and is prioritized by multiple international organizations. However, the term and concept have acquired a range of interpretations and understandings--some mutually incompatible--and there is an ongoing need to provide a common knowledge base and vocabulary, and to effectively connect education and activism for sustainability with cutting-edge method and theory in resilience, robustness, vulnerability. This course will provide a grounding in the basic literature and vocabulary of sustainability science and education, expose students to a range of interdisciplinary case studies, and engage them directly with cutting edge resilience and sustainability scholars and ongoing field research and cross-disciplinary integration.
MALS 77100 Aesthetics of Film 
M, 4:15-7:15, Room C-419, Professor Robert Singer, 3 credits
Cross listed with THEA 71400, ART 79400, FSCP 81000
Film Aesthetics provides the student with the basic skills necessary to read a film. This course concentrates on formal analysis of the aesthetic and ideological elements that comprise historical and contemporary cinema. This course introduces the student to various genre of narrative cinema and different categories of cinema such as experimental, documentary, animation and hybrid forms produced in the United States and internationally. Particular emphasis is placed on the analysis of the film’s artistic/ideological contents. We will learn to recognize the techniques and conventions that structure our experience of cinema – narrative systems, mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, sound, genre – in order to understand how these various components combine to yield film form, as we focus on the work of important film theorists. Learning goals for students in this course include the ability to apply effective research tools and techniques from print and digital resources, the development of competence in the presentation of research knowledge in written communication (an approved final paper, approximately 20 pages, based on the course material) and oral communication (an in-class report). All films are screened in advance, or in-class, in select shot sequences. The required text is Timothy Corrigan and Patricia White’s The Film Experience: An Introduction. 3rd ed. (Bedford/St. Martin’s 2012), and additional reading selections will be placed on a course CD.
MALS 77300 – Film History II 
Professor Marc Dolan, Thursday, 11:45am-2:45pm, Room C-419, 3 credits
Cross listed with THEA 71500, ART 79500 & FSCP 81000
This is a course in the history of international film in the golden age of mass culture, from a time of global depression to the dawn of the age of globalization. In the early weeks of the course, we will consider how the shock of synchronization made the global film industry more centrifugal than it had been for at least a decade, and threw filmmakers back to a much more concentrated focus on their intranational studio systems, most famously in the US but also in most European countries. Special attention will be given in our meetings to how the most advanced techniques in film were harnessed to the cause of national propaganda, not only in Nazi Germany but also in the US.
The extent to which individual artifice could succeed and even thrive within an industrial/national system of film production will be a major theme in the early part of the course, as we weigh the triumphs of both the individual artistic achievements of this period (Le Regle de Jeu) as well as collective ones (The Wizard of Oz).
The later part of the course will focus on post-WWII international trade in film, which turned the commodification and cachet of “art cinema” into a method for exhibiting national difference. Italian Neo-Realism, the French New Wave, and the rebirth of Swedish naturalism will be examined in this context, as will the varied circulation beyond Indian borders of the works of Satyajit Ray and Raj Kapoor.
The internalization of film capitalization and production in the 1960s will then be considered, not only the ways in which American Westerns were made in Spain and Burt Lancaster became an Italian film star, but also the ways in which such Eastern European directors as Roman Polanski and Milos Forman could become mainstays of US commercial films. In the 1960s, film once again became what it had been before synchronization—a so-called “international language.” After the preceding three decades, however, the national “dialects” of that language were now much more manifest than they had been during the late silent period, and more generally accepted than they had been four decades before.
In our final weeks, we will give consideration to the mass culture equivalent of the 1960s high culture explosion of cinephilia: the explosion of exploitation cinema during the 1970s. The globalization of grindhouses and driveins during the 1970s (including the significant spread throughout the US and Europe of films from Hong Kong’s Shaw Brothers Pictures) paved the way for a later VCR-enabled generation of independent filmmakers. Readings will primarily be drawn from David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson’s Film History: An Introduction and Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen’s anthology Film Theory and Criticism, but other readings will be put on reserve to reflect the specific interests of registered students.
MALS 77400 International Migration 
W, 6:30-8:30, Rm. TBA, Professor Mehdi Bozorgmehr, 3 credits
Cross listed with SOC 82800
This course offers an 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, the second generation, the undocumented, and citizenship. 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: Introduction to Children, Childhood, and Youth Studies 
T, 4:15-6:15, Rm. TBA, Professor Wendy Luttrell and Professor Roger Hart, 3 credits
MALS 78500 Social and Cultural Computing 
T, 2:00-4:00, Rm. TBA, Professor Lev Manovich, 3 credits
Cross listed with CSc 87100
The syllabus for the course is available online:
MALS 78500 Transnational Latin American and Carribean Communities in the US 
R, 4:15-6:15, Rm. TBA, Professor Ana Ramos-Zayas, 3 credits
This seminar approaches Latino Studies as an interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological field that has in fact influenced classic and contemporary social and cultural theory in significan ways. Situating Latina/o Studies within a genealogy and intellectual tradition of critical race theory and comparative ethnic studies, students will be asked to analyze seminal scholarly works in the humanities and social sciences, particularly History, Sociology and Anthropology. In the course, we will adopt a thematic focus that considers, among others, questions of Latino Studies and knowledge production, migration and transnationalism, perspectives on “(il)legality” and criminalization, labor and class identities, gender and sexuality, and the politics of race, space, and community building. The course may serve as an intellectual roadmap for students doing graduate work in various disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, and who are interested in pursuing research topics in Latina/o, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies.
MALS 79600 Thesis Workshop 
T, 4:15-6:15, Rm. TBA, Professor Shifra Sharlin, 1 credit
(This course has been cancelled)