Show The Graduate Center Menu
 
 

Fall 2012 Courses

Fall 2012 Courses

MALS 70000 Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
Shifra Sharlin
Mondays, 4:15-6:15  [19049] Room 3209

Learning how to read and write at the graduate level means learning how to identify, analyze, and participate in different disciplinary conversations.   The goal of this course is to introduce students to these conversations by studying the scholarship on the secretarial profession.   At the beginning of the twentieth century, becoming a secretary was the career of choice for ambitious women from rural and immigrant backgrounds. Becoming a secretary offered an opportunity to figure out how to become urban, professional, American, and middle-class woman.   We will explore the way scholars from different disciplines understand this transformation and, in the process, develop our own self-awareness as writers and intellectuals who have something to contribute.

 

MALS 70000 Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
Shifra Sharlin
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30  [19050] Room 3209

Learning how to read and write at the graduate level means learning how to identify, analyze, and participate in different disciplinary conversations.   The goal of this course is to introduce students to these conversations by studying the scholarship on the secretarial profession.   At the beginning of the twentieth century, becoming a secretary was the career of choice for ambitious women from rural and immigrant backgrounds. Becoming a secretary offered an opportunity to figure out how to become urban, professional, American, and middle-class woman.   We will explore the way scholars from different disciplines understand this transformation and, in the process, develop our own self-awareness as writers and intellectuals who have something to contribute.

MALS 70000 Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
Juan Battle
Mondays, 6:30-8:30 [19774] Room 6418


With a leaning toward the social sciences, this applied course will introduce students to a range of writing styles and research methodologies likely to be encountered in graduate-level courses. As a result, students will develop a sophisticated understanding of methodological issues and alternatives in intellectual inquiry.

Throughout the course, students will write brief proposals, assemble academic references, write research papers, as well as employ qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Class lectures will teach the skill and, while sometimes working in small groups, students will apply the technique for homework.

Late homework assignments (including the final paper) will NOT be accepted. All assignments must be submitted on time (6:30 p.m. on their due date) in hardcopy and in their entirety. Failure to do so will result in a zero (0) for that assignment. Further, NO incompletes will be given in this course. Every student WILL get a grade at the end of the semester.

Grading
1. In-class oral and written assignments (25%) 2. Homework assignments (40%) 3. Final group paper (20%) 4. Self & peer assessment for final group paper (5%) 5. Class participation, which is the sole discretion of the professor (10%).


Required Texts:
1. Hacker, Diana & Nancy Sommers. 2011. A Pocket Style Manual. 6th Edition.
2. Healey, Joseph. 2009. Statistics: A tool for social research. 8th Edition.
3. Course pack(s) compiled by instructor.

MALS 70200 Metropolis: A Political, Historical, and Sociological Profile of New York
Cindy Lobel
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30  [19051] Room 4419

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
(Cross listed with P SC 71904 and ASCP 82000)
Joe Rollins
Mondays, 4:15-6:15  [19052] Room 3309

This course will introduce students to the dominant methodologies of legal analysis found in the social sciences.  Different sections of the course will examine foundational texts of the Law & Society movement, surveying, for example, major contributions from political science, sociology, criminology, psychology, and other empirically grounded disciplines.  It is designed to expose students to legal formalism (in the Langdellian sense of formalism), and to introduce them to legal institutions and reasoning, including statutes, legislation, and precedent. 

 

MALS 70500 Renaissance Culture
(Cross-listed with RSCP 72100 Introduction to Renaissance Studies: Renaissance Responses to Classical Genre Theory, CLAS 82500, ENGL 71600)
Tanya Pollard and Cristiana Sogno
Thursdays 4:15-6:15  [19053] Room 3309

This course explores Renaissance responses to Classical and Late Antique literary criticism, with an emphasis on their consequences for both theory and practice of literary genres.  We will pay particular attention to discussions of tragedy, comedy, tragicomedy, satire, and fiction, with attention both to theoretical treatises and to examples of these genres in both periods.  Readings will include selections from Plato, Aristotle, Euripides, Heliodorus, Longinus, Horace, Cicero, Plautus, Cinthio, Guarini, Scaliger, Sidney, Jonson, and Shakespeare.  All the texts for the course will be available in English translation, but PhD students in Classics will read classical and neo-Latin texts in the original languages, and others with the requisite languages are welcome to do so as well.  Requirements will include presentations and either a research paper or an English translation of, and commentary on, a relevant Latin text not available in translation.

 

MALS 70700 The Shaping of Modernity, 1789-1914
Richard Kaye
Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15  [19054] Room 3306

This course will explore a wide range of significant intellectual, historical, scientific, political and creative works of the period as well recent or contemporary texts dealing with the era.  A key theme in the class will be revolutionary change. We will begin with Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, De Toqueville’s Democracy in America, Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Women, and John Stuart Mills’ On Liberty. Turning to fiction, we will examine Austen’s Mansfield Park, Dickens’ Bleak House, Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Henry James’s The Portrait of a Lady, and Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth. Other texts (or excerpts from texts) include Darwin’s The Origin of Species, William James’ The Varieties of Religious Experience, Henry Adams’ The Education of Henry Adams, Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams, Hannah Arendt’s On Revolution, E.P Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class, and  T.J. Clark’s The Painting of Modern Life: Paris and the Art of Manet and His Followers. Class presentations and a final paper.

 

MALS 70900 Approaches to Life Writing
Rachel Brownstein
Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15  [19055] Room 4433

“I should live no more than I can record, as one should not have more corn growing than one can get in,” James Boswell wrote in his journal in 1776.  While most diarists would not share this view, they probably would agree that writing it down affects a life.  Students in this course will read life writing of various kinds—diaries and letters, autobiographies and memoirs, and of course biographies—and consider the stakes and the impact of reading and writing historical and fictitious lives.  Reading texts from Boswell’s time to our own, and theorists from Roland Barthes to Sidonie Smith, we will consider differences in genre and point of view, voices and choices, and styles of memory and reflection.  Among the themes to be discussed are the relation of biography to history on the one hand and the novel on the other.  Among the writers we will read are Rousseau and Wollstonecraft, Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf, Mary McCarthy, Malcolm X, Richard Holmes, Vladimir Nabokov, and Tony Judt.  Students will do a class presentation and write at least one imitation and a ten- to fifteen-page paper.


MALS 71300 The Business of Fashion: Culture, Technology, Design

Elizabeth Wissinger
Thursdays, 4:15-6:15  [19056] Room 3209

 

How do  ineffable factors such as taste, mood, and social climate affect value in the aesthetic markets of fashion?   This course will consider the business of fashion not only in terms of production, but also branding, the models who promote the styles, and the consumers who buy them. Students will be exposed to readings across a range of topics including selections from among works by Pietra Rivoli, Don Slater, Sharon Zukin, Thuy Linh Nguyen Tu, Nancy Green, Ashley Mears, Joanne Entwistle, Nigel Thrift, Alison Hearn, Thorsten Veblen, and Pierre Bourdieu.  We will discuss a range of topics, including global labor flows within the garment industry; a select history of fashion production practices; a sociology of shopping; various treatments of consumers and consumption; an ethnography of the modeling industry; critical discussions of branding, design, and luxury markets; technology and innovation; fast fashion; eco fashion; and sustainability. Each student will research and write in at least one of these areas, culminating in a final project aimed at sharing this research. 

 

MALS 71400 Introduction to International Studies
Mark Ungar
Thursdays, 6:30-8:30  [19057] Room 3309

This course studies international relations by applying the field’s major theoretical frameworks to contemporary global issues.  We will examine the development and roles of international organizations, international law, and international financial institutions; evolving relationships among governments and societies; and global cooperation on issues like war, poverty, health, human rights, and the environment. 

 

MALS 71700 Psychology of Work and Family: An Introduction
Karen Lyness and Kristen Shockley
Mondays, 6:30-8:30  [19081] Room 6421

This course will emphasize 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 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 72100 Feminist Texts and Contexts
(Cross-listed with WSCP 81001)
Victoria Pitts-Taylor and Talia Schaffer
Thursdays, 11:45-1:45  [19058] Room 3207

This course provides a broad overview of the issues and texts of Women’s Studies. The instructors will use an interdisciplinary approach to consider some of the themes, questions, methodologies, and findings of Women’s Studies scholarship. The course will cover a selection of feminist texts, taken from both literary and social science sources, and also classic and contemporary theoretical works. 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 72500 Narratives of Science and Technology: Literature and the Visual Arts
Robert Singer
Mondays, 4:15-6:15  [19082] Room 3305


From Dr. Jekyll’s hidden laboratory to Dr. Strangelove’s doomsday scenario, images of the scientist, science, and technology, as they are represented in film and literature, argue as signifying spectacles. This three credit interdisciplinary course will examine representations of science and technology in multiple film, photographic, and literary narratives. Students will evaluate how these narratives reinforce or question modern and contemporary paradigms of science and technology, as each strategizes the concept of progress. The films and literature studied in this course are drawn from various genres, and not just science fiction. Students will be introduced to critical film and literary theory and related criticism, as well as engaging in close study of primary, interdisciplinary texts. In particular, the course will discuss the role of the scientific and technological as spectacle, and the way in which notions of progress are both “real” and “reel” spaces of twentieth- and twenty-first-century life. Reading assignments are given for every class, and students are requested to present an in-class report. There is a final research paper (approximately 15-20 pages) due at the end of the semester.

MALS 73100 American Culture and Values
(Cross-listed with ASCP 81000 Introduction to American Studies: History & Methods)
David Humphries
Mondays, 6:30-8:30  [19059] Room 8203


Russ Castronovo and Susan Gillman begin the introduction to their recent collection States of Emergency: The Object of American Studies (2009), with a seemingly straightforward question: “What is the object of American studies?” For Castronovo and Gilman, this question leads directly to two others: “What does ‘American studies’ study, and what does it want?” The object of this course is to explore these questions by considering the histories, theories, and practices of the interdisciplinary field of American studies, from its inception as an academic discipline to its present “state of emergency.” Using the first publication of American Quarterly in 1949 as a starting point, we will consider how American studies has been transformed from a movement into an institution represented by one of the largest and most widely recognized annual academic conferences in the United States. The collection edited by Castronovo and Gillman is one of the most recent attempts to recalibrate and redefine the field of American studies, but the impulse it represents is as old as the field itself. For all of its centrality, American studies remains an anomaly in the academy: Generally organized as a program and not a department, it resides somewhere between (or, perhaps, outside) normative disciplinary boundaries and in sometimes productive, sometimes uneasy relations to the other “studies” which have been created in part on its model. During this semester we will consider the complexity inherent in this model, as we trace the influence of both seminal and emerging work in American studies. We will also consider the different meanings that American studies has (and has had) for different disciplines, and attempt to take stock of its current position in the academy and in our own work.

 

MALS 73400 Africana Studies: An Introduction
(Cross-listed with AFCP 70100 and ENGL 85500)
Jerry Watts
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30  [19078] Room 3207

This seminar offers an intensive investigation of the life and writings of W.E.B. DuBois.  Through discussions of his major and minor writings, we will be able to chart dominant as well as oppositional currents in American/Afro-American thought.  DuBois emerged as a distinct intellectual presence during the last decade of the 19th century and would continue to publish until his death in 1963. Moreover, throughout his entire adult life, DuBois was a political activist in behalf of the freedom struggle of Afro-Americans; obtaining self-determination for colonized peoples throughout the world; and in his later life, the Soviet Union led world communist struggle against capitalism.  His political activism informed his intellectual output and vice versa.  As a writer, DuBois wore many intellectual hats during his lifetime: historian The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America (1896) and Black Reconstruction in America; sociologist, The Philadelphia Negro (1899); essayist, The Souls of Black Folks (1903) and Darkwater: Voices From Within the Veil (1920); autobiographer, Dusk of Dawn: An Essay towards an Autobiography of a Race Concept (1940); political polemicist and agitator through his editorial writings in The Crisis, the journal of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People;  and finally, novelist (I count his novels among his minor works).   The DuBois corpus is far too large to discuss in any single semester, consequently, we will read selectively from his works.  Nevertheless, the course is reading intensive and will require participation in class discussions, several short papers and one longer research paper.


MALS 74200 The Practice of Science/Science in Context
(Cross-listed with HIST 78400)
Joseph Dauben
Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15  [19060] Room 6493


This course will use the techniques of history and sociology to study the development of modern science and its impact upon society. It will view science as an institution and as a profession, and consider such topics as science and religion; Catholic versus Protestant views of the Scientific Revolution; the role of science during and after the French Revolution; whether science contributed anything to the Industrial Revolution; American Federalism and science during the Civil War; capitalism and “big science” in America; the politics of science in the Soviet Union: the Lysenko case and modern genetics; ethical issues in biology and physics, including eugenics and the debate over recombinant DNA techniques, and atomic research (including hydrogen bomb projects) in the United States, Germany, Russia and China; computers and technological determinism.

 

MALS 74500 Great Digs: Important sites of the Classical, Late Antique and Islamic Worlds
(Cross-listed with ART 72000)
Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis
Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15  [19079] Room 3207

This course introduces students to major archaeological methods and important archaeological sites from the Classical, Late Antique and Islamic worlds. It seeks to broaden students’ awareness of archaeological methods and types of evidence, while demonstrating how interconnected the Classical, Late Antique and Islamic worlds are. The two primary methods of archaeological inquiry, excavation and survey, are first introduced, discussed and problematized in this course.  We will then survey specific sites – cities, towns and, in certain cases, residences – to understand how archaeology has contributed to our knowledge of these sites. Athens, Alexandria, Rome, Hadrian’s Villa (Tivoli), Pompeii, Dura Europos, Constantinople, Ravenna, Jerusalem, Samarra will each be the focus of a lecture.  Archaeological evidence – art, architecture and other types of material culture, such as ceramics and glass –  from each site will be discussed in detail. 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 knowledge of important archaeological sites from the Classical, Late Antique and Islamic worlds.

Course Requirements

The course is composed of lectures at which attendance is mandatory. The course assumes no previous knowledge of archaeology. Two papers are required. First, a 7-10 page paper that discusses a methodology or type of evidence that archaeologists use to understand a site or region; for example a student could discuss numismatic evidence, dendrochronology, or field survey and the benefits and problems that it presents to archaeologists in this paper. Students will be graded on this paper; however, it must be revised and resubmitted, as this course also aims to help students develop their academic writing. Second, students must prepare a 15-20 page report on the historical and significance of 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 specific excavation site or area.  This report should be based on the study of all published archaeological and historical sources for the site and it aims to teach students an understanding of a site’s topography and to develop an ability to describe a site in clear and precise archaeological and architectural terms. It should also enable a student to understand and interpret archaeological sites and publications and demonstrate the significance of the selected site.

All papers are double-spaced and must be properly referenced. Images should be included when appropriate.

Office Hours: Wednesday, 2-4. GC 3300.6

Preliminary Readings
Renfrew and Bahn, Archaeology, Theories, Methods and Practice (pp.9-160)
Alcock, S. Graecia Capta

Preliminary Syllabus (subject to revision)
Lecture 1: Introduction to discipline of Archaeology and the course
Lecture 2: Introduction to Excavation Techniques
Lecture 3: Introduction to Survey
Lecture 4: Classical Athens
Lecture 5: Alexandria
Lecture 6: Pergamon and the cities of the Hellenistic World
Lecture 7: Rome
Lecture 8: Pompeii and the Bay of Naples
Lecture 9: Hadrian’s Villa (Tivoli)
Lecture 10: Dura Europos
Lecture 11: Constantinople
Lecture 12: Ravenna
Lecture 13: Late Antique and early Islamic Jerusalem
Lecture 14: Samarra and Conclusions

 

MALS 75400 Introduction to the Digital Humanities: Debates in the Digital Humanities
(Cross-listed with ENGL 89020 and ASCP 81500)
Matthew Gold
Mondays, 4:15-6:15  [19080] Room 4419

The growth and popularization of the digital humanities (DH) in recent years has highlighted the many ways in which computational tools are being brought to bear upon humanities scholarship and teaching. Recent methodological experiments in the digital humanities – quantitative approaches to literary history, algorithmic methods of text analysis and visualization, public forms of peer-to-peer review, and interactive pedagogies for the open web – have helped scholars re-imagine the basic nature and forms of academic research and teaching across a range of disciplines.

But what is the digital humanities, and why should we care about it? What kinds of questions can DH make legible that other modes of academic inquiry conceal? Is the digital humanities a field unto itself, or is it simply a set of methodologies that can be applied in multiple fields? Will there be a point at which digital tools will be so pervasive that the field we now call “digital humanities” will simply be known as the “humanities”?

This course will explore these and other questions through a set of historical, theoretical, and methodological readings that trace the rise and popularization of the digital humanities over the past two decades.  Students will be introduced to emerging debates in the digital humanities and will become familiar with some of the fundamental skills necessary to develop and analyze digital humanities projects. We will examine and critique a range of such projects and begin to sketch out possible undertakings of our own.

A central aim of this course is to involve students in the rich and evolving constellation of spaces in which networked conversations are reshaping the norms of scholarly communication. These spaces include blogs and Twitter, which, as MLA Director of Scholarly Communication Kathleen Fitzpatrick has pointed out in “Networking the Field,” scholars are using “as a means of getting feedback on work in progress or as an alternative channel through which an author can reach an audience more quickly and directly.” We will analyze the benefits and drawbacks of this new conversational ecosystem that surrounds digital humanities work.

Readings will include texts and projects by Ian Bogost, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, Dan Cohen, Cathy Davidson, Johanna Drucker, Jason Farman, Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Matthew Kirschenbaum, Peter Krapp, Alan Liu, Tara McPherson, Franco Moretti, Bethany Nowviskie, Stephen Ramsay, Geoffrey Rockwell, Tom Scheinfeldt, Michael Witmore, and Jonathan Zittrain, among others.

No technical skills are required, though a willingness to experiment (and even fail) with DH tools is crucial. Class assignments will include weekly engagements with and participation on our class blog and Twitter feed; contributions to a collaborative Zotero bibliography; an oral presentation on a DH project; and a final project in one of the following forms: a seminar paper (~20 pages), a detailed DH project proposal, or a substantive contribution to a new or existing DH project.

MALS 76100 Traditional Patterns of Jewish Behavior and Thought
(Cross-listed with HIST 79000 European Jewry, 1550-1750: Parity and Privileges)
David Sorkin
Thursdays, 6:30-8:30  [19061] Room 3306


This course, “Political History of European Jewry, 1550-1750:  Parity and Privileges,” studies the politics of European Jewry in the formative early modern period in two principal ways.  It traces the changing political status of Jews, especially the emergence of favorable charters and privileges across Eastern and Western Europe that bordered on “parity” with other groups.  It examines the political outlook and behavior of Jews as they developed new forms of engagement with the powers that be.   The course will address these issues across Europe, from East to West, and will also consider Jews in new world colonies.

MALS 77200 History of Cinema I, 1895-1930
(Cross listed with FSCP 81000, THEA 71500, and ART 79500)
Anupama Kapse
Wednesdays, 4:15-8:15  [19062] Room C-419


This class will survey the “birth” of cinema from a number of inter-related perspectives. How did the heightened realism and new storytelling impulse of the cinema alter existing modes of pictorial and theatrical display?

We will begin with early experiments with moving images and think about actualities, serials and comic shorts as-the new genres of early cinema, which then gave way to an industrial mode of production driven by a powerful star-system and large studios. The course will not only study cinema’s birth and development but also its ability to invent novel film genres, change perceptions of modernity, mobilize race-gender politics (sometimes dubiously), picture new women, and radically enhance viewing pleasures. 

We will situate these topics within the larger context of international film movements, the development of national cinemas worldwide, and broader questions of film historiography.

Although our primary examples will be drawn from American silent cinema, we will also turn to British, Indian, Russian, Swedish and German examples to better understand the rapid proliferation and varied applications of the medium. Finally, we will examine the initial impact of sound on cinema though, as we will see, silent cinema had always been an aural medium.

Screenings will include selections and/or whole features, depending on the unit we are covering: 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 Melies: 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, shorts by Chaplin and Keaton, Little American, The Mystery of the Leaping Fish, Till the Clouds Roll By, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Ingeborg Holm, Queen Christina, Man with a Movie Camera, The Goddess, Pandora’s Box, and Sunrise.

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 to your success. Discussion–20%. Reading responses and discussion questions-10 %. A research paper with original content (20-25 pages) 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 four weeks before the final paper is due, after which we will meet to discuss your topic.

More than one absence will make it very hard for you to pass the course. Please let me know at least a day in advance if you are going to miss class.

A reading list is available in the Certificate Programs Office (Room 5110).

MALS 78100 Issues in Urban Education
Bethany Rogers
Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15  [19063] Room 3305

 

MALS 79600 Thesis Workshop
Shifra Sharlin
Mondays, 6:30-8:30  [19064] Room 3209

The goal of this workshop is to help students at any point in the thesis-writing process by reading each others’ work and reflecting on the writing and research process.