FALL 2019 COURSE DESCRIPTIONS
MALS 70000 – Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies
The Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies course is required for all MALS students. The course is a topics class. Faculty who teach it choose a subject of study – usually related to their own research interests – and explore that topic through a range of disciplinary lenses. The class is designed to help students understand interdisciplinary work, develop their written, oral, and analytic skills, and create a cohort experience. We encourage students to take this class in their first or second semester in the program.
SECTION 1 of MALS 70000 – Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies
Decoding Celebrity: Georgia O’Keeffe as Case Study
Tuesday, 6:30-8:30 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 Credits, Prof. Linda Grasso (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 cultural criticism, art 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 You Tube 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.
SECTION 2 of MALS 70000 – Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies
Law and Literature
Thursday, 4:15-6:15 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Samir Chopra (email@example.com)
This course will provide students with an introduction to graduate liberal studies by examining the relationship between law and literature via an investigation of the following related questions about law as literature and literature about law: When are literary texts and writings considered literary? What makes legal texts literature? How do great literary works conceive of law? What kind of writing is legal rhetoric? What moral, ethical, and political issues are present in great works of literature that are about the law?
Students will be asked to read literary works like novels, plays, and short stories as well as legal texts such as opinions and briefs. They will write weekly responses to the assigned reading as well as a final term paper.
SECTION 3 of MALS 70000 – Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies
Monday, 6:30-8:30 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Victor Zarour Zarzar (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In 2016, The Washington Post reported that work had started on more new barriers around the world in the previous year than at any other point in modern history. How to reconcile the openness commonly ascribed to a globalizing world with the recent increase of barriers demarcating nation-states? How do borders contribute to a sense of nation-building while being, as Wendy Brown has pointed out, a “monstrous tribute to the waning viability of sovereign nation-states”?
Drawing on readings from a broad range of fields—from political theory, anthropology, and urban planning to philosophy, literature, and the visual arts—this course will critically examine the concept of border, paying particular attention to forms of material and immaterial bordering and the marginal identities that these produce.
After examining the current proliferation of physical barriers, we will proceed to investigate border cultures and identities. We will reflect on ways in which the imago of intact sovereignty can be transposed into the fantasy of an impenetrable body, discussing how writers like Kristeva and Ferrante engage with the body’s porosity. Moreover, we will consider how the implementation of rigid boundaries is contested by the existence of marginal identities—racial, ethnic, and social. How are borders intended to produce the bounds of acceptability, thus rendering marginal bodies as unacceptable, as beyond the pale?
Some authors we will consider include Wendy Brown, Gloria Anzaldúa, Elena Ferrante, Stephen Graham, Carolyn Heilbrun, Kapka Kassabova, Yuri Herrera, Julia Kristeva, Eyal Weizman, Ai Wei Wei, Ali Abbasi, and Assia Djebar. This course is structured to develop the capacity to engage in disciplinary and interdisciplinary research about a specific subject. Students will be asked to produce a range of different kinds of academic writing and forms of communication. These will include frequent response papers, at least one review essay, and either an annotated bibliography or a prospectus. Students will write a final research paper.
MALS 70200 -- Metropolis: A Political, Historical, and Sociological Profile of New York
Tuesday, 4:15-6:15 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Libby Garland (Libby.Garland@kbcc.cuny.edu)
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. The course draws together a collection of noteworthy perspectives on the city’s past and present that open up some larger questions. For example, which people and forces have defined and shaped New York City? How, in turn, has the city itself shaped the social, spatial and cultural worlds of its inhabitants? How has New York been a site of political and economic struggle, and how have such struggles played out differently across different times and spaces? Where is the city headed, and what, if anything, do we want to do or say about that? Students will explore such questions by engaging with the work of historians, sociologists, geographers, and others. Through close reading, discussion, presentations, weekly writing and a longer research project, students will hone the skills, knowledge and critical approaches that will help them to succeed in their interdisciplinary graduate studies.
MALS 70300 -- Law, Politics, and Policy: Foundations of Legal Thought
Wednesday, 4:15-6:15 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Miryam Segal (email@example.com)
The foundations in the course’s name are distinctly American, shaped by USian history and politics, its past as a British colony and as a world “superpower,” as well as by the pedagogic theories and goals of legal education particular to this country.
This is a course on ways of thinking about the law and the sequence of productive critiques of those ways of thinking that in turn generated new schools of thought over the course of the long American 20th century. All this with the goals of revisiting/renewing critique and salvaging parts. As the names indicate, the modes, schools and movements we will study are not the sole invention of legal thought, but parallel and derive from thinking in other fields: Formalism and the Case Method, Realism, Pragmatism, New Formalism, Law and Society, Critical Legal Studies, Feminist Theory, Critical Race Theory, and Social Scientific inquiries into the nature and function of law.
Nevertheless, our goals will necessarily involve some temporary blindering, as we try to understand the critiques that seemed to grow organically from one mode of legal thought and that encouraged new ways of thinking, and our own 21st century appreciation of the shortcomings of each of these modes and the value and utility we can yet find in them.
Since the academic and judicial discourses overrun each other, we will bring the more scholarly writings in the syllabus into closer contact with the law by supplementing our readings with a sampling from case law (i.e. an emphasis on judge-made law, with passing attention to statute), all the while attending to the exigencies of legal education. Although we will touch on contracts, criminal law, constitutional law and property law, the organizing principle of the course is neither these public law v. private law divides nor other typical divisions of pedagogy and/or practice, but the essential descriptive and prescriptive questions around which the movements of the late 19th and 20th centuries may be productively organized. What is the law? A form to be applied according to pre-determined rules? Or what we make of a set of rules in the the name of justice—efficiency—liberty—social progress?
MALS 70400 -- Cultural Studies and the Law: Mothers in Law
Monday, 11:45 AM -1:45 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Profs. Julie Suk and Sara McDougall (firstname.lastname@example.org) (email@example.com)
This course will introduce students to central issues in the history and sociology of law, through the study of motherhood. The lens of motherhood will open up broader themes in the study of law and society, including categories such as gender, constitutionalism, and criminal justice. Studying the socio-legal history of motherhood will enable students to learn the skills of legal reasoning, utilize methods of legal-historical research, and pursue experiential learning through field studies, panel discussions open to the public, and the authoring of publicly available teaching materials on select topics.
First, we will explore how ideas of women as mothers have been enshrined in law, from the legal definition of the mother in civil law, to the legal treatment of pregnancy.
Second, this course will study women as lawmakers, as "founding mothers" of twentieth-century constitutions, and laws more generally. We will explore biographies of women lawyers and lawmakers.
Third, we will consider mothers as law-breakers, by engaging the history of mothers in prison, and the current legal issues arising from incarceration of mothers. This component of the course may include field trips to engage the criminal justice system.
MALS 70600 -- Enlightenment and Critique
Monday, 4:15-6:15 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Helena Rosenblatt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Eighteenth Century Enlightenment is widely seen as a transformative moment in Western culture, one with radical consequences for almost all aspects of Western modern thought. But recent scholarship has also exposed the sexism, racism and imperialism of Enlightenment thought. This course will explore how eighteenth century thinkers perceived of the world outside of Europe. We will consider if the very notion of an “Enlightenment” is Euro-centric and, at best, condescending idea, of little use today and that should perhaps be discarded. We will consider whether regions outside of Europe experienced an Enlightenment too—and, if so, was it different from that of Europe’s? Finally, was there a cross-fertilization between European “enlightened” ideas and those from other countries beyond? With the help of both primary and secondary sources, we will investigate the Enlightenment from a global perspective.
MALS 70800 -- Transformations of Modernity, 1914-present
Thursday, 4:15-6:15 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Profs. Karen Miller and Andrea Morrell (email@example.com) (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This class will put colonial relations of power at the center of our study, exploring how claims about modernity have been used to both amplify and challenge inequalities on both intimate and global scales. It will interrogate the widely held assumption that “modernity” is linked to liberty, freedom, and state-protected equality. Instead, it will examine the multiple, contested, and conflicting meanings that people have used to understand the concept of modernity from the early 20th century into the present. How, we will ask, have various people used the moniker “modern” and to what end? How have modernity’s opposites – primitivity / backwardness / tradition – also been used to characterize spaces, people, institutions, states, “cultures,” geographies, technologies, etc.? In other words, we will explore the incredibly mixed set of foundations and legacies that shape the notion of modernity, as well as a range of responses from a range of different positions to its contradictory sensibilities. This class is interdisciplinary and will examine these questions through a range of texts, disciplines, and methodologies.
MALS 71200 – The Culture of Fashion
Thursday, 6:30-8:30 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Elizabeth Wissinger (email@example.com)
From labor politics, raced and gendered power struggles, the grasp for selfhood, or urgent issues of globalization and sustainability, fashion is a major cultural force that shapes our contemporary world. At the same time, fashion’s history and aesthetics provide a fascinating cultural backdrop within which to examine issues of power, nation building, technology, and meaning making, especially in terms of the impact of modernity on concepts of self, body, and agency within the complex relations of symbols and exchange that make up the fashion system.
Starting with a thorough grounding in theories informing a conceptual approach to fashion, we will explore the politics, technologies, and aesthetics of the fashion system and its histories, by closely reading foundational texts, case studies, and cultural analyses that engage fashion’s ever-changing landscape, especially as it inflects and is inflected by race, class, gender, and power. The course will explore attitudes toward the body as they vary by historical period, especially in terms preoccupations with different body zones within fashion’s evolution. We will also consider the technologies of fashion, and work through the impacts of how productive innovations have affected fashion’s design and making, from the use of ground up beetles to produce the rarest of reds, through to new developments in biodesign, which employ sea kelp to make fibers woven into clothes, or incorporate living organisms into the clothing’s design.
The course will draw on writings from cultural studies, fashion studies, sociology, feminism, critical theory, media studies and communication scholarship. In addition, we will welcome guest speakers, and view and analyze media pertaining to the issues under discussion. The course will also incorporate field work, and the opportunity to explore making via a project assisted by visits to the Graduate Center’s maker space. Off campus site visits will incorporate exposure to historical collections of objects that tell the story of fashion’s development over time as well as cutting edge research and production (including new materials labs, and thought leading organizations such as Eyebeam and the Brooklyn Fashion and Design Accelerator). Major authors to be studied will include Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Thorsten Veblen, Pierre Bourdieu, Georg Simmel, Dick Hebdige, Caroline Evans, Anne Hollander, Judith Butler, and Deleuze, among others.
MALS 71400 -- Introduction to International Studies
Monday, 6:30-8:30 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Tomohisa Hattori (TOMOHISA.HATTORI@lehman.cuny.edu)
The two main purposes of this course are to introduce you to theoretically informed historical analyses of international relations (IR) and to help you apply one of the theories of IR to an international subject of your choice. While the historical contexts and theories of IR will help you engage in further studies in IR, your paper will enhance your understanding of how you may gain social scientific knowledge by reviewing relevant theoretical literature, conceptualizing your subject matter, developing research questions, figuring out how to answer them, gathering information about them, organizing the research result as evidence for your answer to the research question, and developing your answer as a causal argument about a particular phenomenon or relationship on the chosen topic in the context of existing theoretical arguments.
MALS 72000 – Thesis Writing Course
Tuesday, 6:30-8:30 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Shelly Eversley (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you would like to sign up for the thesis writing course, permission of the department is required. To express your interest in taking this course, please fill in this form. This course is being offered in both Summer 2019 and Fall 2019. Please sign up for the appropriate section. This course was oversubscribed in Spring 2019 and so if you are interested in registering for it, please fill out the form at your earliest convenience. This is a 3-credit course and it is not a substitute for MALS 79000.
MALS 72000, Thesis Writing Course, is designed to provide students with the time, space, and tools necessary for thesis and capstone writing projects. It is designed to help graduate students develop a practice of regular writing, reading, and researching in order to make the process of completing the thesis/capstone project efficient and enjoyable. Writing is an important feature of a community of scholars. As members of that community, we will respectfully and rigorously engage each others’ works-in-progress. Course participants will share their writing twice during the course of the semester, and they will provide readers’ reports for other members’ drafts. This kind of engagement—reading and writing—is a critical aspect of our scholarly work.
MALS 72200 -- Contemporary Feminist Theories
Tuesday, 6:30-8:30 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Jean Halley (email@example.com)
This course explores Contemporary Feminist Theories through feminist work about “bodies with gender,” and about what it means to “have” gender and to “be female” with a focus on the United States. Making use of the frame offered by Patricia Ticineto Clough’s book, Feminist Thought, we consider contemporary feminist theories on differences and similarities in the experiences of women and other gendered bodies across lines of class, race and sexuality. We examine how gender defines human experiences and how feminists resist these definitions. Sigmund Freud once called work and love the central arenas of human life. We examine contemporary feminist theories on what it means to have gender in love and to be gendered at work, along with an examination of the representation of women and gender in the larger culture, and of violence in the lives of gendered bodies particularly those gendered female. We make use of a variety of texts in exploring feminist thinking on the “nature” of gender, love and sexuality, so-called women’s work, the expectations “experts” have of diversely gendered bodies, and the representation of gender in the mass media.
MALS 72500 -- Narratives of Science and Technology: Literature and the Visual Arts
Wednesday, 6:30-8:30 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Allison Kavey (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has been a rich source of scholarly and artistic work addressing questions in bioethics, the history of science and medicine, and the medical humanities. This course will start with the novel and work outward, engaging both scholarly and artistic offshoots of the Frankenstein family tree.
MALS 72700 -- The Political Ecology of Social and Environmental Justice
Thursday, 4:15-6:15 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Tomo Imamichi (email@example.com)
This course is an introduction to Environmental Social Science and surveys a range of disciplines that comprise the field and addresses the relationships between people and their physical environments. The course will focus on how the relationships between people and their physical environments impact health and well-being, social and environmental justice, and sustainability.
MALS 73100 -- American Culture and Values
Tuesday, 6:30-8:30 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Justin Rogers-Cooper (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The History, Method, & Praxis of American Studies: Digital Edition. Russ Castronovo and Susan Gillman begin the introduction to their collection States of Emergency: The Object of American Studies (2009), with two deceptively straightforward questions: “What does ‘American studies’ study, and what does it want?” The answers aren’t straightforward. The field is an anomaly in the academy, residing somewhere between (or perhaps outside) normative disciplinary boundaries. One goal of our course thus will be to consider the histories, theories, and practices of American studies as an academic discipline. In addition, we’ll look at a range of texts that represent some of major transnational “studies” that form the network of fields within American Studies: Asian American studies (Lisa Lowe), critical race and ethnic studies (Angela Davis), gender studies (Lauren Berlant), black diasporic and Africana studies (LaRose Parris), queer of color feminism (Roderick Ferguson), and black Marxism (C.L.R. James). We’ll also read from the “Keywords” in American Cultural Studies project from New York University Press. To practice “doing” American studies, our class will collaborate on an open-source digital project using the Manifold publishing platform developed by the University of Minnesota and the CUNY Graduate Center. We’ll create a dynamic, media-rich digital edition of Hubert Harrison’s sadly neglected The Negro and the Nation (1917), and over the semester we’ll customize a publicly accessible digital textbook with media, citations, questions, and annotations developed from our class readings and discussions. Students will also compose three writing assignments that practice American Studies methods: an event review, a new keyword, and a mock-abstract for an academic conference.
MALS 73400 -- Africana Studies: Introduction
Monday, 4:15-6:15 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Juan Battle (email@example.com)
“One ever feels his two-ness – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body.” So wrote WEB Du Bois in 1897. Black history, Du Bois maintained, was the history of this double-consciousness. Black people have always been part of the American nation that they helped to build. But they have also been a nation unto themselves, with their own experiences, culture, and aspirations. Black-American history cannot be understood except in the broader context of American history. Likewise, American history cannot be understood without Black-American history.
--- excerpt from Hines, et al.’s (2014) preface
This course will serve as a broad, historical survey of the Black experience (mainly) within the United States. Because students will be exposed to (and contribute from) a wide variety of perspectives on the subject, this course is appropriate for students in the traditional social sciences (e.g. sociology, anthropology, psychology, urban education, and history) as well as more contemporary ones (e.g. women’s studies, race studies, American studies, cultural studies, lesbian and gay studies).
MALS 73800 – Internship
3 credits, Professor Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Whether you're seeking your first job or trying to explore a career change, internships can be a valuable way to gain experience and make career decisions. Internships enable students to earn credits while gaining valuable academic and/or professional experience. These internships provide you with the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in class in the working environment. They also help to build your professional network, and to expand your skill sets. Students can set up an appointment with the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development for guidance.
MALS students who wish to participate in an internship for credit must enroll in course MALS 73800. This course is run as an independent study course with Professor Macaulay-Lewis.
- Students must apply for the internship the semester prior to enrolling.
- The deadline for students to apply for the internship course is November 15 at 5PM for the Spring semester or May 15 at 5 PM for the Fall semester. If you miss this deadline please email Professor Macaulay-Lewis.
- Students must submit the proposal form, and a formal letter or email of an internship offer from the proposed employer.
- The entire application must be submitted via email to email@example.com. The proposals will then be reviewed by the department.
- Candidates will be informed about the outcome of their application in a timely fashion. Successful applicants will then be permitted to enroll in the course, once the proper paperwork is completed and filed.
- A minimum of 140 hours of the internship must be completed within the semester that the student enrolls (i.e. if the student enrolls in the internship course during Spring, the internship must be completed during the semester).
- The internship must be unpaid.
- The student must attend all classes (either in person or online, if the course runs as a hybrid course), and complete all assignments required for the course.
MALS 74500 -- Great Digs: Important sites of the Ancient, Late Antique and Islamic Worlds
Wednesday, 6:30-8:30 PM, Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Professor Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Archaeology offers new and different perspectives on the past, as artifacts, ecofacts, the built environment, and architecture speak for people rather than texts. This course introduces students to major archaeological methods and important archaeological sites from the Classical, Late Antique, and Islamic worlds. The two primary methods of archaeological inquiry—excavation and survey—are introduced, discussed, and problematized in this course. We will then consider a range of different classes of archaeological evidence often with regard to specific sites, in order to understand how archaeology has contributed to our knowledge of these sites, debates in archaeology, cultural studies, and/or history. Cultural Heritage, museum practices, and the preservation of archaeological sites will also be considered. Classes will be a combination of seminar and lecture. Guest lecturers will speak on different aspects of archaeological study and there will be site visits to cultural institutions in New York City.
MALS 78100 -- Issues in Urban Education: Critical Introduction to Mindfulness
Wednesday, 6:30-8:30, Room TBA, 3 credits, David Forbes (DForbes@brooklyn.cuny.edu)
Mindfulness has become popular in education. The New York City DOE endorses mindfulness programs in schools and even has a Director of Mindfulness and Yoga. In this class we will ask, to what extent does mindfulness help students and teachers self-regulate, adjust to, and succeed at the individualist and competitive demands of neoliberal schooling? To what extent should mindfulness instead be a critical social endeavor that questions and transforms inequitable and troublesome practices and promotes optimal development and social justice for all? Is mindfulness true to its original Buddhist moral intent to let go of attachment to the self, or does it serve neoliberal interests to bolster and market the self? We will critically examine mindfulness programs in schools and community agencies and consider an alternative integral, social, and moral mindfulness founded not on privatized individualism but on the underlying inseparability of the self with all others.
MALS 78400 -- Introduction to Latin American Studies
Monday, 6:30-8:30 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Patricia Tovar (email@example.com)
This seminar surveys five centuries of Latin American history, culture and politics from an interdisciplinary perspective, and introduces students to some of the most important issues, problems and debates in the region at large and the sub-regions within it. The course explores the rich diversity of peoples, geographies and histories that distinguish the region, and the experiences that have shaped it. By looking at the symbolic and political configurations of the region through a wide spectrum of materials (film, music, art, fiction, essays, and photography), students will think critically about major landmarks in the field of Latin American studies including the legacy of European colonialism, national fictions, modernity, social movements, conflict, memory, gender politics, religious beliefs, and the ways race, class, and gender intersect.
At the same time, students will examine various theoretical frameworks to approach the study of Latin America, including literary studies, linguistics, history, political science, sociology and anthropology. A chronological and thematic approach will give attention to the enduring legacies and challenges from the pre-Columbian era, the Spanish colonies, the nineteenth-century processes of independence, the emergence of the new nation-states, and the overall development of modern Latin American societies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
MALS 78500 -- Research with Children and Youth: Cross Disciplinary Perspectives
Wednesday, 4:15-6:15 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Roger Hart (firstname.lastname@example.org)
MALS 78500 -- Sustainability and Democratic Practice
Wednesday, 4:15-6:15 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Susan Saegert (email@example.com)
MALS 78500 -- The Biographical Film: Editing a Life
Thursday, 4:15-7:15 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Marc Dolan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This course will survey a range of examples of one of the most common film genres of the last century: the biographical film. In our meetings, we will pay special attention to how the preparation and execution of film biographies resemble and depart from that of their print equivalents.
In our introductory class we will watch a sampling of one-reel biographies from the first few decades of filmmaking, and then move swiftly in our second week to Abel Gance’s wide-screen tricolor epic Napoleon (1927). (We will probably view the latter film in conjunction with Stanley Kubrick’s notes for his ultimately unproduced film on the same subject.) Next, we will engage Alexander Korda’s pioneeringly satirical The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933) and Roberto Rossellini’s neorealist The Flowers of St. Francis (1950), two films that are oddly resonant with contemporary trends in midcentury print biography, the debunking and Annales strains respectively. Our early twentieth-century unit will then conclude with Daniel Mann’s sincerely melodramatic I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955), a popular biographical film of its time that had been almost instantly adapted from Lilian Roth’s bestselling 1954 memoir.
By this point in film history, the biographical genre was so well-established that filmmakers could play with it more. In the late twentieth-century, biographical film took more turns toward segmented or selective depictions of a subject’s life, as witnessed by David Lean’s grand slice of a life Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Andrei Tarkovsky’s six-piece, meditative Andrei Rublev (1966), and Spike Lee’s stylized and similarly segmented Malcolm X (1992). Our survey will conclude with two special cases: Todd Haynes’ range of archetypal biography from Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story (1988) to I’m Not There (2007); and Shkehar Kapur and Cate Blanchett’s decade-long collaboration on a single biographical subject in Elizabeth (1998) and Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007). Our last weeks of meetings before student presentations will form a transhistorical coda for the course, with classes on parallel film biographies of Cleopatra (from DeMille/Colbert, Mankiewicz/Taylor, Roddam/Varela, and others) and Abraham Lincoln (from Griffith/Huston, Ford/Fonda, Spielberg/Day-Lewis, and others).
Students will be expected to prepare an annotated bibliography, 15-to-20-minute presentation, and a 5000-word essay on a topic related to biographical film.
Readings will be assigned from such works as George F. Custen‘s Bio/Pics: How Hollywood Constructed Public History, Dennis P. Bingham’s Whose Lives Are They Anyway?: Biopic as Contemporary Film, Ellen Cheshire’s Bio-Pics: A Life in Pictures, and at least chapter 3 of Rick Altman’s Film/Genre, as well as individually apposite biographical excerpts.
MALS 78500 -- The Problem of Race in Early Modern Studies
Tuesday, 4:15-6:15 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Miles Grier (Miles.Grier@qc.cuny.edu)
The goal of this course is to ascertain the extent to which the technology of racial characterization troubles--and is troubled by--the temporal designation "early modern" as well as the geography of Mediterranean or Atlantic worlds. Readings will include classic and recent scholarship concerning world systems, purity of blood, religion, the history of slavery, imperial history, performance history, and black feminist theory, among other topics. Although the scholarship we read will be in English, we will study people of African, Native American, Ottoman, English, French, and Spanish descent as they move, trade, copulate, and comment on one another.
MALS 78500 -- Women and Film
Tuesday, 4:15-8:15 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Elizabeth Alsop (Elizabeth.Alsop@cuny.edu)
This course will explore female filmmakers’ contributions to global cinema from the studio era to the present, with a particular focus on the ways women have navigated and responded to dominant modes of film production, distribution, and representation. Our primary goals will be to examine the history of women’s labor and creativity in the cinema, while also reckoning with the devalorization of that labor, both in film studies curricula—which has often deprecated the work of women in popular Hollywood genres—and in film history, which continues to minimize the role of female directors in epochal movements. We’ll analyze our weekly screenings in terms of aesthetics and ideology, and consider the ways female filmmakers have engaged with the discourses of feminism, as well as questions of race, class, and sexual identity. We’ll conclude by considering how recent developments, including the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements, have affected women’s roles within the 21st-century media landscape. Screenings may include work by Ida Lupino, Agnès Varda, Věra Chytilová, Chantal Akerman, Barbara Loden, Claudia Weil, Elaine May, Lina Wertmüller, Susan Seidelman, Lizzie Borden, Jane Campion, Julie Dash, Cheryl Dunye, Andrea Arnold, Claire Denis, and Lucrecia Martel. Students will be asked to read essays by scholars such as Laura Mulvey, bell hooks, Claire Johnston, Judith Mayne, Teresa de Lauretis, Tania Modleski, Lúcia Nagib, and Patricia White, among others.
Among the questions we might ask: What have been the prevailing structural constraints faced by female directors in various national contexts? How have industry expectations and cultural biases—regarding gender, genre, and audience—shaped the careers of female filmmakers, and in turn, existing canons? How might film history better account for the work of female editors, producers, and writers, and what is the feminist potential of less auteurist accounts? What should feminist viewers do with the “bad” objects of popular culture? Finally, what “progress,” if any, has been made when it comes to women’s representation behind the camera? How and to what extent might the rise of streaming television platforms be changing the game?
Students will be asked to produce weekly 1-page response papers and a final, 15-20 page paper or creative project. Members of the class would be responsible for facilitating one class session, which includes generating questions and curating additional resources about our screening using a class blog on the CUNY Academic Commons.
MALS 78800 – Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies
Thursday, 6:30-8:30 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Carrie Hintz (email@example.com)
In this introductory seminar, we will consider changing concepts of childhood and adolescence from a variety of cultures and historical periods. What do we mean by “childhood” or “adolescence”? What is at stake in these definitions? Drawing on literary, cinematic and philosophical texts, we examine various historical models of childhood, including the romantic child, the sinful child, the working child, the sacred child, the child as miniature adult, the developing child, and the child as radically other. As we do so, we will examine how our shifting—and often contradictory—conceptions of childhood both align and clash with the way children actually live. After considering key moments in the history of childhood, we will look at the ways in which age intersects with other dimensions of social experience: sex/ gender, race, class, nation, and religion. In addition, we consider how young people live their lives and imagine their futures, as illustrative of the ongoing development of society, including practices of professionals working with them. Finally we will look at childhood experiences that challenge the historically recent notion of a “protected” and “innocent” childhood: child sex, child labor, child soldiers and child criminals.