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Course Schedule



Please note that this schedule is subject to change.

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 track must register for the MALS course number. Please keep this in mind as you register.
  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

        Profs. Makihara and Tovar
MALS 78500

Linguistic  and Cultural Anthropology

    Prof. Diaz Cardona
MALS 72700 

Political Ecology of Social and Environmental Justice
11:45 AM

3:45 PM 
  Prof. Gillespie
MALS 77300
History of Cinema II 


Prof. Akasoy
MALS 70500

Renaissance Culture

Prof. Battle
MALS 73400
Africana Studies: Introduction
Prof. Lobel
MALS 70200 

Metropolis: A Political, Historical and Sociological Profile of New York

Prof. Paik
MALS 70300

Law, Politics, and Policy

Prof. Hart
MALS 78800

Intro. to Childhood and Youth Studies

Prof. Gold and Brier 
MALS 75400 

Intro. to Digital Humanities

Prof. Stanton
MALS 70400

Refugee Crises

Prof. Rosenblatt
MALS 70600

Enlightenment and Critique
Prof. Rupp
MALS 70000
Intro. to Liberal Studies
Prof. Miller
MALS 78500

The US in a Global Context

Prof. Jordan
MALS 78500

The Evolution of the Neoliberal University
Prof. Strauss
MALS 70000 
Intro. to Liberal Studies


  Prof. Anderst
MALS 77100

Aesthetics of Film
Proj. Banerjee
MALS 78500

Genre and Global Conflict


Prof. Wineapple
MALS 71000

Forms of Life Writing

Prof. Hattori
MALS 71400

Introduction to International Studies

Prof. Fragopoulos
MALS 72000
Thesis Writing Course

Prof. Tovar
MALS 78400

Intro. to Latin American Studies
Prof. Schmidt
MALS 70000

Intro. to Liberal Studies

Prof. Rogers-Cooper
MALS 73100

American Culture and Values

Prof. Kirschner
MALS 78500

Mind the Gap
Prof. Gordon
MALS 70800 

Transformations of Modernity, 1914-Present

Prof. Semel
MALS 78100

Issues in Urban Education
Prof. Garland
MALS 70000
Intro. to Liberal Studies

Prof. Wilson
MALS 72300

Intro. to Gender and Sexuality Studies



MALS 70000 - Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies CRN # 64147

"Guns in Society"
Wednesdays, 4:15 - 6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Stephanie Rupp (

Attitudes towards guns reflect social, cultural, and political values; appropriate management of gun use requires social and political action.  This course will examine the history, culture, and politics of gun ownership and use in New York City and the United States, bringing in international comparative cases.  The aim of the course is to generate new perspectives on contemporary “gun culture” and novel policy recommendations for the management of guns in our community.  With an ethnographic focus on New York City—but placed in national and international comparative perspectives—this course will introduce students both to foundational, interdisciplinary literature that is crucial to understanding contemporary contexts of guns in society, as well as to advanced methods in ethnographic research and social analysis.  Students will integrate their original research with secondary literature—scholarly materials as well as policy papers and reports from the “gray” literature—to develop a robust understanding of gun issues in New York City, the U.S., and in international comparative contexts.

MALS 70000 - Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies CRN# 64149

"Object Lessons: Learning from Waste and Other Matter"
Tuesdays, 6:30 - 8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Christopher Schmidt (

Why are some objects enchanted, while others are considered “junk” and “trash”? Do you worry about where your garbage travels—and who carries it—as it moves from the realm of private property into public waste management? What happens when human life and object life merge, and whole classes of humans are stigmatized and treated as expendable?
It’s undeniable that waste and pollution have become pressing threats in a world confronting dire ecological damage. However, before demonizing waste, in this class we’ll pause and consider what forms of symbolic value we can unearth in rubbish and other ordinary matter. We’ll survey the fields of “dirt studies” and “new materialisms” through readings across the disciplines, from philosophy and political science (Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter) to anthropology (Arjun Appadurai, Mary Douglas) to ecocriticism and African American studies. My own background is in literature and art, and some writer–artists we’ll consider include Francis Ponge, Clarice Lispector, Robert Smithson, Roland Barthes, Ishmael Reed, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Tom McCarthy, Kara Walker, and Sianne Ngai.
For their final projects, students may write about any aspect of waste or waste management. Alternately, students may write a final essay on the “hidden life” and history of an ordinary object (e.g.: the shipping container, the blanket, the remote control, concrete, etc.)—inspired by the Object Lessons book series from Bloomsbury.   

MALS 70000 - Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies CRN# 64146
"Dividing Lines: Borders in the American Landscape

Thursdays, 6:30 - 8:30 PM,  3 credits, Prof. Libby Garland (

How has the demarcation of spatial boundaries both reflected and shaped the social divisions that have defined the United States? How do different kinds of borders—the formal and informal lines between nations, regions, states, jurisdictions, electoral districts, neighborhoods, and properties, for example—delimit economic and political possibilities? How have these different kinds of spatial borders produced racial, class, and ethnic divides in new ways over time? When and how have people challenged the boundary lines designed to contain them? In this course, students will explore these questions by engaging with the work of historians, sociologists, geographers, anthropologists, urban planners, and artists. Students will present on and lead discussion regarding a text in class. They will also design, workshop and complete a final research project, which may be a traditional article-length piece of writing or a digital project of comparable sophistication.

MALS 70000 - Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies CRN# 64148

"Peaceful Conflict Transformation"
Fridays, 4:15 - 6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Jill Strauss (

The United States and the world seem more polarized than ever. For many of us it is increasingly difficult to discuss political and social issues or a range of topics and ideas. Perhaps now more than ever we need the skills of how to resolve our differences nonviolently. The fields of peace and conflict resolution are based in interdisciplinary theory and practice involving social psychology, nonviolence, power, human rights, identity and citizenship, social (in)justice, conflict transformation and restorative justice practices, and from a variety of perspectives. This course is intended to provide an overview of these concepts and their application in real world situations so that students will develop and improve their skills in conflict prevention and de-escalation and build peace.

MALS 70200 - Metropolis: A Political, Historical, and Sociological Profile of New York CRN# 64153

Tuesdays, 4:15 - 6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Cindy Lobel (CINDY.LOBEL@LEHMAN.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.  In particular, we will look at Gotham as a center of work, culture and residency as well as at the diverse populations that have called the city home through its four-century history.  We will examine New York City from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including history, sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science.

MALS 70300 - Law, Politics, and Policy CRN# 64154

Tuesdays, 4:15 - 6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Leslie Paik (

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 will discuss readings about classic sociological theories of law, the limits and power to “rights” discourses to lead to social change, peoples’ perceptions and experiences of the law (e.g., legal consciousness) and the everyday workings of law. We then will apply those concepts to consider how the law has defined and evolved from our experiences and understandings of race, family and immigration 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 70400 - Refugee Crises: History and Law, Narrative, Poetry and Film CRN# 66736
Tuesdays, 4:15 - 6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Domna Stanton (
Cross-listed with FREN 87200 and CL 80100.

Why are we in the midst of an unparalleled refugee crisis that involves 65 million people? Such dislocations and displacements have occurred since the late 17th century, when the term was first coined; and they have proliferated over the past century, notably since 1915. Who is a refugee? Who qualifies for asylum, why and why not? What about unaccompanied minors; victims of forced migrations? What is the status of economic migrants; of internally displaced persons? How should we classify those fleeing climate catastrophes? Are these others viewed as human?
This course in critical refugee studies will begin with history (and histories), then focus on the development, successes –and failures--of the human rights regime, humanitarian law and regional instruments, such as those of the European Union. We will examine transnational North-South disparities as drivers of migration, and lastly, the current ideological and nationalist trends that have led to securitization, the closing of borders, and authoritarianism in the post 9/11 world.
We will consider particular cases: the Armenian genocide; the Holocaust; the aftermath of the Vietnam war; the intractable Palestinian problem; persecutions in Darfur and South Sudan; the flight from dictatorships, gangs and failing economies in the Americas (including Haiti); the European Union’s integrity. We will end with the present crisis catalyzed by the Syrian war.
Our approach will be interdisciplinary: critical studies in history, theory and law will combine with close readings of novels, including graphic texts, poetry, memoirs/testimonials, and documentaries that represent/construct figures of refugees as well as themes of longing, remembering and return in refugee art.
Authors/film makers include Abdelrazaq, Agamben, Ai Wei Wei, Arendt, Balibar, Bauman, Butler, Dandicat, Darwish, Derrida, Dummett, Eggers, Erpenbeck, Hisham, Lanzmann, Said, Viet Than Nguyen
Work for the course will involve, beyond close readings of assignments, a class presentation (and write-up) of a case study with other members of a team; a 20 page paper on a topic developed in consultation with the instructor; and a final exam. Course materials will be uploaded to Blackboard August 15, 2018.

MALS 70500 - Renaissance Culture: Global Renaissance CRN# 64155

Mondays, 4:15 - 6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Anna Akasoy (

The Renaissance has been considered the period in which Europe or the West more generally came into its own. Having recovered the classical Greek heritage from its Arab custodians after the ‘dark ages’, Europe, led by Italian humanists, prepared itself for Enlightenment, secularization and modernization. In this course, we will explore this historical narrative critically, focusing on two aspects:
1) We will discuss to what extent the Renaissance is a uniquely western European phenomenon of the early modern period. We will be discussing Jack Goody’s Renaissances. The One or the Many? as well as Charles Homer Haskins’s idea of a twelfth-century Renaissance and Joel Kraemer’s study of intellectual culture in medieval Iraq under Buyid rule (Humanism in the Renaissance of Islam).
2) We are going to explore the Renaissance and the formation of European identity within the context of entangled or connected histories, focusing especially on the relationship between Italy and the Ottoman Empire. We will survey responses to the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and the attempts of Italian humanists to explain the origins and rise of the Ottomans in terms of classical geography and history. We will select examples from Margaret Meserve’s Empires of Islam in Renaissance Historical Thought and analyze by way of contrast the Saidian paradigm in Nancy Bisaha’sCreating East and West. Renaissance Humanists and the Ottoman Turks. We will also discuss Renaissance crusade literature and the reformulation of medieval tropes. While most of the material covered in this course is textual, we will also pay attention to visual and material sources such as Gentile Bellini’s portrait of Mehmed II and the circulation of objects around in the Mediterranean in particular. For the latter, we will be discussing contributions in The Renaissance and the Ottoman World, edited by Anna Contadini and Claire Norton. While most of the course will focus on Italy (including Natalie Rothman’s Brokering Empire. Trans-Imperial Subjects between Venice and Istanbul and Deborah Howard’s Venice and the East), for comparative purposes we will also consider the relationship between England and the Islamic world (Early Modern England and Islamic Worlds, edited by Linda McJannet and Bernadette Andrea).

MALS 70600. Global Perspectives on the Enlightenment CRN# 66741
Tuesday, 4:15-6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Helena Rosenblatt (
Cross-listed with HIST 72800.

The Eighteenth Century Enlightenment is widely seen as a transformative moment in Western culture, one with radical consequences for almost all aspects of Western thought. But how did eighteenth century thinkers perceive the world outside of Europe? Did regions outside of Europe experience an Enlightenment too? Finally, was there a cross-fertilization of ideas between the regions and, if so, how did it happen and how did it manifest itself? 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 CRN# 64156

Wednesdays, 6:30 - 8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. David Gordon (

Modernism, and modernity can be discussed in terms of bureaucracy, rationalization, secularization, alienation, commodification, individualism, subjectivism, objectivism, universalism, chaos, mass society, homogenization, diversification, hybridization, democratization, centralization, mechanization, totalitarianism, and many, many more. The meanings of “Modernity” and “Modernism” have been debated to a great extent in scholarship and are often applied differently in history, prose, philosophy, art, music, theater or poetry. Its counterpart “Postmodernism” also provides important juxtaposition and meaning to the terms.  There are a myriad of ways in which one can discuss the transformations of modernity in the twentieth century: this course will look through the lens of intellectual history. Starting with the viewpoint of Marshall Bermann’s seminal discussion of modernity, “All that is Solid Mets into Air,” this course will look at the challenges of modernity in the intellectual history of the twentieth century: The modernity and postmodernity of: Totalitarianism; Existentialism; anti-Colonialism and the challenge of Human Rights; etc. Among others, we will read authors such as Hannah Arendt, Michael Foucault, Edward Said, Walter Benjamin, Franz Fanon, Joseph Conrad, etc.

MALS 71000 - Forms of Life Writing CRN# 64157

Mondays, 6:30 - 8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Brenda Wineapple (

"To live over people's lives," wrote Henry James, "is nothing unless we live over their perceptions, live over the growth, the change, the varying intensity of the same-- since it was by these things they themselves lived."  This course will interrogate various forms of so-called "life writing" (biography/fictional biography/memoir) to investigate the meaning, aims, ethics, pitfalls, and possibilities of the genre as practiced in literature.  We will therefore examine a wide range of topics: the relation between fact and fiction; the significance of politics and historical context; the impact of individual psychology; point of view in narration; the function of imagination; the use or exploitation of marginal figures.  And to the extent that biographical narratives depend on the creation of character, this course looks closely at how such characters are created from real people: how a living, breathing person seems to arise out of a mass of sometimes contradictory “facts”; how characters are made to change, that is, if they do; how characters can make a story move; and of course how or if traditional forms of biographical writing might be liberated from its brick-like borders. 

Writers/books will likely include such authors as Lytton Strachey, Natalie Zemon Davis (The Return of Martin Guerre), Virginia Woolf, Richard Holmes (Footsteps), Janet Malcolm (on Sylvia Plath biographies), Henry James, The Aspern Papers, Adam Phillips on Freud and biography, Julia Blackburn and her biographical inventions about Daisy Bates, Robert A. Caro on Lyndon Johnson, Hilton Als.

MALS 71400 - Introduction to International Studies CRN# 64158

Mondays, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Tomohisa Hattori (

The two main purposes of this course are to introduce you to theoretically informed historical analyses of international relations (IR) and to help you apply one of the theories of IR to an international subject of your choice.  While the historical contexts and theories of IR will help you engage in further studies in IR, your paper will enhance your understanding of how you may gain social scientific knowledge by reviewing relevant theoretical literature, conceptualizing your subject matter, developing research questions, figuring out how to answer them, gathering information about them, organizing the research result as evidence for your answer to the research question, and developing your answer as an argument about a particular phenomenon or relationship on the chosen topic in the context of existing theoretical arguments. 


MALS 72000 - Thesis Writing Course CRN# 65098

Mondays, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. George Fragopoulos (

MALS 72000, Thesis Writing Workshop, is designed to help students with the process of writing, researching and working towards completing a thesis or capstone project. As indicated by the course's title, the course is primarily run as a workshop with students sharing and commenting on writing in different stages of development. There will also be readings and discussions on the nature of academic discourse and how writing and research methods differ according to academic disciplines, thus replicating the department's interdisciplinary ethos. Students in all stages of their thesis and capstone projects are encouraged to take the course.

MALS 72300 - Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies CRN# 64159

Thursdays, 6:30 - 8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. James Wilson (

In Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us Kate Bornstein writes, “The first question we usually ask new parents is: ‘Is it a boy or a girl?’” Bornstein recommends the response, “We don’t know; it hasn’t told us yet.” This course explores the ways in which gender and sexuality are pronounced, embodied, and negotiated within specific historical and cultural contexts. Through a close reading of interdisciplinary, foundational, and recent scholarship the class will examine and theorize the ways in which categories of gender and sexuality inform and shape our understanding of the world. Investigating the intersections and collisions of gender and sexuality with race, class, ability, nationality, ethnicity, and age, the class will consider societal and institutional systems of power, privilege, oppression, and marginalization. Course requirements include an oral presentation, two 4-6 page response papers, and a 15-20 page, staged researched essay.

MALS 72700 - The Political Ecology of Social and Environmental Justice CRN# 64160

Wednesdays, 9:30 - 11:30 AM, 3 credits, Prof. Rebio Diaz Cardona (

Cross-listed with PSYC 79100.

This seminar is the first part of a three-course sequence introducing students to themultidisciplinary theoretical bases and substantive concerns of Environmental Social Science. The will survey a range of disciplines that comprise the field, encompassing historical and theoretical overviews as well as contemporary analyses concerning people’s engagements with the environment from the fields of anthropology, sociology, geography, urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, environmental design and management, and psychology. Topics include environmental perception, ecological approaches to the city, place identity and attachment, meanings of home, housing, gentrification, environmental justice, sustainability, and the psychology of climate change action.


MALS 73100 - American Culture and Values CRN# 64161
"The Object(s) of American Studies: History, Method, & Praxis"

Tuesdays, 6:30 - 8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Justin Rogers-Cooper (


Russ Castronovo and Susan Gillman begin the introduction to their collection States of Emergency: The Object of American Studies (2009) with a deceptively straightforward question: “What is the object of American studies?” They continue by unpacking the ramifications of that question by noting its imbrication in two corollary questions: “What does ‘American studies’ study, and what does it want?” For all of its centrality, after all, American studies remains an anomaly in the academy - as a program and not a department, it resides somewhere between (or, perhaps, outside) normative disciplinary boundaries. The object of our course is to explore these questions by considering the histories, theories, and practices of American studies from its inception as an academic discipline to the present. We will consider how American studies transformed from a movement into an institution (marked by one of the largest annual academic conferences in the United States). We will address the present state of the field – particularly inquiry into the politics of American exceptionalism – and whether the field is best understood in tension with an emergent vocabulary of keywords (such as “transnational”), and/or perhaps as a constellation of converging sub-fields or critical orientations, such as indigenous and postcolonial studies, critical race and ethnic studies, queer of color feminism, and/or black Marxism. In addition to discussions, we will compose writing assignments based on key genres of the discipline, including the book review, the event review, the keyword, and the conference abstract.

MALS 73400 - Africana Studies: Introduction CRN# 64170

Mondays, 4:15 - 6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Juan Battle (

Cross-listed with AFCP 73100.

American society is highly unequal in terms of income and wealth, education, and health. Individuals face very different opportunities for obtaining an education, for developing important social, psychological, and cognitive skills and competencies during childhood and youth, and for finding satisfactory employment as adults. Levels of consumption and material comfort are highly unequal. Moreover, some individuals live in highly precarious situations, and are buffeted by economic and other setbacks, while others are better protected against risks, can feel secure and plan ahead. Over the life course, substantial gaps in health and longevity emerge between different groups within our population, such that some ‘age’ and die faster than others.
When inequalities in life chances follow the boundaries of social groups – socioeconomic classes, racial or ethnic groups, genders, or age cohorts – we envision society as a hierarchy of groups, and call this pattern ‘social stratification.’ Sociologists ask why stratification exists, how it changes over time, and whether inequality is unavoidable or is a matter of political policy and popular will. We also debate normative issues: whether or when social inequality is just and productive, and when it is unjust and undesirable.
The sociology of inequality and stratification is a huge area so this course will only be able to provide an introduction or overview suitable for doctoral students. The principal focus of the course will be theoretical, discussing the conceptual basis of our understandings of stratification. Many of the core concepts of sociology are intended to describe or explain aspects of social inequality: social class and SES; upward and downward social mobility; discrimination in labor markets and firms; “winner take all” and “big fish in small pond” concepts; ideas of social exclusion & notions of an underclass; theories of prejudice, discrimination, and group conflict; ideas about the intersectionality of race, class and gender. Debates rage around many of these ideas, and in large part this course will provide an introduction to these concepts and controversies.
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).
Required Texts:
Grusky, David. 2014. Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective, 4th Edition. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

MALS 75400 - Introduction to the Digital Humanities CRN# 64171

Tuesdays, 4:15 - 6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Profs. Matthew Gold and Stephen Brier (

What are the digital humanities, and how can they help us think in new ways? This course offers an introduction to the landscape of digital humanities (DH) work, paying attention to how its various approaches embody new ways of knowing and thinking. What kinds of questions, for instance, does the practice of mapping pose to our research and teaching? When we attempt to share our work through social media, how is it changed? How can we read “distantly,” and how does “distant reading” alter our sense of what reading is?
Over the course of this semester, we will explore these questions and others as we engaging 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.
Among the themes and approaches we will explore are evidence, scale, representation, genre, quantification, visualization, and data. We will also 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.
Though no previous technical skills are required, students will be asked to experiment in introductory ways with DH tools and methods as a way of concretizing some of our readings and discussions. Students will be expected to participate actively in class discussions and online postings (including on our course blog) and to undertake a final project that can be either a conventional seminar paper or a proposal for a digital project. 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 77100 - Aesthetics of Film CRN# 64176

Tuesdays, 4:15 - 8:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Leah Anderst (

Film Aesthetics provides students with the basic skills necessary to read and analyze the formal and stylistic components of film, both historical and contemporary. This course introduces the student to various genre of narrative cinema and categories of film (for example, silent comedy, melodrama, film noir, documentary, animation, and experimental, among others) produced in the United States and internationally. As students survey the work of important film theorists and apply it to films screened in class, they will master the fundamental vocabulary of film analysis and will learn to recognize the techniques and conventions that structure the cinematic experience – narrative systems, mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, sound, genre – in order to understand how these various components combine to yield film form and have developed over the history of the form.
Each student will lead discussion on one of our weekly readings and write two formal papers: a scene analysis essay due around the midterm point, and a longer seminar paper at the end of the semester on a topic of their choosing related to our course screenings, readings, or topics. This second paper will require a project proposal as well as an annotated bibliography of research sources. Readings for the course will be drawn heavily from Film Art: An Introduction by David Bordwell and Kristen Thompson (11th edition) as well as additional articles provided. 

MALS 77300 - History of Cinema II CRN# 64179

Tuesdays, 11:45 AM - 3:45 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Michael Gillespie (
Cross-listed with FSCP 81000

This class engages with how cinema complicates, renders, and critiques the idea of history. In this way, this class will examine how cinema narrativizes or enacts a writing of history in the terms of ‘visual historiography.’ If historiography is the study of the writing of history, then this class will consider the cinematic writing of history with attention to narrativity, the purpose of historical narratives, and the significant values and meanings attributed to history. Furthermore, the class will focus on the emplotment of history by the visual and the significant epistemological questions about the shared impulse of narrativity between history and film as visual art. We will explore questions of truth and authenticity, temporality, the production of historical knowledge, memory and remembrance, trauma, and power. Our focus will take a critically disobedient approach in the sense that we will treat the films as historiographic interventions while also avoiding the fidelity concerns that most often shadow discussion of film and history. Thus, these films will be treated as distinct acts of visual historiography that consequentially confound and enliven our understanding of history and the critical capacities of visual art.

MALS 78100 - Issues in Urban Education CRN# 64180
Foundations of American Education"

Wednesdays, 6:30 - 8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Susan Semel (

This course provides an overview of major issues and controversies in urban education in the United States. Through a historical, sociological, philosophical and political analysis of educational problems, the course explores a variety of progressive and traditional approaches to improving urban education in the 20th century. The course focuses on current neoliberal reforms to reduce educational inequality, including curriculum and common core learning standards, teacher education reform, school choice, tuition vouchers, charter schools, privatization, whole school reform, small schools, and value added models of teacher evaluation. Finally, the course examines the limits and possibilities of these reforms in improving urban education and reducing racial, ethnic and social class based educational inequalities.

MALS 78400 - Introduction to Latin American Studies CRN# 65001

Mondays, 6:30 - 8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Patricia Tovar (

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 - The United States in a Global Context CRN# 64182

Thursday, 4:15 - 6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Karen Miller (

This class will explore the role of the US in the world. We will examine transformations in the meanings and material consequences of U.S. power from the beginning of the nineteenth century to the present. We will also consider the experiences of a wide range of American and non-American subjects as they manage their often-vexed relationships to various aspects of the United States. One of our tasks will be to interrogate U.S. global power and international relations, to understand how they changed over time, to examine their dynamics and contradictions, to consider their limitations, failures, and challengers. We will also explore how global engagements have transformed both U.S. citizens and the United States’ domestic terrain: just as the U.S. helps shape the world, the world also reshapes the United States, through immigration, culture, commerce, and a myriad of other connections. Our interdisciplinary study of these questions will be organized both chronologically and thematically. Students will be asked to write frequently and to produce a final paper. 

MALS 78500 - Mind the Gap: Technologies, trends, and policies that will shape the future of work CRN# 64183

Tuesdays, 6:30 -  8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Ann Kirschner (

Mind the Gap will study the future of work.  We will address this question:  As we think about the range of possibilities for the future of work -- from the utopian to the dystopian -- what are the policies, technologies, and social systems that should be anticipated today to ensure positive outcomes?  We will take an interdisciplinary approach to developing our skills as analysts and policy-makers, looking at trends in technology, globalization, and demographics, and evaluating alternative interventions by government, industry, educators, and other stakeholders.  The course will also bring in distinguished speakers to share their experience and ideas. 

MALS 78500 - Lingusitic and Cultural Anthropology CRN# 66682

Fridays, 8:45-10:45 a.m., Profs. Miki Makihara and Patricia Tovar (
Cross-listed with ANTH 78000
This course introduces students to some of the major social theories and debates that inspire and inform analysis in linguistic and cultural anthropology. Over the course of the semester, we will investigate a range of theoretical propositions concerning such topics as agency, structure, discourse, ideology, subjectivity, history, social change, power, culture, and the politics of representation.  This course fulfills a requirement for physical anthropology and archaeology students in the anthropology program, and should also be of interest for MA students and others who seek an introduction to these two subfields. The course is led by a linguistic anthropologist and a cultural anthropologist, who introduce their respective subfields. 

MALS 78500 - Genre and Global Conflict CRN# 66527
Wednesday, 4:15pm-8:15pm, Rm. C-419, Prof. Ria Banerjee (
Cross-listed with FSCP 81000 and THEA 81500

This course will examine the interaction between a film’s employment of genre and the conflicts it depicts, defined broadly and globally. We will begin with the opening premise that genre fundamentally affects subject matter, so any analysis of film involves attention to the interpellation of form and content. War, an enormity of violence, seems to ask for “serious” filmic forms such as the documentary or drama; what happens, then, when it appears in forms that appear on the surface to be less serious, frivolous even?
This redefinition of the parameters of a “war film” means that we will begin the course with a rigorous discussion of what the term means to us as a class using a classic of the genre such as Apocalypse Now. We will then consider the way that other genres have deployed conflicts: for instance, the American Civil War in the classic Western, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, and the fantasy thriller Pan’s Labyrinth set in Franco’s Spain. World War II will inevitably form a bulk of our investigations. We will range from documentary film with a turbulent reception history like Night and Fog, to the depiction of Vichy France in the romance Casablanca, and World War II intrigue in The Third Man. Class discussions will also cluster around the Partition of India in 1947, a displacement of fourteen million people that is considered one of the bloodiest recent upheavals. We will discuss the ways that it is invoked in big budget Bollywood musicals like Earth versus in Ritwick Ghatak’s low budget indie trilogy from the 1960s. Can comedy accommodate serious conflicts? We will approach this question by discussing the Crusades and holy war in light of the self conscious silly-serious medievalism of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Other genres we might consider include historical romances (Gladiator), horror/sci-fi (District 9), and animation (Waltz with Bashir), keeping an eye on the different conflicts they reference. Television has contributed its own powerful note to this question of genre; time permitting, we will consider treatments of conflict in The Twilight Zone and Prisoners of War (Hatufim), among others.
Since we will range widely in both genres we consider and the conflicts shown on film, students will be asked to present on one conflict of their choice from the syllabus; they will also contribute weekly to blog posts and class discussions. Final paper of 15-20 pages with view to publication in a suitable academic forum.

MALS 78500. The Evolution of The Neoliberal University CRN# 66796
Thursday, 4:15 – 6:15 PM, Prof. Charles Jordan (
Cross-listed with UED 75100.

From a pivotal moment in the history of higher education, our course will redefine the undercurrents of neoliberalism within a nationalist context.  A decade ago, the Great Recession authored a dramatic shift in the ways in which higher education was funded, aligning the mission of the university to a corporate schema organized by some of the nation’s most powerful foundations.  Today, systems of accountability, assessment, evaluation and performance-based funding have become commonplace to the postsecondary system.  While these measures have reduced overhead costs and increased the efficiency of programs they have failed to address the critical divisions that plague campus life.  Racial inequity, socioeconomic divides, and impossibly high tuition costs have kept America’s colleges segregated.  Although there have been some advances in equity, the system is contending with a wholesale identity crisis, one that has been aggravated by the political polarization of the past two years.

This seminar will focus on the analysis of stubborn trends in higher education policy.  We will attend to issues of race, social class, free speech, partisan politics, and the remnants of the neoliberal assault from the Great Recession.  Using a range of ethnographic, historical, and policy-focused texts, our course will interrogate systemic sociological factors that have narrated the history of higher education.  We will examine higher education broadly and will use CUNY as a case study throughout the semester to underscore salient findings in a local context.  In this sense, we will draw from historical, qualitative, and quantitative studies that have examined key pieces of policy at the university.  Participants will be active in weekly discussions and will write a term paper focused on a policy issue of their choosing.

MALS 78800 - Introduction to Childhood and Youth Studies CRN# 64184

Tuesdays, 4:15 - 6:15 p.m., 3 credits, Prof. Roger Hart (