Show The Graduate Center Menu

Fall 2006 Courses


MALS 70500 Renaissance Culture:
Students should register for MALS 74100, The Conceptual Structure of Science, which will be counted as fulfilling the core course requirement equivalent to MALS 70500.

MALS 70700 Shaping Modernity
Rachel M. Brownstein, 3 credits, Tuesdays, 6:30pm-8:30pm

In this seminar, we will track changes in ideas about the rights, capacities, and characters of men and women, and the relationships among them, by considering the characteristic themes and forms of novels in English. In addition, we will read some poems and influential discursive works of the period. Major texts include Pride and Prejudice (1813), Frankenstein (1818), Hard Times (1854) and Great Expectations (1861),Silas Marner (1861), Ethan Frome (1911), and Washington Square (1881). Students will do class presentations on films based on these novels and on, e.g., Mary Wollstonecraft, The Communist Manifesto, and the Crystal Palace. Weekly one-page response papers and two papers complete the required work for the course.

MALS 71400 Introduction to International Studies
Mark Ungar, 3 credits, Thursdays,

This survey course analyzes the theoretical frameworks of international relations and applies them to contemporary global issues. We will examine the historical development of the modern international system, the functioning of international organizations like the United Nations, the role of international law, the impacts of globalization, international financial institutions, and global cooperation on issues such as armed conflict, poverty, health, human rights, the environment, and terrorism. The course is designed to provide a theoretical foundation in international relations as well as skills to assess international policy.

MALS 72100 Major Feminist Texts
Sandi Cooper, 3 credits, Wednesdays,

This class will explore the recovered traditions of modern feminist thought beginning with Christine de Pizan in the 14th – 15th centuries and concluding with contemporary analyses. Occasional guest speakers will alternate with student rapporteurs during class meetings. Texts will include works by such authors as Sor Juana de la Cruz, Mary Wollstonecraft, Harriet Jacobs, Harriet Taylor and John Stuart Mill, the first campaigns for women’s “emancipation”, Clara Zetkin, Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Friedan as well as documents addressing issues of race, gender, class and sexual orientation arising from second wave feminism notably international feminism and human rights.

Readings will be available on reserve (either in hard copy or on Blackboard) as well as by purchased texts.

MALS 74100 The Conceptual Structure of Science
Joseph W. Dauben, 3 credits, Tuesdays, 4:15 pm-6:15 pm

This course will survey the rise of modern science from Copernicus to Newton, the period of intellectual ferment in the 16th and 17th centuries generally referred to as the Scientific Revolution. In addition to charting the advance of astronomy and physics through the works of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, Boyle, Newton and Leibniz, the revolution in biology associated with Vesalius, Harvey and others will also be considered, along with related questions in the history of botany, medicine and iatrochemistry.

The emphasis in this course will be upon texts, a careful reading of the original scientific “classics,” along with diaries and letters where they survive, in order to evaluate as much as possible from primary sources the most important factors that motivated and inspired the creators of modern science. In assessing the social role the “new” science played, the disturbingly unfamiliar world in which philosophical, religious and even political principles were called into question will also be examined.

MALS 77100 Aesthetics of Film
Stuart Liebman, 3 credits, Thursdays, 2:00 pm-5:00 pm
(cross-listed with ART 79400, THEA 71400 and FSCP 81000)

This course introduces students to graduate-level film analysis by acquainting them with basic film techniques, strategies, and styles. Central topics to be studied include narrative and nonnarrative forms, mise-en-scene, composition, camera movement, editing, sound and music, genre, and spectatorship.

In addition, students will become familiar with a variety of critical perspectives on film as well as the essential bibliographical sources and fundamentals of research in the field. The major course texts are: David Bordwell/Kristin Thompson, Film Art: An Introduction, 7th ed. (McGraw Hill, 2003)–and Kristin Thompson,Breaking the Glass Armor (Princeton U.P., 1988) Some key historical and theoretical primary texts, as well as others focusing on contextualizing single films, will also be assigned. Whenever possible, books and articles will be placed on reserve.

Course requirements: One long critical research paper about a film to be chosen by the student in consultation with the instructor. Depending on class size, there may also be short presentations by students. Attendance, keeping up with the readings, and contributing to ongoing discussion is crucial.

Enrollment limited. No permits, non-matrics, auditors.

MALS 78100 Issues in Urban Education
Bethany Rogers, 3 credits, Tuesdays,

This interdisciplinary course draws on both scholarship and experiential learning to analyze the roots of the “crisis” in urban education and its current forms and issues. Integrating texts and perspectives from history, sociology, urban politics and education, the course aims to create a foundation for research and practice in urban education. While the course itself is organized around several primary themes, it also means to support students in developing their own research interests and questions.

The course begins by considering the history of urban New York City and its schools, with the idea that coherent analysis of the issues in urban education requires an understanding of the complex factors that have contributed over time to contemporary challenges. The next phase of the course puts students in direct touch with schools and their neighborhoods. Assignments engage students in getting to know well one school of their choosing, through observations, research, an oral history project, and the creation of a school “portrait.” (The course supports students’ development of oral history and “portraiture” research methods). At the same time, as the third key aspect of the course, students are immersed in relevant scholarly research and readings that help them to contextualize, question, and make sense of what they are seeing in their real world observations. Readings address factors of race, ethnicity, gender, inclusion, and poverty, as well as the roles of neighborhoods, teachers and students in urban schools. Both readings and discussions will focus on New York City when possible and, supplemented by the field activities in the virtual laboratory of New York City and its schools, aim to provide a complex living example of urban schooling in the 21st century.