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Fall 2007 Courses

Fall 2007 Courses

MALS 70500
Landmarks in Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern Thought
Anthony Gottlieb, 3 credits, Mondays, 4:15-6:15pm


This course will be a chronological survey of western thought from the start of the Christian era to Descartes and Locke in the 17th century. After a brief overview of the Hellenistic age (Stoics, Epicureans and Skeptics) and the decline of Greek philosophy, we’ll look at the state of knowledge in the early middle ages; scholasticism and theology in the 11th and 12th centuries (Anselm and Abelard); and the rise of universities and of Aristotelianism in the 13th century (Aquinas). Then we’ll look at intellectual developments in the 15th century and the renaissance of learning from Nicholas of Cusa to Copernicus. We’ll look at the influence of Montaigne and Bacon in the 16th century, and progress to developments in modern science, the rejection of Aristotelianism, and the age of Descartes, Newton and Locke.

Required texts:


Gottlieb, Anthony. The Dream of Reason: A History of Philosophy from the Greeks to the Renaissance. New York: W.W. Norton, 2001.

Klima, Gyula, Fritz Allhoff, and Anand Jayprakash Vaidya, eds. Medieval Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007.

Martinich, A.P., Fritz Allhoff, and Anand Jayprakash Vaidya, eds. Early Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings with Commentary. Oxford: Blackwell, 2007.

MALS 70700
Shaping Modernity, 1789-1914
Gerhard Joseph,
3 credits, Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm

In this seminar, we will consider characteristics of the changing idea of modernity, for the most part through the lens of English literature.  But reading novels will take us to cinematic adaptations, and some short works by Balzac and Tolstoy, Hawthorne and James, will broaden the focus to outside England.  Student presentations will bring into class discussions the important ideas expressed in non-literary texts by Wollstonecraft, Marx, Engels, and Darwin, as well as non-moving pictures and other works of visual art.  Each student will do at least one presentation and write a paper based on that in addition to another short paper.  Weekly responses to the readings will also be required.

We will begin the term by looking at some Romantic lyrics, and go on to make and hear presentations on the Declarations and Vindications of the revolutionary period.  Then we will read (and look at adaptations of) Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Shelley’s Frankenstein, and then read Hard Times and Great Expectations by Dickens, and short works by Balzac and Tolstoy. At the end of the course, Hawthorne’s The Marble Faun and James’s Daisy Miller will bring us to the theme of American relations with European culture.

MALS 72100 Major Feminist Texts
Talia Schaffer, 3 credits, Mondays, 6:30pm-8:30pm
(Cross-listed with WSCP 80801)

This class will explore the recovered traditions of modern feminist thought beginning with Christine de Pizan in the fourteenth to fifteenth 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 in purchased texts.

MALS 73200  American Social Institutions
Martin Burke, 3 credits, Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30pm


People, Politics and Power: Historical Approaches to American Studies

The purposes of this interdisciplinary course are three. First, it will introduce class members to recent scholarship on selected topics in American history and related social sciences (anthropology, political science, sociology) from the early seventeenth to the late twentieth centuries. Second, it will examine a wide range of original source materials which have featured prominently in classic and contemporary analyses of American society and culture. Finally, it will encourage class members to become familiar with emerging online and interactive new media resources for doing advanced research in American cultural studies.

Required readings:

Karen Kupperman, ed. Major Problems in American Colonial History: Documents and Essays.
Richard D. Brown, ed. Major Problems in the Era of the American Revolution, 1760-1791: Documents and Essays.
Sean Wilentz, ed. Major Problems in the Early Republic, 1787-1848: Documents and Essays.
Michael Perman, ed. Major Problems in the Civil War and Reconstruction: Documents and Essays.
Leon Fink, ed. Major Problems in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era: Documents and Essays.
Colin Gordon, ed. Major Problems in American History, 1920-1945: Documents and Essays.
Robert Griffith, ed. Major Problems in American History since 1945: Documents and Essays.

William Bradford, Of Plimouth Plantation.
Mary Rowlandson, Narrative of the Captivity.
Benjamin Franklin, Autobiography.
Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia.
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America.
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln, “Debates from the 1858 Senate Campaign.”
Abraham Lincoln, “First Inaugural Address”; “Gettysburg Address”; “Second Inaugural Address.”
Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward.
Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams.
Jane Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House.
Helen and Robert Lynd, Middletown.
C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite.
Michael Harrintgton, The Other America.
Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique.
Robert Bellah, et al., Habits of the Heart.

Online Resources:

Library of Congress, “American Memory Project.”
Cornell University Library and the University of Michigan Library, “The Making of America.”
George Mason University and CUNY, “History Matters.”
Gilder-Lehrman Institute, “Documenting American History.”
Yale University School of Law, “Avalon Project.”
ABC-Clio, “America: History and Life.”
American Studies Association, “ASA Guide to Online Resources.”

MALS 74200 The Practice of Science/Science in Context
Joseph W. Dauben, 3 credits, Tuesdays, 4:15 pm-6:15 pm
(Cross-listed with HIST 78400)

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 74300  Research Ethics
Rosamond Rhodes, 3 credits, Mondays, 4:00-5:30pm at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (100th Street & Fifth Avenue), CLR 510

Seminar participants will include CUNY students and MSSM medical students, genetics counseling students, MPH students, and clinical researchers.

This seminar will explore the complex issues raised by human subject research.  The seminar will begin with a review of some of the landmark cases of unethical use of human subjects in research, the policies that shape our current understanding of the ethical conduct of research, and the mechanisms for research oversight that have been instituted.  Then, through reading a broad select of seminal articles and papers from the recent literature, seminar presentations, and discussion, we shall engage in a conceptual analysis of a number of controversial and pressing issues.   We shall be discussing the moral and public policy aspects of topics such as research design, risk-benefit assessment, informed consent, the use of “vulnerable” subjects, research without consent, confidentiality, inducements, conflicts of interests, disclosure of research findings, tissue use, vaccine development, international research.  In addition to exploring the moral landscape of this rich and provocative domain, the seminar should clarify and inform participants’ understanding of basic moral concepts such as autonomy and justice.  It should also serve as a model for approaching other issues in applied ethics.

MALS 77100 Aesthetics of Film
Paula Massood, 3 credits, Tuesdays, 4:15-8:15pm
(Cross-listed with ART 79500, THEA 71400 and FSCP 81000)

This course will introduce students to graduate-level film analysis by acquainting them with basic film vocabulary, techniques, and styles. Central topics for study will include narrative structure and nonnarrative forms, mise-en-scene and shot composition, camera movement, editing (continuity and montage technique), and sound. Students will also be introduced to a variety of critical approaches to film analysis, including narrative, genre, auteur, industry, technology, and reception. By the end of the semester, students will be familiar with the fundamentals of research in Cinema Studies and the essential bibliographic and archival sources for research and analysis.

Required texts:

David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art
Christine Gledhill and Linda Williams, eds. Reinventing Film Studies

Recommended texts:

Pam Cook and Mieke Bernink, The Cinema Book (2nd edition)
John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson, eds. The Oxford Guide to Film Studies
Toby Miller and Robert Stam, eds. Film and Theory: An Anthology
Graeme Turner, ed. The Film Cultures Reader

Additional readings (selected essays from journals and other collections) will be on reserve in the library.

Screenings will be drawn from the following films (the following list is a representative selection; it is not the final screening list):

Boudu Saved from Drowning (Renoir, 1932)
Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
Contempt (Godard, 1963)
Do The Right Thing (Lee, 1989)
La Haine (Kassovitz, 1996)
M (Lang, 1931)
Memento (Nolan, 2000)
Orlando (Potter, 1993)
Potemkin (Eisenstein, 1925)
Rear Window (Hitchcock, 1954)
Stagecoach (Ford, 1939)
The Man With a Movie Camera (Vertov, 1929)
Touch of Evil (Welles, 1958)

Course Requirements:

(1) Short Essay: 5-6 page close textual analysis of selected film. (30%)
(2) Presentation: Short in-class presentation of final paper topic. (10%)
(3) Final Paper: 10–15 page analysis of selected film. (50%)
(4) Participation: Attendance and in-class participation in discussion. (10%)

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

Interdisciplinary Concentration in Translation
SPAN 78200
Literary Translation: Theory and Practice
Nora Glickman, 3 credits, Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15pm

This course will concentrate on two aspects of the study of literary translation: process and product. We shall identify, discuss, and devise solutions to the challenges that arise in the course of the translation process.

Practice: The class will translate and provide commentaries to short samples from various short stories, essays, journalistic articles, and scenes from plays.

We shall also examine the powerful influence that translations and other rewritings exert on the way literatures and cultures are received, and on the way literature is taught. We shall review selected chapters from various texts currently used by translation historians and theoreticians, and concentrate on one text in particular, Andre Lefever’s Translating Literature: Practice and Theory in a Comparative Literature Context. New York: MLA, 1992.