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Fall 2010 Courses

Fall 2010 Courses

MALS. 70200 – The Fabric of Culture: New York Fashion
GC: T, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Profs. Paulicelli/Glick [12294] Cross listed with IDS 82300

The seminar will examine fashion as an industry, an economic force, and a mechanism that creates and performs identities and fosters the interplay between gender, the body, and sexuality. In particular, the focus of the seminar will be on New York and on American fashion from the Gilded Age till the present. Particular attention will be given to periods of great transformation when fashion plays an important role in shaping the cultures of cities, has an impact on lifestyles and gender perception in the workplace and other social and private spaces. The course will also pay attention to the various changes that had an impact on fashion in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The course will cover the span from the sweatshop of the second half of the nineteenth century where Jewish and Italian immigrants worked to the emergence of the “American Look” in the 1930s and 1940s, on to the subsequent shifts that occurred in the 1960s, up until the present with the New York Fashion week and New York as a global fashion capital. Special attention will be given to spaces of consumption and cultural mediation, department stores, magazines and the popular press, photography, film, art and design. New York fashion will be analyzed in both global and comparative perspectives. Topics will include immigration, ethnic identities, design, art and creativity, global versus local etc.
Readings will include authors such as Veblen, Simmel, Harvey, Benjamin, Hollander, Arnold, Kirkham, Zukin, Ewen, Steele, Currid, Breward. In addition we will study literary and cinematic texts.
For further information please contact the instructors at: or

MALS. 70500 – Classical Culture
GC: M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Marianetti [12296]

The course will be a survey of selected pieces of ancient literature and legend that have subsequently influenced Western civilization. The chosen literary works will be analyzed from an interdisciplinary perspective, combining literature, history, archaeology, religion, culture, politics and philosophy. Certain universal issues will be considered as they are conveyed through the literary genres. The class will concentrate upon a thorough examination and discussion of the following primary sources: The Epic of Gilgamesh, Hesiod’s Theogony, Homer’s Odyssey, Aeschylus’ Oresteia, Sophocles’ Oedipus Cycle (the Theban plays), Euripides’ Iphigeneia in Aulis, Aristophanes’ The Clouds, Plato’s Apology and Symposium and Virgil’s Aeneid.

MALS. 70600 – The Enlightenment
GC: W, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Rosenblatt [13160] Cross listed with HIST 71000

This course will examine the Enlightenment from both cultural and intellectual perspectives. We will begin by considering why the Enlightenment has been, and continues to be, so controversial. Why would a movement widely credited with articulating and disseminating notions such as religious toleration and human rights be so virulently criticized? Over the course of the semester, we will read a selection of “great thinkers,” such as Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Wollstonecraft. We will also read innovative secondary sources that show that Enlightenment ideals were disseminated not just in “great texts” but in restaurants, museums, coffee houses, novels, and even in “grub street” pornography. Main topics of discussion will be politics, religion, economics, women, race, and the notion of civilization or “progress” as viewed in the eighteenth-century. We will have a chance to ponder what the true values of the Enlightenment really were and whether these values are worth defending.

MALS. 70700 – Shaping Modernity, 1789-1914
GC: R, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Joseph [12297]

After an introductory reading of Matthew Arnold’s On the Modern Element in Literature (which considers the degree to which the modern is a historical or a trans-historical concept), this course will examine some core Western texts that contributed to the shaping of the concept of the modern between the beginning of the French Revolution (1789) and the outbreak of World War I (1914). Our readings will be selected from but will, of course, not include all the works on the following pretty comprehensive list: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance and Nature, Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto and John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty, Frederick Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle, Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Charles Dickens’s Hard Times, Charles Baudelaire’s Poems, Friedrich Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals, Matthew Arnold’s Culture and Anarchy, Fyodor Dostoevski’s Notes from Underground, William James’s Varieties of Religious Experience, and Sigmund Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams.

MALS. 70900 – Biography/Autobiography/Memoir I
GC: R, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Brownstein [12298]

What is the truth value and what are the truth claims of autobiography? What about biography? And memoir? Are the expectations we bring to them similar, or very different? In this seminar, on the basis of reading a variety of texts, old and new, and mostly—but not only—brief and literary, we will discuss these and related questions, and other people’s response to them. We will consider ways of telling the difference among kinds of literary writing (including letters, portraits, obituaries, case studies, biopics), and ways of reading them. Students will write weekly response papers, do a class presentation, and submit a paper or project that deals in some way with representing a person’s life.

MALS. 71400 – Intro to International Studies
GC: W, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Hattori [12299]

The two main purposes of this course are to introduce you to historical contexts and theories of international relations (IR) and to help you use one of the theories for your research on the historically oriented analysis of international relations. While the historical contexts and theories of IR will help you engage in further studies in IR and international studies in general, the specific historical analysis of international relations will enhance your understanding of how you may gain social scientific knowledge. After introducing you to the history of capitalism, imperialism, colonialism, and international organizations, the course turns to somewhat philosophical issues of the agency-structure problem in social theory and international relations. The reading will be light in the second half of the course to allow you to read slowly and think deeply, while giving you time to do your own research.

MALS. 72100 – Feminist Texts and Contexts
GC: W, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Profs. Lee/Cole, [12300] Cross listed with WSCP 81001

This course provides a broad overview of the issues and texts of Women’s Studies. The instructors will use an interdisciplinary approach to consider some of the themes, questions, methodologies, and findings of Women’s Studies scholarship. The course will cover a selection of feminist texts, taken from both literary and social science sources, and also classic and contemporary theoretical works. In addition, students will explore the ways in which the field of women’s studies has raised new questions and brought new perspectives to those areas where the humanities and social and behavioral sciences intersect, with material which is interdisciplinary in nature and frequently poses a challenge to conventional disciplinary boundaries.

MALS. 73100 – American Culture & Values
GC: T, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Robertson [12301]

This interdisciplinary course will examine a wide range of literary source materials which have figured importantly in defining American national identity. From the early captivity narratives to the poetry of Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson this course will introduce participants to the contested issue of what makes a text “American.” We will then examine some early American Studies approaches, especially the “American character” and “myth and symbol” schools that dominated work in the field during the 1950s and 1960s.

MALS. 74200 – The Practice of Science
GC: R, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Xu [12950]

This course seeks to demonstrate as vividly as possible that science is a living process done by individuals who respond to the demands and the times in which they live. By reading the great scientific thinkers of the past (including, e.g., Aristotle, Galen, Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Vesalius, Harvey, Descartes, Newton, Leibniz, Priestley, Lavoisier, Darwin, Mendel, Freud, Einstein, Bohr, Watson, Crick and Franklin (Rosalind)), we will explore the similarities and differences between the physical and life sciences, and examine the means by which different methods and assumptions limit and encourage theories of knowledge.

MALS. 74300 – Research Ethics
SINI: M, 5:30-7:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Rhodes [12951]
Mondays, 5:30-7:00 at Mount Sinai School of Medicine (100th St & Fifth Ave), Annenberg 5 Felt Conference Room

Seminar participants will include CUNY students and MSSM medical students as well as students from the MSSM Masters programs in Genetics Counseling, Clinical Research, and Public Health.
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 selection of seminal articles and papers from the recent literature, seminar presentations and discussions, 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 will also serve as a model for approaching other issues in applied ethics.

MALS. 77100 – Aesthetics of Film
GC: M, 11:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m., Rm. C419, 3 credits, Prof. Weis [12303] Cross listed with FSCP 81000

This course introduces students to graduate-level film analysis by acquainting them with basic narrative film techniques, strategies, and styles.

The approach is intended to ensure that participants with other areas of expertise are able to teach film with a working knowledge of its unique language and tropes. Central topics to be studied include narrative forms, mise-en-scène, 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.

Course requirements: Students will be expected to deliver an oral report and produce a 15-20 page term paper.

Textbook: David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson, Film Art: an Introduction (McGraw-Hill, any edition #4 or later).

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

Reading list and syllabus available in Certificate Programs Office (Room 5109).

MALS. 77200 – History of the Cinema I
GC: T, 11:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m., Rm. C419, 3 credits, Prof. Solomon [12302] Cross listed with FSCP 81000

This course surveys film history during the so-called “silent” period—before the widespread adoption of synchronized recorded sound.

We will examine trends in international film style, the growth of international film industries, and the major national cinemas and film movements of the 1910s and 1920s.

We will study the historical relationships between the cinema and other modes of entertainment (especially popular theater).

In the course, we will consider not only film history but also film historiography, thinking about how research and archival practice have shaped writing about “silent” film—a significant misnomer given the many forms of sound practice that flourished alongside projected motion pictures.

Required Book: Grieveson, Lee, and Peter Krämer, eds. The Silent Cinema Reader. London: Routledge, 2003. Recommended Book: Altman, Rick. Silent Film Sound. New York: Columbia University Press, 2004. Additional readings will be available through the Mina Rees Library ERes system. Readings should be completed before the date for which they are assigned.

Course Requirements: Punctual attendance and active participation in all class sessions is mandatory. If you will be unable to attend class, contact the professor with as much advance notice as possible. It is unlikely that you will pass the course if you miss more than two class meetings.

Seminar Paper: A research paper of approximately 15-20 pages or more on a selected topic in silent film history is due at the end of the semester. Topics must be approved by the professor, so students should schedule a meeting to discuss possible topics and sources well in advance of the deadline.

Reading list and syllabus available in Certificate Programs Office (Room 5109).

MALS. 78200 – Politics of Contemporary Urban Education
GC: M, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Kafka [12304]

This class investigates the social, economic and political forces that shape contemporary urban education, and focuses on school reform as a political, rather than technical, construct. We will consider both historical and contemporary efforts to reform urban public schooling by locating them within a wider political arena. The class will examine how both local and national political dynamics have helped shape and drive varying school reform strategies, including market-based choice models, state and federal accountability programs, and efforts to improve teacher and principal quality. Particular attention will be paid to issues of race and class as frames for understanding the politics of urban education.