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Spring 2013 Courses

Spring 2013

MALS 70000 – Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
Becoming Lewis Mumford: Studying, Analyzing and Writing About the Architecture of New York City
Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. 6494, 3 credits, Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis

This course will introduce students to critical thinking and techniques of academic reading and writing with a specific focus on the urban form, history and architecture of New York City. This introductory course is designed for students interested in history, urbanism, architecture, and the politics of space. This course takes an interdisciplinary approach drawing upon anthropology, history, archaeology, geography and architectural history among others to teach students how scholars study, research and write about the built environment and urban space, as well as how people experience and use space and architecture in New York City. We will look at various theories of architecture and space. This course will also emphasize fieldwork and visits to various monuments, buildings, and institutions in New York City so that students can learn the process of researching in New York City. Thus students will develop critical thinking, writing and researching skills in this class.

Students will write weekly papers about architecture, critique scholarship, assemble an annotated bibliography, write an abstract for their final paper, and complete a final research paper that will be presented to the class in an informal workshop setting. Class attendance and participation is vital. This class has a strong emphasis on writing and revision of written work.

MALS 70000 – Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
Decoding Celebrity
Mondays, 6:30-8:30 p.m. 3 credits, Linda M. Grasso

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 art history, cultural criticism, film studies, women’s 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 YouTube 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.

MALS 70000 – Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Sylvia Tomasch

MALS 70000 – Introduction to Graduate Liberal Studies
Thinking With Food
Mondays, 4:15-6:15, 3 credits, Rm. TBA, Megan Elias

This course serves as an introduction to graduate level reading and writing and will help students to identify a disciplinary approach that suits their interests and personal perspectives. We will be focusing on the topic of food, which appeals to scholars from a wide range of disciplines. We will read and write about texts from a variety of academic fields to discern disciplinary differences in argument formation, methodologies, sources, and conclusions. Assignments will make use of the rich diversity of food-related experiences and archives in New York City as well as introducing students to some of the ways in which digital humanities can enhance our ability to share our research with others.

MALS 70100 – Narratives of New York: Literature and the Visual Arts
Mondays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Robert Singer

Stephen Crane, Edith Wharton, Weegee, Diane Arbus, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, and Tony Kushner … this course will explore the work of these artists, among others, as each envisions critically significant representations of New York City–its people, places, and history–in various narrative forms. Particular attention will be given to evaluating the manner in which literature interrelates with film and other visual media and how each venue reflects cultural and historical ideologies. For example, what makes a text a “New York” narrative? Do literary and visual narratives mirror the city’s psyche, or serve to analyze it in penetrating ways?

This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to reading texts and works of art critically, from a variety of perspectives, as well as to relevant theoretical discourses. There is an end-term paper.

MALS 70400 – Cultural Studies and the Law
Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Leonard Feldman
Cross listed with P SC 72001


MALS 70500 – Classical Culture
Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Marie Marianetti

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 – Religion and the Enlightenment
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, David Sorkin, [20421] Cross listed with HIST


This course explores the relationship between the Enlightenment and religion. Our first session will be devoted to definitions of the Enlightenment in the eighteenth and twenty-first centuries. We will then probe two related issues. First, how did the philosophes view religion? We will read such key thinkers as Locke, Pufendorf, Voltaire, Rousseau and Lessing on such critical issues as toleration, natural religion and the relationship between reason and revelation.


We will then shift to ask the less conventional question of the uses theologians or clergy made of the Enlightenment. In this connection we will read thinkers affiliated with movements of religious renewal such as the Anglican Moderate William Warburton, the Reform Catholic Lodovico Muratori and the maskil (Jewish Enlightener) Moses Mendelssohn.

The course will cross national borders (England, France, German states and Habsburg empire) and confessional boundaries (Protestantism, Catholicism, Judaism). Our focus will be Western and Central Europe.

MALS 70800 – Transformations of Modernity
Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Richard Kaye

MALS 71000 – Forms of Life Writing
Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Gail Levin

This course focuses on contemporary life writing in three major genres: memoir, autobiography, and biography. We will concentrate on an analysis of form and technique, not emphasizing content, but examining how content relates to form. How, for example, is it possible to portray the interaction of the life events of a creative individual (e.g. poet, novelist, painter, photographer, film director, actor, or composer) and the resulting products of that person? What are the problems that the writer must solve? Discussion of both research and writing techniques so that students will develop both an understanding of what goes into writing modern and contemporary biography, autobiography, and memoir and a critical sense of how they both overlap and differ. Students will develop skills in narrative writing in either biography or memoir. Term papers assigned.

MALS 71200 – The Culture of Fashion: Theories and Practices
Thursdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Eugenia Paulicelli, [20424] Cross listed with IDS 88230, ART 80010, WSCP 81000 & ASCP 81500

The seminar will focus on New York and the birth of American fashion, covering a time span from the sweatshops of the second half of the nineteenth century where Jewish and Italian immigrants worked, to the gilded age, department stores, 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 of the New York Fashion week and New York as a global fashion capital. We will focus on the major role played by women who have worked in the industry as designers, stylists, and journalists (such as the New York-based Claire McCardell, Elizabeth Hawes, Diana Vreeland, Jo Copeland and others). We will go on to examine the New York socio-cultural context out of which these women emerged, the relationship the city has with fashion and modernity, with fashion’s role as a creator of national and local identity, and image. Fashion in New York will be studied as an industry, an economic force, a phenomenon that creates and performs identities and fosters interplay between gender, the body and sexuality. Particular attention will be given to those periods of great transformation in the history of the city when fashion played an important role in shaping the city’s culture and identity, and had an impact on lifestyles and gender perception in the workplace and in other social and private spaces. Visits to museums and archives will be scheduled during the semester to complement the topics covered in class. Readings will be drawn from theoretical and historical texts as well as novels, magazine articles, memoirs and films.

Authors will include W. Benjamin, R. Barthes, D. Harvey, S. Buck-Morss, N. Rantisi, C. Millbank, V. Steele, N. Green, P. Stallybrass, D. Soyer, D. Gilbert, C. Breward, Rebecca Arnold, Edith Wharton, Lois Gould (a memoir about her mother, the fashion designer Jo Copeland,) short films by D.W. Griffith on fashion, consumption, modernity, documentaries on the garment district, Bill Cunningham and others. Students will be encouraged to conduct original research and use the museum and clothing archives in the city as well as the libraries for their final project.

Should you have any questions, please contact the instructor: Eugenia Paulicelli (email:

MALS 71500 – Critical Issues in International Studies
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Tomohisa Hattori

MALS 71800 – Cross-Cultural and Multi-Disciplinary Perspectives on Work and Family Issues
Mondays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Karen Lyness/Kristen Shockley


MALS 72100 – Feminist Texts and Contexts: Madame de Staël and the Problem of the Female Intellectual
Mondays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Helena Rosenblatt, [20426] Cross listed with FREN 74000, HIST 72100 & WSCP 81000

What were the Enlightenment’s notions of womanhood? How did these interact with ideas of genius and intellectual or artistic creativity? These are questions we will explore before delving into Madame de Staël’s life and work, from her great novels, Delphine and Corinne, to some of her more overtly political texts. To what extent did Madame de Staël imbibe and reflect reigning notions of gender, and to what extent did she subvert them? After reading some of the best and most recent scholarship on 18th century attitudes toward the female intellectual, we will turn to a consideration Madame de Staël’s own literary and political productions to see how she navigated the constraints and opportunities offered by the revolutionary times in which she lived. We will also consider whether contemporary approaches to Madame de Staël do justice to her stature as a female intellectual.

MALS 72200 – Contemporary Feminist Theories
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Kyoo Lee, [20823] Cross listed with WSCP


This course aims to introduce students to a broad range of foundational texts and contemporary classics associated with Women’s Studies, Feminist/Gender/Queer/Transgender Theories. We will use an interdisciplinary approach to consider some of the central questions, dilemmas, methods, and findings of this evolving scholarship. We begin with the discourse of crises over the very possibility of a field demarcated as such, when the sign of woman or perhaps gender itself has been deconstructed or diversified, if not destabilized. The rest of the material is organized into three broad themes: Being/Becoming (Ontology), Knowing/Unknowing (Epistemology), and Doing/Undoing (Praxis).


MALS 73100 – American Culture & Values
Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Robert Reid-Pharr, [20427] Cross listed with
ASCP 81000

MALS 73200 – American Social Institutions: Proseminar in American Studies
Fridays, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Kandice Chuh, [20428] Cross listed with ASCP 81500

This course is designed to accomplish three goals: 1) to offer practical research training to student scholars for whom a primary field of engagement is American studies; 2) to deepen understanding of the key questions in contemporary Americanist discourses; and 3) to provide a structured forum for participants to develop and workshop essays for publication consideration in a peer reviewed journal or equivalent venue in the field.

To accomplish these goals, participants will engage in such questions as, what is a research question? What are exigency and methodology? How does one embed her- or himself into a field? What do disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity mean theoretically as well as practically? In addition to participants’ essays, the texts for the course will include examples of recently published articles and chapters; calls for papers for journals and editions; and the readings for the public seminars offered by the Revolutionizing American Studies initiative, which participants are expected to attend as part of the work of this course.

Much of the workshopping will be accomplished by using the Academic Commons resources. Participants should establish an Academic Commons account if they have not yet done so. For the first class meeting (1 Feb), students should prepare a 1-page description of their respective projects for the semester, which should include primary field(s) of engagement and target publication venue(s).

Students interested in registering in this course should contact Kandice Chuh at with a brief description of the specific project she or he has in hand and plans to develop during the semester.

MALS 73500 – Africana Studies: Global Perspectives
Black Postmodernism: African American Fiction Since the 1970s
Tuesdays, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Barbara Webb, [20429] Cross listed with AFCP 73100, ENGL 75600, WSCP 81000 & ASCP 82000

A study of the poetics and politics of postmodernism in the fiction of African American writers since the 1970s. Although the last three decades of the twentieth century were undoubtedly the most productive and innovative period in the development of African American literature and literary criticism, it was also a period of extreme social and cultural fragmentation in African American communities. In this course we will examine how African American writers have addressed the problems of literary representation when faced with increased commodification of culture and knowledge, the proliferation of new forms of literacy and orality, and the breakdown of traditional forms of community. Our readings will also include some selections not usually considered postmodernist but that address similar concerns about identity, culture, writing and possibilities for social change. We will read selected essays by theorists of postmodernism such as Hutcheon, Jameson, Harvey and Bhabha as well as essays by literary critics and cultural theorists who have been involved in ongoing discussions about the relevance of postmodernism for African Americans at the turn of the 21st century such as bell hooks, Cornel West, W. Lawrence Hogue, Wahneema Lubiano, and Madhu Dubey. Requirements: Oral presentations and a term paper (15-20 pages). The course will be conducted as a seminar with class discussions of assigned readings and oral presentations each week. Texts: Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo; Clarence Major, My Amputations; Toni Cade Bambara, The Salt Eaters; John Edgar Wideman, Sent for You Yesterday; Charles Johnson, Middle Passage; Toni Morrison, Jazz; Gayle Jones, The Healing; Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist; Madhu Dubey, Signs and Cities: Black Literary Postmodernism.

MALS 74300 – Bioethics: Policies and Cases: Medical Ethics
Mondays, 6:00-8:00 p.m., 3 credits, Stefan Baumrin, Cross listed with PHIL 77900
Felt Conference Room Annenberg 5th Floor
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
The first seminar is January 28th.

MALS 74300 – Bioethics: Policies and Cases—Medicine and Social Justice
Tuesdays, 5:00-7:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Rosamond Rhodes, [20430] Cross listed with PHIL 77900
Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Justice is a major concern in theoretical ethics and political philosophy and a huge literature is devoted to trying to explain what it entails. In this course our aim will be to examine a broad spectrum of issues in medicine, medical research, and public health that raise questions about justice. In light of these critical examples, we shall review and critique an array of philosophical views on justice. Throughout the seminar we shall be engaged in two activities: (1) using clinical dilemmas and health policies as touchstones for developing a clear understanding of justice, and (2) developing an understanding of how theories of justice apply in different contexts. By going from practice to theory and from theory back again to practice we shall advance our understanding of the theoretical literature as well as the requirements of justice in medicine and other areas of the social world.

This course will begin with an examination of issues that raise questions about justice, and then move on to examining contemporary (John Rawls) work on justice and a review of some theoretical work by authors who focus their attention on justice in medicine (Norman Daniels & Paul Menzel). In the course of the seminar, we shall also develop an understanding of how the U.S. happens to have developed the mechanisms that we now have for the delivery of health care, how medical resources are actually distributed here, elsewhere, and in various contexts. Throughout we shall consider ways in which those allocations do and do not express justice. We shall consider some of the problems that become apparent when you attend to the special needs of social groups (e.g., the poor, children, women, the elderly, African-Americans) and examine dilemmas and conflicts that are raised by issues such as the treatment of premature and compromised neonates.


Medicine and Social Justice: Essays on the Distribution of Health Care, 2nd edition, Rosamond Rhodes, Margaret P. Battin & Anita Silvers, editors, 2012, Oxford University Press,

Contact information:

Rosamond Rhodes, Ph.D.
Director, Bioethics Education
Associate Professor, Medical Education
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
Box 1108
One Gustave Levy Place
New York, NY 10029
phone: 212-241-3757

MALS 74400 – From Alexander to Muhammad: Introduction to the Cultures of the Ancient Mediterranean
Special Focus: The art and architecture of the Greco-Roman Near East and Egypt
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Elizabeth Macaulay Lewis, [20431] Cross listed with ART 820 & CLAS 74100

The goal of the course it to investigate the key themes, debates and issues that underline the art of the Greco-Roman Near East and to understand how art and architecture are used in the formation of cultural identities. It considers art and architecture in the Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt and Near East from the death of Alexander (323 BCE) through early Late Antiquity (ca. 600 CE). This course aims to provide students with an overview of the art produced at key sites, such as Alexandria, Jerusalem, Petra, Jerash, and Palmyra, while also considering critical issues such as Romanization, art as resistance, the distinctive nature of the art produced at these different sites. Despite the adoption of similar aspects of Greek and Roman art, such as style and subject matter, local cultural identities remain distinctive in their unique blending of local and classical elements. It should help prepare students interested in the early Islamic and Byzantine periods to understand the cultural and artistic world in which Islam came and in which the Byzantine Empire existed, and how this world shaped both of these dynamic periods. It aims not only to increase students’ understanding of the ancient world, but its relevance to contemporary society, especially in the region of the Middle East.


This course is organized into weekly seminars.


There are two assignments:

(1) A short 2000-2500 word analysis and critique of one of the sources from the recommended reading list or from the introductory works.

(2) Digital Project. Rather than writing a traditional research paper, students will research a site and create a website using wordpress in the CUNY Academic Commons.

General Bibliography:

Ball, Warwick. 2000. Rome in the East the transformation of an empire. London: Routledge

Bowersock, G. W. 1983. Roman Arabia. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Butcher, Kevin. 2003. Roman Syria and the Near East. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum.

Capponi, Livia. 2011. Roman Egypt. London: Bristol Classical Press.

Graf, David Frank. 1997. Rome and the Arabian frontier: from the Nabataeans to the Saracens. Aldershot, Hampshire, Great Britain: Ashgate.

Isaac, Benjamin H. 1998. The Near East under Roman rule: selected papers. Leiden: Brill.

MacAdam, Henry Innes. 2002. Geography, urbanisation and settlement patterns in the Roman Near East. Aldershot, Hampshire, Great Britain: Ashgate/Variorum.

Millar, Fergus. 1993. The Roman Near East, 31 B.C.-A.D. 337. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Sartre, Maurice. 2005. The Middle East under Rome. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. (English translation)

Sartre, Maurice. 2001. D’Alexandre à Zénobie: histoire du Levant antique, IVe siècle avant J.-C.-IIIe siècle après J.-C. [Paris]: Fayard.

MALS 75500 – Digital Humanities: Methods and Practices
Mondays, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Arienne Dwyer, [20432]

MALS 76200 – Continuities and Discontinuities in Modern Jewish Life: Topics in American Jewish History
Tuesdays, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Thomas Kessner, [20433] Cross listed with HIST 74900 & ASCP 81500

For those who would understand the history of the United States and its diverse people the history of the Jews in the US is significant; for those who would understand Jewish history, the role of the Jewish community in the United States is crucial.

Less than one hundred years ago many would have questioned this latter statement. After all, the important centers of world Jewry were located across the Atlantic and much that was important in Jewish life transpired there. But troubles and tragedies triggered a series of migrations that brought millions of Jews to the U.S. and today the U.S. has the largest Jewish population in the world.

We will be investigating some of the uprooting forces that accounted for the waves of Jewish immigration. They came (especially in the period 1880-1920) in the millions, and confronted many of the conventional immigrant challenges; and others that were quite unique. In time this previously marginal population formed an influential minority populating America’s large cities and lending their institutions a piquant cultural tone.

It is of course too simple to speak of a single American Jewish community or culture for they came from many places with a variety of backgrounds. Is there a center that held these disparate historical elements together? Can America’s Jews legitimately be described as a community? Do they share values and outlooks? Are they defined by religion or culture or social relationships, or is there something else, perhaps external, that is even more important?

What was the process of their Americanization? What were the forces – economic, political, social, cultural and religious- that shaped their experience here? Moreover, it was far from a passive experience. Jews had a large, perhaps disproportionate, impact on the American nation and we will seek to study that impact on society, thought, culture and politics.

And what of Judaism? How did it fare in the free, largely Protestant atmosphere of the US? We will discuss the rise of Reform and Conservatism and the resurgence of a diverse American Orthodoxy. We will also look at other themes, both benign and cataclysmic: Zionism, Socialist thought, the Holocaust, Israel.

Over the past thirty years a generation of freshly conceived studies about American Jewish life have given this field a vigor and standing that it had not attained before. Historians of the American Jewish experience have fashioned a rigorous body of systematic work that is informed by theory and broad questions. They have crafted a textured complex past from the lives of immigrants, artists, political ideologues and religious thinkers; from philanthropists, workers, women, and idealists.

Many of these imaginative and at times provocative monographs have tended to isolate their topics, viewing them narrowly to create a field of brilliant fragments. Our challenge will be to bring these important segments together to shape an understanding of American Jewish history.

Course learning objectives:

Over the course of the semester students will be expected to demonstrate:

• An understanding of key texts in American Jewish History

• An understanding of the role of politics, economics, social forces, culture and technology in shaping American Jewish life

• Knowledge of the American Jewish experience and an appreciation for its complexity

• An understanding of the role of America’s Jewish population on the larger historical forces of the nation

• An understanding of the role of the American Jewish community on the larger world Jewish community.

• An ability lead a class discussion on a topic in American Jewish history.

• An ability to critically review and analyze historical studies

• Achieve a familiarity with important research resources including archives, web sources, and source collections in the field

• An ability to write a well defined, carefully researched and cogently argued research paper in the field of American Jewish history

Collateral Assignments:

The assignments in this course are designed to train students for research, writing and teaching. Reading, leading class discussions and participating in them are integral to successfully completing the work for this class. Each session will have a discussion leader who will prepare a short synopsis of the reading to be e-mailed in advance of class and lead a discussion on the reading. A second reader will offer a critique of the reading based on the review literature and the student’s own evaluation. There are several additional assignments.

In addition other assignments will include:

Review of a recent book on American Jewish history.

Brief paper on the history of a neighborhood or a community organization

Research paper or historiographic essay on an approved topic.

MALS 77100 – Aesthetics of Film
Wednesdays, 2:00-6:00 p.m., Rm. C419, 3 credits, David Gerstner, [20434] Cross listed with FSCP 81000, THEA 71400 & ART 79400.

This course introduces the properties of cinematic form by exploring film in relationship to the other arts. Since its beginnings, film was theorized—as art, as political tool, as entertainment—against the backdrop of the aesthetic properties of painting, theatre, literature, and, in some instances, magic. By studying the specific properties of cinema, the content it ultimately delivers, and its use of and break from the other arts, we will investigate (through the writings of filmmakers and theorists) film aesthetics as a dynamic and modernist negotiation of multi-mediated texts. In this way, this course will engage issues of genre, style, and narrative as they are transformed through the mode of cinematic production and address. Students will be expected to write short weekly response papers to the readings and screenings (1-2 pages), be prepared to discuss the films and readings, and complete a 7500-word final paper. Bibliography available in the Certificate Programs Office (Room 5110).

MALS 77300 – Film History II
Wednesdays, 6:30-10:00 p.m., Rm. C419, 3 credits, William Boddy, [20435] Cross listed with FSCP 81000, THEA
71600 & ART 79500.

This course will explore major developments in US and global film culture from the introduction of sound to the advent of the “blockbuster” era in Hollywood in the mid-1970s. We will analyze works from a number of national cinemas, artistic movements, and major directors, including Fritz Lang, Jean Renoir, Howard Hawks, Roberto Rossellini, Billy Wilder, Jean-Luc Godard, and Martin Scorsese. Topics addressed include the problem of film authorship, the development of film genres and aesthetic styles, and the relationship of the classical Hollywood studio system to alternative models of film production in the United States and elsewhere. Emphasis will be placed on the historical, aesthetic, and ideological contexts of the films examined. Learning goals for students in this course include the demonstration of intellectual competency in the field, the ability to apply effective and appropriate research tools and techniques, and the development of competence in the integration and presentation of research knowledge in written and oral communication. Required Text: David Cook, A History of Narrative Film fourth edition (New York: Norton, 2004).

Some of the screenings on the class schedule involve selected extracts from the films indicated; films will be placed on reserve at the Graduate Center library and are available for viewing outside of class. Course Requirements: In addition to participation in seminar discussion, each student will prepare ten short response papers to the films and readings, write a 15 page research paper on a topic approved by the instructor, and prepare a brief oral presentation of the research project to the seminar. Written work submitted late will be penalized. Course Schedule available in the Certificate Programs Office (Room 5110).

MALS 77400 – International Migration
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Mehdi Bozorgmehr, [20685] Cross listed with
SOC 82800

This pilot course is being offered in anticipation of a new MALS track on “Migration and Global Cities.”

This course offers a comprehensive and interdisciplinary overview of the key current topics and issues in the burgeoning field of international migration. The field is unique in its interdisciplinary nature, stretching from history, anthropology, demography and economics, through political science, geography and sociology. Methodologically, it is also very eclectic, ranging from the use of quantitative data to ethnography and oral history of migrants. While the course will aspire to incorporate the experiences of major immigrant receiving countries around the world, the main comparative focus will be on Europe and North America, where the major theories and key concepts are most fully developed. The emphasis is on exploring both the theoretical debates in the field and the empirical data and case studies on which these debates hinge. Attention will be paid to detailed discussions of “classic” issues of immigration, such as assimilation, incorporation/integration, the labor market, race and ethnic relations, gender and the family, transnationalism, and the second generation. Throughout, the course will take into account the way in which global cities, as contexts of reception, affect the immigrant experience, and in turn, are transformed by immigrants.

MALS 78100 – Issues in Urban Education: New York City Community Control Struggles over Education in the 1960s
Cross listed with U ED 71200
Thursdays, 4:15-6:15 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Steve Brier


This research seminar focuses on the historic struggles over community control of education that wracked New York City neighborhoods and schools during the “long decade” of the 1960s. The seminar will start with the failed efforts by parents and activists to integrate the NYC public school system beginning in the late 1950s and extending through the mid-1960s, then focus closely on the epochal 1968 UFT strike against community control of the public schools that shutdown the entire school system in the fall of that year, and finally look at the battles in the City University beginning in the late 1960s to open admissions to a broader, more representative cross section of the city’s public school graduates. Seminar participants, who will hopefully be drawn from a range of social science disciplines and from the MALS program, will begin by doing close reading of extant secondary analyses of these historical events. We will then immerse ourselves in primary source materials, including contemporary reportage, oral interviews (some of which we will conduct ourselves), governmental and agency reports and data, as well as cultural and visual sources, to develop a broad understanding of what happened during the critical long decade of the 1960s and the implications for understanding the current status of NYC’s educational institutions. Students will be expected to develop single-authored or collaborative research projects on a historical subject of particular interest to them, resulting in research papers and/or multimedia presentations that can and should be publishable. Emphasis will be placed on learning how to “read,” evaluate and contextualize historical documents and sources.

MALS 78200 – The Politics of Contemporary Urban Education: The School Reform Agenda
Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Joel Spring, [20436] Cross listed with U ED

This course will be a discussion seminar focused on major topics and documents related to the current school reform agenda. Topics such as common core standards, Race to the Top, charter schools, privatization, the future of collective bargaining, control of education, and the role of technology are among the topics/issues to be discussed. Professor Spring will be joined by Urban Education faculty including David Steiner, Anthony Picciano and Nick Michelli in presenting and leading weekly discussions. There will also be at least one meeting at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College.

MALS 78500 – Big Data, Visualization, and Digital Humanities
Mondays, 2:00-4:00 p.m., Rm. TBA, 3 credits, Lev Manovich, [20686] Cross listed with IDS

The explosive growth of social media on the web, combined with the digitization of cultural artifacts by libraries and museums opens up exiting new possibilities for the study of cultural processes. For the first time, we have access to massive amounts of cultural data from both the past and the present. How do we navigate these collections? How do we combine close reading of individual artifacts and “distant reading” of patterns across millions of these artifacts? What visualization and computational tools are particularly suited for working with large cultural data sets? What new theoretical concepts and models we need to deal with the new scale of born-digital culture? How do we use visualization as a research method in the humanities?

This course explores the possibilities, the methods, and the tools for working with large cultural data sets, with a particular focus on data visualization. We will also discuss cultural, social and technical developments that placed “information” and “data” in the center of contemporary social and economic life (the concepts of information society, network society, software society). We will critically examine the fundamental paradigms developed by modern societies to analyze patterns in data – statistics, visualization, data mining. This will help us to employ computational tools more reflexively. At the same time, the practical work with these tools will help us to better understand how they are used in society at large – the modes of thinking they enable, their strengths and weaknesses, the often unexamined assumptions behind their use.

The course combines readings, discussion, exercises to learn tools and techniques, and collaborative work in groups to carry out original digital humanities projects. Students will be introduced to a number of popular open source tools for data analysis and visualization including R, Processing, Mondrian, as well as the tools developed by Manovich and his students for analyzing large sets of images and video (see

The course is suitable for students from any area of humanities. No technical skills are required beyond the basic digital media literacy. Students will be required to complete a few practical assignments and a group project where they will use their newly learned skills to analyze a large cultural data set.