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 concentration must register for the MALS course number. Please keep this in mind as you register.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all spring courses will be offered online.
SPRING 2021 COURSE DESCRIPTION
MALS 70000 – Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies
Mondays, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Anna Akasoy (Aakasoy@gc.cuny.edu)
This seminar will introduce students to a range of methods, theories and concepts in humanistic scholarship and public debate. The seminar will focus on questions of cultural ownership and identity, in particular in contexts of cultural contact in both past and present times. Historians of the premodern world increasingly acknowledge the hybridity of cultures and critique stable and homogeneous notions of cultural identity and authenticity. They disaggregate conventional concepts such as ‘the West’, ‘Europe’, the ‘Middle East’ or ‘Asia’ and construct new, emphatically hybrid spaces such as the Mediterranean as analytical alternatives. Recent scholarship has shed light on the transmission of knowledge across cultures, on shared cultural traditions across linguistic, religious and political borders, and on individuals who embodied this hybridity. In contemporary public debates, on the other hand, concerns are frequently voiced about cultural ownership, representation and authenticity, especially about cultural appropriation. Many of these contributions, academic, academic public-facing and public, are animated by similar efforts to challenge hegemonic concepts and narratives of cultural identity and ownership.
In this seminar, we will explore key concepts, theories and approaches in this field, using the example of the Arabian Nights. A literary tradition with roots in India and Persia, the Arabian Nights in its preserved written form dates back to ninth-century Iraq. The text evolved over centuries in Arabic and assumed a global dimension after its translation into French in early eighteenth-century Paris. The translator, Antoine Galland, combined stories preserved in an Arabic manuscript with material presented to him orally by Hanna Diyab, a Syrian traveler. Subsequent to the French translation, Arabic manuscripts reproduced the Arabian Nights in more extensive versions, responding to the interest of Orientalists. The global spread of the Arabian Nights stories is accompanied by a rich tradition of illustrations and adaptations on screen and stage. As the seminar explores the various examples of the evolution of the Arabian Nights corpus, we will be discussing concepts such as canon, world literature and Orientalism, and ask throughout the semester how concepts of cultural ownership and authenticity can be applied to this global literary tradition and how, conversely, the example of the Arabian Nights complicates these concepts. In addition to a selection of Arabian Nights stories and scholarship, we will be considering illustrations, literary adaptations, and cinematic representations such as the 1992 and 2019 Disney versions of Aladdin.
MALS 70200 - Metropolis: A Political, Historical, and Sociological Profile of New York
Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 Credits, Profs. Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis (Emacaulay_lewis@gc.cuny.edu) & Jason Montgomery (email@example.com)
Cross listed with IDS 81630 and ASCP 82000
Architecture and the built environment are products of their social, political, and economic circumstances. New York City, a perpetually evolving metropolis, has been shaped by successive waves of immigration, shifting economic priorities (from agriculture and manufacturing to finance and technology), and politics. Today, the impact of gentrification, the lack of affordable housing, and climate change is evident in New York City’s built environment. This is not a new story, but one that has been intrinsic to New York City since its founding. Therefore, rather than relying on the written record as the main evidence for exploring New York’s history, this course will introduce students to the built environment and use the urban fabric of New York--its buildings, streets, and places, along with primary source materials about these edifices from libraries and archives--to construct alternative histories of the city. Erected, used, and inhabited by people of all colors, creeds, socio-economic backgrounds and cultures, architecture and the built environment allows us different insights into the development of New York’s history, inviting us to develop alternative stories about the city’s past. The study of architecture and the built environment is inherently interdisciplinary. Students will be introduced to diverse research methods and will be tasked with conducting place-based research on New York City’s built environment during self-guided site visits and virtual visits to archives and libraries. The students in the course will have an opportunity to generate new knowledge about New York City, its built environment, and people.
MALS 70300 - Foundations of Legal Thought
Mondays, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Julie Suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This course takes up some of the central problems, methods, and ideas that have shaped the theory, study, and practice of law by scholars, jurists, lawyers, and reformers. Students will engage the major schools of legal thought, including legal formalism, legal realism, proceduralism, critical legal studies, critical race theory, and legal feminism. Special emphasis will be placed on the relationship of law to inequality and social transformation. Ideas to be explored include constitutionalism and the rule of law; the nature of legal authority, legitimacy, and interpretation; the relationship between law, politics, and social movements; the intersections between law and other disciplines or modes of inquiry, including sociology, political science, history, and philosophy; and the potential and limits of law as an instrument of social, cultural, and political change. Some cases, briefs, statutes, and other primary legal texts will be analyzed to familiarize students with the working methods of lawyers and judges. Some classes may feature distinguished legal scholars, judges, or lawyers as guest speakers throughout the semester.
Learning Outcomes and Goals: The main goal of this course is to bring the modes of reasoning about the law developed in law schools to advanced graduate students in other disciplines, to help them critically approach legal texts and sources in their interdisciplinary research. Additionally, this course aims to enable the nonlawyer to develop rigorous and nuanced understandings of the legal issues at stake in contemporary public policy debates. It will be particularly useful to doctoral students writing about law-related topics, and master’s students planning careers in government, public policy, or reform of legal institutions.
MALS 70600 - Enlightenment and Critique
Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Martin Burke (MBurke1@gc.cuny.edu)
In this course we’ll examine a number of seminal texts produced in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries within the contexts of current debates over the contours, and the consequences, of the Enlightenment in America. The analytic and interpretive approaches to be taken will be drawn from cultural and intellectual history, the history of political thought, and the history of science. Among the original sources to be read are: Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography; St. John de Crèvecoeur’s Letters from an American Farmer; Thomas Paine’s Common Sense; the “Declaration of Independence”; Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia; the “Federalist” and the “Letters of Brutus”; Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative of the Life; Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s Journals; and letters and essays by Benjamin Banneker, Mercy Otis Warren, Benjamin Rush and Judith Sargent Murray. Among the contemporary scholarly works are monographs by Caroline Winterer, John Dixon, and John Fea, as well as a number of articles and historiographic reviews. This discussion-centered course welcomes masters-level students from the Liberal Studies Program (especially, but not exclusively, from the Western Intellectual Traditions and the American Studies tracks) and doctoral students from the Ph.D. Programs in History and English, and the American Studies Certificate Program.
MALS 70800 - Transformations of Modernity, 1914-present
Thursdays, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Christopher Schmidt (email@example.com)
Mode: Synchronous weekly seminar sessions, with some asynchronous modules possible.
This course will provide a fresh account of the major historical, ideological, and aesthetic shifts in modernity, keyed to technological change, political upheaval, and a new sense of the global. We will read foundational texts in modernist studies (e.g., Jameson on imperialism and modernist style, Arendt on fascism, selections from Adorno and Horkheimer). However, we will also complicate and decenter this U.S.–European version of modernism for a global transnational approach that foregrounds feminist, queer, and non-European contributions. The aim is to problematize center-periphery models and interrogate the role of the nation-state in both colonial conquest and postcolonial development. We will pay special attention to the role that archives have played in defining memory and institutional power, and to consider the counter-archives that have emerged in response. For an early assignment, students will draft a short essay on a keyword of their choosing in modernity studies. For a final project, students may write a seminar paper on any course topic; or they may propose a capstone project involving archival curation or creation (with a short essay contextualizing the project). Readings will be interdisciplinary, with a special focus on the ways that art, film, literature, and media interface with the sociopolitical. Authors may include Stein, Loos, de Andrade, de Campos, Bo Bardi, Benjamin, Godard, Varda, Rhys, Fanon, Kittler, Ngai, Ondaatje, Pamuk, Muñoz, Magid, Vadde, NourbeSe Philip, Alves, Santos Perez, and A New Vocabulary for Global Modernism.
MALS 71300 - Special Topics in Fashion Studies - The Fabric of Cultures: Fashion and Identity in Italy and France
Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Eugenia Paulicelli (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cross-listed with IDS 81620-and WSCP 81000
An interdisciplinary study of fashion, fabric and material culture and their bearing on a heterogeneous cultural identity that interconnects with race, gender, and class. Starting with the Early Modern period and continuing to the present, the course examines the clothing culture of Italy and France in a comparative perspective, focusing on the Italian and French courts and cities, the formation of national kingdoms in Europe (Spain, France, England), international powers such as the Ottoman Empire, and the influences of colonialism and empire. Fashion, however, was not a European invention. The concern for appearance and the desire for beautiful things, as well as the know-how and expertise needed for the production of fashion and textile, had long been at the core of the economies of India, China, Japan, and Mesoamerica. Re-contextualizing fashion in light of the growing scholarship on decolonizing fashion, material culture, global history, the course draws on a range of literary and philosophical traditions to investigate how and when fashion came to establish itself as a powerful economic force, as a threat to morality and religious beliefs, and as a vehicle for gender, class, and ethnic/race definitions. Students are guided to produce innovative projects using texts from literature, film and video, art, visual culture and new media.
The course is open to students in other MALS concentrations as well as programs, such as Digital Humanities, French, Spanish, Comparative Literature, History, Women’s Studies, Global Renaissance, Theatre and Art. In addition, the course will provide graduate students with guidance on research methodology and writing techniques consistent with academic research, with an eye towards newer forms of expression beyond the classic essay and geared more to “new media,” such as Web-sites, podcasts, internet journals, blogs and multimedia presentations.
MALS 71500 - Critical Issues in International Studies
Mondays, 6:30 – 8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Mark Lewis (email@example.com)
After a society undergoes horrific violence (a civil war, widespread rape during ethnic cleansing, systematic torture of civilians, mass deportation or mass murder), how has that society addressed the atrocities, assuming the perpetrators were ousted from power? Historians, political scientists, and legal scholars have developed a field called “transitional justice” that deals with these issues. Historians and political scientists have tried to explain the causes of crimes against humanity and genocide, as well as examine the role of successor governments, other countries, and non-governmental organizations involved in transitional justice. Political scientists and legal scholars have debated the best way to deal with mass atrocities: criminal trials (domestic or international), local customs to reintegrate perpetrators into society, truth and reconciliation commissions, compensation for victims, or a combination? What factors led to success or failure of these efforts?
This course will use a multi-disciplinary approach to introduce students to central cases of mass atrocity in the 20th and possibly early 21st century from around the globe, concentrating on causes and contexts. Additionally, we will explore trials that were held after some of these events, working with materials such as records of diplomatic negotiations, trial transcripts, audio testimony, and video recordings of trials. We will explore the goals of trials, the degree to which they contributed to transitional justice, and what their limits and drawbacks were. We will also study the development of international criminal law and international humanitarian law in a historical context, so that students will be able to differentiate concepts such as crimes against humanity, genocide, violations of the laws and customs of war, national jurisdiction, and universal jurisdiction. We will learn about the historical role of non-governmental organizations (such as the International Committee of the Red Cross), the creation of the permanent International Criminal Court, and controversies surrounding them. We will discuss a range of pressing questions: Can trials be fair, or is there always an element of “victors’ justice”? What happens when “competing historical narratives” emerge from a trial, despite the judges’ verdict? Why have courts expanded the definition of genocide to include mass rape? Are the legal concepts used in international trials burdened by ideas from the age of imperialism and colonialism? Is there a double-standard for countries that do not recognize the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction over their nationals, yet whose militaries or intelligence officers violate international law?
MALS 72000 – Thesis Writing Course
Mondays, 6:30-8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Naomi Stubbs (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you would like to sign up for the thesis writing course, permission of the department is required. To express your interest in taking this course, please fill in this form. This is a 3-credit course and it is not a substitute for MALS 79000.
This course assists students in making significant progress with their thesis and capstone projects through weekly reading and writing activities. Students will research and write their thesis/capstone projects throughout the semester, sharing substantial sections of their work with the class on at least two occasions. All participants will also provide weekly feedback on their classmates’ work in written and oral formats. These highly practical, hands-on workshop sessions will be framed with discussions of writing practices, disciplinary conventions, and practicalities, such as working with your advisor and the depositing process.
MALS 72100 – Feminist Texts and Contexts: Feminism 1910
Wednesdays, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Linda Grasso (email@example.com)
Cross listed with WSCP 81000
One hundred years before Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie proclaimed “We should all be feminists” and Beyoncé popularized that decree, the word feminist was first being used in the United States. In the 1910s, feminism as idea, lived practice, and social movement was so novel, it prompted much discussion and a new vocabulary. This course explores the historical, political, and cultural emergence of feminism in the U.S. by studying how a selected group of women expressed feminist activism through written and visual artistic forms. In addition to reading stories, novels, speeches, and essays, we will examine artwork and political cartoons as well as periodicals such as The Forerunner, The Masses, and The Crisis. Students will design and create research projects based on their aesthetic, political, and scholarly interests. We will meet synchronously each week on Wednesday, 4:15-6:15.
MALS 72200 – Contemporary Feminist Theories
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Jean Halley (jeanhalley.net; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com)
Cross listed with WSCP 81000
This course explores Contemporary Feminist Theories through feminist work about racial, economic and sexual justice and in terms of “bodies with gender.” We investigate what it means to “have” gender and to “be female” with a focus on the United States. Making use of the frame offered by Patricia Ticineto Clough’s book, Feminist Thought, we consider contemporary feminist theories on differences and similarities in the experiences of women and other gendered bodies across lines of race, class, sexuality, species and ability. We examine how gender defines human experiences and how feminists resist these definitions. Sigmund Freud once called work and love the central arenas of human life. We examine contemporary feminist thought on what it means to have gender in love and to be gendered at work, along with an examination of the representation of women and gender in the larger culture, and of violence in the lives of gendered bodies particularly those gendered female. We make use of a variety of texts in exploring feminist thinking on the “nature” of gender, love and sexuality, so-called women’s work, the expectations “experts” have of diversely gendered bodies, (dis)ability, nonhumans and the representation of gender in the mass media.
MALS 72800 - Political Ecology and Environmental Justice
Wednesday, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Cindi Katz (Ckatz@gc.cuny.edu)
Cross listed with PSYC 80103
Political ecology and environmental justice are areas of great importance and intense contemporary debate, the former commonly associated with the global south and the latter with the north. Yet scholars and practitioners working in these fields share similar concerns with the uneven effects of production, social reproduction, distribution, social justice, and inequalities in harms and benefits. This seminar will critically examine contemporary theories of political ecology, environmental justice, sustainable development, and the production of nature across the disparate geographies of north and south, urban and rural, and at a number of scales. In a series of case studies, we will engage current debates over such issues as climate change and its disparate effects, waste and pollution, environmental conservation, nature preservation, biodiversity, ecotourism, industrial agriculture, green capitalism, and the ‘green new deal.’
MALS 73200 – American Social Institutions
Mondays, 6:30-8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Justin Rogers-Cooper (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Online Teaching Model: Synchronous (with asynchronous components)
The United States is full of political and ideological contradictions. We see these contradictions exploding before us today, with fervor and passion that seem to open towards apocalypse. Understanding the major contradictions of the U.S., and understanding how scholars of American Studies have approached them, is a worthy project for MALS students on any track.
In this course, we will track the ways that the “state” and “nation” of the United States has been continually contested and remade since its founding from above and from below, and the ways its social institutions have been sites of both democracy and repression. From our current vantage, we will 1) review how American Studies defines key concepts – such as “nation” and “citizen” that can help us understand the key contradictions at work; 2) consider key historical junctures when the contradictions of the country have burst open, including slave rebellions, labor uprisings, state and municipal coups, anticommunist raids, urban riots, and protest movements; 3) attend to the legal, cultural, and political “technology” of how racialized and gendered citizens create themselves, and are produced within and recognized by, U.S. social institutions; and 4) in tension with scholarly critiques of U.S. exceptionalism, we will theorize how the key contradictions of the United States might help us expose the mechanics of nation-states themselves, and debate how the structures of state social institutions might work to replicate particular forms of recognition and repression globally.
Key texts, which we will read in their entirety, are likely to include Octavia Butler’s novel Kindred; James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time; Audre Lorde’s Sister Outsider; and Paul Ortiz’s An African American and Latinx History of the United States. In addition, we will read excerpts from Keywords for American Cultural Studies, Keywords for African American Studies, Keywords for Asian American Studies, Black Reconstruction by W.E.B. Du Bois, Free Labor by Mark Lause, Represent and Destroy by Jodi Melamed, The Reorder of Things: The University and Its Pedagogies of Minority Difference by Roderick A. Ferguson, and Poor People’s Movements by Frances Fox Piven and Richard Cloward. We will also discuss the ideas of Gloria Anzaldua, Angela Davis, Gerald Horne, Grace Lee Boggs, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Frederick Douglass, Lucy Parsons, Emma Goldman, Ida. B Wells, Etienne Balibar, Hubert Harrison, Lisa Lowe, LaRose Parris, Alexander Saxton, Robert Reid-Pharr, Judith Butler, Robert Ovetz, Beth Lew-Williams, David Roediger, and Glen Sean Coulthard, including scholarship from American Quarterly.
Writing for the course will take place throughout the term, and will include six short reflections posted to our private CUNY Academic Commons site (you will need an account); one 250-word conference proposal abstract; a written conference presentation; and an abstract for a MALS program thesis or capstone proposal that integrates concepts and frameworks from the course into your proposal. Students more advanced in their research or thesis/capstone will have the opportunity to substitute a more traditional seminar paper for some of the shorter assignments.
MALS 73500 - Africana Studies: Existence in Black
Thursdays, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Nathalie Etoke (Netoke@gc.cuny.edu)
Cross listed with AFCP 70100
This course examines problems of existence and freedom posed by black life. We will explore how the racialization of people of African descent through the means of violence and oppression translates into an existential predicament addressing the human confrontation with hope and hopelessness, freedom and human degradation, being and non-being. We will discuss the existentialist implications, challenges and possibilities of blackness in Africana literature, film and music. How do cultural expressions of black people simultaneously engage being acted upon by the external forces of enslavement and racism, while acting against those forces? Through critical analyses of music, film, fiction, and contemporary events, this class will generate theoretical interventions embedded in the poetics and politics of (self) representation, freedom, and social constructions of black existence.
MALS 73800 - Internship Course
3 credits, Prof. Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis (email@example.com )
Whether you're seeking your first job or trying to explore a career change, internships can be a valuable way to gain experience and make career decisions. Internships enable students to earn credits while gaining valuable academic and/or professional experience. These internships provide you with the opportunity to apply what you’ve learned in class in the working environment. They also help to build your professional network, and to expand your skill sets. Students can set up an appointment with the Office of Career Planning and Professional Development for guidance.
MALS students who wish to participate in an internship for credit must enroll in course MALS 73800. This course is run as an independent study course with Professor Macaulay-Lewis.
Students must apply for the internship the semester prior to enrolling.
The deadline for students to apply for the internship course before the start of the semester.
Students must submit a formal letter or email of an internship offer from the proposed employer via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and to the Executive Officer. The proposals will then be reviewed by the department.
Candidates will be informed about the outcome of their application in a timely fashion. Successful applicants will then be permitted to enroll in the course, once the proper paperwork is completed and filed.
A minimum of 140 hours of the internship must be completed within the semester that the student enrolls (i.e. if the student enrolls in the internship course during Spring, the internship must be completed during the semester).
The internship must be unpaid.
The student must attend all classes (either in person or online, if the course runs as a hybrid course), and complete all assignments required for the course.
MALS 74400 - Cultural Property, Heritage, and Rights
Tuesdays, 11:45 am -1:45 pm., 3 credits, Prof. Alexander Bauer
Cross-listed with ANTH 84400
Is culture a commodity or a vanishing resource? Can cultural property be owned by one person or does it belong to the entire world? Can culture be copyrighted? In our increasingly global society, competing claims regarding the ownership of cultural objects, customs, and traditional knowledge, are becoming more frequent. This course will address the current debates over the ownership and preservation of tangible and intangible cultural property from the built to the natural environment, and will review the competing interests and values that have been implicated in these debates. We will consider how heritage is entwined with the politics of identity, ethnicity and nationalism as a local reaction to globalization. Attention will be paid to the development of both international and U.S. law and policy regarding the possession, use, preservation, and destruction of cultural heritage, and we will explore ways in which future policies might better deal with these issues. We will also confront both the promises and pitfalls of heritage work, and consider the role that anthropologists can play in thinking critically about heritage practice.
MALS 74700 - Topics in Material History: The Early Modern Atlantic World
Mondays, 4:15-6:15 pm, 3 Credits, Prof. Clare Carroll (email@example.com)
Cross-listed with GEMS 82100 and Comp Lit 80900
Transculturation in the Atlantic world will be the focus of our study of encounters between Europeans and Africans, peoples of the Caribbean, and the Americas in texts from Portuguese, Spanish, Nahuatl, French and English authors. Topics to be discussed include political versus economic interpretations of the encounter, slavery, and colonization; the geography of empire; visual narration in Meso-American codices; the intersection of gender, class and race in the creation of mestizo cultures; monsters and cannibals in maps and ethnographic writing; the construction of race before race (the pseudo-science of the 18th and 19th centuries). With each text we will examine digitized versions of originals in order to study how their material properties condition their meaning.
Readings will be from: The Asia of João de Barros; Gomes Eanes de Zurara, The Chronicle and Discovery of Guinea; Columbus, Diario; We People Here: Nahuatl Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico; Hernán Cortés, The Second Letter; Las Casas, A Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies; Garcilaso de la Vega, Royal Commentaries of the Incas; Sor Juana Inés de a Cruz, Response to the Very Eminent Sor Filotea de la Cruz; Montaigne, ‘On Cannibals,’ ‘On Coaches,’ Jean de Léry, History of a Voyage to the Land of Brazil; Hakluyt, Voyages and Discoveries; Shakespeare, The Tempest, and Antony and Cleopatra. Theoretical and contextual frameworks include: Fernando Ortiz, Cuban Counterpoint; Herman Bennett, African Kings and Black Slaves; Nicolás Wey Gόmez, The Tropics of Empire; Diana Magaloni Kerpel, The Colors of the New World: Artists, Materials, and the Creation of the Florentine Codex; Barbara Fuchs, Mimesis and Empire; Serge Gruzinski, The Mestizo Mind; Alessandra Russo, The Untranslatable Image; Surekha Davies, Renaissance Ethnography and the Invention of the Human; Kim Hall, Things of Darkness.
Links to early modern manuscripts, and printed books in digitized form will be available; excerpts from English translations, and secondary readings will be posted as pdfs on Blackboard.
MALS 77300 - Film Theories: Film and Media Theory in the Global South
Thursdays, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Ria Banerjee (Ria.Banerjee@guttman.cuny.edu)
Cross listed with FSCP 8100
This course will provide a survey of film and media theory, with special consideration to how filmmakers of the Global South were inspired by classic writings in cinema and sought to use them to develop their own unique creative idioms. We will move chronologically through key cinema studies and performance theory readings, each week juxtaposing them with works by filmmakers working outside traditional or mainstream cinema in linguistic cultures such as Hindi, Bengali, French, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese, as well as Anglophone indie filmmaking in Britain and North America.
MALS 78100 – Issues in Urban Education
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 PM, Room TBA, 3 credits, Prof. Carol Huang (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Issues in Urban Education explores the crisis in urban education reform in the US and NYC by asking mainly three questions: 1. Who should be taught? 2. What should be taught? 3. How to teach to meet our vision of society? In this course we will analyze our own educational experiences and learn to formulate theories we can apply to issues facing urban schools. Taking an interdisciplinary approach—with perspectives from history, sociology, urban politics, anthropology, and educational and social policies—the course aims to create a foundation for research and practice in urban education.
Throughout the course, the theme of change will serve as a thread through selected significant social, political, economic forces which influence the school as an institution and which in turn are influenced by the school. Students are introduced to the ways in which schools are related to larger societal institutions, including political economy, family, media, religion, and the business community to examine the possibilities of social change. Special emphasis will be placed on NYC settings that educate students from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds in order to examine the deeper structure of schools, schooling and school reforms.
The semester curriculum is divided into three parts: Part I, historical development and its traces in modern day schools; part II, democratic constraints and educational reform; and part III, critical theories and the possibilities of educational reform efforts.
MALS 78200 – The Politics of Contemporary Urban Education: Equity, Elitism, and Public Higher Education
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 PM, 3 credits, Profs. Matt Brim & Katina Rogers (Matt.Brim@csi.cuny.edu; email@example.com)
Higher education can be a powerful engine of equity and social mobility. Yet many of the structures of colleges and universities—including admissions offices, faculty hiring committees, disciplinary formations, institutional rankings, and even classroom pedagogies and practices of collegiality—rely on tacit values of meritocracy and an economy of prestige. In other words, many academic structures actually undermine the values that we associate with possibilities for the most challenging and productive and diverse academic life. In this course, we examine the purposes and principles of universities, especially public universities; consider whether various structures advance or undermine those goals; and imagine new possibilities for educational systems that weave equity into the fabric of all they do. Our privileged methodology for considering the inequities and opportunities of university life will be queer of color and feminist materialist analyses, an interdisciplinary set of methods and methodologies that lend themselves to identifying, historicizing, and resisting institutional norms that produce queer-class-race-gender stratification in the university. Crucially, because these intellectual tools are themselves housed within institutional formations, they will be objects of our investigation as well as methods of analysis. CUNY—and more particularly, CUNY in the time of COVID—will serve as our chief test-object, as we consider the op-eds, institutional statements, and student experiences that have emerged since March 2020. Throughout, we will ask how our own educational experiences inform our work.
MALS 78300 – Introduction to US Latino Studies
Tuesdays, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Alyshia Galvez (ALYSHIA.GALVEZ@lehman.cuny.edu)
Even while Latinxs constitute the largest minority in the United States and are a majority in K-12 education and other spaces, they are still often treated as newcomers and outsiders, especially within contemporary nativist discourses. Centuries long presence of Latinxs in the United States are often overlooked, with many discussions centering on immigration and assimilation. This course will delve into a variety of topics including naming (Latinx/Latino/Hispanic), counting (Census), representation, and reckoning with the great internal diversity among US Latinx populations. Topics include: the arts, immigration, citizenship, politics, ethnic studies, health, and more. With emphasis on debates and discussions within and by the Latinx intellectuals, artists, activist communities, this course will explore the regional, historical, social, and political trends that keep Latinx populations from being categorizable or predictable.
MALS 78500 - Economics for Everyone
Thursdays, 6:30-8:30 PM, 3 Credits, Prof. Miles Corak (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This may, or it may not be, your first economics course, but it can reasonably be your last. “Economics for Everyone” is specially designed to meet the needs of students in all disciplines who may have had only limited exposure to economics. You will learn the fundamental vocabulary and grammar of a subject central to many public policy debates—the big issues ranging from globalization to climate change, from inequality to unemployment—but also the smaller concerns central to everyday life, like why does my cappuccino cost so much? Upon completion you will have the skills and knowledge to be a more informed and engaged citizen. Our study of the subject moves through three themes. The first examines the method and scope of economics, introducing some fundamental principles, and by appealing to some important historical examples illustrates how the definition and methods of the subject have evolved. The second focuses on the “theory of value,” the micro-economics of perfectly competitive markets to illustrate the efficiency of markets and how economists think about the role of public policy when markets “fail.” The third theme introduces national income accounting and macroeconomics, the revolution in thinking in the aftermath of the Great Depression of the 1930s, and how this remains useful in understanding the Great Recession of the last decade.