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Courses

Spring 2019 COURSES
MA Program in Women’s and Gender Studies
Women’s Studies Certificate Program
 
WGS 71600 – Research Methods in Women's and Gender Studies
GC: TUES, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 credits, Prof. Dána-Ain Davis

WGS 71601 – Topics in Women's and Gender Studies:  Politics/Violence/Terrorism
GC: TUES, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Siraj Ahmed
Cross-listed with English.

One of liberalism’s founding tenets is that the political sphere and physical violence are categorically distinct. From this tenet follows the understanding of non-state violence (in other words, ‘terrorism’) that pervades popular discourse today: it enters history either ab nihilo or from religion’s—particularly Islam’s—propensity for fanaticism.
 
In diametric opposition to this line of thought, postcolonial scholars—Talal Asad above all—have argued that terrorism was birthed by liberalism itself. From this perspective, contemporary non-state violence is scarcely distinguishable from the early modern civil and international conflict that originated the liberal order—the lawless violence at the roots of ‘liberty.’ Violence outside law was necessary not only to found this order but also, of course, to preserve it. Max Weber feared that if liberal states could no longer exploit other lands, they would import the illiberalism they practiced there back home. The economic and environmental crises of the last forty years—and the erosion of democracy and civil liberties that have accompanied these crises—might demonstrate how well-founded Weber’s fears were.
 
Liberalism turns on an internal contradiction: politics and violence are supposed, on one hand, to be mutually exclusive; yet states must not only monopolize violence but also, on the other hand, continuously exercise it. Liberalism conceals this contradiction by distinguishing between ‘legitimate’ and ‘illegitimate’ violence. The former term refers to any violence, however extreme, that preserves liberal societies, the latter to practically any act, movement, or event that threatens them. But if violence is justified only when it defends liberal societies, the war on terror serves an essential function: like the militarization of police forces, it implies that those societies remain in constant danger and hence have little choice but to use exceptional violence both within their borders and beyond.
 
This course will test such hypotheses by studying the continuity between colonial war; ‘low-intensity conflict’ after decolonization; and the war on terror over the last two decades. It hopes, as well, to provide a genealogy of terrorism much older than our own political era—as old, indeed, as the belief, common to the Abrahamic religions, that homicidal and even suicidal violence becomes sacred when it founds a new social dispensation, preserves collective identity, or reproduces one’s own way of life. Perhaps this genealogy will shed light on a pervasive, but nonetheless paradoxical, characteristic of academic as well as popular debate in the West: whereas the endangerment of certain lives here precipitates widespread horror, the mass killing of innocents elsewhere generates almost none.
 
Theoretical texts may include Asad, On Suicide Bombing; Mahmood Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War, and the Roots of TerrorFaisal DevjiLandscapes of the Jihad: Militancy, Morality, Modernity; Hobbes, Leviathian; Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit; Freud, Beyond the Pleasure Principle; Walter Benjamin, ‘Critique of Violence’; Georges Bataille, The Tears of Eros; Hannah Arendt, On Violence; Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth; Malcolm X, ‘The Ballot or the Bullet’; René Girard, Violence and the Sacred; Pierre Clastres, The Archeology of Violence; and Jean Baudrillard, The Spirit of Terrorism.
 
Fictional texts may include Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent; W.G. Sebald, Austerlitz; J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians; Yasmina Khadra, The Swallows of Kabul; Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist; and Kamila Shamsie, Home Fire.

WGS 71601 – Topics in Women's and Gender Studies: The Hidden Curriculum of Gender, Sexuality, and Race in Schools
GC: TUES, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Sherry Deckman
Cross-listed with Urban Education.

This course explores the role of gender, sexuality, and race, and the intersection of these facets of identity, in contributing to young people’s schooling experiences, opportunities, and outcomes, and to the social context of schools more broadly.  In many ways, the course is about the “hidden curriculum” of racialized heteronormativity, or the subtle practices in schools that privilege particular heterosexual, gendered, and raced identities and ways of being.  In the course, we will engage with a variety of texts including theoretical works, qualitative and quantitative, empirical research, and applied, practical texts in analyzing how social differences are fundamentally entangled, and enmeshed with the making of identities. We will also engage the concept of the hidden curriculum and the lens of critical race theory as analytic tools for studying, understanding, and responding to how gender, sexuality, and race intersect with other social constructs with regard to schooling, and how these intersections contribute to shaping students’ identities. In particular, we will examine how these identities shape—and are shaped by—marginalized students’ experiences with inequity in schools. Lastly, we will apply our theoretical understandings to inquiry projects that will provide opportunities to ground the theoretical understandings that will be cultivated.

WGS 79600 – Independent Study
By permission.

WGS 79601 – Internship

WGS 79602 – Thesis Supervision
 
WSCP 81000 – The Philosophy of W.E.B. DuBois
GC: MON, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 4 credits, Prof. Charles Mills
Cross-listed with Philosophy.
Few American intellectuals of any race have surpassed the achievements of W.E.B Du Bois, who over a long (1868-1963) and remarkably productive activist and scholarly life made invaluable contributions across a wide variety of fields. Long recognized as black America’s towering thinker, he has only recently begun to get his due from the mainstream “white” academy, in disciplines ranging from sociology and history to literature and international relations theory (IR). In this course, we will look specifically at his pioneering role in helping to establish Africana Philosophy as a distinctive oppositional philosophical worldview in Western modernity.  

WSCP 81000 – Sex and Single Mothers
GC: MON, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 credits, Prof. Sara McDougall
Cross-listed with French.
It is hard to imagine anything other than terrible consequences for a woman pregnant from illicit sex living in medieval France. That said, both literary sources and documents of legal practice suggest many possible outcomes, including a less than tragic fate for the child and also for the mother. Christian doctrine condemned illicit sex, and operated with a double standard that often excused men while punishing women, but there was also an insistence on mercy and charity, and on the value of the life of an infant. Honor mattered enough to justify murder for some, but in other cases the preservation of honor by discretion and secrecy might also have led to different responces.
 
This course will examine ideas about and portrayals of women contending with out-of-wedlock pregnancy in a wide range of different kinds of French sources, from mystery plays and miracle stories to romance, from law codes and royal pardons to sermons and chronicles, fabliaux and farce, and prescriptive texts including hospital foundations, conduct literature, and gynecological treatises.
 
This course will be taught in English, with texts available in French and in translation.
 
WSCP 81000 – Critical Race Scholarship: Theories and Pedagogies
GC: THURS, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 credits, Profs. Michelle Billies and Soniya Munshi
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.
In this interdisciplinary course, graduate students will engage with critical race scholarship to build from and integrate this scholarship into their own research and pedagogy. Readings will span an expansive array of critical race theories and methods. Scholarly traditions will include transnational and diasporic feminisms; Black geographies and Caribbean philosophies; indigenous studies and critical ethnic studies; critical whiteness studies; queer studies; disability studies; activist scholarship; and, literature addressing pedagogical approaches in these areas. Students will use course readings to craft a writing project useful in their research or teaching. They may deepen an understanding of a particular theorist or body of work; rewrite the philosophical or theoretical underpinning of their research; create a course, syllabi and/or set of teaching plans; collaborate with another student to generate theory or a team-taught course; examine internalized dominance or internalized racism and its relationship to their scholarly work or teaching; or another project they propose. Students will be invited to contribute a reading to the syllabus.
Contemporary challenges in the academy and society at large confirm the crucial need for intellectual engagement with critical theories of race and intersectionality that address systemic, historic racism. This graduate course is a means of proliferating knowledge and critiques of race in and out of the academy while developing strategies for furthering this work in the undergraduate classroom.  The pedagogical approach will foster open discussion of personal relationships to the readings as well as experiences of race and ethnicity. 
 
WSCP 81000 – Mediating Race: Technology, Performance, Politics, and Aesthetics in Popular Culture
GC: WED, 2:00-4:00PM, 3 credits, Profs. Cathy Davidson and Racquel Gates
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.
What does it mean to be “cool,” to be “fierce,” or to “slay”? This course focuses on technologies, techniques, performance, and style (including fashion) as components contributing to our ideas, representations, conventions, and stereotypes of race. More specifically, this course asks how cinematic and media aesthetics have contributed to how we identify and “read” blackness in popular media. Rather than treat film, television, and new media as straightforward reflections of social realities, this course will analyze how the media established, and continues to shape, our understandings of what blackness “looks” like. This course asks how popular culture has created the aesthetic vocabulary for how media consumers “read” blackness in all of its various incarnations.
This is an ideal course for anyone in the humanities and social sciences, for those interested in traditional and new media, and for anyone looking for sophisticated, critical, and original approaches to issues of race, racism, and representation in American popular culture.  In addition, the course will be using a number of active learning pedagogical techniques that will both make this a lively “workshop” of ideas to which every student will contribute and will offer anyone who is teaching, at any level, a new set of methods, activities, and ideas about active learning and the teaching of controversial, difficult, and complicated subject matter. 
 
WSCP 81000 – Afrofuturism: Race and Science Fiction
GC: WED, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 credits, Profs. Jonathan Gray and Joy Sanchez-Taylor
Cross-listed with The Futures Initiative.
In 1994 Mark Dery defined Afrofuturism as “speculative fiction that treats African-American themes and addresses African-American concerns in the contexts of twentieth-century technoculture,” locating its origins in the early work of Samuel Delany (and O. Butler? and Sun Ra?). Our seminar takes Dery’s definition as a point of departure to examine the fiction, films, graphic narratives and music videos produced in the sub-genre of Afrofuturism. Because Afrofuturist expression runs the gamut from literary (science) fiction to popular music, it is incumbent for graduate students interested in African American and Africana literature and culture, American Studies, popular culture studies, and science fiction and fantasy to engage in the necessarily interdisciplinary inquiry that Afrofuturism demands. Indeed, the question of Afro-futurity informs recent creative work (Junot Diaz’s “Monstro,” HBO’s Westworld) and technical innovation (Black Twitter) that would seem to fall outside of an Afrofuturist paradigm. Thus, our exploration of this topic will problematize our understandings of speculative fiction (also known as science fiction or sci-fi), question how the imbrication of technology into our lives transforms human subjectivity, and survey literary theory to arrive at an understanding of how Afrofuturism has developed since the mid-20th century and how it promises to propagate itself into the future.
This course is grounded in student participation. Students in the course will thoroughly investigate primary and secondary sources on Afrofuturism and will play an active role in the course by taking turns as facilitators of class discussions and through the completion of a class project with a digital humanities component.

WSCP 81000 – The Gothic and Otherness: From Late 18th Century England to the Caribbean, Latin America, and the U.S
GC: WED, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Lyn Di Iorio
Cross-listed with English.
Contemporary culture is characterized by, among other tendencies, a reawakened interest in “Gothic”—the aesthetic discourse of horror and terror that arose following the publication of Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otrantoin 1764.  This seminar weaves together most of the primary critical strands that constitute the main approaches to the Gothic: early British Gothic, American Gothic, Female Gothic, Queer Gothic, the sublime, the uncanny, the abject and trauma theory.  The course also proposes that the contemporary Gothic aesthetic in our Americas—the terrain of the U.S. in a dialectic with its minority groups and the populations in the Caribbean and Latin America—uncovers important issues of race, ethnicity and border politics on which there has been scant commentary.
 
We will consider the following questions among others.  How do Gothic tropes function to elicit issues of race and identity politics in works by writers from the most populous—African American, Asian American and Latinx— U.S. minority groups?  What is the relationship, if any, between the trope of the Haitian “zombi,” as the soulless shell of the slave in the Caribbean, and the George Romero zombie figure, which highlights an embattled and post-apocalyptic humanity?  From U.S. writer Shirley Jackson to Argentinian Mariana Enríquez, from Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to its revision in Mary Reilly, why are we so drawn to the Gothic?  Do horror, mutilation, melancholia, and loss constitute a new aesthetic structuring of the contemporary human psyche, connecting the Freudian vision of the human mind to the dynamics of Gothic villainy and victimization?​

WSCP 81000 – What is (a) body? 
GC: MON, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Kandice Chuh
Cross-listed with English.
In this course, we will study a variety of ways in which "body" is made meaningful as a philosophical, political, social, cultural, and economic concept and entity.  How (by what mechanisms, through what procedures) does "body" signify humanness?  What are the limits of such signification?  How do such meanings index political economic and socio-cultural conditions?  Our readings will draw from fields and discourses that have taken up "body" as object and analytic, including performance studies, disability studies, transgender studies, Black and ethnic studies, and feminist and queer of color critique.  
 
Students taking the course for 2 credits should expect to post short responses on a bi-weekly basis to our course blog.  Students taking the course for 4 credits should expect to produce a seminar project (essay or equivalent) at the end of the semester, in addition to the bi-weekly blog posts.

WSCP 81000 – Archival Encounters
GC: TUES, 4:15-6:15PM, 2/4 credits, Profs. Duncan Faherty and Lisa Rhody
Cross-listed with English.
In “Archival Encounters” we will take an interdisciplinary and participatory approach to archival research, scholarly editing, and the praxis of recovery. Part seminar, part individualized research tutorial, part laboratory, part skills workshop, this course will be an admixture of traditional scholarly practices and emergent ones, fundamentally both analog and digital, and varyingly held at and outside the Graduate Center. The course aims to provide students an introduction to the knowledge and tools necessary to create new access (for both scholarly and public audiences) to archival materials held within collections around the New York City area. The end goal of the course is for each student (or possibly several small groups of collaborating students) to produce an “edition” of a currently neglected archival artifact (which might be anything from an eighteenth century serialized short story, to a transcription of a Medieval fragment, to an unpublished letter by an early twentieth century poet to her editor). In order to produce these editions, students will be exposed to both practical methodologies and theoretical debates concerning archival work and the politics of recovery, as well as receive training in textual editing, book history, text encoding and annotation, markup strategies, and basic web design.

The course will have four main units, including an introduction to current scholarly debates about the politics of textual recovery and archival work (readings may include work by Lisa Lowe, Jennifer Morgan, Britt Russert, and David Kazanjian), field visits to area collections (crafted in response to the interests of the enrolled students), training in textual editing and book history (readings may include Greetham’s Textual Scholarship,McGann’s Radiant Textuality, Hayles and Pressman’s Comparative Textual Media), and training in digital research methods, platforms, annotation and encoding, and design. While anchored in issues of recovery and public engagement, the course will also enable students to actively pursue their own individual research agendas and gain valuable experiences in collaborating both with external partners (in terms of their archival projects) and with GC colleagues in the construction of the class platform (on the CUNY Academic Commons) for the display of the projects. More importantly they will receive this training not simply from the instructors themselves, but from the curators and archivists working at the various New York City repositories and special collections with which we aim to partner (including such possibilities as the New York Public Library, The Morgan Library, The New-York Historical Society, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The Library for the Performing Arts, the Herstory Archives, and the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives).

The course will provide PhD students the opportunity to advance (or experiment with) their own research agendas by pursuing further study in archival research, book history, and scholarly editing. For students in the MA in Digital Humanities program, projects could be expanded to form a digital capstone project--a requirement for completion of the degree.

Course Requirements: Active and engaged participation, a brief oral presentation, weekly reflections, a project outline, a brief mid-semester progress report, and the creation of the final textual edition.  NOTE: At least four class sessions will take place at local archives within a 25-minute public transportation radius. 

WSCP 81000 – Memoir/Illness/Graphic/Grief
GC: THURS, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Nancy Miller
Cross-listed with English.
Illness is the night-side of life, a more onerous citizenship,” Susan Sontag famously wrote in Illness as Metaphor. “Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later, each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place.”  Illness occupies a prominent place in contemporary life writing, and the seminar will explore the accounts of what happens when “the lights of health go down,” as Virginia Woolf writes in On Being Ill. We will read a wide range of first-person literary and visual representations of bodily and mental suffering, including AIDS, cancer, depression, and mourning. Among the writers and artists: Roland Barthes, Simone de Beauvoir, Lucy Grealy, Audre Lorde, Oliver Sacks, Eve Sedgwick, Susan Sontag and Virginia Woolf; graphic narratives by Bobby Baker, David B., Julie Delporte, Miriam Engelberg, David Small, and Nicola Streeten.

The work of the course: weekly responses, one oral presentation, a final paper.

WSCP 81000 – Irrational Animals from the Middle Ages to the Present
GC: TUES, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 2/4 credits, Prof.  Karl Steel
Cross-listed with English.
Medieval Latin tended to refer to nonhuman animals as “irrationalibus animalibus,” irrational animals. We will explore the limits of reason, from a posthuman and critical animal studies perspective, with attention to gender, disability, and racialization. Topics will include the problems of madness, consent, responsibility, and guilt, as well as, especially, love and desire, those supposedly authentic expressions of the self, irreducible to rational decisions. We might also explore ideas of altruism, friendship, and a bit of medieval economic theory. Apart from readings in contemporary theory, primary texts will include medieval literary works from Chaucer and Hoccleve, some saints’ lives (Christina the Astonishing), Pearl, the Book of Margery Kempe, and the Cloud of Unknowing. No prior knowledge of medieval languages or texts required for the course. 

WSCP 81000 – When Literature and Composition Meet: Critical Pedagogy and the Contemporary Novel
GC: MON, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 2/4 credits, Prof. Jessica Yood
Cross-listed with English.
Satisfying scenes of teaching and learning are hard to come by. The campus novel as microcosm often domesticates the geopolitics of academia. The teaching memoir tends to lean on tropes—rarely do professor or student follow the familiar arc of the hero’s journey. 
Classroom life is more murky and, sometimes, more magical than allowed by these genres.  This course explores depictions of classroom life in its complexity and inequities, longings and limitations. Using approaches from narratology, we will examine novels, memoirs, ethnographies and essays focused on the humanities classroom. Our goal will be to categorize and analyze examples of “novel pedagogy.” In the process we will examine the relationship between literary criticism and pedagogy and between cultural studies and  critical university studies. We will also write and workshop our own novel pedagogies. 
The syllabus will include writing from Gloria Anzaldúa, Elizabeth Chin, Susan Choi, Jacques Derrida, Shirley Brice Heath, Rebekah Nathan, Ishmael Reed, Philip Roth, Leslie Marmon Silko, Zadie Smith, Michael Thomas, and John Williams. We will also read essays in The Atlantic, Radical Teacher, Present Tense, and Pedagogy, as well as academic blogs. 

WSCP 81000 – Women, Work, and Public Policy
GC: TUES, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Janet Gornick
Cross-listed with Political Science and Sociology
This course will provide an overview of key issues affecting women in the contemporary workplace in the United States and other high-income countries. We will begin with an overview of women’s position in the labor market. Here we will take a multidimensional approach to capturing gender inequality at work, covering gender gaps in employment rates, in working time, in occupation, and in earnings; one section of the course will focus on paid care workers. We will assess growing class inequalities among women, which have led to polarization in the labor market, especially between women with more and less education; we will consider divisions by race, ethnicity, nativity, and sexuality. We will analyze the ways in which public policies have addressed these concerns, and evaluate their impacts.
The course also examines the effects on women workers persistent inequalities in divisions of labor within households. Despite the enormous increase in women’s employment rates during the past half century, women continue to carry out the bulk of unpaid work in their homes. Altering these inequalities has proven even more challenging than transforming the structures that shape paid work. We will consider recent research on the effects of “work-family reconciliation policies”– that is, public policies aimed at supporting women (and men) as they balance the responsibilities of paid work and family care. The key question now under consideration is whether some of these policies – e.g., paid family leave, rights to part-time work, and flexible scheduling – create new forms of gender inequality.
Students will complete weekly reaction papers and a semester-long research project.

WSCP 81000 – Feminist Political Theory
GC: THURS, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 credits, Prof. Alyson Cole
Cross-listed with Political Science.
Feminist political theory attempts to reimagine political life by scrutinizing our understandings of sex, sexuality, and gender. In doing so it provides new perspectives on the meanings and limitations of salient political concepts such as rights, equality, identity, and agency, as well as the scope and content of politics itself. At the same time, feminism continually confronts questions regarding its own boundaries, agendas, and even its subjects (as Simone de Beauvoir asked, “what is a woman”?). How does the category of gender illuminate or eclipse power dynamics involving other categories of difference, such as those of culture, race, and class?
This course introduces students to central questions, approaches, and quandaries in contemporary feminist political thought. We begin by surveying the notable uptick in feminist activism, such as #MeToo and other forms of “hashtag feminism.” We then turn to investigate how traditional political theory has viewed women, and how feminists have theorized the political. Next, we attempt to think more comprehensively about what “sex” and “gender” are, and how they might be relevant to politics and to theorizing. The course ends with a range of texts addressing the intersection of gender with other forms of subjection, exploitation, and discrimination.
Students will be expected to write short weekly reflections on the readings, make one or more class presentations, and write a final paper. Texts will include work by Sara Ahmed, Linda Martin Alcoff, Gloria Anzaldúa, Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, Cathy Cohen, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Simone deBeauvoir, Mary Dietz, J. Jack Halberstam, Donna Haraway, Mary Hawkesworth, Bonnie Honig, Luce Irigaray, Catherine MacKinnon, Saba Mahmood, Kate Manne, Chandra Mohanty, Kelly Oliver, Carole Pateman, Adrienne Rich, Gayle Rubin, Gayatri Spivak, Iris Young, Linda Zerilli, among others.

WSCP 81000 – American Political Development
GC: THURS, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 3 credits, Prof. Ruth O’Brien
Cross-listed with Political Science.
American Political Development is politics and history broadly cast.  Put differently, it pursues meta-themes or narratives over time from a presentist perspective, like cultural studies (i.e. American Studies) does. The theme for this semester is political violence or vigilantism against vulnerable peoples.  It examines American governors during the colonial era and American presidents who were vigilantes.  To do so, it introduces and explains key concepts for studying sexism, misogyny, and white supremacy from a long historical and cultural-studies perspective, going back to 1492.  It pays particular attention to the nation-building by these colonial governors and presidents, as this is a course on political institutions, albeit influenced by the discourse of civic associations, interest groups, social movements, and political parties.
This course will help prepare American Politics students for the first examination in that field, particularly those interested in National Institutions.  It is a foundational course in that it covers two of the three branches of the federal government — the presidency and the judiciary.  It’s also a broad course that will be invaluable to students teaching introductory politics given that it covers intergovernmental relations such as federalism, judicial review, and the separation of powers.
This course crosses disciplinary divides by using “political development” the state and society or civic associations as Theda Skocpol put it.  It is a Political Institutions course that treats APD as a methodology with three analytical axes: the roles of ideas or discourse and ideologies, institutions, and civil society.  APD relies on comparative-politics methodology, which is to say the United States must be studied in context with other nations, not alone.  It is conversant with literature on epistemic communities, regime change, and civil societies.  The seminar is also informed by American Studies and Women’s Studies literature, given its emphasis on difference as the United States built a strong nation-state and became a global hegemon.

Pedagogy: Position-paper pedagogy
Requirements:  A Research Component (i.e. a paper that can be turned into an M.A. or a topic for dissertation proposal exploration)
 
WSCP 81000 – Queer Psychology
GC: WED, 9:30AM-11:30AM, 3 credits, Prof. Kevin Nadal
Cross-listed with Critical Personality/Social Psychology.
Queer Psychology will provide an overview of the major issues surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity in the field of psychology. The course will review historical and contemporary contexts of heterosexism and genderism, and its impact on individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ). Using lectures, discussions, self-reflection activities, and other media tools, students will also learn about culturally competent skills in working with these populations.
 
WSCP 81000 – Critical Studies/Perspectives on Immigration
GC: FRI, 2:00PM-4:00PM, 3 credits, Prof. Krystal Perkins   
Cross-listed with Critical Personality/Social Psychology.
The course will consist of engagement with selected readings in postcolonial, critical race, critical discourse analytic theories/perspectives as they relate to immigration. In particular, the course will examine how the language of (e.g., discourse) and the debate around the transnational movement of people are influenced and partly determined by deep-seated legacies of racism and colonialism. The problem posed by the course relates to the persistence and resistance of racist and colonial forms. 

WSCP 81000 – Human Rights and Literature in the Americas
GC: WED, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Vanessa Perez Rosaraio
Cross-listed with Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures.
Human Rights carry one set of popular meanings, that their protections will safeguard the human person from abuse, torture, pain, suffering, and other corporeal deprivation. Despite their immense promise, human rights discourses and norms remain fraught with paradox. Virtually since their inception, critics have decried the many contradictions that trouble human rights and the mechanisms of their internationalization and application. Although some of these paradoxes ensue from legal and other practical challenges of rights enforcement, the philosophical architecture of human rights norms and the definition of the human that organizes them are also composed of structural tensions and inconsistencies. Over the course of the semester, we will explore the convergence of human rights and theories of the human, violence, feminicide, dissent, censorship, vulnerability and precarity, and migration and mobility in theoretical and literary texts. We will think about the politics of reading, literature’s relationship to social justice, and the relationship between aesthetics and politics. Some theoretical readings will include works by Hannah Arendt, Homi Bhabha, Judith Butler, Edward Said, Elaine Scarry, Achille Mbembe, Lauren Berlant, and Giorgio Agamben, among others. We will read literary texts by Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx authors such as Los rendidos (2015) by José Carlos Agüeros, “Las orquídeas negras de Mariana Callejas”(1998) by Pedro Lemebel, Tell Me How it Ends (2017) by Valeria Luiselli, Fuera del juego (1968) and La mala memoria (1989) by Heberto Padilla, The Water Museum (2018) by Luis Alberto Urrea, and Under the Feet of Jesus (1995) by Helena Viramontes, among others.
 
WSCP 81000 – The Cinema of Pedro Almodovar y Guillermo del Toro
GC: WED, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Julian Smith
Cross-listed with Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Cultures.
This course examines the works of contemporary Spain and Mexico's most successful filmmakers, critically and commercially. The aims of the course are industrial, critical, and theoretical. First, Almodóvar is placed in the context of audiovisual production in Spain, while del Toro (as director and producer) is contextualized within the 'golden triangle' of Mexico, Europe, and the US. Second, both cineastes are interrogated for signs of auteurship (a consistent aesthetic and media image), sharing as they do a self-fashioning that takes place, unusually, within the confines of genre cinema (comedy/melodrama and fantasy/horror, respectively). Finally, the course explores how English-language critics have assimilated these two Spanish-speaking directors to debates in Anglo-American film studies that draw on psychoanalysis, feminism, queer theory, and the transnational.
 
Grading is by written exam (25%), student oral participation and presentation (25%) and final paper (50%).

WSCP 81000 – Contemporary Feminist Theories
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Alexandra Juhasz
Cross-listed with MALS.
The Nowheres and Everywhere of Online Feminism: This class will provide a theoretical and hands-on background for considering, using, and remaking space, race and community within feminist cybercultures. You will write about and also within digital technologies and spaces. You will perform an online ethnography. You will be asked to consider the theoretical and activist stakes of translating academic thinking and writing to digital formats. You will produce your own working definitions of feminism, race, space and politics online. You will be asked to make something better. 

WSCP 81000 – Legacies of World War II: The UN and the Ongoing Global Struggle for Civil Rights, Women's Rights, Human Rights
GC: WED, 6:30PM-8:30PM, 3 credits, Prof. Blanche Wiesen Cook
Cross-listed with History.
The Legacy of WWII and the UN, will explore the ongoing struggles for civil rights, women's rights, and human rights -- promised by the creation of the UN and passage of the UNDHR on l0 December l948.  Alas, as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said upon opening the General Assembly in 2018: we are further away from Human Rights worldwide than we were 70 years ago! We will explore the movements, US politics from the Roosevelt era to this treacherous moment -- how did we get here? What are the current movements for hope -- peace and justice?  There are splendid and controversial new readings; student interests &involvements are key.

WSCP 81000 – Slavery and Social Hierarchies in Islamic History
GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Anna Akasoy
Cross-listed with History.
In this class, we will explore social, political, economic, legal, and cultural aspects of slavery in premodern Islamic history. Starting in the late antique Mediterranean, we will consider the emergence of a variety of forms of slavery in the Islamic Middle East, including military slavery, agricultural slavery and the phenomenon of female slaves at Muslim courts. We will end with the complex relationship between Islam and transatlantic slavery. We will consider a range of sources, including legal material and popular literature.

WSCP 81000 – Critical Perspectives on Hope, Love, and Care in Urban Education
GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Rosa Rivera-McCutchen
Cross-listed with Urban Education
Neoliberal “high stakes” accountability measures come at a high cost in urban schools, where low-income Black, Latinx and other minoritized youth are often concentrated. Schools become sites of transactions, rather than sites of transformation. In this course, we will explore a more humanistic approach to urban schooling, focusing specifically on critical conceptions of care, love, and hope. Beginning with the premise that schooling must be explicitly focused on creating equitable and socially just learning environments where educators must actively work to disrupt structural inequality, this course will explore scholars whose work examines (theoretically and empirically) these concepts. Course readings will include, but are not limited to, Tamara Beauboeuf-LaFontant, Camille Wilson, Angela Valenzuela, Paolo Freire, Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Shawn Ginwright and others.

WSCP 81000 – Foucault on Power, Religion, and Sexuality
GC: MON, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Marina Lazreg
Cross-listed with Sociology.

WSCP 81000 – Self and Society: Feminist Theory and the Psychosocial
GC: THURS, 4:15PM-6:15PM, 3 credits, Prof. Lynn Chancer
Cross-listed with Sociology.
 
WSCP 81000 – The Global South and Cinemas of the Americas
GC: MON, 2:00PM-6:00PM, 3 credits, Prof. Jerry Carlson
Cross-listed with Comparative Literature.
In recent decades cultural theorists have embraced the concept of the Global South as a way of exploring the many uneven relations of resources, development, and governance that exist between the wealthy industrial nations and their clients, external and internal. Since World War II a considerable body of narrative film has been created that explores these conditions while issuing from the Global South itself.
 
This course maps and explores the many cinemas of the Global South that have been created in the Americas. Close readings of films will be combined with historical, cultural, and theoretical texts
 
The first half of the course will emphasize foundational works from the 1960s and 1970s: Cuban revolutionary cinema (i.e. Memories of Underdevelopment); Brazilian Cine Novo (i.e. How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman); independent African-American films (i.e. Killer of Sheep); and others.
 
The second half of the course will emphasize the emergent cinemas of recent decades. This may include such films as Guarani (Argentina/Paraguay), City of Men (Brazil), Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia), Sand Dollars (Dominican Republic), Ixcanul (Guatemala), Daughters of the Dust (USA) and Smoke Signals (USA) and Sugar (USA / Dominican Republic). 
 
Critical texts may include writings by filmmakers such as Julio Garcia Espinosa, Glauber Rocha, and Julie Dash as well as theory by Boaventura de Sousa Santos (Epistemologies of the South), Walter Mignolo (Local Histories / Global Designs), Robert Stam & Ella Shohat (Unthinking Eurocentrism), and Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari (Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature), among others.