Online courses directory (12)
This course is an introduction to modern Indian culture and society through films, documentaries, short stories, novels, poems, and journalistic writing. The principal focus is on the study of major cultural developments and social debates in the last sixty five years of history through the reading of literature and viewing of film clips. The focus will be on the transformations of gender and class issues, representation of nationhood, the idea of regional identities and the place of the city in individual and communal lives. The cultural and historical background will be provided in class lectures. The idea is to explore the "other Indias" that lurk behind our constructed notion of a homogeneous national culture.
This course is the continuation of 21F104/108. It is designed to further help students develop sophisticated conversational, reading and writing skills by combining traditional textbook material with their own explorations of Chinese speaking societies, using the human, literary, and electronic resources available at in the Boston area. Some of special features of Chinese society, its culture, its customs and habits, its history, and the psychology of its people are be introduced. The class consists of reading, discussion, composition, network exploration, and conversational practice. The course is conducted in Mandarin.
This course is the continuation of 21F105. It is designed to further help students develop sophisticated conversational, reading and writing skills by combining traditional textbook material with their own explorations of Chinese speaking societies, using the human, literary, and electronic resources available at MIT and in the Boston area. Some special features of Chinese society, its culture, its customs and habits, its history, and the psychology of its people are introduced. The class consists of reading, discussion, composition, network exploration, and conversational practice. The course is conducted in Mandarin.
This subject surveys main currents of European cultural and intellectual history in the modern period. Such a foundation course is central to the humanities in Europe. The curriculum introduces a set of ideas and arguments that have played a formative role in European cultural history, and acquaints them with some exemplars of critical thought. Among the topics to be considered: the critique of religion, the promise of independence, the advance of capitalism, the temptations of Marxism, the origins of totalitarianism, and the dialects of enlightenment. In addition to texts, we will also discuss pieces of art, incl. paintings and film.
In this course students are exposed to history and culture of German-speaking countries through audio, video, and Web materials. It focuses on the expansion of basic communication skills and further development of linguistic competency, and includes the review and completion of basic grammar, building of vocabulary, and practice in writing short essays. Students will also read short literary texts.
International Women’s Voices has several objectives. It introduces students to a variety of works by contemporary women writers from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and North America. The emphasis is on non-western writers. The readings are chosen to encourage students to think about how each author’s work reflects a distinct cultural heritage and to what extent, if any, we can identify a female voice that transcends national cultures. In lectures and readings distributed in class, students learn about the history and culture of each of the countries these authors represent. The way in which colonialism, religion, nation formation and language influence each writer is a major concern of this course. In addition, students examine the patterns of socialization of women in patriarchal cultures, and how, in the imaginary world, authors resolve or understand the relationship of the characters to love, work, identity, sex roles, marriage, and politics.
This course provides an overview of Asian American history and its relevance for contemporary issues. It covers the first wave of Asian immigration in the 19th century, the rise of anti-Asian movements, the experiences of Asian Americans during WWII, the emergence of the Asian American movement in the 1960s, and the new wave of post–1965 Asian immigration. The class examines the role these experiences played in the formation of Asian American ethnicity. The course addresses key societal issues such as racial stereotyping, media racism, affirmative action, the glass ceiling, the "model minority" syndrome, and anti-Asian harassment or violence. The course is taught in English.
This course studies representative twentieth and twenty-first-century texts and films from Hispanic America and Spain. Emphasis is on developing strategies for analyzing the genres of the novel, the short story, the poem, the fictional film, and the theatrical script. The novels read this semester are Magali García Ramis's Felices días, Tío Sergio (1986, Puerto Rico) and Javier Cercas's Soldados de Salamina (2001, Spain). We will study Lorca's play "La casa de Bernarda Alba" (1936, Spain), films from Spain, México, and Cuba, poems by Darío (Nicaragua), Machado (Spain), Lorca (Spain), Hernández (Spain), Vallejo (Perú), Cernuda (Spain), and Luis Palés Matos (Puerto Rico), and short stories from México (by an exiled Spanish writer), Chile, Argentina, and Cuba. Thematic emphasis is on the Spanish Civil War, changing attitudes toward gender, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, and the history of race in the Americas.
This subject serves as a broad introduction to the field of European and Latin American fiction. It is taught in an historical mannerbeginning with the first picaresque novel, Lazarillo de Tormes, and ending with contemporary European fiction. It is designed to help students acquire a general understanding of major fictional modes-from 18th century epistolary fiction, Liaisons dangereuses, to 20th century avant-garde fiction: Cosmicomicsi and Aura. Attention is paid not only to the literary movements these works represent, but also to the subtle interplay of history, geography, language and cultural norms that gave rise to specific literary forms. While the reading load is heavy, the books are compelling.
This course has several purposes. The major concern will be the examination of Spanish culture including Spain's history, architecture, art, literature and film, to determine if there is a uniquely Spanish manner of seeing and understanding the world - one which emerges as clearly distinct from our own and that of other Western European nations.
Within twenty-four hours of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 politicians, artists, and cultural critics had begun to ask how to memorialize the deaths of thousands of people. This question persists today, but it can also be countered with another: is building a monument the best way to commemorate that moment in history? What might other discourses, media, and art forms offer in such a project of collective memory? How can these cultural formations help us to assess the immediate reaction to the attack? To approach these issues, "Out of Ground Zero" looks back to earlier sites of catastrophe in Germany and Japan.
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