Courses tagged with "Undergraduate" (95)
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 a workshop for students with some experience in writing essays, nonfiction prose. Our focus will be negotiating and representing identities grounded in gender, race, class, nationality, sexuality, and other categories of identity, either our own or others', in prose that is expository, exploratory, investigative, persuasive, lyrical, or incantatory. We will read nonfiction prose works by a wide array of writers who have used language to negotiate and represent aspects of identity and the ways the different determinants of identity intersect, compete, and cooperate.
This interdisciplinary course surveys modern European culture to disclose the alignment of literature, opposition, and revolution. Reaching back to the foundational representations of anarchism in nineteenth-century Europe (Kleist, Conrad) the curriculum extends through the literary and media representations of militant organizations in the 1970s and 80s (Italy's Red Brigade, Germany's Red Army Faction, and the Real Irish Republican Army). In the middle of the term students will have the opportunity to hear a lecture by Margarethe von Trotta, one of the most important filmmakers who has worked on terrorism. The course concludes with a critical examination of the ways that certain segments of European popular media have returned to the "radical chic" that many perceive to have exhausted itself more than two decades ago.
This course studies the relations of affect to cognition and behavior, feeling to thinking and acting, and values to beliefs and practices. These connections will be considered at the psychological level of organization and in terms of their neurobiological and sociocultural counterparts.
Sometime after 1492, the concept of the New World or America came into being, and this concept appeared differently - as an experience or an idea - for different people and in different places. This semester, we will read three groups of texts: first, participant accounts of contact between native Americans and French or English speaking Europeans, both in North America and in the Caribbean and Brazil; second, transformations of these documents into literary works by contemporaries; third, modern texts which take these earlier materials as a point of departure for rethinking the experience and aftermath of contact. The reading will allow us to compare perspectives across time and space, across the cultural geographies of religion, nation and ethnicity, and finally across a range of genres - reports, captivity narratives, essays, novels, poetry, drama, and film. Some of the earlier authors we will read are Michel Montaigne, William Shakespeare, Jean de Léry, Daniel Defoe and Mary Rowlandson; more recent authors include Derek Walcott, and J. M. Coetzee.
This course focuses on the Great Depression and World War II and how they led to a major reordering of American politics and society. We will examine how ordinary people experienced these crises and how those experiences changed their outlook on politics and the world around them.
The Great Depression and World War II permanently changed American politics and society. Topics include: the Great Crash, the New Deal, Roosevelt, the home front, the Normandy Invasion, and the atomic bomb. Explores those events through film, novels, newspapers, and other historical documents.
What is a "life" when it's written down? How does memory inform the present? Why are autobiographies and memoirs so popular? This course will address these questions among others, considering the relationship between biography, autobiography, and memoir and between personal and social themes. We will examine classic authors such as Mary Rowlandson, Benjamin Franklin, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and Mark Twain; then more recent examples like Tobias Wolff, Art Spiegelman, Sherman Alexie, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Edwidge Danticat, and Alison Bechdel.
This class examines how and why twentieth-century Americans came to define the "good life" through consumption, leisure, and material abundance. We will explore how such things as department stores, nationally advertised brand-name goods, mass-produced cars, and suburbs transformed the American economy, society, and politics. The course is organized both thematically and chronologically. Each period deals with a new development in the history of consumer culture. Throughout we explore both celebrations and critiques of mass consumption and abundance.
This course covers the history of American foreign policy since 1914, current policy questions, and the future of U.S. Policy. We focus on policy evaluation. What consequences did these policies produce for the U.S. and for other countries? Were/are these consequences good or bad?
This course provides a basic history of American social, economic, and political development from the colonial period through the Civil War. It examines the colonial heritages of Spanish and British America; the American Revolution and its impact; the establishment and growth of the new nation; and the Civil War, its background, character, and impact. Readings include writings of the period by J. Winthrop, T. Paine, T. Jefferson, J. Madison, W. H. Garrison, G. Fitzhugh, H. B. Stowe, and A. Lincoln.
The television landscape has changed drastically in the past few years; nowhere is this more prevalent than in the American daytime serial drama, one of the oldest forms of television content. This class examines the history of these "soap operas" and their audiences by focusing on the production, consumption, and media texts of soaps. The class will include discussions of what makes soap operas a unique form, the history of the genre, current experimentation with transmedia storytelling, the online fan community, and comparisons between daytime dramas and primetime serials from 24 to Friday Night Lights, through a study of Procter & Gamble's As the World Turns.
This course is a seminar on the history of institutions and institutional change in American cities from roughly 1850 to the present. Among the institutions to be looked at are political machines, police departments, courts, schools, prisons, public authorities, and universities. The focus of the course is on readings and discussions.
This is a seminar course that explores the history of selected features of the physical environment of urban America. Among the features considered are parks, cemeteries, tenements, suburbs, zoos, skyscrapers, department stores, supermarkets, and amusement parks. The course gives students experience in working with primary documentation sources through its selection of readings and class discussions. Students then have the opportunity to apply this experience by researching their own historical questions and writing a term paper.
Western philosophy and theoretical mathematics were born together, and the cross-fertilization of ideas in the two disciplines was continuously acknowledged throughout antiquity. In this course, we read works of ancient Greek philosophy and mathematics, and investigate the way in which ideas of definition, reason, argument and proof, rationality and irrationality, number, quality and quantity, truth, and even the idea of an idea were shaped by the interplay of philosophic and mathematical inquiry.
This course introduces students to some of the major social theories and debates that inspire and inform anthropological analysis. Over the course of the semester, we will investigate a range of theoretical propositions concerning such topics as agency, structure, subjectivity, history, social change, power, culture, and the politics of representation. Ultimately, all theories can be read as statements about human beings and the worlds they create and inhabit. We will approach each theoretical perspective or proposition on three levels: (1) in terms of its analytical or explanatory power for understanding human behavior and the social world; (2) in the context of the social and historical circumstances in which they were produced; and (3) as contributions to ongoing dialogues and debate.
This course examines traditional performances of the Arabic-speaking populations of the Middle East and North Africa. Starting with the history of the ways in which the West has discovered, translated and written about the Orient, we will consider how power and politics play roles in the production of culture, narrative and performance. This approach assumes that performance, verbal art, and oral literature lend themselves to spontaneous adaptation and to oblique expression of ideas and opinions whose utterance would otherwise be censorable or disruptive. In particular we will be concerned with the way traditional performance practices are affected by and respond to the consequences of modernization.
Topics include oral epic performance, sacred narrative, Koranic chant performance, the folktale, solo performance, cultural production and resistance.
This class has been reorganized to focus primarily on the War in Iraq. As in previous years, the class still examines war in cross-cultural perspective, asking whether war is intrinsic to human nature, what causes war, how particular cultural experiences of war differ, and how war has affected American culture.
This class examines how anthropology and speculative fiction (SF) each explore ideas about culture and society, technology, morality, and life in "other" worlds. We investigate this convergence of interest through analysis of SF in print, film, and other media. Concepts include traditional and contemporary anthropological topics, including first contact; gift exchange; gender, marriage, and kinship; law, morality, and cultural relativism; religion; race and embodiment; politics, violence, and war; medicine, healing, and consciousness; technology and environment. Thematic questions addressed in the class include: what is an alien? What is "the human"? Could SF be possible without anthropology?