Courses tagged with "Undergraduate" (16)
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.
Americans have historically preferred to think of the United States in classless terms, as a land of economic opportunity equally open to all. Yet, social class remains a central fault line in the U.S. Subject explores the experiences and understandings of class among Americans positioned at different points along the U.S. social spectrum. Considers a variety of classic frameworks for analyzing social class and uses memoirs, novels and ethnographies to gain a sense of how class is experienced in daily life and how it intersects with other forms of social difference such as race and gender.
We will explore the changing political choices and ethical dilemmas of American scientists from the atomic scientists of World War II to biologists in the present wrestling with the questions raised by cloning and other biotechnologies. As well as asking how we would behave if confronted with the same choices, we will try to understand the choices scientists have made by seeing them in their historical and political contexts. Some of the topics covered include: the original development of nuclear weapons and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; the effects of the Cold War on American science; the space shuttle disasters; debates on the use of nuclear power, wind power, and biofuels; abuse of human subjects in psychological and other experiments; deliberations on genetically modified food, the human genome project, human cloning, embryonic stem cell research; and the ethics of archaeological science in light of controversies over museum collections.
Asia in the Modern World: Images and Representations examines visual representations of Asia, interpreting them from both historical and modern contexts. This course is based around using the Visualizing Cultures website. Case studies focus on Japan and China from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries.
This course studies the transformation of childhood and youth since the 18th century in France, as well as the development of sentimentality within the family in a francophone context. Students will examine the personification of children, both as a source of inspiration for artistic creation and a political ideal aimed at protecting future generations, and consider various representations of childhood and youth in literature (e.g., Pagnol, Proust, Sarraute, Lave, Morgievre), movies (e.g., Truffaut), and songs (e.g., Brel, Barbara). This course is taught entirely in French.
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.
Students in this course will examine short stories and short novels published in France during the past 20 years, with emphasis on texts related to the dominant social and cultural trends. Themes include the legacy of France's colonial experience, the re-examination of its wartime past, memory and the Holocaust, the specter of AIDS, changing gender relationships, new families, the quest for personal identity, and immigration narratives. This course is taught in French.
This seminar considers "difference" and "sameness" as they have been conceived, experienced, and regulated by peoples of the Middle East, with a focus on the 19th and 20th centuries. The first half discusses the Ottoman Empire by exploring how this multiethnic, polyglot empire survived for several relatively peaceful centuries and what happened when its formula for existence was challenged by politics based on mono-ethnic states. The second half of the course focuses on post-Ottoman nation-states, such as Turkey and Egypt, and Western-mandated Arab states, such as Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Iraq. Finally, the course concludes with a case analysis of Israel.
An introduction to the cross-cultural study of ethnic and national identity. We examine the concept of social identity, and consider the ways in which gendered, linguistic, religious, and ethno-racial identity components interact. We explore the history of nationalism, including the emergence of the idea of the nation-state, as well as ethnic conflict, globalization, identity politics, and human rights.
This course explores stereotypes associated with Asian women in colonial, nationalist, state-authoritarian, and global/diasporic narratives about gender and power. Students will read ethnography, cultural studies, and history, and view films to examine the politics and circumstances that create and perpetuate the representation of Asian women as dragon ladies, lotus blossoms, despotic tyrants, desexualized servants, and docile subordinates. Students are introduced to the debates about Orientalism, gender, and power.
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 examines major social and political trends, events, debates and personalities which help place aspects of contemporary French culture in their historical perspective through fiction, films, essays, newspaper articles, and television. Topics include the heritage of the French Revolution, the growth and consequences of colonialism, the role of intellectuals in public debates, the impact of the Occupation, the modernization of the economy and of social structures. The sources and meanings of national symbols, monuments, myths and manifestoes are also studied. Recommended for students planning to study abroad. Taught in French.
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.
This course includes surveys for both cinematic and literary representations of diverse eras and aspects of Japanese culture such as the classical era, the samurai age, wartime Japan and the atomic bombings, social change in the postwar period, and the appropriation of foreign cultural themes, with an emphasis on the modern period. The directors include Akira Kurosawa and Hiroshi Teshigahara. The authors include Kobo Abe and Yukio Mishima. The films are shown with subtitles in English. The course is taught in English.