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Related Courses

The list of courses below spans numerous departments, disciplines, and fields of inquiry highlighting how race and ethnicity, while intersecting with gender, sexuality, class/labor, and (dis)ability, pervade public and private life, cultural production, institutional power, and environmental politics. The breadth of offerings allows students to critically examine racializing processes, discursive formations of race and ethnicity, racial and ethnic power structures, and praxes of identity, while also interrogating modes of resistance and the enactment of social justice.

Spring 2020


AMST 0175 - Immigrant America (Prof. Rachael Joo)

*Immigrant America* In this course we will trace American immigration history from the late 19th to the turn of the 21st century, and examine the essential place immigration has occupied in the making of modern America and American culture. The central themes of this course will be industrialization and labor migrations, aftermaths of wars and refugees, constructions of racial categories and ethnic community identities, legal defining of "aliens" and citizenship, and diversity in immigrant experiences. To explore these themes, we will engage a range of sources including memoirs, novels, oral histories, and films.


AMST 0310 - Livin' for the City (Prof. William Nash)

*Livin' for the City* In this course we will engage the idea of the "ghetto" as constructed through literature, film, music, and television. Our exploration will relate this concept to geographic spaces and to a socially-constructed set of ideas about urban African American spaces and communities. We will combine critical textual analysis with fundamental concepts from human geography and social history to explore shifting conceptions of the “ghetto”, consider its impact on urban African American space, and examine how the responses of urban black American artists affect, resist, and change its imaginative geography. 3 hrs.

AMST 0358 - Reading Slavery and Abolition (Prof. William Nash)

*Reading, Slavery, and Abolition* In this course we will study both black and white writers' psychological responses to, and their verbal onslaughts on, the "peculiar institution" of chattel slavery. We will work chronologically and across genres to understand how and by whom the written word was deployed in pursuit of physical and mental freedom and racial and socioeconomic justice. As the course progresses, we will deepen our study of historical context drawing on the substantial resources of Middlebury's special collections, students will have the opportunity to engage in archival work if they wish. Authors will include Emerson, Douglass, Jacobs, Thoreau, Stowe, Walker, and Garrison. 3 hrs. sem. /(Diversity)/

ECON 0405 - Economics of Discrimination (Martin Abel)

*Economics of Discrimination* In this seminar we will explore the economics of discrimination from both theoretical and empirical perspectives. After reviewing the main theoretical frameworks, we will discuss recent empirical studies on issues of discrimination associated with race, ethnicity, gender, or nationality, focusing on applications in the labor market. We will then investigate to what extent inter-group contact or policies such as quotas or affirmative action can address discrimination. Students will explore a specific topic of interest (e.g., police violence, sexual orientation, sport, education, etc.) in more detail and develop a research proposal. (ECON 0211 and ECON 0255 or ECON 0240) 3 hrs. sem.


EDST 0300 - Models of Inclusive Education (Prof. Tara Affolter)

*Models of Inclusive Education* In this course we will focus on strategies and techniques for including students with diverse learning styles in general education environments. Legal, theoretical, philosophical, and programmatic changes leading toward inclusive models of education will be approached through a historical overview of special education for students with disabilities. Additionally, the course works to expand notions of inclusion such that students' multiple identities are incorporated into all learning. Emphasis is given to the active learning models and differentiated curriculum and instruction to accommodate a range of learners with diverse disabilities, abilities, and identities. (EDST 0115 or SOAN 0215 or SOCI 0215 or AMST 0105).


ENAM 0286 - Race Dystopia Fiction (Prof. Jennifer Wang)

*Race, Dystopia, and Contemporary Fiction* What happens to race after the world ends? From environmental disasters to zombie invasions, the radical breakdown of human life haunts the cultural imaginary. A specific development within this cultural trend is the emergence of writers of colour who have turned to the dystopian and speculative genre. We will read such literary texts to consider representations of racial subjectivities, such as the lived experiences and perceptions of race, outside the conventions of realism. Themes that we will cover include: Afrofuturism, techno-Orientalism, zombies, cyborgs, climate change, and borderlands. Authors include: Junot Diaz, Colson Whitehead, Chang-rae Lee, Octavia Butler, Larissa Lai, Amitav Ghosh, and Louise Erdrich.  3 hrs. lect/disc.


ENAM 0373 - Postcolonial Literature City  (Prof. Yumna Siddiqi)

*Postcolonial Literature and the City* In this course we will examine a number of novels from the 20th and 21st centuries that are about life in the city, taking a global and trans-national approach. We will explore formations of urban life alongside transformations in the novel as a genre. We will put these novels of city life in dialogue with critical theory—that is, theories of culture and society that have as their aim human emancipation (for example, Marxism, feminism, critical race studies, and postcolonial studies). The novels we read will reflect important literary movements such as realism, modernism, and postmodernism. (Not open to students who have taken ENAM 0447) /(Diversity)/
0.000 OR 1.000 Credit hours


ENAM 0462 - Lit Migration Displacement (Prof. Yumna Siddiqi)

*Literature of Displacement: Forced Migration, Diaspora, Exile* We will study contemporary postcolonial literature and theory about migration, displacement, exile, and diaspora. Spurred variously by force, necessity and desire, migrants leave their homes and homelands with regret and with hope. Writers address the historical forces that shape these migrations: decolonization and neo-colonialism, globalization, warfare, dispossession, political violence, religious conflict, and environmental catastrophe. These writers experiment with narrative form and poetic language to explore the experiences of undocumented immigrant workers, exiles, refugees and well-to-do migrants. We will examine constructions of identity, history, community and place in texts by Anzaldua, Ali, Darwish, Diome, Patel, Gomez Pena, Said, Rushdie, Spivak, and others.


ENAM 0464 - Radical Fictions (Prof. Jennifer Wang)

*Radical Fictions: Protests, Refuge, Revolution* The key premise of this course is to ask: Why are successful minoritarian revolutions so difficult to imagine in contemporary literature? Minority authors often depict social movements in which those who were previously oppressed assume positions of power and self-determination. From historical precedents (the Black Power movement) to speculative societies that exclude men (feminist utopias), we will examine literary representations of political movements, refuges, and revolutions defined by power reversals. What can we learn from their shortcomings as much as their successes? Theoretical works include: Hegel, Marx, Fanon, Hannah Arendt, Valerie Solanas, and the Combahee River Collective. Authors include: Danzy Senna, Paul Beatty, Susan Choi, Don Lee, R. O. Kwon, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. 3 hrs. sem.


FOOD 0281 - Food, Power, & Justice (Prof. Molly Anderson)

*Food, Power, & Justice* Students in this course will learn to analyze power and justice in relation to the food system. We will explore cases in which groups of people are experiencing injustice in opportunities to make a living through food production or other food system activities, inequitable access to food and resources, inequitable health outcomes related to diet (e.g., diabetes, obesity), and silencing or lack of political participation. Students will investigate organizations of their choice that are working to remedy inequitable power relations in the food system, and will present their findings to the rest of the class. (formerly INTD 0281) 3 hrs. lect.


FYSE 1534 - Who Owns Culture? (Prof. Amit Prakash)

*Who Owns Culture? History, Culture and Decolonization* Modern European imperial states devoted considerable time and effort to creating the norms and forms of European life in their colonies. This involved establishing European schools, languages, literature, music, dress, and art as superior to the indigenous cultures of the colonies. During the era of decolonization many thinkers from the colonies began to argue that political emancipation would also require a cultural emancipation. To decolonize the state one had to decolonize one’s state of mind. How could this be achieved? Who “owns” culture? These and other questions will be pursued through the writings of Gandhi, Césaire, Fanon, Memmi, Thiong’o, and others. 3 hrs. sem.


GSFS 0172 - Writing, Gender & Sexuality (Prof. Catharine Wright)

*Writing Gender and Sexuality* In this course we will read, discuss, and write creative works that explore issues of gender and sexuality. Readings will include stories, poems, and essays by James Baldwin, Ana Castillo, Peggy Munson, Eli Clare, Junot Diaz, Audre Lorde, Michelle Tea, Alison Bechdel, and others. The course will include writing workshops with peers and individual meetings with the instructor. Every student will revise a range of pieces across genres and produce a final portfolio. We will do some contemplative work and will engage with a visiting choreographer to explore movement in conversation with writing, gender, and sex. 3 hrs. lect.


GSFS 0303 - Outlaw Women (Prof. Catharine Wright)

*Outlaw Women* In this course we will read and discuss literary texts that feature women who defy social norms: daring survivors, scholars, “whores,” queers, artists, servants, revolutionaries. Texts include Powell’s /The Pagoda/, Duras’s /The Lover/, Lorde’s /Zami/, and Nafisi's /Reading Lolita in Tehran/. The course will take postcolonial and global approaches to desire and difference and to narratives of resistance, rescue and freedom. We will discuss rhetorical practices, such as écriture féminine, and readerships, such as women’s book groups, in national and global contexts. Students will develop their critical imaginations through discussion, contemplation, research, and analytical and creative writing. (Any one GSFS Course) (Critical Race Feminisms; National/Transnational Feminisms) 3 hrs. lect.


GSFS 0320 - Feminist Theory (Prof. Sujata Moorti)

Feminist Theories comprise a vast and diverse body of scholarship that is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. The thread that unites this work is a focus on issues of gender, sexuality, corporeality, and sexual differences (all categories which are always already raced and classed). Rather than try to rehearse a body of work that has evolved over the last two centuries, the course is designed to provide an overview of some exemplary work from various strands of feminist theory. This semester the course readings and assignments are designed to provide a historical overview as well as a contemporary perspective on recurrent concerns among feminists in the first and third worlds. Thus, we will talk about issues that feminists have resisted in practice and in their politics. Through historical texts we will tease out some of the concerns that reanimate the present. Working within an intersectional and transnational perspective, course materials will examine: (1) the feminist economy of dissidence and solidarity; (2) the relevance of a materialist analysis to our understandings of choice, freedom, and agency; and (3) the transnational circuits of resistance and activism. Course readings will locate feminist theories in relation to histories of colonialism and postcolonialism, as well as theories of nationalism and globalization. Prerequisite:  The course assumes a basic background to the key issues animating the field of gender and sexuality studies. Students should have completed either The Sociology of Gender (0191) or Foundations in Women and Gender Studies course (0200).


GSFS 0329 - Politics of Reproduction (Prof. Carly Thomsen)

*The Politics of Reproduction: Sex, Abortion, and Motherhood* In this course we will examine contemporary reproductive issues both in the United States and around the world. We will work to understand both how reproductive politics are informed by broader cultural ideas regarding gender, race, class, ability, sexuality, and geography and also how ideas about reproduction reinforce conceptions of these very identity markers and ways of experiencing the world. Because requirements for being considered a “good” woman are intimately tied to what it means to be a “good” mother, challenging dominant understandings of gender and sexuality requires critical engagement with ideas about reproduction. 3 hrs. lect. /(Critical Race Feminisms, National/Transnational Feminisms)/


GSFS 0425 - Men and Masculinities (Prof. Laurie Essig)

*Men and Masculinities* In this course we will consider the creation and performance of masculinities in the American context.  We will ask how men are made and how that making relies on class, race, sexuality, and nation. We will begin with early capitalism and the birth of the ideal man as “market man.”  We will then look at how ideal masculinity depends on the creation of “degenerate” men, like the myth of the hyper-masculinized Black male “beast” and the creation of the mythic mannish lesbian.  We will then trace these late 19th century men and masculinities into our current moment of political machismo, trolling misogyny, bromance, feminist men, hipster men, dandy bois, transmen, and more.  Readings will include: Michael Kimmel, /Guyland/; C.J. Pascoe and Tristan Bridges, /Exploring Masculinities: Identity, Inequality, Continuity and Change/; C.J. Pascoe, Dude, /You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School/; Judith Halberstam, /Female Masculinity/, and bell hooks, /We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity/.  (GSFS 0191 or GSFS 0200 or GSFS 0289) 3 hrs. sem. /(Critical Race Feminisms)/


HIST 0225 - African American History (Prof. William Hart)

*African American History* This course will explore the history of the African American people from the slave trade to the present. It will examine the process of enslavement, the nature of American slavery, the meaning of emancipation, the response to the rise of legalized segregation, and the modern struggle for equality. Special attention will be given to placing the African American story within the context of the developing American nation, its institutions, and its culture. 3 hrs. lect./disc.


HIST 0391 - Native American / Imagination (Prof. William Hart)

*Native Americans in the American Imagination* In this interdisciplinary seminar, we will examine the changing image of Native Americans in American popular culture from 1800-2000. Through novels, plays, films, photography, advertisements, amusements, sport-team mascots, and museum displays, we will trace and analyze how the American Indian has been defined, appropriated, and represented popularly to Americans from the early republic to the turn of the twenty-first century. We will consider how American popular culture has used over time the image of the American Indian to symbolize national concerns and to forge a national American identity. 3 hrs. sem.


IGST 0478 - Global Cities of the U.S. (Prof. Rachael Joo)

*Global Cities of the United States* In this seminar we will engage the study of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles as "global cities." We will explore each as a site of networks that link populations in the United States to people, things, media, money, and ideas beyond the borders of the nation-state. The principal themes and issues covered during the semester will include the formation of transnational communities, flows of labor and capital cultural production, and religious responses to diaspora. Our interdisciplinary approach to these topics will require students to use methods and theories from both the social sciences and the humanities. 3 hrs. sem.


INTD 0210 - Sophomore Seminar/Liberal Arts (Prof. Melissa Hammerle)

This course is designed for sophomores who are interested in exploring the meaning and purpose of our liberal education as an act of “cultivating humanity” in a fractured world. Our guiding questions will be, in the words of physicist Arthur Zajonc: “How do we find our own authentic way to an undivided life where meaning and purpose are tightly interwoven with intellect and action, where compassion and care are infused with insight and knowledge?” How does this relate to, and how might we deconstruct, the notion of “the good life?” Through an interdisciplinary and multicultural exploration, we will engage our course questions through intellectual discussion, written reflection, and personal, experiential learning practices. There will be significant opportunities for deep conversation as well as regular writing assignments (as forms of critical, creative and reflective inquiry). Readings will include reflections on the ideas and purposes of a liberal arts education; on interpretations of “the good life” (excerpts from Aristotle, sacred texts of different traditions) and engaged action; on social science analyses of contemporary life; texts on the neuroscience of happiness; as well as literary and cinematic representations of lives lived authentically. In this way we will consider how a liberal arts education might foster the cultivation of an undivided life in the context of critical global issues of racial and economic equity and social justice.


JAPN 0280 - Making Sense of Race in Japan (Prof. Linda White)

*Making Sense of Race and Ethnicity in Japan* In this course we will examine and come to understand ideas about ethnicity and race in Japan using a critical historical approach. Probing the categorization of various groups in Japan provides insight into Japan’s diverse population and at the same time helps students see the historical and cultural specificities of racial categories across cultures. Students will read historical and contemporary texts on Korean Japanese, burakumin, new immigrants, and other groups, and examine both the development of these often-marginalized identity categories and the challenges faced by people considered “other” in Japan today. 3 hrs. lect.


PGSE 0385 - Luso-Hispanic Whiteness (Prof. Daniel Silva)

*Deconstructing Whiteness in the Luso-Hispanic World* In this course we will critically examine constructions and realities of whiteness in the Luso-Hispanic world(s), traversing Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean, and Europe. Through different readings, cultural products, and disciplinary lenses, we will grapple with whiteness as identity, as concentration of power, as national and global project, and as a set of discourses impacting gender, sexuality, disability, and labor. We will consider how whiteness is claimed and represented in interwoven contexts of colonialism, slavery, eugenics, nationhood, and late capitalism; paying particular attention to how it is simultaneously decentered and reproduced in narratives of racial exceptionalism, mestiçagem/mestizaje, and post-racialism. (PGSE 215 and SPAN 300 or above, or by approval) Taught in Spanish and Portuguese. 3hrs. lect.


SOCI 0235 - The City and Its People (Prof. Trinh Tran)

*The City and Its People* We all live somewhere, and increasingly we find ourselves living in an urban environment. In this course we will explore current topics in urban sociology, with particular emphasis on the power of place, culture, and community in U.S. cities. We will study the historical, cultural, and political conditions that have shaped contemporary U.S. cities, such as New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. We will examine how cities change and resist change through the lens of such subjects as migration, poverty, urban arts, crime, and education as it pertains to the city. Students will read a variety of ethnographic and sociological materials, in order to gain an understanding of the complexities of both urban life and processes of representation. (formerly SOAN 0235) 3 hrs. lect./disc.


SOCI 0351 - Education and Social Policy (Prof. Trinh Tran)

*Education and Social Policy* School choice programs like charter and magnet schools are dramatically altering the educational landscape in the United States. In this course we will examine the premise that we can overcome the challenges of children living in poor neighborhoods by severing the traditional link between neighborhoods and schools and by providing access to extralocal high-quality schools. But who gets to exercise such choice? Does school choice result in better educational outcomes? We will also explore the relationship between school and neighborhood inequality. How do these two contexts work together to reproduce, intensify, or ameliorate spatial and educational inequities? (formerly SOAN 0351) 3 hrs. lect./disc.


SPAN 0306 - Narratives of Diversity Spain (Prof. Laura Lesta-García)

*Narratives of Diversity in 21st Century Spain* In this course we will explore recent Spanish voices that denounce the inequalities suffered historically by minorities in that country. These narratives strive to criticize oppression and to create a more inclusive space of coexistence. We will analyze the memoirs of the Afro-Spanish activist Desiree Bela-Lobedde and of the Asian-Spanish singer Chenta Tsai. We will also analyze queer cultures in rural spaces, and the controversial use of flamenco by singer Rosalía, among other topics. Finally, through the essay /Ofendiditos/ by Lucía Litjmaer, we will analyze the reactions that these narratives encounter in the current Spanish and international political climate. (SPAN 220 or equivalent). 3 hrs.lect./disc



SPAN 0307 – Ideas & Cultures of Southern Cone (Prof. Nicolas Poppe)

*Ideas and Cultures of the Southern Cone* What’s in a name? A sub-region of Latin America, the Southern Cone consists of three countries marked by cultural, geographical, historical, sociopolitical (dis)connection. In this course we will approach Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay not only as nations, but as a region with extensive transnational connections. Through analysis of a wide-range of cultural products like Ercilla’s early modern epic poem /La Araucana/, Figari’s paintings depicting /candombé/ culture, and films of the New Argentine Cinema, we will study aspects of the cultural identities and intellectual histories of these countries and the region. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc


SPAN 0348 - Afro-Caribbean Music Genres (Prof. Enrique García)

*Afro-Caribbean Music Genres* In this course we will study Afro-Caribbean music genres (eg, reggae, mambo, salsa, merengue, reggaeton, and calypso) and their impact within the region and on the global stage. Our main goal will be to compare the contested theoretical concept of cultural hybridity among the larger Caribbean nations (Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Dominican Republic) and their diasporas. We will also explore how Caribbean musicians and superstars work within the global infrastructure of the music/dance industry, while occasionally managing to counter the hegemonic erasure of the legacy of Black rebellion, worker revolution, nationalism, and racial/gender politics. (SPAN 0220 or 300 level Spanish course) 3 hrs. lect


SPAN 0353 - Socio-Culture of Salsa Music (Prof. Marissel Hernández-Romero)

*Salsa Music and the Assembly of a Collective Self* In this course we will experience Salsa music as a socio-cultural phenomenon as well as an instrument for storytelling. We will discuss topics such as migration, race, gender and mourning as leitmotifs for a collective self that sought a space to narrate its shared experiences in Salsa. Likewise, the relationship between the diaspora in New York and Puerto Rico will be examined. Some of the most well known Salsa hits, along with films and documentaries, literary texts, and cultural theories will be read and examined to strengthen the discussion. By understanding Salsa as a melting pot and/or as a guiso, one of the goals of the course is for students to be able to use musical experiences as a social and cultural manifestation that allows us to understand historical and social events. (Two Spanish courses at the 0300 level or above or by permission) (not open to students who have taken SPAN 1352) 3 hrs. lect.
0.000 OR 1.000 Credit hours


SPAN 0377 - Bilingual Spanish World (Prof. Brandon Baird)

*Bilingualism in the Spanish-Speaking World* What does it mean to be bilingual? In this course we will study bilingualism with a special emphasis on Spanish-speaking bilinguals in Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Course topics will include social, political, linguistic, and psychological aspects of bilingualism. Special attention will be paid to societal bilingualism, language use among a group or community, individual bilingualism, how an individual’s language use changes in different contexts and throughout an individual’s lifespan, and government and educational policies throughout the Spanish-speaking world. We will study texts, speech samples, and media that highlight different aspects of bilingualism. (At least two Spanish courses at the 0300 level or above, or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

SPAN 0381 - Decolonizing Zombies (Prof. Patricia Saldarriaga)

*Decolonizing Zombies!* Zombies are generally depicted as metaphors that represent contemporary affects. In this course we will study a number of zombie movies with a focus on theories of race, gender, coloniality, iconoclasm, and queer temporality. With a strong emphasis on the American continent, the course will have a global approach, which will allow us to delve into issues of neoliberalism, cannibalism, genocide, diaspora, virus spread, and political criticism. The main goal is to expose colonial structures embedded in the representation of zombies, as well as in the making of the genre. Among films included are: /White Zombie/, /The Night of the Living Dead/, /Savageland/, /World War Z/ (United States); /Mangue negro/ (Brazil), /Juan de los muertos/ (Cuba), /El desierto/ (Argentina), /El año del apocalipsis/ (Peru); /Ladronas de almas/, /Halley/ (Mexico); /Descendents/ (Chile), /Rec/ (Spain), /I’ll see You in my Dreams/ (Portugal), /The Girl with All the Gifts/ (United Kingdom); /Train to Busan/ (Korea); /The Empire of Corpses/, and /Versus/ (Japan). (Two 3XX courses or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect.


SPAN 0461 - Colonial Objects (Prof. Raquel Albarrán)

*Colonial Objects: Materiality and the Invention of the New World* Beyond gold and silver, what objects served as the building blocks of Spanish colonialism in the New World? What is the relationship between material culture and mestizaje? How do indigenous and black bodies—the flesh of unsovereign otherness—materialize in the language of empire? In this seminar we will explore the role of objects and material culture in shaping colonial discourse during the long history of colonialism in Latin America and the Hispanic Caribbean. Our primary readings assemble an operational canon: from “discovery” and early-contact narratives by Cristóbal Colón and Fray Ramón Pané to the proliferation of ambivalent discourses about colonial subjects, objects, and others that pose a threat to colonial order, including works by Bernardo de Balbuena, Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Alongside these texts, we will consider as well examples of material culture (maps, visual art, artifacts, commodities, and archaeological remnants) from pre-Columbian and colonial times to the present (Two Spanish courses numbered 0350 or above, or by waiver.) 3 hrs. sem.


WRPR 0203 - Media, Sports, & Identity (Prof. Hector Vila)

*Media, Sports, & Identity* In this course we will examine the relationship between media, sports, and the formulation of one’s identity. We will examine issues pertaining to gender identification, violence, and hero worship. Reading critical essays on the subject, studying media coverage of sporting events, and writing short analytical essays will enable us to determine key elements concerning how sports are contextualized in American culture. Student essays will form the basis of a more in-depth inquiry that each student will then present, using media, at the end of the course. (Not open to students who have taken WRPR 1002)


WRPR 0210 - Social Class & the Environment (Prof. Hector Vila)

*Social Class and the Environment* In this course we will explore the consequence of growth, technological development, and the evolution of ecological sacrifice zones. Texts will serve as the theoretical framework for in-the-field investigations, classroom work, and real-world experience. The Struggle for Environmental Justice outlines resistance models; Shadow Cities provides lessons from the squatters movement; Ben Hewitt's The Town that Food Saved describes economy of scale solutions, and David Owen's The Conundrum challenges environmentalism. Texts will guide discussions, serve as lenses for in-the-field investigations, and the basis for writing. We will also travel to Hardwick and Putney, Vermont, to explore new economic-environmental models.



WRPR 0211 - Trickery, Bodies: Rhetoric (Prof. James Sanchez)

*Trickery, Bodies, and Resistance: The Tradition(s) of Rhetoric* How do female identifying subjects position themselves (and their bodies) rhetorically in a male-dominated society? How do Black and Latinx rhetorical traditions of call-and-response and code-switching connect with and resist classical traditions of oration and stylistics? In this course we will study the tradition(s) of rhetoric by moving from the trickery of sophists to budding works in feminist rhetorics and cultural rhetorics. Students in this class will learn to synthesize the various traditions of rhetoric in historical and contemporary terms and to critically understand cultural customs that exist outside the white, heteronormative Greco-Roman tradition. 3 hrs. lect.



Fall 2019


AMST 0204 - Black Comic Cultures (J Finley)

*Black Comic Cultures* In this course we will explore a range of black comic cultures, analyzing their emergence and transformation from the early 20th century to the present. Specifically, we will examine blackface minstrels of the early 20th century such as George Walker and Bert Williams, Bill Cosby’s performances in the 60s, and the ribald humor of LaWanda Page’s 1970s party records, before moving to the urban scene embodied in television shows such as /Def Comedy Jam/. We will also engage with theoretical materials that help us analyze black comedy as multidimensional, such as John Limon’s /Stand-up Comedy in Theory/, or, /Abjection in America/. (Critical Race Feminisms) 3 hrs. lect.


AMST 0208 - Black Womanhood/Pop. Culture (J Finley)

*Unruly Bodies: Black Womanhood in Popular Culture* In this course we will examine representations of black womanhood in popular culture, analyzing the processes by which bodies and identities are constructed as dangerous, deviant, and unruly. For example, materials will include the work of bell hooks and Patricia Hill Collins to analyze the imagery of black womanhood propagated by the television shows /The Jerry Springer Show/ and /Bad Girls Club/. By contrast, we will also read Saidiya Hartman’s /Scenes of Subjection/ as a lens through which to view “bad” black womanhood as a radically stylized means of redress in the Blaxploitation-era film /Foxy Brown/. (Critical Race Feminisms) 3 hrs. lect.


AMST 0252 - African American Literature (Will Nash)

*African American Literature* This course surveys developments in African American fiction, drama, poetry, and essays during the 20th century. Reading texts in their social, historical, and cultural contexts—and often in conjunction with other African American art forms like music and visual art—we will explore the evolution and deployment of various visions of black being and black artistry, from the Harlem Renaissance through social realism and the Black Arts Movement, to the contemporary post-soul aesthetic. Authors may include Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Ishmael Reed, Toni Morrison, Charles Johnson, and Octavia Butler. 3 hrs lect./disc. /(Diversity)/


EDST 0115 - Education In the USA (Melissa Hammerle)

*Education in the USA* What are schools for? What makes education in a democracy unique? What counts as evidence of that uniqueness? What roles do schools play in educating citizens in a democracy for a democracy? In this course, we will engage these questions while investigating education as a social, cultural, political, and economic process. We will develop new understandings of current policy disputes regarding a broad range or educational issues by examining the familiar through different ideological and disciplinary lenses. 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.


EDST 0215 - Culturally Responsive Pedagogy (Tara Affolter)

*Culturally Responsive Policy and Pedagogy* Building on the work of Gloria Ladson-Billings’ culturally relevant pedagogy, Django Paris developed a theory of culturally sustaining pedagogy that “seeks to perpetuate and foster—to sustain linguistic, literate, and cultural pluralism,” for students in schools (Paris, 2012). In this course we examine how teachers might sustain and support students in classrooms and how educational policy might better address and respond to the rich diversity in our schools and communities. This is a required course for all students seeking a Vermont teaching licensure. (EDST 0115) 3 hrs. lect.


EDST 0305 - Elem. Literacy & Soc. Studies (Tracy Weston)

*Reading & Writing the World: Teaching Literacy and Social Studies in the Elementary School* In this course, we examine what it means to be literate in the 21st century and ways in which all students can be empowered by the texts and teaching they encounter in schools. Students will develop their ability to enact literacy instruction based on current research about how children learn to read and write. We will take a critical look at texts—fiction, nonfiction, and historical—to consider the ways that texts read and write the world, develop abilities to select texts that empower all learners, and analyze retellings of historical events/persons to take into account multiple perspectives. Many class sessions occur onsite at a local elementary school to provide consistent practice and supportive feedback on authentic components of teaching (transportation provided). In addition to class sessions, students will complete field experiences in a K-6 classroom in the Middlebury area to see the workings of an entire class. 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.


ENAM 0115 - Intro Ethnic North Am Lit (Jennifer Wang)

*Introduction to Ethnic North American Literature* This course introduces ethnic Canadian and U.S. literature by investigating how cultural representations of “ethnic America” are formed in relation to its social, political, and material histories. We will begin by analyzing the nested issues of labour, legality, and immigration that have shaped black, Asian, and Indigenous presence within North America. From there, we will move on to the themes of national assimilation, multiculturalism, diaspora, and empire in order to track the trajectory of ethnic Canadian and U.S. literature in the late-20th and 21st centuries. Authors include: Amiri Baraka, Frank Chin, Maxine Hong Kingston, Tomson Highway, Julia Alvarez, Karen Tei Yamashita, Toni Morrison, Viet Nguyen, and Mohsin Hamid. 3 hrs. lect./disc.


ENVS 0208 - Anthropocene Environ. Justice (Daniel Suarez)

*Environmental Justice in the Anthropocene* We live in a moment defined by environmental change. Yet the causes and consequences of these transformations are profoundly uneven. Across race, class, gender, and other forms of difference, “environmental problems” manifest in radically unequal ways, disproportionately burdening some while benefiting others. In this class we will dwell on this central tension in thinking about present socio-environmental crises and what to do about them, from toxic landscapes and biodiversity loss to global hunger and a warming climate. Certainly, these problems pose urgent, even existential problems that demand intervention. Yet common refrains about ‘how to save the environment’ always come with baggage. They have deep histories and hidden assumptions about causes and solutions, justice and inequality, politics and social change, which we will wrestle with together in this course. 3 hrs. lect.


ENVS 0442 - Transnational Feminist Conservation (Mez Baker-Médard)

*Transnational Feminist Conservation* In this course we explore a transnational feminist approach to conservation. We will start by delving into the masculinist history of conservation, and reviewing a set of theories and vocabularies focused on gender, as well as race, class, and ability as key sites of power that effect both human and non-human bodies and ecological processes, from coral reefs to the arctic tundra. We will compare case studies across multiple regions globally on topics such as conservation via population control, feminist food, community-based conservation, and feminist-indigenous approaches to inquiry. We will debate feminist science, examining the conflicting epistemic foundations of objective versus situated knowledge. We will hone our writing skills in a variety of genres including blogs, academic essays, poems, and zines. (ENVS 0211, ENVS 0215 or ENVS/GSFS 209) 3 hrs. sem.

FREN 0330 - Education in the Caribbean (Linsey Sainte Claire)

*Childhood and Education in the Caribbean* In this course we will study contemporary Caribbean writers’ unease with, and denunciation of, a European post-colonial school system implanted in the French Caribbean that ignored the socio-economic and linguistic reality of the population, and therefore alienated them. How did the French curriculum shape the identity of Caribbean children? What methods did these writers use to resist assimilation? By focusing on first-person narratives from a variety of French Caribbean countries we will study topics such as colonization, alienation, diversity, inclusion, and equity. Writers will include Chamoiseau, Condé, Pineau, Victor, and Tyrolien. (FREN 0220-0230 or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect.


FYSE1441A-F19 - The “good” Body (Christal Brown)

*The “good” Body* In this seminar we will examine the roles bodies play in defining our public and private identities. What indications of beliefs, access, and cultural values do our bodies provide? What counts as a “good” body? Who has one (or doesn’t), and why? The many different answers to these and related questions impact every body in our Middlebury community and beyond. Topics will include aesthetic and ideological issues relating to the body; course work includes physically based workshops, oral presentations, written analyses and creative responses. 3 hrs. sem.


FYSE1464A-F19 - Intro Postcolonial Literatures (Yumna Siddiqi)

*The Empire Writes Back: Politics and Literature from Postcolonial Africa, the Caribbean, and South Asia* A hundred years ago, Britain ruled about a quarter of the world’s population, and the British Empire covered approximately a quarter of the earth’s land surface. Though most of the colonies have won formal independence, the effects of global imperialism continue to be felt, and arguably Empire has taken on other forms. In this seminar we will discuss fiction, poetry, and drama by postcolonial writers such as J. M. Coetzee, Derek Walcott, Daljit Nagra, Wole Soyinka, Mahashweta Devi, Jean Rhys, Arundhati Roy, Edward Said, and Frantz Fanon, addressing questions about the nature and effects of colonization, anti-colonial resistance, representation, agency, and power. 3 hrs. sem.


FYSE1534A-F19 - Who Owns Culture? (Amit Prakash)

*Who Owns Culture? History, Culture and Decolonization* Modern European imperial states devoted considerable time and effort to creating the norms and forms of European life in their colonies. This involved establishing European schools, languages, literature, music, dress, and art as superior to the indigenous cultures of the colonies. During the era of decolonization many thinkers from the colonies began to argue that political emancipation would also require a cultural emancipation. To decolonize the state one had to decolonize one’s state of mind. How could this be achieved? Who “owns” culture? These and other questions will be pursued through the writings of Gandhi, Césaire, Fanon, Memmi, Thiong’o, and others. 3 hrs. sem.

FYSE1541A - Theatre Now: 21st Century Playwrights and their Plays (Michole Biancosino)
In this course we will study the works of a diverse group of contemporary American playwrights. These works will give us the opportunity to explore themes, characters, and plots unseen prior to this century, as well as the changing forms, subjects, and voices of the American stage. There will be multiple performance opportunities, including a final creative/oral presentation. Writing assignments will include short critical responses and longer research-based papers. Readings will include works by playwrights such as Paula Vogel, Lynn Nottage, Charles Mee, and others at the forefront of American theatre.


FYSE1550A-F19 - Chinatown, SF, USA  (Joyce Mao)

*Chinatown, SF, USA* This seminar explores the history of San Francisco’s Chinatown from the Gold Rush through the Cold War. As the oldest diasporic enclave of Chinese in the United States, Chinatown has been both a physical site where immigrants of color have built a community and a continually contested symbolic space. Through primary and secondary texts, our examination will engage specifically with Chinatown as a place forged by domestic and international trends, one that illuminates the development of a globalized America. In their final research projects, students will apply these thematic analyses to ethnic communities across the country. 3 hrs. sem.


FYSE1554A-F19 - Global Environmental Racism (Spring Ulmer)

*Literary and Filmic Protest of Environmental Racism* Can Literature and Film Save the Planet? This course focuses on literary and filmic responses to environmental racism. Bearing witness to those whose lives are most endangered, we will learn about environmental justice, economics, migration, globalization, and the anthropology of climate change through comparative study of works authored by Iraqi, Chinese, and African Americans, as well as by indigenous Latin Americans (Andean, Xavante, and Wayuu), Native Americans (Navajo and Sioux), Africans (Ogoni), Indians (Dalit and Adivasi), and Armenians. We will write literature and film reviews, and work incrementally toward the realization of activist essays.


GSFS 0191 - Gender and the Body (Laurie Essig)

*Gender and the Body* What is your gender and how do you know? In order to answer this question, we need to consider how gender is known through biology, psychology, consumer capitalism, and our everyday embodiment. We will also look at how the meaning and performance of gender have changed over time from Classical Greece to Victorian England to the contemporary U.S. Throughout, we will consider how gender does not operate along, but is always entangled with, race, class, sexuality, nationality, and ability. 3 hrs. lect.
0.000 OR 1.000 Credit hours


GSFS 0289 - Introduction to Queer Critique (Carly Thomsen)

*Introduction to Queer Critique* In this course we will examine what is meant by queer critique through exploring the concepts, issues, and debates central to queer theory and activism both in the U.S. and around the world. We will work to understand how queerness overlaps with and is distinct from other articulations of marginalized sexual subjectivity. We will consider how desires, identities, bodies, and experiences are constructed and represented, assessing the ways in which queer theory allows us to examine sexuality and its raced, classed, gendered, geographic, and (dis)abled dimensions. Through engaged projects, we will practice how to translate and produce queer critique. 3 hrs. lect./disc.


GSFS 0324 - Ladies at Work (Hemangini Gupta)

*Ladies at Work: Global Politics of Care, Kinship, and Affect* Why are some forms of work valued more than others? When did people start believing entrepreneurs and innovators when they say, we should “Do What You Love”? Is work life separate from life at home and with friends? This class will journey across global care chains, drawing on feminist writings and ethnographic texts to examine conditions structuring middle class housework in the U.S., garment manufacturing in Sri Lankan factories, call center work in the Philippines, and elite startup innovations in India. Engaging questions of class, race, gender, and heterosexuality, we will learn about forms of feminized work and consider more just alternatives. 3 hrs. sem.


HIST 0210 - History of Sexuality in the US (Lana Dee Povitz)

*History of Sexuality in the United States* In this course we will explore sexuality in relation to race, class, gender, and religion in US history using primary and secondary sources. We will study indigenous sexualities and the impact of settler colonialism, sex work during the American Revolution, sexuality under slavery, the medicalization and criminalization of homosexuality, urban gay subcultures, Cold War sexuality, the politics of birth control, sex during the AIDS epidemic, and sexuality from transgender and non-binary perspectives. Beyond learning historiography, we will examine methodological issues with writing histories of sexuality. When relevant, we will study examples from Europe and Canada. 3 hrs. lect.


HIST 0326 - Hist of U.S. Radicalism (Lana Dee Povitz)

*Histories of U.S. Radicalism, 1917-2017* From communism to libertarianism, Black Nationalism to radical feminism, this seminar examines the many facets of radical social movements in the United States during the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. In particular, we will draw on individual and collective biographies of radicals to explore chronological linkages and social connections between apparently discrete political tendencies. We will also consider the political, social, cultural, and economic contexts that catalyzed these movements, the various forms of backlash and repression they faced, and the changing political uses to which these historical movements have been put. 3 hrs. sem.


HIST 0377 - Comparative Slavery (William Hart)

*Comparative Slavery in the Americas* In this course we will examine the development and decline of the institution of slavery in the United States between 1619 and 1865 by comparing the institution to slavery in the Caribbean and Latin America (principally Brazil). Themes and topics to be explored include: ecology and slavery, religion and slavery, the international slave trade, nationalisms and race, slave communities, slave resistance, emancipation, and freedom. Readings for the course will range from scholarly monographs to slave narratives.


HIST 0433 - Latin America in the 1960s (Darién Davis)

*Latin America in the 1960s: A Digital History Course* Latin America was at the center of the Cold War in the 1960s. U.S. intervention and military repression contrasted with Marxist and other utopian visions for peace and social justice. This seminar will explore these tensions by examining critical political, economic, and cultural watersheds of the era. We will study the influence of personalities such as Franz Fanon, Che Guevara, Elena Poniatowska and movements that challenged the status quo of the post World War II era. We will explore the tensions between nationalism and transnationalism, as well as the dissonance between class and racial utopian ideals and migration and exile. The class will work on digital projects and exercises that allow us to recreate the past and analyze specific case studies. We will immerse ourselves in the new revolutionary and the countercultural aesthetics in art, film, and music in movements such as tropicália, black consciousness, and liberation theology. We will also uncover the links with the historical dynamics in the United States and Europe. 3 hrs. sem.


LNGT 0102 - Intro to Sociolinguistics (Shawna Shapiro)

*Introduction to Sociolinguistics* In this course, we will explore the ways that language creates and reflects social identities. We will look at the contextual factors-social, cultural, geographical, political, etc.-that impact language use and variation. Themes for this course will include linguistic variation, language and identity, language policy, and language in the media. We will consider questions such as: What distinguishes a language from a dialect? How and why do some language varieties become privileged? How do notions of politeness and respect vary across linguistic contexts? In essence, we will learn how language shapes our world, and how we shape language itself.
0.000 OR 1.000 Credit hours


RELI 0271 - Death in Latin America (Justin Doran)

*Death in Latin America* The refrain of colonialism in the Americas was death. In its wake, encounters with dying and the dead shaped national cultures and popular religiosities across the hemisphere. In this course we will explore the diversity of rituals, stories, and devotions surrounding death in Latin America. Through a careful reading of Eduardo Galeano’s The Open Veins of Latin America, we will critically examine the geopolitical entity of Latin America in its historical context while learning how to write powerfully about its social and economic realities. We will cover death across secular and religious formations in Mexico, Haiti, Brazil, Guatemala, and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. 3 hrs. lect.

SPAN 0314 - Student Activism Latin America (Marissel Hernández-Romero)

*Long Live the Students! Student Activism in Latin America and the Caribbean* In this course we will study student activism in Puerto Rico, Chile, Mexico, and the U.S., focusing on Latin students’ activism in the early 20th century to the present. We will consider approaches to student movements and the role those movements have played in shifting social and political values, practices, and institutions. We will also consider what ideologies and strategies were implemented to shape each student movement. By the end of the course, students will be encouraged to relate these struggles to their lives as students.


SPAN 0315 - Hispanic Film  (Enrique García)

This course will provide an introduction to the cinema of Spain and Spanish America. We will study, among other topics: the idiosyncrasies of film language in Hispanic cultures, the relationships between text and image, representation of history, culture and society. Films from Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, Spain, and other countries will be included in the course. Selected readings on film theory and social and political history, as well as various literary works. In Spanish (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.


SPAN 0319 - #CaribeDIY (Raquel Albarrán)

*#CaribeDIY: DIY Aesthetics and Alternative Markets in the Hispanic Caribbean* Recent artistic and cultural productions in the Hispanic Caribbean and its diaspora reflect upon conditions of dislocation, neglect, and decay. They resituate the trinomial “building, dwelling, thinking” (Heidegger) in the tropics to foreground the tensions between precarity and excess that have imprinted their stamp in the region. What aesthetic, political, and social projects emerge from recycling and ruination? What are their emancipatory possibilities? Or, on the contrary, are they themselves condemned to reproduce the logics of the market and its multiple forms of violence? In this course we will examine literary and cultural practices from the Hispanic Caribbean (Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic), from the 1970s to the present, which can be loosely grouped under the concept of do-it-yourself or DIY. Some of the major themes include: intellectuals and materiality; technological disobedience; alternative publics and the rise of cartoneras; migration and objecthood; material poetics, gender, and sexual dissidence; autogestión, collective utopias, and the commons; digital cultures and new media; post-nationalism and decolonial approaches. As a final capstone project, all students will complete two requirements: a short final paper and a DIY audiovisual or digital project (a zine, video, artwork, or sound recording, etc.) inspired by the techniques studied. Previous experience on the latter is not necessary, but willingness to experiment in a self-directed manner is essential. (Spanish 0220 or by placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.


WRPR 0203 - Media, Sports, & Identity (Hector Vila)

*Media, Sports, & Identity* In this course we will examine the relationship between media, sports, and the formulation of one’s identity. We will examine issues pertaining to gender identification, violence, and hero worship. Reading critical essays on the subject, studying media coverage of sporting events, and writing short analytical essays will enable us to determine key elements concerning how sports are contextualized in American culture. Student essays will form the basis of a more in-depth inquiry that each student will then present, using media, at the end of the course. (Not open to students who have taken WRPR 1002).  


WRPR 0205 - Race, Rhetoric, and Protest (James Sanchez)

*Race, Rhetoric, and Protest* In this course we will study the theoretical and rhetorical underpinnings of racial protest in America. We will begin by studying movements from the 1950s and 1960s, moving from bus boycotts to Black Power protests, and will build to analyzing recent protests in Ferguson, Dallas, and New York. Readings will include texts from Charles E. Morris III, Aja Martinez, Shon Meckfessel, Gwendolyn Pough, and various articles and op-eds. Students will write analyses of historical and contemporary protest, op-eds about the local culture, and syntheses on the course readings. 3 hrs. Lect.

Fall 2014
Spring 2012
Winter 2012
Fall 2011
Spring 2011
Winter 2011
Fall 2010
Winter 2010
Spring 2010




Contact Us:

Roberto Lint Sagarena, Director of Intercultural Programs
Fax: 802.443.5508
452 College St
Carr Hall, Middlebury College
Middlebury VT 05753