Middlebury

 

Fall 2011

AMST 0209/ENAM0209: American Literature and Culture: Origins-1830 (Pre-1800)

Roberto Lint Sagarena

A study of literary and other cultural forms in early America, including gravestones, architecture, furniture and visual art. We will consider how writing and these other forms gave life to ideas about religion, diversity, civic obligation and individual rights that dominated not only colonial life but that continue to influence notions of "Americanness" into the present day. 3 hrs. lect./dics.

 

AMST0252A-F11/ENAM0252A: African American Literature

Will Nash

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

 

AMST 0302: Love, Sex, Race, and Disability

Susan Burch

In this course we will explore the connections between gender and sexuality, race, and disability. Culture and representation, understandings of diversity and difference, and contexts (political, social, and historical) will provide central areas of study. Comparing and integrating topics and perspectives, we will critically analyze the constructions and politics of identity (and multiple identities) and historical perspectives on gender and sexuality, race, and disability. We also will consider the impact of education and activism, as well as the meanings of intimate relationships across and between genders and sexualities, races, and disabilities. Our work will foster a fundamental reexamination of American life and history through its study of bodies and minds, identities, languages, cultures, citizenship and rights, power and authority, what is a "natural" and "unnatural." This course will draw on diverse sources, including documentary and Hollywood films, poetry and short fiction, academic texts, such as Freakery, Gendering Disability and Disability and the Teaching of Writing, and memoirs, such as Eli Clare's Exile and Pride.

 

AMST0303A-F11:Visions of Citizenship

Holly Allen

Who has access to U.S. citizenship? What obligations and entitlements accrue to individual citizens? How have U.S. civic ideals changed over time? In this course we will examine conflicts and continuities in the definition of U.S. citizenship. Drawing on political theory and on contemporary political discourse, we will interrogate traditional views of U.S. citizenship and consider communitarian, social democratic, feminist, and multiculturalist alternatives. Throughout the course, we will examine how representations of U.S. civic culture in literature, art, film, and other media contribute to larger citizenship debates. 3 hrs. lect.

 

ENAM 270 – Reading Postcolonial Literature

Yumna Siddiqi

The purpose of the course is to examine a cross-section of the literature that has been marked by the experience of European colonialism and its aftermath. In addition to discussing a range of writing from South Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, we will explore the criticism and the theoretical debates that this postcolonial literature has spawned. Topics will include orientalism, colonial discourse analysis, critiques of colonialism, resistance theories, subaltern studies, nationalism, postcolonial gender studies, diaspora, and globalization. We will discuss novels by Monica Ali, Indra Sinha, Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, Assia Djebar and others. 3 hrs. lect/disc

 

FYSE1350A-F11: Prejudice  and discrimination in American Society

Carlos Vélez-Blasini

Prejudice and discrimination have long been the focus of psychological research yet clear solutions to these intractable problems remain elusive. In this course we will explore the origins of stereotypes and their relationship to prejudice and discrimination. We will consider old fashioned and modern prejudice, explore its prevalence, its social and personal consequences, as well as possible avenues to reduce or eliminate its existence. We will read the research literature, news stories, legal writings, fiction, and social commentary. Although we will focus primarily on ethnicity and race, prejudice based on sex, sexual orientation, and other dimensions will also be considered. Seminar. Prof.

 

FYSE1246A-F11: Race & Difference in Twentieth-Century America

William Hart

In this seminar we will investigate "race" as a social, cultural, and political phenomenon in the United States across the 20th century. By examining a variety of primary source material, including novels, autobiographies, and essays (e.g., Nell Larson’s Passing, 1929; Piri Thomas’s Down These Mean Streets, 1967; Ruth Frankenberg’s White Women, Race Matters, 1993; and Vicki Nam’s Yell-Oh Girls, 2001), and films (e.g., Birth of a Nation, 1915; Imitation of Life, 1959; and Crash, 2004), we will analyze how the concept of race changed over time and how individuals and institutions defined and experienced race. Themes and topics to be covered include race and popular culture, race and identity, and race and social relations. 3 hrs. sem.

 

FYSE1340A-F11: Race, Class, and Educational Inequality

Tara Affolter

In this course we will critically examine race and class inequality in education. We will primarily focus on the U.S. education system, paying particular attention to the often-confusing labyrinth that students and families must navigate. Students will be asked to reflect on their own educational path and how their social position has potentially shaped their educational experiences, opportunities, and outcomes. We will engage theatre, hip-hop, and popular media sources to interrogate the ways schools, students, and teachers are portrayed. Finally, we will examine the impact of educational policies on students, families, and teachers

 

HIST0427A-F11:Diaspora and Trans-nationalism

Darién Davis

This course will examine the complex political, economic, and cultural causes and impacts of the movement of peoples across national boundaries in the 20th century. We will compare and contrast the dispersal of intellectuals, artists, performers and activists in three major historical timeframes: 1. the Spanish Civil War and World War II; 2. The Cold War; and 3. Contemporary transnational communities. We will not only examine the ways in which dispersed groups interact with states and dominant societies, but also critically examine inter-diasporic relations, the generational relations between established minority communities and new diasporic groups, and diasporic relations with “homeland.” Examples will come from Jewish and African cases in Latin America and Latin American examples in Europe and the United States . Students will choose a research topic on a diaspora community of their interest. 3 hrs. sem.

 

MUSC 232/ AMST0232A-F11: Music in the United States

Larry Hamberlin

In this course we will examine folk, classical, and popular music in the United States from the 18th century to the present. We will use historical and analytical approaches to gain insight into the music, the musicians, and the social and cultural forces that have shaped them. Students will explore music’s relation to historical events, other artistic movements, technological changes, and questions of national identity and ethnicity. Topics may include music in the British colonies, minstrelsy, American opera and orchestras, the rise of the popular music industry, and the experimentalist composers of the 20th century. (Assumes ability to read music.) 3 hrs lect./disc.

 

RELI 0272 African American Religious History

Mary Kay Cavazos

This course offers an introduction to African American religious experiences in the United States. We will look at religious practices "imported" from Africa, slave religion, the growth of independent black denominations, the Back to Africa movement, black “new religious movements” (such as Garveyism and the Nation of Islam), and the religious dimensions of the Civil Rights Movement. As we explore the influence of forced immigration, slavery, gender, segregation and freedom movements on the shape of African Americans' religious experiences, three questions will inform our discussion. What is "African" about African American religions? As a group excluded from many of the freedoms of American society, what is "American" in African American religious experiences? How are notions of religion and religious practice nuanced when applied to these particular cultural contexts? 3 hrs. lect

 

SOAN0191Y-F11: Introduction to Sociology of Gender

Laurie Essig

What is gender and what would a sociology of it look like? When did gender become a category of inquiry and more importantly why? We will look at how the meaning and performance of gender changed over time, from Classical Greece to Victorian England, to the contemporary U.S. We will also look at how gender changes depending on one’s position in social space, e.g. one’s race, class, sexuality, and nationality. Finally, we will consider how the need to look at gender is the result of a variety of discourses, from psychoanalysis to capitalism to movements of liberation such as feminism. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

 

SPAN0391A-F11: Latin American Cultural Studies: Texts and Concepts

Irina Feldman

In this course we will apply Cultural Studies methodology in various cultural contexts, focusing on Latin America. Among the concepts studied will be those of nation, hegemony, postcolonialism, subalternism, performance, heterogeneity, hybridity, aesthetics, race/ethnicity, and gender. Each concept will be used in an analysis of a literary, cinematic, performative, and other artistic work. We will be analyzing, among others, the literary works of Faustino Sarmiento, José Martí, Pedro Lemebel, Manuel Puig, and José María Arguedas; the cinema of Jorge Bodansky and Barbet Schroeder; as well as testimonial literature and various other forms of popular culture. lect./ disc.

 

SPAN 384 Environment in Spanish American Fiction

Miguel Fernandez

This course reconsiders the role of place and the environment in a series of Spanish American novels in which the physical setting plays a significant role. We will explore the different ways in which the natural world has shaped a sense of place-bound identity and how Spanish American identities have been tied to the natural landscape; how the prairies, the jungle, the mountains, the desert, and the water contributed in shaping individuals and a sense of place. Topics include the influence of Romanticism and idealized landscapes, the autochthonous novel and regionalism, reactions to modernization, how human history is implicated in natural history, ecocriticism of the 1990s, and our own experiences of wilderness and wildness. Authors may include Isaacs, Rivera, Quiroga, Carpentier, Vargas Llosa, García Márquez, Sepúlveda, and Ferré. Satisfies the IS advanced language requirement in Spanish. (At least two Spanish courses at the 0300 level or above, or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc

 

SPAN 438 Latin American Transnational Experience

Gloria Gonzalez Zenteno

In this course we will focus on contemporary Latin American authors writing in the U.S. about transnational identities, bilingualism, migration, and otherness. These authors distinguish themselves from Latino writers, strictly defined by their language choice and by an ironical, playful emotional distance from both their places of origin and the U.S. environment. Through this they question assumptions commonly associated with a perceived Latino identity. Students will produce fiction, one piece of which will be based on service interactions with Mexican immigrants in Vermont. (Senior majors with at least two Spanish courses numbered 0350 or above, or by waiver.) 3 hrs. sem

 

WAGS0336A-F11/ FMMC0336A-F11: From Bollywood to Hollywood: Gender and the South Asian Diaspora

Sujata Moorti

In this course we will examine the South Asian diasporic experience in Britain and the United States. We will consider this along two dimensions. First, we will examine how this experience has been represented in popular culture, specifically in film and other visual media. Second, we will examine the role of gender in shaping these experiences. Do men and women understand and apprehend this diasporic identity differently? If so, how?

 

WAGS0200A-F11: Foundations in Women's and Gender Studies

Sujata Moorti

This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of women's and gender studies. Examining gender always in conjunction with the categories of race and class, the course foregrounds how inequalities are perpetuated in different fields of human activity and the creative ways in which groups have resisted these processes. The course is organized in sections to illuminate the effects of particular social institutions and structures on our gendered lives. Each section will introduce a broad overview of feminist interventions in different fields of inquiry. Cumulatively, the course reveals the importance of gender as an analytical category to understand social reality and to comprehend important areas of culture. 3 hrs. lect

 

WAGS0201A-F11 / WRPR0201A-F11:Writing for Social Change

Catharine Wright

This course explores the many choices we face as speakers and writers when communicating across race, gender, sexuality, religion, culture, class and ability. Drawing on works by W. E. B. Dubois, James Baldwin, Beverly Tatum, Paulo Freire, Dorothy Allison, Arundhati Roy, Amy Tan, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, Desmund Tutu, and others, the class explores a range of genres and voices and examines patterns of domination and subordination in diverse cultural contexts. Students will learn strategies for both creative and critical writing and respond to formal and informal writing assignments. The class will hold occasional writing workshops, and final projects will provide opportunities for collaboration