Spring 2011 Related Courses
AMST0250 How El Norte Became the Southwest
In this course we will study the political and cultural transformation of Northern Mexican/ Southwestern borderlands. Themes and issues will include: Mexican conceptions of frontier, constructions of identity by Tejanos, Californios, and Hispanos, the history of the Mexican American War, demographic transformation, and the role of dispossession and Americanization in cultural change. We will focus on close readings of texts such as: Maria Ruiz de Burton's The Squatter and the Don, The Life and Times of Juaquin Murrieta, Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop, Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona, and the screenplay of the movie Lone Star. (Formerly INTL/AMST 0477). 3 hrs. lect/disc.
AMST0252 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.
AMST0301 Madness in America
It's a mad, mad course. In this course we will focus on representations of madness from colonial to late 20th century America, emphasizing the links between popular and material culture, science, medicine, and institutions. We will consider how ideas about madness (and normalcy) reflect broader (and shifting) notions of identity. Thus, issues of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, community, class, and region will play significant roles in our discussions and critiques. To complement foundational readings, this course will draw on American literature, documentary and entertainment films, music, and materials from the college's special collections.
AMST0305 Hollywood Unbound: The Pre-Code Era, 1930-34
Film historian Thomas Doherty has characterized the films produced in the early "talkie" years, 1930-34, as "the raw stuff of American culture, unvarnished and unveiled." In this course we will explore the cinematic product of that era, by viewing representative films about gender identity and sexual freedom, equality, and "inversion," political corruption, vice, crime, violence, racial and religious transgressions, and how those films reflect the social and cultural realities of Depression America. An understanding of how this period of creative innovation enhanced by sound aroused social and religious indignation leading to Joseph Breen's 1934 enforcement of the Production Code will emerge from our study.
AMST0478 Global Cities of the United States
Rachael Joo and Roberto Lint
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.
DANC0272 Performing Culture: America's Dancing Bodies
This course (which includes film screenings) explores historical and cultural perspectives on American concert and social dance, emphasizing modern and postmodern forms from the late-1950s through the present. Our examination of this period of near-constant change will address a number of questions about "moving bodies" and their relationship to both political and artistic transformations occurring during this time. We will be especially concerned with the themes of gender, race, identity, and community. The course emphasizes cultural analysis, but it will also involve students in movement as a means of addressing the material and bridging scholarly and "embodied" forms of exploration and analysis. 3 hrs.
EDST0102 English Lang in Global Context
In this course, we will discuss and write about the dominance of English in the global landscape. The course reader, The Handbook of World Englishes (2006), offers an interdisciplinary approach to the topic. We will begin the course with a geographic and historical overview of World Englishes and then will examine the impact of English language dominance on individuals and societies, emphasizing themes such as migration, globalization, education, and identity. Throughout the course, we will explore the relevance of these issues to educators, linguists, and policy-makers around the world.
EDST0115 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. (formerly TEDU 0115) 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.
EDST0230 Social Justice in Education
Schools can help break cycles of oppression. In this course students will learn how to enact social justice in education. We will take an interdisciplinary approach in examining interconnected social identities and how they complicate issues of privilege, access, and power in schools. Ultimately, we will explore social justice frameworks that promote equity and justice for all students. Service learning is an integral component of this course that will help students move from theory to action as advocates of social justice. 3 hrs.lect.
FMMC0264 Indian Cinema: Romance, Nation, and Identity
In this course we will use the lens of romance to examine the world's largest film-making industry. Focusing primarily on Hindi cinema produced in Bombay/Mumbai, we will examine the narrative conventions, aesthetic devices (such as song-dance sequences), and other cinematic conventions that are unique to Indian films' narration of romance. Through a historical overview of films from the silent, colonial, and post-colonial eras into the contemporary era of globalization, we will track how the family is configured, the assignment of gender roles, and how national identity is allegorized through family romance. The course includes weekly screenings of films, which will be sub-titled in English. 3 hrs. lect.
HIST0226 History of Modern Africa
We begin looking at revolutions in the early 19th century and the transformations surrounding the slave trade. Next we examine the European colonization of the continent, exploring how diverse interventions into Africans' lives had complex effects on political authority, class and generational dynamics, gender relations, ethnic and cultural identities, and rural and urban livelihoods. After exploring Africans' struggles against colonial rule in day-to-day practices and mass political movements, the last few weeks cover Africa's transition to independence and the postcolonial era, including the experience of neo-colonialism, ethnic conflict, poverty, and demographic crisis. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.
PSCI0202 African Politics
This course surveys the challenges and possibilities that Sub-Saharan Africa presents in our era of globalization. We will look at the process of state formation to appreciate the relationships between historical legacies and political and economic development. Themes include state formation, democratic governance, sustainable development, and Africa in world affairs. Topics such as colonial rule and national responses, ethnic politics, the debt burden, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment), natural resource access and management, and regional organizations will be discussed. Case studies from English-and French-speaking Africa will be used to illuminate such relationships. 3 hrs lect/disc.
PSCI0344 Race, Sex, and the Constitution
In this course we will examine how courts in America have framed and decided cases involving sex and race. We will consider issues such as sex discrimination, birth control and abortion, and sexual orientation, as well as the Court's doctrine concerning heightened levels of scrutiny for suspect classifications and fundamental rights. Course readings will consist of Supreme Court decisions, relevant state supreme court and lower federal court decisions on same sex marriage, and scholarly commentary. We will examine both the legitimacy and the efficacy of judicial power in these areas. Seniors needing to fulfill a political science seminar requirement may arrange with the instructor to do so. (PSCI 0102) 3 hrs. lect./disc. (American Politics)/
PSCI0378 Civil Conflict in Africa and the Middle East
In this course we will examine the sources of civil conflict by investigating prominent cases of civil conflict and civil war in Africa and the Middle East, broadly defined. Major theories of political and ethnic conflict are introduced and applied to specific cases, including South Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Algeria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Students will have the opportunity to make arguments about the causes and solutions to violent conflict, as well as individually examine a case study of their choice in the region. (PSCI 0103) 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Comparative Politics)/
PSYC0405 The Psychology of Racial/Ethnic Minorities
This course will explore areas within the field of psychology that relate to the experiences of racial and ethnic groups currently living in the United States. The course is also designed to be an interdisciplinary one. It will incorporate sociological and psychological perspectives to provide a comprehensive understanding of the issues and problems confronted by members of various racial and ethnic minority groups today. The course will examine issues related to self-concept, cognitive development, family dynamics, assimilation, pluralism, acculturation, biculturalism, bilingualism, and mental health as they pertain to U.S. minorities. (PSYC 0105; open to junior and senior psychology majors, or by waiver only) 3 hrs. sem.
RELI0272 African American Religious History
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.
SOAN0103 Selected Topics in Sociocultural Anthropology
This course introduces students to the varieties of human experience in social life and to the differing approaches and levels of analysis used by anthropologists to explain it. Topics include: culture and race, rituals and symbolism, kinship and gender roles, social evolution, political economy, and sociolinguistics. Ethnographic examples are drawn chiefly from non-Western societies, from simple bands to great agrarian states. The ultimate aim is to enable students to think critically about the bases of their own culture and about practices and beliefs previously unanalyzed and unexamined. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc., 2 hrs. screen
SOAN0315 Sociology of Freakishness
P.T. Barnum taught us that freaks are always made, not born. A freak is a performance of otherness for fun and profit. In this course we will explore how the freak show gave birth to American culture and how American culture continues to organize itself around the display of freakishness. We will ask what configurations of power are at play in the performance of freaks. How do gender, race, nation, sexuality, and class come into play, and how are those forms of power translated into a performance of otherness that forces us to watch it over and over again? 3 hrs. lect./disc.
SOAN0355 Race and Ethnicity Across Cultures
Ethnicity and race are social phenomena that influence group relations, as well as personal identity, in many areas of the world. But what is "ethnicity" and what is "race"? In this course we will explore the varied approaches that have been utilized to understand race and ethnicity across diverse cultural settings. No single explanation of race and ethnicity is all encompassing, and so we will explore a number of different approaches. Among the issues we will examine are: alternative explanations of ethnic and racial identity formation; the causes and consequences of ethnic violence and competition; the connections among ethnicity, gender, and class; and the processes through which distinctions between self and other are created. 3 hrs. lect./disc.
SOAN0376 Politics of Identity
In this course we will introduce students to social diversity in the U.S. as it is reflected in four master identities: class, gender, race, and sexuality. We will examine what these identities mean for group membership, how group membership is attained or ascribed and maintained. Using both historical and contemporary materials, we will explore how identities have developed over time and how they have been challenged. In addition, we will examine how multiple identities intersect and the implications of these intersections have on individual identities. 3 hrs. lect./disc.
SOAN0475 Bad Boys and Wayward Girls: The Social Control of "Problem Youth"
Everyone worries about young people; we scrutinize their clothes, music, friends, grades, drugs, and sports. Families, schools, medicine, and psychology communicate what it means to be a "normal" young person. Reformatories and other disciplinary mechanisms convey the consequences for rule breaking. In this course, we will (1) look at the construction of childhood, the invention of delinquency, the creation of adolescence, and the ideas of normalcy embedded in these categories; (2) consider how class, race, and gender intersect with the mechanisms of social control exerted over those who deviate; and (3) explore how young people resist the social pressures to be good boys and docile girls. (SOAN 0105) 3 hrs. sem.
SPAN0305 Ideas and Cultures of Spanish America
Gloria Gonzalez Zenteno
An analysis of major sociopolitical and cultural elements present in representative Spanish American texts, from the pre-Columbian period of the conquest to the present time. Works to be discussed will illustrate cultural elements that bear upon the formation of present day Spanish American civilizations. (SPAN 0220 or equivalent) fall: 4 hrs. lect./disc.; spring: 3 hrs. lect./disc.
SPAN0315 Hispanic Film
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 equivalent) 3 hrs. lect./disc.
WRPR0201A-S11 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 dis/ability. Drawing on works by W. E. B. Dubois, James Baldwin, Beverly Tatum, Dorothy Allison, Arundhati Roy, Leslie Marmon Silko, 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. Social issues and movements will be examined in relation to place, identity and sustainability. Students will learn strategies for both creative and critical writing through formal and informal assignments and will work together as a writing community in a series of writing workshops. ART LIT