Below you will find course listing for all IGST courses, as well as courses specific to each track.

General Course List

Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

Introduction to International and Global Studies
This is the core course of the International and Global Studies major. It is an introduction to key international issues and problems that will likely feature prominently in their courses at Middlebury and study abroad. Issues covered will differ from year to year, but they may include war, globalization, immigration, racism, imperialism, nationalism, world organizations, non-governmental organizations, the European Union, the rise of East Asia, politics and society in Latin America, and anti-Americanism. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Foundations of European Studies: Texts, Contexts, and Legacies
In this course we will review major texts that serve as a foundation for understanding core aspects of European societies. Covering the period from the Hebrew Bible to Dante’s Inferno, we will read works of religion, literature, philosophy, and politics such as Homer’s Odyssey, Plato’s Republic, Virgil’s Aeneid, the New Testament, Beowulf, an Icelandic Saga, and Marco Polo’s Travels. We will focus on the context in which these texts were written and the legacies they produced for understanding Europe as a region, discussing themes such as friendship, loyalty, family, home, gender roles, slavery, power relations, and the definition of Europe itself. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR

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Course Description

Political Economy of Contemporary India
Since gaining independence from the British in 1947, and three decades since the launch of the most ambitious set of economic reforms, India has changed dramatically over the years; but what does all this change really mean for the lives of ordinary citizens? This course will explore the political economy context of India’s development, and in particular, the changing texture of democracy, economic transition from the state to the market, gender relations, environmental challenges, India's economic globalization, and a changing world view from the time of India's independence to the present. The course will also capture the tensions inherent in such a multifaceted process of change. We will make use of historical texts and visual sources to map out how local and national economic, socio-political and cultural factors interweave with the global movement of people and ideas in the continued evolution of contemporary India.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

HIS, SOA, SOC

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Course Description

The Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
When did the Jewish-Arab conflict begin? This survey course considers several different moments of its birth, such as the 1880s first wave of Zionist immigrants to Palestine, the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the 1948 and 1967 war and the 1964 establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and other landmark moments. Based on secondary literature and primary textual and visual materials, we will engage with these competing periodizations and analyze various Israeli and Palestinian historical narratives they embody, considering broader themes such as the relations between the historian’s identity and the production of historical narratives, and the dynamic between facts, narratives and ideologies. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, MDE, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Intercultural Jerusalem (1850-Present)
The course approaches the history of modern Jerusalem through the lens of intercultural encounters. Based on primary historical sources and secondary literature, we will examine how the relations between Muslims, Christians, and Jews transformed as the city changed hands between the Ottomans, British, Jordanians, and Israelis. The introductory units will discuss the making of multi-cultural Jerusalem in the late Ottoman period and how, under British rule (1917-1948), its cosmopolitanism was abated by nationalism. We will then discuss its partition following the 1948 War and the emergence of “West Jerusalem” and “East Jerusalem.” Proceeding past 1967, we will examine if and to what extent Jerusalem became an integrated, united city under Israel sovereignty before concluding with a discussion of contemporary trends.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

CMP, HIS, MDE, PHL

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Course Description

Introduction to Latin American Studies
This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to Latin America and Latin American studies. It introduces key debates on the region (and its many subregions) that will feature prominently in other courses not only at Middlebury, but also study abroad. By tracing the region’s historical development, we closely examine issues such as colonialism, economics, identity, imperialism, modes of citizenry, and nationalism, as well as explore how class, commerce, culture, ethnicity, gender, politics, race, religion, and sexuality have come to be understood in Latin America and its study. Critical, scholarly, and theoretical readings will supplement primary texts. 3 hrs. Lect./disc

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2025

Requirements

AMR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Global Challenges and Opportunities
In this course we will learn to identify, describe, classify, analyze, solve, and make predictions about the world’s most pressing problems. Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework, we will select specific issues and learn to compare and connect across them to establish their interconnectedness and complexity. Students will then conduct independent research, collaborate with classmates across disciplines, and use a variety of approaches to come up with innovative solutions to issues most pressing to them. Lectures, class discussions, in-class group work, and oral presentations will guide students’ learning while self-study reports, group oral presentations and issue papers, individual written reflections, and class participation will be used to gauge student learning. By the end of the course, students will be proficient in collaborative problem assessment and problem solving across a variety of global issues.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Global Financial Crime Detection
Behind nearly every international crime involving money lies a money laundering scheme. In this course we will look at how corrupt dictators, terrorists, drug traffickers, sanctions evaders, and North Korean cyber hackers, among others, hide and launder their ill-gotten gains. We will explore traditional money laundering techniques, trade-based laundering techniques, black market peso exchange, Chinese mirror trades, the use of virtual assets, shell companies, etc. Throughout the semester we will also consider red flag indicators of suspicious activity.
This course is designed for students who hope to go into professions where they can use financial crime detection skills (law, banking, crypto compliance, research think tanks, journalism, and security/intelligence).

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

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Course Description

Legal Aspects of Financial Crime
In this course we will explore global efforts used to protect the financial integrity of private businesses and organizations, including regulatory, investigative (by state actors and non-government investigative bodies) and legal aspects of compliance with applicable laws and regulations. We will review corporate governance, US and international investigative and prosecutorial agencies. We will discuss the applicable judicial systems and laws.

Jay Shapiro, ‘77, was a New York City prosecutor for 20 years, specializing in complex investigations, and then was a partner at major law firms handling civil litigation. In 2023, he was a Fulbright US Scholar in Albania, lecturing at the School of Magistrates and the University of Tirana. He’s the author of numerous treatises on criminal practice./

Terms Taught

Spring 2024

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Course Description

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) (Rec)

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021

Requirements

CMP, LIT, SOC

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Course Description

Leadership
What is leadership, and what does good leadership require? In this course we will investigate these important questions, focusing on today’s world context. Examples from politics, business, and community organization around the world will guide our inquiry, help us evaluate the quality of leadership affecting us and others, and enable us to assess our own leadership potential. To achieve these course goals, we will analyze real-world examples of good and poor leadership from around the world, compare across leadership cases, and assess leadership examples against theories of leadership in business, political science, history, and psychology. Class discussions, in-class simulations, short lectures, individual research projects, and oral presentations will inform our learning experience while reflection papers, individual research projects, individual oral presentations, and class participation will help gauge student learning.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

What is Neoliberalism? Historical Origins and Global Itinerary
Neoliberalism is a word that is often invoked in contemporary discourse but is rarely defined. Nevertheless, this ideological project that has shaped social, economic, political, and cultural life across the world in various and meaningful ways has ideological origins in the wake of imperial collapse in the interwar period. How did this very particular ideological outlook and accompanying suite of policy prescriptions become universalized? What were the original arguments for neoliberal reform and how and why did they change over time? In this course, students will read selections from the work of neoliberalism’s key thinkers and study historical, sociological, and economic accounts of its global spread.

Terms Taught

Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Borders, Migration, and Identification in Global Perspective
In this course we will investigate the concept and historical emergence of borders, their relation to mobility, and the identification regimes that grew up around them. After interrogating the implications of what a border can mean and the different forms it can take—ideal and material, of mind and body—we will focus our study on the historical origins of modern state borders, various representations of borders, and case studies that particularly highlight the importance of borders regarding the supervision and the sorting of movement. Topics of study will include cities, physical barriers, refugees, and passportization. Regions of study will include the United States, France, Israel, Angola, and Guantanamo Bay. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Economic Development: Development /as/ Freedom
Much of the world still faces the daily pain of poverty and inequality. Developing countries have to accelerate their growth rates, eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities, create productive employment, and address pressing environmental concerns. We will examine the major analytic and policy issues raised by these challenges and study the need for a productive balance between market forces and positive state action. We will pursue this against the backdrop of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen’s path breaking work, “Development as Freedom” and bring in case studies from Asia, Latin America and Africa. We will focus on different development strategies adopted, choice of policy instruments, methods of implementation, all the while asking if development is indeed an integrated process of expansion of substantive human freedoms that connect with one another for a higher purpose. (ECON 150 or ECON 155, or by permission) 3 hrs. lecture and discussion.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

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Course Description

How Democracies Die
After years of expansion since the end of the cold war, democracy now is in retreat. From young democracies in the developing world to bastions of liberal democracy in Western Europe and North America, democratic political systems are under mounting pressure. What are the fundamental features of this recession? What are the driving forces behind global democratic backsliding? Why do people support autocrats? In this course we will tackle these questions and discuss an array of factors that contribute to global democratic recession including the role of the political elite, failing institutions, eroding norms, and the role of ordinary people. In so doing we will delve deeper into economic and social causes of this decline. Our focus will span from global trends to individual cases such as Venezuela, Turkey, Hungary, India, the United States, and the Philippines. (Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1544) 3 hrs. Sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Terrorism
Terrorism has taken on new dimensions in an age dominated by technology and mass media. It has continued to cause carnage as terrorists around the globe continue to resist violently real or perceived oppression. In this course we will examine the breeding grounds for terrorist activities and interrogate the global connections behind local and national extremist/terrorist groups. We will explore ethno-national and religious terrorist groups from Asia, Europe, and Latin America, and probe white supremacist groups in the U.S. The aim of the course is to develop critical understanding of the phenomenon of terrorism, the local-global connections, and the challenges associated with terrorism in the 21st century. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Ecocriticism and Global Environmental Justice
Many global environmental problems—climate change, biodiversity, deforestation, clean water, and transboundary waste movement—are ineffectively managed. In this course we will take a critical look at these failures and ask: do existing norms and attitudes make effective, sustainable environmental management more difficult? In doing so, we will examine institutions and phenomena such as the sovereign nation-state, free market capitalism, and the authority of scientific knowledge. We will ask whether sustainable management is compatible with these institutions and phenomena, or whether they contribute to environmental injustice, racism, political marginalization, and gender and class inequity by studying contemporary and historic examples. 3 hrs. sem. (International Relations and Foreign Policy)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

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Course Description

The 1940s
The 1940s saw enormous and often violent change: a global, destructive war; ongoing privation after the formal end of hostilities; the intensification of national liberation movements; the founding of the United Nations and the establishment of a new global economic order; the beginnings of the Cold War; new artistic expressions; and the reconfiguration of sexual and cultural mores. In this course we will begin with an overview of the global scale of the second world war and, using a comparative approach, focus on examples of individual suffering. We will then study the war’s effects in select countries around the world. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021

Requirements

CMP, HIS

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Course Description

The Rise of Asia and US Policy
In this course we will study what is arguably the most important strategic development of the 21st century: how the rise of Asia presents security challenges to the region and the United States. Drawing from international relations scholarship, the course will focus on foreign policy challenges and potential responses. These challenges include both traditional security and nontraditional areas such as water and the environment. We will integrate the analysis of these issues in South, East, and Southeast Asia with study of the policy process, in part through simulations and role-playing exercises. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

East Asian Studies Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Latin American Studies Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Middle East Studies Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

African Studies Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

South Asian Studies Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

European Studies Independent Project
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Global Security Studies Independent Project
(Approval Only)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025

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Course Description

Global Gender and Sexuality Studies Independent Project
(Approval Only)

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025

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Course Description

Senior Work
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Russian and East European Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

European Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Latin American Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

East Asian Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

African Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Middle East Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

South Asian Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Global Security Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Only)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Global Migration and Diaspora Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Only)

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Global Gender and Sexuality Studies Senior Thesis
(Approval Only)

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

Global Environmental Change Senior Thesis
(Approval Only)

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023, Winter 2024, Spring 2024, Winter 2025, Spring 2025

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Course Description

The Politics of Gender in Contemporary North Africa
This course will introduce students to complex questions related to gender identities/roles and gender politics in contemporary North African societies with a particular focus on the Moroccan context. It highlights groundbreaking gender concepts through texts, documentaries, Arts and activism. Students will examine varied topics such as history, religion, culture, education, politics, sexuality, youth, development, globalization, social movements and resistance in order to understand the formation of social hierarchies, privilege and gender inequalities. The course will take a multidisciplinary look at gender within the context of Muslim.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Contemporary debates and approaches to feminist theory, gender studies and decoloniality in Latin America
This introductory course approaches contemporary debates in Feminist Theory, Gender Studies, and Decoloniality in Latin America. From an intersectional and decolonial standpoint, theoretic materials and other discursivities such as cinema, literature, and art focus on the relationship between sex, sexuality, gender, race, and class, attending questions of sexism, racism, colonialism, capitalism, body, and power. The thematic units also address the history of feminist thought, black feminisms, and the articulations between gender, coloniality and decoloniality; current discussions between feminisms and indigenous movements; masculinities and the relationship between gender and violence; and recent debates in “fourth-wave” feminism, LGBTTTIQNB*, and human rights movements.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

AMR, SOC

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Course Description

Social Movements in Latin America: The case of Chile (taught in Spanish)
The course offers a complete approach to the topic of social movements in the contemporary Latin American context, with a strong emphasis in the case of Chile. In this context, the course looks for to review the historical antecedents of political and social activism in Chile, which is related with the conformation of the main social movements in contemporary in this country. Thus, the student will have the opportunity to understand the main features, for instance, of the feminist and students’ movements, as well as the, the major social movement since October 18th 2019.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

AMR, SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Women prisoners in Stalin's labor camps - from lawlessness to rehabilitation: based on E.S. Ginzburg's memoires
The course is based on E.S. Ginzburg’s memoir “Into the Whirlwind”. The unique feature of this source is that it gives a detailed description of each trial a common USSR citizen would have to undergo in the 1930s – early 1950s once they had been suspected of committing a political crime. Written by a woman, whose fate was much harder than that of male prisoners, it also gives particular attention to the problem of deprivation of the right to have a family and parent your children in the totalitarian Soviet State.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Fall 2021

Requirements

EUR, SOC, WTR

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Course Description

South America in turmoil: The quest for democratic stability and representation in the Region
This seminar highlights the social and institutional challenges that the region faces. First, we will discuss the evolving political and ideological landscape of the last thirty years as well as recent social unrest and protests across the continent. Second, we will review the relevant theories explaining voters’ attitudes and preferences, and how representation and demands are structured by political actors. Third, we will study the underpinnings of democratic consolidation and the risks of authoritarian temptations. Finally, we will center on social evolution, new forms of political participation, and the conflicts that may arise from competing views, discrimination, or unfulfilled representation.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021

Requirements

AMR, SOC

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Course Description

Science & Technology for NPTS
This course provides students with a solid foundation in scientific and technical fundamentals critical to nonproliferation and terrorism policy analysis. Such policy analyses often require strong foundational knowledge of basic scientific and technical concepts in order to understand, create, and inform policy decisions. The course begins with an introduction to science and the scientific method and then evolves into the three main areas: biological weapons, chemical weapons, nuclear weapons and relevant technologies. Topics covered in the biological component include fundamental concepts related to microorganisms, DNA, RNA, proteins, and processes of infection and disease. Topics covered in the chemistry component include fundamental concepts related to atomic structure and the periodic table, chemical structural representations, functional groups, reactivity, toxicity, as well as modern separation, purification and analytic techniques commonly used for chemical species. Applications of the fundamental concepts in the first two topics are further developed in relation to features of chemical and biological weapons and warfare, including agents, delivery methods and effects. Topics covered in the nuclear component part of the course includes radioactivity, uranium, nuclear weapons, radiation detection instrumentation and applications, environmental plumes, and various instrumentation and analysis techniques. Upon completion of this course students will have a deeper appreciation for the debate on various verification solutions that have been proposed for compliance under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC), Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and nuclear treaties. (Open to Juniors and Seniors only) The dates of this course are AUGUST 24 through DECEMBER 11. Registering for this course signals your interest in taking the course. You will be notified via email on August 21 whether you can officially enroll in the course.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

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Course Description

Terrorism in South Asia
Terrorist violence has persisted in various parts of South Asia for several decades. A variety of interconnected reasons can be assigned to this phenomenon – state sponsorship, separatist tendencies, religious and sectarian divides, and political meddling. Terrorism in South Asia is also a crucial concern because of its broader connections to extra-regional terrorist networks. The two dominant states in South Asia possess nuclear weapons and have a long history of military conflict and have periodically experienced crises situations provoked by terrorist attacks. Additionally, the history of proliferation networks and concerns over Pakistan’s nuclear security further exacerbate the threat perception from terrorist networks.
The object of this course is to understand the causes and dimensions of terrorism in South Asia and to analyze positions adopted by the involved parties, state and non-state. From the policy perspective, this is essential toward formulating responses to terrorism in the region. South Asia is conventionally defined as the region comprising the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives. But for the purposes of this seminar we will also look at developments in Afghanistan (generally considered as South-West Asia), given its crucial links to terrorism issues in South Asia. (Open to Juniors and Seniors only) The dates of this course are AUGUST 24 through DECEMBER 11. Registering for this course signals your interest in taking the course. You will be notified via email on August 21 whether you can officially enroll in the course.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

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Course Description

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

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Course Description

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

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Course Description

Hindi-Beginner Basic
This course is meant for complete beginners who would like to achieve elementary proficiency in Hindi. It will cover everything necessary for students to be able to make themselves understood in everyday contexts such as introducing themselves, asking for directions, giving and responding to commands, talking about the weather, and more. In addition to learning the structures necessary for basic conversation, students will also learn how to read and write Devanagari, the script used for Hindi.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

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African Studies

Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

Africa and Anthropology: Power, Continuity, and Change
Sub-Saharan Africa has long represented primitive mysteries for Europeans and North Americans, as a ‘Dark Continent’ full of exotic people and animals. Even now, many Americans learn little about Africa and Africans except for ‘thin’ media reports of political, economic, and ecological upheaval or persistent poverty, disease, and despair. This course provides a ‘thick’ description and analysis of contemporary African conditions using ethnographies and films. We will not be exploring ‘traditional African cultures’ outside of their historical contexts or generalizing about ‘what African culture really is.’ Rather, our focus will be on understanding social continuity and change alongside cultural diversity and commonality. Topics will include colonialism, critical kinship studies, African feminism, environmental management, witchcraft and religion. Throughout the course African ideas of power – what it is, who has it, and why –unify these diverse topics as social relations. (formerly SOAN 0232) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

HIS, SAF, SOC

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Course Description

Introduction to the Maghreb: Culture, History and Society
The Maghreb (the “farthest west” in Arabic)—encompassing Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Libya—has been an important crossroads throughout history, serving as a connection between Africa, Asia, and Europe. In recent years, the region has become a center of interest not just for specialists but for also for the general, educated public. This course serves as a general introductory overview of the Maghreb and offers students the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the historical, cultural, and social processes that have affected and transformed the region. Students will be also introduced to some of the important pressing cultural and social issues in the region as well as to various forms of literary and artistic expression. Important topics include the role of colonial powers in the region, postcolonial Maghrebian societies and nation states, the impact of the Cold War, the political systems in the region, religion in the Maghreb, social movements for democracy, literature and arts in the Maghreb, educational systems, gender relations and family, food and drink, sports and media.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

MDE, SOC

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Course Description

Art and Youth Activism in 21st-Century North Africa
This course will explore youth involvement in social change through the lens of art and youth studies. It focuses on how youth have used art as a means of activism toward change both before and after the ‘Arab Spring’ in in Morocco and the wider MENA region. The course explores the circumstances under which such youth-based and youth-led activism emerges as well as the role of globalization and technology in the formation, development, and political trajectory of this cultural form of resistance. At the same time, the course examines how youth and activists conceive of social justice and social change.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

MDE, SOC

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Course Description

Blackness and the Arab Imaginary (In English)
Blackness as a category of analysis in the Middle East and North Africa, while fundamental to opening the field to the study of race and the legacies of slavery, remains understudied and deserving of critical attention. In this course we will explore the historic and political category of “blackness” and examine how black identities are constructed in the cultural and epistemological production of the Arab world and the Arab Diaspora through literature, critical scholarship, music, and cinema. We will address imperial and transnational dimensions of blackness as well as its increasing relevance for understanding new racial configurations in the contemporary Middle East and the Arab Diaspora. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

MDE, SOC

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Course Description

From Africa to the Americas: Moving from Our Core
This course is an introduction to dance emphasizing the influence of traditions from the African Diaspora on contemporary modern dance. Technique sessions incorporate styles from West Africa and Central and South America with performance work. Discussion of readings on the history and current practice of movement forms originating in Africa, as well as on the work of artists developing fusion styles, supports written and creative work. Compositional studies explore the intersection between technique, history/theory, and performance. (No previous dance experience required.) 2 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

ART, PE

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Course Description

African Music and Dance Performance
This course will introduce students to various techniques of performing East African (primarily Ugandan) musical and dance traditions through regular rehearsals, culminating in an end-of-semester concert. As an ensemble, we will learn and master how to play and sing/dance to bow-harps, thumb-pianos, xylophones, tube-fiddles, bowl-lyres, gourd shakers, struck gourds, reed-box rattles, ankle bells, leg rattles, and various types of drums. Some background in performing music is recommended, but prior knowledge of performing African music and dance is not required. 3 hrs. lect./lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023

Requirements

AAL, ART

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Course Description

Economics of Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to some of the poorest and some of the fastest growing economies in the world. In this course, we will explore the opportunities for sustained, inclusive economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa, the challenges that must be overcome in realizing these opportunities, and the policy options for overcoming these challenges. Topics may include demography, institutions, infrastructure, agriculture, urbanization, climate change, health, natural resources, mobile technology, trade, and regional integration. Students will be exposed to relevant economic theory and recent empirical economic research on Africa. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155)

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

SAF, SOC

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Course Description

Seminar on Economic Development
Much of the world still faces the daily pain of poverty. Developing countries have to accelerate their growth rates, eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities, address environmental concerns, and create productive employment. We examine the major analytic and policy issues raised by these challenges and study the need for a productive balance between market forces and positive state action. With the help of case studies from Asia, Latin America, and Africa, we focus on different development strategies adopted, the choice of policy instruments, and methods of implementation. (ECON 0250 or IPEC 0240 [formerly ECON 0240] or ECON 0255) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Fall 2023

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Course Description

Environment and Development
Climate change, air pollution, tropical deforestation: there is little doubt that economic development affects, and is affected by, the global and local environment and natural resources. In this course we will explore the complex relationship between environment and development using the theoretical and empirical tools of applied economic analysis. We will begin with pioneering research papers on the empirics of economic growth, examine the macroeconomic evidence, and then move to the micro foundations of the poverty-environment nexus. Major topics will include the resource curse and environmental Kuznets curve hypotheses, approaches for understanding responses to climate variability and disasters in poor communities, management of natural resources in smallholder agriculture, choosing policy instruments for pollution reduction, conservation, and environmental protection, and relationships between human health and the environment. We will conclude with a number of selected topics and issues of contemporary policy relevance. (ECON 0111 (formerly ECON 0210) and ECON 0255 or IPEC 0240 [formerly ECON 0240]) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

African Environmental Writing, Photography, and Film
Concerned with social implications of environmental change, a burgeoning number of contemporary African photographers, filmmakers, and authors are challenging the public with social documents that protest ecologically destructive forms of neocolonial development. These works actively resist oppression, abuse, and conflagration of both the black body and the environment. Subverting the neocolonialist rhetoric and gaze, these creative practitioners complicate what it means to write about and look at those most affected by environmental injustices perpetrated by international and national actors. In this course we will view relevant photographs and films and read African environmental literature as sources of artistic and activist inspiration. Whilst reading, we will ask ourselves the hard questions of what to do with our own complicity when facing the role that the global north plays in the causation of environmental degradation and human suffering. Students will be expected to reflect upon how best to regard the pain of others in the Anthropocene, as well as upon how culture influences creative depictions of the Anthropocene. Seminar papers will address questions that arise from analyzing particular works. This course counts as a Humanities cognate for environmental studies majors. (Diversity) (Rec)

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

AAL, LIT, SAF, WTR

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Course Description

The Novels of J.M. Coetzee: Ethics and Empire
Coetzee, whose novels engage questions of institutional racism, state-sponsored violence, patriarchal privilege, environmental degradation, animal rights, and how to ethically approach cultural Others, manages to speak of specific historical circumstances—such as South Africa’s apartheid regime—while simultaneously addressing universal dilemmas of our contemporary human condition. Having received both the Booker (twice) and Nobel Prizes for literature, Coetzee is recognized as the living heir of both Kafka and Beckett, and as a writer whose searing prose and formal experimentation both extend and transform the novel’s traditional role as our culture’s most skeptical self-inquisitor. Depicting every act of writing as either a confrontation or an evasion, Coetzee both reveres and rebukes the literary traditions he warily embraces. We will read his strongest and most globally recognized works, from Waiting for the Barbarians through Disgrace.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

LIT

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Course Description

African Environmental Writing, Photography, and Film
Concerned with social implications of environmental change, a burgeoning number of contemporary African photographers, filmmakers, and authors are challenging the public with social documents that protest ecologically destructive forms of neocolonial development. These works actively resist oppression, abuse, and conflagration of both the black body and the environment. Subverting the neocolonialist rhetoric and gaze, these creative practitioners complicate what it means to write about and look at those most affected by environmental injustices perpetrated by international and national actors. In this course we will view relevant photographs and films and read African environmental literature as sources of artistic and activist inspiration. Whilst reading, we will ask ourselves the hard questions of what to do with our own complicity when facing the role that the global north plays in the causation of environmental degradation and human suffering. Students will be expected to reflect upon how best to regard the pain of others in the Anthropocene, as well as upon how culture influences creative depictions of the Anthropocene. Seminar papers will address questions that arise from analyzing particular works. This course counts as a Humanities cognate for environmental studies majors.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

AAL, LIT, SAF, WTR

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Course Description

African Cinema
In this course we will examine how films written and directed by African filmmakers address the evolving identities of post-colonial Africans. Students will explore the development of various national cinemas and the film movements that helped define African cinema as a tool for cultural expression and social change. We will pair film studies, post-colonial studies, and African studies readings with a diverse selection of films from across sub-Saharan Africa, from Senegal’s 1967 Black Girl (Ousmane Sembene) to the 2018 Netflix-produced Nigerian “Nollywood” film, Lionheart (Genevieve Nnaji). Note to students: this course involves substantial streaming of films for assigned viewing. 3 hours lect./3 hours screen.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART, CMP, HIS, SAF

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Course Description

New French Identities: Black and Beur Expression
This course will focus on second-generation children of immigrants from the Caribbean, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, and will examine the problems of the (re)construction of the self, gender identity, relationship to family and country of origin, the role of the French educational system, and the challenges of social adaptation, stereotypes, and cultural ghettoes. We will analyze the historical, social, and political events that have shaped the identities of this young generation in France, as reflected in literature and film. Readings and films may include works by Allouache, Begag, Beyala, Diome, Dridi, Mabanckou, Pineau, and Sebbar. 3 hrs lect./disc. (FREN 0220, 0221 or by waiver)

Terms Taught

Fall 2024

Requirements

AAL, CMP, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

(Re)Constructing Identities: Francophone Colonial and Postcolonial Fiction
This course will focus on major works written in French by writers from North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Caribbean. We will explore the complex (re)construction of identities through fiction writing as it evolves from traditional folktale to political criticism, and as it shifts from colonial alienation to post-colonial disillusionment. We will also examine the emergence of cultural blending or métissage. (FREN 0221 or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2023

Requirements

AAL, CMP, LIT, LNG, SAF

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Course Description

Introduction to African Art and Architecture
In this course, we will explore the rich history of Africa’s art and architecture. Through lectures, readings, videos, museum visits, and discussions, we will examine sites, ritual arts, artistic genres, and contemporary art made for global audiences. Examples include prehistoric Saharan and Kalahari rock paintings; ancient Egyptian, Nubian, Zimbabwean, and Ethiopian architecture; Sahelian mosques; Kongo ritual art; body arts; and El Anatsui’s dazzling bottlecap sculptures. When possible, we will highlight intersections between Africa and Euro-America, proposing that present framings of this history are as much a legacy of the latter as the cultures from whom the art originates. In so doing, we will gain an appreciation for the heritage of African art and its significance to Africa and the world.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

ART, HIS, SAF

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Course Description

Beyond Boundaries: Ancient Arts of the Nile and Niger Rivers
In this course we will push beyond longstanding foreign conceptualizations of Africa by exploring the continent’s deep histories and the transcultural nature of ancient civilizations and kingdoms that coalesced around the Nile and Niger Rivers from approximately 3000 B.C.E. through the 19th century. Through lectures, readings, written and verbal reflections, and museum visits, we will examine artistic exchanges between ancient Egypt and Nubia; creative flows among Ife, Owo, Benin, and producers of the Lower Niger Bronze complex; and cross-cultural connections among Sahelian empires and medieval Europe. In so doing, we will comprehend the beauty, richness, diversity, and global nature of artistic traditions in these regions. As Yoruba people say, “Our culture is like a river, it is never at rest.”

Terms Taught

Spring 2024

Requirements

ART, CMP, HIS, SAF

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Course Description

Exhibiting Africa: History, Theory, and Praxis
In this seminar, we will explore the (im)possibilities of representing Africa’s arts in museums. Through readings, images, websites, discussions, and museum visits, we will survey Euro-America’s shifting valuation of artworks from Africa from the late 19th century to the present and the implications for installation and interpretation. We will consider recent curatorial strategies to address the challenges of representing African art in museums, examining the categories of contemporary vs. “traditional” art, questions of authenticity, the art market’s influence on museum collections, issues of provenance and repatriation, and efforts to decolonize the museum. Culminating in an imaginary exhibit, the course probes the past and the present to introduce students to the theoretical and practical aspects of museology.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

ART, CMP, HIS, SAF

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Course Description

Seeing Double: Ideas of Duality in Sub-Saharan African Art
From idealized sculptural pairs to hermaphroditic figures, ideas of doubling and duality are enduring concerns in many sub-Saharan African cultures. In this seminar, we will explore this theme by closely analyzing artworks from Mali to Madagascar from the 12th to the 21st century whose iconography features couples and dualistic imagery as well as bipartite figurative and masquerade traditions, among others. Through weekly readings, written and verbal reflections, and museum visits, we will elucidate relationships between the objects and the worldviews that inspired them. Culminating in a virtual group exhibit and complementary individual research papers and presentations, we will learn how these artworks make visible powerful abstract forces that influence the behaviors, well-being, and lives of their users.

Terms Taught

Spring 2024

Requirements

ART, CMP, HIS, SAF

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Course Description

Themes in the Atlantic World, 1492-1900
Linking the Americas with Europe and Africa, the Atlantic has been a major conduit for the movement of peoples, ideas, technology, foods, and customs. This course will explore four themes from the rise of European imperialism and African Slavery to the dawn of national consciousness and minority rights across the Americas. We will study four major themes: (1). Comparative European Colonization and the First Peoples; 2) Comparative Slavery and the Black Experience (3) Decolonization, National Consciousness, and Ideas of Freedom; and (4) Pseudoscience, Migrations and Creolization. We will draw on primary and secondary sources from the Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Hispanophone worlds to give us a broad comparative perspective. Pre-1800. 2hr/disc. with periodic film screenings.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Fall 2023

Requirements

CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

History of Islam and the Middle East, Since 1453
This course is an introduction to the major institutions that evolved under the aegis of what we might call Islamic civilization since the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. The principal geographic areas covered are the Middle East and North Africa. Major topics include the rise of the Ottoman and Safavid Empires, Western intervention and colonialism, nationalism and state formation, and the challenges of and responses to modernization. Pre-1800. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

HIS, MDE

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Course Description

History of Africa To 1800
This course offers an introductory survey of African history from earliest times to 1800. Through lectures, discussions, readings, and films, we will explore Africa’s complex and diverse pre-colonial past. Themes examined in the course include development of long-distance trade networks, the linkages between ecological change and social dynamics, the formation of large pre-colonial states, and the transatlantic slave trade and its impact on social and economic relations within Africa. A broader concern in the course is how we have come to understand the meaning of “Africa” itself and what is at stake in interpreting Africa’s pre-colonial history. Pre-1800. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

HIS, SAF, SOC

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Course Description

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. (formerly HIST 0226) 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

HIS, SAF, SOC

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Course Description

Health and Healing in African History
In this course we will complicate our contemporary perspectives on health and healing in Africa by exploring diverse historical examples from the continent's deep past. Our readings, discussions, and papers will cover a range of historical contexts and topics, such as the politics of rituals and public healing ceremonies in pre-colonial contexts, state and popular responses to shifting disease landscapes in the colonial era, long-term cultural and economic changes in healer-patient dynamics, the problematic legacies of environmental health hazards in the post-colonial period, and Africans' engagement with global health interventions in recent decades. (Counts for HSMT credit) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

HIS, SAF, SOC

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Course Description

South Africa in the World
Despite the unique trajectory of the rise and fall of apartheid in South Africa, scholars have increasingly moved away from viewing the country’s past as exceptional or isolated from broader world historical developments. Taking up this challenge, our course will explore some of the significant global and transnational dimensions of the making of modern South Africa over the past few centuries. Some of the major topics will include: the expansion of different strands of European colonialism and missionary work; Africans’ engagement with transnational imperial networks; the wider international influences behind the state’s creation and implementation of apartheid; and popular resistance against apartheid and how it intersected with global activist movements. 3 hrs. lect./disc

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

HIS, SAF, SOC

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Course Description

Readings in African History: Women and Gender in Africa
This course takes up the challenge of understanding women's experiences and the role of gender in Africa's past. We will read from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives and literary forms, including ethnographies, life histories, and fiction, in order to explore different methodological and interpretive approaches to these subjects. Themes will include: changes in the structure of patriarchy and women's status in the pre-colonial period, the gendered impact of colonial rule on African economies and ecologies, historical identities of masculinity and femininity, and gendered experience of postcolonial "development." Prior experience in African history is not required. 3 hrs. seminar

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Requirements

HIS, SAF

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Course Description

Refugee and Forced Migration Studies * Taught in English
This course is an introduction to the foundational aspects of refugee and forced migration studies. Students will develop an understanding of the framework that forms the bedrock of the modern global refugee regime. They will look at root causes of displacement, the historical context of the system currently in place, and various international and domestic instruments that govern the rights and obligations of refugees and host states. Class discussions will call on students to understand and analyze concepts such as persecution, the protected grounds, non-refoulement, and durable solutions. Students will also look at the stories of real asylees and refugees, with a focus on those from the Middle East, including Palestinian refugees, and those who have fled to Jordan.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

MDE, SOC

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Course Description

The Politics of Gender in Contemporary North Africa
This course will introduce students to complex questions related to gender identities/roles and gender politics in contemporary North African societies with a particular focus on the Moroccan context. It highlights groundbreaking gender concepts through texts, documentaries, Arts and activism. Students will examine varied topics such as history, religion, culture, education, politics, sexuality, youth, development, globalization, social movements and resistance in order to understand the formation of social hierarchies, privilege and gender inequalities. The course will take a multidisciplinary look at gender within the context of Muslim.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Introduction to Swahili and East African Culture
This course introduces students to Swahili, the lingua franca of East Africa. Students will acquire a foundation for speaking, reading, and writing Swahili, and will learn how to use it appropriately in East African culture. The use of English in the classroom will be kept to a minimum. The course also provides an introduction to the geography and history of East Africa. This course is particularly useful for students who intend to visit Kenya, Tanzania, or Uganda, because its linguistic and cross-cultural training will give them the resources to maximize such an experience. This course counts as elective credit towards the African Studies minor.
Dr. Waithera is an intellectual entrepreneur and an educator. She was the recipient of the 2010 Carolina Chiron Award for excellent teaching & dedication to students, an award inspired by the late Randy Pausch’s famous last lecture. Gave her own version of a last lecture entitled, “Humanizing the continent of Africa: Demystifying Myths & Stereotypes that Encroach it”. Her writings span diverse fields-The intersection of pathogens and women’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, Gender, and African languages./

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Winter 2022, Winter 2023

Requirements

AAL, LNG, SAF, WTR

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Course Description

Art and Culture of the Swahili Coast in Historical Perspective
Perched between the Indian Ocean and the East African interior, the Swahili Coast has a diverse artistic culture. In this course we will explore the histories that created this vibrant material culture through hands-on encounters with the materials of Swahili artistic culture, listening to Swahili music, watching Swahili films, tasting Swahili foods, and trying their hands at Swahili artforms. Assignments will include primary source analyses (including, Memoirs of an Arabian Princess, “Mamba” and other poems, BongoFlava and Taarab songs, films: Pumzi, Zanzibar Soccer Queens), a mapping assignment, and final presentations on the history of a cultural artifact.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

AAL, SAF, WTR

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Course Description

Thinking Historically about Africa: Introduction to African Historiography
How do historians think about Africa? This course is intended to introduce students to the key debates, themes, and frameworks that have shaped the study of African history over the course of the past century. Following an introduction to historiographical analysis—a key skill for any student planning on continuing to graduate level studies, the course will be conducted as a reading and discussion seminar. In this class, we will cover major shifts in historical thinking about Africa, reading selections from a variety of scholarship that have been influential in the field of African history. Students will then read a recent monograph on African history of their choice and analyze it in the context of the historiography of the field.
Jodie Marshall (PhD, Michigan State University) is a historian of transnationalism on the East African coast. Her research examines the history of migration between the Arabian Peninsula and the Zanzibari Archipelago from the 19th century to the 21st./

Terms Taught

Winter 2023

Requirements

SAF, WTR

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Course Description

Performance Lab
Credit can be conferred for performance in faculty-supervised ensembles: (see listing of "Ensembles" in the requirements section). One unit of credit to accrue over two semesters (spring then fall only). The appropriate supervising faculty will give grades, based on attendance and quality of performance. A student should inform the ensemble director of intent to sign up for this course before starting, and should actually register for MUSC 0205 only the SECOND of the two terms by adding it as a fifth course. MUSC 0205 does not fulfill any major course requirements and may not be taken more than once. (Approval required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

ART

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Course Description

African Soundscapes
This course will introduce students to musical cultures and practices from the African continent with a focus on particular regional styles. Through readings, lectures, discussions, film screenings, listening sessions, concerts, and hands-on activities, we will develop skills for analyzing and appreciating the diversity of African musical practices and their social, economic, and political value in traditional and contemporary contexts. Some background in music may be necessary. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

AAL, ART, SAF

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Course Description

African Music and Dance Performance
This course will introduce students to various techniques of performing East African (primarily Ugandan) musical and dance traditions through regular rehearsals, culminating in an end-of-semester concert. As an ensemble, we will learn and master how to play and sing/dance to bow-harps, thumb-pianos, xylophones, tube-fiddles, bowl-lyres, gourd shakers, struck gourds, reed-box rattles, ankle bells, leg rattles, and various types of drums. Some background in performing music is recommended, but prior knowledge of performing African music and dance is not required. 3 hrs. lect./lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023

Requirements

ART, SAF

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Course Description

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, authoritarian rule, ethnic politics, the debt burden, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and natural resource politics will be discussed. Case studies from English-, French-, and Portuguese-speaking Africa will be used to illuminate such relationships. 3 hrs lect/disc. (Comparative Politics)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

AAL, SAF, SOC

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Course Description

Politics of the Middle East and North Africa
This course is an introduction to important themes, concepts, and cases in the study of Middle Eastern and North African politics. We will examine key political issues in the region, focusing primarily on developments since World War II and issues of relevance to the region today. For the purposes of this course, the region is defined as the countries of the Arab world, Israel, Turkey, and Iran. The first half of the course introduces major themes in Middle Eastern politics. These include state development, nationalism, revolution, authoritarian rule, the petro-state, the Arab-Israeli conflict, conflicts in the Persian Gulf, civil conflict, the rise of Islamism, and attempts at liberal reform. The second half of the course examines how these themes have affected political development in a number of key cases. Primary cases include Egypt, Israel, Iran, Morocco, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq. Students will have the opportunity to individually assess other countries of personal interest in the region. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Comparative Politics)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

MDE, SOC

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Course Description

African Government
Sub-Saharan Africa has been described as being in a state of permanent crisis, a place where disorder and chaos reign and states are chronically weak. How do political systems form and thrive under such conditions? What accounts for their survival in the face of tremendous political, economic, and environmental challenges? We will investigate the distinctive characteristics of African political systems, the different governance models throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, and the types of public goods or public ills these systems have produced. We will also have the opportunity to more deeply appreciate the real-life consequences for displaced Africans through a service-learning component. 3 hrs. sem. (Any one PSCI course) (Comparative Politics)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

AAL, SAF

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Course Description

Political Islam
In this course we will survey the central questions in studies of political Islam, focusing on the emergence of Islam as a political force in the contemporary period. Discussion will center on the following core topics: (1) the nature of political Islam and Islamic interests; (2) how Islamic political movements develop; (3) why Islamic political movements flourish or fail; (4) how Islamic interests are expressed in the political arena; and (5) what types of political systems are most compatible with politicized Islam? These questions will be addressed by looking at the general history of the contemporary Islamic resurgence and by examining case studies on Egypt, Algeria, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey, West Africa, and Southeast Asia. 3 hrs. sem. (Comparative Politics)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, MDE

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Course Description

The Islamic Traditions
What is Islam? Is it a religion, a way of life, a civilization, or a political ideology? Was Muhammad a political leader, a warrior, or an ascetic? What is the Qur’an? How did it develop as a sacred text and how does it compare to the Bible? This course is designed to provide a platform for us to explore such questions by focusing on historical, social, and intellectual developments in the wide swath of land known as the Muslim world. Special attention will be given to early developments of the Islamic community as well as the later response of different Muslim communities to modernity. 3 hrs. lect./disc

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

MDE, PHL

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East Asian Studies

Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

Current Social Issues in Japan (in English)
In this course we will use ethnography, fiction, and historical studies to examine some of the underlying themes of Japanese culture. Japan is a highly developed, post-industrial society renowned across the globe for economic success in the post-World War II period. What historical and social factors have shaped Japan’s contemporary culture, and how have interactions with other countries influenced Japanese society? We will study a number of different spheres of Japanese life including the family and the workplace to better understand contemporary society. We will pay special attention to Japan’s global position and its relationship to the United States. (formerly SOAN 0110) 3 hr. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

AAL, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Rethinking the Body in Contemporary Japan (In English)
In this course we will examine attitudes toward and tensions related to the human body in Japan. Looking at art, music, style, and social issues we will examine the symbolic as well as material concerns of bodies in contemporary Japan. Religious, historical, martial, and aesthetic understandings of bodies will be addressed. We will analyze Japan's current attitudes toward organ transplantation, treatment of the deceased, plastic surgery, surrogacy, sex change surgery and other embodied practices. Readings will include Twice Dead and Commodifying Bodies. (formerly SOAN 0230) 3 hrs. lect./ disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

NOA, SOC

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Course Description

The Anthropology of China
China serves as a case study in the anthropological analysis of a complex rapidly changing non-Western society. This course will be a survey of the principal institutions and ideas that form the background to modern Chinese society. Areas covered include: family and kinship, ritual, transformations of class hierarchies, and the impact of globalization. Materials will be drawn from descriptions of traditional, contemporary (including both mainland and Taiwanese settings), and overseas contexts. (formerly SOAN 0335) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

HIS, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

The Chinese Literary Tradition (in translation)
This course, an introduction to the works of literature that formed the basis of traditional Chinese culture, is a discussion-based seminar. It focuses first on texts written in classical Chinese from the earliest times up through the Song dynasty, including selections from early poetry and history, Daoist classics, stories of the strange, and Tang Dynasty poetry by Wang Wei, Li Bai and Du Fu. These texts shaped the traditional Chinese understanding of the world, and provided models of what was perceived to be powerful, beautiful language. In the second part of the course we will explore narratives written in the vernacular language, focusing on the literary significance and aesthetic value of drama, stories and novels long treasured by the Chinese. Students will gain a better understanding of traditional Chinese literary values, as well as Chinese society and worldviews. (No background in Chinese culture or language needed.) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Modern China through Literature (in translation)
This course, taught in English, is a discussion-based seminar on some of the most significant works of short fiction, novellas, and novels that tell the story of China and the Chinese from the end of the Qing dynasty to the present. Students will gain a better understanding of the history of modern China by studying the works of literature that inspired readers and provoked debate during one hundred years of social reform, revolution, war, civil war, reconstruction, cultural revolution, cultural revival, and economic growth. Our reading will include work by authors such as Lu Xun (Diary of a Madman, 1918), Zhang Ailing (Love in a Fallen City, 1944), Ah Cheng (The Chess King, 1984), Yu Hua (To Live, 1993), and, from Taiwan, Zhu Tianwen (Notes of a Desolate Man, 1999). We will consider the mainstream (socially engaged realism), the avant-garde (varieties of modernism), and popular genres (romance and martial arts), and we will look for answers to the following questions: what has been the place of fiction in China in the modern era and what vision of modern China do we find in its fiction? (No prerequisites) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Spring 2025

Requirements

LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Chinese Cinema
This course, taught in English, surveys the history of movies in China since the 1930s and also offers an in-depth look at the work of: China's fifth-generation directors of the 1980s and their successors up to the present; Taiwan's new wave; and Hong Kong popular cinema, including martial arts film. Our focus is the screening and discussion of films such as The Goddess (a 1934 silent classic), Stage Sisters (1965; directed by the influential Xie Jin), the controversial Yellow Earth (1984), In the Heat of the Sun (a 1994 break with the conventional representation of the Cultural Revolution), Yang Dechang's masterpiece A One and a Two (2000), and Still Life (Jia Zhangke's 2006 meditation on displacement near the Three Gorges Dam). The course is designed to help students understand the place of cinema in Chinese culture and develop the analytical tools necessary for the informed viewing and study of Chinese film. We will look at everything from art film, to underground film, to recent box office hits. (No prerequisites) One evening film screening per week. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

ART, NOA

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Course Description

Chinese Sociolinguistics (taught in English)
Sociolinguistics is mainly concerned with the interaction of language and society. The language situation in China is unique both in the modern world and in human history. We will gain a good understanding of sociolinguistics as a scientific field of inquiry through exploring the Chinese situation in this course. Some of the questions we will ask are: What is Mandarin (Modern Standard) Chinese? Who are "native speakers" of Mandarin? Are most Chinese people monolingual (speaking only one language) or bilingual (speaking two languages) or even multilingual? How many "dialects" are there in China? What is the difference between a "language" and a "dialect"? Are Chinese characters "ideographs", i.e., "pictures" that directly represent meaning and have nothing to do with sound? Why has the pinyin romanization system officially adopted in the 1950s never supplanted the Chinese characters? Why are there traditional and simplified characters? We will also explore topics such as power, register, verbal courtesy, gender and language use. Students are encouraged to compare the Chinese situation with societies that they are familiar with. 3 hrs. lect/disc (One semester of Chinese language study or by waiver)

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Traditional Chinese Poetry (in translation)
Introducing the basics of Chinese poetics, this junior/sophomore discussion-based seminar explores inter-connections across a wide spectrum of Chinese poetry belonging to a vibrant tradition spanning more than two thousand years--folk songs; court rhapsodies; courtesan love poems; extended allegorical fantasies; ballads and lyric verse of love, war, friendship, loss, and separation. Landscape, travel, romantic and metaphysical poems by masters such as Qu Yuan, Tao Yuanming, Wang Wei, Li Bai, Du Fu, Su Dongpo and Li Qingzhao will be studied. We will analyze poetic expression ranging from poetic genres following strict formal conventions to relatively free-form verse. Traditional Chinese literary theories regarding poetry and its appreciation will be considered, yet students will also be encouraged to apply other critical approaches. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Clouds and Rain: Love and Sexuality in Traditional Chinese Literature (in translation)
This seminar explores a spectrum of traditional attitudes toward romantic love, sexualities, men and women seen through the prism of classical Chinese literature. Fiction and drama will be the main focus with due attention to poetry. Texts to be analyzed include, e.g., pre-6th-century B.C. and subsequent poems; 3rd and 4th-century and later stories of strange romances; the remarkable 7th-century tale of the Dwelling of Playful Goddesses and early 9th-century love story of “Yingying”; the marvelous late 16th-century romantic drama, the Peony Pavilion; the hilarious late 17th-century erotic novella, the Carnal Prayer Mat; and selected chapters from novelistic masterworks such as the late 16th-century and early 17th-century, Jin Ping Mei, and the 18th-century, The Story of the Stone (also known as Dream of the Red Chamber). (National/Transnational Feminisms) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2023

Requirements

AAL, LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Literature and Culture in Contemporary China and the Sinophone World (in English translation)
In this course we will study select works of acclaimed, popular, and/or controversial short fiction, spoken drama, and poetry from the People’s Republic of China and the post-1949 Sinophone world, primarily Taiwan. We will devote some attention to other forms of cultural production, including film and visual art. We will place a particular emphasis on the study of work by Chinese and Sinophone writers and artists who belong to non-Han ethnic minority groups (e.g., Tibetan, Yi, and Atayal), and we will explore possible answers to the question, “How is Chinese national and cultural identity created and contested in literature?” 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Documentary Film in Contemporary China
In China since the 1980s, new political and socio-economic realities, along with new technologies, created conditions for the emergence of the New Documentary Movement, the collective achievement of a group of artists with new ideas about what the form and function of nonfiction film should be. We will screen and discuss select contemporary Chinese documentary films, place these films in the context of global documentary film history, and learn methods for the analysis of nonfiction film. We will “read” each film closely, and also study secondary sources to learn about the Chinese realities that each film documents. 3 hrs. lect./screening

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2025

Requirements

ART, NOA

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Course Description

Early Chinese Novels (in translation)
This seminar focuses on pre-modern Chinese full-length novels, which rose and matured during the Ming-Qing period. Students will read from the "masterworks" of this genre, including Three Kingdoms (the epic deeds of heroes of the Chinese civil war of the second and third centuries), Outlaws of the Marsh (picaresque tales of Chinese Robin Hoods, as it were), The Journey to the West (a comic Buddhist-Daoist allegory better known in English as Monkey), The Plum in the Golden Vase (an erotic novel of manners), and The Story of the Stone-The Dream of the Red Chamber (widely recognized as a masterpiece of world literature); all are beloved and long treasured by the Chinese. We will also read an eighteenth century detective novel, Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee. We will not only trace the evolution of classical Chinese novels and consider their literary significance and artistic value; the course will also aim to provide a richer and deeper understanding of traditional China's history, society, culture, worldviews, beliefs, and sense of humor. (CHNS 0219 or CHNS 0220, or two Middlebury Literature courses, or by approval of the instructor.)

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

CW, LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Senior Seminar on Modern Chinese Literature (in Chinese)
A capstone course for all Chinese majors and for others who have attained a high level of Chinese language proficiency. Students will read and critique works by major Chinese fiction writers (and sometimes playwrights) and may also see and discuss a film or films from mainland China, Hong Kong, and/or Taiwan. All reading, discussion, and critical writing will be in Chinese. (CHNS 0412 or CHNS 0425) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

LIT, LNG, NOA

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Course Description

The Chinese Economy
In this course we will explore the economic development of China up until the present day, giving particular attention to the socialist era and the post-1978 reforms. Specific topics to be covered will include growth and structural change, the urban-rural divide, the state’s ongoing role in the economy, demography, and the country’s integration into the global economy. (ECON 0150 or ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Anime: Masterworks of Japanese Animation
How did anime emerge as a distinctive national genre in global popular culture at the turn of the 21st century? What social conditions and media industry developments in Japan promoted adaptations of manga (graphic novels) into feature-length films for both young and adult audiences? In this course students will address these questions by analyzing the forms and contexts of a number of masterworks by the most prominent directors of Japanese animation. We will examine the relation of anime to classic Disney films, live-action Hollywood cinema, and Japanese aesthetic traditions. In addition to Studio Ghibli founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, we will study the works of Satoshi Kon, Mamoru Oshii, Makoto Shinkai, and other distinguished anime auteurs.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

ART, NOA

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Course Description

The Anime Industry: Studios, Genres, Media Mix
What exactly is anime? Why and how did it become so popular around the world? In response to these questions, we will study Japanese anime in the context of its unique media mix industry that involves franchising across manga, movies, television series, and original video animation, as well as toys, merchandise, and video games. We will explore the establishment and development of that industry through the works of key auteurs (e.g., Osamu Tezuka, Mamoru Oshii, Rumiko Takahashi, Masaaki Yuasa), studios (e.g., Toei, Ghibli, Madhouse, Production I.G.), and genres (e.g., mecha, shojo, BL, sports). Our discussions will focus on both the politics and aesthetics of anime, and will be informed by broader historical and theoretical readings.

Terms Taught

Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

ART, NOA

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Course Description

Contemporary East Asian Cinema
In this course we will study the contemporary cinema cultures of East Asia, focusing predominantly on the production of China, Japan, and South Korea in the 21st century. We will examine production, distribution, and (global) consumption in order to understand how these industries fit into or transcend national, regional, and global cinema paradigms. We will consider issues of superstardom and authorship, especially the ways in which prominent auteurs adapt, develop, and (re)invent genres and aesthetic techniques. We will also examine some of the more complex cinematic representations of tradition and modernity, nationalism, race and ethnicity, and gender and sexuality. The broader goal of the course is to think how the region’s film production can be conceptualized in terms of national/regional/global cinema, so we will use a comparative approach by analyzing similarities and unique differences within the main national industries studied. 3 hrs. lect./disc.; 3 hrs. screening

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

ART, CMP, NOA

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Course Description

Global Auteurs: Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho
In this course we will survey the careers of prominent Korean auteurs Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho. We will analyze the films they've directed and/or produced thus far, focusing on each filmmaker's unique artistic style, the cinematic traditions they draw on, and their works' transnational appeal. In addition to delving into specific relevant topics (aesthetics of violence, genre hybridity, postcolonial cinema, stardom, adaptation, etc.), we will pay special attention to changing modes of production and distribution that have impacted the two auteurs' work process and their global reach. Films screened include Joint Security Area, The Vengeance Trilogy, The Handmaiden, Decision to Leave (Park); Memories of Murder, The Host, Snowpiercer, Okja, Parasite (Bong).

Terms Taught

Winter 2024, Winter 2025

Requirements

ART, NOA, WTR

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Course Description

Monuments and Ideas in Asian Art*
This course is an introduction to the study of Asian art history through an investigation of selected art works, considered individually and in broader contexts. This course chronicles the evolution in painting, sculpture, and architecture, and other media of Asia. It is designed for those who wish to build a broad acquaintance with the major works and ideas of Asian art in their historical settings and to develop tools for understanding these works of art as aesthetic objects and bearers of meaning for the societies, group, or individuals that produced them. Registration priority given to first and second year students. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc..

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

AAL, ART, CMP, HIS, NOA

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Course Description

The Aesthetics of Asian Art: Is Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder?
In this course we will consider select Asian (Indian, Chinese, Japanese) and Islamic artworks in the Middlebury College Museum of Art’s permanent collection to explore the fundamental question: “Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?” Are standards in beauty universal, or are they always relative? We will ask how the act of beholding is entwined with cultural assumptions and conditioning and will address those assumptions through an intensive combination of close looking, critical analysis, and comparative consideration of a diverse range of artworks and aesthetic traditions. Comparisons will be made with select works of Western art in the museum. (not open to students who have taken HARC 0102or HARC 0268) 3 hrs. lect./disc This course is part of the Public Humanities Labs Initiative administered by the Axinn Center for the Humanities./

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2024

Requirements

AAL, ART, CMP, NOA

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Course Description

Modern East Asia
In this course we will examine East Asian history from 1800 to the present. We will study the “Chinese World Order,” the patterns of European imperialism that led to this order’s demise, the rise of Japan as an imperialist power, and 20th century wars and revolutions. We will concentrate on the emergence of Japan, China, and Korea as distinct national entities and on the socio-historical forces that have bound them together and pried them apart. We will seek a broader understanding of imperialism, patterns of nationalism and revolution, and Cold War configurations of power in East Asia. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, HIS, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Imperial China
China’s is the world’s oldest continuous civilization, and we will survey the history of the Chinese empire from its cultural beginnings until the conflicts with the West in the 1840s and the internal unrest of the 1850s and 1860s. Our study of China’s political progression through successive dynasties will reveal archetypal patterns of historical disruption amidst continuity. We will also examine those perennial social, institutional, and intellectual forces — such as the stratification of the classes, the absolutist tendencies of monarchy, and the civilly-focused yet competitive atmosphere fostered by a state-sponsored examination culture — that proved determinative in shaping China’s traditional development. Pre-1800 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

HIS, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Modern China
In this course we will examine the history of China from the early 19th century through the end of the Maoist period. Readings, lectures, and discussions will familiarize students with the cultural and social structures of the late Qing Empire, patterns of semi-colonialism, the rise of nationalist, feminist, and Marxist movements, and key events in the People’s Republic of China. Students will emerge from the class with a broader understanding of forms of empire and imperialism, anti-colonial nationalism, non-Western Marxism, and the tendencies of a post-socialist state. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, HIS, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

History of Pre-Modern Japan
In this course we will explore the social, cultural, and institutional history of Japan from the eighth century up through the rise of the Tokugawa shogunate in the 17th century. The course is organized thematically to illuminate the different periods of Japanese history, including the imperial origin myth and Heian culture, the frontier and the rise of samurai government, localism and the warring states period, and finally the Tokugawa settlement and the paradoxes of centralized feudalism. Pre-1800. 3 hrs. lect/disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021

Requirements

AAL, HIS, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

History of Modern Japan, 1850-1945
This course reviews the major events and enduring questions of modern Japanese history beginning with the Meiji Restoration (1868) up to Japan’s defeat in World War II (1945). Through a variety of materials, including novels, philosophy, historical essays, and films, we will explore the formation of the modern Japanese nation-state, the “invention of tradition” in constructing a modern national identity, Japan’s colonial incursions into East Asia, 1920s mass culture, the consolidation of fascism in the 1930s, and the transwar legacies of early postwar Japan. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between transformations within Japan and larger global trends.

Terms Taught

Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

HIS, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Chinese Philosophy
A survey of the dominant philosophies of China, beginning with the establishment of the earliest intellectual orientations, moving to the emergence of the competing schools of the fifth century B.C., and concluding with the modern adoption and adaptation of Marxist thought. Early native alternatives to Confucian philosophy (such as Mohism, Daoism, and Legalism) and later foreign ones (such as Buddhism and Marxism) will be stressed. We will scrutinize individual thinkers with reference to their philosophical contributions and assess the implications of their ideas with reference to their historical contexts and comparative significance. Pre-1800. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

AAL, HIS, NOA, PHL

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Course Description

History of Postwar Japan, 1945-2000
In this course we will study the important developments in the postwar history of Japan, including: the Allied Occupation, Japan’s place in the Cold War order, high economic growth, radical politics in the 1960s, the 1980s “bubble economy” and the “lost decade” of the 1990s. As we study these different periods, we will also reflect on the contested meaning of “postwar” (sengo) as it transformed over time. Historiographical texts and lectures will highlight the organizing themes for each week, while primary and cultural sources will provide topics for weekly discussion and paper assignments. Lecture, 2.5 hours

Terms Taught

Fall 2024

Requirements

HIS, NOA

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Course Description

Oil, Opium, and Oligarchs: Modern Asian Empires
In this course we will examine dynamics and legacies of imperialism in East and Southeast Asia from the nineteenth century through the present. We will consider the role of opium in securing British influence, the rise of Japan as an imperialist power, struggles to control regional markets and natural resources, and China’s expansionist efforts past and present. By engaging with novels, films, treaties, and historical scholarship, class participants will gain a broad understanding of empires and imperialism, and how this heritage continues to inform Pacific-regional relations. Not open to students who have taken IGST/HIST 0475. (Counts for HSMT credit) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

AAL, HIS, NOA

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Course Description

Confucius and Confucianism
Perhaps no individual has left his mark more completely and enduringly upon an entire civilization than Confucius (551-479 B.C.) has upon that of China. Moreover, the influence of Confucius has spread well beyond China to become entrenched in the cultural traditions of neighboring Japan and Korea and elsewhere. This course examines who Confucius was, what he originally intended, and how the more important of his disciples have continued to reinterpret his original vision and direct it toward different ends. Pre-1800. (formerly HIST/PHIL 0273) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

HIS, NOA, PHL

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Course Description

Tokyo: Between History and Utopia
In this course we will explore the history of Tokyo—from its "prehistory" as a small castle town in the 16th century to the cosmopolitan metropolis of the 20th century—and trace how Tokyo has captured the imagination as a space of possibility, of play, and for many, of decadence. Through a range of sources, including films, novels, ethnographies, and historical essays, we will use Tokyo as a "site" (both urban and ideological) through which to explore broader questions related to capitalist modernity, the formation of the nation-state, cultural identity, gender politics, and mass-culture. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2024

Requirements

AAL, HIS, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

With Friends Like These: A History of Modern US-China Relations
Present-day dynamics between the United States and China appear particularly consequential, yet trans-Pacific relations have long shaped global affairs. In this seminar we will examine the history of China-US relations from the late 19th century into the 21st. Topics will include imperialism, American orientalism, the Cold War, trade wars, and shifting perceptions of hegemony. Through critical reading and discussion we will pay particular attention to how their “special” relationship has shaped China and the United States’ respective evolutions. Students who have taken HIST 479 should not register for this course. Course materials include memoirs, political tracts, Hollywood and Shanghai films, oral histories, and a variety of visual works in complement with scholarly texts. Seminar

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, HIS

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Course Description

Readings in Chinese History: China's Historical Minorities
China is often reflexively visualized as an ethnically homogeneous nation-state. However, this conception fails to account for the minority populations that have for centuries resided in China and contributed greatly to its socio-cultural identity. Throughout the imperial age, the four groups called Manchu, Mongol, Hui, and Tibetan surpassed all other non-Chinese ethnicities in influencing the direction of Chinese history and shaping the contours of China's developmental experience. In this reading seminar we will examine the imprint of the collective legacy of these particular minorities as well as those of certain related groups, such as the ancestors of the Uyghurs of modern Xinjiang. Pre-1800 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2024

Requirements

AAL, HIS, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

“The Religious Life”: Buddhist and Christian Monastic Traditions Compared
Both Buddhism and Christianity include traditions of monasticism, of men and women leaving home for “the religious life.” In this course, we will study and compare Buddhist and Christian monasticism from historical and religious perspectives. We will read primary sources, from the Life of St. Anthony and the Rule of St. Benedict to the verses attributed to the first Buddhist nuns and a Zen monastic code. We will examine monastic vocation, the integration of monasteries into society, and the adaptation of monasticism to different cultures. Throughout, we will highlight the role of gender. We will conclude with attention to contemporary manifestations of monastic culture. This course is equivalent to INTL 0472 and RELI 0472. Pre-1800 3 hr sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

CMP, HIS, PHL

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Course Description

Police Aesthetics in Japanese Film
In this course students will consider theories of police power in modern society while analyzing its representation in Japanese cinema. Each week we will begin with readings about one aspect of police power, and will then consider this aspect when analyzing a set of Japanese films. The objectives of the course are for students: (1) to gain a more multifaceted understanding of the police function in modern society, (2) to learn the general history of the Japanese police system, and (3) to cultivate an appreciation of Japanese film and its possibilities for critical reflection.

Terms Taught

Winter 2024, Winter 2025

Requirements

AAL, HIS, NOA, SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

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Course Description

Current Social Issues in Japan (in English)
In this course we will use ethnography, fiction, and historical studies to examine some of the underlying themes of Japanese culture. Japan is a highly developed, post-industrial society renowned across the globe for economic success in the post-World War II period. What historical and social factors have shaped Japan’s contemporary culture, and how have interactions with other countries influenced Japanese society? We will study a number of different spheres of Japanese life including the family and the workplace to better understand contemporary society. We will pay special attention to Japan’s global position and its relationship to the United States. 3 hr. lect./disc. (Anthropology)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021

Requirements

AAL, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Introduction to Japanese Linguistics (in English)
This course will provide an introduction to linguistics theories as applied to the study of Japanese. Through the exploration of a language that is very different from Indo-European languages, students will gain a better understanding of how human languages work and are structured. The relationship of language to culture will be a central theme in the course. Topics covered will include key concepts in linguistics, Japanese linguistics, culture, and pedagogy. This course will be taught in English; no Japanese language or linguistics knowledge required. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2025

Requirements

NOA

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Course Description

Modern and Contemporary Japanese Women Writers
A thousand years ago, women writers dominated the Japanese literary world. Then, for centuries, their skill was discounted, their works overlooked, and their voices silenced. Starting with the nineteenth century, however, Japanese women writers started to reclaim their grandmothers’ heritage. They took the male-dominated literary world by assault, pushing boundaries, drawing on their literary legacy and reinventing it, resisting the label of “women’s literature” so often pejoratively attached to their works. In this course we will explore these figures of resistance and their multilayered works in the context of the changing socio-political conditions that shaped women’s positions in Japanese society. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

AAL, LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Modern Japanese Fiction (in English)
In this course we will examine the development of Japanese literature from the Meiji restoration (1868) through WWII. During this period of rapid and often tumultuous modernization, fiction played a crucial role in the creation of the nation-state and in the formation of the individual's sense of self. We will read works by writers who participated actively in the imagination of modernity and those who resisted it, including Kunikida Doppo, Higuchi Ichiyo, Natsume Soseki, and Mori Ogai. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

AAL, LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Sex and Death in Classical Japanese Culture
In this course we will examine the topics of sex and death in classical Japanese literature and culture, starting with the earliest creation myths of the 8th century, continuing with the masterpieces of the Heian period (794-1185), and culminating with the vibrant culture of the Edo period (1600-1868). We will explore a variety of genres, including poetry, courtly romances and warrior tales, noh and jōruri drama, short stories and novellas, emaki painted scrolls, and early modern woodblock prints, focusing on the ways in which sex and death come to be addressed and represented in classical Japanese culture. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2024

Requirements

AAL, LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Japanese Religions
We will begin our study of Japanese religions with the ancient mythology that forms the basis of Shinto (the way of the kami, or gods). We will then consider the introduction of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism to Japan and examine how these traditions were accepted, absorbed, and adapted. We will also investigate Japanese reactions to Christianity in the 16th century and the appearance of "new" Japanese religions starting in the 19th century. Throughout, we will ask how and why Japanese have both adhered to tradition and been open to new religions. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2023

Requirements

AAL, NOA, PHL

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Course Description

Rethinking the Body in Contemporary Japan (In English)
In this course we will examine attitudes toward and tensions related to the human body in Japan. Looking at art, music, style, and social issues we will examine the symbolic as well as material concerns of bodies in contemporary Japan. Religious, historical, martial, and aesthetic understandings of bodies will be addressed. We will analyze Japan's current attitudes toward organ transplantation, treatment of the deceased, plastic surgery, surrogacy, sex change surgery and other embodied practices. Readings will include Twice Dead and Commodifying Bodies. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Emotion in Japanese, Spoken and Unspoken (taught in English)
How do our emotions surface in speech and text? To what extent are they explicit or implicit? How do linguistic and cultural differences affect how we express our feelings? In this course, we will examine various forms of sentiments in Japanese and beyond through the lens of cognitive linguistics, the scientific study of language and mind. Students will be able to analyze the language of visual, auditory and gustatory experiences depicted in various genres, including haiku, popular songs, food magazines, manga and online communication. We will be reading classical and contemporary articles on sound symbolism, emotion nouns and adjectives, metaphor, and recent stylistic changes, among other topics. Class meetings consist of lectures and in-class discussions in English.

Terms Taught

Spring 2025

Requirements

CW, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Identity, Memory, and the Image of Home in Modern Okinawa Literature (taught in English)
In this course we will investigate the validity of Okinawan literature as a genre, its relation to Japanese literature, as well as the relevance of colonialism/postcolonialism as a methodology for approaching Okinawan literature. Through reading modern Okinawan literary works and critical texts, we will explore a variety of themes, including identity, national community, war narrative/memory, and the concept of home. The course requires that students engage in close reading and analysis of literary fiction and criticism. By the end of the course, students will have acquired knowledge of Okinawan literature, its history, and society, as well as the skill of critical literary analysis. Taught in English.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

LIT, NOA

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Course Description

History of Pre-Modern Japan
In this course we will explore the social, cultural, and institutional history of Japan from the eighth century up through the rise of the Tokugawa shogunate in the 17th century. The course is organized thematically to illuminate the different periods of Japanese history, including the imperial origin myth and Heian culture, the frontier and the rise of samurai government, localism and the warring states period, and finally the Tokugawa settlement and the paradoxes of centralized feudalism. Pre-1800. 3 hrs. lect/disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021

Requirements

AAL, HIS, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

History of Modern Japan, 1850-1945
This course reviews the major events and enduring questions of modern Japanese history beginning with the Meiji Restoration (1868) up to Japan’s defeat in World War II (1945). Through a variety of materials, including novels, philosophy, historical essays, and films, we will explore the formation of the modern Japanese nation-state, the “invention of tradition” in constructing a modern national identity, Japan’s colonial incursions into East Asia, 1920s mass culture, the consolidation of fascism in the 1930s, and the transwar legacies of early postwar Japan. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between transformations within Japan and larger global trends.

Terms Taught

Spring 2024

Requirements

HIS, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

History of Postwar Japan, 1945-2000
In this course we will study the important developments in the postwar history of Japan, including: the Allied Occupation, Japan’s place in the Cold War order, high economic growth, radical politics in the 1960s, the 1980s “bubble economy” and the “lost decade” of the 1990s. As we study these different periods, we will also reflect on the contested meaning of “postwar” (sengo) as it transformed over time. Historiographical texts and lectures will highlight the organizing themes for each week, while primary and cultural sources will provide topics for weekly discussion and paper assignments. Lecture, 2.5 hours

Terms Taught

Fall 2024

Requirements

HIS, NOA

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Course Description

Gender in Japan (in English)
In this course we will examine changing ideas about gender and sexuality in Japan in the 10th through 20th centuries, with special attention to the modern period. Sources will include literary texts, films, and social/historical studies. We will discuss topics, including women's writing in classical Japan; the commercialization of sexuality in the 18th century; ideas of "homosexuality" in late-medieval and modern times; and women's social roles and political struggles in the 20th century. 3 hr. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2023

Requirements

LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Reading Japanese Culture through Anime
In this course we will explore contemporary Japanese culture through the lens of Anime Studies. We will employ historical, literary, linguistic, and anthropological perspectives, as well as interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary approaches (Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Fan Studies). We will watch, read, and study both stand-alone anime movies, as well as selected episodes from anime series, to understand the cultural and historical contexts that generated these works and how they in turn shape national and international media culture.

Terms Taught

Spring 2024

Requirements

ART, HIS, NOA

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

AAL, CMP, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Sustainable Japan: Nature, Culture, and Environment (taught in English)
In this course we will examine the interplay of culture, nature, and human responses to environmental limitations and possibilities in the context of Japan. Students will study the historical and environmental conditions that shape contemporary Japan, focusing on specific case studies of environmental crisis and recovery. Student groups working within a project-based learning framework will research specific green and sustainable practices and projects in Japan and create learning segments and presentations to share with the class and other community members interested in Japan and the environment. Texts such as Japan: An Environmental History, Totman and Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan, Brown will be used. This course will be taught in English. This course is part of the Public Humanities Labs Initiative administered by the Axinn Center for the Humanities.*

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

NOA, SOC

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Course Description

The Tale of Genji (in English)
/The Tale of Genji/ is the world’s first psychological novel. This rich narrative centers on the political intrigues and passionate love affairs of Genji, a fictional prince barred from the throne. In this course we will explore the narrative through a close reading in English translation. Students will gain knowledge of the aesthetic, religious, and social contexts of the Heian period, one of the most vibrant eras in Japanese culture. We will also trace how Genji monogatari has been interpreted over ten centuries in art, theater, films, and most recently, manga. (Formerly JAPN 0190) 3hrs. lect/disc. This course is part of the Public Humanities Labs Initiative administered by the Axinn Center for the Humanities.*

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2023

Requirements

AAL, LIT, NOA

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Course Description

Variation and Change in Japanese (In English)
What can linguistic change tell us about human cognition and behavior? How does the notion of “politeness” vary across communities? How do speakers of Japanese perform gender and other social identities? In this course we will address linguistic diversity and dynamism by examining the Japanese language. Topics include workplace discourse and change in honorific systems. Employing classic works in linguistics and addressing contemporary cultural materials such as manga and J-drama we will apply theoretical frameworks from (socio-)pragmatics, historical linguistics and linguistic typology to gain a deeper understanding of how and why Japanese has developed to its present forms and uses. Students with an interest in linguistics, or in teaching and learning language, or science in general, may also enjoy the analytical approach. (No prerequisites. JAPN0103 above or equivalent recommended). Heritage speakers are also welcome. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Tokyo: Between History and Utopia
In this course we will explore the history of Tokyo—from its "prehistory" as a small castle town in the 16th century to the cosmopolitan metropolis of the 20th century—and trace how Tokyo has captured the imagination as a space of possibility, of play, and for many, of decadence. Through a range of sources, including films, novels, ethnographies, and historical essays, we will use Tokyo as a "site" (both urban and ideological) through which to explore broader questions related to capitalist modernity, the formation of the nation-state, cultural identity, gender politics, and mass-culture. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2024

Requirements

AAL, HIS, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Global Japanese Culture (in English)
In this course we will examine the transformation of Japanese cultural identity (Japanese-ness) as products, ideas, and people move across the borders in and out of Japan. Social scientists have been particularly interested in the Japanizing of non-Japanese practices and products such as hip hop and hamburgers, as well as the popularity of Japanese styles and products on the global scene. We will take an anthropological approach using texts such as Millennial Monsters, Remade in Japan, and Hip Hop Japan to examine the issues of cultural hybridity, identity, and globalization. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Workshop in Literary Translation
Literary translation is a valuable but often neglected skill for advanced language learners. In this workshop we will consider the basic theoretical arguments in translation studies influencing translation styles and then practice translation in a variety of literary genres. Sessions will include discussions of translation strategies and active peer critique of sample translations. Each student will produce a substantial translation as the semester project. Topics covered will include: text selection, translation ethics, practical methodologies, and publishing industry standards. (JAPN 0402 concurrent or prior)

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

LIT, LNG, NOA

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Course Description

Variation and Change in Japanese (In English)
What can linguistic change tell us about human cognition and behavior? How does the notion of “politeness” vary across communities? How do speakers of Japanese perform gender and other social identities? In this course we will address linguistic diversity and dynamism by examining the Japanese language. Topics include workplace discourse and change in honorific systems. Employing classic works in linguistics and addressing contemporary cultural materials such as manga and J-drama we will apply theoretical frameworks from (socio-)pragmatics, historical linguistics and linguistic typology to gain a deeper understanding of how and why Japanese has developed to its present forms and uses. Students with an interest in linguistics, or in teaching and learning language, or science in general, may also enjoy the analytical approach. (No prerequisites. JAPN0103 above or equivalent recommended). Heritage speakers are also welcome. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Introduction to Comparative Politics
This course offers an introduction to the comparative study of political systems and to the logic of comparative inquiry. How are different political systems created and organized? How and why do they change? Why are some democratic and others authoritarian? Why are some rich and others poor? Other topics covered in this course include nationalism and political ideologies, forms of representation, the relationship between state institutions and civil society, and globalization. The goal in this course is to use comparative methods to analyze questions of state institutions -- how they arise, change, and generate different economic, social, and political outcomes. 3 hrs. lect. disc. (Comparative Politics)/

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Contemporary Chinese Politics
This introductory course provides students with a background in how the party-state political system functions, and then investigates the major political issues in China today. We will focus first on economic reform issues, such as income inequality, the floating population, and changes in the socialist welfare model, and then on political reform issues, such as the liberalization of news media, NGO and civil society activity, protest and social movements, environmental protection, and legal reform. China is a quickly changing country, so students will focus on analyzing current events but also have an opportunity to explore a topic of interest in more detail. 3 hrs. lect./disc. Comparative Politics

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Spring 2025

Requirements

NOA, SOC

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Course Description

Chinese Political Economy
Over the past 30 years China has undergone a tremendous transition. The purpose of this course is to consider the extent to which China's experience has challenged theories of market reform. First, we will examine the role of the state in Chinese economic development and market systems more broadly. Second, we will analyze challenges in Chinese state-society relations, from public service provision to protest, that have emerged after such rapid economic growth. Finally, we will discuss the political implications of the Chinese state's responses to these issues in terms of authoritarian durability and governance. 3 hrs. sem. (Comparative Politics)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Fall 2023, Spring 2025

Requirements

AAL, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

The Rise of Asia and US Policy
In this course we will study what is arguably the most important strategic development of the 21st century: how the rise of Asia presents security challenges to the region and the United States. Drawing from international relations scholarship, the course will focus on foreign policy challenges and potential responses. These challenges include both traditional security and nontraditional areas such as water and the environment. We will integrate the analysis of these issues in South, East, and Southeast Asia with study of the policy process, in part through simulations and role-playing exercises. 3 hrs. sem. (International Relations and Foreign Policy)/

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, NOA, SOC

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Course Description

The Buddhist Tradition in East Asia
An introduction to the development of Buddhism within the East Asian cultural sphere of China, Korea, and Japan. We will consider continuities of thought, institution, and practice with the Indian Buddhist tradition as well as East Asian innovations, particularly the rise of the Chan/Zen and Pure Land schools. (Follows RELI 0121 but may be taken independently) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

NOA, PHL

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Course Description

Chinese Religions
An introduction to the rich religious history of China, with an emphasis on primary sources. Topics will include: the ideas and practices of ancient China, the teachings of Confucius and early Taoist (Daoist) thinkers, the introduction of Buddhism to China and its adaptation to Chinese culture, the complex interaction of Buddhism with the Confucian and Taoist traditions, the role of the state in religion, the "popular" Chinese religion of local gods and festivals, and the religious scene in modern Taiwan and mainland China. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

NOA, PHL

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Course Description

Food in East Asian Religions
One might think that food and eating have nothing to do with the lofty concerns of religious traditions. In fact, many religions bring their fundamental principles to bear on the questions of what, how, and with whom to eat; many also revolve around “feeding” gods and other spiritual beings. In this course, we will examine East Asian religions through the lens of eating practices. We will study Confucian feasting and fasting, various Chinese, Korean, and Japanese rituals offering food to ancestors and gods, Buddhist vegetarianism and its critics, unusual Taoist eating regimens, and the ancient cosmological ideas underlying traditional Chinese medical ideas of healthy eating. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, NOA, PHL

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Course Description

Japanese Religions
We will begin our study of Japanese religions with the ancient mythology that forms the basis of Shinto (the way of the kami, or gods). We will then consider the introduction of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism to Japan and examine how these traditions were accepted, absorbed, and adapted. We will also investigate Japanese reactions to Christianity in the 16th century and the appearance of "new" Japanese religions starting in the 19th century. Throughout, we will ask how and why Japanese have both adhered to tradition and been open to new religions. (Seniors by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2023, Spring 2025

Requirements

AAL, NOA, PHL

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Course Description

Persecution and Revival of Religion in Modern China
In this study of the dramatic recent religious history of China, we will begin with "modern" critics and reformers at the end of the imperial era and then consider the communist suppression of religion and the "cult of Mao." Our focus, however, will be the remarkable revival of religion since Mao's death in 1976. We will investigate the activity itself-ranging from traditional practices to new religious movements to various forms of Christianity—and the complex cultural and political dynamics involved in this "return" to religion. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2024

Requirements

AAL, NOA, PHL

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Course Description

“The Religious Life”: Buddhist and Christian Monastic Traditions Compared
Both Buddhism and Christianity include traditions of monasticism, of men and women leaving home for “the religious life.” In this course, we will study and compare Buddhist and Christian monasticism from historical and religious perspectives. We will read primary sources, from the Life of St. Anthony and the Rule of St. Benedict to the verses attributed to the first Buddhist nuns and a Zen monastic code. We will examine monastic vocation, the integration of monasteries into society, and the adaptation of monasticism to different cultures. Throughout, we will highlight the role of gender. We will conclude with attention to contemporary manifestations of monastic culture. This course is equivalent to HIST 0472 and INTL 0472. 3 hr sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

CMP, HIS, PHL

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European Studies

Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

Black German History
Although more than a million people in Germany identify as Black, Germany’s Black community and its history remain largely invisible in public discourse, historiography, and collective memory. In this course we will examine the history of Blacks in Germany from colonialism to the present. We will discuss early encounters of Africans with Germany, Germany’s brutal colonial ambitions, Black communities in early 20th century Germany and during National socialism, the histories of Black communities in East and West Germany after World War II (including their connections to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement), and the emergence of an Afro-German identity from the 1980s until today.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Archaic and Classical Greece
A survey of Greek history from Homer to the Hellenistic period, based primarily on a close reading of ancient sources in translation. The course covers the emergence of the polis in the Dark Age, colonization and tyranny, the birth of democracy, the Persian Wars, the interdependence of democracy and Athenian imperialism, the Peloponnesian War, and the rise of Macedon. Authors read include Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristophanes, Plutarch, Xenophon, and the Greek orators. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR, HIS, LIT

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Course Description

History of Rome
This course is an introductory survey of Roman history, from the emergence of the Republic to the influence of Rome on the western world. In the first half of the course we will study the origins of Rome's rise to dominance, the conquest of the Mediterranean and its effect on Roman society, and the crumbling of political structures under the weight of imperial expansion. In the second half, we will study the empire more broadly, starting with the emperors and moving out to the daily lives of people around the Mediterranean. The course will end with the importance of Rome for the Founding Fathers. We will read from authors including Polybius, Plutarch, Appian, Caesar, Suetonius, Tacitus, Juvenal, and Pliny. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2023

Requirements

EUR, HIS, LIT

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Course Description

Augustus and the World of Rome
In 44 B.C., Julius Caesar was assassinated. Within two months his adoptive son, Augustus, still in his teens, traveled to Rome, soon extorted the highest office of the Roman Republic, and after 13 years of civil war became the state's first emperor. The resulting "Augustan Age" (31 B.C. to A.D. 14) produced a period of political change and cultural achievement unparalleled in Rome's long history. In this course we will examine the literature, art, history, and politics of this era, evaluate the nature of Augustus's accomplishments, and explore the Roman world. Readings include: Augustus, Vergil, Suetonius, and I, Claudius. 2 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

EUR, HIS, LIT

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Course Description

The Rise and Fall of the Roman Republic
This course is an introduction to the literature, politics, culture and history of the Roman Republic (c.509-31BCE) - a period which saw Rome grow from a small city on the Tiber to the supreme power in the Mediterranean, and also saw the development of Latin literature. Our readings cover a broad variety of literary genres and authors: comedy (Plautus and Terence), lyric (Catullus), epic (Ennius), political speeches and letters (Cicero), history (Caesar, Sallust, Polybius), and didactic philosophy (Lucretius). As we read we will be careful to investigate how these texts present different and often conflicting ideas of what it means to be Roman, as well as how different ideologies of Rome compete throughout each work. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR, HIS, LIT

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Course Description

Literature of the Roman Empire
In this course we will investigate the literature, culture, and history of the Roman Empire, focusing on how Romans sought, often at the cost of their own lives, to define the role and powers of the emperor and their place as subjects to this new, autocratic power. Texts we will read include: epic (Lucan), tragedy (Seneca), history (Tacitus), biography (Suetonius), prose fiction (Petronius), as well as early Christian literature. As we read we will seek to answer questions about the nature of freedom and empire, what is gained and lost by replacing a republican with an autocratic political system, and whether literature in this period can offer an accurate reflection of reality, function as an instrument of change and protest, or of fearful praise and flattery. 3 hrs lect. 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

CW, EUR, HIS, LIT

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Course Description

Greek and Roman Epic Poetry
Would Achilles and Hector have risked their lives and sacred honor had they understood human life and the Olympian gods as Homer portrays them in the Iliad? Why do those gods decide to withdraw from men altogether following the Trojan War, and why is Odysseus the man Athena chooses to help her carry out that project? And why, according to the Roman poet Vergil, do these gods command Aeneas, a defeated Trojan, to found an Italian town that will ultimately conquer the Greek cities that conquered Troy, replacing the Greek polis with a universal empire that will end all wars of human freedom? Through close study of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, and Vergil's Aeneid, we explore how the epic tradition helped shape Greece and Rome, and define their contributions to European civilization. 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LIT, PHL

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Course Description

The Golden Age of Athens: History and Literature
In this course we will trace the unprecedented intellectual innovation that begins with Greece’s triumph over the Persian invasions in 490 and 480-479 BC, continues through the emergence of radical democracy and imperialism at Athens, and culminates in the Peloponnesian War and Athens’ defeat in 404 BC by her former ally, Sparta. Through intensive study of selected works of historiography (Herodotus, Thucydides), tragedy (Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides), comedy (Aristophanes), and philosophy (Plato), we will explore the central concerns of 5th-century Athenians: freedom and power, knowledge and virtue, law and nature, and the place of the divine in the human world. 3 hr. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

EUR, HIS, LIT

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Course Description

Greek Tragedy
A survey of selected tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, exploring the relation between tragedy and political freedom and empire in fifth century B.C. Athens. The course examines the tragic poets' use of traditional Greek myths to question not only the wisdom of contemporary Athenian imperialism but also traditional Greek views on relations between the sexes; between the family and the city; between man's presumed dignity and his belief in gods. Mythical and historical background is supplied through additional readings from Homer and Thucydides. The course asks how the tragedians managed to raise publicly, in the most solemn religious settings, the kind of questions for which Socrates was later put to death. The course culminates in a reading of Aristotle's Poetics. 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

EUR, LIT, PHL

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Course Description

Sparta and Athens
For over 200 years, Athens and Sparta were recognized as the most powerful Greek city-states, and yet one was a democracy (Athens), the other an oligarchy (Sparta). One promoted the free and open exchange of ideas (Athens); one tried to remain closed to outside influence (Sparta). This course studies the two city-states from the myths of their origins through their respective periods of hegemony to their decline as imperial powers. The goal is to understand the interaction between political success and intellectual and cultural development in ancient Greece. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, EUR, HIS, LIT

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Course Description

Roman Law
The Romans' codification of civil law is often considered their greatest intellectual achievement and most original and influential contribution to the world. This course treats the four main divisions of Roman law (persons, property, obligations, and succession). Great emphasis is placed on the role of law in Roman society. How did the law influence the lives of Roman citizens living under it? How did ordinary Roman citizens shape the law? Students will come to understand the principles of Roman law through actual cases. Designed for students with some background in Roman history and/or literature. 2 hrs. lect./1 disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

EUR, HIS

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Course Description

History of Classical Literature
A comprehensive overview of the major literary, historical, and philosophical works of Greece and Rome. Greek authors studied include Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Herodotus, Aristophanes, Thucydides, Plato, and Aristotle. Roman authors include Lucretius, Cicero, Livy, Vergil, Petronius, and Tacitus. Required of senior majors in Classics/Classical Studies (see CLAS 0701 below) and open to all interested students with some background in Greek and Roman literature, history, or philosophy. (By approval) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

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Course Description

Economic History and History of Economic Thought
This course will provide an introduction to economic history and the history of economic thought. We will investigate and understand the causes and consequences of important historical events and trends, such as industrialization and globalization, from an economic perspective. We devote considerable attention to the dissemination throughout Europe of new industrial and agricultural practices originating in Britain. Along the way, we evaluate how prominent economists perceived and analyzed the events of their time. (ECON 0150 and ECON 0155) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Economies of Post-Communist Europe
From the break-up of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact through Europe’s largest war in almost eight decades, we will explore the trajectories of Europe’s former communist economies, with particular focus on Russia, Ukraine, and Poland. Though we will focus on economic developments and processes, we will also pay attention to relevant political and historical forces. Topics to be covered will include the economic legacy of communism, the region’s integration into European and global markets, the evolving balance between state and private actors in the economy, the public’s reaction to the economic transformation, and the economic consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. (ECON 0150 or ECON 0155 or by approval)

Terms Taught

Spring 2024

Requirements

EUR, SOC

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Course Description

Economics of the European Union
This course will introduce students to the major economies of Western Europe and also the economic functions and structure of the institutions of the European Union. The course aims to familiarize students with the theoretical economic and policy issues that are currently of concern in the European Union. Moreover, the course aims to analyze economic problems that are of particular relevance to the member states of the European Union, such as the coordination of policies within an intergovernmental supranational framework and how to sustain the integration dynamic. (ECON 0250 or IPEC 0240 [formerly ECON 0240]) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2022, Spring 2025

Requirements

EUR

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Course Description

International Finance
An analysis of the world's financial system and the consequences for open economies of macroeconomic interdependence. Particular topics include: exchange rate determination, balance of payments adjustments, and monetary and fiscal policies in open economies. Special attention is paid to the issues and problems of the European Economic Community and European integration and debt in developing countries. (ECON 0250 or IPEC 0240 [formerly ECON 0240]) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Fall 2023

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Course Description

Foundations of English Literature (Pre-1800)
Students will study Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Milton's Paradise Lost, as well as other foundational works of English literature that may include Shakespeare, non-Shakespearean Elizabethan drama, the poetry of Donne, and other 16th- and 17th-century poetry. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Nineteenth Century British Literature (II)
The 19th century is the era of “peak novel,” for never before or since has the genre exhibited such confidence in its ability to tell the truth about both the teeming world and the private life. But far from merely reflecting social reality, the novelists and poets of the period played an active part in constructing their readers' ideas about gender and sexuality, imperialism and colonialism, class, religion, and technology, insisting that literature be relevant and revelatory in a time of swift and sometimes frightening cultural and intellectual innovation. Works to be covered will include novels by Emily Bronte, Dickens, George Eliot, and Hardy, and the poetry of Tennyson, Browning, and Christina Rossetti. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Multi-Ethnic British Literatures
"My name is Karim Amir," announces the protagonist of a Hanif Kureishi novel, "and I am an Englishman born and bred, almost." In this course we will investigate the complex subject of ethnic and national identity in the writing of British authors of Asian, African, and Caribbean descent. We will trace the shifting meanings of "black" and "British" as we move from 1950s migrant fictions to more recent reckonings with British multiculturalism. Topics to be considered will include diaspora and the work of memory; race and religion after 9/11; the representation of urban space; and the experience of asylum-seekers and refugees. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Diversity) (Rec)

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Kafka and his Influence
This course is an intensive inquiry into the work and reach of Franz Kafka. In addition to reading his novels, his stories, his letters and diaries, and his aphorisms, we will take up some of the voluminous and often highly imaginative writings on Kafka, with an eye towards fashioning some ideas, and some writings, of our own.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

EUR, LIT, PHL, WTR

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Course Description

Foundations of English Literature (Pre-1800)
Students will study Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Milton's Paradise Lost, as well as other foundational works of English literature that may include Shakespeare, non-Shakespearean Elizabethan drama, the poetry of Donne, and other 16th- and 17th-century poetry. 3 hrs. lect./disc.(Formerly ENAM 0204)

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Forms of Enlightenment: Long Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture (Pre-1800)
In this course, we will explore the development of literary genres, forms, and institutions in long eighteenth-century (1660-1830) Britain and its empire. We will track how writers in the period reimagined knowledge production, social organization, and politics in print. As we consider the key questions of the moment—the relationships between sensations, ideas, and truth; between reason, sympathy, and self-interest—we will attend carefully to the contradictions, exclusions, and omissions that structure Enlightenment thought, particularly with respect to questions of race and colonialism. Authors might include Aphra Behn, Henry Neville, Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift, Sarah Scott, Adam Smith, Olaudah Equiano, Ignatius Sancho, Edmund Burke, and Phillis Wheatley Peters. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Formerly ENAM 0225)

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR, LIT

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Nineteenth Century British Literature (II)
The 19th century is the era of “peak novel,” for never before or since has the genre exhibited such confidence in its ability to tell the truth about both the teeming world and the private life. But far from merely reflecting social reality, the novelists and poets of the period played an active part in constructing their readers' ideas about gender and sexuality, imperialism and colonialism, class, religion, and technology, insisting that literature be relevant and revelatory in a time of swift and sometimes frightening cultural and intellectual innovation. Works to be covered will include novels by Emily Bronte, Dickens, George Eliot, and Hardy, and the poetry of Tennyson, Browning, and Christina Rossetti. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Formerly ENAM 0241)

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

EUR, LIT

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

The Romantic Revolution
he generation of British poets and novelists known collectively as the Romantics decisively rebelled against earlier conceptions of what literature could speak about, how it could best describe a rapidly changing world, and who was fit to be its reader. Arguably the first environmentalists, the Romantics also initiated our modern discussions of gender, class, race, and nationalism. To encounter the Romantics is to witness intellectual courage taking up arms against habit, prejudice, and tyranny. We will trace their genius and daring (and follow their personal attachments for, and rivalries with, each other) through the poetry of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats, and the novels of Mary Shelley and Emily Brönte. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Formerly ENAM 0250)

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Multi-Ethnic British Literatures
"My name is Karim Amir," announces the protagonist of a Hanif Kureishi novel, "and I am an Englishman born and bred, almost." In this course we will investigate the complex subject of ethnic and national identity in the writing of British authors of Asian, African, and Caribbean descent. We will trace the shifting meanings of "black" and "British" as we move from 1950s migrant fictions to more recent reckonings with British multiculturalism. Topics to be considered will include diaspora and the work of memory; race and religion after 9/11; the representation of urban space; and the experience of asylum-seekers and refugees. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Diversity) (Rec) (Formerly ENAM 0275)

Terms Taught

Spring 2024

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Literature and Economy: Credit, Speculation, Fiction
Beyond its engagements with the political economy of its day, Karl Marx’s Capital is rich with allusions to literary texts—among them Dante’s Inferno, Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe. In this course we will explore the imaginative aspects of classical economic thought and the economically descriptive capacities of literature. We will track their common interests in concepts of belief, credibility, and abstraction by looking (primarily) at a period that witnessed the emergence of political economy and modern literary forms like the novel—the eighteenth century. Along the way, we will hazard answers to the following question: in an age of rampant inequality and financialization, what can we learn from representations of historical crises, bubbles, and class struggles? 3 hrs. sem

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Spring 2025

Requirements

EUR, LIT, PHL

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Course Description

Literature and Class Struggle
In this course, we’ll investigate the representation of class struggle in a variety of cultural and historical contexts, ranging from eighteenth-century agrarian poetry to twentieth-century experimental film and the contemporary novel of climate crisis. Under what conditions, we’ll ask, do working-class projects of social transformation take shape? How can literature and film stimulate social consciousness or propel movements? How does cultural work reveal the interplay between class, gender, and race in liberation struggles? With the assistance of Marxist and feminist theory, we’ll offer answers to these questions by studying the work of authors and filmmakers including Muriel Rukeyser, Sembène Ousmane, Leslie Kaplan, Lana and Lily Wachowski, and Kim Stanley Robinson. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Winter 2024, Winter 2025

Requirements

AMR, EUR, LIT, PHL, WTR

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Course Description

Sherlock Holmes Across Media
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes in 1886. Since then, the consulting detective has continued to solve mysteries in literature, radio, film, television, and digital media. Indeed, Sherlock Holmes inspired what many think of as the earliest media fandom. Why has Sherlock Holmes remained such a fascinating figure for almost a century and a half? How have Holmes and his sidekick Watson (or Sherlock and John) transformed in their different iterations across media, culture, history, and nation? And what does it mean for contemporary television series Elementary and Sherlock to reimagine Sherlock Holmes for the digital age? (Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1457)

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

ART, EUR, LIT

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Course Description

French New Wave
Beginning in 1959 and continuing through the 1960s, dozens of young French cinephiles, thrilled by Hollywood genre movies and European art films, but disgusted with their own national cinema’s stodgy productions, took up cameras and began making films. This movement, known as La Nouvelle Vague, remains one of the most exciting, inventive periods in cinema history. This course focuses on the major films and directors (Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Alain Resnais) of the period and also gives consideration to the cultural, technological, and economic factors that shaped this movement. (Formerly FMMC 0345)

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

ART, EUR

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Course Description

Imagining Community in France and Beyond
In this course we will examine how notions of community have been imagined within French culture, drawing on a variety of sources including essays, short novels and film. Particular attention will be given to works in which difference (ethnic, regional, national, generational, class) plays an important role in initiating and sustaining innovative forms of partnership. The course provides an array of opportunities to hone oral expression, critical thinking and writing in French. Writers and directors studied may include Chamoiseau, Dai Sijie, Daudet, Duras, Gary, Glissant, Kassovitz, Malle, and Tournier. (FREN 0209, 0210 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Criminal Minds in Literature written in French
How does one become a criminal? What causes a person to commit a crime? What triggers a criminal act? Which sorts of thought-processes lead to crime? These questions will be central to this course in which we will analyze the writing techniques that various Francophone authors have used to explore and portray criminals, both male and female. We will read literary texts—short stories and novels— from the Francophone world, including France, and watch some film adaptations. We will investigate the connections between realism, romanticism, and naturalism; attempt to disentangle reality from the imaginary; and interpret and extract meaning from stream-of-consciousness narratives. (FREN 0209 or 0210 or placement) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Travelers and Migrants in French and Francophone Literature
Multiple forms of traveling emerged with the expansion of the French empire, from colonial ventures to forced migration. In this course we will study how writers represent such experiences. We will discuss fictions that focus on mobility, passages, and border-crossing, and question what these fictions reveal about the cultures in contact. How do travel and migration narratives reconfigure the relation between here and there, self and other, the individual and the community? Studying literary texts in their historical contexts will allow us to discuss varied topics, such as nationhood, slavery, exoticism, identity, and difference, as well as to explore several artistic movements that have shaped French and Francophone culture. Writers will include Montesquieu, Balzac, Baudelaire, Madame de Staël, Gide, Césaire, Glissant, and Sinha. (FREN 0209, 0210 or placement) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Introduction to Contemporary France
In this interdisciplinary course we will examine the evolving social and political landscape of France in the 21st century. How is French society reconciling contemporary challenges with deeply entrenched institutions and values? How does everyday life reflect the evolution of long-term trends? How are immigration, growing inequalities, and membership in the European Union challenging French identity and the notion of “Frenchness”? We will focus our attention on demography and the family, the educational system, politics, and the French social model or welfare state. Emphasis will be on oral expression and the acquisition of specialized vocabulary. Sources will include articles from the French and American press, documents, and film. This course is recommended for all students planning to study in France. (FREN 0209, 0210 or placement); open to first-semester first-year students with permission.)

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Spring 2025

Requirements

CW, EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

French in North America
In this course we will focus on French varieties in North America, including those found in Québec, historic Acadia, New England, Louisiana, and the Caribbean. We will survey the impact of French colonialism on the linguistic landscape of North America and the sociolinguistic dynamics of French-speaking communities. We will study language revitalization and maintenance in local newspapers, social media, literature, and film. This course is intended to facilitate the transition between introductory and advanced-level classes with an emphasis on developing written and oral expression in French. (FREN 0209) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

Rebirth and Renaissance: Narrating the Past, Present, and Future in 16th- and 17th -Century France
What is the French Renaissance? If naissance means “birth,” what (or who) is being (re)born in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century France? Who are its parents or ancestors? Who or what has passed away to make space for this “birth”? In this course we will introduce ourselves to, and critically question, the possible “births” of the French Renaissance through three modules: the rebirth of the classical and medieval pasts; the birth of “the New World” as a European conception of already existing homelands of Indigenous peoples; the birth of France as a (pre)modern nation-state. We will analyze a wide variety of Francophone materials, including poetry, prose, paintings and prints.

Terms Taught

Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Animal Encounters in French Literature
In this course we will explore representations of animals in French literature. Animals have played an important role in literature, yet, in post-Darwinian modernity their depiction became increasingly tied to a questioning of the human/animal divide. What are the recurrent motifs and concerns that shape depictions of animals in 19th and 20th century French literature? What ethical and social questions do they raise? We will study fictional works of animal metamorphosis, and literary accounts of zoos and animal spectacles, as well as ways in which animals have been used as a rhetorical device to de-humanize "Others"—women and foreigners, in particular. We will read texts by Baudelaire, Balzac, Maupassant, Flaubert, Colette, Vercors, and Darrieussecq. (FREN 0220-0229 or by waiver). 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Social Mobility and France's "Transclasses"
Traditionally perceived as stable and rigid, France's class stratification has evolved significantly since the 1960s. However, inequalities based on one's socioeconomic origins persist. Accordingly, the transclasses—those individuals having acquired a different class status over their lifetime—have attracted a great deal of recent attention: do they confirm the existence of social mobility or are they the “exception that proves the rule of social reproduction?” Through historical, sociological, and literary analysis we will debate this question. Sections will include: the history of socioeconomic inequality; French sociological theories that explain both continuity and change of class structure; current literary figures who embody the transclasse experience.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, LNG

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Course Description

France: A Multicultural Society?
The debates over "national identity" and the "niqab affair" (2009-2010) demonstrated once again just how controversial the notion of cultural pluralism remains in France. Using an historical and sociological approach, we will examine the sources of French unease over such public displays of "private" difference. We will explore France's colonial past and immigration; different forms of socio-political mobilization around ethnic, religious, and sexual "identities"; measures adopted by the French to combat ethno-racial discrimination. Sources will include sociological texts, articles from French press, websites, and films. (FREN 0221 or FREN 0230 or by waiver). 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

The Culture of Everyday Life: A User's manual
In this course we will explore works produced in France that focus on the everyday and its growing impact on cultural expression. Beginning with key theories of the everyday (Debord, Barthes and Certeau), we will then focus on creative texts of the interwar period (reportage, le fait divers, surrealism), before turning to the postwar context and consumer society (Beauvoir, Perec and Ernaux). We will end with consideration of the everyday and its relation to postcolonialism in a recent novel by Leïla Slimani. Photography (Brassaï, Man Ray), film (Tati, Varda, Malle), and performance art (Sophie Calle) will also be considered. (FREN 0220-0229 or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Gender Studies in France: History, Theories, Feminist Performances (In French)
This course offers an introductory and multidisciplinary approach to gender studies in the French context. It traces the history of feminist struggles and theories (first, second, third, fourth waves), explains the stakes of the critique of "phallogocentrism" and "male domination", and studies the different points of view. The gender issues raised by recent laws regarding religious demonstrations in the public space, marriage for all, and prostitution are examined. Finally, the analysis of political demands is based on poetic and artistic works which are capable of re-focusing language and perspective, and ultimately subverting gender norms.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

EUR, SOC

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Course Description

Geopolitics of Europe
The course examines the arguably most influential region in the world from a geopolitical perspective. First, we chart the complex geographic dimensions of Europe. Next, we critically evaluate the legacy of European power and Europe's main political body, the EU. Then we analyze geopolitical challenges and flashpoints that threaten to destabilize Europe. Finally, we assess the current state of “Europeanization” at the grassroots level and investigate transborder initiatives and activities. Students will be actively engaged in this study through a research project that contributes to an end of semester conference on the Future of Europe. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

EUR, SOC

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Course Description

Black German History
Although more than a million people in Germany identify as Black, Germany’s Black community and its history remain largely invisible in public discourse, historiography, and collective memory. In this course we will examine the history of Blacks in Germany from colonialism to the present. We will discuss early encounters of Africans with Germany, Germany’s brutal colonial ambitions, Black communities in early 20th century Germany and during National socialism, the histories of Black communities in East and West Germany after World War II (including their connections to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement), and the emergence of an Afro-German identity from the 1980s until today.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Weimar Germany Revisited (in English)
In this course we will examine the brief but intense period of artistic creativity and political upheaval in Germany's first democracy, the Weimar Republic. Beginning with Germany's defeat in World War I, we will discuss the implications of the Versailles Treaty, the "stab-in-the-back" theory, and the growing political polarization leading to Hitler's rise to power. Contrasting this political decline with the period's increased cultural productivity, we will examine important movements like Expressionism, Dadaism, and New Objectivity in literature, the visual arts, theater, and film. Readings will include texts by Döblin, Th. Mann, Kracauer, Kästner, and Brecht. Reflecting on Weimar Germany's echo today, we will end the term with a critical evaluation of Netflix' hit show "Babylon Berlin." This course will be taught in English. This course is part of the Public Humanities Labs Initiative administered by the Axinn Center for the Humanities./

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Literary Responses to the Holocaust (in English)
Can the Holocaust be described in words? Can images represent the horrors of Auschwitz? In this seminar we will explore the literary and artistic representations of the Shoah and its legacies, their mechanisms, tensions, and challenges. We will approach the issues of Holocaust representations by considering a significant array of texts that span genres, national literatures, time, narrative and poetic styles, and historical situations. Readings will include texts on witnessing, memory, post-memory, and trauma by authors such as Bernhard Schlink, Art Spiegelman, Hans J. Massaquoi, Primo Levi, Ruth Klüger, Nora Krug, Paul Celan, Sherman Alexie, and Hannah Arendt. 3hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2024

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Screening and Streaming Germany: Film, Television & Netflix
We will interrogate the role that various media forms play in the writing and re-writing of history and the creation of historical memory and identity. Questions that will guide the course include: How have depictions of Germany and German history changed over time? How do film and television influence national and group identity, both intentionally and unintentionally? How has the viewer's behavior changed with the development of new technologies such as Netflix, and how does that affect what stories are told, how they are told, and how they are received? Students will examine the assigned films and televisions series through both an historical and a comparative-media lens.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

ART, CMP, EUR, LNG

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Course Description

German in Its Cultural Contexts
The course invites students to explore social and cultural developments in Germany from 1871 to the present day from a historical perspective. We begin by examining Germany’s birth as a nation state and end by looking at recent events in today’s reunified Federal Republic. The course aims to lay the foundation for a critical understanding of German culture in its contemporary global context. Writing the biographies of fictional Germans throughout the semester, students will follow the radical changes in German society during the (long) twentieth century and gain an understanding how ‘ordinary’ people in Germany might have lived. A montage of written and visual materials will expose students to elite, mainstream, and marginal cultures alike. Taught in German. (Formerly GRMN 0310) (GRMN 0202 or placement) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2022

Requirements

CW, EUR, HIS, LNG

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Course Description

German Linguistics (in German)
This course simultaneously presents an overview of the major subfields of linguistics as they apply to the German language and a discussion of how today's Standard German evolved. We will pay attention to important concepts in phonetics/phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. In addition to these theoretical and descriptive aspects, we will discuss sociolinguistic issues such as language and gender and regional variations within Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Luxemburg. Lectures and discussions will be conducted in German. (Formerly GRMN 0340) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR, LNG

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Course Description

Rethinking Literature
This course focuses on the "literary" as a force within cultural discourse. A thorough understanding of literary periods and genres serves as the background for a critical investigation of modern theoretical approaches to literary texts. Discussing major works of German literature, students explore the notion of "literariness" in its various cultural contexts. (Formerly GRMN 0330) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Colonialism and Racism
Racism, the ideology that humans may be divided into separate and exclusive biological entities called “races,” justified colonial exploitation and was the essence of Nazism. In this course we will examine Germany’s short era of colonialism (1894-1918) and its long lasting legacies. Through our analysis of literary and non-literary texts, interviews, documentaries, museum exhibitions and many more, we will discuss the experiences of Black People and People of Color in Germany – during the colonial period, under the NS-regime, in post-war and post- reunification Germany. We will examine colonial traces in street names, monuments and museums, and critically reflect on racisms inherent in language and educational materials. (GRMN 0202 or placement exam) 3hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

EUR, HIS, LNG

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Course Description

Exiles, Refugees and Migrants from/in Germany
In this course we will study experiences of exiles, refugees, and migrants and their escapes both from and to Germany. We will focus on two time periods: 1933 to 1945, when people fled persecution from Nazi Germany, and the “refugee crisis” in Germany between 2015 to 2018. Using literary texts, letters, autobiographies, films, current news coverage, and documentaries, we will place flight narratives in their historical contexts, follow escape routes across borders, study post-flight lives of refugees in their reception countries, and learn about international refugee and asylum politics. Taught in German 3 hrs. sem./screen

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

Fin-de-siècle Vienna
Major innovations in art, architecture, music, and literature occurred in Vienna at the turn of the century. Politically the Habsburg monarchy was, unknowingly, nearing its end. Despite contributions by Gustav Klimt, Otto Wagner, Arnold Schönberg, and Arthur Schnitzler, scholarship often viewed fin-de-siècle Vienna as a period of decline and decay in which art and literature were characteristically apolitical. In this course an introduction to the historical, political, and cultural events of the Habsburg monarchy serves as background information through which to examine Austria-Hungary’s literature, music, and arts around 1900. Readings will include texts by A. Schnitzler, R. Musil, H. v. Hofmannsthal, and P. Altenberg. (Formerly GRMN 0460). 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

How Grim Are the Grimm Brothers? Rereading Fairy Tales
This course focuses on modern (re)readings of the Grimm brothers' fairy tales. Starting with a discussion of the brothers' lives and the cultural setting at the beginning of the nineteenth century, we concentrate on contemporary issues in these tales. Various approaches to literature allow us to create many spheres of interpretation. Historical, textual, psychological, and philosophical readings generate an array of possible meanings for modern audiences. (Formerly GRMN 0313) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2024

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Sounds and the City: German Urban Cultural History of the 20th and 21st Century
In this course, we will seek to understand the cultural history of 20th and 21st century Germany by examining its soundscapes. Analyzing recordings of selected events, we will discuss how history can be portrayed as an acoustic experience. Sound profiles of city spaces before, during, and after World War II and the Cold War will illustrate sound's impact on German society and its ability to create utopian/dystopian spaces. This line of inquiry invites us to rethink noise, silence, language, identity, power, and-considering the history of recording technologies-the nature of knowledge itself. We will consider works by literary scholars, historians, anthropologists, and musicologists. (Formerly GRMN 0410) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

EUR, LNG

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Course Description

Weimar Germany and Its Legacies
In this course we will examine the brief and intense period of artistic creativity and political upheaval in Germany's first democracy, the Weimar Republic. Beginning with Germany's humiliating defeat in World War I we will discuss the implications of the Versailles Treaty, the Dolchstoß (stab-in-the-back) theory, the stillborn revolution of 1918-1919, and the growing political polarization and apathy leading to Hitler's rise to power. Contrasting the political decline with the increased in cultural productivity, we will trace the artists' outcry for spiritual rebirth, examining the development of Expressionism, Dadaism, and New Objectivity in literature, visual arts, theater, and film. Readings will include texts by Döblin, Th. Mann, V. Baum, Kracauer, Kästner, Brecht, and Hans Fallada. Special project: preparation of an art exhibit in MCA opening in fall 2014. (Formerly GRMN 0403) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

German Biopics
Biopics, motion pictures based on the life of real, rather than fictional, persons, have become a booming genre in German contemporary cinema. In this course we will explore how film makers choose and develop characters and how they deal with the tension of historical accuracy versus fiction. Students will learn about basic film concepts and terminology in German. We will pay special attention to the political and social contexts in which the films were produced and received. Hannah Arendt (Margarethe von Trotta, 2012) and Gundermann (Andreas Dresen, 2018) are included as two well-known examples of the genre. (GRMN 201)

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

ART, EUR, LNG, WTR

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Course Description

Screening German History
In this course we analyze movies portraying events or issues of cultural and historical significance in Germany’s past and present. We will focus on visual meaning-making, i.e. on how movies produce a meaning that simultaneously comments on the time they depict and the time in which they were produced: how does this process of adapting hi/story to the screen affect our understanding of that hi/story? No prior knowledge in film-analysis required. But since you love watching movies, please share with us any movies you know that make a comment on the present while telling a story from the past.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

ART, EUR, SOC

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Course Description

Decolonizing Porn: Circulating Desire between Europe and the Americas
In this course we will use feminist, queer, critical race, and decolonial theories to analyze porn in Europe and the Americas. The goal is to give students the analytic tools they need to think deeply about the centrality of porn to our lives and to global capitalism, creating jobs in the “gig economy” as well as huge amounts of profit even as it extracts unpaid labor from trafficked bodies. We will consider pornographic photography, cinema, AI, and deep fakes. Texts will include Linda Williams’ Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the ‘Frenzy of the Visible,” Gayle Rubin’s “Thinking Sex,” Heather Berg, Porn Work and Jennifer Nash’s The Black Body in Ecstasy. In the SPAN section of the course, students will also be asked to participate in Spanish at least three times on the Spanish-language day of the class. All students will present their public-facing projects at the end of the class. (GloDeFem)/

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

CMP, SOC

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Course Description

An Introduction to Global Visual Culture
This course is an introduction to the visual cultures of the world, with an emphasis on how images, objects, and monuments are made, experienced, exchanged, and used by groups of people with diverse religious, socio-economic, and cultural backgrounds. We will focus on themes that have been taken up by different cultures and adapted over time, such as monumentality, the sacred, embodiment, science, and technology. Through a close study of these themes, we will consider how materials, cultures, and histories are transformed and negotiated through making and viewing works of art. In the process, we will challenge the art historical canon by shedding light on marginalized periods, regions, and artworks. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

ART, CMP

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Course Description

Italian Renaissance Art: 1350-1550
This course will focus on the art produced in Italy during the late fourteenth through the early sixteenth centuries. In addition to studying the chronological development of painting, sculpture, and architecture, we will consider such issues as artistic training, patronage, domestic life, and the literary achievements of this period of "rebirth." Focusing on urban environments such as Florence, Siena, Padua, Venice, Rome, and Urbino, we will give special attention to the manner in which artistic production was shaped by place. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2022, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

ART, EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Venice in Renaissance
Venetian art was long shaped by its unique setting, distinctive political structure, and a collective identity enforced by its patrician leaders. In this course, we will engage in a close consideration of the socio-political conditions that both reinforced tradition and ultimately made way for a "golden age" in Venetian painting, sculpture, and architecture. Topics will include individual artists, such as Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, and Palladio, as well as artistic training and workshop practice, patronage, and the rise of Venetian humanism. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

ART, EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Northern Renaissance Art: The Rhetoric of the Real
This course will provide students with an overview of art objects created in a variety of media in Northern Europe between the 15th and 16th centuries. We will analyze the changing uses of art in cultures where people defined themselves and the depths of their piety in relation to their material wealth and social standing. During the last few weeks of the semester, the class will look at the emergence of genre painting and the representation of peasant life. We will consider how these phenomena were tied to the histories and careers of individual artists and their workshops. General questions will include: How does the convincing representation of "reality" make for a persuasive image? What are the benefits of fusing secular and religious subject matter? Is it valid to speak of a new artistic self-awareness? 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2024

Requirements

ART, EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Understanding Early Medieval and Romanesque Art: Seeing Ste. Foy
This course is an introduction to key artworks and architectural monuments made and built in Europe during the eighth through twelfth centuries. We will study such structures as Charlemagne's Palace Chapel and the reliquary statue of Ste. Foy at Conques to explore how these monuments were products of independent cultures that valued the creation of a visual fusion between the Judeo-Christian God and humankind. Likely lines of inquiry include: the persistence of a Classical ideal and its myriad adaptations; the coordination of art objects to specific locations; and, not least, the self-conscious staging of political and ecclesiastical power. 3 hrs lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

ART, EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Baroque Art in a Global Context
Baroque art and architecture flourished in the courts of seventeenth-century Europe before spreading to the Americas, Asia, and Africa in the wake of global trade, colonialism, and religious proselytizing. In this course we will examine how this style of art and architecture was recontexualized and transformed when it came into contact with preexisting traditions overseas. Readings and discussions will compare artistic production across cultures by focusing not only on the forces that contributed to the broad reach of the Baroque, but also on the persistence of local artistic styles, which were challenged and nurtured by sustained intercultural contact. 3 hrs. lct.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

ART, CMP

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Course Description

Court, Castle, and Cathedral: The Gothic World
This survey course will consider closely the major architectural monuments of the Gothic period in Western Europe, using them as a point of departure in a larger consideration of the artistic culture of this time. In looking at Gothic art and architecture, the class will ask some of the following questions: How were buildings embedded in the promotion of distinct political programs? How do liturgical considerations determine the shapes of buildings and sites? How can we track the emergence of a non-Christian "other" in art of all media? How can we characterize the visual and intellectual culture of "courtly love"? 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Spring 2025

Requirements

ART, EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Vermeers's World: 17th-century Dutch Art in a Global Context
The artists of the so-called Dutch “Golden Age”—Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, and many others—are best known for their portraits of wealthy Dutch citizens, landscapes of the local countryside, and scenes of domestic merry-making. The widespread popularity of images of local people and places, however, obscures the significant global activities of the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century. This course will reexamine the works of these well-known Dutch artists by placing them in the context of global trade and colonialism. We will consider works in a range of media—including paintings, prints, books, textiles, and ceramics—that pictured and mediated diplomatic, social, and economic negotiations between the nascent Dutch Republic and the cultures it encountered across the globe.3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023

Requirements

ART, EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Berlin: History, Architecture, and Urbanism in Faust’s Metropolis (in English)
In this course we will investigate the rich and complicated built environment of Berlin. By looking at both visual evidence and textual sources we will uncover how the city has been transformed from a cultural backwater during the early modern period to the current capital of a reunified Germany. By the conclusion of this course, you will be comfortable “reading” buildings and spaces and will be able to navigate both the physical city of Berlin and the many layers of history buried within. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

ART, EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Medieval Bodies
In this seminar we will examine how medieval European thinkers and artists theorized and visualized the body in ways that are vastly different from the ways in which the body is conceptualized today. Indeed, the “medieval body” was not a monolithic entity, but rather a shifting constellation of ideas and practices that waxed, waned, and coexisted throughout the Middle Ages. A body could be understood as an earthly body — sexed, fleshly, corruptible — as well as a heavenly and divine body, including Christ’s own. Our considerations will further contextualize representations of gendered, racialized, clerical, monstrous, animal, virginal, non-Christian, heretical, resurrected, and uncircumscribable bodies. Readings of the secondary literature will broaden readings of primary source materials, and our discussions will remain cognizant of gender-, sexuality-, race-, and performance-critical methods. There are no prerequisites for this course, but students will find it helpful to have some familiarity with either the history of art or with medieval history. 3hrs sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

ART, EUR, HIS

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Course Description

WWI and Its Legacies in Art and Photography
“We will glorify war,” declared the Italian poet Marinetti in the 1909 Futurist Manifesto. For Marinetti and his fellow writers and artists, military conflict held the promise of restoring a decadent Europe. Meanwhile, the new technology of photography was being deployed across the Ottoman Empire by European governments to document a declining empire with vast territory up for grabs. The outbreak of World War I, however, soon exposed the grim realities and failed promises of modernity and technologies of warfare. In this course we will consider how art and photography in Europe, America, and across the Ottoman Empire documented, portrayed, and confronted World War I, and the colonial and aesthetic legacies of the first industrialized global war in today’s world.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

ART, CMP, EUR

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Course Description

The Making of Europe
This course covers the history of Western Europe from the death of Caesar in 44 B.C. to the Peace of Westphalia in A.D. 1648. We will examine three interrelated themes: political authority within European society, the development of the religious culture of the West and the challenges to that culture, and the ways in which the development of a European economy contributed to the making of Europe itself. While examining these questions from the Roman Empire to early modern Europe, students will focus on the use of original sources, and on how historians interpret the past. Pre-1800. Not open to seniors. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023

Requirements

EUR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Archaic and Classical Greece
A survey of Greek history from Homer to the Hellenistic period, based primarily on a close reading of ancient sources in translation. The course covers the emergence of the polis in the Dark Age, colonization and tyranny, the birth of democracy, the Persian Wars, the interdependence of democracy and Athenian imperialism, the Peloponnesian War, and the rise of Macedon. Authors read include Herodotus, Thucydides, Aristophanes, Plutarch, Xenophon, and the Greek orators. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR, HIS, LIT

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Course Description

History of Rome
This course is an introductory survey of Roman history, from the emergence of the Republic to the influence of Rome on the western world. In the first half of the course we will study the origins of Rome's rise to dominance, the conquest of the Mediterranean and its effect on Roman society, and the crumbling of political structures under the weight of imperial expansion. In the second half, we will study the empire more broadly, starting with the emperors and moving out to the daily lives of people around the Mediterranean. The course will end with the importance of Rome for the Founding Fathers. We will read from authors including Polybius, Plutarch, Appian, Caesar, Suetonius, Tacitus, Juvenal, and Pliny. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2023

Requirements

EUR, HIS, LIT

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Course Description

Medieval Cities
This course will examine the economic, social, topographical and cultural history of the medieval city. We will study the transformation of urban life from the Roman period through the dark years of the early Middle Ages in the West into the flourishing of a new type of European city life in the High Middle Ages. The development of urban institutions, the building of cathedrals, universities and fortifications, and the growth of trade will all be considered, as will the experience of groups such as Jews, women and intellectuals. Although the class will focus on the medieval European city, we will also draw comparisons with cities of the Muslim East. Pre-1800. 3 hrs lect/disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Europe in the Early Middle Ages
This course covers the formative centuries in European history which witnessed the emergence of Western Europe as a distinct civilization. During this period, A. D. 300-1050, the three major building blocks of Western European culture: the classical tradition of Greco-Roman antiquity, the Judeo-Christian tradition, and Germanic tradition, met and fused into an uneasy synthesis that gave Western Europe its cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious foundations. Pre-1800. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Europe in the High Middle Ages
This course covers the development and expansion of Western European civilization from approximately 1050 to 1300. This period witnessed the rise of towns, commerce, universities, and cathedrals, as well as important developments in the areas of politics, philosophy, and Western culture. Together, these achievements represent a fundamental shift in Western Europe from an impoverished, besieged society to a dynamic civilization that established the institutions and assumptions on which the modern West is based. The goal of this class is to view these achievements of medieval Europe in their own context, with appreciation of the methodological problems presented by medieval sources. Pre-1800.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

EUR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

The Mediterranean World, 400-1600
The Mediterranean has long been a crossroads between East and West and North and South, a meeting point of the Middle East, Northern Africa, and Southern Europe. Merchants and armies have plied the seaways carrying with them their religions and cultures. The pre-modern Mediterranean offered an exhilarating but, at times uncomfortable, mix of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim cultures. Starting from Fernand Braudel's conceit, we will consider the Mediterranean itself as an important character in the narrative of history. We will study the geography of the Mediterranean as well as its religious, economic, environmental, and cultural history with a view to bringing together different understandings of Mare Nostrum (our sea). Pre-1800. 2 hrs lect./1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

CMP, HIS

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Course Description

Society and Culture in Early Modern Europe
War, famine, and disease marked the terrible "iron century" of European history, from 1550 to 1660. Out of this frightful crucible, modern society was created. We will trace this troubled genesis from the aftershocks of the Reformation to the first rumblings of the French Revolution, stressing the conflicts that gave rise to the modern world: monarchy vs. "liberty," religion vs. "enlightenment," elite vs. popular culture. Topics such as the family, witchcraft, warfare, and fashion will be given special attention. Pre-1800 3 hr lect/disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2022

Requirements

EUR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

History of Modern Europe: 1800-1900
This course will trace several complex threads across the nineteenth century, a period that saw enormous changes in economic structures, political practices, and the experience of daily life. We will look specifically at the construction of nation-states, the industrial revolution and its effects on the lives of the different social classes, the shift from rural to urban life, and the rise of mass culture and its political forms. Taking a cultural perspective, we will consider, for example, the language of working-class politics, the painting of modern urban life, and imperialism in popular culture. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

EUR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

History of Modern Europe: 1900-1989
Revolution in Eastern Europe and unification in Western Europe have reshaped the contours of the 20th century. This course will move from turn-of-the-century developments in mass culture and politics through World War I and II, the rise and fall of fascism, and on into the postwar era. This century has seen a series of radically new ideas, catastrophes, and then renewed searches for stability. But we will also investigate century-long movements, including de-colonization, the creation of sophisticated consumer cultures, and the battles among ideas of nationalism, ethnicity, and international interdependency. 2 hrs. lect. 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

British History: 1603-1815
The medieval pattern of English and Scottish society began to implode in the seventeenth century. The unity of the Church, the relationship between Crown and Parliament, even the social hierarchy, were shaken to their foundations. After generations of civil war, revolution, and party strife, the eighteenth century saw the establishment of a flexible, oligarchic order, able to fight off the challenges of radicalism and the American and French revolutions. By 1815 Britain, at the peak of its power in Europe, was already beginning to experience the tensions incumbent on becoming the first industrial nation. Pre-1800 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

EUR, HIS

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Course Description

British History 1815-Present
The spectacular rise and dramatic decline of Britain’s imperial and industrial power is the central theme of this course. The century after 1815 brought political and social reform and the apogee of middle class culture, but in 1914 the crucial problems of women's rights, labor against capital, and Irish nationalism remained unsolved. War, economic depression and the loss of empire followed. The Labour Party envisaged a welfare state and social contract for post-war Britain; the conservative response was free-market Thatcherism. Today, Britain continues to exemplify the promise and perils of what can be called modernity. 3 hrs. lect/disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, HIS

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Course Description

The Holocaust
Why did the Holocaust happen? How could the Holocaust happen? In this course we will consider several aspects of the Holocaust, including the long-term conditions and events leading up to it, the measures employed in undertaking it, and the aftermath of the atrocities. Beyond a general survey, this course introduces students to the many varying interpretations and historical arguments scholars of the Holocaust have proposed and invites them to discuss and debate these issues in class. (Counts for HSMT credit) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2024

Requirements

EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Sparta and Athens
For over 200 years, Athens and Sparta were recognized as the most powerful Greek city-states, and yet one was a democracy (Athens), the other an oligarchy (Sparta). One promoted the free and open exchange of ideas (Athens); one tried to remain closed to outside influence (Sparta). This course studies the two city-states from the myths of their origins through their respective periods of hegemony to their decline as imperial powers. The goal is to understand the interaction between political success and intellectual and cultural development in ancient Greece. 2 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, EUR, HIS, LIT

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Course Description

Roman Law
The Romans' codification of civil law is often considered their greatest intellectual achievement and most original and influential contribution to the world. This course treats the four main divisions of Roman law (persons, property, obligations, and succession). Great emphasis is placed on the role of law in Roman society. How did the law influence the lives of Roman citizens living under it? How did ordinary Roman citizens shape the law? Students will come to understand the principles of Roman law through actual cases. Designed for students with some background in Roman history and/or literature. 2 hrs. lect./1 disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Medieval Science, Technology and Magic
Modern understanding may link science with technology, but leaves magic out as a world apart. In the Medieval West, where alchemy and the astrolabe comfortably shared a workroom, intellectuals pursued both with equal fervor and respectability. In this course we will explore the medieval meanings and context of “science” and “magic,” developments in technology, and the relationship of authority and religion to all three through readings in primary sources, critical essays and monographs, and Umberto Eco's historical novel, The Name of the Rose. Students will contribute to class understanding with frequent individual research, including a final research paper. Pre-1800 (Counts for HSMT credit) 3 hrs. lect./dsc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023

Requirements

EUR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Liberal Arts in Greco-Roman, Medieval, Renaissance History & Philosophy
In this intensive reading course, we will explore the origins of liberal arts education in ancient Greek, Roman, medieval and Renaissance traditions. What sources and subjects have informed the evolution of liberal arts as an ideal for free citizens? What were the original meanings of artes liberales? What were the medieval liberal arts of trivium and quadrivium? How do these histories influence contemporary debates on education? Readings from Greco-Roman authors include the Pythagoreans, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and Seneca. Readings from medieval and Renaissance Europe include Boethius, Isidore of Seville, Herrad of Landsberg, the Scholastics, Leonardo Bruni, and Pier Paolo Vergerio.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

EUR, HIS, PHL, WTR

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Course Description

Magic and the Occult in Early Modern Europe
Magical and occult thinking have played central roles in Western European culture, a point often overlooked or downplayed by historians who have concentrated on the development of rational thought and the decline of “superstition.” Belief in the ability of human beings to interpret or manipulate supernatural powers shaped popular practices aimed at dealing with everyday problems as well as intellectual theories designed to explain the world. We will examine both the popular and intellectual sides of magic, and how they came together with brutal force in the witch hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries. Pre-1800 (Counts for HSMT credit)

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

EUR, HIS, WTR

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Course Description

Foundations of European Studies: Texts, Contexts, and Legacies
In this course we will review major texts that serve as a foundation for understanding core aspects of European societies. Covering the period from the Hebrew Bible to Dante’s Inferno, we will read works of religion, literature, philosophy, and politics such as Homer’s Odyssey, Plato’s Republic, Virgil’s Aeneid, the New Testament, Beowulf, an Icelandic Saga, and Marco Polo’s Travels. We will focus on the context in which these texts were written and the legacies they produced for understanding Europe as a region, discussing themes such as friendship, loyalty, family, home, gender roles, slavery, power relations, and the definition of Europe itself. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR

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Course Description

Elena Ferrante: The Neapolitan Novels (in English)
An international sensation since the 2011 publication of this four-novel series, Elena Ferrante depicts the life-long, ambivalent relationship between Lenù and Lila, two “brilliant friends,” attempting escape from Neapolitan poverty and crime, from late 1940s Reconstruction Italy into the new Millennium. The first two novels, translated by My Brilliant Friend (2011) and Story of a New Name (2012), also subject of Saverio Costanzo’s 2018-2020 HBO series, will provide our particular focus. Blogs, short essays, oral presentations, research project; possible video. 3 hrs.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, HIS, LIT

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Course Description

An Introduction to Contemporary Italy
Intended for students at the intermediate level, this course will afford the opportunity to expand conversation, writing, and reading skills while consolidating knowledge of the more difficult points of grammar. The contextual focus of the course is contemporary Italian culture, including contemporary history and politics, the economy, the division between North and South, immigration from developing countries, environmental issues, and popular music, among others. Italian films, music, and articles from newspapers and news magazines will enhance and complete the learning experience. (ITAL 0103, ITAL 0123, waiver, or equivalent) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

Italian Culture II: From the Sixties to the Present Day
To deepen the historical knowledge gained in ITAL 0251, we will discuss and analyze modern and contemporary Italian literature of various genres, as well as essays, art, and film. In the context of reading, critical viewing, textual analysis, and discussion, we will continue to develop both historical and linguistic competence. Discussion and the writing process, along with selected exercises, will continue to refine grammatical competence. (ITAL 0251) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Boccaccio’s Decameron in the Age of Coronavirus
Composed at the end of the 1348 Black Plague, the Decameron engages the social crises emerging from pandemic. Popularly considered only a collection of bawdy stories, we will challenge this popular stereotype of the work, discussing also how its storytelling emerges as a responsible act critiquing the society passing away, and proposing alternatives foundational to modern Western society regarding class, gender, and religion. We will also consider how contemporary Western essays and media (some in translation) re-engage the Decameron. Class work includes short analytical essays with rewrites, blogging, scrapbooking, and a class project rewriting the Decameron for today. This course will be conducted exclusively in English, with English language sources. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

CW, EUR, HIS, LIT

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Course Description

Literary Feasts: Representations of Food in Modern Narrative (in English)
This course will consider food and eating practices within specific cultural and historical contexts. We will analyze realistic, symbolic, religious, erotic, and political functions surrounding the preparation and consumption of food. Readings will be drawn from several national traditions, with a focus on Europe. Authors will include, among others, I. Dinesen, L. Esquivel, J. Harris, E. Hemingway, T. Lampedusa, P. Levi, C. Petrini, M. Pollan, E. Vittorini, and B. Yoshimoto. Viewing of several films where food and eating play an important role will supplement class discussion.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

Italian Landscapes: History, Culture, Literature, and Identity
What is paesaggio, and how similar/different is it from its English equivalent, Landscape? In this course we will study the concept and its relevance for the construction of an Italian identity. In particular, we will discuss the relations between paesaggio and environment, emotions, history, and literature. Through the reading of essays from a variety of scholarly approaches (anthropological, sociological, historical, literary), personal reflection, and group analysis, we will analyze the creation and the changing nature of the meaning and importance of paesaggio. Our focus will be Italy and its regions, with a comparative approach that will include Vermont and Middlebury. 3 hrs. sem

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

CMP, EUR

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Course Description

Italian Identities: Gender, Race, Culture
What does it mean to be "Italian"? In this course we will analyze Italian identities by reading and listening to a variety of sources and authors, and discuss the role that concepts such as gender, race, nation, culture, value/s, diversity, otherness, and intersectionality play. While learning about contemporary Italy, we will work on our linguistic, critical, and analytical skills. Special emphasis will be placed on both Academic and Public Writing, and we will rely on rewriting, editing, and peer reviewing. (ITAL0252 or by permission, taught in Italian) 3hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2022, Spring 2025

Requirements

CW, EUR

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Course Description

Love, Laughter, and Desire in Medieval and Renaissance Italian Literature
Through a careful reading of excerpts from the literary masterpieces of the Italian Middle Ages and the Renaissance, we will explore artistic representations of some of the most enduring facets of human experience: love, humor, and desire. How do Medieval and Renaissance texts still communicate with our deepest feelings and emotions, and, in particular, with our perception of love and sexuality? From spiritual to carnal love, from Dante to Boccaccio, we will explore how Italians from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance wrote, talked, and laughed about their loves and desires. (ITAL 0354 or equivalent) 3 hrs. lect./disc. 2 hrs. screen.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

EUR, LIT

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Course Description

A Culinary History of Italy (in Italian)
In this course we will examine the role of food in society by investigating the history of Italian cuisine and the ever-changing issues relating to food and foodways, through books, articles, films, and recipes. What did the Ancient Romans eat? What was Italian cuisine like before pasta and tomatoes? How did production and consumption change over time? Through such questions we will examine what culinary choices tell us about today’s Italy and how they are strictly intertwined with the search for a national identity. (Not open to students who have taken FYSE 1344 or ITAL 1003) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Italy Today: From the Margins to the Center
Our goal in this course will be learning about Italy by concentrating on the margins, on what is not mainstream, on those who are not in power. We will study discrimination, marginalization, racism, and how Italy does, or does not, address them. People can be marginalized through the use of derogatory words and terms, even when speakers do not realize that they are participating in the act of marginalization. We will discover how Italian language affects minority groups (because of race, religion, culture, non-binary or non-conforming genders), and discuss how to translate, into and out of Italian, terms and texts that could help redress some inequalities. We will rely on authors such as Forgacs, Gheno, Guerra, Aime, Hakuzwimana. Taught in Italian. (ITAL 0252 or Instructor's approval) This course is part of the Public Humanities Labs Initiative administered by the Axinn Center for the Humanities.*

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

LNG, SOC

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Course Description

Il cinema d’autore: 1945-2010
In this course we will critically analyze films of great Italian directors from post-war Neorealism to the present. We will examine films by Roberto Rossellini, Vittorio De Sica, Federico Fellini, Michelangelo Antonioni, Lina Wertmüller, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Marco Bellocchio. After mastering the film terminology and learning formal film critique, students will engage in independent research that will culminate in the screening and analysis of an Italian film of their choice. Taught in Italian. 3 hrs. sem. (Two 0300-level courses in Italian)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Requirements

ART, EUR, LNG

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Course Description

Italy Today: From the Margins to the Center
Our goal in this course will be learning about Italy by concentrating on the margins, on what is not mainstream, on those who are not in power. We will study discrimination, marginalization, racism, and how Italy does, or does not, address them. People can be marginalized through the use of derogatory words and terms, even when speakers do not realize that they are participating in the act of marginalization. We will discover how Italian language affects minority groups (because of race, religion, culture, non-binary or non-conforming genders), and discuss how to translate, into and out of Italian, terms and texts that could help redress some inequalities. We will rely on authors such as Forgacs, Gheno, Guerra, Aime, Hakuzwimana. Taught in Italian. (ITAL 0252 or Instructor's approval) This course is part of the Public Humanities Labs Initiative administered by the Axinn Center for the Humanities.*

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

LNG, SOC

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Course Description

The Holocaust
Why did the Holocaust happen? How could the Holocaust happen? In this course we will consider several aspects of the Holocaust, including the long-term conditions and events leading up to it, the measures employed in undertaking it, and the aftermath of the atrocities. Beyond a general survey, this course introduces students to the many varying interpretations and historical arguments scholars of the Holocaust have proposed and invites them to discuss and debate these issues in class. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Jewish Thought and Culture: The Modern Era
Contemporary Jewish life poses many questions: why do many Jews say they are “Jewish, but not religious”? What is distinct about Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism? What do the terms “Zionist” and “anti-Zionist Jew” mean? What is the place of the State of Israel in Jewish life? To answer these questions we will study the history of Jewish culture in the modern era: the Enlightenment critique of religion, Jewish-Christian relations, changes in Jewish practice, the revival of Hebrew, concepts of nationalism, assimilation and the problem of “Jewish politics.” Sources will include classical and modern texts, literature and art. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

EUR, PHL

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Course Description

The Book of Job and the Problem of Evil
Why do the innocent suffer? The Book of Job asked this question millennia ago, giving not an explicit answer, but at least a response. Framed by a prose tale on the patient Job, the book is mainly a debate in poetry between an impatient Job and his “friends” that has continued to our day, in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic thought, and in philosophy. We will study the debate on the meaning of Job in philosophy and religion through the works of Maimonides, Kant, Hume, Voltaire, William Blake, Jung, and others. Familiarity with Biblical studies or philosophy of religion is helpful, but not required. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

PHL

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Course Description

Philosophy of Fascism in the work of Adorno, Arendt and Benjamin
Was the previous US administration fascist? Was it comparable to 20th century European fascism? Upon finding refuge in America, several German-Jewish philosophers sought to understand the terms fascism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism. They focused on morality, participation and subjectivity rather than the figure of the dictator. They asked if this could happen in America. We will begin with a survey of contemporary debates and then read selections from Adorno/Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Adorno, The Authoritarian Personality (1950), and Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951). We will conclude with Benjamin’s Thesis on the Philosophy of History (1940).

Eric Levi Jacobson has taught philosophy and Jewish Studies in London and Berlin. He is the author of Metaphysics of the Profane: The Political Theology of Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem, New York: Columbia University Press, 2003./

Terms Taught

Winter 2022, Winter 2023

Requirements

PHL, WTR

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Course Description

Introduction to Music
In this course we will develop critical listening skills through guided study of selected works of Western classical, popular, and folk music, as well as a sampling of music from non-Western cultures, from the Middle Ages to the present. Students will learn to listen actively, to identify how music uses basic sound materials— such as rhythm, melody, timbre, texture, and harmony—to create meaning and expression, and to draw connections between music and its social and historical context. Previous musical training is not required.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

ART, CMP, HIS

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Course Description

Introduction to the Western Philosophical Tradition
This course will introduce students to fundamental philosophical issues concerning the nature of reality (metaphysics), the possibility of knowledge (epistemology), and the nature of value (ethical theory) through a reading of a number of important primary texts of thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Kierkegaard, Mill, Nietzsche, and Freud. Cannot be taken by students with credit for PHIL 0151. 3 hrs. lect., 1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

EUR, PHL

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Course Description

Ancient Greek Philosophy
This class introduces students to the range and power of Greek thought, which initiated the Western philosophical tradition. We will begin by exploring the origins of philosophy as found in myth (primarily Hesiod) and in the highly original speculation of the Pre-Socratic thinkers (such as Heraclitus and Parmenides). We will then focus on Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, examining their transformations of these earlier traditions and their own divergent approaches to ethics and education. We will also consider the influences of Greek philosophy on later thought. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR, HIS, PHL

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Course Description

Human Nature and Ethics
This course offers a historical introduction to different views of morality and human nature, and the relationship between them. We will cover the central figures of both the ancient and modern periods of philosophy and consider their answers to questions fundamental to our lives and the decisions we make. We will consider the nature of the good life, happiness, and the virtues; whether or not a moral life is in our nature, and whether reason or emotions are the best guides to morality; and the nature of justice, and what role it plays for creatures like us. The philosophers we will study include Aristotle, Hobbes, Butler, Mill, and Kant. 3 hrs lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2025

Requirements

EUR, PHL

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Course Description

Early Modern Philosophy
This course offers an introduction to some of the most influential European philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries: Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. We will consider and critically examine the responses these thinkers gave to various questions in metaphysics and epistemology, including the following: What is the relationship between reality and our perception of reality? What is the nature of the mind and how is it related to the body? What is the nature of physical reality? Which of our beliefs, if any, do we have good reason to maintain in the face of radical skepticism? 3 hrs lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

EUR, PHL

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Course Description

Philosophy and Literature
In this course we will explore the border both separating and joining philosophy and literature. How does literature evoke philosophical problems, and how do philosophers interpret such works? How does fiction create meaning? Beginning with Greek tragedy, we investigate Plato’s “quarrel” with, and Aristotle’s defense of, poetry. Then we will turn to modern works, mostly European, on topics such as: tragedy and ethics; style and rhetoric; author and reader; time and temporality; mood and emotion; existence and mortality. Literary readings after Sophocles will be selected from Borges, Calvino, Camus, Kafka, Tolstoy, and Woolf. Philosophical readings after Plato and Aristotle will be selected from Bergson, Danto, Freud, Murdoch, Ricoeur, and Nussbaum. Not open to students who have taken PHIL/CMLT 1014 or FYSE 1081.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2024

Requirements

CW, EUR, LIT, PHL

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Course Description

Philosophy of Plato
In this class, we will explore the significance, influence, and development of Plato's thought, paying special attention to the form of the dramatic dialogue and topics such as Platonic love, rhetoric and politics, learning and recollection, and the theory of forms. We will begin with the early period (dialogues such as the Meno and the Apology) focused on the historical figure of Socrates, continue to the middle period (Symposium, Republic), in which Plato develops his own distinctive views; and conclude with the later period (Philebus, Parmenides) in which Plato suggests a critique of Socrates and his own earlier positions. (Previous course in philosophy or waiver)

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

EUR, PHL

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Course Description

Philosophy of Fascism in the work of Adorno, Arendt and Benjamin
Was the previous US administration fascist? Was it comparable to 20th century European fascism? Upon finding refuge in America, several German-Jewish philosophers sought to understand the terms fascism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism. They focused on morality, participation and subjectivity rather than the figure of the dictator. They asked if this could happen in America. We will begin with a survey of contemporary debates and then read selections from Adorno/Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Adorno, The Authoritarian Personality (1950), and Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951). We will conclude with Benjamin’s Thesis on the Philosophy of History (1940).

Eric Levi Jacobson has taught philosophy and Jewish Studies in London and Berlin. He is the author of Metaphysics of the Profane: The Political Theology of Walter Benjamin and Gershom Scholem, New York: Columbia University Press, 2003./

Terms Taught

Winter 2022, Winter 2023

Requirements

PHL, WTR

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Course Description

Liberal Arts in Greco-Roman, Medieval, Renaissance History & Philosophy
In this intensive reading course, we will explore the origins of liberal arts education in ancient Greek, Roman, medieval and Renaissance traditions. What sources and subjects have informed the evolution of liberal arts as an ideal for free citizens? What were the original meanings of artes liberales? What were the medieval liberal arts of trivium and quadrivium? How do these histories influence contemporary debates on education? Readings from Greco-Roman authors include the Pythagoreans, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, and Seneca. Readings from medieval and Renaissance Europe include Boethius, Isidore of Seville, Herrad of Landsberg, the Scholastics, Leonardo Bruni, and Pier Paolo Vergerio.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

EUR, HIS, PHL, WTR

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Course Description

Introduction to Political Philosophy
What is politics and how should it be studied? Is there a best regime? A best way of life? How are these two things related, if at all? Can we gain knowledge of such topics? We will examine these questions through a study of the some or all of the following texts: Plato, Apology of Socrates, Republic; Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Politics; Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War; St. Augustine, Confessions; St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Summa Contra Gentiles; Machiavelli, The Prince; Hobbes, Leviathan; Locke, Second Treatise on Government; Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality Among Men; Marx, The Communist Manifesto, The German Ideology, Capital; and Weber, “Science as a Vocation.” 4 hrs. lect./disc. (Political Theory)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR, PHL, SOC

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Course Description

Left, Right, and Center
In this course, we shall examine liberalism, conservatism, socialism and their competing conceptions of freedom, equality, the individual, and community. We shall consider the origins of these ideologies in early modern political theory and shall afford special attention to the connection between thought and politics. Authors may include John Locke, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, Alexis de Tocqueville, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, John Rawls, Michel Foucault, Michael Oakeshott, and Friedrich Hayek. 3 hrs. lect. (Political Theory)

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR, PHL, SOC

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Course Description

Central and East European Politics
This introductory course surveys the key stages in the political development of East and Central Europe in the 20th century, including the imposition of communist rule, crises of de-Stalinization, the revolutions of 1989, the politics of post-communist transitions, the Balkan wars, and democratization. It focuses on those factors that either promote or impede the development of stable democratic regimes and assesses East Europe's prospects in the context of EU enlargement and NATO expansion. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Comparative Politics)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

EUR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Modern Political Philosophy
In this course. we will study: Machiavelli (Prince, Discourses); Bacon
(Advancement of Learning); Hobbes (Leviathan); Locke (Second Treatise);
Spinoza (Theological-Political Treatise); Montesquieu (Spirit of the Laws);
Rousseau (Social Contract); Burke (Reflections); Kant (Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals, Perpetual Peace); Hegel (Introduction to Philosophy of History); Marx (Communist Manifesto, German Ideology, Capital); Nietzsche
(Beyond Good and Evil); Heidegger (Question Concerning Technology).
We will examine modernity's rejection of ancient thought, its later replacement of nature by history as the standard for right, and its subsequent rejection of any standard of right. Other topics include religion, freedom ofspeech, and the separation of powers. (PSCI 0101 or PSCI 0107 or PSCI 0317, or PSCI 0333, or waiver) 4.5 hrs. lect./disc. (Political Theory)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

EUR, PHL, SOC

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Course Description

The Political Development of Western Europe
In what ways are the political systems and politics of France, Germany, Italy, and Britain similar? In what ways do they differ? How might we explain these patterns? This course attempts to answer these questions through comparative investigation of the processes and consequences of economic and political modernization in these nations from the feudal period to the 21st century. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (Comparative Politics)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, CW, EUR, SOC

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Course Description

Political Philosophies of Cosmopolitan and Nationalism
Political communities unite and divide human beings into separate groups. Can anything justify or explain these divisions? Is there a form best suited to human flourishing and happiness? To the scope of our moral and political obligations? To our identities as co-nationals, compatriots, or cosmopolitans? We will focus on theorists of the late Enlightenment: Smith, Rousseau, Herder, Kant, Fichte, Tocqueville, Mill, Mazzini, Acton, and Weber. We will also read more recent works by Rawls, Walzer, Beitz, Nussbaum, Scruton, and Manent and selections from the ancient Stoic tradition. (PSCI 0101 or 0204 or by waiver) 3 hrs sem. (Political Theory)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

CMP, EUR, PHL, SOC

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Course Description

Euro-Atlantic Relations
In this course we’ll examine the history, status, and future of US-European security relations, with a special focus on the consequences of the war in Ukraine. The learning process will include lectures, class discussions, guest speakers, a role-playing exercise, and a final policy paper. Issues covered include: persistent and evolving aspects of the “transatlantic bargain;” relations with Russia after its aggression against Ukraine; Islamic State threats and Middle East turmoil; Middle Eastern and European refugee issues; impact of 9/11 and Iraq crisis; US-European relations under the Biden administration; relations between NATO, the European Union and the UN; alternative transatlantic relations futures. The instructor’s 2020 Defense of the West: Transatlantic Security from Truman to Trump will be the core text. International Relations and Foreign Policy
/Stan Sloan, a former senior U.S. government intelligence, foreign and defense policy expert, and research manager, has for the past 18 years taught courses on Euro-Atlantic Relations and American Power in the Middlebury Winter Term. He is the author of numerous opinion and journal articles,
monographs, book chapters and books, including De-Trumping U.S. Foreign Policy: Can Biden bring America back? (2021); Defense of the West: Transatlantic Security from Truman to Trump (2020) and transatlantic traumas: Has illiberalism brought the West to the brink of collapse? (2018)./

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Winter 2023

Requirements

CMP, EUR, SOC, WTR

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Course Description

The Global Christian Tradition
In this course we will study the historical development and current presence of Christianity in various regions of the world. Beginning with its origins in the Middle East, we will trace the growth and evolution of this complex tradition in the Mediterranean, Africa, western Europe, the Americas, and East Asia. Along the way, we will encounter important Christian thinkers, discover different schools of belief and practice, and focus on foundational theological themes, like the divinity of Christ, the function and authority of the church, Christian-Jewish relations, and religious perspectives on gender, race, politics, and modernity. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, HIS, PHL

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Course Description

An Introduction to Biblical Literature
This course is a general introduction to biblical history, literature, and interpretation. It is designed for students who seek a basic understanding of the Bible on its own or as a foundation for further study in religion, art, literature, film, and other disciplines. It aims to acquaint students with the major characters, narratives, poetry, and compositional features of biblical literature and how these writings became Jewish and Christian scriptures. The course will also explore various approaches to reading the Bible, both religious and secular. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

LIT, PHL

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Course Description

The Way of the Ascetics: The Making of the Self in Christian Monasticism
The practice of asceticism appeared in ancient Christianity as a movement striving for a deeper spiritual life and connection with the Divine. Men and women withdrew into the wilderness to become fully attuned to God, while engaging more empathetically with their human communities and the natural environment, and serving the poor and socially marginalized. We shall examine how their new model of living challenged the traditional formations of identity and power through cultivating a watchful mind and deepening awareness. We shall also consider its possible relevance for our postmodern world. Readings will include Desert Wisdom anthologies such as “The Philokalia,” and works of American mystic Thomas Merton and novelist Annie Dillard.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2023

Requirements

CMP, PHL

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Course Description

Jewish Thought and Culture: The Modern Era
Contemporary Jewish life poses many questions: why do many Jews say they are “Jewish, but not religious”? What is distinct about Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, and Ultra-Orthodox Judaism? What do the terms “Zionist” and “anti-Zionist Jew” mean? What is the place of the State of Israel in Jewish life? To answer these questions we will study the history of Jewish culture in the modern era: the Enlightenment critique of religion, Jewish-Christian relations, changes in Jewish practice, the revival of Hebrew, concepts of nationalism, assimilation and the problem of “Jewish politics.” Sources will include classical and modern texts, literature and art. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

EUR, PHL

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Course Description

Historical Jesus and the Gospels
Who was Jesus of Nazareth? How does the historical Jesus differ from Jesus Christ in the Gospels? In this course we will explore how early Christians remembered Jesus and developed traditions about him. We will read both canonical (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and non-canonical (e.g., Thomas, Mary, Peter) Gospels within their historical and literary contexts, focusing on Judaism, the Roman Empire, and Greco–Roman cultures. We will then examine the critical approaches modern scholars take to reconstruct the historical Jesus’ life. By comparing diverse portraits of Jesus both in ancient literature and in modern scholarship, we will evaluate such diversity’s implications for our intellectual and cultural life today. How does the historical Jesus matter and for whom? 3hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

HIS, MDE, PHL

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Course Description

Reading the Book of Job
Why evil? Why do the innocent suffer? Why would God allow it? The Book of Job asked these questions millennia ago, giving not an answer, but at least a response. Framed by a prose tale on the patient Job, the book is mainly a debate between an impatient Job and his “friends” that has continued to our day, in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic thought. We will study the debate on the meaning of the book of Job in philosophy and religion, reading ancient, medieval and modern commentary (e.g. Maimonides, Kant, Voltaire) and literary responses to Job (e.g. Kafka, Robert Frost), Some familiarity with Biblical studies or philosophy of religion is helpful, but not required. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Fall 2023

Requirements

PHL

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Course Description

Writing the Sociological Imagination
In this writing course, students will create flash non-fiction that engages with sociology’s core focus: placing the personal in its social context. We will read texts that explore a variety of approaches to creatively explore the interplay of biography and history and focus on the range of craft elements these authors use. Students will write short (300-800 word) pieces that we will workshop together in class. The final product will be a portfolio of revised pieces from which students will select 2-3 pieces to share, if they choose, in a public reading for the Middlebury community.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

SOC

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Course Description

Introduction to Spanish Phonetics and Pronunciation
In this course we will study the sound system of Spanish with the aims of introducing the fields of phonetics and phonology while improving pronunciation. Students will become familiar with phonetic transcription, comparing and contrasting articulatory and acoustic characteristics of Spanish as well as English in order to understand and implement different phonological patterns produced by native speakers of Spanish. This analysis is both phonetic and social, in that students learn the social meanings of different pronunciation patterns across these Spanish-speaking countries as they relate to race, ethnicity, class, education, gender, age, and other social factors. Additionally, we will discuss major pronunciation differences across the Spanish-speaking world. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

CMP, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

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. 3 hrs.lect./disc

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

EUR, LNG

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Course Description

A Bridge Between Nations: Introduction to Galician Culture and Language
Galicia is a cultural region in the Iberian Peninsula. In this course we will explore how the study of the Galician region, its language and culture, can help us develop a deeper understanding of the Luso-Hispanic world. This will be an interdisciplinary course in which we discuss history and politics (formation of the region, its place in the globalized world and Spain); key sociolinguistic terms (diglossia, minoritized/minority language); and cultural manifestations while we explore and learn a new, but familiar, language. (SPAN 220 or PGSE 0215 or equivalent). 3 hrs.lect./disc

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LNG

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Course Description

Youth Cultures in Contemporary Spain
In this course we will explore youth cultures in contemporary Spain (1980-2016). In 1985 the Spanish punk rock band Siniestro Total wrote the song “I Will Dance On Your Grave”, a metaphor for the end of the dictatorship and the beginning of “freedom”. We will explore the colorful Movida (80s), the grunge movement (90s), queer cultures (2000s), and the disenchantment (2010s). All these events will be framed in a global context and accompanied by critical theory. Through literature, comics, film, arts, and music, we will discuss issues of sexuality, drugs, family, gender, and politics. (SPAN 0220 or equivalent). 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2025

Requirements

EUR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

A Spanish Culture Through Art: Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, and Dali
In this course we will study the rich artistic heritage of Spain by examining in depth the life and works of the four most internationally renowned Spanish Artists of all times: Velázquez, Goya, Picasso, and Dalí. Our objective will be to go beyond knowledge of the peculiarities or style of each artist. We will seek to relate the images represented in the paintings to Spanish culture of the various periods, identify their prevailing values and ideas, and discover what the artists teach us about Spain and its contributions to Western civilization. In addition, we will explore the legacy they have left behind, a fact that makes possible a continuous artistic resurgence generation after generation. We will visit virtually El Prado Museum, Thyssen Bornemisza Museum, Reina Sofía Museum, and Salvador Dalí Museum. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

ART, EUR, LNG

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Course Description

Representations of Social, Cultural, and Political Identities in Spain
In this course we will study the different representations of Spanish culture and politics. We will emphasize specific aspects that make Spain richly varied: Spain´s breathtaking reinvention and reaffirmation of its own identity after the Disaster of 1898, religious customs and conflicts, gender relations, political values of Spaniards. At the same time, the cultural impact of Don Quixote, Goya, Lorca, republicanism and dictatorship, civil war, flamenco, bullfighting, and soccer. Works to be discussed include a short selection of literary pieces, cultural, visual, musical, and film representations. This course is recommended for students planning to study in Spain. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect. disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

EUR, LNG

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Course Description

Understanding Iberian Identity through the Analysis of Spanish and Portuguese National Identities
In this course we will focus on different ways of understanding how the complex idea of “Iberian Identity” has been represented and reframed in Spain and Portugal over the centuries. In particular, we will analyze the concept of “Iberian Identity” as one that emerges directly from the differences and similarities already contained in the Spanish and Portuguese national identity discourses from the nineteenth-century to the present. We will put special emphasis on a full range of controversial collective narratives and memories that have shaped the Spanish and Portuguese discourses on national identity. We will look for power and social relations that are highlighted by the different and complementary discursive strategies of the dominant and subordinate discourses in both countries. We will deal with a variety of materials ranging from journal articles, political discourses, photographs, paintings, music, films, documentaries, and interviews, among others. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

CMP, EUR, LNG

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Course Description

Hispanic Athletes: Sports, Nationalist Culture, and the Global Media
In this course, we will study sports as an essential part in the construction of nationalist pride and perceptions of race, class, and gender in several Hispanic nation-states and subcultures in Europe and the Americas. We will analyze fictional narrative content such as literature and films (Pepe el Toro, Sugar, Black Diamonds, and many others). In addition, we will also explore how media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, videogames, documentaries, and the internet affect our perceptions of sporting events and their superstars to create controversies, support hegemonic nationalist ideas, and further the commercial ambitions of corporations. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, CMP, LNG

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Course Description

Decolonizing Porn: Circulating Desire between Europe and the Americas
In this course we will use feminist, queer, critical race, and decolonial theories to analyze porn in Europe and the Americas. The goal is to give students the analytic tools they need to think deeply about the centrality of porn to our lives and to global capitalism, creating jobs in the “gig economy” as well as huge amounts of profit even as it extracts unpaid labor from trafficked bodies. We will consider pornographic photography, cinema, AI, and deep fakes. Texts will include Linda Williams’ Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the ‘Frenzy of the Visible,” Gayle Rubin’s “Thinking Sex,” Heather Berg, Porn Work and Jennifer Nash’s The Black Body in Ecstasy. In the SPAN section of the course, students will also be asked to participate in Spanish at least three times on the Spanish-language day of the class. All students will present their public-facing projects at the end of the class. (GloDeFem)/

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

CMP, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

In the Middle of Nowhere: Rural Spain through History
In this course we will analyze visual and narrative discourses related to rural communities in Spain. From a historical point of view, we will explore literary concepts such as bucolismo and naturalismo, the paleto cinema of the Francoism era and its contestation in Los santos inocentes. From there we will move to contemporary issues such as the vindication of the España vaciada, and new critical approaches such as the glocal, the rurban, and ecofeminism. We will include the voices of Ana Iris Simón, Oliver Laxe and María Sánchez that portray rural spaces and its inhabitants with respect and dignity. The goal of this course is to showcase rural spaces as sophisticated, diverse, and complex while we explore our own experience of Middlebury as a rural place. (Al least two Spanish courses at the 0300 level or above, or by waiver.) 3hrs.lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

EUR, LNG

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Course Description

Understanding the Myth of Don Juan in the Western Tradition
The myth of Don Juan has embodied the thoughts, desires, and aspirations of multiple authors from different times and countries. In this course we will gain insights into core characteristics that define the Don Juan persona. We will analyze the original components of the character of Don Juan, situate the myth in its social and historical contexts, and study the different dramatic and literary strategies used by authors, artists, and filmmakers in their construction of Don Juan. Resources to be analyzed will include: fiction, poetry, film (fiction and documentary), philosophical essays, painting, music, and performance. 3 hrs lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

EUR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Latin America in Paris/Paris in Latin America
Paris has been central in cultural exchanges with Latin America, as a model of an ideal city, a rejected cipher of coloniality, and a place of encounters. Many Latin American intellectuals and artists, such as Cesar Vallejo and Remedios Varo, lived and created in Paris. Tango became an Argentinean national symbol after having been recognized in the Parisian night scene. In this course we will study phenomena such as these to understand the dynamics of translation and exchange of people and ideas, and their profound impact on both Latin America and Paris. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

AAL, AMR, LNG

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Course Description

Socio-cultural Changes in Spain: An Anthropological Perspective ( in Spanish)
The objective of the program is to bring students closer to the knowledge of anthropology through the presentation of studies on Spanish culture and society. The different topics will be approached from the perspective of Social and Cultural Anthropology, emphasizing the cultural diversity that characterizes Spain. We will begin by analyzing the concept of culture and its relevance to anthropology, and we will provide a common theoretical base from which all students can follow the development of the course. We will deal specifically with three topics: urban anthropology, family anthropology, and cultural diversity and immigration.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

EUR, SOC

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Latin American Studies

Please note: to satisfy the Latin American studies regional requirement, courses with the PGSE and SPAN designations count as one department.

Courses that satisfy the advanced language requirement for Latin American studies are taught solely in either Spanish or Portuguese.

Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

Introduction to Latina/o Studies
In this course we will undertake an interdisciplinary investigation of the unique experiences and conditions of U.S. Latina/os of Caribbean, Latin American, and Mexican descent. We will critically examine transnational cultures, patterns of circular migration, and intergenerational transformations from a historical perspective while also using methodologies from the humanities and social sciences. Topics will include the conquest of Mexico’s northern frontier, Chicana/o and Nuyorican movements, Latina feminist thought, Latina/o arts, Central American migrations in the 1980s, Latina/o religiosities, as well as philosophies of resistance and acculturation. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2023

Requirements

AMR, HIS, NOR, SOC

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Course Description

Indigenous Peoples of the Americas
This course introduces students to the indigenous peoples of North and South America, from before European conquest to the present. Following a brief look at the mound-builders of North America, we will explore the connection between social stratification, religious ideology, and imperial expansion in the political economy of the Aztecs and the Incas. Ethnographies of Quechua peasants in the Peruvian Andes, Yanomami Indians in the Amazon, and Oglala Sioux in the Dakotas will show how contemporary Native Americans are dealing with the never-ending process of colonialism. How Europeans have imagined indigenous peoples has had a profound impact on how the latter defend themselves. The resulting images of authenticity and resistance have always been double-edged. The course will conclude with the debate over the reservation paradigm in the U.S. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, CMP, SOC

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Course Description

Andean Civilizations
Stretching from present-day Ecuador to Chile and consisting of desert coasts, fertile valleys, soaring Andes, and tropical jungle, the Inca Empire was the largest state the Precolumbian Americas had ever seen. Although they claimed to have ‘civilized’ the Andes, the Inka were only the latest in a sequence of complex societies, all of which ultimately fell to the Spanish in the mid-1500s. In this course we will explore the growth and development of social complexity in the region, from the first human occupation of South America to the era of European contact. (formerly SOAN 0223) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2025

Requirements

AAL, AMR, CMP, SOC

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Course Description

The Aztec Empire and the Spanish Conquest
This course centers around the rise and fall of the Aztecs, the first state-level society encountered by the Spanish in 1519. Although primarily known today for their military exploits for what today is Mexico, the Aztecs produced great artisans, artists, and philosophers whose contributions endure in contemporary Mexican culture. We will trace the origins and development of Aztec civilization to its encounter with the Spanish in 1519. The course also covers the Spanish background for the Conquest, from the martial and political expulsion of Moors and Jews from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492 to the Spanish Inquisition. (formerly SOAN/HIST 0327) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2024

Requirements

AMR, CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

The Rise and Fall of the Ancient Maya
As perhaps the most famous of all of the cultures of Mesoamerica, the Maya are best known for soaring temples, portraits of kings, a complex hieroglyphic writing system, and a dramatic collapse when their ancient kingdoms were abandoned or destroyed. In this course, we will view their accomplishments through the archaeology of the Classic Period (250-850 AD) and examine how the Maya built cities within the tropical jungles of present-day Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras. We will also explore the history of the Maya after the “fall,” from their revival in the post-Classic Period to the present day. (formerly SOAN 0328) 3 hrs. lect./disc

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2024

Requirements

AAL, AMR, SOC

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Course Description

Sorcery in Mesoamerica
Sorcery was fundamental to religious life in ancient Mesoamerica. Though removed from one another in time and space, the different cultures and civilizations of this region practiced magic and witchcraft. Civilizations like the Aztecs (1300-1521 CE), the Classic Maya (250-850 CE) and the Olmecs (1200-400 BCE) flourished in different environments, spoke unrelated languages, and worshipped separate gods; however, they were all fascinated by the occult. This course compares their magical traditions from a variety of viewpoints, including analytical, anthropological, and historical perspectives. It also considers the impact of European witchcraft on Mesoamerica, from the Colonial Period to the present.3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

AMR, CMP, CW, NOR, PHL, SOC

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Course Description

Afro-Latinx Geographies in the U.S. and in Latin America
How do ethnic/racial relations, national identity, state violence, immigration, and U.S. policies in Latin America and the Caribbean shape the spatial, economic, and environmental (in)justices affecting Afro-Latinxs? What are commonalities and differences in how Afro-Latinxs and African Americans experience these (in)justices? What does Latinidad mean? How does it travel and is recognized or denied across countries and communities in the Diaspora? How have Black and Brown Latinxs established solidarity among themselves and with white Latinos? This is a project-driven course involving research, self-reflection, interviews, and translating research into creative materials. We will use scholarly, multimedia, film, journalistic, and artistic resources.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

AMR, SOC, WTR

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Course Description

Theories of Economic Development in Latin America
This course is designed to provide a survey of the most important issues facing Latin American policymakers today. The course will place contemporary problems in their historical perspective and will use applied economic analysis to examine the opportunities and constraints facing the economies of Latin America. (ECON 0150) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Fall 2023

Requirements

AAL, AMR, CW, SOC

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Course Description

Trade and Foreign Aid in Latin America
This course is designed to provide an in-depth examination of a number of critical issues that currently confront policymakers in Latin America. The topics of development, regionalization and free trade, and the efficacy of foreign aid will be analyzed in the context of Latin American economic development. (ECON 0250, or ECON 0255 or ECON 0240 or IPEC 0240) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

AMR

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Course Description

Regenerative food systems: a local dialogue with the global scale and cases in Chile
This course departs from the definition of food systems and their cultural, gender, social and economic elements from a local to a global scale. After defining the major problems of the global food systems expressed in local diets and foodscapes homogenization, the course will look at the key elements to study and support the regeneration of local food systems. Finally, it will provide tools to understand and reflect on local food systems based on practical exercises and case studies in the south of Chile.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Fall 2021

Requirements

AMR, SOC

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Course Description

Environmental Change in Latin America
This course examines Latin America from a geographical perspective with emphasis on the social, political and ecological underpinnings of change in the region. Building upon the theme of global environmental change in the context of human-environment geography, we will explore urgent challenges linked to the agricultural and extractive industries, urban expansion, land grabs, land reform, indigenous rights, and rural and urban poverty. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

AMR, SOC

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Course Description

Twentieth Century Latin American Art
In this course we will survey major developments in the art of Latin America from 1890 to the present. We will explore the rise of avant-gardism and abstraction, Mexican muralism, surrealism, kinetic art, neo-concrete art, and conceptualism, as well as the interaction between Latin Americans artists and their European and North American counterparts. We will also study the work of individual artists such as Diego Rivera, Joaquín Torres García, Wilfredo Lam, and Lygia Clark, among others. Readings will be drawn from artist's writings, criticism, primary documents, and recent art historical scholarship.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

AAL, ART, CMP, HIS

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Course Description

From Velázquez to Cabrera: The Arts of Spain and the Spanish Americas
In this course we will examine the art and visual culture of Spain and the Spanish Americas from the early sixteenth to the early nineteenth century. We will consider the impact that religion, politics, and patronage had on artists working in Spain and the Viceroyalties of New Spain and Peru, focusing especially on how visual traditions, iconographies, and practices were reshaped when they crossed the Atlantic. We will also consider how—in the wake of global trade and exploration—contact between Amerindian, African, Asian, and European artisans transformed artistic production, patronage, and collecting practices throughout the Iberian world. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2024

Requirements

ART, CMP, CW, HIS

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Course Description

Modern Brazil
Brazil is the Portuguese-speaking power of Latin America. The country is also home to the largest number of African descendants in the Americas. In this course, we will study the history of modern Brazil from independence to the present day, and discuss the contemporary developments that have transformed Brazil into an international force today. The class will pay close attention to the construction of national institutions, racial and national ideologies, and the celebration of national culture. We will also study Brazil’s impact on the world, from its export of cultural products in cinema, music, and literature in translation, to soccer. It will be important to study the communities of Brazilians in diverse places such as Miami, New York, London, and Paris. We will utilize various writing, oral, and digital methods to examine the major political, economic, and cultural movements that defined Brazilian history from the creation of the empire in the 1820s to the political and cultural tensions of the current regime 3 hr. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, HIS

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Course Description

Colonial Commodities & Slavery in the Americas
In this course, we will examine the development of extractive economies and the relationship between colonialism, consumption, and forced labor in colonial north and South America. Using a comparative approach, we will survey how commodities such as cacao, cotton, coffee, gold, silver, sugar, and tobacco shaped African and Native slavery across the continent. Our topics will include the development of price systems for enslaved people and goods in the world economy, the emergence of ideas regarding racial differences and their relationship with forced labor, how enslaved people resisted their enslavement, and the abolition of slavery across the Americas.
Students will examine primary sources such as financial records, slave narratives, historical price indexes, and scholarly monographs. Pre-1800. 3 hr sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023, Spring 2025

Requirements

AMR, CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Introduction to Latin American Studies
This course is an interdisciplinary introduction to Latin America and Latin American studies. It introduces key debates on the region (and its many subregions) that will feature prominently in other courses not only at Middlebury, but also study abroad. By tracing the region’s historical development, we closely examine issues such as colonialism, economics, identity, imperialism, modes of citizenry, and nationalism, as well as explore how class, commerce, culture, ethnicity, gender, politics, race, religion, and sexuality have come to be understood in Latin America and its study. Critical, scholarly, and theoretical readings will supplement primary texts. 3 hrs. Lect./disc

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2025

Requirements

AMR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Contemporary debates and approaches to feminist theory, gender studies and decoloniality in Latin America
This introductory course approaches contemporary debates in Feminist Theory, Gender Studies, and Decoloniality in Latin America. From an intersectional and decolonial standpoint, theoretic materials and other discursivities such as cinema, literature, and art focus on the relationship between sex, sexuality, gender, race, and class, attending questions of sexism, racism, colonialism, capitalism, body, and power. The thematic units also address the history of feminist thought, black feminisms, and the articulations between gender, coloniality and decoloniality; current discussions between feminisms and indigenous movements; masculinities and the relationship between gender and violence; and recent debates in “fourth-wave” feminism, LGBTTTIQNB*, and human rights movements.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

AMR, SOC

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Course Description

Social Movements in Latin America: The case of Chile (taught in Spanish)
The course offers a complete approach to the topic of social movements in the contemporary Latin American context, with a strong emphasis in the case of Chile. In this context, the course looks for to review the historical antecedents of political and social activism in Chile, which is related with the conformation of the main social movements in contemporary in this country. Thus, the student will have the opportunity to understand the main features, for instance, of the feminist and students’ movements, as well as the, the major social movement since October 18th 2019.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

AMR, SOC, WTR

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Course Description

South America in turmoil: The quest for democratic stability and representation in the Region
This seminar highlights the social and institutional challenges that the region faces. First, we will discuss the evolving political and ideological landscape of the last thirty years as well as recent social unrest and protests across the continent. Second, we will review the relevant theories explaining voters’ attitudes and preferences, and how representation and demands are structured by political actors. Third, we will study the underpinnings of democratic consolidation and the risks of authoritarian temptations. Finally, we will center on social evolution, new forms of political participation, and the conflicts that may arise from competing views, discrimination, or unfulfilled representation.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021

Requirements

AMR, SOC

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Course Description

Critical Theory and Race in International Relations (in Portuguese)
This course aims at analyzing the current state of Brazilian International Relations, international laws and the role of United Nation through the lenses of critical theories from the Global South, decoloniality of power and the intersectionality of race, gender, class, migration, and sexualities. (PGSE 0215)

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

AMR, SOC

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Course Description

Human Trafficking in Latin America
The objective of this course is to provide students with a holistic comprehension of sex trafficking as one of the most complex problems with numerous contributing factors mainly rooted in intersecting inequalities. In this class, we will focus largely on the Spanish speaking countries and students will have weekly readings, research and class discussions. We will examine the dynamics of sex trafficking, its causes and effects, prevalence, types of trafficking and methods of traffickers, the role of international communities, and grassroots efforts to prevent and respond to sex trafficking. This course will also facilitate interpretive, interpersonal and presentational skills development of Spanish Language at the mid/upper intermediate level. It will also aim at communication, the development of critical thinking, communication, and civic engagement. Open to students with any appropriate level of Spanish language proficiency. Contact Angie Quesenberry (aquesenb@middlebury.edu) for access to proficiency test.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

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Course Description

Japanese Immigration to Brazil
Japanese Brazilians are the largest ethnic Japanese community outside Japan. What factors gave rise to this community? How did it expand over time? In this course we will study the modern Japanese diaspora from a Brazilian perspective. The first families from Japan arrived in Brazil in 1908. Why did these families leave their country? Which work did Japanese immigrants do? How did they negotiate their Japanese cultural identities within the Latin American context? To what extent have they contributed to the Brazilian culture? In order to answer these and other questions, students will examine and discuss a set of critical/creative sources that include essay, film, testimony, painting, advertisement, poetry, and literary fiction. In the last segment of the course, we will consider a social-economic counterpoint: the context in which Brazilians of Japanese ethnicity followed the reverse path of their grandparents and massively immigrated to Japan during the 1990s. 3 hrs sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

CMP, HIS, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

With Flavor: Food and Brazilian Culture
In this course we will focus on the food being produced and consumed in Brazil in its relation to Brazilian culture and history. Topics include how food and Brazilian culinary practices are related to certain aspects of Brazilian society, such as the Northeast’s landed oligarchy, Afro-Brazilian culture in Bahia, regional, national, and transnational identities, women and gender constructs, and the experience of hunger. Narratives (fictional, non-fictional, and theoretical) will be drawn from different media: printed and online texts as well as audio-visual materials, such as songs and popular music videos, films, TV series and cooking programs. The course will also entail preparation and degustation of Brazilian dishes. (PGSE 0215 or by approval) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

Race, Sex, and Power in the Lusophone World
How do race and sex intersect in the Lusophone world? What can they teach us about the power dynamics behind world-shaping events such as the Inquisition, colonialism, slavery, miscegenation, nationhood, and even plastic surgery? We will explore the connections between violence, racial identity, gender, and sexualityin the histories and cultures of Lusophone nations. Content covered will include literature, film, television, music, historical documents, and interdisciplinary scholarship that offer different insights into how racial and sexual discourses and practices shape or contest power structures. (PGSE 0215 or equivalent) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

Brazilian Cinema and Culture
In this course we will analyze how Brazilian cinema has been approaching issues related to Brazilian society and culture since mid-twentieth century to the present. Issues may range from colonialism and neocolonialism, dictatorship and revolutionary movements, and the permanence of violence in the fabric of society, to gender identity and diverse sexualities, or race and racism. Throughout the course we will also learn about different movements, moments, aesthetics, and filmmakers, as well as how filmic genres are constructed in Brazilian cinema. Readings will be taken from film criticism and history, social and historical analysis, as well as from other theoretical frameworks, such as gender theory or critical race theory. (PGSE 0215) Course taught in English.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Fall 2023

Requirements

AMR, ART, SOC

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Course Description

Brazilian Cinema: The Wide Angle
In this course we will focus on how Brazilian cinema, from the 1950s popular chanchada comedies onwards, has attempted to represent and give voice to subaltern social groups and subjectivities. The sertanejos and favelados, Indigenous and Black Brazilians, women and LGBTQ+, inmates and revolutionaries, are all in front of the lens, but often holding the camera as well. Films will be from different modes of production, ranging from mass production to independent. Analyses will be informed by readings on film theory and criticism, subalternity, queer theory, feminism, critical race theory, social analysis, and history. (PGSE 0215, or by approval) 3 hrs lect

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, ART, LNG

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Course Description

The Luso Hispanic Fiction Writer
In this course we will study the representation of the writer of fiction in Luso-Hispanic contemporary narrative. As Julio Premat argues, writers often understand their task not only as the creation of literary works, but also as the fashioning of an authorial self within fiction and through essays, interviews, photographs. We will study how and why such images are crafted, and how they reflect ideas about the aesthetic and political role of the writer, the “truth” of fiction, the interplay between literature and reality, and the relationship between authorship and gender. Portuguese-language texts will be read in Spanish translation. (Two Spanish courses at the 0300-level or above, or waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

A Cultural History of Brazilian Soccer
Brazilians usually joke that volleyball is the country’s #1 sport, because soccer in Brazil does not count as a sport, it is a religion. In this course students will learn about the history of Brazilian soccer and how it became a “religion”. This history begins in 1895 when Charles Miller, coming from England, organized in São Paulo the first soccer game ever played in Brazil. Since then, the sport has deeply permeated Brazilian culture and arts (literature, music, cinema). Topics to be examined in this historical context are race, social class, gender, politics, and national identity. Materials to be discussed include fictional and non-fictional texts, songs, videos, and movies. Depending on the number of students enrolled, the course will be scheduled to have one soccer practice and one game (against another team) during the semester. Students may opt out of the practice and/or the game if they want. (PGSE 0215, or by approval) 3hrs. lect

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

AAL, AMR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Soccer in Latin America
Why are Latin Americans so passionate about soccer? The answer to this question is a complex and multifaceted one. The history of this passion goes back to the mid-19th century when British workers were sent to Latin America to build railroads and operate railroad companies. Along with them, soccer arrived in the region. The first documented match took place in Argentina in 1867. Since then, soccer quickly spread out over Latin America to become the most popular sport — by a large margin — in nearly every country. In this course we will examine the history of soccer in Latin America and its links to politics, culture, racial issues, and gender discrimination. We will also take a look at the lives of iconic figures such as Di Stéfano, Garrincha, Pelé, Maradona, Messi, and Marta. The course is intended to finish with a soccer practice and a match against another team. 3hrs.sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Colonial Discourse and Its Legacies in the Lusophone World
In this course we will critically analyze the meanings and ideas that shaped and undergirded European colonialism and its legacies in the interconnected realms of culture, race, language, gender, sexuality, and labor. In addition to studying the colonial period, we will pay particular attention to how the discourses of colonialism impact power structures concerning nation, globalization, and cultural consumption. In doing so, we will also address the problematics of the concept of “Lusophone,” starting with the historical legacies and cultural implications of such a transnational entity. Course materials will include critical theory, historical sources, literary texts, visual media, and music from Brazil, Lusophone Africa, Lusophone Asia, and Portugal. (PGSE 215 or equivalent) 3hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2024

Requirements

AAL, AMR, CMP, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

The School of Bossa Nova
During the 1950s, Brazil left the image of an exotic country behind to emerge on the world stage as a prosperous and modern nation. The soundtrack to this historical period was Bossa Nova, a revolutionary musical genre that blends together Afro-Brazilian samba and American jazz. In this course students will explore the history of Bossa Nova, its cultural paradigms, and its global impact. As a product of samba and jazz, how did Bossa Nova deal with issues of race and gender? Is Bossa Nova a “whitened” form of samba? How are women represented in Bossa Nova’s lyrics? Also, how were Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes’ songs received in countries such as Japan, France, Cape Verde, Argentina, and the U.S.? How did these songs help change the perception of Brazil from abroad? In order to reflect on these and other questions, we will combine the reading of essays on Brazilian history and culture with the analysis of a number of Bossa Nova’s classics. Moreover, we will dedicate a section of our classes to “practice” these songs. As in the movie The School of Rock, students and teacher will rehearse for a performance, open to the Middlebury community, that will take place on campus by the end of the semester. Music skills are desirable, but not required. (PGSE 0215, or by approval) 3hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2023

Requirements

AAL, AMR, ART, SOC

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Course Description

Ideology and Power in the History of US-Latin America Relations
This survey course will examine the historical interaction between different forms of power in the construction of the current hegemony of the United States over Latin America. In addition to the traditional political and economic actors that shaped the core of the relations, the construction of the U.S. hegemony also involved non-state actors and various forms of cultural dynamics that strengthened the power discourse: state cultural diplomacy, “money doctors,” or film and media enterprises, among others built references such as “sister nations,” “backyard subordinates,” or “strategic partners,” whose load of elements of identity—gender, ethnicity, tradition—complemented traditional power politics.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021

Requirements

AMR, SOC

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Course Description

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/3 hrs. lab.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2024

Requirements

AAL, AMR, CMP, CW, PHL, SOC

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Course Description

Religion and Capitalism
Joseph Schumpeter described capitalism as animated by a perennial gale of creative destruction. While he was referring to its capacity to create and destroy industries, capitalism has had the same effect on social worlds. From those tumultuous worlds, a diverse array of religious practices, beliefs, and sentiments have likewise flourished and decayed. This course explores the relationship between global capitalism and religion in the modern period. Anchored in a comparison between Brazil and the United States, we will explore how religious traditions have encountered the world transformed by capitalism as well as the religious dimensions of capitalism itself. 3 hours lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, CMP, PHL

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Course Description

Crossroads: Religion and Race in the Americas
White rock musicians have traced the origins of their musical style to the Delta blues, fixating on a myth that a young, Black musician sold his soul at a southern crossroads to learn to play the guitar. This myth portrays the success of rock as having supernatural origins, while obscuring how the recording industry appropriated and commodified the art of Black Americans. In this seminar we explore the polysemous image of the “crossroads” as an entrée into the intersecting fields of comparative religion, humanistic economics, and critical race. We will rely on works by authors such as Gloria Anzaldúa and Toni Morrison to interrogate these fields while comparing the histories of the U.S. and Brazil. 3 hrs. sem

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, CMP, PHL

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Course Description

XICANXRIBEÑXS: Our Stories, Our Worlds
In this course we will study how Chicanos/Xicanxs and Hispanic Caribbean communities have organized networks of solidarity to overcome oppression and work towards liberation. The Spanish portmanteau “XICANXRIBEÑXS” is an ode to the famous Revista Chicano-Riqueña that evolved out of the Civil Rights Movement and the rise of Ethnic Studies in the 1960s and early 1970s. We will examine their de/colonial histories, contentious status as diasporic communities, and literary and artistic legacies. Some topics may include Latinx print culture, Gloria Anzaldúa’s mestiza feminism in relation to Afro-Caribbean feminisms, and musical cultures from/ bomba/ and fandango to Selena and Cardi B. (SPAN 0220 or by placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

AMR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Whose “New World”?: Early Latin America after Eurocentrism
Colonialism in the so-called New World may have begun with Columbus in 1492, but its impact continues to be felt across the lands that some Indigenous groups call Abya Yala today. In this course we will study how Indigenous and Black communities and other human actors in the region spearheaded, since the late fifteenth century, the first global wave of decolonization in response to the catastrophic transformations brought about by early modern Spanish imperialism. We will consider oral and written testimonies, visual art, material artifacts, and cultural performances from pre-Hispanic times to the long eighteenth century. Our goal will be to re-imagine an early Latin American world beyond/outside/after Eurocentrism. (SPAN 0220 or by placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Hispanic Film
The cinema is a space of social interaction, of entertainment, of bodily (dis)pleasure, of cultural critique, of commerce, of many things. In this course we will study, with a focus on comparative analysis, the text and context of films produced throughout the Hispanic world. Through examining the work of filmmakers from diverse backgrounds, we will closely analyze film form and engage key debates in film theory such as authorship, genre (comedy, documentary, melodrama, etc.), and (trans)national cinema, as well as explore the ways in which class, culture, disability, history, politics, race, and sexuality are represented cinematically. Critical, scholarly, and theoretical readings will supplement film viewings. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

Requirements

ART, CMP, LNG

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Course Description

Resistencia Latinex
How do Latinex people resist oppression? Chilean survivors of the Pinochet dictatorship preserve their historical memory through textile art; Mexican Indigenous women expel the triple mafia of drug gangs, government, and police from their town; in Vermont, migrant workers sustain the dairy industry and themselves despite structural and institutional violence. Through stories of resistance to oppression, students will learn how communities and individuals take on misogyny, environmental injustice, slavery, and or structural violence. They will convey their findings in personal essays, historical fiction, and public presentations. In Spanish. 3 hrs. lect. (SPAN 0220 or by placement) (not open to students who have taken FYSE 1557)

Terms Taught

Spring 2025

Requirements

AMR, LNG, NOR

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Course Description

Latin American Queer Culture
In this course we will study LGBTQ cultural productions from Hispanic Latin America, including fiction, poetry, film, visual art, and theory, covering works from the Southern Cone, the Andes, the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico. We will pay special attention to the uses of queerness in portrayals of ideological conflict: when and how does queerness become an element of dissent, an ethic of resistance, a critique of normativity, a marketable quality. Topics will include indigenous sexualities pre-Conquest, the impact of colonial rule, homonationalism, the criminalization of homosexuality, queer activism, and sexuality from transgender//travesti/ and nonbinary perspectives.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

AMR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics
This course is an introduction to the theory and methodology of linguistics as applied to the study of Spanish. The course’s goals are to understand the basic characteristics of human language (and of Spanish in particular), and to learn the techniques used to describe and explain linguistic phenomena. We will study the sound system (phonetics/phonology), the structure of words (morphology), the construction of sentences (syntax), as well as the history and sociolinguistic variation of the Spanish language, as spoken in communities in Europe, Latin America, and Northern America. We will examine texts, speech samples, and songs, illustrating these linguistic phenomena. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

Superhero Parodies
In this class we will discuss how the superhero/adventure genre in comic books was initially constructed as a mouthpiece of traditionalist nationalist values in the United States and Spain. Through the study of theories of intertextuality and postcolonial theory, students will analyze how Hispanic/Latin comic book creators from Europe and the Americas have parodied the hegemonic values that have influenced our views of economics, gender, and race with the goals of bringing diversity and inclusion in this particular graphic narrative genre. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2024

Requirements

AAL, AMR, ART, CMP, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Hispanic Performance Studies
Performance studies is an interdisciplinary field that borrows from theatre studies, anthropology, sociology, and cultural studies. This course offers an introduction to performance studies through a focus on Hispanic culture. We will ask the question “What is performance?” and develop the tools to describe, analyze, and interpret a broad range of performances such as plays, political speeches, bullfights, protests, recordings, celebrations, and everyday encounters.  We will focus on performance as a process–oriented, participatory, and experiential way of engaging the world. We will concentrate on the overlapping aspects of performance as/of literature (poetry and drama), as/of everyday life (ritual, identity, and culture), and as/of politics (power, activism, and social change).  We will pay particular attention to the relationship of performance to social culture, investigating the link between performance and race, gender, and sexuality.  Because the goal of the course is to produce critical thinkers who are capable of using performance as an analytical tool and as part of a creative process, students will be required to perform. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2025

Requirements

AMR, ART, LNG, NOR

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Course Description

Peru: Identity, Ethnicity, History
In this course we will study Peru’s diverse cultures, races, and ethnicities. Our discussion of Peruvian identity(-ies) will be connected to an exploration of selected topics of history and politics, with an emphasis on contemporary Peru: the Internal Conflict, Fujimori's dictatorship, and the return to democracy (1980-the present). We will read literary works and historical accounts, watch films and documentaries, and look at art and photography in order to extract their key themes and better understand the construction of Peru as a complex, multilingual nation, considering its past, present, and future. Relations with the United States and Latin America will be addressed. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect/disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

AAL, AMR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Lusa-Hispanic Painting from the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Eras
The main goal of this course is to analyze art. Focusing on aesthetics, we will learn to appreciate the differences between Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque painting. Regarding formal elements we will work on the use of lines, colors, proportions, and perspective. Artistic appreciation will be complemented with readings on historical and theoretical issues regarding the intersection between imperial power and religion, race, and ethnicity (Casta painting), mythology, the use of the body as a metaphor, still lifes, and Vanitas painting. The course will also include a chapter on art by ‘forgotten’ women, as well as a chapter on architecture, including Brazilian colonial monuments. Students will compare artistic manifestations from Portugal, Spain and the New World, and will be able to trace connections with contemporary art. Among artists included: El Greco, Clara Peeters, Velázquez, Josefa de Óbidos, Goya, Illescas and The Quito School of Art, Villalpando, Correa, and Cabrera (México), Aleijadinho, Zapata, Master of Calamarca and many anonymous painters from the Cusco School (Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia).

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2023

Requirements

ART, CMP, LNG

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Course Description

Indigenous peoples and social movements in Bolivia
Quechua and Aymara people of the Andes, and the indigenous nations from the Lowlands have been key in grassroots movements in Bolivia in the 21st century. We will study historical and present indigenous decolonial and environmental struggles, tackling issues of political representation and self-representation. We will look at indigenist literature and film, the Constitution of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, and indigenous journalism and performance. The Bolivian case will be placed in context with other social movements in the region and the Global South. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

Requirements

AMR, HIS, LNG

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Course Description

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

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, ART, CMP, LNG

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Course Description

Hispanic Athletes: Sports, Nationalist Culture, and the Global Media
In this course, we will study sports as an essential part in the construction of nationalist pride and perceptions of race, class, and gender in several Hispanic nation-states and subcultures in Europe and the Americas. We will analyze fictional narrative content such as literature and films (Pepe el Toro, Sugar, Black Diamonds, and many others). In addition, we will also explore how media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, videogames, documentaries, and the internet affect our perceptions of sporting events and their superstars to create controversies, support hegemonic nationalist ideas, and further the commercial ambitions of corporations. (SPAN 0220 or placement) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, CMP, LNG

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Course Description

The Luso Hispanic Fiction Writer
In this course we will study the representation of the writer of fiction in Luso-Hispanic contemporary narrative. As Julio Premat argues, writers often understand their task not only as the creation of literary works, but also as the fashioning of an authorial self within fiction and through essays, interviews, photographs. We will study how and why such images are crafted, and how they reflect ideas about the aesthetic and political role of the writer, the “truth” of fiction, the interplay between literature and reality, and the relationship between authorship and gender. Portuguese-language texts will be read in Spanish translation. (Two Spanish courses at the 0300-level or above, or waiver) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Hispanic Musical Films
In this course we will study Hispanic musical films (including fiction and documentaries) from Spain, Latin America, and the United States. Our main goal will be to understand how Hispanic countries use this cinematic genre to establish nationalist constructions and ideologies, and how this has consequently affected the development of Hispanic musical narratives in the United States. Analyses will focus on how different ethnic aspects are defined as 'Other' in musical genres such as Flamenco, Tango, Rancheras, Tex-Mex, Salsa, Reggaeton, Merengue, and Spanish Rock. We will explore why Hispanic musicals are perceived as exotic in relation to their Anglophone counterparts while studying films such as Buena Vista Social Club, Allá en el rancho grande, Selena, and El día que me quieras. (At least two Spanish courses at the 0300 level or above, or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./screening

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, CMP, LIT

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Course Description

Stars and Stardom in Latin America
Manila, 2013: Lionel Messi features in a WeChat ad. São Paulo, 1995: Ninón Sevilla walks into frame on an imported telenovela. Middlebury, 1938: Lupe Vélez appears in Life Magazine. Impinging upon even our most mundane moments, stars and stardom have become integral to our modern experience. Through the study of theories on stardom, as well as an array of works of cultural production (films, music, images, performances, etc.), in this course we will examine cultural, economic, political, racial, and social factors that influence the creation, development, and perpetuation of understandings of individual stars and, more generally, stardom in Latin America. (At least two Spanish courses at the 0300-level or above, or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, ART, LNG

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Course Description

Soccer in Latin America
Why are Latin Americans so passionate about soccer? The answer to this question is a complex and multifaceted one. The history of this passion goes back to the mid-19th century when British workers were sent to Latin America to build railroads and operate railroad companies. Along with them, soccer arrived in the region. The first documented match took place in Argentina in 1867. Since then, soccer quickly spread out over Latin America to become the most popular sport — by a large margin — in nearly every country. In this course we will examine the history of soccer in Latin America and its links to politics, culture, racial issues, and gender discrimination. We will also take a look at the lives of iconic figures such as Di Stéfano, Garrincha, Pelé, Maradona, Messi, and Marta. The course is intended to finish with a soccer practice and a match against another team. 3hrs.sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2021

Requirements

AAL, AMR, ART, CMP, LNG

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Course Description

Exploring Orientalist Adventures in the Americas
In this class we will study 20th and 21st century adventure narratives from the Americas to explore how artists have struggled to represent Asian or Middle East cultures within or against Western imperialist ideologies. We will use Edward Said’s seminal work Orientalism as a theoretical framework and study how racist narratives are predominant within our industrial mass media (radio, serials, films, comic books, social media, and streaming services). Furthermore, we will explore how new gender and race paradigms have provided space for adventure narratives that attempt to dismantle the biases against Asian citizens in the Americas. This class will cover from Martial Arts narratives in the United States to Mexican Geisha comic books to Argentinean adventures in the Middle East.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, ART, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

The Latin American ‘novela total’
In this seminar we will read Latin American ‘total novels’: long and complex fictional artifacts that purport to map the whole of reality in all its perspectives. We will analyze the structure of landmark ‘total novels,’ explore the intersection of modernist aesthetics and Cold War politics that made them possible, and probe their current relevance. Texts may include Cien años de soledad (1967) by García Márquez and Conversación en La Catedral (1969) by Vargas Llosa, as well as more recent novels that attempt to renew this tradition. (Two Spanish courses numbered 0350 or above, or by waiver.) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2023

Requirements

AAL, AMR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

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) (not open to students who have taken SPAN/LNGT 0377) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Spring 2024, Fall 2024

Requirements

CMP, LNG, SOC

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Course Description

Creative Writing: Long Form Narrative
This course offers students the opportunity to advance in creative writing in Spanish. Students will create a long-form work—a novella, a collection of interrelated short stories, or a collection of interrelated autobiographical narratives. Through workshops and analyses of literary models, students will develop narrative and stylistic techniques to produce at least twenty-five pages of polished creative work around a unified topic. Prior creative writing experience would be helpful. (Senior Majors or by approval) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, ART, LNG

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Course Description

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.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, AMR, ART, LIT

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Course Description

Gabriel García Márquez's Cien años de soledad
Colombian writer Gabriel García Márquez is one of the most significant authors of 20th century literature, and Cien años de soledad is often considered the most important Latin American novel ever written. In this course we will delve into this masterpiece from different perspectives. Through close-reading we will focus on its literary aspects - form, style, metaphor - while making connections with García Márquez’s life, Colombian history, Cold War politics, the Latin American Boom, metafiction, magical realism, and issues of race and gender. (Two Spanish courses at the 0300-level or above, or waiver) (formerly SPAN 0378) 3 hrs. lect./disc

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

AAL, AMR, LIT, LNG

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Course Description

Latin America in Paris/Paris in Latin America
Paris has been central in cultural exchanges with Latin America, as a model of an ideal city, a rejected cipher of coloniality, and a place of encounters. Many Latin American intellectuals and artists, such as Cesar Vallejo and Remedios Varo, lived and created in Paris. Tango became an Argentinean national symbol after having been recognized in the Parisian night scene. In this course we will study phenomena such as these to understand the dynamics of translation and exchange of people and ideas, and their profound impact on both Latin America and Paris. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

AAL, AMR, LNG

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Course Description

Hispanic Musical Films
In this course we will study Hispanic musical films (including fiction and documentaries) from Spain, Latin America, and the United States. Our main goal will be to understand how Hispanic countries use this cinematic genre to establish nationalist constructions and ideologies, and how this has consequently affected the development of Hispanic musical narratives in the United States. Analyses will focus on how different ethnic aspects are defined as 'Other' in musical genres such as Flamenco, Tango, Rancheras, Tex-Mex, Salsa, Reggaeton, Merengue, and Spanish Rock. We will explore why Hispanic musicals are perceived as exotic in relation to their Anglophone counterparts while studying films such as Buena Vista Social Club, Allá en el rancho grande, Selena, and El día que me quieras. (At least two Spanish courses at the 0300 level or above, or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./screening (formerly SPAN 0361)

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

AMR, CMP, LIT

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Course Description

Contemporary Latinx Playwrights
In this course we will investigate Chicana/o/x and Latina/o/x artistic activism since the 1960s in the works of playwrights such as Luis Valdez, Josefina Baéz, John Leguizamo, and Guadalís Del Carmen. In alternating in-person and online meetings, we will engage with scripts as diverse in aesthetic approach as they are in societal concerns (including misrepresentation, unfair labor practices, gender roles, immigration, and colorism). Conversations with guest artists will enhance readings about historical events that inspired theatrical challenges to the status quo. Creative responses to the materials will strengthen critical interpretive skills including production dramaturgy, performance, and design. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2023

Requirements

AAL, AMR, ART, LIT

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Course Description

Mexican Revolution/Revelation
Using theatrical workshop techniques, students in this interdisciplinary will explore the socio-political-economic history, literature, music, dance, graphic art and architecture that reflect the period of time commonly known as the Mexican revolution. The course will consist of both academic research as well as dramatic and musical performance. The work will center around adapting scenes for the theater from Mariano Azuela’s novel of the revolution Los de Abajo. Students will study, contextualize and incorporate various elements of Mexican folk music into these scenes. The course will culminate in a dramatic presentation of the work.

Terms Taught

Winter 2022

Requirements

AMR, ART, LIT, NOR, WTR

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Middle East and North African Studies

Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

Arabic Sociolinguistics (taught in English)
In this course we will focus on the inter-relationships between the way Arabic is used by native speakers and the various social contexts affecting that usage. In particular, we will discuss the phenomenon of diglossia in Arabic speech communities (that is, the co-existence of Modern Standard Arabic with the vernacular Arabic dialects of today); aspects of linguistic variation and change in the Arab world; the relation between register and language; as well as the relation between language and such sociological variables as education, social status, political discourse, and gender. Readings are primarily drawn from sociolinguists' studies in the Arab world. (ARBC 0101 or instructor's approval)

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2024

Requirements

AAL, MDE, SOC

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Course Description

Gender Politics of the Arab World
The aim of this course is to explore the ways in which the social and cultural construction of sexual difference shapes the politics of gender and sexuality in the Middle East and North Africa. Using interdisciplinary feminist theories, we will explore key issues and debates including the interaction of religion and sexuality, women’s movements, gender-based violence, queerness and gay/straight identities. Looking at the ways in which the Arab Spring galvanized what some have called a “gender revolution,” we will examine women’s roles in the various revolutions across the Arab World, and explore the varied and shifting gender dynamics in the region. Taught in English (formerly ARBC/GSFS 0328) 3 hrs. Sem. (GloDeFem)/

Terms Taught

Spring 2023

Requirements

AAL, CMP, CW, MDE, SOC

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Course Description

Blackness and the Arab Imaginary (In English)
Blackness as a category of analysis in the Middle East and North Africa, while fundamental to opening the field to the study of race and the legacies of slavery, remains understudied and deserving of critical attention. In this course we will explore the historic and political category of “blackness” and examine how black identities are constructed in the cultural and epistemological production of the Arab world and the Arab Diaspora through literature, critical scholarship, music, and cinema. We will address imperial and transnational dimensions of blackness as well as its increasing relevance for understanding new racial configurations in the contemporary Middle East and the Arab Diaspora. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

MDE, SOC

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Course Description

Human-Environment Relations: Middle East
In this course we will begin with an environmental history of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, asking such questions as: How does politics affect conservation practice? To what extent are formulations of nature constructed socially and politically? Whose rights are affected by protected areas and who decides governance criteria? The objectives of this course include providing students with an understanding of human-environment relations theory by addressing the regional specifics of modern environmental and social histories of these countries. We will look at animals, water, and forests in the literature of NGOs, UNEP reports, media, policy papers, and the academic literature. (One of the following: ENVS 0112, GEOG 0100, IGST 0101, SOAN 0103; Or by approval) (not open to students who have taken FYSE 1523) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

MDE, SOC

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Course Description

Readings in Classical Arabic Prose (in Arabic)
Classical Arabic prose is one of the delights of world literature. A product of the vibrant intellectual climate of the 'Abbasid Caliphate (750 - 1258 CE), Classical Arabic prose embodies a humanistic sensitivity and inquisitive depth that has set the standard for literary Arabic. In this course we will read representative texts from some major genres of Classical Arabic prose: geography, history, philology, biography, and the tradition of courtly belles-lettres. Students will also be presented with the opportunity to read hand-written manuscripts. (ARBC 0302 or equivalent) 3 hrs. seminar.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

AAL, LIT, LNG, MDE

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Course Description

Contemporary Arab Cinema
This course will present an overview of contemporary Arab cinema, exploring the way in which this cinema reflects the dynamics of political, economic, and social change in modern Arab societies. The course will be conducted exclusively in Arabic and will involve reading texts that present an overview of contemporary Arab cinema as well as texts analyzing notable and award-winning Arabic films. (ARBC 0302 or equivalent) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2023

Requirements

AAL, ART, LNG, MDE

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Course Description

Advanced Readings: Arabic across History
In this course we will read a variety of Arabic texts representing different eras in the history of Arabic, from pre-Islamic times in the Arabian Peninsula until the modern era in the Arab world. Readings will be mostly drawn from Arabic poetry across its different eras, as well as from religious and historical texts. Other types of texts will be chosen in consultation between students and instructor. In addition to discussion of the linguistic features of texts, we will address their literary, historical, and cultural aspects. 3 hrs. sem. (ARBC 0302 or equivalent)

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

LIT, LNG, MDE

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Course Description

Readings in Modern Arabic Literature
In this course students will engage modern and contemporary literature in the original Arabic language. In addition to reading an Arabic novel, we will examine other literary-aesthetic genres such as poetry, plays, and short stories. Throughout, we will analyze and discuss the role of modern Arabic literature in exposing and challenging various systems of marginalization and injustice in the Arab world and beyond. (ARBC302 or equivalent) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2024

Requirements

AAL, LIT, LNG, MDE

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Course Description

The Environmental Middle East: Forests, Rivers, and Peoples
In this course we will examine the environmental history of the Middle East and contemporary conservation practices in this region, focusing on four environmental case-studies: a contemporary conservation project in Lebanon, the Ghuta Forest of Damascus, the GAP dam project in Syria, and the marshes of Southern Iraq. We will consider these sites of contested power relations, cultural practice, and memory through the lenses of political and environmental essays, academic critiques, policy papers, historical documents, current media, and literary works. The objectives of this course: to provide students with a solid grasp of contemporary Middle Eastern environmental history, to address the key elements of cultural practice in each geographic area, and to achieve advanced proficiency in Arabic, including a mastery of environmental terminology. (ARBC 0302 or equivalent) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

LNG, MDE, SOC

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Course Description

Art and Youth Activism in 21st-Century North Africa
This course will explore youth involvement in social change through the lens of art and youth studies. It focuses on how youth have used art as a means of activism toward change both before and after the ‘Arab Spring’ in in Morocco and the wider MENA region. The course explores the circumstances under which such youth-based and youth-led activism emerges as well as the role of globalization and technology in the formation, development, and political trajectory of this cultural form of resistance. At the same time, the course examines how youth and activists conceive of social justice and social change.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

MDE, SOC

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Course Description

Human-Environment Relations: Middle East
In this course we will begin with an environmental history of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, asking such questions as: How does politics affect conservation practice? To what extent are formulations of nature constructed socially and politically? Whose rights are affected by protected areas and who decides governance criteria? The objectives of this course include providing students with an understanding of human-environment relations theory by addressing the regional specifics of modern environmental and social histories of these countries. We will look at animals, water, and forests in the literature of NGOs, UNEP reports, media, policy papers, and the academic literature. (One of the following: ENVS 0112, GEOG 0100, IGST 0101, SOAN 0103; Or by approval) (not open to students who have taken FYSE 1523) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

MDE, SOC

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Course Description

Geopolitics of the Middle East
This course examines the Middle East from a geographical perspective with emphasis on the historical and political underpinnings of the region. The Middle East, the cradle of civilization, has been, due to its geography, one of the major arenas for political and ideological conflicts. It has been subject to an unequal power relationship with the West, which, together with Islam, has affected the level of its political, social, and economic development. This course will provide an analytical introduction to the historical, political, social, and economic geography of the region and will analyze the major transitions this region has undergone. 3 hrs.lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, MDE, SOC

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Course Description

Approaches to Islamic Art
A survey of major expressions of Islamic art from the inception of Islam to the present, from all parts of the Islamic world. This is not a traditional survey; rather, it focuses on key monuments and important examples of portable and decorative arts: mosques, tombs, palaces, manuscript illumination, calligraphy, metalwork, textiles, ceramics, etc. We will consider their meanings and functions in their respective socio-historical contexts, and we will also analyze the impact of patronage and region. We will try to understand what general principles unify the richness and diversity of Islamic art: what is Islamic about Islamic art? Finally, we will address the issue of contemporary Islamic art. (No prerequisites). 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Spring 2022, Fall 2024

Requirements

AAL, ART, MDE

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Course Description

Photography in the Middle East
In this course we will survey 19th and 20th century photographs of the Middle East. We will consider indigenous studios as well as European and U.S. photographers and artists who traveled to the region and circulated their photographs as visual knowledge of distant cultures, peoples, monuments, landscapes, and experiences. Looking at a range of genres, we will examine how photographs visually construct notions of race, gender, class, religion, and cultural otherness. Students will work with original photographs in the collection at the Middlebury College Museum of Art. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Spring 2025

Requirements

ART, HIS, MDE

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Course Description

Art Response to Political Strife: Contemporary Arab Art
In what ways can artists protest war? What are the possibilities for creating art during times of conflict? How do artists respond to the memories of a violent and divisive recent past? These are some of the questions we will examine in this course, with a focus on contemporary artistic practices in the Arab world. Considering a range of media—documentary and experimental film, installation and conceptual practices, painting, photography, and monuments, we will ask how artists living in Beirut, Baghdad, Damascus, Jerusalem, and Algiers are able to confront the traumas of the past, intervene in contemporary socio-political realities, and imagine a different future. (not open to students who have taken INTD 1209)

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

AAL, ART, MDE, WTR

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Course Description

Orientalism and the Visual Arts
In this course we will consider the relationship between visual culture and the politics of knowledge. Comparatively examining a series of cross-cultural encounters in modern and contemporary art, we will ask how knowledge is visually codified, labeled, and displayed. The course will begin with a reading of Edward Said’s Orientalism. We will then examine a series of case studies in order to identify and compare strategies of both “representing the other” and “speaking back.” We will address notions of exoticism, cultural difference, authenticity, and native authority with a particular focus on the ways in which the visual arts construct notions of race and gender and difference in representations of the Middle East, and more specifically, the Arab world. Case studies, drawn from the late eighteenth century until today, will be focused in the discipline of art history and the geographical regions of primarily the Middle East and Africa, as well as Europe and the U.S. 3 hrs sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

ART, CMP, HIS, MDE

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Course Description

Zionism and the "Roads Not Taken" (1880-1948)
An Arab-Jewish binational state in Palestine was only one of the possible paths that the Zionist movement considered before taking the road that led to Israel’s 1948 establishment. Using various primary and secondary sources, we will critically engage with alternatives to the nation-state within the Zionist movement, unfolding key debates in its history. In the introductory units, we will position Zionism alongside other forms of Jewish nationalism, such as Simon Dubnow’s Diaspora Nationalism. We will then zoom in on post-World War I Zionism, discussing Imperial, anti-Imperial, pan-Asian, and binationalist-federalist alternatives to the Jewish nation-state program. In the concluding units, we will examine the processes by which these possibilities became marginalized, and the vision of a Jewish nation-state prevailed.

Terms Taught

Spring 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2025

Requirements

CMP, EUR, HIS

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Course Description

Contemporary Israel: Society, Culture and Politics
In this course we will examine Israeli society and politics in a period of rapid and profound transformation. We begin with an introductory unit on Zionism, Palestinian nationalism and the history of the state. Subsequent units examine the social, cultural and political characteristics of Israel’s main population sectors (Middle Eastern, European, Russian and Ethiopian Jews and Palestinian citizens and residents of the state) and religious groupings (Muslims and Jews, including secular, traditional, national-religious and ultra-Orthodox). The final units examine intensifying political struggles that will shape the future of Israel and the region. Topics will include the role of religion in public life; civil rights, democracy and the courts; and West Bank settlements, occupation, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023, Spring 2024

Requirements

MDE, SOC

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Course Description

The Origins of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
When did the Jewish-Arab conflict begin? This survey course considers several different moments of its birth, such as the 1880s first wave of Zionist immigrants to Palestine, the 1917 Balfour Declaration, the 1948 and 1967 war and the 1964 establishment of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and other landmark moments. Based on secondary literature and primary textual and visual materials, we will engage with these competing periodizations and analyze various Israeli and Palestinian historical narratives they embody, considering broader themes such as the relations between the historian’s identity and the production of historical narratives, and the dynamic between facts, narratives and ideologies. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022, Fall 2023, Fall 2024

Requirements

CMP, MDE, SOC

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Course Description

Intercultural Jerusalem (1850-Present)
The course approaches the history of modern Jerusalem through the lens of intercultural encounters. Based on primary historical sources and secondary literature, we will examine how the relations between Muslims, Christians, and Jews transformed as the city changed hands between the Ottomans, British, Jordanians, and Israelis. The introductory units will discuss the making of multi-cultural Jerusalem in the late Ottoman period and how, under British rule (1917-1948), its cosmopolitanism was abated by nationalism. We will then discuss its partition following the 1948 War and the emergence of “West Jerusalem” and “East Jerusalem.” Proceeding past 1967, we will examine if and to what extent Jerusalem became an integrated, united city under Israel sovereignty before concluding with a discussion of contemporary trends.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022, Spring 2024

Requirements

CMP, HIS, MDE,