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Africana Studies 101a Martin Luther King Jr.

(Same as History 101)

This course examines the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. We immediately rethink the image of King who liberals and conservatives construct as a dreamer of better race relations. We engage the complexities of an individual who articulated a moral compass of the nation to explore racial justice in post-World War II America. This course gives special attention to King’s post-1965 radicalism when he called for a reordering of American society, an end to the war in Vietnam, and supported sanitation workers striking for better wages and working conditions. Topics include King’s notion of the “beloved community,” the Social Gospel, liberalism, “socially conscious democracy,” militancy, the politics of martyrdom, poverty and racial justice, and compensatory treatment. Primary sources form the core of our readings.

AFRS 101.01 TR 9:00-10:15 am Quincy Mills

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Africana Studies 109a Modern Arabic Literature

This course introduces students to modern and contemporary literature emanating from North Africa and the Middle East. The authors we read write in Arabic, French, and English. However, all the course readings are in English Translation.

The themes we examine range from the seemingly unresolved tension between tradition and modernity in postcolonial MENA (Middle East and North Africa) societies to the role orientalism and islamophobia play in obstructing productive and much-needed East-West dialogues in today’s—some would call it—neocolonial and globalized world. We also zero in on the interplay between gender, religion, and politics in the MENA region as we discuss the condition of women and sexual minorities caught between the seemingly irreconcilable discourses of Islamic law and international human rights legal frameworks. In the last part of the course, we read two recent first-person narratives. The first depicts the ongoing crisis of illegal immigration from Africa and the MENA region into “Fortress Europe” and attending human cost. The second narrative is an intimate portrayal of the sectarian strife and human rights abuses promulgated in the prisons of the dictatorial regime in Syria.

Students taking this course will gain an understanding of some of the salient social, political, and broadly cultural complexities of MENA societies. They will also begin to appreciate the complex historical and geopolitical roots of widespread yet, sometimes, little examined propositions, like the incompatibility of Islam and Western modernity and democratic rule, and the need to liberate Muslim women from their cultures.

The course is open to freshmen only; and it satisfies the college requirement for the Freshman Writing Seminar. As such, it is a writing-intensive course! Therefore, as we explore the themes and issues noted above orally in our class discussions, you will also hone your skills in finding, using, and citing evidence; building persuasive arguments; using language effectively; organizing sentences and paragraphs clearly; and developing your own prose style. Writing workshops are an integral part of the course, and you will work on commenting on and revising both your own and other people’s drafts.

AFRS 109.01 MW 12:00-1:15 pm Mootacem Mhiri

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Africana Studies 189a Religion, Community Organizing, and Movements for Civil Rights

(Same as Religion 189)

In American life religion is often portrayed as a divisive force. Yet historically, religious actors, communities, spaces, and motivations have contributed to broad-based collective movements for civil and human rights. This course explores the ways in which religions have supplied resources to help communities organize and develop visions of collective life.

AFRS 189.01 TR 1:30-2:45 pm Jonathon Kahn

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Anthropology 170a Topics in Anthropology: Anthropology of Water

Many anthropologists study water as a focus of political contention and environmental impetus to action. But cultural anthropology’s special contribution to water studies may be its insights into how water is valued, socially and affectively, in culturally and historically different ways. Water is necessary for human life. But it is always, also, meaningful in a remarkable range of ways that do not necessarily begin with scarcity, nor end with any one universal goal, even health or profit. Focusing on the relation between drinking water and wider cultural systems, the course introduces three approaches to drinking water: (1) Semiotics of Bottled Water includes readings from the anthropology of food and beverage, consumer culture, and meaning-making in everyday life. (2) Water as Global Commodity considers water in the context of the anthropology of gifts and commodities. (3) Water Projects considers state, corporate, and activist discourses about water with attention to anthropological studies of social and environmental impacts. Water cases include Bali, US, post-Soviet Georgia, Fiji and Singapore. The course will include (group) projects on water in local cultural contexts.

ANTH 170.01 MW 9:00-10:15 am Martha Kaplan

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Anthropology 170a Topics in Anthropology: Language Facts, Language Fictions 


True or false: women talk too much and men refuse to listen; Italian is beautiful, while German is ugly; double negatives are illogical; television is ruining the English language; there are primitive languages that have no grammar; southerners speak more slowly than northerners; everybody has an accent except where I grew up; language is used primarily to communicate factual information about the world; Eskimos have 17 words for ‘snow’; men interrupt more than women; girls imitate how their mothers talk, while boys imitate how their fathers talk; everyone in Boston says, ‘cah’ instead of ‘car’; if you grow up speaking two languages, you’ll never speak either one perfectly. These statements represent the kinds of judgments we all tend to make about languages and everyday speech. Even as the course provides a solid grounding in linguistic analysis, it explores and explodes such judgments by asking students to assess critically their own ideas and ideologies about language.

ANTH 170.02 TR 10:30-11:45 am Thomas Porcello

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Asian Studies 181a Imagining China

(Same as Religion 181)

In this seminar we examine from a broad comparative perspective some of the many ways China has been imagined – cosmologically, imperially, monastically, textually, mythologically, architecturally, constitutionally – taking into account voices from within and without China, past and present. As we shift from some of the earliest imaginings from within ancient China toward more modern imaginings, colonial representations of China become a priority as we move into modernity and the formation of the Chinese nation-state. One of our class objectives is to better understand what impact acts of imagination had and continue to have on Chinese society.

ASIA 181.01 MW 9:00-10:15 am Michael Walsh

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Cognitive Science 110a The Science and Fiction/Mind

Our understanding of what minds are and of how they work has exploded dramatically in the last half century. As in other areas of science, the more we know the harder it becomes to convey the richness and complexity of that knowledge to non-specialists. This first-year course will explore two different styles of writing for explaining new findings about the nature of mind to a general audience. The most direct of these styles is journalistic and explanatory and is well represented by the work of people like Steven Pinker, Bruce Bower, Stephen J. Gould, and Ray Kurzweil. The second style is fictional. At its best, science fiction not only entertains, it also stretches the reader’s mind to a view of implications and possibilities beyond what is currently known. Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Greg Bear, and Richard Powers all provide excellent models of this kind of writing. In this course students practice both ways of writing about technical and scientific discoveries. By working simultaneously in both styles, it should become clear that when done well even a strictly explanatory piece of science writing tells a story. By the same token even a purely fictional narrative can explain and elucidate how the real world works. The focus of our work is material from the sciences of mind, but topics from other scientific areas may also be explored. This course does not serve as a prerequisite for upper-level courses in cognitive science.

COGS 110.01 TR 7:00pm-9:00 pm Kenneth Livingston

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Education 162a Educational Opportunity in the U.S.

In this course, students identify, explore, and question prevailing assumptions about education in the United States. The objectives of the course are for students to develop both a deeper understanding of the system’s historical, structural, and philosophical features and to look at schools with a critical eye. We examine issues of power and control at various levels of the education system. Participants are encouraged to connect class readings and discussions to personal schooling experiences to gain new insights into their own educational foundations. Among the questions that are highlighted are: How should schools be organized and operated? What information and values should be emphasized? Whose interests do schools serve? The course is open to both students interested in becoming certified to teach and those who are not yet certain about their future plans but are interested in educational issues.

EDUC 162.01 WF 1:30-2:45 am Jaime Del Razo

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English 101a Literature and Evil

“Literature is not innocent,” says Georges Bataille. Authentic aesthetic experience knows something of evil. It does not edify or console; it quickens and unsettles. We will study literary, philosophical, and cinematic texts that explore the various faces of evil–from the romantic to the banal, the irrational to the utterly unmotivated. Readings include: The White Devil, Othello, Wuthering Heights, Heart of Darkness, Blood Meridian, The Dark Knight Returns, as well as some Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Kafka, Bataille, and Arendt.

ENGL 101.01 WF 12:00-1:15 pm Heesok Chang

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English 101a What is a Classic?

Why are some works of literature called classics? Which works are these? Do they have common traits? How is it that they have endured while other works have been largely forgotten? Are all classics related in some way to the original classics of Greek and Latin literature? How old does a work have to be to achieve the stature of a classic? Can there be modern or even contemporary classics? Through reading and discussion of poetry and prose works often thought of as classics, this class will investigate these and other questions. Authors will include some of the following: Homer, Virgil, Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Jonathan Swift, Samuel Johnson, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Charles Dickens, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, D.H. Lawrence, T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Nabokov, Flannery O’Connor, Joseph Heller, James Baldwin, Seamus Heaney, Elizabeth Bishop, Toni Morrison, Zadie Smith.

ENGL 101.02 TR 10:30-11:45 pm Robert DeMaria

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English 101a Troubling Girlhood

From early-American witch trials to contemporary stories detailing the “dangers” of high school life or illuminating the power of teenage romantic love when it becomes entangled with political activism, this course explores narratives focused on the public and private lives of young women. The aim of the course is to write through and “trouble” (challenge and struggle over) our cultural assumptions regarding those who are gendered “girls” in the US. Using literary fiction, YA novels, short stories, memoir, and visual texts, we’ll consider how various identity categories challenge and shift the meaning of “girlhood” in the United States. Students enrolled in this course will develop an academic writing practice, and learn to participate in and lead a college classroom discussion.

ENGL 101.03 TR 3:10-4:25 pm Eve Dunbar

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English 101a Sounds American: Pop Music, Identity & Imagination

This is a course about the pop musical imagination, or what new possibilities, a catchy song, a groundbreaking album, or a brilliant artist compels us to envision. We’ll approach this question thematically (rather than historically) and engage a range of texts—songs and albums; fiction and poetry; essays and memoirs; cultural histories and academic monographs; music videos and cultural theory—that bring the vast terrain that is the American soundscape into focus. Our considerations will draw from the perspective of the listener, the fan, the critic, from the Jazz Age to the present. In other words, we will try and interrogate what it means to engage with music in the present day. How have portable devices or streaming services altered our relationship to music? How does pop music provide a surface upon which we debate questions of political identity, authenticity, and self-determination? What visions of independence or freedom emerge when we engage with pop culture seriously, and with scrutiny? Possible readings include Hari Kunzru’s White Tears, Rebecca Dubrow’s history of portable stereos, Patti Smith’s punk memoir of seventies New York.

ENGL 101.04 MW 12:00-1:15 pm Hua Hsu

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English 101a W(h)ither The Body

Current technologies only put into stark contrast almost a century in which the body has become a site of contestation: commercial, political, sexual, medial, artistic, and philosophical. Various literatures, some of them electronic (e.g., digital literature, virtual & augmented reality, computer games) have engaged (some say joined with) nanotechnology, genetic engineering, etc. to contest for the body, with some thinkers making radical claims that the body will disappear or merge with technology, or that it has already done so. Posthumanist, feminist, ludologist, media, and cyber theorists have all contributed to this polylogue. Thus “readings” will encompass varied media and may include Tom Tykwer’s film “3” (Drei) and the original Bioshock game, as well as novels and poems such as Bennett Sims, A Questionable Shape, Nicole Brossard’s Picture Theory, and Steven Hall’s The Raw Shark Texts.

ENGL 101.05 MR 3:10-4:25 pm Michael Joyce

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English 101a The Essay Form

The high-school essay trapped in the Darth Vader facemask called the topic sentence. And the immobile drapery of the five-paragraph costume armor. This is an exaggeration, of course, but to write in more imaginative ways let us examine the experiments in prose undertaken by essayists of the past hundred years or so: George Orwell writing about shooting an elephant, James Baldwin on his father’s death and race riots, Jorge Luis Borges on his “modest blindness,” Susan Sontag looking at photographs, Joan Didion bidding goodbye to New York, Adrienne Rich recalling the strands that make up her identity. Also, Geoff Dyer on sex and hotels, Lydia Davis on “Foucault and pencil,” David Shields on the lyric essay, Jenny Boully on the body, Eliot Weinberger on what he heard about Iraq, and David Foster Wallace on anything. We will write brief essays (one to two pages) for each class and two longer essays (about eight pages in length).

ENGL 101.06 TR 10:30-11:45 am Amitava Kumar

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English 101a Allegories of the Self

This seminar offers students intensive practice in close reading and interpretive writing and conversation through the examination of symbolic worlds inscribed in various media, including original works in Vassar collections, with a focus on the development of allegorical narrative in classical and medieval textual sources and medieval and Renaissance art. Our consideration of allegories as knowledge systems will introduce students to the formulation of liberal arts education in the medieval schools, as well as to the culture of libraries and the organization of knowledge. Each member of the class will be asked to present an allegorical reading of a modern work selecting from narratives of literary authors such as Kafka and Orwell to works of painting and sculpture by artists such as Thomas Cole, Frida Kahlo, and Kara Walker, to fantasy and science fiction film, television series, and game environments. The course will thus serve to familiarize you with conventions of meaning in creative works in various media expressly composed to be interpreted, introduce you to the foundations, culture, and tools of higher education, and also function as a practicum for improving your skills with written and spoken language.

ENGL 101.07 MR 3:10-4:30 pm Thomas Hill

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English 101a What’s Love Got to do With it?

This course focuses on representations of love (filial, parental, sexual, etc.) from antiquity to the present. Situating the selected works in their contemporary cultural and historical contexts, the course explores significant differences as well as possible continuities between past and present interpretations and representations of such basic concepts and institutions as gender, family, marriage, filial and marital duties, the private sphere, and sexuality. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet serves as a chronological center for these investigations, but we will also discuss passages from the Bible and selected texts (representing diverse dramatic, epic, and lyric genres) by Euripides, Aristophanes, Ovid, Petrarch, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Shelley, Emily Brontë, and others. In addition, we will look at various adaptations (musical, theatrical, fine arts) of Romeo and Juliet as well as film versions.

ENGL 101.08 TR 3:10-4:25 pm Zoltan Markus

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English 101a The Instruction of Citizenship

Emma Lazarus’s celebrated poem, “The New Colossus,” identifies the Statue of Liberty as the “Mother of Exiles” welcoming the world’s “wretched” and “tempest-tost.” However, the popular definition of the United States as a “nation of immigrants” repeatedly comes into crisis when the state faces the arrival of new groups. This course examines how literature by first- and second-generation Americans brings to light conditions that either bind or divide us as communities. Beginning with but not limited to scenes of classroom instruction (literal and metaphorical), we consider at what sites the instructing of citizenship takes place and what it mean to be “naturalized” as an American. We also interrogate citizenship as a model of political inclusion. Some guiding questions for us: What do we gain or lose with assimilation? How is “cultural citizenship” different from formal, legal citizenship? How does immigrant writing respond to or disrupt abstract notions of American citizenship? What is at stake in the language we use to describe displaced people(s): exiles, refugees, migrants, immigrants, asylees, etc…? What might popular culture teach us about citizenship?

ENGL 101.09 TR 12:00-1:15 pm Hiram Perez

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English 101a The Ends of Black Autobiography

Autobiographical writing has been and remains a preeminent mode of African American expression. It was one of the first intellectual gestures that the formerly enslaved made when they gained literacy. It has fed music practices like the blues and hip-hop. It also may have created the circumstances by which the US could elect its first black president. Over the last three centuries, blacks have used this mode to insinuate themselves into literary modernity and register the often unacknowledged dynamism of their emotional and intellectual lives. This course will explore the aesthetics of black autobiographical narrative–its codes, tropes, and investments–from its beginnings in the eighteenth century to its most present iterations. If black autobiographical writing involves not only telling a story about a black subject, but also proffering a certain version of black life to its reading audiences, it is important to ascertain the nature of the cultural work that these stories (seek to) accomplish. Among the artists featured in this course are Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, W.E.B. Dubois, Zora Neale Hurston, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Gloria Naylor, Barack Obama, Jasmyn Ward, Chris Rock, Oprah Winfrey, and MK Asante.

ENGL 101.10 MW 10:30-11:45 am Tyrone Simpson

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English 101a Jane Eyres

Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre tells the story of a heated romance between a “poor, obscure, plain” governess and a Byronic landowner with a Gothic past. Published pseudonymously in 1847, the novel was a literary sensation as well as a bestseller, even though Brontë’s rebellious heroine upended nineteenth-century notions of propriety and femininity. While popular in its day, Jane Eyre has also had a hypnotic hold on subsequent generations of writers, who have revised and re-imagined Brontë’s text in order to contest its representations of love, madness, colonialism, Englishness, feminism, and education. In this first-year seminar, we will explore Jane Eyre’s complicated relationship with its literary descendants and ask fundamental questions about literary influence, canon formation, narration, and women’s writing. In addition to Jane Eyre, readings may include Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea, and Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions. We will also screen different film adaptations of Jane Eyre in addition to Hitchcock’s Rebecca.

ENGL 101.11 MWF 10:30-11:20 am Susan Zlotnick

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English 101a Deception: Some Truths About Lies

Narratives told by someone who can’t be trusted invite readers to explore the ambiguous border between truths and lies. An author’s perceptions may differ from those of the first-person narrator—the “I”—who tells the story, and that discrepancy opens up intriguing psychological space. “Good readers read the lines, better readers read the spaces,” the novelist John Barth has written. This section of English 101 will analyze both words and spaces—both what is said and what is unspoken or unspeakable. We’ll investigate a rogues’ gallery of unreliable narrators who bring varying degrees of mendacity, self-aggrandizement, and self-deception to the stories they tell. Then, from both literary and neuroscience perspectives, we’ll think about memory, the mind, and the brain. We’ll ask: Are memories always fallible? Are they ever-evolving stories we tell ourselves? Is remembering an act of creation rather than straightforward retrieval of the past? Are we all unreliable narrators? Authors may include Alison Bechdel, James Baldwin, Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortázar, Lydia Davis, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Ralph Ellison, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jamaica Kincaid, Tim O’Brien, Michael Ondaatje, George Orwell, Oliver Sacks, George Saunders, Charles Simic, Zadie Smith, and Oscar Wilde. Students will write both analytical and imaginative responses to the texts.

ENGL 101.12 WF 1:30-2:45 pm M Mark

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English 101a Beneath the Apocalyptic Landscape

This course will explore characters caught in the dreamscape of violence and apocalyptic visions that is perhaps unique to American history and culture, from slavery to opiate addiction to school shootings. We’ll examine the concept–coined by rock critic Greil Marcus–of Old Weird America, a folkloric history that has spawned murder ballads, the music of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, and a wide range of literary work, including poetry by Walt Whitman, William Carlos Williams, and Etheridge Knight; stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Joyce Carol Oates, Herman Melville, Flannery O’Connor, and Denis Johnson. Longer works may include novels by William Faulkner, Gayle Jones, William Vollmann, Hunter Thompson, and the graphic artist, Lynda Barry.

ENGL 101.13 TR 12:00-1:15 pm David Means

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English 101a The Fiction of Faith

Some of the more controversial novels of the past century have depicted striking attitudes of religious belief. A faith in God (or the crucial lack of it) can trouble a novel’s protagonist, drive the plot, and reveal the broader cultural norms of its readership. This course will investigate the ways in which works of fiction are uniquely capable of exploring questions of faith—and how, in turn, religious standpoints can be encountered, and sometimes publicly challenged, by particular fictional treatments. Selected texts and their respective spiritual frameworks will include: Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Safak (Islam), The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Aranduhati Roy (Hinduism), Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (Catholicism), Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (Protestantism), Only Yesterday by S.Y. Agnon (Judaism), The Temple of the Wild Geese by Tsutomo Mizukami (Buddhism), Native Son by Richard Wright (Existentialism), and Quarantine by Jim Crace (Atheism).

ENGL 101.14 TR 10:30-11:45 am Robert Smith

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English 101a Maladies and Medicines

What does it mean to characterize the experience of illness as being a body under attack by elves and shielded by language (as the early medieval English did)? What can we understand about literature if we understand humoral theory (one of the most long-lasting theories of health in the western world)? Why is smallpox an important topic of Lady Mary Wortley Montague’s eighteenth century poetry? In what ways are spiritual and physical health imagined as relating to one another in texts ranging from descriptions of the experiences of medieval religious women to Anne Brontë’s representations of debauchery? In this multidisciplinary, cross-temporal course, we will explore medical categories such as health (mental, physical, and spiritual), illness, healing, pain, and embodiment in both practical and literary texts, attending to the ways medicine appears in literature and literature in medicine. Engaging with critical theories such as medical humanities, disabilities studies, posthumanisms, and science studies, we will consider the ways in which medical ideas are dependent upon the cultures and languages from which they emerge. By the end of this course, you will be able to close-read both literary and pragmatic texts, attend closely to the history of representations of health and medicine (in terms of both language and culture), investigate the bases of textual categorization (such as literary v pragmatic), engage in academic research, and develop sophisticated literary and cultural analyses using primary and secondary sources.

ENGL 101.21 MW 9:00-10:15 am Erin Sweany

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Film 180a Detective Film

To prepare students for college-level writing, this course uses the detective film as the framework for learning how to write about motion pictures and for the development of critical reading, research, and writing skills. The figure of the detective is one of the most iconic archetypes in American cinema from the silent era to the present. We examine the detective film through the lenses of genre, adaptation, sound studies, gender politics, and authorship. We also explore how the genre had adapted and responded to its socio-cultural or ideological contexts in movies such as The Big Sleep, Blade Runner, and The Silence of the Lambs. Throughout the semester, students write and revise a series of short papers, culminating with a final research paper. In these assignments, students consider such issues as the relationship between characters and their environment, why certain detectives (i.e., Sherlock Holmes and Philip Marlowe) have maintained their appeal over different historical periods, and how popular film genres can challenge or reinforce cultural norms and attitudes.

FILM 180.01 TR 10:30-11:45 am Alexander Kupfer

(Film screenings are M 3:10-6:10 pm, with an alternate screening on Sunday 12:00-3:00 pm)

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Film 181a Guns/Media/Violence

What accounts for high firearm ownership in the U.S.? What are the histories of the pro-gun and anti-gun lobby groups? How have the federal government and the states regulated guns? What are the connections between various forms of media (primarily fictional movies and tv, but also video games and news) and cultural attitudes? What have psychologists learned about the causes of violence? These questions animate our semester as we analyze movies and television shows, read scholarship and journalism, and watch the contemporary debate unfold in American society.

FILM 181.01 MW 12:00-1:15 pm Sarah Kozloff

T 7:00-10:00 pm

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French and Francophone Studies 170a Perspectives in French and Francophone Cultures: Meeting Places

(Same as Women’s Studies 170)

Beginning with the 19th century, this first-year writing seminar examines the role of gender in stories about people who meet in public urban places, such as bars, streets or cafés. Public urban places are associated with a specifically modern consciousness, characterized by the embracing of more fluid identities, fewer constraints, and a greater sense of the ephemeral. We use each text to practice writing about literature while exploring the critical concepts of gender, place and modernity in a French studies context. The course is taught in English: all works are read in translation.

FFS 170.01 TR 1:30pm-2:45 pm Kathleen Hart

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Greek and Roman Studies 102a Cleopatra

A famous historian once wrote, “The true history of Antony and Cleopatra will probably never be known; it is buried too deep beneath the version of the victors.” This course examines the life and times of Egypt’s most famous queen, who was both a Hellenistic monarch, last of a dynasty founded by a companion of Alexander the Great, and a goddess incarnate, Pharaoh of one of the world’s oldest societies. However, the ways in which Cleopatra has been depicted over the centuries since her death are equally intriguing, and the course considers versions of Cleopatra from the Romans to Chaucer, Boccacio, Shakespeare, Gauthier, Shaw, and film and television to explore how different authors and societies have created their own image of this bewitching figure.

GRST 102.01 MW 1:30-2:45 pm J. Bert Lott

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History 101a Martin Luther King Jr.

(Same as Africana Studies 101)

This course examines the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. We immediately rethink the image of King who liberals and conservatives construct as a dreamer of better race relations. We engage the complexities of an individual who articulated a moral compass of the nation to explore racial justice in post-World War II America. This course gives special attention to King’s post-1965 radicalism when he called for a reordering of American society, an end to the war in Vietnam, and supported sanitation workers striking for better wages and working conditions. Topics include King’s notion of the “beloved community,” the Social Gospel, liberalism, “socially conscious democracy,” militancy, the politics of martyrdom, poverty and racial justice, and compensatory treatment. Primary sources form the core of our readings.

HIST 101.01 TR 9:00-10:15 am Quincy Mills

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History 160a Rediscovering U.S. History

This is not your parents’—or your high school teacher’s—American history course. No textbook: instead we read memoirs, novels, newspaper articles, letters, speeches, photographs, and films composed by a colorful, diverse cast of characters—famous and forgotten, slaves and masters, workers and bosses. No survey: instead we pause to look at several illuminating “moments” from the colonial era through the Civil War to civil rights and the Cold War. Traveling from the Great Awakening to the “awakening” that was the 1960s, from an anti-colonial rebellion that Americans won (1776) to another that they lost (Vietnam), the course challenges assumptions about America’s past—and perhaps also a few about America’s present and future.

HIST 160.01 TR 9:00–10:15 am James Merrell

(Note: HIST 160.02 is not a First-year Writing Seminar.)

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History 174a The Emergence of the Modern Middle East

This course is an exploration of the Middle East over the past three centuries. Beginning with economic and social transformations in the 18th century, we follow the transformation of various Ottoman provinces such as Egypt, Syria/Lebanon, and Algeria into modern states, paying careful attention to how European colonialism shaped their development. We then look at independence movements and the post-colonial societies that have emerged since the middle of the 20th century, concluding with study of colonialism’s lingering power—and the movements that confront it.

HIST 174.01 TR 12:00-1:15 pm Joshua Schreier

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Italian 175a The Italian Renaissance in English Translation

In this course we examine the notion of selfhood as it first appears in the writings of early humanists (XIV century), Renaissance authors (XVI century) and works of contemporary visual artists. Cultural, philosophical, aesthetic, and gender issues are investigated through the reading of literary and theatrical masterpieces and their influence on visual artists like Botticelli, Raphael, and others. We read in English translation excerpts from Petrarch (Canzoniere and Letters), Boccaccio (Decameron), poems and letters by women humanists (Isotta Nogarola, Cassandra Fedele, Laura Cereta), Machiavelli (The Prince), Castiglione (The Book of the Courtier), Gaspara Stampa and Veronica Franco (Poems). In order to foster the student’s self-awareness and creativity, journaling, experiential practices, and a creative project, based on the course content, are included.

ITAL 175.01 WF 1:30-2:45 pm Eugenio Giusti

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Jewish Studies 180a Interrogating Religious Extremism

(Same as Religion 180)

Where is the center in religion? And what defines the fringes, borders, margins and extremes? The aim of this course is to investigate the concept and category of religious “extremism” and how it relates to the equally fraught idea of “mainstream religiosity”: to what extent does it draw on it and yet differ from it? What is the difference between “extreme” and “marginal”? After investigating these categories, we identify beliefs and social practices of contemporary Jewish, Christian and Muslim groups that depart from what we have identified as “mainstream” bodies of tradition in significant ways and seek to understand the complex theological and social agenda behind them. We also investigate how these groups portray themselves and construct their identity vis-à-vis the more centered groups by simultaneously laying claim on tradition and radically deviating from it.

JWST 180.01 MW 12:00-1:15 pm Agnes Veto

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Latin American and Latino/a Studies 106a Dynamic Women: From Bachelet to Ugly Betty

How do issues of inequality, social justice, representation, popular culture, migration, environmental justice and globalization look when women’s voices and gender analysis are at the center? This multidisciplinary course examines writing by and about women in Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latino/a USA. We read and write about a range of genres, from testimonio, film, and fiction to social science. The goal is to develop an appreciation and understanding of the varied lives and struggles of Latinas and Caribbean women, the transnational politics of gender, key moments in the history of the hemisphere, and contemporary issues across the Americas.

LALS 106.01 TR 12:00-1:15 pm Light Carruyo

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Mathematics 131a Numbers, Shape, Chance, and Change

What is the stuff of mathematics? What do mathematicians do? Fundamental concepts from arithmetic, geometry, probability, and the calculus are explored, emphasizing the relations among these diverse areas, their internal logic, their beauty, and how they come together to form a unified discipline. As a counterpoint, we also discuss the “unreasonable effectiveness” of mathematics in describing a stunning range of phenomena from the natural and social worlds. The fall 2018 section of MATH 131 will have a special focus on the mathematics of democracy. Through a systematic study of democratic procedures—such as voting rules, opinion polls, and methods of apportionment—we will engage mathematics both as a useful tool and as a beautiful subject in its own right. Like most good mathematics, the questions we consider are easy to state, but may be difficult to answer: What does it mean to allocate representation in government proportionally? Is it possible to quantify an individual’s political power? Are there any voting systems that are truly fair? Although little mathematical background is required, the tools we develop will be powerful and allow us access to deep ideas.

MATH 131.01 MW 1:30-2:45 pm Jan Cameron

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Media Studies 184a Star Wars: Resistance, Rebellion, and Death in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

In a 19 September 1944 article for the French resistance newspaper, Combat, Albert Camus wrote, “Revolution is not revolt. What carried the Resistance for four years was revolt—the complete, obstinate, and at first nearly blind refusal to accept an order that would bring men to their knees. Revolt begins first in the human heart. But there comes a time when revolt spreads from heart to spirit, when a feeling become an idea, when impulse leads to concerted action. This is the moment of revolution.” Our course examines the multimodal rhetorics of conquest and empire, freedom and rebellion in the Star Wars canon by situating the films in a theoretical context provided by Frantz Fanon (The Wretched of the Earth), Hannah Arendt (Between Past and Future) and Albert Camus (The Rebel). Within this post-colonial context, students are afforded the opportunity to design and conduct their own research-based projects that consider representations of the intersections between imperialism, revolution, and identity politics.

MEDS 184.01 TR 10:30-11:45 am Matthew Schultz

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Music 180a The Art of Writing About Music

How is it possible to write about music in ways that are both well-informed and accessible by a majority of readers? In this course, we listen to a wide variety of music, with the purpose of learning how to write clearly and persuasively about music. To this end we develop a vocabulary for music that is broadly non-technical, yet characterized by a clear understanding of the basic elements that give life to all kinds of music. Our reading list ranges widely, and includes both journalism and musicological writing. Over the course of the semester we examine more and more complex kinds of music, beginning with songs of all kinds, and ending with works of greater scope (operas, symphonies, concertos, and more). The goal is both to challenge ourselves as writers, and to find ways to write about the almost maddening varieties of music that confront us in modern life.

MUSI 180.01 TR 3:10-4:25 pm Brian Mann

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Psychological Science 108a Living Rhythms

Human activity is rhythmic. We engage in cycles of eating, loving, working, resting, walking, talking, learning, and sleeping. We multitask, nesting and switching cycles within cycles. Our activity entrains to cycles of the sun, moon, weather, natural and cultural seasons, and human-made devices. In this course, students explore and write about the psychology of rhythmic activity by means of participation, observation, interview, and literature review.

PSYC 108.01 MW 10:30-11:45 am Carolyn Palmer

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Psychological Science 108a Growing Up Poor In America

Poverty can have profound effects on the psychological development of children. In this course, we will explore scientific and anecdotal accounts of those effects. Specific topics we will explore include stress, relationships, racism and resilience. Readings will include articles on the science of child development, including brain development, as well as memoirs and accounts of children’s experiences. Writing will focus on reporting scientific findings and on relating that science to everyday life.

PSYC 108.02 TR 10:30-11:45 am Nicholas de Leeuw

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Religion 180a Interrogating Religious Extremism

(Same as Jewish Studies 180)

Where is the center in religion? And what defines the fringes, borders, margins and extremes? The aim of this course is to investigate the concept and category of religious “extremism” and how it relates to the equally fraught idea of “mainstream religiosity”: to what extent does it draw on it and yet differ from it? What is the difference between “extreme” and “marginal”? After investigating these categories, we identify beliefs and social practices of contemporary Jewish, Christian and Muslim groups that depart from what we have identified as “mainstream” bodies of tradition in significant ways and seek to understand the complex theological and social agenda behind them. We also investigate how these groups portray themselves and construct their identity vis-à-vis the more centered groups by simultaneously laying claim on tradition and radically deviating from it.

RELI 180.01 MW 12:00-1:15 pm Agnes Veto

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Religion 181a Imagining China

(Same as Asian Studies 181)

In this seminar we examine from a broad comparative perspective some of the many ways China has been imagined—cosmologically, imperially, monastically, textually, mythologically, architecturally, constitutionally—taking into account voices from within and without China, past and present. As we shift from some of the earliest imaginings from within ancient China toward more modern imaginings, colonial representations of China become a priority as we move into modernity and the formation of the Chinese nation-state. One of our class objectives is to better understand what impact acts of imagination had and continue to have on Chinese society.

RELI 181.01 MW 9:00-10:15 am Michael Walsh

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Religion 189a Religion, Community Organizing, and Movements for Civil Rights

(Same as Africana Studies 189)

In American life religion is often portrayed as a divisive force. Yet historically, religious actors, communities, spaces, and motivations have contributed to broad-based collective movements for civil and human rights. This course explores the ways in which religions have supplied resources that help communities organize and develop visions of collective life.

RELI 189.01 TR 1:30-2:45 pm Jonathon Kahn

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Russian Studies 171a Russia and the Short Story

In this course we read and discuss a number of classic short stories by such Russian masters of the genre as Gogol, Turgenev, Chekhov, Babel, and Olesha.

RUSS 171.01 TR 12:00-1:15 pm Charles Arndt

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Women’s Studies 160a Bodies and Texts

This course is an introduction to feminist disability studies, focusing on the difference(s) that gender makes, both in the cultural system of disability and in the everyday lives of disabled people. We will explore some of the key terms that are common to feminist studies and disability studies, including language, the body, representation, social construction, intersectionality, and activism. Our texts will be drawn from a range of disciplines, including history, sociology, medicine, education, and law, as well as literature, film, performing arts and media. Throughout the course will pay particular attention to the ways in which disabled writers, artists and activists have articulated the intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality while reclaiming the term “disabled.” Students will also explore their own engagements with disability through a variety of written assignments, field-based learning, and creative projects.

WMST 160.01 MW 1:30-2:45 pm Leslie Dunn

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Women’s Studies 170a Perspectives in French and Francophone Cultures: Meeting Places

(Same as French and Francophone Studies 170)

Beginning with the 19th century, this first-year writing seminar examines the role of gender in stories about people who meet in public urban places, such as bars, streets or cafés. Public urban places are associated with a specifically modern consciousness, characterized by the embracing of more fluid identities, fewer constraints, and a greater sense of the ephemeral. We use each text to practice writing about literature while exploring the critical concepts of gender, place and modernity in a French studies context. The course is taught in English: all works are read in translation.

WMST 170.01 TR 1:30pm-2:45pm Kathleen Hart

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