Courses

Spring 2022

FRE 224
French Literature: Approaches to the Language of Literary Texts 

Célia Abele
This course is meant to introduce students to great works of French literature from a range of historical periods and to provide them with methods for literary interpretation through close reading of these texts. The syllabus is organized around common themes and generic categories. This course is invaluable preparation for more advanced and specialized 300-level courses. Classroom discussion emphasized, free exchange encouraged.

HIS 462 / HUM 462 / MED 462 
Difference and Deviance in the Early Middle Ages

Matthew Delvaux
This seminar course examines how people during the early Middle Ages defined their existence through negotiated boundaries of gender, class, ethnicity, race, religion, and the human condition. Our work will curate the contributions of marginalized groups to decenter traditional narratives. Students will leave this course with a broad understanding of early medieval history, an appreciation of historical work done by people often omitted from our histories, and a mastery of historical and interdisciplinary tools for promoting awareness and understanding marginalized groups.

EAS 375 / HUM 376 
Everyday Life in Mao's China

Joshua Freeman
For three decades, Mao Zedong presided over one of the most ambitious social experiments in human history. This course explores everyday life in China in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s: the radical reordering of economic, political, and social relations; the shattering experiences of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution; and the evolution of a party-state which governs China up to the present. While Maoist ideology and policies were homogenizing in intent and often in effect, this course will emphasize the ways in which the experiences of the Mao era were mediated through categories like gender, social status, and ethnicity.

Hum 218
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture II: Literature and the Arts 

Zahid R. Chaudhary, Maya Kronfeld, Carolina Mangone, Yair Mintzker, Esther H. Schor, Moulie Vidas
This team-taught double credit course examines European texts, works of art and music from the Renaissance to the modern period. Readings, lectures, and discussions are complemented by films, concerts, and special events. It is the second half of an intensive interdisciplinary introduction to Western culture that includes history, religion, philosophy, literature and the arts. Although most students will have taken HUM 216 - 217, first-years and sophomores are welcome to join at this point.

HIS 341 / SAS 341 
Making Minorities: Modern South Asian Histories

Amanda Lanzillo
Who is a minority? In contemporary South Asia, "minority" often defined by religion, linguistic identity, caste, ethnicity, or other social markers. But the category of "minority" is not static. It has been constructed, remade, and enforced through both colonial and post-colonial legal and political projects. In this course, we study the ways that minorities have been defined in South Asia over the last two centuries. We historicize the fraught categorization of religious, linguistic, caste, and other minority groups, and we ask how minoritized people have attempted to avert or contest forms of majoritarian rule.

AAS 306 / HIS 312 
Topics in Race and Public Policy: History of Anti-Black Racism in Medicine

Ayah Nuriddin
The course traces how anti-Black racism shaped the development of western medicine in the Americas. It will examine how ideas of anti-Blackness shaped the work of health practitioners and the experiences of patients. It will engage the emergence of racial science and scientific racism, and how they contributed to the production of medical knowledge. It will also address the enduring legacies of anti-Black racism in medical practice, and its impact on health inequality.

HIS 491 / GSS 491 / HUM 491 
Fertile Bodies: A Cultural History of Reproduction from Antiquity to the Enlightenment

Melissa Reynolds
The ancient Greeks imagined a woman's body ruled by her uterus. Medieval Christians believed in a womb touched by God. Renaissance doctors uncovered the 'secrets' of women through dissection, while early modern states punished unmarried mothers. This course will ask how women's reproductive bodies were sites for the production of medical knowledge, the articulation of state power, and the development of concepts of purity and difference from ancient Greece to 18th-c. Europe. The course will incorporate sources as varied as medieval sculptures of the Madonna, Renaissance medical illustrations, and early modern midwifery licenses. 

SPA 350 / LAS 349 
Topics in Latin American Cultural Studies: Latin American Imaginaries of Extraction: Rubber, Bananas, and Other

Nicolás Sánchez-Rodríguez 
Global capitalism has often imagined Latin America as a collection of "raw" commodities ready to be extracted. In this class, we explore this way of conceiving the region through its cultural production. Throughout the semester, we will engage with various "exemplary" commodities, including bananas, rubber, and sugar. We will look at their representations in literature, art, movies, and economic texts, but also at how commodities themselves -as material objects with a history- have shaped aesthetical forms. This approach will serve as an entry point for understanding inequality, neocolonialism, patriarchy, and climate change in the region

ANT 217 / HUM 207 
Anthropology of Religion: Identity, Morality, and Emotion

Aniruddhan Vasudevan
This course focuses on how people wrestle with their relationships to faith, morality, ideas of justice, and conceptions of good life, and how they deal with the emotions that mediate these relationships. Emotions such as anger, happiness, disgust, kindness, and grief play an important role in shaping moral convictions and acts. We will learn some of the theoretical tools, research methods, and analytical practices that help anthropologists discern how morality can both be linked to and be separate from religious considerations, and how emotions can both ground us in a moral order and also make us question our faith and moral orientations.