Courses

Fall 2024

HUM 216/217
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture I
Supratik Baralay
, Barbara Graziosi, Benjamin Morison, Efthymia Rentzou, Esther Schor, Michael Wachtel 
Humanistic Studies 216-219 is an intensive yearlong exploration of the landmark achievements of the Western intellectual tradition. With a team of faculty drawn from across the humanities and social sciences, students examine pivotal texts, events, and artifacts of European civilization from antiquity forward. The course is enhanced by guest lectures from preeminent scholars.

HIS 461 / NES 461 / AFS 461
History of Coffee in Africa and the Middle East
Lacy Feigh

Every morning around the world, millions of people wake up and, in some form or another, pour heated water over dark brown soil-like grounds to brew coffee. Yet how many people are aware of the historical processes that spread coffee from the forests of Southwest Ethiopia across the globe? Focusing primarily on Ethiopia and its national and regional networks, this course explores the rise of coffee as a commodity with significant global intersections. During Fall Break, students in this course will travel to Ethiopia and examine the cultural history of coffee in the context of the development of the coffee industry.

ANT 437 / AAS 437
Gaming Blackness: The Anthropology of Video Games and Race
Akil Fletcher

This course is an anthropological and experience-based exploration of video games in a global age. We consider scholarship in Digital Anthropology, Game Studies, and African American Studies to scrutinize the design of games and engage in gameplay, with a particular focus on Black experiences within U.S. and Japanese media. Throughout the course, we probe how video games utilize race, advancing an intersectional approach that accounts for class, gender, and sexuality. To achieve this, attendees of this course will take a mandatory trip to Tokyo, Japan, to better understand how Black culture appears and influences video games.

POL 412 / HUM 411
Seminar in Political Theory: Capitalism and its Critics
Dimitri Halikias

This seminar covers the history and stakes of debates over the meaning, virtues, and vices of capitalism and the free market. It proceeds broadly in two veins. First, students will read canonical modern texts debating the market economy and related issues, including commerce, luxury, liberalism, and equality. Alongside these historical texts, students will read more recent attempts of philosophers, economists, and historians to offer theoretical accounts of the origins and evolution of the capitalist economy, with particular attention to developments following the second world war.

AAS 326 / AMS 388 / HIS 226
Topics in African American Culture & Life: Black Disability Studies, Black Disability Histories
Kelsey Henry

This course challenges the racial parameters of disability studies and disability history by asking how persistent conditions of antiblack violence, including mass incarceration, state divestment, medical neglect, and environmental racism, destabilize assumptions about what constitutes an "able body." Surveying scholarship in Black studies, disability studies, African American history, and the history of science and medicine, we will study the construction of disability as a racialized category. Students will also recover disability theories that are already intrinsic to the Black radical tradition, postcolonial studies, and Black feminisms.

COM 466 / ENG 466 / ECS 466
Refugees, Migrants and the Making of Contemporary Europe
Chloe Howe Haralambous

This course uncovers the migrant radical tradition at the heart of global history. Examining novels, films and ethnographies of 20th - century migrations alongside forensic reports, poetry and footage produced by recent border-crossers, we will trace how mobile subjects - from stowaways to pirates and anticolonial militants - have shaped new identities, political geographies and emancipatory futures. We will situate border regimes in relation to practices of policing the colonies, the plantation, the factory and, finally, we will ask: why did we stop seeing migrants as political subjects and start treating them like humanitarian ones?

HIS 486/GSS 486/EAS 486/ASA 486
Women and War in Asia/America
Sara Kang

How do women in Asia become "gendered" in times of war-as caregivers, as refugees, as sex workers, as war brides? This course offers an introductory survey of American wars in Asia from 1899 to the present, taking the perspectives not of Americans but of the historically marginalized. Students will be challenged to rethink and reimagine war histories through voices on the ground across Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Okinawa, Hawaii, and Guam. foregrounding written testimonies and oral histories of women against the backdrop of war, militarism, and empire, the course will also make broader connections across the Asia pacific.

ANT 261 / HUM 262
Differences: The Anthropology of Disability
Timothy Loh

Disabled people are the largest minority in the world. Attention to the lived experiences and discourses of disability is crucial to our understanding of what it means to be human in an ever-changing world. This course moves beyond a medicalized view of disability and develops an historical and ethnographic critique of ableism with a focus upon the diverse forms of impairment and their social, economic, and technological contexts. What are the moral and political stakes of an anthropology of disability today?

EAS 333
Poetry in Chinese Film and Media
Xiaoyu Xia

This course examines the uses of poetry in Chinese films and media products from the early twentieth century to the present. We will focus on how poetry and cinema work with each other to expand imaginations of the Chinese-speaking world. How do filmmakers juxtapose traditional Chinese verses with modern settings? How does poetry in other languages cast an unexpected light on Chinese homes, villages, rivers and mountains, and outer space? How might cinema illumine hidden aspects of Chinese cities by capturing underground poetry scenes? The course ends by considering the impact of current fast media consumption on how we enjoy films and poems.