Spring 2019

EAS 237 / MUS 237 / COM 229 (LA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit
Imagining Sounds of China: Encounters and Fantasies
Guangchen Chen
Pieter C. Keulemans
Chinese culture and history contain an abundance of sounds with distinctive timbres. They have been experienced, imagined and theorized locally and in cross-cultural dialogues. People from different times and cultures often experience them in mediated forms such as literary and graphic descriptions. This course offers an introduction to these sonic phenomena. Comparative and transmedia approaches are used to tackle their multicultural repercussions while giving equal attention to their socio-historic contexts. Students will gain an overview of the Chinese soundscape, aided by methods of sound studies and literary/cultural criticism.


POL 492 / HUM 492 / AAS 491 / AMS 492 (HA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit
The Politics of Race and Credit in America
Stefan Eich

The racial wealth gap is today one of the most salient features of the American polity. This course places widening racialized inequalities in a broad historical perspective by connecting them to the politics of money and credit. Ever since colonial times, Americans have passionately, even violently, debated the nature of money. We will follow these debates to study how money and credit have been intimately linked to questions of race from Alexander Hamilton to Martin Luther King Jr. We will connect this historical material to political theoretical debates about race, credit, and money today.


ENG 317 (LA)   na, npdf
Historical Fiction / Fictional History
Sarah A. Chihaya
Monica Huerta
Authors and theorists of contemporary fiction have turned to various modes of fictionality, speculation, and the counterfactual to address and encounter gaps in the historical record, even if not to fully recover experiences lost to time. "Historical Fiction / Fictional History" will introduce students to literary and critical methods by toggling between "historical" and "fictional" texts, and ask them to experiment creatively with their own narrative voices. This course includes a mandatory field trip on 2/26 to see "Hamilton" in New York.


HIS 476 / MED 476 / HUM 476 (HA)   na, npdf
The Vikings: History and Archaeology
Janet Kay

Who were the Vikings, at home or abroad? How did their raiding and settlement change the history of the British Isles and western Europe? This course will study the political, cultural, and economic impact that Norse expansion and raiding had on early medieval Europe. It will also look at the changes in Scandinavia that inspired and resulted from this expansion. Sources will include contemporary texts, sagas and epic poetry, material culture, and archaeological excavations.


REL 251 / HLS 251 / MED 251 (HA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit
Christianity in the Roman Empire: Secret Rituals, Mystery Cults, and Apocalyptic Prophets
Matthew Larsen

AnneMarie Luijendijk
How did Jesus' earliest followers interpret his life and death? What were secret initiation rites and love feast gatherings about? How did women participate in leadership? How did the Roman government react to this movement and why did Jesus' followers suffer martyrdom? How did early Christians think about the end of the world, and what did they do when it did not happen? This course is an introduction to the Jesus movement in the context of the Roman Empire and early Judaism. We examine texts in the New Testament (the Christian Bible) and other relevant sources, such as lost gospels, Dead Sea scrolls, and aspects of material culture.


HIS 486 (HA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit
Mass Internment and Concentration Camps: A Global History
Ben Machava

Mass internment of people has been part of the human odyssey since immemorial times. But the age of Imperialism - as Eric Hobsbawm termed the 19th century - produced a new kind of internment regime that reached its apex in the 20th century: the concentration camp. Moving beyond statistics - which are staggering and analytically compelling in their own right - this course charts the social world of internment, the cultures of mass carcerality, and the ultimate nature of the human condition in spaces of mass confinement and beyond.


AMS 101 (EC)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit
America Then and Now
Rachael Z. DeLue (faculty fellow)
Bernadette Pérez
Sarah Rivett
This course introduces students to the subjects of American Studies through discussion of some of the signature ideas, events, and debates in America's past and present in order to understand America as it exists today. It examines both historical and mythic manifestations of America from local, national, and global perspectives and considers the historical and cognitive processes associated with the delineation of America. The course examines a wide range of material and media from the point of view of multiple fields of study, and it engages the voices of diverse individuals and cultures in telling the story of America then and now.


ANT 405 / LAS 414 / GSS 407 / GHP 415 (SA)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit
Topics in Anthropology - AIDS Across the Americas
Justin Perez

As we approach the end of the fourth decade of HIV/AIDS, developments in treatment and prevention are transforming what we know about the epidemic. And while the lives of those living with HIV have improved, the ability to access treatment continues to be shaped by gender, sexuality, race, and class. It appears as though studying the epidemic is not just a question of new technologies or resources, but also the conceptual frameworks we use to understand it. Drawing on transnational and intersectional approaches to peoples and communities across the Americas, this course proposes a hemispheric framework for the cultural analysis of AIDS.


HUM 218 & 219 (LA)   na, npdf
Interdisciplinary Approaches to Western Culture II: Literature and the Arts
Rhodri Lewis
Carolina Mangone
Alexander Nehamas
Natalie V. Prizel
Efthymia Rentzou
Michael A. Wachtel
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, museum visits 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 216 – 217, freshmen and sophomores are welcome to join at this point.


CLA 215 / HUM 215 / COM 231 (EM)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit
Corruption, Conversion, Change: Philosophies and Fictions of Transformation
Ava Shirazi

In the age of self-help books and memoirs, one wonders, can we really change? Can writing offer us the hope of transformation? Of conversion? How do you publish the "self"? Can literary genres serve as models for how to live one's life? We will confront such questions through the fictions and philosophies of the past; through historical figures such as Socrates and St. Augustine and the fictive characters of drama and the novel. Weekly theoretical readings on the self and narratology will also urge us to explore the boundaries of literature and philosophy and to seriously consider how we enact narratives of change in our daily lives.


MUS 264 (LA)   No Pass/D/Fail
Urban Blues and the Golden Age of Rock
Rob C. Wegman
Preceptor: Mari Jo Velasco
Examines the origins and development of rock music in the period 1950-1975. The principal focus is on the songs, styles, and artists of the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. However, the course will also trace the roots of rock in American popular culture, reaching back to the 1920s, and it will conclude with a brief look at some of its later ramifications, up to the early 1980s. There will moreover be ample consideration of the cultural and political contexts in which the songs were created and heard.