AIS 490: Tribal Narratives 

Prof. James Treat
Wednesdays 12:00-2:30 p.m. 
AIS 490 Section A
Course credit available for undergraduates (3 hours, CRN 45685)
or graduate students (4 hours, CRN 45686).

This seminar offers an interdisciplinary survey of what might be called tribalist autoinscriptions:  literary nonfiction by contemporary native writers documenting their own communities. 

Assigned readings feature representative texts that transcend conventional genre distinctions such as ethnography, historiography, and biography.  Selected critical essays by scholars from a variety of humanistic and social scientific disciplines introduce useful theoretical perspectives and analytical tools.  Class discussions are supplemented by audiovisual materials, including documentary films by native filmmakers portraying their own communities.

Key themes include:  problems of representation and narrative strategy; intersections of chronology, community, and character; boundaries of genre; dialectics of time and space, history and myth, culture and personality; transformations of orality and literacy.

Tentative reading list: 
N. Scott Momaday, The Way to Rainy Mountain (1969) 
Leslie Marmon Silko, Storyteller (1981) 
Gerald Vizenor, The People Named The Chippewa: Narrative Histories (1984) 
Ray Young Bear, Black Eagle Child: The Facepaint Narratives (1992) 
Greg Sarris, Mabel McKay: Weaving the Dream (1994) 
Louise Erdrich, Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country (2003)



TH 3:30-6:20
TOPIC: Transatlantic Blackness

In what ways is the black Atlantic complicated by its particular instantiations as a British Atlantic? The terms “transatlantic” and “transnational” imply fluid notions of citizenship and national identity, yet black Atlantic writers often take nationalist stances in order to make intraracial distinctions. Is the black Atlantic subjectivity of figures such as Olaudah Equiano and Mary Seacole challenged by claims to Britishness? In this course we explore these and other tensions between race and nation through an exploration of British and Caribbean-inflected Atlantic formations. Our primary texts include works by Olaudah Equiano, Jane Austen, Mary Prince, Charlotte Bronte, Fredrick Douglass, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Mary Seacole, and Wilkie Collins. Critical readings include works by Paul Gilroy, Edward Said, K. Anthony Appiah, Simon Gikandi, and Srinivas Aravamudan.




Thurs 1-2:50; additional meeting: Tues 7:30-9 p.m.
TOPIC: Modern Critical Theory: An Advanced Introduction

This course will provide a historical survey of the foundational thinkers, texts, and schools that orient contemporary work in the humanities, from Kant and Hegel to Cultural Studies, Queer Theory, and Postcolonial Theory. As an “advanced introduction,” the course is intended primarily for first-year graduate students and for those who feel they have not covered the development of critical theory in a systematic way. The course will include significant discussion of figures such as: Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Adorno, Barthes, Levi-Strauss, Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, Kristeva, Williams, Hall, Said, Spivak, Bhabha, Zizek, and Butler. Among the topics we will certainly address are: history, aesthetics, the subject, value, power, language, ideology, materiality, gender, sexuality, race, and colonialism. The purpose of this course is to ensure that graduate students receive a rigorous introduction to critical theories and methodologies central to a variety of fields in the humanities and to provide the basis for interdisciplinary conversation and intellectual community among graduate students and faculty members from across the university.

Modern Critical Theory will have an unusual format. The course will meet twice a week, once a week in a public session that will include all interested graduate students and once a week in a closed session limited to registered students. Drawing on the resources of the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, we will invite to class “guest experts” from around campus (and occasionally from off campus); these guests will visit the public sessions of the seminar and lecture on particular topics throughout the semester. Public sessions will include students from Robert Rushing’s Comparative Literature 501 course and Laurie Johnson’s German 570 course as well as all other interested students.

Note: For the first class meeting, students should read Jonathan Culler’s “What is Theory?” from Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction (which will be available on e-reserves) and Barbara Christian’s “The Race for Theory” in The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism.

Requirements: Graded work will include a 10-page midterm paper and a 72-hour take home essay exam. Active participation will also be expected.

TEXTS: Vincent Leitch, et al, ed. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism; Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals (tr. Kaufmann); Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality: An Introduction; Ian Baucom, Specters of the Atlantic. The Norton will provide the base readings for many of our sessions, but will be supplemented by xeroxed readings. As a recommended secondary text, we will refer to William Schroeder, Continental Philosophy: A Critical Approach.



FR 324: Literature and the Other Arts (3 hours)

Larry Schehr

This course explores relationships between French literature and such fields as art, architecture, and music. The focus will be on the arts during the years between the two world wars. Readings and films will include works of Proust, Cocteau, Renoir, Le Corbusier, Breton, Colette, and others. All readings and discussions in French.


German 570: Modern Critical Theory: An Advanced Introduction 

Credit: 4 hours.

Historical survey of the foundational thinkers, texts, and schools that orient 
contemporary work in the humanities, from Kant and Hegel to Cultural Studies, 
Queer Theory, and Postcolonial Theory. As an “advanced introduction,” the 
course is intended primarily for beginning graduate students, but also for those 
who feel they have not covered the development of critical theory in a 
systematic way. The course will include significant discussion of figures such as: 
Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Adorno, Barthes, Levi-Strauss, Lacan, 
Derrida, Foucault, Kristeva, Williams, Hall, Said, Spivak, Bhabha, Zizek, and 
Butler. Among the topics we will certainly address are: history, aesthetics, the 
subject, value, power, language, ideology, materiality, gender, sexuality, race, 
and colonialism. The purpose of this course is to ensure that graduate students 
receive a rigorous introduction to critical theories and methodologies central to 
a variety of fields in the humanities and to provide the basis for interdisciplinary 
conversation and intellectual community among graduate students and faculty 
members from across the university. 
Modern Critical Theory has an unusual format. The course will meet twice a 
week, once a week in a public session that will include all interested graduate 
students and once a week in a closed session limited to registered students. 
Drawing on the resources of the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, we 
will invite to class "guest experts" from around campus and occasionally from 
off-campus; these guests will visit the public sessions of the seminar and 
lecture on particular topics throughout the semester. Public sessions will include 
students from Laurie Johnson's German 570 course, Robert Rushing's 
Comparative Literature 501 course, and Michael Rothberg's English 510 course 
as well as all other interested students.


GWS 550: Feminist Theories Humanities, CRN 30426

Prerequisite: At least one graduate-level humanities course or consent of instructor. 
Mon. 1-3:50

This course explores a wide range of questions in interdisciplinary feminist theory and gender studies, particularly those that have influenced and been shaped by the fields of literary studies, film studies, social and cultural history, postcolonial studies, cultural studies, critical race theory, and queer studies. 

The course emphasizes the humanities over social and natural sciences but also questions the disciplinary boundaries drawn among these three areas and seeks to emphasize how work in the social and natural sciences has informed and been informed by feminist work in the humanities. 

The goals in this first part of the course are to develop a common vocabulary for the class, to address the intersections of and tensions among various modes of thought, to take the time to read often-cited feminist scholarship in order to come to our own understandings about this influential material, and to consider how newer work contributes to and transforms the conversation.  While not exactly an "overview" of feminist theory, this section of the course should provide a solid grounding in many of the key questions and debates in feminist theory.

The second section of the course builds on this grounding by addressing recent book-length case studies of recent interdisciplinary feminist scholarship (topics TBA).  Our goal will be to explore the methodologies, theories, assumptions, objects of analysis, and legacies of early feminist studies work in each of these case studies.  Among other things, these books will help us to address history, literature, popular culture, diaspora, ethnography, law, representation, and discourse.  This section of the course not only brings these particular topics to the table but also gives students an opportunity to compare various methodologies, to think through the scope of book-length projects, and thereby to make explicit their own methodological and theoretical approach to feminist studies.

The course ends with a discussion of student work on the contemporary state of feminist studies in various disciplines and journals.  Thus, we end by asking "What is the present state of feminist studies" and "How do we position ourselves in relation to that present?"



GWS 560: Feminist Theories Humanities, CRN 41054

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. 
Gill, Pat.  
Tues 5 - 6:50

Addresses major areas of theoretical debate or interest in the broad topic 
of “Feminist Media Studies” and looks in depth at a number of theoretical 
issues which define it. Develops an understanding of historical, 
psychoanalytic, interpretive, and social scientific approaches to the 
study of film and television texts, their reception, and their production. 
Readings are extensive and directed toward illustrating the range of 
theoretical and empirical approaches applied to addressing questions of 
central interest in the field. Viewings will emphasize some lesser-known 
historical texts central to theoretical debates in the field. Viewings and 
readings are focused on “popular” film and television.


GWS 590: Topics in Gender & Women’s Studies, CRN 47812

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor. 
Tues 12-12:50  

One of the key insights of queer theory is that all sexualities are at 
some level queer. Whether through a too enthusiastic embrace of norms or 
a seeming repudiation of norms, varieties of sexualities verge into 
queerness. This class will examine the place of educational projects in 
helping us to understand a fuller variety of what it means to be queer. We 
will examine the resurgence of virginity and chastity, non-discrimination 
policies and speech codes in public schools, queer youth, and the 
relationship among sexuality, race, class, disability, and gender. We 
will consider the term “education” broadly, examining school policies, 
public health education, and the educational projects of political and 
social movements. Readings will mainly concentrate on a U. S. context, 
though AIDS and sex education information from international sources will 
also be included. Students will do one class presentation and a seminar 
paper. Readings may include: D’Emilio and Freedman, Intimate Matters; 
Nestle, Howell, and Wilchins, eds., Genderqueer; Irvine, ed., Sexual 
Cultures; Thompson, Going all the Way; and a reading packet.


HIST572B:PROB IN US HIST SINCE 1815  (Espiritu, A.)

Topic:  Colonialism and Empire 

Transnationalism, alongside of “global” discourses, has emerged in the last two decades as an important problem of contemporary knowledge production, and has increasingly become a concern of historians. In this course, with a critical though not exclusive focus upon the history of the United States, we will grapple with the complex questions raised by transnationalism. Did transnationalism come after the constitution of nations or was it one of the nation’s essential preconditions?  How has transnationalism shaped the construction of national, race, gender, and sexual ideologies in the USA and other empires? Is transnationalism, as pilgrimage, tourism, exile, or diaspora, a necessarily liberating predicament, or does it in fact reinforce neo-imperial and neo-colonial structures?  How has the act of claiming America obscured transnational, transborder, & transoceanic processes? And finally, how have transnationalism and empire raised fundamental questions about sovereignty and modernity in the twenty-first century?


HIST572C: PROB IN US HIST SINCE 1915  (Pleck, E.)

Topic: US Gender and Women’s History

This course is especially designed for students preparing a prelim field in gender history who are seeking an overview of the field of U.S. women's and gender history. This course will emphasize classics in the field of women's history usually found on every prelim list. The classics tend to be concerned with the following eras and topics: the cult of domesticity; slavery; Civil War and Reconstruction; Progressive era reform; woman's suffrage; the 1950s; and second wave feminism. More recently, there is much more 
writing in women's history about empire; sexuality; men's history; and the body. We will read some new works in these areas. Requirements for the course will include a book report and a literature review on a topic of your choosing.



Topic: Immigration, Race, and Class in 20th Century America

This will be a research seminar in American social history of the twentieth century with a special emphasis on class, race, and ethnicity in working-class populations. We will focus on the historical experiences of common people -- at home, in the workplace, or in the community. Projects focusing on women's, family, urban, intellectual and cultural, and other types of historical research are welcome as long as they focus on non-elites. My own interests at the moment involve the personal dimensions of American labor radicalism in the twentieth century / ethnic and racial identity and relations among workers from diverse backgrounds / and cosmopolitan experiences and outlooks among workers. I am also interested in religious belief, the nature of emotional bonds, and generational conflict within immigrant wage earning families.
There are several goals in the seminar: The first is to develop an impression of the key historiography up to this point. This reading part of the seminar will be concentrated early in the term with most of the remainder of the term set aside for research and writing. A second goal is to consider some new conceptual approaches, not in the abstract, but as they might be implemented with new sources and research methods. The course also aims to introduce students to the research process itself -- choosing and refining a topic; developing analytical questions to frame your work; identifying and securing sources; writing and revising one's work; criticizing and helping others with theirs. We will be looking at a wide variety of sources and methods by visiting parts of the library and other research venues and by talking with colleagues who have particular research skills. The ultimate aim, of course, is to produce a substantial, original research paper that will be shared with others -- in the seminar itself, at a conference, or even eventually through publication.
In order to equip students with the information they need to do their research and writing, we will meet twice each week, once at the scheduled meeting time and once at a mutually convenient time in the evening, for the first several weeks of the term. From that point on, students will be working on their own, though I will meet with you individually to discuss your projects. The group will reassemble around the middle of the term to discuss research proposals and again toward the end of the term to discuss rough drafts. Although we have a wonderful research library and other resources on campus, it may be necessary to do some traveling and to use inter-library loan. We will discuss these and other scheduling problems early in the term, but students should be thinking about them and developing a topic, in advance of the seminar. 
Grades in the course are based not only on the final paper, but also on one's role in the collective work of the seminar -- discussions of the literature, sources, and methods and constructive criticism of one's own and other students' work. Shorter written assignments will include ideas for research topics, research proposals, bibliographies, and critiques of others' papers. These exercises will constitute steps toward the final paper. Please be prepared to work collectively by sharing ideas and sources and reading one another's work seriously. Final drafts of all papers will be due during the final exam period at the end of the semester and, in the interests of the students involved, I will not provide extensions on the deadlines.
        I will be glad to discuss your research interests with you before the beginning of the fall semester.



Topic:  Hegel
R. Schacht3 undergraduate hours, 4 graduate hours   46646/46647 
2:30 - 3:50 T R

What happened in the history of modern philosophy after Kant?  The single most important and influential figure -- not only in European but also in Anglo-American philosophy, throughout the 19th century and into the 20th -- was: Hegel.  Nearly every important philosophical development in both European and Anglo-American philosophy during the century following Hegel's death was some sort of response to or reaction against some aspect or interpretation of Hegel's thought.  One therefore cannot understand the history of modern philosophy after Kant without knowing something about Hegel. And although it is generally assumed that Hegelianism as a system is philosophically dead, it could turn out that an Hegelian way of thinking and interpreting has much to be said for it, at least with respect to many important human issues and concerns.  In this course we will examine a variety of Hegel's texts in an attempt to see and assess what he has to offer with respect to the understanding of human reality and possibility, in its individual, interpersonal, social, cultural and intellectual dimensions. These texts will deal with his philosophy of history, art and religion; his social, cultural and political philosophy; and his philosophy and phenomenology of human spirituality as it is manifested and realized in all of these contexts.   Some knowledge of the history of modern philosophy from Descartes to Kant will be desirable.  Course requirements will include several short papers, a longer paper at the end of the semester, and a final (essay) examination.


RELST 494 "Topics in Religious Thought" 

The Philosophy of Hannah Arendt
Bruce Rosenstock
CRN 46556, TR 10:00-11:20, G30 FLB

This course will examine the major philosophical writings of Hannah Arendt (1906-1975). Arendt has been the subject of recent scholarly interest (Seyla Benhabib in 1996 and Julia Kristeva in 2001 published major new books on her, for example). Arendt is recognized today as a one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century, and her work, The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951), once faulted for its historical methodology and scholarship, is being re-examined as a work of major philosophical significance, particularly its discussion of human rights and the totalitarian reduction of the human to “bare life.” 

The class will meet once a week to discuss the major works of Arendt (either in their entirety or selections). The (tentative) syllabus:

Weeks One and Two: Origins of Totalitarianism (focus on the rise of racism under imperialism; human rights; the loss of “nextness” in totalitarianism). (Students must purchase and read assigned selections before class over the summer.)
Weeks Three and Four: The Human Condition (We will read this in its entirety).
Week Five: On Revolution (We read this in its entirety, together with Melville's Billy Budd)
Week Six: Eichmann in Jerusalem (selections)
Week Seven: On Violence (with Carl Schmitt, Concept of the Political)
Weeks Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven: The Life of the Mind (complete)
Weeks Twelve, Thirteen: Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy (with readings from Kant's Critique of Judgment, On the Possibility of Perpetual Peace)

During the semester, all students will present short seminar presentations on the assigned readings, and complete a final paper, with a presentation on it at the final seminar. Most of the time will be spent reading Arendt, but there will be some reading from secondary works dealing with her (Benhabib, Villa, Critchley, Kristeva).


Slavic 576: Methods in Slavic Graduate Study

Lilya Kagonovsky

Wednesdays 2 - 4:50

A foundational course in theoretical and methodological approaches to 
Slavic studies. This semester the course will focus on the Soviet 20s 
and 30s, modernism, the avant-garde, and socialist realism. Literature, 
film, history; theories of modernity; theories of gender, sexuality, 
and the body; attention to constructions of subjectivity and the 
subject; formalist, psychoanalytic, and post-structuralist approaches 
to understanding early Soviet culture, beginning with the Revolution 
and ending with the show trials. Graduate standing required. Knowledge 
of Russian strongly encouraged.


SPCM 538, JH: “New Directions in Cultural Studies,” Prof. Hay

 4 hours
2:00-4:50 p.m. T
236 Lincoln
Call number 33100
This seminar considers various kinds of projects that have represented Cultural Studies.  The seminar is less interested, however, in reconstructing an "intellectual tradition" or of dwelling on the "legacy" of British Cultural Studies than in considering some of the historical and geographic developments of Cultural Studies projects, with particular attention to how a wide variety of contemporary conditions and practices have made it necessary to rethink the objectives of Cultural Studies.  At least two-thirds of the syllabus therefore will be devoted to recent projects that represent recent directions in Cultural Studies and to discussions about the current aims and state of Cultural Studies.  That the term "cultural studies" occurs across various academic disciplines, in various geographic contexts, and across the projects of both the Left and the Right will be one of the central issues for this seminar.  The seminar will consider how recent Cultural Studies projects have addressed issues concerning knowledge/power, criticism/critique, a "new empiricism," historiography, spatial analytics (of the nation, globalization, cities, the domestic sphere), neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism, a new communitarianism, empire and imperialism, war and militarization, media/communication, technology, science and "science studies," economies (and analytics of new forms of consumption and labor), representation, reproduction, race, diaspora, gender, sexuality, forms of transport and mobility, education (at and in conjunction with the current university), activism, access and resources, rights and governmentality, citizenship, policy, everyday life, and culture (as a term implicated in all these subjects).
Students need not have any background in Cultural Studies.  How much material we consider from before the 1990s will depend upon the interests and needs of students enrolled in the course, but I intend to devote most of our attention to fairly recent work.  I am very interested in making the course relevant to students from various departments and disciplines, and in using the course to introduce questions and issues not easily addressed by a particular disciplinary knowledge.  Students will be expected to keep up with readings, to participate in class discussions, and to complete a final paper-project decided with me.


THEA 560: Seminar in Theatre History

Section CRT (CRN: 47952) 
“Theatre Theory and Criticism” 
T TH 2 – 3:20 pm 
Location: TBA 
Professor Esther Kim Lee <

“A man with one theory is lost. He needs several of them, or lots! 
He should stuff them in his pockets like newspapers.” 

--Bertolt Brecht 

This seminar will trace the principal manifestations of pre-modern, modern, and postmodern theory, criticism, and methodology in theatre scholarship. The first third of the course will focus on ancient theories of theatre beginning with Aristotle. The rest of the term will be devoted to surveying 20 th and 21 st century theories of theatre and performance. After a brief look at Naturalism, Expressionism, and other key attempts to characterize modern theatre, we will concentrate on a number of major theories and methodologies since the 20 th century. They will include, but not be limited to, the following topics: mimesis, theatricality, formalism, structuralism, psychoanalysis, semiotics, phenomenology, deconstruction, feminism, Marxism, new historicism, reader/audience response theory, post-colonialism, cultural studies, and performance theories. The reading materials will not focus on analysis of plays, but rather, they will be concerned with methodology and theory. Sample authors will include most of the following and others: Roland Barthes, Susan Bennet, Kenneth Burke, Judith Butler, Marvin Carlson, Sue Ellen Case, Tracy Davis, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, Martin Heidegger, Julia Kristeva, Jacques Lacan, Georg Lukacs, Bruce A. McConachie, Patrice Pavis, Peggy Phelan, Joseph Roach, Richard Schechner, Viktor Shklovsky, Bert O. States, and Raymond Williams. Students enrolled in the seminar should be familiar with Aristotle’s Poetics for the first day of class.