Fall 2007 Course Offerings

AIS 490-GD: Nature Writing and Empire 

James Treat (treaty@uiuc.edu)
Wednesday 9:00pm-11:50pm
Fall 2007
CRN: 45686
3hrs undergrad / 4 hrs grad

This interdisciplinary seminar explores the relationship between human experience and the natural environment through a focused study of nature writing. The course is organized around important but overlooked books and essays by American Indian writers, offering fresh perspectives on key themes in the popular and scholarly literature. Together we survey the history of nature writing in America, evaluate the uses of literary nonfiction in American Indian contexts, consider the emerging discourse of ecocriticism, and experiment with the techniques of nature writing in our own lives. Class discussions are supplemented by guest speakers, audiovisual materials, campus events, and optional field trips. Students have the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of nature writing and of American Indian perspectives on this venerable genre; to reflect on the significance of "nature" and "writing" in contemporary life; and to develop their critical skills and creative abilities for use in academic, professional, and personal settings.


AIS 590-GJ: Indigenous Critical Theory

D. Anthony Tyeeme Clark (tyeeme@gmail.com)
Tuesday 4:30pm-6:50pm
Fall 2007
CRN: 50010

Oriented toward imagining decolonization, far-reaching social change, and radical redistributions of shared resources, this advanced reading and thinking course develops analytical frameworks and a relational politics at the intellectual crossroads where the innovative epistemologies of an American Indian-centered and community-grounded indigenous nations studies meets academically-based feminist theory, critical race theory, semiotic studies, linguistically oriented psychoanalysis, and postcolonial theory (to name only some of the many possibilities). This course should be especially promising for graduate students who fundamentally are concerned with anti-oppression in their intellectual and activist work, and who already have begun projects and wish to move them further along.


AIS 590-G: Politics of Popular Culture 

D. Anthony Tyeeme Clark (tyeeme@gmail.com)
Wednesday 4:30pm-6:50pm
Fall 2007
CRN: 50011

Popular culture is a powerful site of expression, identity development, and conflict, and thus merits considerable critical attention. Concerned with interdisciplinary frameworks that allow us to "read" popular culture as well as with its actual forms and specific artifacts, this course seeks, first, to grasp how popular culture has legitimized the colonization of American Indian peoples and, second, to reflect on the ways in which Indians engage popular culture to assert an anti-oppression politics. Throughout the course, we ground "culture" in political contexts, paying special attention to the ways it produces consent to a colonial status quo and mediates emotions such as pleasure, disgust, satisfaction, and fear. There are two tracks through the course, one designed for undergraduates and another, more rigorous one for graduate students. Each has built-in flexibility and options.


ANTH 515 MM: Contemporary Ethnography: Contentions and Continuity 

Martin F. Manalansan IV ( manalans@uiuc.edu )
Tuesday 4:00pm-7:00pm
113 Davenport Hall
CRN: 49120 

This is a course about reading the ethnography of the contemporary moment. It examines recent works by charting the methodological and theoretical trails that they traverse. Focusing on notable ethnographies published within the past five years, we will locate these works’ new interventions and innovations in the context of enduring questions and intellectual traditions. In other words, the term contemporary is not just about the “current” or the “new” and does not mean a complete break from the past. Rather, the term suggests incomplete linkages and disjunctions with ongoing debates and concerns in the anthropology and the humanisties. We will ask how novel objects of study as well as the methodological re-fractions in these works enable fresh critical understandings and intellectual engagements.

It has been suggested that anthropological topics come and go but ethnography remains constant in the discipline as the stable hallmark of the “anthropological endeavor.” Yet there is also talk about the warping of ethnography into formations that are no longer familiar or comforting. Looking at these works’ approaches to globalization, new technologies, public cultures, subjectivities, and intimacy, we will interrogate the limits and possibilities of ethnography in the 21 st century.


Tentative Reading List: Primary Ethnographies:

Biehl, Joao. 2005. Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Borovoy, Amy. 2005. The Too-Good Wife: Alcohol, Codependency and the Politics of Nurturance in Postwar Japan. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Fernandez, Sujatha 2006. Cuba Represent! Cuban Arts, State Power and the Making of New Revolutionary Cultures. Durham: Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-3891-2

Jackson, John. L. 2006. Harlem World: Doing Race and Class in Contemporary Black America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Mahmood, Saba. 2005. Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Rajan, Kaushik Sunder. 2006. Biocapital: The Constitution of Postgenomic Life. Durham: Duke University Press.

Rofel, Lisa. 2007. Desiring China: Experiments in Sexuality, Neoliberalism and Public Culture. Durham: Duke University Press.

Petryna, Adriana. 2002. Life Exposed: Biological Citizens after Chernobyl. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Zaloom, Caitlin. 2006. Out of the Pits: Traders and Technology from Chicago to London. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.



ARTE 501: Lacanian Approaches to Art and Eduction

Michael Parsons (parsonsm@uiuc.edu)
Monday 4:00pm-6:40pm
Fall 2007
CRN: 49735 

    This course offers opportunities to explore two major themes in Lacan’s work that are of particular importance for both art and education.
      One theme is the character of vision. Lacan questioned modernist notions that celebrate the innocence of vision, denied its primacy among the senses, associated it with power and inevitable error.
      The second theme is the nature of identity. Lacan claimed that identity is based on visual imagery and imagination, is never stable, is always mistaken, and is the origin of desire.
      No previous knowledge of Lacan is needed for this course. It is not intended as a comprehensive look at his philosophy. Students are encouraged to find ways in which the material on these two themes may be relevant to their own interests. We will look at what Lacan wrote about them and at selections from his many followers in relevant fields, such as film criticism, feminism, art history, postcolonial literature, visual culture, youth culture. 


CWL 501: Modern Critical Theory

Prof. Robert Rushing (rrushing@uiuc.edu)
CRN: 40466

Nota bene:  Despite what Banner may say, this course does not require any languages other than English.
This course provides a historical survey of the foundational thinkers, texts, and schools that orient contemporary work in the humanities, from Kant and Hegel to Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Theory.  As an “advanced introduction,” the course is intended primarily for first-year graduate students and for those who may not have 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, Weber, Adorno, Barthes, Levi-Strauss, Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, Kristeva, Irigaray, Williams, Hall, Said, Spivak, Bhabha, Zizek, and Butler. Among the topics we will address: history, 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 (the Tuesday evening meeting) in a public session that will include graduate students from Jim Hansen’s English 500 course and Laurie Johnson's German 570; and then once a week in a closed seminar 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 throughout the semester. Those Tuesday night sessions will meet in English 160.
Texts ordered: Vincent Leitch, et al, ed. The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism; Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals (tr. Kaufmann); Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish; Jacques Derrida, Limited, Inc.. The Norton will provide the base readings for many of our sessions, but will be supplemented by many xeroxed readings. 



CWL 581: Lacanian analysis in a Global Context

Nancy Blake (nblake@uiuc.edu)
W 3:00pm-4:50pm
Fall 2007
1040 FLB
CRN 47957 sec G3

No course description available.


ENGL 500: Modern Critical Theory

Prof. Jim Hansen (jhansen1@uiuc.edu)
Thursday 3:00pm - 4:50pm
and Tuesday 7:00pm - 9:00pm
113 English Building
CRN: 30190 


ENGL 543 E: Seminar in Modern British Lit: Contemporary Fiction and Transnational Method

Prof. Matt Hart (matthart@uiuc.edu)
Wednesday 1:00pm-2:50pm
Fall 2007
125 English Building
CRN: 30195

Recent years have witnessed a rush of new books on British fiction of the last 15 years, many of them issued by for-profit publishers and marketed towards college and university teachers. This development might be taken to signal the maturation of post-1980s British writing as an academic field; but if that is the case, then such “maturation” begs the question of whether contemporary British fiction is still legible as British—that is, as a national literature that we ought to study according to the hegemonic (i.e., national) disciplinary structures of the literary academy.

This class approaches this question through two complementary approaches. We will read significant novels by writers that are variously coded as English, Scottish, Northern Irish, Black British, and Asian; and we will consider the theoretical question of “transnational method”—that is, whether the British literary field bears out what one critic has called a systematic challenge to “the nation as an explanatory category.” Topics will include the difference between comparative and transnational criticism; sovereignty and globalization; “minor” transnationalism; cosmopolitanism and the “cosmopolitical”; the idea of a “world republic of letters”; and the politics of multi-culturalism in neoliberal Britain. We will study fiction by authors such as Janice Galloway, Eoin MacNamee, Gautam Malkani, David Peace, W. G. Sebald, and Zadie Smith; and we will read critical and theoretical work by the likes of Nicholas Brown, Pascale Casanova, Jim English, Stuart Hall, Bikhu Parekh, Bruce Robbins, Micol Seigel, and Rebecca Walkowitz. Requirements will include class participation, a medium-length paper, and a bibliographical research project.


ENGL 564: Distinction and Age of Realism

Prof. Stephanie Foote (s-foote@uiuc.edu)
Tuesday 1:00pm - 2:50pm
123 English Building
CRN: 43015

Literary histories commonly call the late nineteenth century in the US the “age of realism,” but no term was more contested than the “real.” In the literary and social arenas, mechanisms for determining who and what counted as real were multiplying. But at the same time, opportunities to change one’s social place or to become someone else, even if momentarily, were increasingly available. This class will track two narratives that intersect with the crisis of the real in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. One trajectory of the class will give students of American literature and culture some grounding in the debate over the value of the genre of realism in literary history. We will look at the self-conscious formation of realism, studying its relationship to the social field that produced it and that it in turn helped to produce. We will look at the strategies of the realists for making sense of a world whose very social multiplicity challenged any easy way to classify persons. We will also look at the tradition of literary criticism in the United States that helped to privilege realism as the generic totem of the nineteenth century. The second trajectory of this class therefore contextualizes our inquiry into realism. As we look at debates over the meaning and proper expression of the real, we will also look closely at the development of the social world as an object of study itself. Through the lens of social distinction and the rise of the middle class, we will study the meaning of the social distinctions that helped to create the middle class readers of realism. How were they solicited by advertisements? How did they make (quite unstable) distinctions between high and low culture? How did they understand the relationship between capital and status? How did the category we now think of as “class” develop as a cultural sign in the age of realism?

Primary texts may include. Novels by Henry James, Edith Wharton, William Dean Howells, Charles Chesnutt, Theodore Dreiser, Abraham Cahan, Hamlin Garland, and as well as selected photographic and magazine texts.

Secondary reading is likely to include: Bourdieu’s Distinction and The Field of Social Production; Judith Butler; Erving Goffman; Amy Kaplan; Michael Davitt Bell; Richard Brodhead; Brook Thomas; John Kasson; Janice Radway; George Levine; Richard Ohmann; Nancy Glazener; Thorstein Veblen; and a packet of reading consisting of a history of critiques of American realism including Werner Berthoff, Vernon Parrington, Fred Lewis Pattee, and FO Matthiesson.


ENGL 582: Writing Bodies of Knowledge: Literature and Feminist Science Studies

Prof. Melissa Littlefield (mml@uiuc.edu)
Thursday 1:00pm - 2:50pm
113 English Bldg
CRN: 45651

This course explores how science, technology and literature envision, create and politicize our bodies. Our focus will be female bodies and feminist perspectives, but this lens also allows us to explore the ways in which men are constituted as subjects and objects of the scientific gaze. We will begin by asking several practical questions: who’s doing science? How are these sciences constituted? We will then work through a series of case studies, in literature and science that address the ways in which bodies have and can been used in science and created by scientific discourse. Finally, we will address the ways in which science fiction provides a tool-kit for scientists and theorists interested in challenging traditional relationships between science and the body. Students will complete several profession-centered assignments (a book review, a conference presentation), along with reading responses and a final research paper.



Thomas Schwandt (tschwand@uiuc.edu)
W 9:00pm-11:50pm
Fall 2007
Education 22
CRN 30293

Because of its complicated intellectual and disciplinary history, qualitative inquiry (QI) is not easily defined. Contemporary practices of QI are grounded in and reflect a diverse and complex set of ideas concerning the human sciences (their purpose, their appropriate epistemology and methodology, the object of their study, and so on) that dates at least to the late nineteenth century reaction of romanticism and idealism to the then dominant philosophies of positivism and empiricism. The intellectual maturity and significance of current QI practices vary considerably across socio-behavioral science disciplines and fields of study. In many ways, QI is less a well-defined field of study and more like an arena in which a variety of ways of investigating the meaning and significance of everyday life are informed by unsettled debates about epistemology, methodology, and the politics of social research. This course provides an introduction to historical, philosophical, and disciplinary perspectives on the origins, aims, and methodologies that shape our understandings of QI. In short, this is a course that explores the very meaning of the notion 'qualitative research'. The objective of the course is to enhance graduate students' understandings of the foundations of QI. As a result of studying the material in this course, students should be better able to 'theorize' QI--that is, to explain and justify the assumptions informing its nature and purpose, the meaning of its research foci and questions, and the interpretability and warrantability of its findings.

Class meetings will typically consist of a lecture that frames the major issues discussed in the readings followed by small or large group discussions. Students are expected to have carefully read and prepared the readings for each week prior to each class meeting so that they can actively and meaningfully participate in discussions. This course also uses Moodle for course materials and discussions.


FR 504: The Study of Culture II

Prof. Lawrence R. Schehr (schehr@ad.uiuc.edu)

Tuesday 3:00pm-4:50pm
Fall 2007

1136 FLB
CRN: 49664 


This course will examine the interplay of cultural and historical events as depicted in literature and film from 1789 onward.  Special attention will be given to those literary and cinematic documents that represent cultural turning points, such as the Reign of Terror, the
Franco-Prussian War, the Occupation, and the recent riots.  All readings and discussions in French.


GER 570: Modern Critical Theory: An Advanced Introduction

Unfortunately, this course has been cancelled.


KIN 594 ML1: Bodies in Motion 

Prof. Melissa Littlefield (mml@uiuc.edu)
Thursday 6:00pm - 8:50pm
Location TBA
CRN: 50235

Bodies can be set in motion literally and figuratively. In this course, we will examine both representations of the body as it moves (in sport, in scientific experiment, in work, at play) and representations of the body as it is affected, changed, and "moved" by culture. Students will begin by examining some foundational theories from Body Studies, Cultural Studies, and Cultural Kinesiology. The rest of the course will be structured around case studies that address intersections between science, culture, sport, and the media. Students will complete several profession-centered assignments (a book review, a conference presentation, an abstract) along with a final research paper.


PHIL 411: Nineteenth-century philosophy from Hegel to Nietzsche

B. Himmelmann
M, W, F 10:00pm-10:50pm
Fall 2007
331 GH
CRN: 43036/43037 U3/G4

This course will examine the development from Hegel to Nietzsche. First, we will read selected passages of Hegel's most important writings and discuss his ideas of knowledge, morals, art, law and religion, especially regarding the significance of history and genealogy for Hegel's concepts. We will also consider his very idea of philosophy itself. Subsequently, we will treat Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, and Soren Kierkegaard, each of whom handles Hegel's heritage in different ways; for example, by breaking up his system or by turning it on its head. Against this background, we will then approach Nietzsche's work. From the 20th century on, Nietzsche's writings have been attractive mainly as documents of crisis that cast doubt on traditional conceptions of morals, culture, truth and religion. His influence on contemporary philosophy is extensive, and coming to terms with his work remains a serious challenge. (Graduate students will meet with the instructor for an additional hour of discussion each week at a time to be arranged.)


PHIL 412: Classical Modern Philosophers, Kant 

B. Himmelmann
M, W, F 1:00pm-1:50pm
Fall 2007
331 GH
CRN: 39418/39419 U3/G4

This course will deal with the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. His thinking will be analysed following the thread of those famous questions that he raised in his Critique of Pure Reason: What can I know? What should I do? What may I hope? The essential features of Kant's epistemology, of his ethics, aesthetics, his philosophy of nature, history, and religion will be outlined. We will focus especially on the connections between these disciplines, in order to understand Kant's philosophical anthropology as a whole. Discussion will be based on selected passages of his major works. (Graduate students will meet with the instructor for an additional hour of discussion each week at a time to be arranged.)


PHIL 525: Philosophy of Mind: Self Building 

Prof. Schroeder (wschroed@uiuc.edu)

Monday 3:00pm-4:50pm
Fall 2007
402 Gregory
CRN: 30669



This seminar will be primarily concerned with what the self is, how we come to know ourselves, how we can strengthen ourselves, how selves and values are interrelated, and with what philosophy can contribute to these topics.  We will examine readings from both Anglo-American and Continental philosophy, especially figures like Harry Frankfurt (key articles from all of his books), Charles Taylor (Sources of the Self), Jean-Paul Sartre (Transcendence of the Ego), Galen Strawson (and all the articles in The Self?), Richard Moran (Authority and Estrangement), Dan Zahavi (probably Subjectivity and Selfhood), and others (possibly some material from Marya Schechtman or Martha Nussbaum).  We may read some relevant novels and possibly some Emerson and Thoreau.  Nietzsche will figure prominently.  I am not interested in the standard problems of personal identity, but I am interested in what makes this topic important to people trying to live in the best way possible.  Only a term paper will be required. 


SOC 466: New Modernities South

Jan Nederveen Pieterse (jnp@uiuc.edu)
Monday and Wednesday 11:00am-12:20pm
Fall 2007
304 Lincoln
CRN: 4 credits 48939, 3 credits 48938

Examination of how nonwestern societies, such as Japan, China, India, the Islamic world, Africa and Latin America, analyze their modernity. The study of modernity and the idea of multiple modernities by combining and contrasting western and nonwestern views of modernity, postmodernism and capitalism. 3 undergraduate hours or 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite: Introductory course in social science or SOC 100 or consent of instructor. 3 or 4 Hours.


SOC 560: Globalization Dynamics Debates

Jan Nederveen Pieterse (jnp@uiuc.edu)
Wednesday 3:30pm-5:50pm
Fall 2007
336 Lincoln
CRN: 43374 

An advanced study of the multidimensional character of globalization. Discussion of key processes of globalization and areas of consensus and controversy in the literature and examination of the premises of major approaches to globalization in social science and fundamental analytical questions and policy dilemmas that globalization presents. Discussions on scenarios and policy options of global futures. 4 Hours.