Fall 2010 Course Offerings

ANTH 414: Writing Ethnography

Professor: Alma Gottlieb
Meets: TU 1:00-2:20pm, 113 Davenport 

Readings will likely include the following (in part or whole): 
Ruth Behar, The Vulnerable Observer (1996) 
Kirin Narayan, Love, Stars and All That (1994) 

David Plath, Long Engagements (1980) 
Paul Stoller, Jaguar (1999) 
Dennis Tedlock, Days from a Dream Almanac (1990) 
Marjorie Wolf, Thrice-Told Tale (1992) 

Plus a selection of shorter texts on e-reserve, including work by Zora Neale Hurston, Gregory Bateson, Clifford Geertz, Richard and Sally Price, Graciela Hernandez, Richard Handler, Barbara Tedlock, Julie Taylor, Carol Stack, John van Maanen, and others.

This course is especially designed for advanced undergraduate students who have already taken at least one 300-level course in cultural anthropology, and graduate students in cultural anthropology, writing studies, and education. Other students should contact the instructor before enrolling. 

General Education Credit: 
For undergraduate students, this course is approved for credit in the campus-wide Advanced Composition (formerly Composition II) requirement.



ANTH 499: Sensory Worlds

Professor: Martin F. Manalansan IV
Meets: TU 5-8 pm 

This course explores the burgeoning interdisciplinary scholarship on the senses. It has long been recognized that human experience and knowledge are mediated through the senses. In this class, we will navigate the paths of the human sensorium through and beyond the five regimes of smell, sight, taste, hearing and touch. We will start our scholarly and sensory travels by looking into the philosophical groundings of the scholarly study of the senses with the writings of Marx, Freud, Bergson, and Merleau-Ponty among other, and then, move to contemporary theorists. Then we will turn our attention to films, ethnographies, novels, cultural criticism, art history, behavioral studies, and historical accounts in order to interrogate the political, cultural and economic workings of the senses. 

Tentative Reading List:

Mark N. Smith.  How Race is Made: Slavery, Segregation and the Senses.
Nadia Seremetakis. The Senses Still: Perception and Memory as Material Culture in Modernity. 
Laura Marks. The Skin of Film.
David Michael Levin (ed.)  Modernity and the Hegemony of Vision.
Davide Panagia. The Political Life of Sensation. 
Mark Paterson. The Senses of Touch: Haptics, Affects and Technologies.
R. Murray Shaffer. The Soundscape. 
Sara Ahmed. Queer Phenomenology.
Juhani Pallasmaa. The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses.
Patrick Suskind. Perfume.
David Howes. Sensual Relations: Engaging the Senses in Culture and Social Theory.
William Cohen and Ryan Johnson. Filth: Dirt, Disgust and Modern Life.
Kathryn Linn Geurts. Culture and the Senses: Bodily Ways of Knowing in an African Community.
David Mas Masumoto. Four Seasons in Five Senses.



ARTH 546: What Does Democracy Look Like?: Visualizing Protest

Professor: Terri Weissman
Meets: Tu 2-4:40

This seminar will investigate the visual culture of social movements. Organized around specific events (such as the anti-globalization protests of the late 1990s, Earth Day 1990, May Day 2006, the spontaneous rallies in the US after the 2008 presidential election), we will examine the role representation plays in social change. Readings will include texts by art historians, social scientists, philosophers, and journalists such as Jacques Ranciere, Alain Badiou, Ariella Azoulay, Brian Holmes and Naomi Klein; we will look at how groups such as Greenpeace, Mobilization for Global Justice, the Disobbedienti, and Rainforest Action Network incorporate visual strategies into their organizing efforts; and we will discuss artists such as Allan Sekula, Oliver Ressler, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, the YesMen, the Otolith Group, Emily Jacir, and Lamia Joreige—all of whom make work that addresses a political public sphere.



CWL 501: Theory of Literature

Professor: Rob Rushing

Meets: Tu 7:30-9:20, Engl 160
            W 3:00 - 4:50, FLB G30

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 reading and discussion of figures that include: Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Adorno, Barthes, Levi-Strauss, Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, Said, Spivak, Bhabha, Žižek, Butler and others. Among the topics we will address: history, the subject, value, power, language, ideology, materiality, gender, sexuality and race. 

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.

The course will meet twice a week, once a week (the Tuesday evening meeting) in a public lecture that will include graduate students from the Unit for Criticism/English 500 course and, and once a week in a smaller seminar (Wednesday afternoon). Drawing on the resources of the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, we will hear guest speakers from around the university and from off-campus in the public lectures, hopefully providing you not only with a solid introduction to theory, but also a sense of the campus' intellectual community.

Students will complete a 10-12 page paper on critical theory and a take home final exam. Readings will be from the Norton Anthology of Critical Theory and a selection of e-reserves.



ENGL 500: Intro to Criticism and Research

Professor: Hina Nazar
Meets: Th 1:00-2:50pm, 113 English
            Tu 7:30-9:20pm, 160 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. Among the topics we will address are: aesthetics, history, the subject, value, power, language, ideology, materiality, gender, sexuality, race, and colonialism. The course aims 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 meets twice a week, once a week in a public session that will include graduate students from Rob Rushing’s Comparative Literature 501 course 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. Tuesday night sessions will meet in English 160.



ENGL 563/AIS 503: Sovereignty, Autonomy, and Indigenous Literatures in the Americas

Professor: Robert Warrior
Meets: W 1:00-2:50pm, 113 English

Since the 19th century, Indigenous peoples in the Americas have most often organized themselves politically around the concepts of sovereignty and autonomy, with regions and countries dominated by Anglophonic nation-states most often focused on the idea of sovereignty while those in Spanish-speaking areas of the Americas more likely to focus on autonomy (autonomia). Literary work by Indigenous writers has often confounded and challenged both of these broadly-construed political discourses, and the purpose of this seminar is to delve into some of the ways literary imagination and political realities have intersected productively in the Indigenous Americas.

The course will focus on reading literary texts and other examples of contemporary expressive culture. Authors will include Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, Rigoberta Menchu, Gaspar Pedro Gonzalez, Victor Montejo, Simon Ortiz, Joy Harjo, John Joseph Mathews, Gerald Vizenor, and Gertrude Bonnin. Films by Chris Eyre, Zacharias Kunuk, Alanis Obamsawin, and Arlene Bowman will also be included.



GEOG 595/390: Local Democracy and Environment in the 
Developing World: Institutionalizing Representation

Professor: Jesse C. Ribot  
Meets: Th 2:00 – 4:50pm, Davenport 329.

This course explores the effects of natural resource management
interventions on three dimensions of local democracy: 1) representation, 2)
citizenship, and 3) the public domain. Most developing countries have ‘decentralized’ at least some natural resource functions and powers to elected local governments. Yet these elected local authorities still play a minor role in natural resource decisions. Many critical questions remain. How can the natural resource management role of elected local authorities be strengthened? When does local democracy or participation improve natural resource management? How do environmental policies and projects support local democracy? How can just and equitable outcomes of environmental interventions be promoted? The course responds to these questions using case studies and theoretical literature to explore the local democracy effects of environmental interventions and the environmental implications of local democratic decision making.

The course will draw on case studies from developing countries around the world with a focus on decentralized forest management (although discussions and assignments may focus on any resource). It will take an in-depth look at forest management in India, Indonesia, and Brazil. The course will pay special attention to the UN program for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) and the UN Climate Adaptation fund and World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility. Under UN REDD+, payments for carbon emission reductions tropical forests may be on the order of $30 billion per year. These unprecedentedly large climate mitigation and adaptation interventions are likely to affect forest-dependent groups throughout the developing world. How have these groups been represented in past resource management decisions and how will they be represented in or shape these enormous new interventions? The course will use environment as a lens for better understanding the making and functioning of local democracy.

This 3 credit course will meet for three hours once a week. Participants will also be expected to attend the two or three SDEP Friday lectures (http://www.beckman.illinois.edu/strategic, Friday afternoons 3:30 to 5pm) during the fall semester. These SDEP lectures will highlight different aspects of the democracy-environment relation.  


LA 587: Suburban Space After 1945

Professor: Dianne Harris, Department of Landscape Architecture
Meets: T 10:30-12:20pm, 18 Temple Buell Hall

Have you ever wondered why the North American landscape is dominated by suburban sprawl? Or how the idea of the single-family house on its own lot in a suburban setting became the idealized norm for many U.S. citizens? Ever wonder why “McMansions” have come to dominate urban edges and exurban spaces in the United States? Ever wonder why the model of the U.S. suburb is being exported globally and is coming to dominate the landscapes of China, India, the Phillipines, and elsewhere?  
This interdisciplinary graduate seminar explores the spatial and cultural dimensions of suburban space in the United States from 1945 to the present. Our primary focus will be the house, the garden, and the neighborhood, examined from a historical perspective, and through the use of a wide range of primary and secondary visual, material, and literary sources. But we will also investigate the suburban dreamscape. I welcome graduate students from a wide range of disciplines including (but not limited to) history, sociology, landscape architecture, architecture, art history, anthropology, geography, and urban planning. We will examine the ways the economic, social, and political imperatives of race, gender, class, national identity, and self-fashioning (among others) have shaped the suburban spaces we have inhabited and constructed since the mid-20th-century, and we will study the ways such spaces construct culture.



LAW 656: International Law 

Professor: Francis Boyle

The International Law course examines the variety of roles played by law and lawyer in ordering the relations between states and the nationals of states. The course utilizes a number of specialized contexts as a basis for exploring these roles. The contexts include, among others, the status of international law in domestic courts; the efficacy of judicial review by the International Court of Justice; the effort to subsume international economic relations under the fabric of bilateral and multilateral treaties; and the application -- or misapplication -- of law to political controversies that entail the threat of actual use of force. The course proceeds through an examination of problems selected to illuminate the operation of law within each of these contexts.



MDIA 570: Popular Culture, and the Recent Directions of Cultural Studies 

Professor: James Hay

This seminar will have two general objectives. One is to review various projects that recently have represented Cultural Studies, a body of theory and research that has more or less been interested in the political implications and potentiality of the “popular.” Although the seminar will acknowledge the “legacy” of British Cultural Studies (often considered an origin site), the seminar is more interested in the multiple contexts of Cultural Studies and the current contradictions, problems, theories, and programs of research around which Cultural Studies is currently formed and represented. How much material we consider from before the 1990s will depend on the interests and needs of students enrolled in the course, but I intend to devote at least three-fourths of the syllabus to recent polemics and directions. The seminar will consider how recent Cultural Studies projects have addressed issues concerning power/knowledge, criticism/critique, a “new empiricism,” historiography, “post-Marxist” theory and analysis, spatial analytics (of the nation, globalization, cities, the domestic sphere, virtual spheres, empire), neo-liberalism and neo-conservatism, the new communitarianism, empire and imperialism, war and militarization, media/communication, technology, science and “science studies,” economies (“cultural economies,” “economies of interactivity,” an economy of “mass customization,”analytics of new forms of consumption and labor), representation, reproduction, race, diaspora, gender, sexuality, forms of transport and mobility, education (current trends in higher education but also “popular pedagogies”), gaming, marketing, activism, Green politics and environmentalisms, access and resources, rights and governmentality, bio-power & bio-politics, citizenship, policy, everyday life, and culture (as a term implicated in all these subjects). Although the seminar will address Cultural Studies' focus on popular media, and new directions of theory and research that have opened around “new media,” the seminar also is interested in Cultural Studies that have moved beyond familiar examples of communication media. The seminar also will introduce lines of theory and research that are indebted to some of the old preoccupations and strategies of Cultural Studies, even as they formulate alternatives to Cultural Studies longstanding dispositions. To the extent that Cultural Studies has been a project (or projects) responsive to historical conjunctures, the seminar asks which strategies of theory and research are useful in these times. 

The second general objective of the seminar involves rethinking the meaning and mattering of the term “popular culture”--a term that became salient particularly in the first half of the twentieth century, and since has had a complicated and curious history, in no small part through the formation of Cultural Studies in the second half of the twentieth century. Although the seminar will devote some attention to the term's past uses, it will focus on how the term matters and is being redefined now. In part this will involve coming to terms with well-known arguments (by Virno, Hardt & Negri, Oswell, et al.) that rethink the “popular” as the “multitude.” We also will consider how the “popular” is equated with new conceptions of “publics,” how the “popular” and “popular culture” have become a new object for assessments of (particularly new marketing languages about) “populations,” and how the “new populism” claimed by both the political Right and Left in the U.S. (e.g., Tea Party activism and responses to it) is being enacted in various, contradictory ways-through and beyond cultural forms and practices. 

Students need not have any background in Cultural Studies or Media Studies. Although Cultural Studies and studies of “popular culture” have had a prominent connection to critical studies of media in the U.S., the U.K, and Australia, the course is more interested in Cultural Studies as a province of “interdisciplinary” research, and of research that wrestles with disciplinarity. Even though the seminar is being offered from a College of Media, 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. 



PHIL 501: Sartre’s Being and Nothingness 

Professor: Bill Schroeder
Meets: M 3:00-4:50pm

This seminar will lay out the main ideas of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, a very complex and difficult book. We will try to work through the entire text. Topics include Sartre’s conception of “being” (and his realism), of consciousness and “self-consciousness”, of negation and action, of self deception, of approaches to the world (including knowledge and time and reflection), of other people and concrete relations with them, of the body, of freedom, and of existential psychoanalysis. We will also spend a week on his novel, Nausea, and one on Transcendence of the Ego, which elaborates his theory of the self. We’ll begin with those shorter books. 

Every week students will be expected to carefully read a hefty chunk of Sartre’s text as well as my own lecture handout on the text. Students will be expected to give one or two critical discussions of a Sartrean idea as presentations during the term, to come prepared to class sessions with questions to discuss, and to write one term paper, due around Thanksgiving. The term paper will also be critical as well as expository, and some original thinking on the topic will also be required to do well. 

My seminars often run overtime. So assume the sessions will really run from 3-5:30 (with a short break around 4 PM). Some weeks we may finish within the normal time, but most of the time we will not. It takes a lot of time just to get Sartre’s views and terminology clear; then the point of the seminar is to discuss the views critically and to think about plausible alternatives to Sartre’s position. We will try to do this every week. 

No previous knowledge of Sartre will be presupposed, but students with no familiarity at all should examine one or two secondary works on Being and Nothingness before the term begins. Detmer’s Sartre Explained and the Cambridge Companion to Sartre(ed. Howells) would be helpful starting points.



RLST 494: Ecological Criticism

Professor: James Treat
Meets: W 6:00-8:30pm

This is an interdisciplinary seminar in the environmental humanities, focusing especially on the fields of philosophy of ecology, environmental justice, literary ecocriticism, and environmental history. Assigned readings are drawn from representative texts and cover key theories and methods in these fields. Class discussions are supplemented by audiovisual materials, guest speakers, campus events, and web-based assignments. Students have the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of ecological criticism; to conduct research on a relevant topic or issue; and to develop their skills for use in educational, professional, and personal settings.

Syllabus: http://ec10f.wordpress.com/



SPAN 590: Emotional Risks: Moving Readings and 
the Hierarchies of Taste

Professor: L. Elena Delgado
Meets: W 3-5:30, 1112 FLB

This course will study, in the context of modern and contemporary Spanish literature, the critical dichotomy between reading as a cognitive, dispassionate activity, and reading as an affecting, and affective, experience. Using examples from diverse genres and texts (including film) we will start by focusing on how once a text is perceived as promoting emotional responses, its place becomes pre-determined in an intellectual hierarchy of taste where the affective is always secondary to the rational, the feminine to the masculine, the body to the mind. We will then go on to focus on the effects and the affects of literature, underlining the manifold ways in which texts can mobilize both feeling and cognition, pathos and agency. 


THEA 562: Critical Theories of Theatre and Performance

Professor: Esther Kim Lee
Meets: TR 1:30-2:50 pm, Krannert Center for Perf Arts room 4503

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 premodern theories of theatre beginning with Aristotle. The rest of the term will be devoted to surveying 20th and 21st 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 20th 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.