ANTH 515: Ethnography of Instability and Insecurity

Professor: Ellen Moodie
Meets: Wed. 3:30-6:30 pm

How can we write on shifting grounds? In this graduate seminar we will consider forms of ethnographic knowledge production in the midst of flux, fear and fragmentation. We will discuss a series of monographs, chapters and articles that approach precarious social circumstances on intimate, local and global scales and in merging political and everyday modes. We will think about how political and social insecurities are produced, whether as public spectacle or in power-laden circulation of secrets and instigation of paranoia. We will explore how people experience both the anguish of dramatic political change and the nervous daily exclusions of poverty and racism. We will look at the effects of global processes reordering economic relations and examine the disintegration of social relations in the violence of war and terrorism.


ENGL 537: Victorian Socialisms

Professor: Eleanor Courtemanche
Meets: Wed. 1:00-2:50 pm

Although Karl Marx lived in London for decades while writing *Capital*, British socialism in the mid and late 19th century had little to do with early German Communism.  In this graduate seminar we will examine some of the new collectivisms imagined in the years before the formation of the Labour Party, which ranged from the romantic reactions against industrialization, to the utilitarians and their descendants the Fabian Socialists, to the aesthetic socialisms of Ruskin and William Morris.  Fantasies of possible socialisms informed the literary genres of political satire and utopian fiction.  We will start by reading Marx and some of the French radicals (Blanqui, Proudhon, Fourier), move to Carlyle's and Dickens's attacks on industrial culture, Darwin's unwitting influence on nationalism, Ruskin's "Unto this Last", Morris's idyllic fantasy "News from Nowhere", Wilde's "The Soul of Man Under Socialism," and some works by George Bernard Shaw and the Webbs, leading Fabian technocrats who influenced the nascent welfare state.  Class requirements will include a class presentation, a seminar paper, and several writing and public speaking exercises.


ENGL 547: American Affects

Professor: Justine Murison
Meets: Wed. 1:00-2:50 pm

Thomas Jefferson’s draft of the Declaration of Independence included particularly emotive language, speaking of Parliament as an “unfeeling brethren” whose course of action has “given the last stab to agonizing affection.”  Expunged from the official draft passed by the Continental Congress, the discourse of affections upon which Jefferson drew lingered in American culture in the seduction narratives of the 1790s and the sentimental novels of the antebellum period; in the religious ecstasy of the Second Great Awakening and the urgent rhetoric of antislavery appeals. American culture has long been a highly emotional culture.  Feelings, moreover, merge psychology with embodiment in this era, and thus our study will gesture outward to body politics, sexuality, and aesthetics.  The novel form has often sutured these realms together in the American imaginary and provided United States culture with a narrative about emotions and politics.  Thus the formal as well as historical valences of the early American novel will be the central focus of the course.  Through case studies of novels that have generated an extensive critical legacy as emotionally political works, and several that did not, this course will introduce both the historical and formal concerns of a particular era—the American Revolution to the Civil War—and the way emotion has been a central focus of American literary studies in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  We will canvass theories of emotions and affects, both from the nineteenth century and today, and consider new directions for this longstanding critical preoccupation.  Novelists will most likely include Charles Brockden Brown, Susannah Rowson, Catherine Maria Sedgwick, Robert Montgomery Bird, Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Herman Melville.  Critics and theorists will include Leslie Fiedler, Ann Douglas, Jane Tompkins, Cathy Davidson, Lauren Berlant, Christopher Castiglia, Sianne Ngai, Eve Sedgwick, Brian Massumi, and William Connolly. 


ENGL 578: Disability in Culture and Literature

Professor: Catherine Prendergast
Meets: Thurs. 1:00-2:50 pm

This course is a graduate level introduction to disability studies with particular attention to the literature and theory of mental disability. Led by one of the charter editorial members of the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies, the seminar will investigate current work in disability studies as well as scholarship that made the field including that of Lennard Davis, David Mitchell, Sharon Schnyder, Petra Kuppers, Elizabeth Donaldson, Sue Estroff, John Duffy, and Robert McCreur. Primary texts will include autobiographies, novels, films, and other cultural artifacts in which madness figures as a central trope. The complications of authorship and mental disability will be of central concern. 
TEXTS: will include Schreber, Memoirs of my Nervous Illness; Freud, The Schreber Case; Beckett, Murphy; Bronte, Jane Eyre; Jamison, Touched by Fire; Price, Mad at School; Bottoms, Angelhead. Films: A Beautiful Mind; Jupiter's Wife; As Good as it Get


GER 575: Writing After Monolingualism: Multilingual Practices in 20th and 21st Century Literature

Professor: Yasemin Yildiz
Meets: Wed. 3-5 pm

Since its rise in the late 18th century, the idea that one can think, feel, and write properly only in one’s “mother tongue” has fundamentally impacted numerous institutions, including literature. Yet especially since the early 20th century writers have nevertheless increasingly turned to other languages, experimenting with writing bilingually, switching to a so-called non-native language, mixing different languages in one text, or creating their own imaginative codes. The meanings and stakes of these forms, however, are by no means uniform and require closer investigation. In fact, we will see that the ability to read mono- and multilingualism in a critical way opens up new avenues for understanding current shifts in the conception of subjectivity, community, and modes of belonging in addition to enabling a new aesthetic lens. To this end, we will primarily consider multilingual practices in “German” texts, albeit in a comparative perspective.

Issues to be addressed will include: language, identity, and modernity; monolingualism and language ideology; linguistic transformations in contexts of exile, migration, and mobility; the relationship between multilingualism and transnationalism; multilingualism and translation; bilingual aesthetics; multilingualism, psychoanalysis, and affect; Jewish multilingualism; and multilingualism and (post)colonialism.  
Primary authors to be considered may include Franz Kafka, Theodor Adorno, Gloria Anzaldúa, Ingeborg Bachmann, Paul Celan, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Yoko Tawada, Ilja Trojanow, and Feridun Zaimoglu. We will also draw on a wide variety of theoretical approaches and an interdisciplinary selection of secondary literature that might include such critics and theorists as Benedict Anderson, Emily Apter, Mikhail Bakthin, Walter Benjamin, Bella Brodzki, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Jacques Derrida, Sigmund Freud, Claire Kramsch, Azade Seyhan, Doris Sommer, George Steiner, and Ngugi wa Thiong’o. Most primary readings will be in German, but course discussion will be conducted in English. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at


GWS 580: Seminar in Queer Theory

Professor: Siobhan Somerville  
Meets: Thurs. 12:30-3:20 pm

This course begins from the premise that queer theory is distinct from identity-based formations such as lesbian and gay studies. Instead of anchoring its methods to the question of sexual orientation, queer theory might be thought to destabilize the ground upon which any particular claim to identity can be made. Further, while one familiar genealogy of queer studies locates its origins in the development of a theory of sexuality (as distinct from theories of gender), some of the most ambitious work in the field has critiqued any attempt to give exclusive priority to sexuality over other categories of analysis. The full potential of queer theory, it has been argued, is to dislodge "the status of sexual orientation itself as the authentic and centrally governing category of queer practice, thus freeing up queer theory as a way of reconceiving not just the sexual, but the social in general” (Harper, et al., 1997). We will trace signal moments in the development of the field of queer theory, over the past three decades, with an emphasis on U.S. contexts. While we will remain skeptical of origin stories, our readings will include texts that have been understood as foundational to the field, as well as more recent scholarship. In addition to readings and discussions, assignments will include: a journal review, two class presentations, a 20-minute conference paper, and a 10-15 page final paper.



HIST 572: Racial Formation in US History

Professor: Dave Roediger
Meets: Tues. 3:00-4:50 pm

This course, taught in a seminar format, centers on the reading and discussion of ten books and several articles.   The readings open onto broad questions regarding the ways in which ideas about race, and racist practices, developed out of the experience of settler colonialism as well as out of racial slavery.  With exceptions drawn from the writings of Herman Melville, the books are historical, albeit interdisciplinary, in their approaches.  Students will report on one book not read by classmates and will lead discussion (with a partner) once during the semester.  Short (2-3 pp.) writing assignments accompany those tasks.  A longer (12-15 pp.) final paper puts a primary source (or sources) of the student's choosing into dialogue with the historians' works. For that reason the course may also be taken as a research seminar.



JS 399: History and Memory in Modern Europe

Professor: Kristine Nielsen
Meets: Mon. & Wed. 9:30-10:50 am

Using monuments and memorials in modern Europe as its key point of reference, this seminar explores collective memory and cultural identity, history and memory, art and politics, place and landscape, iconoclasm and forgetting, the commemorations of war victims and the Holocaust. The course will consider contemporary artistic productions as well, such as ephemeral projects, the anti- and counter-monument, and analyze their conceptual relationships to and visual articulation of national memory. The seminar will question how memorials convey a preferred discourse and function as a sign and encounter. It will investigate the stakes involved, politically, culturally, and ethically, in these media in the service of official remembrance and forgetting. Course readings include texts by Nietzsche, Nora, Hobsbawm, Riegl, Schama, Young, Carrier, and Huyssen. 


JS 502: Introduction to Holocaust, Genocide, and Memory Studies

Professor: Michael Rothberg
Meets: Tues. 1-2:50 pm

This course will employ a multi-disciplinary methodology to introduce students to the key issues and debates in comparative genocide studies; the goal will be to provide students with the tools to pursue original research in a variety of relevant fields and disciplines. We will work from several different historical cases—including the genocide of indigenous peoples in Australia and North America; genocides in colonial and postcolonial Africa (German Southwest Africa and Rwanda); and the Nazi genocide of European Jews—in order to explore the origins, unfolding, and long term legacies of extreme violence. We will consider the problem of definitions and conceptualizations of genocide and raise questions about such topics as culture and barbarism; race, gender, sexuality, and violence; victimization, trauma, and testimony; history, memory, and memorialization; transgenerational transmission and postmemory; art and literature in the wake of catastrophe; and reconciliation, forgiveness, and post-genocidal justice. A heterogeneous array of materials will orient our discussions: primary documents, historical studies, diaries and memoirs, philosophical works, literary texts, and visual culture. Students will have the opportunity to pursue individually tailored research projects. 
Possible texts include: Peter Fritzsche, Life and Death in the Third Reich; Scott Straus, The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda; Neil Levi and Michael Rothberg, ed., The Holocaust: Theoretical Readings; Shoshana Felman and Dori Laub, Testimony; Charlotte Delbo, Auschwitz and After; Georges Didi-Huberman, Images in Spite of All; Dirk Moses, ed.,Empire, Colony, Genocide; Caryl Phillips, Higher Ground; Boubacar Boris Diop, Murambi, The Book of Bones; Mahmood Mamdani, Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics, and the War on Terror. In addition, we will read essays and selections by Zygmunt Bauman, Paul Gilroy, Sara Guyer, Dagmar Herzog, Marianne Hirsch, Karl Jacoby, Brett Kaplan, Raphael Lemkin, David Moshman, Jürgen Zimmerer, and others, and watch films by Alain Resnais, Claude Lanzmann, and others. 
This course meets with ENGL 578: Seminar Lit & Other Disciplines


KIN 594: Bodies in Science and Culture

Professor: Melissa Littlefield
Meets: Wed. 1-3:50pm

Bodies are central to knowledge production: they are what we work with, on, in, and through. But how have bodies been defined and redefined by science and culture? In this course, we will examine this question through a range of historical and contemporary readings and case studies: from the history of anatomy illustration to Barbie’s anthropometry, from body modification to theories of “fitness.” This graduate course is intended to serve students in a wide range of disciplines, from the sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences. Although our focus will be a socio-historical approach, we will engage in an interdisciplinary dialogue about bodies that welcomes many different perspectives. Students will complete several profession-centered assignments (a book review, a conference presentation/poster) along with a final research paper. Authors include, but are not limited to: Joseph Dumit, Bernadette Wegenstein, Stephen J. Gould, Anne Balsamo, Pirkko Markula, Richard Pringle, and Susan Brownell.


LAW 656: International Human Rights

Professor: Francis Boyle

Based primarily on a series of contemporary “real world” problems, the course introduces the student to the established and developing legal rules and procedures governing the protection of international human rights. Its thesis is that there exists a substantial body of substantive and procedural International Human Rights Law, and that lawyers, government officials, and concerned citizens should be familiar with the policies underlying this law and its enforcement, as well as with the potential it offers for improving the basic lot of human beings everywhere. Additionally, the course presupposes that the meaning of “human rights” is undergoing fundamental expansion, and therefore explores Marxist and Third World conceptions of human rights as well as those derived from the liberal West.


MDIA 590 J: Melodrama in Cinema and Other Media

Professor: Julie Turnock  
Meets: Wed. 1-4:50 pm

This course examines the history of melodrama, as it has manifested in the cinema, with connections to other media, in the US and abroad. Spanning 19th century theater, art and literature, continuing through radio of the 1920s, television of the 1950s and 1960s, though recent cinematic and television iterations, the class will understand melodrama's shifting meanings and uses in various media. Investigates the changing status of melodrama, from popular theater and fiction to its more disreputable mid-century associations with the "women's picture" to its more recent (limited) revival to critical interest and favor.



MDIA 590 L: Digital Media Theory Seminar: Participatory Media and Identity

Professor: Lisa Nakamura  
Meets: Tues. 2-4:50 pm

Media consumers are spending increasing amounts of time online producing, spreading, and modifying digital media.  Media platforms such as digital games, websites, social networks, and online communities are sites where users engage with identities such as race, ethnicity, gender, nation, age, and youth.  In addition, new forms of labor are occurring on the Internet.  These are unevenly distributed due to factors such as class, place, skill, and cultural capital.  This course will examine how identities are produced and consumed in digital form as well as the possibilities for social justice movements online.



MUS 523: Indigenous Peoples' Music and Critical Theory

Professor: Gabriel Solis  
Meets: Tues. 1-3:50 pm 

This seminar will consider music in contemporary indigenous societies, with a focus on the ideas of tradition and modernity and the place of music in indigenous peoples’ political movements. We will work with theoretical material drawn from Post-Colonial studies, critical studies of race, ethnicity and the nation, and recent literature in indigenous studies. A central question will be to what extent theories of post-coloniality are useful for understanding contemporary indigenous arts and politics. We will also look critically at the role of the arts in the emergence of an international indigeneity movement. Primary case studies will be drawn from the South Pacific, including Australia, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands and New Zealand, with some consideration given to cases from Native American/American Indian/First Nations people of North America and the Saami of northern Europe.


PHIL 501: Nietzsche

Professor: Richard Schacht
Meets: Wed. 3:00-4:50 pm

We will consider Nietzsche’s philosophical development and the emerging character and contours of his philosophical thinking – the kind of “philosophy of the future” he envisioned and attempted to inaugurate – by a comprehensive look at his philosophical writings. We will devote the first third of the semester to his “pre-Zarathustra” writings, and the second two-thirds to his “post-Zarathustra” writings. (We will not be discussing Zarathustra itself; I suggest that you read it yourself, on your own, over the summer, with the seminar under your belt, and consider what you think is to be made of it in relation to Nietzsche’s prose-philosophical writings and thinking.)

I will suggest writings of mine relevant to the various readings, and encourage (but do not require) that you look at them prior to the meetings at which we will be discussing the readings indicated. You may use translations other than the Kaufmann/Hollingdale translations, if you have and prefer them. Consulting the German texts is encouraged (if you have the German to do it). Some writings of Nietzsche’s will be considered only briefly, by way of the selections in my reader Nietzsche: Selections. I recommend that you acquire it even if you have the complete texts of the works in question, in order to be able to focus on the selections used in it, and also to have the introductions and other material in it at hand. 
One of the questions I would like you to have in mind as we go along is: what sort of “naturalism” is Nietzsche’s naturalism (if his emerging thinking is appropriately characterizable as such), and in what ways does it differ from other sorts of “naturalism” that one finds discussed in the literature and imputed to him by some interpreters? Other questions: “nihilism”? “perspectivism”? “anti-cognitivism”? “immoralism”?
You are encouraged (and more than welcome) to consult secondary literature on Nietzsche in the course of the semester; and I will make suggestions if you wish to do so, depending upon your interests. But we will focus on Nietzsche’s texts themselves; and the secondary literature too is something that is best deferred until you have become well acquainted with those texts.
If you could use a little brushing up on the history of classical modern philosophy – Nietzsche’s relation to which is an important question, and which is obviously an important part of the background that you need to be aware of – you might look at my Classical Modern Philosophers: Descartes to Kant, and at the chapters on Descartes, Hume and Kant in particular. If the same is true of post-Kantian philosophy prior to Nietzsche, you might look at my Hegel and After, and at the chapters on Hegel and Kierkegaard in particular (especially since it is common for Nietzsche to be bracketed together with Kierkegaard as a “father” of existentialism). Copies of these books, along with some other things relevant to the seminar will be held for your use somewhere in the temporary dept. office. They include my Making Sense of Nietzsche and my Nietzsche, and a brief introduction to him called Nietzsche in a Nutshell, plus the contents the manuscript of a book I’m tentatively calling Nietzschean Naturalism
Texts: Nietzsche: Selections, ed. R. Schacht (Scribner/Macmillan); Human, All Too Human, ed. R. Schacht; The Gay ScienceBeyond Good and EvilOn the Genealogy of MoralsThe Will to Power. Recommended: Schacht, Nietzsche (Routledge); Schacht, Making Sense of Nietzsche (U of Illinois P).


RLST 494: Ecological Criticism

Professor: James Treat
Meets: Wed. 6:00-8:30 pm

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:



SOC 470: Social Movements

Professor: Markus S. Schulz
Meets: Tues. & Thurs. 3:30-4:20 pm

This seminar provides an introduction to the sociological study of social movements. We will consider a wide range of empirical cases across time and space and compare the heuristic merits of different theoretical perspectives. We explore the conditions under which social movements emerge, voice demands, struggle with opponents, and succeed or fail. We discuss movement’s tactics and strategies as well as learning over time. Particular attention is paid to the interactive shaping of collective identities, changing structures of political opportunities, organizational strength and social network capacity, repertoires of contention, resource mobilization, strategic framing, communicative practices, the role of old and new media, and the relation between dynamics on the local, regional, national, and global levels. The overall aim of the course is to provide students with opportunity to engage with different theoretical approaches and to develop a research project on a topic of their choice. 


SOC 501: Contemporary Theory: Power, Culture, Subjectivity

Professor: Zsuzsa Gille
Meets: Wed. 3:30-6:20 pm

The purpose of this course is to provide graduate students with a systematic overview of contemporary social and sociological theories from various parts of the world as they relate to the central issues of power, culture, and subjectivity. We will compare and contrast concepts of power, conceptual frameworks of relating structure and agency, and diverging meanings of and significance attributed to culture. 
While always attending to the historical and political context of each contemporary theorist, we will engage in a relational reading of some key texts. We will focus on the following relations: a) Freud, Marx, and the Frankfurt School; b) Semiotics, Structuralism, Functionalism, and Structural-Functionalism; c) Gramsci’s concept of hegemony and British Cultural Studies; d) Structuralism and Poststructuralism; e) Postmodernism and Late Capitalism; f) Poststructuralism, postmodernism, postcolonialism, postfeminism, and postsocialism. In addition we will discuss Bourdieu, U.S. micro-sociology and its critiques, and Burawoy’s concept of public sociology.