ANTH 515: Senses, Affects, Atmospheres

Professor: Martin F. Manalansan IV
Meets: Thursdays, 12-2:50pm

Contemporary humanities and humanistic social sciences have increasingly become invested with exploring the materiality and sociality of bodily capacities, energies, and skills. These investments are tethered to questions about the ways corporeal potencies animate and circulate in various sensational ecologies and environments – and how these contexts can produce new forms of inequalities, differences, attachments, violence or perhaps, orientations towards alternative modes of social justice. Such issues and questions continue to permeate, infect, affect, and infuse research, writing and thought in these fields for the past ten years. This course is a critical engagement with the ideas brought about by the "affective turn" and the sensorial revolution by examining various texts from anthropology, literary criticism, philosophy, cultural studies, cognitive science, queer studies, sociology, and other fields in order to open up new spaces for analyzing the political and the social. 

Preliminary list of selected readings:

Allison, Anne. 2013. Precarious Japan.

Berlant, Lauren. 2011. Cruel Optimism.

Navarro-Yashin, Yael. 2012. Make-Believe Space: Affective Geographies in a Postwar Polity.

Stewart, Kathleen. 2007. Ordinary Affects.

Cvetkovitch, Anne, 2012. Depression: A Public Feeling

Butler, Judith and Athena Athanasiou. 2013. Dispossession: The Performative in the Political.


CWL 561: Aesthetics of Catastrophe

Professor: Brett Kaplan
Meets: Tuesdays, 2-3:50pm

Many catastrophes, from the Holocaust to Hiroshima, from 9/11 to Katrina, have been represented in paintings, literary texts, monuments, countermonuments, films, operas, photographs or other media. This course explores the aesthetics of catastrophe and asks such questions as: what are the intersections between aesthetics and ethics? Is it possible to depict traumatic events without aestheticization? What are the implications of how catastrophes appear to us through aestheticized lenses?


EPS 590: Theories of Meaning in Higher Education

Professor: Pradeep A. Dhillon
Meets: Thursdays, 1-3:50pm

Language was a central area of scholarly interest in the last century and linguistic concepts came to dominate theoretical developments in many, if not all, humanistic academic disciplines. This was first seen in the rise of "structuralisms" in the various disciplines and subsequently as "post-structuralisms." In the late 20th century we saw an exponential rise in the importance of independent philosophical reflection on language and meaning across various philosophical traditions. The linguistic concepts that arose in this context were so successful that they have become "normalized" to the extent that we often see their use in research and scholarship in higher education as markers of theoretical commitments rather than reflective of the senses of the conceptual work they do. In this seminar we will examine the rise of theories of meaning within various philosophical traditions but will focus on the French, the British neo-Marxist, and the Anglo-American traditions that continue to assert enormous influence on contemporary humanistic research and scholarship. While we will focus primarily on literary theory, we will also draw on examples from anthropology, education, and art history. We will begin by asking what makes a theory of meaning and conclude by addressing the worries that recent interest in neuroscience in the humanities and the impact of globalization raise for the theoretical commitments that have shaped so much scholarly discourse during the last half of the twentieth century well into the present.


GER 575: Critical Multilingualism Studies

Professor: Yasemin Yildiz
Meets: Tuesdays, 3-5pm

How do we read, teach, and write about multilingualism in an environment largely governed by monolingual norms? When do multilingual cultural forms challenge monolingualism and when do they merely reproduce its logic? This course invites students from different fields to join in exploring these questions in an interdisciplinary, collaborative, and at times experimental way. We will primarily focus on multilingualism in 20th and 21st century literature and film with tools derived from a broad range of critical methodologies. Some of the focal issues include: the relationship between multilingualism and translation; genres and media of multilingualism; specificity of multilingualism in cultural productions vis-à-vis everyday linguistic practices; the (potential) impact of the "translingual turn" in scholarship.
This course will be taught in English and make use of translations in order to be open to students with varied linguistic backgrounds. Yet we will reflect on the ironies of discussing multilingualism monolingually and actively experiment with languages and multilingual challenges in the classroom. Students will be invited to develop and explore what a multilingual pedagogy might look like. Authors may include Franz Kafka, Elias Canetti, Christine Brook-Rose, Gloria Anzaldua, Jacques Derrida, Yoko Tawada, Emine Sevgi Özdamar, Olumide Popoola, and others. Enrolled students will have a chance to determine further readings based on their own multilingual interests.
Please contact Yasemin Yildiz at if you have any questions. 


HIST 549A: Dissent and Disruption in the Modern British Empire

Professor: Antoinette Burton
Meets: Tuesdays, 5-7pm

This course focuses on dissent and disruption across the British empire from c. 1830s to 1930s. Its main target is the rise and fall narrative of the anglo-imperium and the developmentalist histories that have tended to flow from it, as against the more abrasive and striated terrain of indigenous persistence and anti-colonial protest, whether direct or indirect. The syllabus mixes primary and secondary readings, expository and theoretical works and literary with more conventionally historical texts. Knowledge of imperial history in various quarters is welcome but not required.


PS 572: Theories of Subjectivity 

Professor: Melissa Orlie
Meets: TBA (either M or Tu or W 1-3:20)

Please, contact professor Orlie at for further information on course number and meeting time.

The spring 2014 iteration of this new course broaches the large topic of the nature and development of human subjectivity by focusing upon emerging convergences, as well as sustaining differences, between neurosciences and psychoanalytic theory and practice. Popular representations of the determinate role of brains and genes in human development and the explanation of behavior often suggest that the upshot of all this will be the eclipse of previously important dimensions of human experience and the death of the disciplines which engage or study them. Although this assumption remains widespread, consider that it makes little intuitive sense. The more we learn about neural-plasticity, for instance, the more we suspect the significance of personal subjective experience, including personal habits of attention throughout a life in fashioning the "synaptic self" (LeDoux 2002). Furthermore, there are myriad research programs, as well as burgeoning literatures of generally accessible texts, at the boundaries of the neurosciences and various psychological and psychoanalytic approaches.
Although the writings we consider (listed below) are grounded in and lean toward a particular mode of inquiry, all seek more robust and multidimensional understandings of the qualities of human subjectivity and their development. The seminar will be organized so as to tack back and forth between various more neural and more psychoanalytic orientations. We will also move back and forth from considering human mind and subjectivity from a high level of generality, and then focus on a single dimension of subjectivity from different perspectives (for example, emotions, dyadic and group relations, self-change, dreaming, thinking and creativity). 
The seminar presupposes no prior knowledge and the bulk of our reading will be recent works aimed at a general scholarly audience. One of my main contributions to the seminar will be to offer longer view historical and theoretical framings of these recent developments from the perspectives of political theory and political philosophy, which is to say, from a perspective attuned to the shifting boundary between what is changing and enduring in the human condition.  
I will draw up a final syllabus based upon a manageable selection from the following list of writings and thematic groupings. (Note: Most of the Karnac Books, something of a clearing house in UK publishing of this sort, are available electronically through Kindle, as are many of the other titles.)

Week one*
Iain, McGilchrist, The Master and His Emissary. The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World (Yale 2009)
Nikolas Rose and Joelle M. Abi-Rached, Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind (Princeton 2013)
*I will ask students to consult these two texts before the semester begins to provide some shared contextual background for our first meeting.

Week two
Winfred Bion, Experiences in Groups (Routledge 1989)
Mitchell & Black, Beyond Freud (Basic Books 1995) (chapters 1-4) 

Week three
Steven Rose, The Future of the Brain (Oxford 2005)
Stephen Mitchell, Hope & Dread in Psychoanalysis (Basic Books 1993)

Week four
Sigmund Freud, Theories of Sexuality
Leo Bersani, The Freudian Body (Columbia 1986) (selections)

Week five
W.M. Bernstein, A Basic Theory of Neuropsychoanalysis (Karnac 2011)
Stephen Mitchell, Relationality: From Attachment to Subjectivity (Routledge 2000)
Jessica Benjamin, The Shadow of the Other

Weeks six & seven
Peter Fonagy, Psychoanalysis and Attachment Theory (Other Press 2011)
Peter Fonagy, et al, Affect Regulation, Mentalization and the Development of the Self (Karnac, 2004) (selections)
D.W. Winnicott, Playing & Reality (also a selection from key papers) (Routledge 1991)
Christopher Bollas, Being a Character(Routledge 1982)
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

Weeks eight & nine
Mark Solms & Turnball, The Brain and the Inner World (Karnac 2002)
Mark Solms & Karen Kaplan-Solms, Clinical Studies in Neuro-psychoanalysis: Introduction to a Depth Neuropsychology (Karnac 2000, Second Edition) (selections)
Thomas Ogden, The Primitive Edge of Experience (Rowman & Littlefield, 1989) (chapters 1-4, 8)
Thomas Ogden, This Art of Psychoanalysis: Dreaming Undreamt Dreams and Interrupted Cries (Routledge 2005)

Weeks ten & eleven
Daniel Siegel, The Developing Mind (Second Edition) (Guilford Press, 2012)
Allan N. N. Schore, The Science of the Art of Psychotherapy (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology 2012) (selections)
Mark Epstein, Psychotherapy without a self (Yale 2007)
Marion Milner, The Suppressed Madness of Sane Men (Routledge 1988)


SLAV 576: Methods and Problems in Slavic Grad Study: 
Formalism and Beyond

Professor: Lilya Kaganovsky
Meets: Mondays, 3-5pm

This course will serve as an introduction to Slavic literary theory; specifically, the works of the Russian Formalists and the field of semiotics that dominated literary criticism for the first half of the twentieth century. Russian formalism is one of the most influential schools of literary criticism. Between 1914 and the 1930s, scholars such as Viktor Shklovsky, Yuri Tynianov, Vladimir Propp, Boris Eichenbaum, and Roman Jakobson revolutionized literary criticism by establishing the specificity and autonomy of poetic language and literature. Russian formalism exerted a major influence on thinkers like Mikhail Bakhtin and Yuri Lotman, and on structuralism as a whole. In this course, we will look at the two schools of Russian formalism, the OPOJAZ (The Society for the Study of Poetic Language) in St. Petersburg and the Moscow Linguistic Circle, as well as the writings of Lotman, Jakobson, and Bakhtin. The goal of this course is to provide knowledge of this fundamental theoretical movement in its historic context, as well as to see its evolution and development in the works of Roland Barthes, Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, and Julia Kristeva, among others.

Knowledge of Russian not required (all works will be available in English translation).

Theorists covered in the course will include: Eikhenbaum, Shklovsky, Tynianov, Bakhtin, Jacobson, Saussure, Barthes, Lacan, Derrida, Kristeva.


UP 521: Cities and Citizenship in a Transnational Era

Professor: Faranak Miraftab
Meets: Thursdays, 5-7:50pm

We live in an era marked by unprecedented movement and crisscrossing of capital, labor, populations and remittances. Immigrants' earnings in one location lead to development of housing and infrastructure in another location across the globe. Cultural influences experienced by one group in one geographic and political economic location leads to change in cultural practices and its spatial expressions in another. Politicians and electoral campaigners launch their constituency building efforts among ex-patriots and in political communities located outside their national jurisdiction. One's children and elderly parents are cared for by families on the other side of the globe. These are complex processes that can be conceptualized as global restructuring of production and social reproduction with profound implications for cities and citizenship.
This advanced seminar will bring together graduate students from different disciplines across campus with strong focus and interest in transnational urban studies to collectively interrogate and examine the complexity of such processes. Selected readings within the emergent scholarship in urban planning, geography, anthropology, political science and sociology will be used as catalyst to reflect and re-interpret our understanding of processes that shape cities and urban citizenship locally and trans-locally.

Key questions to be explored in this seminar include the following:

• What will we see by looking beyond the convenient absences in globalization literature?
• Who are the (re)emerging agents of development in the contemporary transnational era?
• What are the implications of these processes for urban form and for cities?
• What are the emerging forms of urban inequalities?
• What are the implications of these urban processes for practices of citizenship? 

Some of the texts we will read in this seminar include:

o Contributions to the forthcoming edited collection Cities and Inequalities in a Transnational Era (eds, Miraftab, Wilson and Salo) including Maritn Murray, Virag Molnar, Erik Swyngedouw, David Fasenfest, Mark Purcell, and others). New York: Routledge, 2014.
o Contributions to the edited collection Transnationalism and Urbanism (ed., Kathrin Wildner). New York: Routledge, 2012.
o Contributions to the edited collection Remaking Urban Citizenship: Organizations, Institutions, and the Right to the City (eds. M. P. Smith and M. McQuarrie). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2012.

No prior course work in planning per se is required but prior course work on international development and/or globalization is a pre requisite for enrolment in this advanced seminar.
For more information contact the course instructor Professor Miraftab at





For more information, contact Lauren Goodlad ( or consult the Unit for Criticism website: