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Fall 2021 Courses



ST 500 Introduction to Social Theory

taught by Dr. Ted Schatzki

Thursdays 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm

Course Description

This course is an introduction to social theory for advanced undergraduates and graduate students.  It aims to give students an overview of the type of theory known as critical social thought.  By “critical social thought” is meant the use of theoretical ideas and concepts to diagnose—critically and skeptically—both the state of human sociality and the sociocultural dimension of the human condition.  Part One will take up classic representatives of prominent genres: Marx and Engels’s The German Ideology and The Communist Manifesto, Max Horkheimer’s The Eclipse of Reason, Shulumith Firestone’s The Dialectic of Sex, and Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth.  Part Two will examine a selection of more recent critical works: Bernard Stiegler’s For a New Critique of Political Economy, Mark Rifkin’s Beyond Settler Time, Helmut Rosa’s Social Acceleration. A New Theory of Modernity, Achille Mbembe’s Necropolitics, and Rosi Braidotti’s Posthumanism. After this, Part Three will turn the critical gaze at questions of epistemology and, probably, ecology/environment.  On knowledge we will read essays from Michel Foucault, Donna Haraway, Patricia Collins, Depesh Chakrabarty, Sandra Harding, and Zaid Ahmad.  I have not yet decided what to look at regarding ecology/environment.   (back to top)

CLD 560 / APP 500 Community Inequalities / Special topics on race and class in southern Appalachia

 (click to see Flyer & more details)

taught by Dr. Lindsay Shade 

Wednesdays 3:00 - 5:30 pm

Course Description

This class will focus on race and class in southern Appalachia. How do terms like redneck, hillbilly, and white trash define selves and others, and how and why did these terms become uniquely associated with Appalachia? This course examines the cultural construction and uses of "Appalachia" in defining and maintaining "whiteness" in the American consciousness, and conversely how Appalachian communities have shaped and been shaped by race, gender, and class dynamics.  (back to top)



ENG 491G Studies in Theory: Postcolonial & Global Theory  (click to see Flyer)

taught by Dr. Jap-Nanak Makkar

Thursday/Friday 4:30 pm

Course Description

Through this reading-intensive seminar, students gain a foundation in postcolonial and global theory, an area of "theory" that explores topics of racial difference, colonial domination and capitalist expansion. We read in order to survey the field-taking in everything from early essays in postcolonial studies to cutting-edge accounts of globalization-but as we do, we attend with particular interest to the methodological commitments of our theorists. Guided by three unit divisions, we ask what Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Homi Bhabha gained from notable texts of deconstruction, such as Writing and Difference or "White Mythologies"? How did a book such as Foucault's Madness and Civilization guide Edward Said when the latter proposed to study orientalism as a "discourse"? And, finally, to what extent have Fredric Jameson's theories of "a singular modernity" helped to move postcolonialism toward a more robust confrontation with uneven development? This course will appeal to anyone with interests in studying British, American, or postcolonial literature in a transnational frame. Literary works by Mahasweta Devi, Joseph Conrad, and Ousmane Sembène.  (back to top)



GWS 600-002 Topics in GWS: Transnational Feminisms 

taught by Dr. Elisabeth Williams

Mondays 4:00 - 6:30 pm 

Course Description

This course will examine texts from a variety of geographic locations to ask how feminisms operate differently across space and time. We will look critically at the legacies of imperialism, slavery, capitalism, and globalization and how they have impacted issues of gender and sexuality. We will also consider how indigenous hierarchies-including ethnicity, caste, and religion-intersect with global feminist movements. Throughout the course, we will attend to the following questions: To what extent are ideas about feminism translatable across geographic space and political context? How can feminist scholars located in the West avoid reasserting global inequalities? how can you add or strengthen transnational perspectives in your own teaching and research? 

(*Note: This course also counts toward requirements for the GWS graduate certificate, PhD, and other degrees as appropriate. This course counts as the cross-cultural requirement for the GWS graduate certificate.)   (back to top)



HIS 650/700 War and Memory 

taught by Dr. Akiko Takenaka

Thursdays 3:30 - 6 pm

Course Description

This course explores how war is remembered both by the individuals who lived through them and those who have come after them. Central to our inquiry are representation and transmission of memory, and how memory is shaped and reshaped over time. The forms of memorialization we investigate include: testimonies, oral history narratives, memoirs, popular media, visual and material culture, museum exhibits, and daily life. We will study various categories of memory such as collective memory, official memory, counter memory, and postmemory. We will investigate the impact of trauma on memory. We will discuss the relationship between memory and history. The course focuses on wars and catastrophes in the modern period drawing case studies from around the world.  (back to top)