NOTE TO CSER STUDENTS: “Modes of Inquiry is offered only in the fall semester, please plan accordingly)

Spring 2015 Courses

CSER W3701


Edward Morales – T 2:10-4:00pm - Location 420 Hamilton Hall Seminar Room

The course will investigate the possibility that hybrid constructions of identity among Latinos in the U.S. are the principal driving force behind the cultural production of Latinos in literature and film. There will be readings on the linguistic implications of “Spanglish” and the construction of Latino racial identity, followed by examples of literature, film, music and other cultural production that provide evidence for bilingual/bicultural identity as a form of adaptation to the U.S. Examples will be drawn from different Latino ethnicities from the Caribbean, Mexico and the rest of Latin America.


CSER W3963


Dan Press – R 2:10-4:00pm – Location 420 Hamilton Hall Seminar Room

While casinos have pulled a number of small tribes out of poverty, the vast majority of Indians living on reservations continue to live at a level of poverty that is the equivalent of that found in third world countries or worse. For example, the life expectancy of a male on the Pine Ridge Reservation is lower than that of a male in most African countries. The course will explore the various approaches Indian tribes have or could take to promote the economies on their reservation, seeking to determine what elements produce a successful outcome. Areas to be explore include the role of tribal governments in economic development, land as an economic asset, gaming, energy and minerals development, finance, labor, individual entrepreneurship and the opportunity for multi-tribal companies. The course will begin with a review of basic theories of economic development and an exploration of lessons learned from economic development in underdeveloped nations.


CSER W3927 

Sabrina Peck — W 2:10pm-4:00pm Location: 420 Hamilton Hall Seminar Room

Performance is a powerful tool for exploring both individual and community identity. This hands-on course explores the history, theory and practice of creating performance by, with, for and about diverse communities. It investigates a range of trailblazers in the field—drawn from examples in theater, dance and performance—and gives an on-your-feet experience of their approaches and techniques. It also examines the difficult questions associated with community-engaged theater, including those of authorship, agency, responsibility, audience composition and post-project effects. The second half of the semester takes our class as a community and builds community-specific performance material drawn from our own experiences and points of view. The course culminates in an informal performance of this original material. Students will emerge capable of implementing their own community-engaged performance projects.


CSER W3940


Elizabeth OuYang  - R 11:00am-12:50pm Location: 420 Hamilton Hall Seminar Room

This course will examine how the American legal system decided constitutional challenges affecting the empowerment of African, Latino and Asian American communities from the 19th century to the present. Topics include the role of the Supreme Court, the denial of citizenship and naturalization to slaves and immigrants, government sanctioned segregation, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, the prison industry, police brutality and racial profiling, post-9/11 immigration policies, and voting rights.


CSER W3970


Nathalie Handal – M 2:10-4:00pm Location: 420 Hamilton Hall Seminar Room

This course explores contemporary Arab American and the Arab Diaspora culture and history through literature and film produced by writers and filmmakers of these communities. As a starting historical point, the course explores the idea of Arabness, and examines the Arab migration globally, in particular to the U.S., focusing on three periods, 1875-1945, 1945-early 1960s, and late 1960s-present. By reading and viewing the most exciting and best-known literary works and films produced by these writers and filmmakers, students will attain an awareness of the richness and complexity of these societies. Additionally, students will read historical and critical works to help them have a deeper understanding of theses creative works. Discussions revolve around styles and aesthetics as well as identity and cultural politics. Some of the writers the class will cover include, Wajdi Mouawad, Diana Abu Jaber,  Amin Maalouf, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Anthony Shadid, Hisham Matar and Adhaf Soueif.


CSER V3445


Catherine Fennell – M 6:10-8:00pm Location: 420 Hamilton Hall Seminar Room

How are urbanites situated in place? What can that particular situation tell us about how urbanites will live, thrive and waste in those places? How do social divides like race and class render the situations of some more or less vulnerable to environmental harm or the physical constraints of place? This seminar takes up those questions through the lens of the urban built environment and the relations it establishes between urbanites, the things of their city and their material dimensions. We start with readings that challenge us to conceptualize the urban environment as an assemblage of bodies and things that impinge upon each other in consequential ways. We then move to several historical and ethnographic cases that foreground the stakes of these impingements in cities. Cases examined include urban waste systems, disasters, noise hazards, and mobility constraints. Throughout, our readings, conversations and excursions will consider what attention to the urban built environment can bring to studies of social inequality and urban social movements.


CSER W3990


Ian Shin – T 4:10-6 pm Location: 420 Hamilton Hall Seminar Room

*Must have first taken Modes of Inquiry

The final requirement for the major is completion of a Senior Essay, to be written in the spring of the senior year. Alternatively, students may fulfill this requirement by taking an additional seminar where a major paper is required or by writing an independent essay under the supervision of a faculty member. Seniors who wish to do a senior research project are required to take the Senior Project Colloquium in the fall of the senior year. Supporting coursework will include a one-point Fall term Practicum (a one-hour-and-fifteen-minute meeting per week) as well as a short exploratory writing exercise to prepare the groundwork for thesis writing in the spring. The Spring term, then, will consist of independent research and a three-point Senior Essays Colloquium and presentation in the end-of-year conference.


CSER W4481


Stuart Rockefeller – T 11:00am-12:50pm – Location: 420 Hamilton Hall Seminar Room

Throughout the world today, citizenship is the dominant expression of full inclusion in national societies. Yet citizenship, ostensibly a uniform and inclusive status, has become one tool to marginalize and silence members of many groups. “Subcitizenship” designates the ambiguous status of peoples, distinguished by race, gender, geography or national origin, who are present in a nation but are not allowed to fully participate. In this class we will examine and critique the nature of modern citizenship by looking at how various peoples have been made subcitizens. The class will survey the status of groups with compromised citizenship status internationally, including indigenous Bolivians, Indian immigrants to Dubai, and Arabs in France. Then we will look at several different kinds of subcitizenship in the United States, focusing on African Americans, Native Americans, “white trash,” and Chicanos. In the course of the term we will shift between looking at the administrative practices that render people subcitizens, experiences of marginalization, and how contestations such as the DREAM Act movement, the idea of “cultural citizenship” and newly powerful indigenous movements in South America are removing control of citizenship from states, and transforming citizenship for everyone.


CSER W4482


Elsa Stamatopoulou – TR - 4:10pm-5:25pm – Location: TBA

Indigenous Peoples, numbering more that 370 million in some 90 countries and about 5000 groups and representing a great part of the world’s human diversity and cultural heritage, continue to raise major controversies and to face threats to their physical and cultural existence. The main task of this interdisciplinary course is to explore the complex historic circumstances and political actions that gave rise to the international Indigenous movement through the human rights agenda and thus also produced a global Indigenous identity on all continents, two intertwined and deeply significant phenomena over the past fifty years.  We will analyze the achievements, challenges and potential of the dynamic interface between the Indigenous Peoples’ movement-one of the strongest social movements of our times- and the international community, especially the United Nations system.


CSER G9001 
Dissertation Development Seminar
Instructor Van Tran — M 12:10pm-1:00pm – Location: Seminar Room 420 Hamilton
This class is designed with three objectives in mind. First to guide graduate students through the process of producing a high-quality dissertation. Second, to open up an interdisciplinary space for the critical examination of race, ethnicity, and indigeniety, among other topics. Third, to plan a conference linked to the participants’ projects for the spring semester of 2014.


CSER W3961


Hidetaka Hirota -  R 9:00am-10:50AM – Location: TBA

This seminar explores the problems of poverty in United States history based on intensive reading and class discussion. Already in the colonial period, poverty emerged as one of the central public concerns in American society. From the post-Revolutionary period to the late twentieth century, politicians, reformers, journalists, and the poor themselves continued to discuss the causes of and solutions to poverty as well as the best forms of charity that should be adopted in the United States. In poverty, as these peoples’ voices suggest, issues of fundamental importance in United States history, such as visions of American society, freedom, citizenship, governmental power, forces of capitalism, immigration, race and ethnicity, and gender converged. By examining the ideologies of poverty, debates over social welfare, the development of charitable institutions, and the lives of the poor, this course explores the historical significance of poverty in the United States. An exercise in interdisciplinary study, this course draws materials from a wide range of academic disciplines including history, Ethnic Studies, literary criticism, sociology, and law.


CSER W3915


John Gamber – W 9:00am-10:50am – Location: 420 Hamilton Hall Seminar Room

This course will examine filmic representations by Native American and Indigenous filmmakers, screenwriters, producers, and directors in order to query the ways that these Native artists construct and communicate Indigenous self, community, and nation. In many ways these films serve to counter certain stereotypes of Native people, especially those found in films throughout cinematic history, serving a pedagogical purpose for outgroup, non-Native audiences. However, many especially more recent works move away from such autoethnographic purposes, targeting Indigenous audiences and participating in allusive conversations with and between Indigenous artistic works from a variety of genres.

Many of these films and texts assert that the acceptance of this containment ideology represents a kind of self-perpetuating colonizing. In place of such intellectual colonization, they examine the need to recognize the importance of generative indigenous movements, the ways that Native communities and/or individuals come to establish a sense of home or belonging in new spaces, whether those spaces are locations of forced or freely chosen relocations. This course examines narratives that place American Indian and Indigenous characters and communities in locations that are distinct from those with which they are aboriginally associated.


CSER W3941


Melissa Milewski – W 4:10pm-6pm Location: TBA

This seminar explores race in American courts beginning with Native Americans’ loss of their land and ending with recent debates over affirmative action and criminal sentencing.  We will examine how the courts worked to uphold the power of elites – upholding slavery, affirming segregation, shaping immigration law, and regulating marriage across racial lines.  At the same time, we will study how the courts provided opportunities for Americans to challenge restrictions based on race and at times allowed them to exercise their rights as citizens even when other branches of government did not.  In addition to reading articles and books examining these questions, we will analyze cases from local and appeals courts and study the actions of litigants, lawyers, witnesses, jury members, and judges.


CSER W1011


Linta Verghesse – MW 2:40pm-3:55pm Location: TBA

Introduction to the field of Asian American studies, including a history of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the U.S., the field's multiple pivots around race, gender, sexuality, class, and nation, and contemporary concerns of identities, community, culture, and location within the U.S. and world.


CSER W1010


Nelson Maldonado – TR 2:40pm-3:35pm Location: TBA

An introduction to the historical and contemporary ideas and manifestations of "ethnic studies" as a field of study—its subject matters, its methodologies and theories, its literatures, and its practitioners and institutional settings.


Spring 2015 Graduate/Undergraduate Courses

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