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

Spring 2014 Courses

CSER Courses

CSER W1040
Critical Approaches to the Study of Ethnicity and Race
John Gamber — MW 4:10-5:25pm, 420 Hamilton Hall

This course provides an introduction to central approaches and concepts animating the investigation of race and ethnicity. We will not treat either of these categories of difference as a given, nor as separable from other axes of social difference. Rather, we will apply an interdisciplinary and intersectional framework to illuminate how these concepts have come to emerge and cohere within a number of familiar and less familiar sociocultural and historical contexts. We will consider how racial and ethnic differentiation as fraught but powerful processes have bolstered global labor regimes and imperial expansion projects; parsed, managed and regulated populations; governed sexed and gendered logics of subject and social formation; and, finally, opened and constrained axes of self-understanding, political organization, and social belonging. Special attention will be given to broadening students' understanding of racial and ethnic differentiation beyond examinations of identity.

CSER W3701
US-Latino Cultural Production
Edward Morales — T 2:10-4:00pm, 420 Hamilton Hall

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 W3940
Comparative Constitutional Challenges
Elizabeth OuYang — R 11:00am-12:50pm, 420 Hamilton Hall

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 W3445 *New Course*
City, Environment, and Vulnerability
Catherine Fennell — T 6:10pm-8:00pm, 401 Hamilton Hall

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.

CSER W3221
African American History: From Slavery to the Great Migration
Melissa Milewski — MR 2:40pm – 3:55pm, Location TBA

This course examines the main currents in African American history from the Atlantic slave trade to the beginning of the twentieth century, focusing on the issues of slavery and freedom, citizenship, Reconstruction, disfranchisement and segregation, and racial uplift. We will look at African American history in new ways, analyzing black men and women’s ability to shape their own slave trades, their political mobilization in the nineteenth century U.S. South, the ways in which they enjoyed their newfound freedom, and their continuing fight for their rights. We will also read and discuss primary documents relating to these topics, including slave narratives, newspaper reports of rebellions, the Emancipation Proclamation, court testimony of black southerners, letters from freed people to the Freedmen’s Bureau, and first-person accounts of Ku Klux Klan violence.

CSER W3222
Nature and Power: Environmental History in North America
Karl Jacoby — TR 2:40-3:55pm, 302 Millbank Hall (Barnard)

Environmental history seeks to expand the customary framework of historical inquiry, challenging students to construct narratives of the past that incorporate not only human beings but also the natural world with which human life is intimately intertwined. As a result, environmental history places at center stage a wide range of previously overlooked historical actors such as plants, animals, and diseases. Moreover, by locating nature within human history, environmental history encourages its practitioners to rethink some of the fundamental categories through which our understanding of the natural world is expressed: wilderness and civilization, wild and tame, natural and artificial.

CSER W3970
Arabs in Literature and Film
Nathalie Handal — M 2:10-4:00pm, 420 Hamilton Hall

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 W3914
Approaches to Contemporary Native American Education
Dan Press — R 2:10-4:00pm, 420 Hamilton Hall

The seminar will examine the very high drop-out rate at high schools on Indian Reservations in this country and among indigenous populations in other countries and will explore possible approaches for addressing the problem. In seeking causes and solutions, the course will approach the drop-out rate both as an education issue and as a microcosm of the larger issues confronting tribal governments and Native populations. The course will explore a broad range of possible explanations and solutions, looking both at issues in the education system and ones in the broader Native American society.

CSER W3990
Senior Project Seminar
Keith Orejel — M 9:00-10:50am, 420 Hamilton Hall

*MAJOR REQUIREMENT, 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 W3913 *New Course*
Video as Inquiry
Prof. Frances Negrón-Muntaner — W 2:10pm-4:00pm, 420 Hamilton Hall

The goal of this course is to familiarize students with visual production, particularly video production, as a mode of inquiry to explore questions related to race, ethnicity, indigeneity and other forms of social hierarchy and difference. The class will include readings in visual production as a mode of inquiry and the basic craft of video production in various genres (fiction, documentary, and experimental). As part of the course, students will produce a video short and complete it by semester's end.

CSER W3931 *New Course*
Hispanic NY and Latinization US
Claudio Remeseira — R 6:10pm-8:00pm, Location: 420 Hamilton

This seminar is a survey of the cultural heritage that sustains this diversity. We will explore the history and the demographic evolution of New York’s Latino and Latin American population, its racial, ethnic, and religious make-up, and its longstanding tradition in arts, music, and literature; in this last regard, the bibliography includes fiction, non-fiction, and poetry originally written both in English and Spanish (English translations will be provided for students who do not read Spanish). We will also analyze the connections between New York’s Hispanic cultural tradition and the broader US culture, as well as its place in the Spanish-American intellectual world. Finally, we will address some of the most pressing social issues related to the immigration flow from Latin America and the increasingly decisive role played by Latinos in New York politics.

CSER W4482
Indigenous Peoples' Rights: From Local Identities to the Global Indigenous Movement
Elsa Stamatopoulou — TR - 4:10pm-5:25pm, 602 Hamilton Hall

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 W3904
Rumor and Racial Conflict
Stuart Rockefeller — T 11:00am-12:50pm, 420 Hamilton Hall

This course will take a transnational look at the many ways that rumors, legends and conspiracy theories play a role in racial relations and conflict. From the judicial and popular riots in the U.S. justified by recurrent rumors of African-American insurrection, to accusations that French Jews were players in the ‘white slave trade,’ to tales of white fat-stealing monsters among indigenous people of Bolivia and Peru, rumors play a key role in constructing, enforcing and contesting regimes of racial identity and domination. In order to grasp rumor’s importance for race, we will need to understand how it works, so our readings will cover both instances of racialized rumor-telling, conspiracy theories and mass panics, and some key approaches to how rumors work as a social phenomenon.
This class is designed to give you an opportunity to do independent research; as a result, it will demand your intensive engagement, and your willingness both to master the information and concepts we cover in class, and to pursue a specific topic of your own choosing. You will all write a term paper based on book research and/or fieldwork.

CSER W3928
*MAJOR REQUIREMENT Mae M Njai and Natasha J Lightfoot — R 2:10pm-4:00pm, 402 Hamilton Hall

This course explores the centrality of colonialism in the making of the modern world, emphasizing cross-cultural and social contact, exchange, and relations of power; dynamics of conquest and resistance; and discourses of civilization, empire, freedom, nationalism, and human rights, from 1500 to 2000.

CSER G9001
Dissertation Development Seminar
Karl Jacoby — M 11:00am-12:50pm, 420 Hamilton Hall

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.

Crosslisted Courses

African American Studies C3930 section 001
Day/Time: R 2:10pm-4:00pm Location: TBA
Instructor: Mio Matsumoto

African American Studies G4080 section 002
Day/Time: M 11:00am-12:50pm Location: TBA
Instructor: Vivaldi Jean-Marie

African American Studies G4120 section 001
Day/Time: M 2:10pm-4:00pm Location: TBA
Instructor: Carla L Shedd

Spring 2014 Sociology W3964 section 001
Instructor: Carla Shedd; Monday 6:10pm-8:00pm 707 KNOX HALL

Spring 2014 Anthropology V3988 section 001
Instructor: Nadia Abu El-Haj; Tuesday 2:10pm-4:00pm

Spring 2014 Political Science W3245 section 001
Instructor: Raymond Smith; Tuesday Thursday 1:10pm-2:25pm

Spring 2014 History BC3676 section 001
Instructor: Jose Moya; Tuesday Thursday 11:40am-12:55pm

Spring 2014 Africana Studies BC2006 section 001
Instructor: Kaiama Glover; Tuesday Thursday 11:40am-12:55pm

Spring 2014 Anthropology V3983 section 001
Instructor: David Scott Monday 11am-12:50pm

Spring 2014 Spanish BC3510 section 001
Maja Horn; Tuesday Thursday 11:40am-12:55pm

Spring 2014 Africana Studies BC3562 section 001
Instructor: Maja Horn; Tuesday 2:10pm-4:00pm

Spring 2014 Women's Studies W4317 section 001
Instructor: Lila Abu-Lughod; Wednesday 11:00am-12:50pm

Spring 2014 Anthropology V1002 section 001
Catherine Fennell; Tuesday Thursday 4:10pm-5:25pm

Spring 2014 Sociology W3671 section 001
Instructor: Sudhir Venkatesh; Monday Wednesday 2:40pm-3:55pm

Spring 2014 Anthropology V3005 section 001
Instructor: Brian Larkin; Monday Wednesday 11:40am-12:55pm

Spring 2014 Comparative Literature: East Asian W4101
Instructor: Lydia Liu; Tuesday 2:10pm-4:00pm


Spring 2014 Graduate/Undergraduate Courses

Course Archives

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