Course Descriptions (GSAS Bulletin)
Introduction to Art Worlds I
DRAP-GA 1106 Cole. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
The first of a two-course sequence designed to explore debates about the production, consumption, distribution, and interpretation of the arts. Offers a history of themodern era’s art and ideas, tracking its political, historical, social changes across geographic contexts through aesthetic debates. We consider modernism’s “others” both in terms of our conceptualization of the period—the construction of modernism, modernity, and the avant-garde across the arts—and by theorizing the politics of race, gender, nationalism and anticolonial movements that were constitutive of the time. Readings include texts by Benjamin, Canclini, Clifford, Greenberg, Williams, and others.
Introduction to Art Worlds II
DRAP-GA 1116 Cole. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
This class will look at the development of theories and histories of contemporary art through the lens of what constitutes “experiencing” artwork. Fluxus, happenings, Gutai, conceptual art, performance art, activist art—these all model the interaction of the artist and the public very differently. We will look at how these different movements and artists stage the interaction between art and the public sphere, and the relationship that they propose between gender, racial, and national identities and experience.
Modernism and the Alienation of Form
DRAP-GA 2190 De Zengotita. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
After the French Revolution, the idea of progressive evolution gave Western culture a unified sense of its place in the great scheme of things. But the decades leading up to World War I saw the gradual decline of that paradigm. From the linguistic turn in philosophy to the professionalization of sociology, from symbolist poetry to cubism, from Bartók to Bauhaus, from the New Criticism to socialist realism, a preoccupation with form emerged as the defining characteristic of a modernism that could no longer rely on natural design. This course considers various examples of that preoccupation in a search for the roots of postmodern dissolution.
Topics in Art Worlds
DRAP-GA 3008 Cole. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
Topics in Art Worlds seminars focus on specialized subject matter and themes, which change frequently. Previous seminars have included “Contested Images: Debates in the History and Theory of Photography,” “Contemporary Indigenous Aesthetics,” “Memoir and Manifesto: Artists in Their Own Words,” and “About Face.”
Introduction to the City I
DRAP-GA 1108 Vitale. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
This course broadly interrogates the relationship between capitalism and urbanization. It explores the following questions: what is the city and how can we understand urbanization as an active process of producing space? What is the relationship between urbanization and the formation of social groups, classes, and identities? How is capitalist urbanization necessarily uneven? What connects urbanization to broader processes at the regional, national, and global scales?
Introduction to the City II
DRAP-GA 2108 Vitale. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
This class will consider the relationship between prosperity, peace, war, and violence as it has played out in American cities and suburbs during the period between World War II and the present. It will examine how war and violence are not exceptional or discrete phenomena, but rather are fundamental parts of everyday life in American cities and suburbs.
Topics in the City
DRAP-GA 3003.001 Vitale. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
Topics in the City seminars focus on specialized subject matter and themes, which change frequently. Previous seminars have included “Remaking New York, 1929 to the Present,” “The Sustainable City,” “The Public City: Public Space and the Public Sphere,” and “A Brief History of Urban Consciousness.”
Introduction to Gender Politics I
DRAP-GA 1205 Staff. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
Introduces theoretical approaches that are prominent in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies courses and texts. These include historical materialism, psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, feminism, critical race theory, and queer theory.
Introduction to Gender Politics II
DRAP-GA 1215 Staff. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
Builds on the foundation of Gender Politics I by focusing on other time periods or theoretical frames.
Topics in Gender Politics
DRAP-GA 3004 Staff. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
Topics in Gender Politics seminars focus on specialized subject matter and themes, which change frequently. Previous seminars have included “Racialization, Feminization and Resistance,” “The 1970s,” “On Love and Intimacy,” and “Objects of Affection.”
International Studies in Human Rights
DRAP-GA 1048 Lucas. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
Introduces international human rights and the movement’s relationship to the field of comprehensive peace education. Essentially, peace education is the creation and transmission of knowledge needed to achieve and maintain peace. It is also about developing the critical and reflective capacities to apply knowledge in order to control, reduce, and eliminate various forms of violence. Using a peace education approach, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related normative global standards are used as the primary conceptual frameworks to guide the course’s inquiries.
Introduction to Global Histories I
DRAP-GA 1107 Jackson. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
The first of a two-course sequence introducing graduate students to global histories, this course exceeds the disciplinary boundaries that have long contained historical scholarship within the nation and nation-state by studying modern empires and colonialisms as global phenomena. This course introduces students to global history as a method and body of knowledge by reviewing theories, concepts, and historical accounts of empire and colonialism in the modern world, dated roughly since the beginning of European expansion to the Americas, Asia, and Africa in the sixteenth century.
Introduction to Global Histories II
DRAP-GA 2107 Jackson. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
This reading and writing-intensive seminar reviews some of the most important developments in modern historical scholarship through the lens of space. Even while historical writing and thought is now very much affected by the “spatial turn” influencing scholars across multiple social sciences and humanities disciplines, historians have always situated their examination of the causes, effects, and dynamics of change over time in human societies (and prehistoric time) in discrete and particular spatial units. This course offers a menu of historiography in the late twentieth century, sampling some of the many different ways in which students of the past have historicized space and spatialized history.
Topics in Global Histories
DRAP-GA 3005 Jackson. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17.
Topics in Global Histories seminars focus on specialized subject matter and themes, which change frequently. Previous seminars have included “American Capitalism in Global Historical Perspective,” “A Comparative History of Not-Colonialisms in Asia,” “History, Economy, Society, and Diaspora in the Indian Ocean,” and “Islam and the Left: Languages of Resistance.”
The Passions of the Mind: Affect, Literature, and Music
in Europe, 1600-1850
DRAP-GA 1005 Dimit. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
This course examines early modern affective theories and contrasts those theories with our own, taking as working hypotheses that what we now call “emotions” are primarily culturally determined and that social constructions of affect have varied over time. Three questions are posed: (1) How did people in earlier periods understand their affective experiences? (2) How did they think that affect functioned in literature and music? (3) How were these affective and aesthetic beliefs manifested in literary and musical practices? Students read theoretical and literary texts from the periods under study, as well as recent historical and analytical writings, and listen to musical examples.
The Experience of Time in the 20th-Century Novel
DRAP-GA 1009 Dimit. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
Examines the representations of time in 20th-century European and American novels, as well as the relationship between this fictional time and the descriptions of time offered in philosophical and psychological works of the same period. Readings include work by Bergson, Husserl, Proust, Woolf, Faulkner, Heidegger, Nabokov and others.
The Human Fact
DRAP-GA 1134 Wachtel. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
This course takes its name from Lionel Trilling’s essay on the great Russian short story writer Isaac Babel. In describing the effect of Babel’s remarkable manipulation of voice and structure in fictional narrative, he gave writers a unique job description “…to reveal the human fact within the veil of circumstances.” Works of short fiction, excerpts from longer fiction, essays, news articles, screenplays, poetry and more will provide the basis of class discussion as well as written responses, in fiction and literary form, to the aspects of craft being examined.
Craft and the reasons for writing will be the course’s primary focus; readings will not be made with a specific critical, comparative, interpretive, cultural, or historical approach.
Introduction to Literary Cultures I
DRAP-GA 1301 Staff. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
An intensive survey of foundational texts in contemporary literary theory. Reading literary works from antiquity through modernity, students investigate how language and the literary determine our various approaches, relations, and commitments to the “true” and the “real.” Touchstones for discussion include imitation, representation, subjection, transformation, resistance, and freedom.
Introduction to Literary Cultures II
DRAP-GA 1321 Staff. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
Investigates the ethical and political dimensions of contemporary critical theory. Also explores the ways in which literary texts articulate and unfold the ethical and political paradoxes that traditional philosophical discourse too often characterizes as simply forms of error, unreason, contradiction, or transgression.
Topics in Literary Cultures
DRAP-GA 3006 Staff. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
Topics in Literary Cultures seminars focus on specialized subject matter and themes, which change frequently. Previous seminars have included “The Invention of the Twentieth Century: German-Jewish Writers and Their Influence,” “Reflection and Representation,” and “Trauma and the Politics of Witnessing.”
Introduction to Science Studies I
DRAP-GA 1109 Staff. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
Surveys science from a variety of philosophical, sociological, historical, linguistic, anthropological, and critical perspectives. Explores debates over constructivism, relativism, and the uses to which scientific knowledge is put by examining how cultural boundaries between science and nonscience are constructed and maintained.
Introduction to Science Studies II
DRAP-GA 1110 Staff. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
Examines how new and emerging knowledge and technologies, such as cold fusion, genetics, cloning, organ transplantation, and assisted conception, are problematizing boundaries that are assumed to be natural and fixed, while at the same time remaking the social structures that support science.
Topics in Science Studies
DRAP-GA 3007 Staff. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
Topics in Science Studies seminars focus on specialized subject matter and themes, which change frequently. Previous seminars have included “Thinking About Tomorrow,” “Race, Science, and Technology” and “Science, Religion, and the Modern State.”
A History of Media Theory
DRAP-GA 2193 de Zengotita. 4 points. 2015-16, 2016-17
The primary aim of this course is to raise the underlying, and as yet unanswered, questions upon which all such media theory depends: To what extent does the emerging age, the age we live in now (post-industrial, post-philosophical, post-modern, post-Western, information age, late capitalism), recover certain characteristics of oral/traditional culture? To what extent does it preserve or intensify or dilute characteristics of print/modern culture? To what extent is it constituting something entirely new?