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Courses for Fall 2009

HMAN 1970L                                           M Hour (M 3:00 – 5:20pm)

Minority News: Radical Reading and Representation
Marcy Brink-Danan, Faculty Fellow          

By reading historical and contemporary accounts of minority news-making, this seminar will offer students a comparative view of how small communities envision their role in the public sphere and how they create counter-publics.  As part of the course, we will engage in original research into the state of current minority presses, their rhetorics, the themes they take up and the kinds of audiences they aim to reach.

HMAN 1970J                                               P Hour (T 4:00 – 6:20pm)

Some Versions of Interiority
Denise Riley, Visiting Professor in the Humanities

We will consider how the inner is conceived [or dissolved] in traditions ranging from older philosophical concerns with self-awareness or self-presence, to the recent neurophenomenology of self-consciousness. We shall be reflecting on this topic via readings in philosophical phenomenology, in the history of aphasiology and the history of consciousness, in recent developments in neurology, and in philosophies of language and of the self. The articulation of thinking is a central question here – while even to frame it in this way is at once contentious. And as one exemplary form of self-presence, is the ‘inner voice’ spontaneous, imposed, or a dictated improvisation? The emphasis here will trace theories, in different disciplines, of the inner voice’s location, its vulnerability, or its durability.  Detailed readings from broadly philosophical, psychoanalytical and neurological sources will be suggested on a weekly basis, as the course evolves. The better-known authors we’ll read may include Didier Anzieu, Hannah Arendt, Samuel Beckett, Antonio Damasio, G.W.F. Hegel, Michel Henry, William James, Heinrich von Kleist, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, John Sutton, Elizabeth A. Wilson and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

HMAN 1970Q                                                      Th (4:00 - 6:20pm)

Muzak, Art and Society
Hervé Vanel, Faculty Fellow

This seminar will weave together a history of muzak and a history of minimalist music, considering both in relation to the development of performance arts (with an emphasis on the work and philosophy of John Cage). The course aims to examine and analyze the intersections and conflicts between art and muzak in terms of modern social engineering. Questions to be addressed include, notably: the regulation of collective and individual conducts; the design of coercive or emancipatory environments; the transition from disciplinary society to society of control.

HMAN 1970R                                                N Hour (W 3:00 – 5:20pm)

Literature and the Arts in Today’s Cuba
Esther Whitfield , Faculty Fellow

Cuba today is home to writers, musicians and artists who engage with new media and a global audience against the backdrop of a socialist revolution.  This seminar will explore esthetic and political dimensions of contemporary Cuban culture with authors who will speak to us directly through a video link with Casa de las Américas in Havana.  Knowledge of Spanish required.

Courses for Spring 2010

HMAN 1970N                                               M Hour (M 3:00 – 5:20pm)

Two Cultures?
Thalia Field, Faculty Fellow

This is a workshop for graduate and advanced undergraduates in both the sciences and the arts to come together to explore where these two “cultures” diverge and connect through method, philosophy, history, and practice. With readings from both the history of science, scientific works, and artistic works written in response to the sciences, we will explore the nature of creativity across the widest of disciplinary boundaries. Particular attention will be paid to those periods in history when the sciences and the humanities were for many practical purposes inseparable. Creative and critical writing will be used to explore the ways students in the arts, humanities and sciences might make alternative forms of expression from their work, as well as other forms of “research” into this rich and diverse territory.

HMAN 1970M                                          Q Hour (Th 4:00 – 6:20pm)

Sexual Identity and International Exchange
Gretchen Schultz, Faculty Fellow

This seminar is interested in the extent to which queer culture is importable or exportable.  We will study the ways in which LGBTQ people and cultures draw on foreign traditions and representations in their self-articulations.  Subjects include: 19th-century European scientific constructions of homosexuality and their legacy today; the Daughters of Bilitis and the French classics; the association of male homosexuality and criminality from Balzac and Genet to contemporary cinema; Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil and the damned lesbian in Anglo-American literature and pulp fiction; the internationalization of American gay culture today.  While the course emphasizes Franco-American exchanges, topics will open up during the second half of the semester according to students’ particular interests.

HMAN 2970A                                               P Hour (T 4:00 - 6:20pm)

Accounting for Silence: Anthropology of Law and Narrativity
Yukiko Koga, Postdoctoral Fellow in International Humanities

This graduate research seminar explores the role of law in redressing the past, specifically in cases of postwar compensation for the Second World War. We look at the convergence of two processes, the breaking of long-held silence by victims through various forms of testimony inside and outside the courtroom, and the legal process of redress. Cases for this course arise primarily from the Japanese use of wartime slave labor in East Asia. Since the 1990s, large number of Chinese and Korean war victims, such as former forced laborers and the so-called "comfort women" to name but a few, have filed lawsuits against the Japanese government and corporations. In the process, they give voice to their long silenced, traumatic experiences.
Through anthropological approaches to law and testimonial practices, we shall examine such questions as: what kind of legal space is created through compensation lawsuits; what kind of "performance" is produced both inside and outside the courtroom; what kinds of power dynamics underlie the recounting of testimony; and, what does it mean to account for silence in pursuit of the politics of redress? Even though the course draws examples primarily from East Asia, students are encouraged to pursue their own choice of cases elsewhere in their final paper project.

To see the humanities related course catalog for 2009-10, click here. These are courses taught by Cogut Center Fellows for other departments.

To see the HMAN courses we offered in 2008-09, click here.