Courses for Spring 2018

  • The Humanities in Context: Literature, Media, Critique

    The humanities attend to questions that shape individual and collective life. Literatures, media, music, and performing arts inform reflections on issues that are either pressing (justice, the environment) or constitutive of an experience (of art or medicine, for example). Does humanity have a shared heritage? Should we feel alike in the face of art? Does one have obligations toward strangers? Does history compel us to act a certain way? Whose responsibility is the planet? What identities can one choose? Should one aspire to posthuman life? Drawing from various disciplines, this seminar pursues not one, but multiple takes on these questions. WRIT
    HMAN 0800A S01
    Primary Instructor
    Mahiet
  • Law and Religion

    In an arguably "post-secular" age, conflicts over the relationship between religion and law have moved to the forefront of international debate. In our multicultural/globalized world, such conflicts often provoke contestation over the very possibility of universal definitions of either "religion" or "law," let alone their proper relationship. Our interdisciplinary inquiries on these questions will include concrete legal disputes in domestic/international courts; theoretical debates over the construction of "religion" in fields such as anthropology, religious studies, and philosophy; historiographical controversies about the relationship between "secularization" and sovereignty, particularly in light of the legacy of colonialism. Limited to juniors, seniors, and graduate students. WRIT
    HMAN 1970K S01
    Primary Instructor
    Berman
  • The First Scientific Americans: Exploring Nature in Latin America, 1500-1800 (SCSO 1701C)

  • Introduction to iPhone/iPad Moviemaking Using 3-D and 360 VR Comparisons

    Mobile Devices are democratizing movie-making by lowering barriers to entry, enabling students to become full-fledged members of the film industry virtually overnight. This pioneering course provides the basic tools for students to create and distribute no- and low-budget live-action motion pictures with professional production values utilizing only their personal smartphones. Students will acquire the skills to plan, capture and edit short motion pictures through hands-on instruction and experimentation with low-cost accessories, including selfie-sticks, lens adapters, directional microphones and iPhone apps like Filmic Pro, Vizzywig and iMovie. Limited to junior, senior and graduate students.
    HMAN 1971S S01
    Primary Instructor
    Bogosian
  • Kabbalah: An Introduction to Jewish Mysticism

    In the 12th and 13th centuries, new ways of approaching Judaism sprung up in France and Spain that would come to be known as “kabbalah.” New approaches included aspirations for mystical illumination, elaborate mythological narratives, and human history. Kabbalists radically and self-consciously departed from conventional understandings of Judaism, particularly those of medieval Aristotelian philosophers like Maimonides. They claimed to find their mythological, mystical worldviews in traditional texts, from the Bible through rabbinic writings. This course introduces students to kabbalah’s founding period, focuses on primary texts in translation, especially the Zohar, the magnum opus of classical kabbalah. No prior background necessary. WRIT
    HMAN 1971U S01
    Primary Instructor
    Berman
  • Environmental Political Thought (POLS 1185)

  • The Cultural Significance of Copyright

    Modern copyright law derives from 17th-century European state practices of monopoly and censorship. Adapting to new technologies, it spread throughout the world; by the late 19th-century, it was established as an international regime. Copyright law thus developed under the pressure of technological change, as well as of evolving business models (from publishing to broadcasting to the Web). In this course, we will study the history, theory, and sociology of intellectual-property law, along with the technological, industrial, and artistic developments that conditioned it.
    HMAN 1972Z S01
    Primary Instructor
    Perlman
  • The Age of Constantine: The Roman Empire in Transition (CLAS 1120V)

  • Writing Animals in the Iberian Atlantic (HISP 1331A)

  • Water is Life/New Currents in the Study of Land, Water and Indigeneity (ETHN 1750H)

  • Oppositional Cinemas (MCM 1505J)

  • Independent Study

    HMAN 1990 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ophir
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
  • Politics and Literature

    This course will identify a set of key themes in the field of politics and literature and examine them using methods and theoretical frameworks from political theory and literary studies. It is a cross-disciplinary course meant to promote collaboration and self-reflection about disciplinary method and interdisciplinarity, using key examples from the field. Likely theme and concepts include: the ideology of form, affect, ethos, and the relation between political practice and literary mode, political mode and literary practice. Texts will include classical tragic or comic drama, the modern novel, melodramatic film, and the literary essay.
    HMAN 2400A S01
    Primary Instructor
    Anderson
    HMAN 2400A F01
    Primary Instructor
    Anderson
    Schedule Code
    F: Filming/Screening
  • Scales of Historiography

    This seminar explores the construction of new geographies and timescales of historical narration during the late nineteenth- and twentieth-century periods of social upheaval (displacement, colonialism, war). We will explore debates over cosmological, geological, and ecological timescales and affective histories across a set of genres and disciplines (e.g., genealogy, Classics, religion, geohistory). Some emphasis will be on China, Taiwan and Europe, but with an attention to how they were related to other parts of Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
    HMAN 2400F S01
    Primary Instructor
    Chin
  • Kant and Mendelssohn (PHIL 2080J)

  • Kinds of Others

    Multiple "Others," from the ancient barbaria to the contemporary and queer, from the abnormal to the colonial subject, from the Jew to the black have been widely studied in the humanities and social sciences. The seminar addresses this proliferation of others and explores the role of the Other in the economy of the self, the religious community, or the nation. We will experiment with different principles for classifying this variety of kinds of others and modes of othering. The typological approach will guide a double survey: of philosophical conceptions of otherness, and of modes of constructing kinds of others.
    HMAN 2971E S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ophir