Courses for Spring 2017

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Art of Criticism (ENGL 1901F)

  • Architects and Planners as Transnational Experts

    Recent global humanitarian design initiatives like Brown and RISD’s own “Design for a Better World” have roots in 20th and 19th–century transformations in the scope of design practice and in the global political and economic landscape. It was during this period that architects like Jane Drew and Constantinos Doxiadis, funded by institutions like the UN and Ford Foundation, became international consultants moving from place to place through a variety of networks. This shift rescued design by re-establishing its social project. This seminar places such design practices in historical context and follows this shift to the present. Juniors, seniors, graduate students only.
    HMAN 1972E S01
    Prerequisites : Some background in architecture, planning, design, or urban practice or history. Or background in the history of modern colonialism development in the Global South.
    Primary Instructor
  • Old News: Antiquity and Current Events

    Antiquity is often invoked to manipulate how we view current events. This course will investigate examples of this phenomenon, including the ‘spectacles of destruction’ of antiquities in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and the couching of the Greek economic crisis in references to Greece’s classical past. We will interrogate questions of “who owns the past?,” and of how we reckon antiquity’s value; we will also investigate how scholars (archaeologists, classicists, et al.) have reacted to these contemporary events. Their stances raise important questions about the past’s ‘relevance’ in the present, but also about the intersections between humanities and the social sciences.
    HMAN 1972H S01
    Primary Instructor
  • The Nature of Conquest: Scientific Literatures of the Americas (HISP 1330X)

  • Transnational Hispaniola: Haiti and the Dominican Republic (AFRI 1050W)

  • Comparative Education: International Trends and Local Perspectives (EDUC 1030)

  • Apartheid in Post-Apartheid South African Literature (COLT 1814L)

  • Feminist Thoughts for a Heated Climate (POLS 1180)

  • Sex, Gender, Empire (HIST 1979F)

  • Around 1948: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Global Transformations (ENGL 2901F)

  • Latin Atlantic Epic (LATN 2080I)