Selected Spring 2013 Course Offerings From Across Campus
AFRO 598: Critical Race Feminism (CRN 58020), T 4:30-6:20 p.m., 1046 FLB, M. Pratt-Clarke
This course will focus on critical race feminism and the status of women of color under the law. It will address the role of the law in addressing and responding to the unique challenges affecting women of color, While a significant portion of the course will focus on the experiences of African-American women, the experiences of White women, Latinas, Asian-American women, and Native American women will also be examined. It will explore the intersection of race and gender status from an interdisciplinary legal and sociological perspective. It will be an interdisciplinary course, including the disciplines of Black Studies, film, history, sociology, and law.
ANTH 515: Culture Contingency and Race (CRN 58676), W 5-8 p.m., 109A Davenport, G. Rosas
Inspired by Michel Foucault’s observation that it is impossible to have a theory of the subject without a theory of sovereignty, this seminar explores criminalities, pathologies, and violence in relation to the anthropology of the state and related questions of governance. The seminar thus appreciates “states” doubly: as the rich interior world of the psyche, be it hailed, discursively produced, or some other formulation; and as the “the state,” a corpus of discourses and practices, which multiple founders of discursively in the social sciences, including anthropology and other disciplines, as well as other political and intellectual formations have long questioned and complicated. Thus, we will explore often-competing theories of culture, power, and subject formation, through ethnographies, in anthropology and beyond. Influential theories of states and governance, including political economy, sovereignty, biopolitics, Empire and other post or anti-statist approaches, will be explored from the complex intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality. These axes will be taken as sites of alternative knowledge’s and possibly powerful new potentialities.
A few of the cross-cutting problems that will be explored in the course are: 1) How does each thinker approach questions of rule, governance, and the state 2) Which authors have a theory of ideology or misrecognition and which do not? 3) How does each thinker conceptualize “the subject” and/or “subjectivity”? 5) How do they imagine the state and related forms of power and governance in social life? 6) How is each apprehension of power territorialized? 6) Can these theorists’ ideas be applied or revised? 7) Do they offer alternatives either theoretically, in terms of new projects, or other phenomena?
ART 550: Writing with Video Workshop (CRN 55785), R 2-4:40 p.m., 225 Art & Design Bldg, J. Squier
Explores the use of video in research, scholarly, and/or creative endeavors. Students engage in a comprehensive examination of video as a rhetorical narrative medium, with a focus on the actual production of video work. Emphasizes the use of video as a tool for inquiry, engagement, composition, and communication across a broad range of cultural and professional practices.
ARTE 501: Contemporary Art Practice as Pedagogy (CRN 44192), R 5-7:40 p.m., 240 Art & Design Bldg., J. Lucero
Recently there's been a move on behalf of some contemporary art practitioners to take their work and working methods into more public, civic-minded spheres. Artists are enacting their works thinking about the idea of the "public" as medium. This pedagogical and political turn can be found in artworks ranging from performance art to curatorial projects. Graduate students interested in blurring the disciplinary lines of art-related discourses (e.g. studio practices, art history, art activism, design, curating, art education, museum, media, and performance studies) alongside the already trans-disciplinary areas of curriculum and pedagogy are encouraged to join year's group. Topics examined: Conceptual art, chance, failure, the ready-made, situationalism, relational aesthetics, performance pedagogy, interdisciplinarity, visual studies, art as civic engagement, aesthetics of generosity, affect theory installation as social art practice, ethics and ecology under the auspices of art practices, grass roots collaboration, interventionist practice, the everyday, durational art practices, the public vs. the private, and the studio as site of contention and creation.
CI 580: Qualitative Methods in Language & Literacy Education (CRN 51005), W 4-6:50 p.m., 389 Education, S. McCarthey
Focuses on the goals and nature of qualitative, observational study of life in educational settings, with an emphasis on oral and written languages. Adopts interpretive and critical perspectives on research and includes key readings on the ethnography of oral and written communication in schools, given a socioculturally and linguistically diverse society. All students will conduct a small scale study in an education site.
CMN 529: Topics in Language, Culture & Identity (CRN 51998), TR 5-6:20 p.m., 4007 Lincoln Hall, M. Koven
We will discuss how language-use-in-context links speakers to a range of social and cultural realities. From this, we will see how talk not only reflects such realities, it also constitutes them.Specifically, we will examine how people not only use language to describe and refer to themselves and others, but to enact those identities. We will cover a range of "micro" and "macro" approaches to the study of talk, exploring how people negotiate identities within specific interactions, as well as how people link particular identity performances to larger-scale phenomena, such as ethnicity, class, gender, the nationstate, and beyond. We will be concerned with developing analytic frameworks that can be applied to talk in a variety of social and cultural contexts. Students will have the opportunity to collect and analyze their own materials.
No previous background is required for this course. Students must be willing, however, to read, synthesize, and discuss material from a range of disciplines. We will read work in semiotics, pragmatics, communication, sociolinguistics, social psychology, and anthropology.
CMN 529: Oral History-Theory and Practice (CRN 50678) W 2-4:50 p.m., 109 GSLIS, S. Davis
This course introduces the theory and practice of oral history to graduate students in history, communication, library and information science and related fields through reading, discussion and practice with field work and interviewing. Over the last fifty years, oral history has moved from a controversial (and sometimes despised) technique on the margins of the discipline history, to one of the most important forms of historical knowledge production and dissemination in the academic and nonacademic worlds. Yet its goals and relations to the communities it touches are often less than clear. We will examine oral historical works, some canonical, some experimental, produced by historians, anthropologists, folklorists, sociologists and political activists. Up for discussion are questions of orality and literacy, privileged versus marginal histories, the problem of memory, problems of listening and learning how to ask, and debates about audience and presentation. Our readings will cross continents (the Americas, Europe, Africa, South America) and historical periods from the 18th through the 21st centuries.
CMN 529: Social Scientific Theory Construction in Communication (CRN 52670) W 2-4:50 p.m., 105 Communication, M. Poole
This course has two goals:
1. This course will introduce you to the nature of theory and theory construction in communication studies. The topics it will explore include the following: the nature of explanation; theoretical types; strategies for theory construction; the relationship between theory and inquiry in communication research; evaluating and critiquing theories.
2. This course will also introduce you to a range of theories of communication. There are so many theories in such a wide range of contexts that we cannot pretend to be comprehensive. Instead we will focus on exemplars of good theory.
Students will construct a theory for their term project. This can either consist of critiquing and advancing an existing theory or building a new one.
CMN 538: Visual Rhetoric (CRN 50680), T 2-4:50 p.m., 4103 Lincoln Hall, C. Finnegan
Since roughly the mid-1990s, scholars in the humanities have explored the implications of the so-called “pictorial turn,” an approach to discourse that privileges questions of visuality over those of language. While scholars of rhetoric have both benefitted from and participated in this larger movement, it would be a mistake to suggest that the field of the rhetoric has had no interest in visuality until these developments. Indeed, as an art of the appearances, rhetoric in both its ancient and contemporary guises offers a rich and varied set of conceptual resources for exploration of the role of visuality in public life. The goal of this seminar will be to assemble, explore, and assess the variety of conceptual resources available to the visual rhetoric scholar from within rhetoric’s own theoretical and critical traditions. Ultimately, we will collectively identify ways to thicken critical scholarship in visual rhetoric. Concepts we will engage include phantasia/visiones/imagination, enargeia, topoi, enthymeme, analogy, ethos, icon, iconoclasm, appropriation/parody, image event, ideograph, presence, circulation, and a handful of the conceptual contributions of Kenneth Burke (e.g., perspective by incongruity, psychology of form).
EIL 587: CMC (CRN 32985), TR 9:30-10:50 a.m., G13 FLB, R. Sadler
The purpose of this course is to explore how computer networks (e.g. the Internet) can be used in the language learning process to engage in authentic communication to enhance that learning. The technologies utilized in this course will range from the most basic (email), to Discussion Boards, MOOs, Virtual Worlds, Internet Telephony, and video conferencing. As we become familiar with these tools, we’ll use them to create practical activities/lessons.
ENGL 581: Race and Neoliberalism (CRN 32282), M 3-5:50 p.m., 113 EB, S. Koshy
The transition from a liberal state-led economy to a neoliberal market economy in the 1980s produced a sea change in racial forms and meanings that confounds the paradigms of race inherited from the civil rights era. The implications of these racial transformations have only recently begun to be theorized, highlighting a lacuna in critical race theory, which has largely focused on neoconservative threats to racial justice projects rather than neoliberal embrace of them. Similarly, most theoretical accounts of neoliberalism have left the reconstitution of race, gender, and sexuality in the present untheorized. Working with and between materialist accounts of the present and theories of race, gender and sexuality, this course begins the work of examining the unstable and shifting terrain of neoliberal racialization. Readings for this course will include David Harvey, Michel Foucault, Brian Massumi, Wendy Brown, Jodi Melamed, Roderick Ferguson, Jasbir Puar, Lauren Berlant, Gayatri Spivak, and Paul Gilroy. Possible literary texts and films we will consider are Precious, Cosmopolis, Fixer Chao, and American Psycho.
ENGL 582: Genre Emergence & Change (CRN 32283), W 3:30-5:20 p.m., 113 English, L. Russell
Over the past half century, scholars in a variety of disciplines have worked to redefine genre to shift its theoretical pulse from form and content to action and ecology. That is, we have moved from understanding genres as a means of defining and classifying texts toward understanding them as orchestrations of social and ideological events. Both old and new definitions of genre maintain that genres are mostly, and most importantly, patterns already in place, occurrences already recognized as recurrences. How then does the pattern (in form, content, situation, exigence, audience, action) take and then shift shape? How do genres emerge, change, proliferate, perhaps fade, even die? How do emergent genres relate to established ones? How to genre writers suggest genres-to-be or genres-becoming? How do audiences come to recognizes generic exigences and genres as exigences? This seminar will explore questions of genre emergence and change, offering participants the opportunity to explore rhetorical genre theory as well as questions of power and cultural production activated in genre work.
ENGL 584: Language and Law (32287), R 1-2:50 p.m., 1068 Lincoln Hall, D. Baron
The law depends on our common understanding of language to frame and interpret everything from statutes and contracts to witness statements and judicial rulings. The law assigns meaning to language as well, sorting out ambiguity and resolving opposing readings of the same text. For example, in Washington, DC, v. Heller, 9 highly-educated Supreme Court justices came to two completely different interpretations of the Second Amendment (the one about the right to bear arms). In addition to considering various aspects of legal meaning-making, we’ll look at instances where language becomes the subject of the law: First Amendment cases from the Alien and Sedition Acts to George Carlin’s “7 Dirty Words You Can’t Say on TV?” to the USA Patriot Act. We’ll look at attempts to designate English as an official language at the federal, state, and local levels, as well as official language policies in schools and workplaces, together with various efforts to protect the rights of minority-language and minority-dialect speakers. We’ll look the language and privacy rights of employers and employees in the workplace. And we’ll consider intellectual property issues involving language: trademark, copyright, plagiarism (including the legal controversy over the Google Books Project), and impact of digital technologies on intellectual property concerns. Finally, we’ll consider some topics in forensic linguistics: interrogation and testimony; voiceprints, author identification, and language profiling. Readings (all of them available online) include legislation, court cases, and analyses of various language and law issues. Students will write a seminar paper and do a class presentation on an issue of their choice.
EPS 531: Critical Race Theory & Education (CRN 51959), W 10-12:50 p.m., No Location Listed, A. Dixson
EPS 575: Cultural Studies & Critical Interpretation (CRN 31465), TR 12-1:50 p.m., 336 Greg Hall, C. McCarthy
Course will offer students the opportunity to become familiar with the history, applications and limitations of several theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of contemporary culture and popular media that have been developed in the emergent research field known as cultural studies. It is intended to provide students with analytical frameworks for understanding contemporary cultural life.
EPS 590: Critical Pedagogy & Community (CRN 33117), R 4-6:50 p.m., 37 Education, C. Mayo
EPS 590: Advanced Issues in Qualitative Research (CRN 33115), M 4-6:50 p.m., No Location Listed, A. Dyson
GEOG 483: Urban Geography (CRN 40413), TR 11-12:20 p.m., 329 Davenport Hall, D. Wilson
The objective of this course is to provide you with the broad background of theories, concepts, and methods of research necessary for understanding how and why our cities have reached their current status. The focus is on examining the internal structure of the North American city. This includes analysis of the commercial, industrial, and residential sectors of the urban environment. Particular emphasis is placed on the range of urban theories developed to explain both urban structure and contemporary urban ills.
GWS 561: Race & Cultural Critique (CRN 52842), W 2-4:50 p.m., No Location Listed, J. Rana
Introduction to graduate level theoretical and methodological approaches in Comparative Race Studies. As a survey of theories of race and racism and the methodology of critique, this course offers an interdisciplinary approach that draws from anthropology, sociology, history, literature, cultural studies, and gender/sexuality studies. In addition, the study of racial and cultural formation is examined from a comparative perspective in the scholarship of racialized and Gender and Women's Studies.
GWS 580: Queer Theories & Methods (CRN 52453), R 1-3:50 p.m., 911 S. Sixth Street, S. Somerville
Interdisciplinary study in queer theories and methods produced in and across various disciplines. Contemporary philosophical and theoretical developments in queer studies specific to histories of class, race, ethnicity, nation and sexuality.
HCD 571: Gender Relations & International Development (CRN 54842), R 2-4:50 p.m., 5 Christopher Hall, G. Summerfield
Interdisciplinary seminar examining theoretical and empirical research on gender and the transformation of social and economic structures. Students will develop a comparative perspective on issues of women and public policy by contrasting and comparing such policies in North and South America, Eastern and Western Europe, Asia, and Africa.
LIS 515: Media Literacy for Youth (CRN 58788), T 4-6:50 p.m., 131 LIS, C. Tilley
Provides students with theoretical knowledge and practical methods useful to librarians and other professionals working with young people and media. Building on traditional understandings of literacy, media literacy explores the consumption and production of diverse types of texts including print, images, games, and music. Topics for this course may include the role of race in media, media literacy as a catalyst for social change, and intellectual property issues related to media education.
LIS 590IS: Information In Society (CRN 39938), W 9-11:50 a.m., GSLIS, D. Schiller
Drawing on classic and cutting-edge research on the system of information provision, this course provides conceptual foundations for historical, political-economic and policy analysis of information institutions and infrastructures. A research paper is required. Paper topics must be approved by the instructor, no later than the sixth week of the term.