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Cultural Studies Program

Courses :: Fall 2006

C701 Special Topics in Cultural Studies

On Bodies
Professor Pezzullo; M 9:30am-12:00pm
Meets with CMCL-C619

Media Institutions and Cultural Production
Professor Anderson; R 1:00pm-3:30pm
Meets with CMCL-C552

Identity and Difference
Professor Goodman; R 9:00am-11:30am
Meets with CMCL-C610
(See description below)

Extreme Masculinities
Professor Wilk; TR 4:00-5:15pm
Meets with GNDR-G701

Representations of Gender and Sexuality in Modern European Culture
Professor Breger; TR 4:00pm-5:15pm and T 7:15pm-9:15pm
Meets with GER-G620

Collective Memory and Repression
Professor James; M 7:00pm-9:00pm
Meets with HIST-H765 and HIST-H665

Contesting Culture as Property
Professor Jackson; R 4:00pm-6:30pm R
Meets with FOLK-F804

The Modern Self
Professor Kenshur; TR 11:15am-12:30pm
Meets with CMCL-C529
(See description below)

From Scientific Romance to Science Fiction: Early Movements in Modern Literary Speculation
Professor Kilgore; TR 4:00pm-5:15pm
Meets with ENG-L655
(See description below)

Interdisciplinary Study of 19th Century Britain
Professor Miller; TR 11:15am-12:30pm
Meets with VICT-V611

Aesthetics, Ethics, and Ideology
Professor Kenshur; TR 11:15 a.m - 2:30 p.m.
Meets with CMLT-C647 and ENG-L680
(See description below)

Power, Subjectivity, and the State
Professor Friedman; MW 1:00pm-3:15pm
(Meets the first eight weeks only)
Meets with ANTH-E648
(See description below)

German Cultural Studies I
Professor Rasch; TH 2:30pm-3:45pm and W 7:00pm-9:00pm  
Meets with GER-G563

Gender Dimensions of Cultural Production & Criticism
Professor Weber; W 5:30pm-8:00pm
Meets with GNDR-G602
(See description below)

C790 Individual Readings in Cultural Studies

Selected Course Descriptions

Power, Subjectivity, and the State
Professor Sarah Friedman

 This seminar will explore the relationships among culture, power, subjectivity, and state formation through close readings of theoretical and ethnographic texts.  We will examine how distinct theoretical approaches (Marxism, structuralism, post-structuralism, and feminism) have defined and analyzed these contested terms.  Instead of assuming that culture, power, the subject, and the state are given concepts, we will study how their meanings have changed over time.  How do cultural beliefs and outlooks organize the production, distribution, and even definition of power?  How are power and subjectivity mutually constitutive?  How do states structure power relations, define subjectivity, or shape cultural attitudes and expectations?  Developing insights from Marx and Engels, Weber, Gramsci, Althusser, Bourdieu, Butler, and Foucault, we will compare ethnographic works and their efforts to integrate various theoretical approaches with anthropological data.  Students will be asked to evaluate and use these theoretical frameworks in relation to their own research.  This course is designed for graduate students and advanced undergraduates.

Identity and Difference
Professor Jane E. Goodman
 
Modernity has been erected on a foundation of difference. Indeed, modernity's reigning political philosophy of liberalism - although underwritten by notions of liberty, equality, and fraternity - was predicated on racial, ethnic, and gender distinctions elaborated within European colonial empires. Nationalist and postcolonial formations have been equally beset by the problematic of belonging and exclusion. Even in an increasingly global world order, the proliferation of identity-based movements centered around ethnolinguistic or religious concerns shows no signs of abating.

The Modern Self
Professor Oscar Kenshur

The course will focus on concepts of the self in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Since concepts of self are necessarily intertwined with ideas about the relationship between the individual and intellectual authority, between the individual and the social order, and between the individual and God, the course will inevitably touch on psychology, epistemology, ethics, political theory, and religious thought. Since our texts will include works from a variety of literary and philosophical genres, and since a knowledge of earlier developments will be necessary for an understanding of why explorations of the nature of the self form a central concern throughout the eighteenth century, the course will be amount to a high-level introduction to early-modern literature and thought. It will also provide an indispensable background for those interested in nineteenth and twentieth-century debates about subjectivity.

There will be a short paper due mid-semester, and a long paper due at the end of the semester.

A tentative list of authors to be discussed includes the following: Descartes, Pascal, Locke, Defoe, Shaftesbury, Pope, Joseph Butler,Voltaire, Hume, Sterne, Rousseau, Diderot, and Goethe.

From Scientific Romance to Science Fiction: Early Movements in Modern Literary Speculation
Professor De Witt Douglas Kilgore

Science fiction, as a cultural form and a set of literary protocols, is the paradigmatic model for how fiction can change social perception and influence the interpretation of physical knowledge.  In its evolution the genre has not only engaged the burgeoning power of technoscience and it has also become, as Brooks Landon and others have argued, a cultural force in its own right.  As such it is a significant measure of our response to Darwinian evolutionism, eugenics, space travel, nuclear power and other advances that have changed the tenor of modern life.  Thus the genre's engagement with social as well as technological change is worth examining.

This seminar will recover science fiction's formation in the intellectual and cultural ferment that existed in the first half of the twentieth century.  We will trace its social and aesthetic trajectory in its British and American registers, following a transatlantic conversation containing points of unanimity and difference.  In so doing we will examine the genre's imbrication in the imperialist adventure narratives of the late nineteenth century and its sometimes successful representation of alterities that strain the political boundaries of white male adventure.  We will explore how race and gender have shaped and constrained a genre often thought to be unmarked and unbounded.  We will be concerned both with the social exclusions that shape the genre's dominant traditions and their use by minority writers who resist the settled order of things.  What is at stake here is a recovery of the genre's satiric edge; the liberatory potential that empowered the political and literary experiments of the 1960s and the feminist and anti-racist formulations that followed.

This course also engages contemporary scholarship in science fiction.  Carl Freedman, Robert Scholes, Robin Roberts, Darko Suvin, Raymond Williams, Samuel R. Delany and Justine Larbalestier are among the critics and scholars who will provide critical context and theoretical perspective for our reading, research and discussion during the semester.  Primary authors will include H. G. Wells, C. L. Moore, Arthur Conan Doyle, George S. Schuyler, and Leigh Brackett.

Dimensions of Cultural Production & Criticism
Professor Brenda Weber

This course evaluates a diverse array of arguments concerning the
gendered nature of cultural production and criticism. Controversies related to gender dimensions of aesthetics, and of cultural meanings, content, or genres receive examination, as well as vested claims about the constitution of genius or creativity, and the role of identity and race in cultural production. The critical issue of theorizing audience/reader/viewer and the often gendered nature of cultural criticism warrant particular scrutiny, especially in a cross-cultural frame.