Critical Social Thought

Overview and Contact Information

The Program in Critical Social Thought is designed for students who want to interrogate cultural and social phenomena outside the confines of traditional disciplinary boundaries with the goal of analyzing relations of power embedded in knowledge production and social life. Students apply critical thought from a wide array of intellectual traditions, including critical ethnic studies, performance studies, disability studies, the history of science, psychoanalysis, Marxism, the Frankfurt School, critical race studies, queer theory, feminist theory, and postcolonial theory. Critical Social Thought puts less emphasis on the social, cultural, or scientific objects under study than on its distinctive, interdisciplinary methodology in which student-driven inquiry and research combines theoretical and social critique with a concern for addressing pressing social issues.

Faculty

This area of study is administered by the Critical Social Thought Committee:

Gail Hornstein, Professor of Psychology and Education, On Leave Fall 2018, Retiring Spring 2019

Amy Martin, Professor of English on the Emma B. Kennedy Foundation; Director of the Harriet L. and Paul M. Weissman Center

Karen Remmler, Professor of German Studies

Nigel Alderman, Associate Professor of English

Donald Cotter, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Teaching Spring Only

Justin Crumbaugh, Associate Professor of Spanish, Latina/o and Latin American Studies

Iyko Day, Associate Professor of English

David Hernández, Associate Professor of Spanish, Latina/o, Latin American Studies

Erika Rundle, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts, On Leave 2018-2019

Lucas Wilson, Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Economics

Ren-yo Hwang, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and Critical Social Thought

Requirements for the Major

A minimum of 40 credits:

CST-200Foundations in Critical Social Thought4
Two critical social thought courses at the 200 level8
Two critical social thought courses at the 300 level8
One critical social thought capstone seminar to complete a senior capstone project 14
Two approved electives at the 300 level across two departments/programs8
Two additional approved electives at any level8
Total Credits40

Other Requirements

  • Declaring the major. Students who wish to major in critical social thought will meet with the program chair to discuss their major interest and to select two advisors from the program faculty.
  • Proposal. Submitted after completion of CST-200 and prior to declaring the major. Students must submit a 2-3 page proposal that identifies the focus of their course of study, explains its genesis and significance, and includes an annotated list of the courses they have and intend to take for credit in their major. Students will submit the proposal to their two advisors for approval before submitting it to the chair.

Additional Specifications

  • No more than a total of 8 credits of independent study (CST-295, CST-395) may be counted toward the major in addition to 8 credits of CST-395 senior thesis work.
  • Students who declare a critical social thought major automatically fulfill the College's "outside the major" requirement.

Requirements for the Minor

A minimum of 20 credits:

CST-200Foundations in Critical Social Thought4
One critical social thought course at the 200 level4
One critical social thought course at the 300 level4
One approved elective at the 200 or 300 level4
One approved elective at the 300 level4
Total Credits20

Other Requirements

  • Declaring the minor. Students who wish to minor in critical social thought shall meet with the program chair to discuss their minor interest and to select an advisor from the program faculty.
  • Proposal. Submitted after completion of CST-200 and prior to declaring the minor. To declare the minor, students must submit a 2-3 page proposal that identifies the focus of their course of study, explains its genesis and significance, and includes an annotated list of the courses they have and intend to take for credit in their minor. Students will submit the proposal to their advisor for approval before submitting it to the chair.

Additional Specifications

  • No more than a total of 4 credits of independent study (CST-295, CST-395) may be counted toward the minor.

Course Offerings

CST-149 Topics in Critical Social Thought

Over the last century, religionists have labored to discover the meaning of African dispersal beyond the continent and its accompanying spiritual lineages. What theories of encounter sufficiently adjudicate the synthetic religious cultures of African-descended persons in North America, South America, and the Caribbean? What are the cross-disciplinary methodologies that scholars utilize to understand African religious cultures in the Western hemisphere? Firstly, this course will introduce the field of Africana religious studies. This background will inform the second and primary objective of the course: thematizing and exploring West and Central African religious traditions housed in the Americas.

CST-149AD Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Introduction to African Diaspora Religions'

Fall. Credits: 4

Over the last century, religionists have labored to discover the meaning of African dispersal beyond the continent and its accompanying spiritual lineages. What theories of encounter sufficiently adjudicate the synthetic religious cultures of African-descended persons in North America, South America, and the Caribbean? What are the cross-disciplinary methodologies that scholars utilize to understand African religious cultures in the Western hemisphere? Firstly, this course will introduce the field of Africana religious studies. This background will inform the second and primary objective of the course: thematizing and exploring West and Central African religious traditions housed in the Americas.

Crosslisted as: REILG-181, AFCNA-181
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
M. Coleman-Tobias

CST-200 Foundations in Critical Social Thought

Spring. Credits: 4

This class introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of Critical Social Thought. Students will learn to interrogate and challenge structures of social, cultural, and political power from a variety of theoretical traditions, such as Marxism, critical ethnic studies, queer and gender critique, critical race theory, media studies, performance studies, disability studies, history of science, the Frankfurt school, and settler colonial and postcolonial theory. Developing skills in theoretical and social critique to address pressing social issues, students will be equipped with an interdisciplinary toolbox to pursue independent projects.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
I. Day

CST-248 Science, Revolution, and Modernity

Spring. Credits: 4

Introduces critical analysis of science and technology by tracing the historiography of the Scientific Revolution. The significance of this extended intellectual episode has been assessed in radically different ways throughout the intervening centuries. As such, it provides a fertile ground on which to pose and answer important questions about science and its role in society. What does it mean to regard science as 'revolutionary'? How are scientific developments shaped by, and how do they shape, the social, economic, and political worlds in which they are embedded? How is our contemporary understanding of science and technology influenced by the stories we tell about the past?

Crosslisted as: HIST-248
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
D. Cotter

CST-249 Topics in Critical Social Thought

CST-249AE Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Afro-Asian Encounters: Literatures, Cultures, Activisms'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course explores historical and contemporary connections between African American and Asian American communities -- the moments of solidarity as well as tension that have made their mark on literary and expressive culture. Looking to literary narratives, historical documents, film, and performance, we will consider how these groups have been defined in relation to one another, and explore how the categories of "Black" and "Asian" have come to be defined in the US context. In addition to our exploration of cultural objects, we will also study comparative ethnic frameworks -- like women of color feminisms and queer of color critique -- that read across and through the partitioning of ethnic American groups. This course ultimately aims to get students to think critically about the making of racial meaning, and to consider the centrality of literature and culture to social justice movements.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
J. Kim

CST-249AN Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Aliens, Anti-Citizens, and Identities'

Spring. Credits: 4

The course will examine marginal and "alien" citizenship statuses in the United States. Whereas the Declaration of Independence asserts that "all men are created equal," we will interrogate that statement by studying identities and personages that are explicitly treated unequally in the law and society. From immigrants to gang members, from tipped workers to queer persons, from presumed terrorists to disenfranchised ex-cons, we will examine the deliberate incorporation and maintenance of people in society into lower classes and statuses.

Crosslisted as: LATST-250AN
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
D. Hernández

CST-249AS Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Necropolitics in the Age of Slavery' 'Necropolitics in the Age of Slavery'

Spring. Credits: 4

Slave narratives of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries partook of white abolitionist discourse, rhetoric, and genres even as authors made space for their own ideas about freedom, captivity, sovereignty, power, gender, sexuality, and the nature of being. This course will read narratives by Cugoano, Equiano, Sanchez, Prince, Brent, and Craft alongside current critical theories about necropolitics (i.e., sovereignty as the right to kill), Afro-pessimism, Afro-futurism, and Afro- feminism, by theorists such as Mbembe, Wilderson, Moten, Sharpe, and Wynter, to consider what thoughts these authors can offer to us on ways of being, living, and surviving Western, racial imperialisms.

Crosslisted as: ENGL-277
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
K. Singer
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Advisory: No previous theory reading experience is necessary, but a desire to learn to read it.

CST-249BE Buddhist Ethics

Spring. Credits: 4

This is an introduction to contemporary and classical Buddhist ethical ideals. Working with primary and secondary sources, we will ask the following questions: Is the universe moral? What are Buddhist ethical ideals and who embodies these? How do contemporary Buddhists interpret classical ethical ideals? What moral dilemmas do Buddhists face today? How do Buddhists grapple with moral ambiguity? We will consider the perspectives of Buddhists from different cultures including India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, and the United States.

Crosslisted as: RELIG-267
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
S. Mrozik

CST-249CC Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Cults, Conspiracies, and Moral Panics'

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

Using case studies such as the Eugenics Movement, Jonestown, and the Kennedy Assassination, this course will examine how distrust of the government, originally motivated by logical concerns, has transformed the way people think about power in the postmodern era. The class will explore the difference between rational questioning of authority and blind distrust that leads to questionable claims. Through topics such as the War on Drugs, this class shows how the powerful are able to use biases and public fears to carry out their own, often counterproductive, measures. These case studies have issues like race and class at their core. We will examine how certain social issues have managed to endure.

Crosslisted as: SOCI-216CC
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
N. Michaud Wild
Prereq: SOCI-123.

CST-249CP Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Trap Doors and Glittering Closets: Queer/Trans* of Color Politics of Recognition, Legibility, Visibility and Aesthetics'

Spring. Credits: 4

In 2014, Time magazine declared the "Transgender Tipping Point" as a popular moment of transgender people's arrival into the mainstream. Using a queer and trans* of color critique, this course will unpack the political discourses and seeming binaries surrounding visibility/invisibility, recognition/misrecognition, legibility/illegibility, belonging/unbelonging and aesthetics/utility. How might we grapple with the contradictions of the trapdoors, pitfalls, dark corners and glittering closets that structure and normalize violence for some while safeguarding violence for others? This course will center the 2017 anthology Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-204CP
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
R. Hwang
Prereq: One course in Gender Studies or Critical Social Thought.

CST-249CT Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Cognitive Theory and Literary Studies'

Spring. Credits: 4

A survey of philosophical, scientific, and theoretical approaches to the relation between cognition and representation. For as long as we have told stories, we have thought about how they work in conjunction with the mind. This course charts the many ways in which cognitive theory has shaped literary studies over the ages. How does fiction reflect the way we think? How in turn does it shape how we behave? What happens in the brain and body when we read? Starting in antiquity and working through history towards contemporary neuroscience and cognitive psychology, we will consider such matters as action and imitation; reality and fantasy; reason and imagination; aesthetics, empathy, and affect.

Crosslisted as: ENGL-268
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
S. Roychoudhury
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

CST-249DD Topics in Critical Social Thought: ''Diversity, Inclusion, and Daily Democracy in US History'

Fall. Credits: 4

How have Americans -- and those contending with America -- envisioned and reached for more just and inclusive communities? What historical circumstances have opened opportunities for more robust democratic forms to emerge in the face of oppression? We will consider structural barriers to meaningful inclusion, involving racism, wealth, poverty, property, citizenship, gender, sexuality, disability, and dissent, as well as efforts to overcome them through concerted action and cultural struggle in the arts and public humanities. What public stories shape our connections with one another? What can we learn about the possibilities for sustaining democracy through daily life and culture?

Crosslisted as: HIST-280DD
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
M. Renda

CST-249EM Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Embodiment in Theory: Precarious Lives from Marx to Butler'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

We examine the writing of major nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century theorists, such as Marx, Nietzche, Freud, Dubois, Arendt, Fanon, Foucault, Butler, and others through the lens of embodiment. Rather than read theory as an abstract entity, we explore how theory itself is an embodiment of actual lives in which human beings experience life as precarious. What are the social conditions that create vulnerable bodies? How do thinkers who lived or are living precarious lives represent these bodies? Through a series of case studies based on contemporary examples of precarity, we examine the legacy and materiality of critical social thought.

Crosslisted as: GRMST-231EM, GNDST-204EM
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
K. Remmler

CST-249FA Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Fascism in Plain Sight'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines fascism from a visual perspective. Students learn about the history of the phenomenon through the lenses of cinema, television, and performance. The course begins with an overview of fascism that spans from 1920s Europe to the present. What exactly is fascism? What is its relationship to newly emergent populisms (often called "fascist") and their own emphasis on spectacle? How does fascism visualize race, immigration, gender, sexuality, and violence? The course focuses mainly on fascism's manifestations throughout the Spanish-speaking world. That is, what do Latin America and Spain teach us about its malleability and adaptability?

Crosslisted as: SPAN-240FA, FLMST-270FA
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Crumbaugh
Prereq: SPAN-212 or fluency in Spanish with permission.
Notes: Taught in Spanish.

CST-249FD Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Eating Asian America: Thinking through Food in Literature and Culture'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will focus on 20th and 21st century Asian American literature and culture through the critical lens of food: as medium of representation, crucible of memory, site of labor, and material trace of history. Through analyses of pop culture, literature, film, and cultural history, we will examine the intimate association of Asian American subjects with food, eating and cooking, as well as food's relationship to anti-immigrant sentiment, cultural assimilation, multiculturalist celebration, and U.S. empire. This course will further situate food within an intersectional framework, through which we consider the co-articulation of race with gender, sexuality, class, and nation

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
J. Kim

CST-249FM Special Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Frames of Mind: Tracking Power/Knowledge'

Spring. Credits: 4

A frame of mind typically refers to a mood or perspective. However, such dispositions also reflect a certain regulation of thought and thus behavior. In other words, something "frames" our minds in the first place. This course explores these ideas by interrogating the history of commonplace assumptions regarding issues such as freedom, race, prison, sexuality, government, and insanity. Authors include Giorgio Agamben, Wendy Brown, Michel Foucault, Friedrich Nietzsche, Edward Said, Ann Laura Stoler, and others.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-287FM
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Crumbaugh
Advisory: The course is geared toward both first-year students with minimal experience with philosophy and other students who have an interest in critical theory.

CST-249JM Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Jewish Modernities'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course examines key themes in Jewish intellectual, religious, and political life from the late 17th century to the present. We examine: the effect of civil emancipation and the Enlightenment on Jewish philosophy and theology; Jews as both architects of modern thought and the paradigmatic Other in European liberal nation-states; the transformation of traditional Jewish religious rituals and belief systems in response to dramatic social and political life; new patterns of gender and family organization; the effect of antisemitism, Zionism, and imperialism on Jewish politics; and contemporary Jewish intellectual innovation, including feminist and queer thought.

Crosslisted as: JWST-269, RELIG-269
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
M. Benjamin

CST-249LR Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Latina/o/x Urbanism'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course examines the relationship between the urban and Latina/o/x placemaking, identities and culture(s). Urban scholars have long studied the "evolving" city-this course explores the changing city in relation to Latina/o/x populations and urban social change movements. We examine historical and contemporary conditions and cover a broad range of topics including: urbanization, urban planning, "new urbanism," placemaking, gentrification, migration/immigration, segregation, and more. The readings in this course aim to provoke a consideration of the dynamic between space and place, as well as how urban life, culture, and form impacts Latina/o/x populations and vice versa.

Crosslisted as: LATST-250LR
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
V. Rosa

CST-249MD Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Introduction to Media Studies'

Fall and Spring. Credits: 4

This course introduces students to the critical study of media, focusing on electronic media, digital technologies, and network cultures. We will analyze the aesthetics, politics, protocols, history, and theory of media, paying attention to the ways they create and erase borders; affect how we form and articulate identities; invade privacy while providing a platform for exploration; foster hate speech and progressive movements alike; and participate in capitalist economies and the acceleration of climate change. While tracing the global flows of media creation, distribution, and consumption, we will also consider the different issues that arise in diverse national and local contexts.

Crosslisted as: FLMST-220MD
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
H. Goodwin

CST-249NT Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Black, Jewish, and Muslim Cultures in Germany: Intersectionalities of Othering'

Spring. Credits: 4

As much as German culture is riddled with extreme examples of persecution and nationalism, the presence of those deemed non-German, such as Black Africans, African Americans, Jews, and Muslims, shaped cultural expression and cultural exchange. In this seminar we explore the expression of otherness as portrayed in literature, film, and art from the eighteenth through twenty-first Centuries. Drawing from critical race theory, critical ethnic studies, and gender studies, we consider work by non-Germans as well as the representation of others in German canonical and popular cultural production.

Crosslisted as: GRMST-231NT, JWST-225NT
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
K. Remmler

CST-249RP Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Race, Racism, and Power'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course analyzes the concepts of race and racism from an interdisciplinary perspective, with focus on Latinas/os/x in the United States. It explores the sociocultural, political, economic, and historical forces that interact with each other in the production of racial categories and racial "difference." In particular, we focus on racial ideologies, racial formation theory, and processes of racialization, as well as the relationship between race and ethnicity. The course examines racial inequality from a historical perspective and investigates how racial categories evolve and form across contexts. The analysis that develops will ultimately allow us to think rigorously about social inequality, resistance and liberation.

Crosslisted as: LATST-250RP, GNDST-204RP
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
V. Rosa
Restrictions: This course is limited to sophomores and juniors.

CST-249TJ Topics in Critical Social Thought: Culture: 'Transforming Justice and Practicing Truth to Power: Critical Methodologies and Methods in Community Participatory Action Research and Accountability'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will offer an overview of select methodologies and methods from Community-based Participatory Action Research (CBPAR), Participatory Action Research (PAR), collaborative ethnography and other social justice research interventions such as radical oral history, grassroots research collectives, experimental digital archives, research and data justice networks and organizations. We will center on questions of "accountability"; that is, to whom, for whom, and to what end do processes of accountability serve those already in power? Moreover, we will investigate the chasms between academia and activism in order to explore the possibility of unlikely collaborative research alliances.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-204TJ
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
R. Hwang
Prereq: 4 credits in Gender Studies or Critical Social Thought.

CST-249TR Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Trans* Identities and Communities: Genealogy, Theory, Praxis and Community Research'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will investigate knowledge/cultural production produced by trans* communities, particularly those multiply impacted by categories of race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, citizenship and location. To understand the critical feminist genealogy/insurgency in which transgender studies/activism have become a field/site of political discourse, we will explore the overlaps and tensions between women/queer/trans* of color activism and theory. Using experimental and multimedia archives of affect, grief, desire, love, liberation and identitarian contradictions, we will ask how counter genealogies as process can transform how we relate to and inhabit power, futurity and memory.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-204TR
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
R. Hwang
Prereq: 4 credits from Gender Studies.

CST-249WT Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Sociology of 9/11 and the War on Terror'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

We will explore the cultural and political impact of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The media's role in constructing meanings will be a main organizing focus of the course. Using readings, discussions, assignments, and films, the course will allow students to form a picture of how 9/11 changed America and beyond. Course topics include: the way the mainstream media constructed 9/11 and alternate ways they could have; how popular culture and the Public Sphere responded; complex historical factors leading up to 9/11; reasons the attackers say they committed the attacks; ways the event changed culture and politics in the world; conspiracy theories.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
N. Michaud Wild
Prereq: SOCI-123.

CST-249YE Special Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'The Undocumented Latina/o Youth Experience: Struggles, Resiliency, and Futures'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course provides an overview of the immigrant rights movement, emphasizing diverse undocumented Latina/o students throughout the K-20 pipeline. Readings and discussions will: address the socio-political construction of 'illegality'; critically examine the creation and implementation of pro- and anti-immigrant legislation, particularly policies that impact undocumented students; survey the challenges and resiliency of the undocumented youth movement as it pertains to education, social mobility, and health; and deconstruct the legislative, political, economic, and cultural factors that impact the undocumented community in the U.S.

Crosslisted as: LATST-250YE
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
A. Soltero López

CST-253 Critical Race Theory

Fall. Credits: 4

This course examines the discursive relationship between race and law in contemporary U.S. society. Readings examine the ways in which racial bodies are constituted in the cultural and political economy of American society. The main objective is to explore the rules and social practices that govern the relationship of race to gender, nationality, sexuality, and class in U.S. courts and other cultural institutions. Thinkers covered include W.E.B. DuBois, Kimberle Crenshaw, Derrick Bell, and Richard Delgado, among others.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-208
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Wilson
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Advisory: Critical Social Thought 248, 249,or 250 recommended but not required

CST-256 Rethinking (Under)Development in Latin America

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

When and how did the notion of "development" emerge and spread? Why does nearly every country now aspire to it? What stigmas and hierarchies does the term "under-development" imply? Throughout Latin America, such terms prove highly problematic not only with respect to the material reality they purport to describe but also as a framework for understanding place, time, and selfhood. In this course, students rethink conventional wisdom about "underdevelopment" through the study of writers, filmmakers, and painters from Latin America working at different historical junctures of the twentieth century.

Crosslisted as: LATAM-287DE
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
L. Gudmundson

CST-258 Existentialism

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Does human life have meaning (purpose)? Can religion or spirituality provide it? If not, is human life 'absurd'? How can we attain or create meaning in the face of the 'absurdity' of human life? What is genuine human freedom? Are other people in the world obstacles to, or also sources for, our attempt to attain or create meaning in our lives? What is existential commitment and 'authenticity'? Is existentialist ethics possible at all? We will examine the central themes of existentialism in readings from Kierkegaard, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus, de Beauvoir, and Fanon (among others). We will also end the course by considering some significant criticisms of existentialism.

Crosslisted as: PHIL-255
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
The department

CST-280 Literary and Cultural Theory

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

An introduction to literary and cultural theory with an emphasis on twentieth century and contemporary thought. We will focus on crucial questions that have focused, and continue to focus, critical debate. These questions may include representation, subjectivity, ideology, identity, difference, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and nation. Throughout we will be particularly interested in the ways in which language and form mediate and construct social experience.

Crosslisted as: ENGL-280
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
A. Rodgers
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

CST-295 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 4

The department
Instructor permission required.

CST-339 The Visual Culture of Protest

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course examines social protests from the perspective of the visual. Examining cultural productions from 1948-2015 we will focus on the geographical specificity of planned and spontaneous protests that have mobilized people into action. We will use a black studies framework to engage the possibilities present in resisting disparate power structures of race, gender, sexuality, class, and region. Artists, musicians, activists, writers, and grassroots organizers of social movements have been ever cognizant of the role of the visual in subverting power structures. We will use this opportunity to place visual culture at the center of a conversation concerning resistance, human rights, political agency, citizenship, and freedom.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-339, ENGL-339
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
K. J. Brown
Prereq: ENGL-199/200, or AFCNA-200.

CST-342 Science as Culture

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

What is science? The progressive discovery of Nature's laws? The process of honing claims about the universe? Is science the act of postulating and testing hypotheses? Or is it tinkering, experimentation? This course offers an advanced introduction to cultural and anthropological studies of science. Through careful readings of work in areas such as the sociology of scientific knowledge, actor-network theory, feminist science studies, and affect theory, we will explore the sciences as complex systems of cultural production. The course will culminate in a series of critical ethnographic studies of how the sciences shape concepts and experiences of race, the body, gender, and sexuality.

Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
M. Watson
Prereq: 8 credits in the department.

CST-346 Irish Gothic

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This advanced seminar will study the gothic as a genre and as a malleable yet persistent discursive site in Irish literary and political tradition. From the eighteenth century to the present, the gothic has been used to explore aspects of Irish history, in particular colonialism. The course will focus on texts that engage with three primary problems that the Irish gothic is used to explore: violence and terror, famine, and vampirism as a political metaphor. We will read novels, short fiction, poetry, and archival newspaper writing, including work by Maturin, Edgeworth, Lady Wilde, Mangan, LeFanu, Stoker, Joyce, Bowen, Enright, Deane, Boland, and Heaney.

Crosslisted as: ENGL-346
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
A. Martin
Instructor permission required.
Advisory: online application required
Notes: meets English department 1700-1900 requirement; meets English department seminar requirement

CST-349 Advanced Topics

CST-349AC Advanced Topics: 'Latina/o/x Studies in Action'

Spring. Credits: 4

Latina/o/x Studies in Action explores university/college-community partnerships and civic engagement with/in Latina/o/x communities in the United States. Drawing from the field of Latina/o/x Studies, the course explores and interrogates "traditional" academic understandings of knowledge production, research, and service learning. Focusing on questions of power, inequality, and social change, this course will examine how university/college-community partnerships can be based on reciprocity, exchange, and the centering of community assets, needs, and voices.

Crosslisted as: LATST-350AC
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
V. Rosa

CST-349AD Advanced Topics: 'Abolitionist Dreams & Everyday Resistance: Freedom Memoirs, Struggles, and Decolonizing Justice'

Fall. Credits: 4

This seminar will offer close theoretical readings of a variety of anti-colonial, abolitionist, anti-imperialist, insurgent and feminist-of-color memoir, autobiographical and social justice texts. We will read works from Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, Assata Shakur, Patrisse Cullors, Grace Lee Boggs, Audre Lorde, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarsinna, Leila Khaled, Fannie Lou Hamer, Sarah Ahmed, Lee Maracle, Kai Cheng Thom, Angela Davis, Sojourner Truth, adrienne maree brown, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Mary Brave Bird, Jamaica Kincaid, Gabby Rivera and Haunani-Kay Trask. We will center the interlinking and capacious concepts of liberation, revolution, freedom, justice and decolonization.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333AD
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Writing-Intensive
R. Hwang
Prereq: One course in Gender Studies or Critical Social Thought at the 200 level or above.

CST-349AF Advanced Topics: 'African American Spiritualities of Dissent'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course seeks to understand how protest fuels the creation and sustenance of black religious movements and novel spiritual systems in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We will examine the dissentive qualities of selected African American activists, community workers, scholars, spiritual/religious leaders and creative writers. By the end of this course, students will be able to thoughtfully respond to the questions, "What is spirituality?"; "What is dissent?"; and "Has blackness required resistive spiritual communities?

Crosslisted as: RELIG-331AF, AFCNA-341AF
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
M. Coleman-Tobias

CST-349AN Advanced Topics: 'Love, Sex, and Death in the Anthropocene, or Living Through the Age of Climate Disaster'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The "Anthropocene" has been defined as the era when humans exert change on the earth's climate, but this term has become a dynamo for theories, political discussions, and art about man's anthropocentric relation to the nonhuman world. This course will read theories of the Anthropocene alongside artistic contemplations of the shifting, ethical relations among humans, animals, and other beings of the world. How are we to live, die, and reproduce ourselves in a time when we have egregiously affected the earth? How does the critique of anthropocentrism shift our understanding of sex, gender, race, and the nonhuman? Finally, how does art speak within political conversations of climate change?

Crosslisted as: ENGL-366
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
K. Singer
Prereq: 8 credits in English or Critical Social Thought.

CST-349AX Advanced Topics: 'Making Waves: Gender and Sexuality in Asian America'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Dragon ladies, lotus blossoms, geisha girls--the U.S. cultural imaginary is saturated with myths regarding Asian sexuality and gender. This interdisciplinary course intervenes into this dominant imaginary by exploring feminist and queer frameworks derived from Asian-American contexts: immigration, labor, racial stereotyping, militarization, citizenship, and so-called "terrorism." Through a mix of scholarly, creative, activist, and media texts, we will challenge preconceived notions about Asian Americans as regressive, repressed, or hyper-sexual, as well as examine the powerful counter-imaginaries offered within Asian American literature and culture.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333AX
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
J. Kim
Prereq: GNDST-101.

CST-349BC Advanced Topics: 'History of British Capitalism'

Spring. Credits: 4

Drawing on insights from recent scholarship on the "histories of capitalism," this course explores the history of economic life in modern Britain, from the late seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. Rather than take British economic development as exemplary of modernization we will situate that which was particular about the British case against the pluralities of capitalism that have evolved over the past three centuries. Topics include revolutions in agriculture, finance, commerce and manufacturing; the political economy of empire; the relationship between economic ideas, institutions and practice; and, the shaping of everyday economic life by gender, class and race.

Crosslisted as: HIST-357
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
D. Fitz-Gibbon
Restrictions: This course is open to juniors and seniors

CST-349BG Advanced Topics: ''Beyond Geishas and Kung Fu'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course examines contemporary Asian American film and visual culture through the lens of cultural recovery, self-invention, and experimentation. Focusing primarily on film and photography, we will explore issues of race and visuality, Hollywood orientalism, memory and postmemory, and racial impersonation and parody. Students will engage with a variety of theoretical and critical approaches. Artists may include Nikki S. Lee, Margaret Cho, Tseng Kwong Chi, Jin-me Yoon, Justin Lin, Binh Dahn, Richard Fung, Mira Nair, Deepa Mehta, and Alice Wu.

Crosslisted as: ENGL-334BG
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
I. Day
Restrictions: This course is open to juniors and seniors
Prereq: 8 credits in English.

CST-349BT Advanced Topics: 'The Body Toxic: Narratives of Race, Disability, and Illness'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course examines the intersections of race, disability, illness, and health using literature and culture as primary sites of engagement. Looking to writers like Audre Lorde, Anna Deavere Smith, Mia Mingus, Harriet Jacobs, and Indra Sinha, it asks how structures of racial, environmental, and economic inequity transform the category of disability, which critics have primarily defined in terms of whiteness. It also considers alternate conceptions of health--models that do not align with mandates of productivity or normative embodiment--offered by the texts under consideration, and asks what political/ social liberation might look like when able-bodiedness is no longer privileged.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333BT
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
J. Kim

CST-349CF Advanced Topics: 'Survived, Punished and (Un)Deserving: Feminist Participatory Action Research Against Carceral Feminisms'

Spring. Credits: 4

This course will consider the critical intervention of #SurvivedAndPunished, and the idea of "survivor defense as abolitionist praxis." Using principles and case studies from feminist and critical race action research, we will investigate the concepts of transformative justice, carceral feminism and anti-violence alongside the binaries of deserving/undeserving and good-victim/non-victim criminal. How does this relate to the corrective notions of rehabilitation, redemption and restitution? What does the criminalization of survivors of violence (i.e., gendered, racial, intimate partner, sexual and state violence) tell us about our limited views of justice and collective healing from harm?

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333CF
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning, Writing-Intensive
R. Hwang
Prereq: One course in Gender Studies or Critical Social Thought at the 200 level or above.

CST-349CH Advanced Topics: 'Childhood and Children in Religion'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course explores a diversity of religious approaches to the meaning of childhood and the nature of children. We critically examine influential writings, rituals and liturgy, fiction, and other types of literature to understand the construction of childhood as distinctive life stage that entails special rights and responsibilities. We will also examine how gender, power, race, social structures, and economic arrangements produce divergent understandings of what it means to be a child.

Crosslisted as: RELIG-331CH, JWST-350CH
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
M. Benjamin
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Notes: Students wishing to take this course for credit in Jewish studies must choose a research topic that builds on Jewish sources.

CST-349DE Advanced Topics: 'Rethinking (Under)Development in Latin America'

Spring. Credits: 4

When and how did the notion of "development" emerge and spread? Why does nearly every country now aspire to it? What stigmas and hierarchies does the term "under-development" imply? Throughout Latin America, such language proves problematic not only as a material reality but also as a framework for understanding place, time, and selfhood. In this course, students rethink conventional wisdom about "underdevelopment" through the study of writers, filmmakers, and painters from Latin America working at different historical junctures of the twentieth century.

Crosslisted as: SPAN-350DE
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language; Multicultural Perspectives
J. Crumbaugh
Prereq: Two 200-level Spanish courses above SPAN-212.
Notes: Taught in Spanish.

CST-349EM Advanced Topics: 'Flesh and Blood: Naturecultural Embodiments'

Spring. Credits: 4

What does it mean to be (in?) a body? Who counts as whole, broken or food? How do discipline, punishment, use, reproduction, and illness come into play? What are agency, animacy, knowledge, consciousness in relation to embodiment? Western rationality has produced and disciplined a coherent, bounded, defended, racialized, and gendered bodily Self through medicine, psychiatry, nutrition, education, sexology, thanatology, obstetrics, and other disciplines. We will explore this production and its continual undoing, through topics such as medical diagnosis, disability, death and burial cultures, infection, diet, breastfeeding and dairy, chronic illness, depression, queerness, and hormone replacement.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333EM
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
C. Gundermann
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Prereq: GNDST-101 and GNDST-221 or GNDST-201, or CST-200 or CST-248, or 8 credits in Anthropology, Sociology, History, Environmental Studies or Geography.

CST-349FM Advanced Topics: 'Latina Feminism(s)'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

What is Latina Feminism? How does it differ from and/or intersect with "other" feminisms? In this seminar, we will explore the relationship between Latina feminist theory, knowledge production, and social change in the United States. This interdisciplinary course explores Latina feminism in relation to methodology and epistemology through a historical lens. This will help us to better understand how Latina feminist approaches can inform our research questions, allow us to analyze women's experiences and women's history, and challenge patriarchy and gender inequality. We will explore topics related to knowledge production, philosophies of the "self," positionality, inequality, the body, reproductive justice, representation, and community. Our approach in this class will employ an intersectional approach to feminist theory that understands the interconnectedness between multiple forms of oppression, including race, class, sexuality, and ability. Central to seminar discussions and student learning is a substantial community-based learning requirement that will facilitate a deeper engagement and analysis of the relationship between the concepts we explore in the course. Our goal is to develop a robust understanding of how Latina feminist methodologies and epistemologies can be tools for social change.

Crosslisted as: LATST-350FM, GNDST-333FM
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
V. Rosa
Restrictions: This course is open to juniors and seniors

CST-349LD Advanced Topics: 'Luminous Darkness: African American Social Thought After DuBois'

Spring. Credits: 4

Examines the causes of and proposed solutions to 'the Negro problem' in post-Civil War American public policy. Focuses on the life, work, and legacies of DuBois. Drawing on domestic and diasporic fictional and nonfictional depictions of black life in the 'DuBoisian century' the course considers different responses to his 1903 question, 'How does it feel to be a problem?' Examining theories, arguments, movements and policies targeting blacks and their environment allows us to criticize black modernity, assess the changing role of black intellectuals in society, evaluate 'race theory' and consider dominant and marginal attempts to analyze and overcome the 'color line' in America.

Crosslisted as: AFCNA-308
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
L. Wilson
Instructor permission required.
Prereq: 8 credits in Africana Studies.

CST-349MC Advanced Topics: 'Latinas/os/x and Housing: Mi Casa Is Not Su Casa'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Housing is closely tied to quality of life and the health of neighborhoods and communities. As a main goal of the "American Dream," homeownership has important significance on an individual and societal level. For immigrants, this goal is often out of reach as a result of racism and discriminatory housing policies. This interdisciplinary seminar explores Latinas/os/x relationship to housing and homeownership by examining: 1. the history of housing policy in the United States; 2. national identity, assimilation, and housing; and 3. discriminatory housing policies/programs and housing inequality. We explore topics including immigration, housing policy, public housing, segregation, gentrification, the suburbs, homelessness, eviction, affordability, and community building. Exploring this range of topics will help us develop a clearer understanding of why housing is one of the most pressing issues for Latinas/os/x today.

Crosslisted as: LATST-350MC, GNDST-333MC
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
V. Rosa
Restrictions: This course is open to juniors and seniors

CST-349MR Advanced Topics: 'The Medieval Mirror: Freedom, Gender and Resistance in Contemporary Arabic Literature'

Spring. Credits: 4

Setting their historical novels in the Middle Ages, contemporary Arab writers such as Radwa Ashour, Jurjy Zaydan, Gamal al-Ghitani and Bensalem Himmich have reflected into the past the problems of present Middle-Eastern societies. Writing from Egypt, Lebanon and Morocco, they revisited with nostalgia the extraordinary medieval heritage of the Arab-Islamic world, educating their readers while taking them on journeys to Medieval Andalusia, to the last years of the Baghdad of the caliphs, and to Cairo on eve of the Ottoman conquest. By looking into the medieval mirror, these authors challenged conservative readings of this heritage. In doing so, they contributed to the modernization of their countries and were able to escape censorship, uphold feminist values, and to criticize Western imperialism and oppressive Arab rulers. In this course, we will read their works in valuable English translations, while discussing their extraordinary lives as twentieth-century writers, intellectuals, and activists.

Crosslisted as: ASIAN-339
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
M. Lovato
Notes: Taught in English. A special Arabic track will be available for upper-intermediate, advanced, and native students of Arabic.

CST-349MS Advanced Topics: 'Multi-Species Justice? Entangled Lives and Human Power'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

How can we change animal exploitation and re-situate the human more equitably with other species? Through animal rights? Justice? Abolition? Dismantle human exceptionalism? Animal emancipation? Companionship? Co-existence? Stewardship? What are the uses and limits of the discourses from which critical animal studies borrows conceptually, for example: antiracism, feminism, disability studies, nationalism, transformative justice, and so on. We will explore different scenarios of human-nonhuman entanglements, such as training, rescue, the animal industrial complex, the politics of extinction, hunting, infection, predation, breeding/reproduction and others.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333MS
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
C. Gundermann

CST-349MW Advanced Topics: 'Memory (of) War'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

The medium of cinema has shown persistent concern with war and memory, and has constituted a heated battleground for rememberance and erasure of the past. Through cinema, in other words, we most clearly see both memories of war and subsequent wars among competing memories. The Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the repressive military regime of Francisco Franco (1939-1975), and recent attempts to "recuperate" memory all dramatize these dynamics and raise a number of larger questions. How do destruction and devastation register through the visual? What happens when we attempt to police memory (through censorship, propaganda, etc.)? What and why do people choose to remember or forget?

Crosslisted as: SPAN-340MW, FLMST-370MW
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Language
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
J. Crumbaugh
Prereq: Two courses in Spanish at the 200-level above SPAN-212.
Notes: Taught in Spanish.

CST-349NT Advanced Topics: 'Entangled Sexuality: Violence, Resistance, Crime, Punishment And Survival'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Sexuality via current US law is largely conceived of as a singular identity axis, existing independently of other categories and social phenomena. Through critical queer, critical race and settler colonial theory, this course will study the concepts of sexual citizenship/respectability in relation to criminality of "deviant" sexualized, racialized, colonized bodies. In turn, we will explore recent modes of LGBT legal reform -- or rather "carceral feminisms" and "pink-washing." Lastly, we will focus on the unprecedented rate in which women/queer/trans people of color experience violence from the criminal justice system and its law enforcers, even in cases of survival and self-defense.

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333NT
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
R. Hwang
Prereq: 8 credits from Gender Studies.

CST-349PW Advanced Topics: 'Once More With Feeling: Intimacies and Affects in a Posthuman World'

Spring. Credits: 4

Affect theory offers a varied and rich critical language to explore how emotion circulates within and among human bodies-and nonhuman ones as well. If emotions operate through bodily changes and chemical exchanges, then animals and nonhumans might similarly be seen as bodies replete with affective materials in motion and at rest. In this course we will read through an array of affect theory from cognitive science, animal studies, and posthumanist debates on the affect of objects. We will consider how humans know what they feel (and when), how animals love, how forests think, and how affects might cross human and nonhuman boundaries.

Crosslisted as: ENGL-382PW
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive
K. Singer
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors
Advisory: Prior experience with theory is helpful but not necessary.

CST-349RE Advanced Topics: 'Body and Gender in Religious Traditions'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

Do bodies matter in religious traditions? Whose bodies matter? How do they matter? By studying religious body ideals and practices, we examine the possibilities and problems different kinds of bodies have posed in religious traditions. Topics include religious diet, exercise, and dress; monasticism, celibacy, and sexuality; healing rituals, and slavery and violence. We pay special attention to contemporary challenges to problematic body ideals and practices coming from feminist, disability, postcolonial, queer, and trans theorists and activists.

Crosslisted as: RELIG-352, GNDST-333RT
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
S. Mrozik
Restrictions: Course limited to sophomores, juniors and seniors

CST-349RT Advanced Topics: 'Critical Race Theory in Education'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course focuses on Critical Race Theory, its history and application in the field of Education. Through course readings and assignments, students will explore and discuss key issues such as race/racism, class/classism, gender/sexism among other "isms" and how they impact the teaching and learning experiences of students of color. This course is specifically designed to challenge students and make them think critically about their multiple identities, privileges and challenges as students and future leaders. The goal is gain a critical understanding of the connection between theory, research, and practice in order to better understand educational structures, processes, and discourses.

Crosslisted as: LATST-350RT
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Speaking-Intensive, Writing-Intensive
A. Soltero López
Notes: Students interested in careers within Education are highly encouraged to enroll.

CST-349ST Advanced Topics: 'Sissies, Studs and Butches: Racialized Masculinities, Effeminacy and Embodiments of Noncompliance'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

This course will investigate the racialization of masculinity (and the masculinization of race) as undergirded by heteropatriarchy, settler colonialism, militarized borders and imperialism. This course will center perspectives from various "Third World Solidarity" diasporas in order to challenge Western, hegemonic and inherent legacies of masculinity as modernity's (hu)man. Using critical race theory, feminist, queer/trans* of color critique (e.g., Wynter, Fanon, David Eng, José Muñoz), we will ask how whiteness (white supremacist masculinity) shapes and colors masculinity -- whether as exemplar, visible, illegible, failed, deviant and even toxic -- and what then falls outside of such a frame?

Crosslisted as: GNDST-333ST
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities; Multicultural Perspectives
R. Hwang
Prereq: 8 credits in Gender Studies or Critical Social Thought.

CST-349UU Advanced Topics: 'Latina/o Immigration'

Fall. Credits: 4

The course provides an historical and topical overview of Latina/o migration to the United States. We will examine the economic, political, and social antecedents to Latin American migration, and the historical impact of the migration process in the U.S. Considering migration from Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, we will discuss the social construction of race, the gendered nature of migration, migrant labor struggles, Latin American-U.S. Latino relations, immigration policy, and border life and enforcement. Notions of citizenship, race, class, gender, and sexuality will be central to our understanding of the complexity at work in the migration process.

Crosslisted as: LATST-360, GNDST-333UU
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
Other Attribute(s): Community-Based Learning
D. Hernández
Notes: Community-based learning is optional in this class.

CST-349VC Advanced Topics: 'Victorian Literature and Visual Culture'

Fall. Credits: 4

This course will examine literary texts that represent new forms of visuality in nineteenth-century Britain as well as examples of visual culture that provide a framework for reading Victorian culture in innovative ways. We will study nineteenth-century photography--portraiture, prison photography, imperial photographs, and private and popular erotic images--as well as novels and autobiographical writing that engage with new photographic technology and its transformation of the ways in which Victorians understood identity, politics, aesthetics, and representation. The course will take a similar approach to painting, literary illustration, political cartoons and caricature, and advertising.

Crosslisted as: ENGL-325
Applies to requirement(s): Humanities
A. Martin
Prereq: ENGL-220 or ENGL-323 and at least 4 credits from art history or film studies.

CST-349WC Advanced Topics: 'Writing Capitalism's Ruins'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

There's a low buzz; we feel nervous. Is this capitalism's end? Have zombie silhouettes hit the horizon yet? Keep checking. Anthropology narrates collective feelings, gives form to the ambience. But what's the ambience of late industrialism; what's it feel like to collapse? As we watch factory buildings crumble, we wonder whether the tap water's clean. The question of how to write the world (anthropologically-speaking) must also be a question of how to survive, thrive, and even flourish. Archaeologists have long explored decadence, collapse, and ruins. Cultural anthropologists now find themselves in the archaeologists' shoes. Drawing from archaeology, cultural anthropology, ecology, and literary theory, this course will be an open-ended, writing-oriented examination of contemporary experiences of ruins and ruination.

Crosslisted as: ANTHR-316WC
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences; Multicultural Perspectives
M. Watson
Prereq: ANTHR-105.

CST-349WT Advanced Topics: 'Sociology of 9/11 and the War on Terror'

Fall. Credits: 4

We will explore the cultural and political impact of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The media's role in constructing meanings will be a main organizing focus of the course. Using readings, discussions, assignments, and films, the course will allow students to form a picture of how 9/11 changed America and beyond. Course topics include: the way the mainstream media constructed 9/11 and alternate ways they could have; how popular culture and the Public Sphere responded; complex historical factors leading up to 9/11; reasons the attackers say they committed the attacks; ways the event changed culture and politics in the world; conspiracy theories.

Crosslisted as: SOCI-316WT
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
N. Michaud Wild
Prereq: 8 credits in Sociology

CST-391 Pivotal Political Ideas

CST-391CT Pivotal Political Ideas: 'Capitalism'

Not Scheduled for This Year. Credits: 4

After reviewing the classic defense of capitalism as an engine of freedom, progress, and productivity, we will examine major shifts in the critique of capitalism from the early 19th to the early 21st century. This critical conceptual history will range over successive claims that capitalism foments labor exploitation and class inequality, imperialism, instrumentalism, the commodification of culture, the privatization of the commons, and the re-making of subjectivities to suit market imperatives. The course will conclude with Pope Francis's charge that the global capitalist system endangers 'whatever is fragile, like the environment' and devours everything 'in the way of increased profits.' Is Francis right, and if so, what are possible cures for these ills?

Crosslisted as: POLIT-391CT
Applies to requirement(s): Social Sciences
A. Aslam
Prereq: One course in political theory or critical social thought.

CST-395 Independent Study

Fall and Spring. Credits: 1 - 8

The department
Instructor permission required.