Fall 2020 GRADUATE COURSE LISTINGS
- ALL COURSES ARE RESTRICTED AND REQUIRE AN ACCESS CODE TO REGISTER.
- If you are NOT an SCA graduate student, but wish to enroll in a course, you must FIRST contact the professor requesting permission to enroll and then the graduate program coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- SCA graduate courses (unless otherwise noted) are located at 20 Cooper Square, 4th Floor.
AFRS-GA 2000.001 - PROSEMINAR IN AFRICANA STUDIES
Seminar Room - 485
(Requirement for 1st year AFRICANA MA students)
This course is an in-depth overview of the major areas of research in black history and culture. It is intended to introduce incoming Africana Studies M.A. students to the significant areas of research, research questions, as well as the primary methods of inquiry that have defined the study of black culture and history since the mid-nineteenth century. Topics include: Negritude, The Harlem Renaissance, Pan-Africanism, Race & Urban Poverty, Black Feminism, Black Social Movements and Literature and Decolonization. It will be a course that is led and directed by one of our faculty members, but will feature guest lectures/presentations by Africana specialists. Each faculty will present in their areas of expertise.
AMST-GA 3301.001 - AMERICAN STUDIES SEMINAR
Seminar Room - 485
(Requirement for 1st year SCA MA and PhD students)
In this introductory graduate seminar, we will review classic texts in American studies, models of intersectional scholarship, and new work addressed to new publics in the field of American Studies, broadly defined. We’ll examine the shifting intellectual parameters and political interventions of American Studies scholarship. Some of the questions we will address include: What theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches have shaped the field? How has the field intersected with other institutionally insurgent interdisciplinary fields, including (but not limited to) feminist and queer studies, labor studies, comparative ethnic and diaspora studies, environmental studies, native and dis/ability studies?
AMST-GA 2901.001 TOPICS: Pandemic: Politics and Policy
Conference Room - 471
This course will function as a working group on the history and politics of epidemics and global pandemics, and on their implications for public health policy. We’ll examine the political economic as well as medical and biological conditions for disease transmission, and consider class, race, gender, disability and geography as crucial contexts for analysis. During the semester, various guest speakers will share their research. The class will then build on our reading and guest presentations to design and conduct collaborative research on the novel coronavirus pandemic.
AMST-GA 3213.001 TOPICS: HOW TO BE A CRITIC
Seminar Room - 485
This class is for graduate students interested in developing a practice in public scholarship. We will read classic and contemporary work that spans disciplinary fields and media forms, to build shared understandings of the possibilities for publicly engaged criticism. We will hear from guest lecturers who have developed the craft of long-form review essays that treat the work of others with rigor and respect but also introduce original ideas and arguments. We will discuss how to review works that is close to our own expertise as well as how to review work in adjacent fields. We will examine the use of different modes of evaluation and different critical voices, from high praise to spirited attack. Using Public Books as a model and resource, students will learn how to pitch, develop, and complete a long-form review. Successful pitches will be advanced through the Public Books publication process.
AMST-GA 3701.002 - TOPICS: IN AMERICAN HISTORY: An American Studies of Accumulation and Dispossession
Nikhil Pal Singh
Seminar Room - 485
In this course we will examine the history of US capitalist development with specific attention to the relationship of capital accumulation (its legal, labor and property regimes), to processes of coercive dispossession and appropriation via settler expansionism, slavery, colonialism, coercive migration, spatial apartheid and police power. A key goal of this course will be to gain stronger analytical precision and historical grounding for the usage of contemporary analytics such as "racial capitalism."
AMST-GA 3701.002 - TOPICS: IN AMERICAN HISTORY: COMPARATIVE COLONIALISMS: LATIN AMERICA AND THE U.S.
Seminar Room - 485
This course offers an overview of Spanish and British colonialism, primarily through the lens of New England
(United States) and New Spain (Mexico), and to a lesser degree, the West Indies and Peru. As a comparative study
of Spanish and British colonialism, this course examines the specific forms of governmentality implanted by both
in the Americas and the consequences thereof, with particular attention to racialization. How might we think
about race as a paradoxically fungible yet persistent feature of colonial history? British and Spanish modes of
colonialism produced quite distinct racial formations in Hispanophone and Anglophone America (given the
differences in forms of forced labor, intermarriage, sexual conquest, modes of spatial organization, etc.), and yet
today both Mexico and the United States, Peru and the Caribbean, are made up of racially organized social
systems. Slavery, the encomienda, policies of limpieza de sangre, and blood quantum, all were modes of colonial
governmentality that organized daily rituals of labor, reproduction, leisure, and space in New England and New
Spain. By studying these modes side by side, we learn the historical specificities that have produced discrete racial
social systems in Mexico and the United States. Focusing on the colonial production of what are today indigenous
and black/afromestizo identities, we consider the organization of peoples according to demarcations of
difference. In both colonial models, race was accomplished through the disciplining of gender and sexuality, and
thus course readings necessarily engage this active entwining of race, gender, and sex. Though structured as a
comparison, we also challenge the methodology of comparison even as we engage in it. What aspects of
colonialism and racial formation does method enable us to see or obscure? For what purposes do scholars engage
in comparative analysis? What does such an intellectual project entail, in terms of language and historical
proficiencies? How might a comparative approach transform our theoretical paradigms for studying colonialisms
and hemispheric racial formations?
HIST-GA 2028 - SOCIAL HISTORY OF WEST AFRICA
(Email email@example.com to enroll in course)
Examination of the most recent literature on West African social history from early to modern periods.
Lat American/PERF-GT 1035.001 - TOPICS/QUEER THEORY: QUEER THEORY AND PSYCHOANALYSIS (5 SPOTS)
(Email Ann.Pellegrini@nyu.edu for permission to enroll)
If queer theory has never been of one mind about psychoanalysis, this may be because psychoanalysis has never been of one mind about homosexuality, let alone queerness. Rather than resolve this tension, this seminar seeks to stay with this ambivalence, asking what resources each of them might offer the other. “Sex” and “sexuality” are key concepts for both psychoanalysis and queer theory. Both also share an interest in the limits of identity, the ways lived experience so often exceeds our capacity to name—let alone classify—desires, pleasures, relations, embodiments. Nevertheless, queer theory alerts us to how the categories we are called to think with, in the classroom and consulting room, may carry with them unexamined assumptions and biases. This class will examine key texts in psychoanalysis and queer theory as we together explore this cross-pollination, the history of power it is embedded in, and implications for both theory and practice, including clinical practice.
PUBHM-GA 1001 HUMANS, PUBLICS, PUBLIC HUMANITIES (PhD ONLY)
André Lepecki and Ann Pellegrini
20 Cooper Square, 5th floor conference room
This course is intended specifically for Humanities PhD candidates interested in bringing their training to bear in a broad range of professional settings, both within and beyond academia. It is designed to promote high-level reflection on the import of work in the Public Humanities by rigorously investigating two phenomena on which the very concept is founded: the human and the public. Specifically, the course will trace theories of the human as they have developed in a variety of intellectual traditions from antiquity to the present, and of the public in the numerous manifestations that scholars generally contend it has assumed since the early modern period. It will close with some reflections on that nature of scholarly inquiry in the humanities, and the significance of pursuing such inquiry in nonacademic public contexts.
AMST-GA 3302.001 |COLIT-GA 2651 TPCS IN CRITICAL THEORY: THE CARIBBEAN AS INAUGURAL IMAGINARY: COMPARISON AND CONTINGENCY (2 SPOTS)
19 UP RM 229
“The Caribbean,” as David Scott has argued, “is not merely modern…. it is modern in a fundamentally inaugural way.” What does it mean to think of the Caribbean as an inaugural imaginary? And what does the Caribbean mean in a post-colonial, post-socialist, post-revolutionary age? A long host of thinkers, writers and artists of the nineteenth and twentieth century have insisted on the centrality of the Caribbean as root and rhizome in our understanding of modernity and its elements: enlightenment and capital, race and empire, sovereignty and simulation, culture and nation, and, most romantically, or tragically, revolution. But to think the Caribbean adequately one has to think beyond the dialectics of roots and rhizome, beyond the poetics of relation, archipelago and diaspora. This demands too that we read beyond the tragic and monumental tropes of the Caribbean and read instead minor forms and minor keys. Thinking and reading the Caribbean requires not only linguistic and theoretical fluencies, but a capacity to read deep contexts and contingencies within apparent economies of cultural and material scarcity. It requires the capacity to engage the master paradigms of modernity and simultaneously engage the more slippery problems of temporality, contingency, misunderstanding, as well as the violent and demoralizing mechanisms of domination, transaction and subordination. This course considers key texts and works of the Caribbean archipelago and reads them comparatively and sometimes against the grain of their national, regional and postcolonial inscriptions. We will read major cultural works and lesser-known expressions, major literary works and alongside minor or forgotten forms. We will consider how the cultural monuments of the Caribbean have occluded collective politics, aesthetic experiments, insurgent movements and ephemeral forms. We counter pose the monumentality of literature to the epistemologies and historical consciousness of other cultural practices, aiming both for the contrapuntal and the counterintuitive. How, for example, have we come to understand the Haitian Revolution or the Cuban Revolution within grand narratives and what would it mean to read in them not epic, tragic destinies but more banal parables about modernity —destinies consonant with other forms of communal politics, other orders of transaction and betrayal, from Paris, to Prague, from Berlin to Grenada? Comparative questions abound: What does it mean to read a history of revolution and civil rights in the Caribbean nineteenth century? What is the specificity of Caribbean race theory? What is the distance between a history of literature and a history of print culture in the Caribbean? How does literature compete with visual aesthetics? How do we “read” Aponte’s lost book or desacralize Walcott’s Omeros? How does Patrick Chamoiseau destroy the postcolonial novel? How does Dulce María Loynaz precede Sebald by half a century? Why is Virgilio Piñera like Franz Kafka? We will also ask about discursive notions of the Caribbean: what and whether the reparative poetics of relation and antillanité hold. We will engage the divisions between Francophone, Anglophone, and Hispanophone Caribbean studies and trace cultural and theoretical genealogies and segregations, asking if the Caribbean has a common culture beyond the major tropic/al conceits that artists and scholars have used to bind literary production. We will ask, in the tradition of Edward Said, whether, like the East, “Caribbeanism” becomes a career, what the field might mean, and how it exists. What is the place of the Caribbean in the conceptions and political destinies of the American hemisphere or the Global South? The syllabus is will include selections from major canonical Caribbean texts (Casal, Hostos, James, Métraux, Césaire, Price Mars, Mañach, Marinello, Ortiz, Cabrera, Walcott, Brathwaite, Lamming), theorists and historians of the Caribbean (James, Cesaire, Glissant, Moreno Fraginals, Benítez Rojo, Trouillot, Scott), twentieth century literature (Carpentier, Burgos, Loynaz, Lezama, Rodríguez Juliá, Piñera, Walcott) through to the post-colonial Caribbean Anglophone corpus and onto contemporary writers from Rita Indiana Hernández to Marlon James. We will pay special attention to breaking postcolonial linguistic segregations, but also be mindful of the operations and problem of genre, print culture, journal, performance, and the pedagogies of civil society. We will consider the formation of Caribbean Studies as a field and think of the ways that journals from Orígenes and Tropiques, to Callaloo and Small Axe transform critical, artistic and activist interventions on the Caribbean, and translate to intellectual practices in the academy.