Identity and Gender in History
The seminar will use plays, novels, memoirs, movies and more
to examine the construction and development of gender distinctions from
antiquity to the present. The readings
and discussions will be particularly concerned with the transgressions of
gender roles and conventions—with recurring reference to the “meaning” of
femininity and masculinity. The wide
array of sources, genres and historical periods is intended to foster
comparisons and analysis of the differences.
This course will focus on questions of identity and gender and NOT
sexuality or sexual preference.
There is a tension in our
culture between our aspirations idealized by the notion of the American Dream,
and our fears that things are--or are on the verge of getting worse. We
might call these fears American Nightmares. This seminar will explore
some of these contemporary concerns about inequality, injustice, conspiracies,
and the like.
Black Bodies on Display: Race in Museums
The complex and performative nature of museums vis-a-vis race, remembrance and reconciliation with a focus on Black American and African Diasporic history and culture. What role[s] do objects, history, and culture perform under such curatorial and museum mandates and visions? How do changing socio-political and cultural landscapes and challenges to representational politics shape museum practices? Considered here are black cultural institutions, their formation and foundation as well as exhibition histories of black visual art and culture.
Consistency and Change in U.S. Foreign Policy
This course will examine U.S. foreign policy, focusing
on the period from WWII to the present.
It will reveal two essentially divergent paths in American foreign
policy, the first arguing that commercial and security interests dominate (and
should dominate) American foreign policy, the second proposing that furthering
democratic and human rights institutions abroad helps to insure security at
home while making the world more democratic and less likely to wage war. Some political scientists believe that these
divergent impulses can be traced to concepts of government first embraced and
articulated by Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson.
The course will study specific policies that have
emerged over the decades and thus will attempt to define some level of
consistency in American foreign policy.
The class will also investigate significant changes in policies as
demonstrated by particular presidential administrations, including of course
the current one.
Students will read two textbooks related to the
course. Students will also be expected
to keep abreast of current international news, notably by looking at sources
such as BBC World News and CNN, and also by reading articles in prominent
newspapers like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles
Times. All of these sources are
The course will entail a mid-term examination and a
final research paper, both of which will be described in detail in the course