Spring 2023 Cultural Studies Courses
CULS-C 601: Introduction to Cultural Studies
Cultural Studies of Media
- Registration Information: CULS-C601-0001 (#10654)
- Meeting Information: Tu 6:30pm - 9:00pm BH 313
- Joint Listed with: MSCH-M502
- Instructor: Ryan Powell
- Course Description: Survey of main issues, theories, and methods in cultural studies. Topics may include communications and mass culture; gender, race, and the social construction of identity; historiographic and ethnographic approaches to modern cultures and societies.
CULS-C 701: Special Topics in Cultural Studies
History and Theory of Museums and Collections
- Registration Information: CULS-C701-0001 (#32912)
- Meeting Information: Tu 4:45pm - 6:45pm BH 010
- Joint Listed with: HIST-H697
- Instructor: Eric Sandweiss
- Course Description: A historical survey and analysis of the development of the museum: both as a social institution in its own right, and as an index of evolving notions and conflicts about how to classify, discover, interpret, and curate the material evidence of human experience, at various times and in various cultures.
Perspectives in American Studies
- Registration Information: CULS-C701-0002 (#32913)
- Meeting Information: We 9:10am – 11:40am BH 503
- Joint Listed with: AMST-G 604 (GNDR-G701 & ENG-L780)
- Instructor: Paul Anderson
- Course Description: This graduate seminar explores some influential recent texts at the crossroads of American Studies, cultural studies, radical social theory, and literary criticism. The texts concern some topics from the 1960s to the present, especially the post-2000 period. Method-wise, we are particularly interested in ambitious synthetic and interdisciplinary works that model techniques for interpreting a range of expressive texts and performances, historical contexts, and critical theories. We are seeking theoretical models that match and help illuminate our topical concerns. Through close and careful encounters with exemplary works, students will gain a stronger understanding of some influential interpretive models and strengthen their capacity for mapping connections between key trends in cultural studies. The course undertakes this intellectual history of recent theoretical paradigms while also serving as a workshop for student writing. Over the course of the term, each student will workshop and complete a substantial original research paper-critical essay (20-30 pages).
- Assigned texts should include most of the following authors or texts, and others as well:
- Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism(2011)
- Lauren Berlant, On the Inconvenience of Other People (2022)
- Lisa Cacho, Social Death: Racialized Rightlessness and the Criminalization of the Unprotected(2012)
- Jack Halberstam, The Queer Art of Failure(2011)
- Fred Moten, In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition(2003)
- Stefano Harvey and Fred Moten, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study(2013)
- Jose Esteban Munoz, Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity(2009)
- Sianne Ngai, Ugly Feelings(2007)
- Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in the Capitalist Ruins(2015)
- Viet Thanh Nguyen, Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War(2017)
- Alexandra Vazquez, Listening in Detail: Performances of Cuban Music (2013)
Curating Museum Exhibitions: Contemporaneity
- Registration Information: CULS-C701-0003 (#32915)
- Meeting Information: We 3:00pm – 6:00pm GY 1032
- Joint Listed with: ARTH-A 691
- Instructor: Faye Gleisser
- Course Description: This course takes up the concept of “contemporaneity”—broadly defined as the condition of being contemporary in a world defined by the simultaneity of globalization, viral media technology, and late capitalism—to work through interpretations of temporality in contemporary artistic production and art discourse.
A number of questions guide this course: Through what concepts, tools, and questions can we come to understand the relationship between the contours of our own sense of contemporaneousness and the historical forms of contemporaneity manifest in artistic practice and art historical discourse? What are “common sense” ideas of time and where do they come from? Who authors contemporaneity in art discourse? Whose time is privileged and legitimized? 'How has time been racialized and race temporalized', and 'what might temporal reparations look like' (Mahadeo) in art history? How has the past been understood by leading artists, curators, and art critics and to what ends? How do notions of the present shape conceptualizations of hegemonic power in the future? What theoretical and aesthetic tools do we have at our disposal to most effectively understand the transhistorical politics of claiming, possessing, or exiting time? We will address these questions and others as we think together across the layered, and complex temporalities embedded within art exhibitions and contemporary artwork.
Due to the deeply interdisciplinary nature of contemporary art, a subfield operating at the intersection of global war, neoliberal finance, tourism, cultural production, activism, and much more, our consideration of the display, interpretation, and materialization of time in art will make use of art historical readings alongside postcolonial theory, critical race theory, queer theory, poetry, literature, and film. We will engage with a number of thematic topics, such as racial time, anachronism, ahistoricity, Enlightenment narratives of progress and modernity, speculative Black feminist eco-futures, decoloniality, and the ethics of museum curation and its reliance on the devices of timelines and chronologies born of empire-making and genocidal erasures. Visual artists working in a number of mediums—from sculpture, architecture, graphic arts, film, video, performance, installation—as well as curators who confront and aim to dismantle normalized narratives of time will provide important flashpoints for our discussions. For these reasons, this course welcomes graduate students pursuing degrees across a wide range of fields, especially individuals invested in troubling “common sense” understandings of temporal order within their research, writing, making and/or curating. Creative research-based responses to these large, unwieldy, but necessary questions are highly encouraged.
Cultural Politics of Sexuality in the Twentieth Century: Sex, Fascism, Revolution
- Registration Information: CULS-C701-0005 (#33151)
- Meeting Information: Mo 9:00am – 11:30am LH201
- Joint Listed with: GNDR-G704, (HIST-H661 and AMST-G751)
- Instructor: Lessie Frazier
- Course Description: Examines the cultural and political implications of sexuality’s emergence as a public discourse during the twentieth century. Specifically, it examines certain limit cases in which the ostensibly private matters of sexual behavior and sexual identity have given rise to very public controversies about the cultural and political values of society at large.
Introduction to Media Theory
- Registration Information: CULS-C701-0006 (#34085)
- Meeting Information:
- Joint Listed with: FRIT-F652
- Instructor: Vincent Bouchard
- Course Description: In this seminar we will explore the theoretical foundations of Cultural Studies, focusing specifically on the meeting point between Media, Film, Reception, Popular, and Screen Studies. If, historically, Media and Cultures have shaped and reflected every society, the study of their complex relationship to philosophical, political, anthropological, and technical questions emerged in the 1950s and is slowly becoming a point of methodological reference in the Humanities. Better understanding the theoretical background from which Cultural Studies arises is an excellent introduction to this interdisciplinary field. At the same time, this philological introspection will allow us to explore some of its new avenues, through the use of specific case studies.
African American Religion and Literature (Toni Morrison)
- Registration Information: CULS-C701-0007 (#36423)
- Meeting Information: Tu 4:15p – 6:25pm SW217
- Joint Listed with: REL-R532
- Instructor: J Kameron Carter
- Course Description: This course considers African American literature as a location through which to think about American religion generally and black religion, specifically, or to think about religion and the sacred not so much in terms of formal religious institutions but as functions of culture. After general overview that situates the rise of African American Religion and Literature from poet Phyllis Wheatley to writers Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs, in the rest of the course, we will read and think with the Nobel Prize-winning writer Toni Morrison against this backdrop.