CST-107 Introduction to Asian American Studies
In 1882, the U.S. passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, the first federal law to ban a specific ethnic group. Over a century later, President Trump would designate COVID-19 the "Chinese virus," reigniting anxieties of "Yellow Peril," even as reports of anti-Asian violence spiked nationwide. This course aims to bridge these two moments by examining the social, political, and historical contexts that come to bear on contemporary Asian American experience. Focusing on East and Southeast Asian communities, we explore issues of citizenship, belonging, labor, representation and resistance, considering how theories of race, class and gender intersect with national and intergenerational identities.
CST-149 Topics in Critical Social Thought
CST-149AD Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Introduction to African Diaspora Religions'
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-200 Foundations in Critical Social Thought
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.
CST-249 Topics in Critical Social Thought
CST-249BA Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Black Atlantic Diasporas: Departures, Travels, and Arrivals'
We explore modern encounters of African-Americans and Afro-Europeans in the spaces and peripheries of the Black Atlantic, as the spaces constitute diasporic practices. Diasporic Blackness serves as a critique of and community-based resistance to global anti-Blackness, largely in response to Europe's colonial and imperial activities. Our materials frame anti-Blackness as a source of trauma, travel, and resistance, where each of these is a vital part of an emancipatory movement. We include textual and visual materials that examine the consequences of representations of past, present, and future Black freedom dreams and their lived effects. How is diasporic Blackness constituted through time and space? How does the critique of Black-white binarist thought compel a rethinking of controlling narratives of race as nation? What about encounters with other racialized folks?
CST-249BE Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Buddhist Ethics'
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.
CST-249BW Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Black Women and the Politics of Survival'
Contemporary Black women in Africa and the Diaspora are concerned with the sea of economic and political troubles facing their communities, and grappling with how to affirm their own identities while transforming societal notions of gender and family. In this course, we will explore the "intersectionality" of race, gender, sexuality, class, transnational identity; reproductive health; homophobia and heteronormativity, along with the effects of racism, unequal forms of economic development, and globalization on Black communities. The overall aim of this course is to link contemporary Black women's theory and practice to a history and tradition of survival and resistance.
CST-249CP Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Trap Doors and Glittering Closets: Queer/Trans* of Color Politics of Recognition, Legibility, Visibility and Aesthetics'
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.
CST-249CY Topics in English: 'Cyberpunk in Asia'
In popular movies such as Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell, cyberpunk dystopias have often been associated with Asian cities, neon signs, and crowded bustling streets. What can exploring past and current portrayals of a cyberpunk future tell us about how we view Asia now? What can this aesthetic tell us about corporate dystopias? This course will look at film and texts that interrogate the intersection of race, technology, history, nation, and capital flows. We will read novels such as Pattern Recognition, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, view films such as Blade Runner, and view anime such as Howl's Moving Castle to learn about how historical and economic forces have shaped the way the future is imagined, and why the place of that reckoning resonates with Asia today.
CST-249DD Topics in Critical Social Thought: ''Diversity, Inclusion, and Daily Democracy in US History'
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?
CST-249DE Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Decentering Europe: An Introduction to Critical European Studies'
Europe embodies crossroads of multiple cultures, memories, migrations, and political demarcations. Taking a critical view of conventional paradigms of European nation states and "master" narratives, we study shifting European cultures and identities through multiple perspectives across time and space. What remains of the ancient and modern regimes? How have global movements, historical upheavals, and shifting boundaries within and adjacent to European borders, from early empires to contemporary global networks, affected the transformation of lives? Where is Europe heading today? Faculty from across the disciplines will join us to discuss Europe as a subject of global imagination and networks.
CST-249DR Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Disability and Religion'
What do religions say about disability? How do people with disabilities engage with religious texts, images, practices, and communities? Drawing on different religions and cultures, the course explores the challenges and resources disability offers to religious communities. We study religious narratives that link disability to sin or karma and alternative narratives that reimagine the divine as disabled; access to worship spaces and rituals; ways healthcare professionals can support the religious needs of disabled clients; and the Disability Justice movement, which foregrounds the interlocking oppressions of disability, race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality.
CST-249FM Special Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Frames of Mind: Tracking Power/Knowledge'
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.
CST-249HE Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'History of Energy'
We live in an age of energy crises, in which the future of energy is questioned in countless headlines and Twitter feeds. These concerns often include other assumptions about energy's past, in particular the idea that social change invariably follows the discovery of new energy technologies. From food to fuel cells, this colloquium charts a more complicated and interesting history, a history in which people have continually shaped and made meaningful the energies that fuel the modern world.
CST-249JM Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Citizens and Subjects: Jews in the Modern World'
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.
CST-249LR Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Latina/o/x Urbanism'
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.
CST-249LT Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Introduction to Asian American Literature'
This course introduces students to Asian American literature, considering its historical origins and evolution. Throughout the course we explore questions of identity, immigration and citizenship, generational conflict, war and migration, and mixed and cross-racial politics. Readings of primary texts will be supplemented by historical and critical source materials. Authors may include Nina Revoyr, Ruth Ozeki, Nam Le, Chang-rae Lee, Aimee Phan, Susan Choi, and Jhumpa Lahiri.
CST-249NR Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Reimagining American Religious History: Race, Gender, and Alterity'
This course invites its participants to place critical race and gender studies perspectives in dialogue with the emergence of new religious movements in the United States. Course participants rely on the presupposition that only through a thorough examination of religious traditions on the 'margin' can we fully understand the textured meaning of American religious history as a sub-discipline. Privileging the founding stories and institutionalization of minoritized American religious groups, the course considers how subaltern voices have shaped and transformed American religious life.
CST-249NY Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Nueva York'
This course will explore the history of Latina/o/x populations in New York City. Students will learn about histories of migration and settlement, urban inequality, community building, and urban transformation with particular focus on the Puerto Rican population in New York City. The course will examine the many ways Latinas/os/x have transformed New York City and built vibrant communities.
CST-249RP Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Race, Racism, and Power'
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. We will focus on structural, systemic, and institutional racism and processes of racialization. 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, transformation, and liberation.
CST-249SL Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Women and Gender in Islam'
This course will examine a range of ways in which Islam has constructed women--and women have constructed Islam. We will study concepts of gender as they are reflected in classical Islamic texts, as well as different aspects of the social, economic, political, and ritual lives of women in various Islamic societies.
CST-249SM Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Islam in America: From Slavery to the "Muslim Ban"'
Is Islam an American religion? Muslims in the United States have often been treated with suspicion and their religion viewed as foreign and incompatible with American values. Yet, Islam was present in North America since at least the 1700s in the lives of enslaved Africans. And it was theoretically included in the religions whose free exercise is protected by the First Amendment. This course traces the fraught and complex history of Islam and Muslims in North America, from the loss and preservation of Islamic practices under the regime of slavery through the reclamation of Islamic symbols and identities in African-American movements of the 20th century (e.g., The Moorish Science Temple, The Nation of Islam, and The Five-Percenters) to the rapid growth of a diverse immigrant Muslim community post-1965. Particular attention will be paid to: the intertwining of race, gender, and religion in the self-construction of Muslim identities and the policing of Muslim persons; the depictions of Islam and Muslims in U.S. society and politics; and the use of Islamic themes and symbols in contemporary popular culture, such as hip-hop.
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'
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.
CST-249US Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'U.S. Women's History Since 1890'
This course considers the historical evolution of women's private lives, public presence, and political engagement within and beyond the borders of the United States, from the 1890s to the present. How have U.S. racism, consumer capitalism, immigration, and changing forms of state power shaped women's experiences and possibilities? How have regimes of gender, sexuality, bodily comportment, and reproduction evolved in relation to national and global changes? Emphasis will be placed on the experiences and perspectives of working-class women, women of color, and colonized women.
CST-249WC Topics in Critical Social Thought: 'Writing Capitalism's Ruins'
There's a low buzz; we feel nervous. Is this capitalism's end? Have zombies hit the horizon yet? Keep checking. Anthropology narrates collective feeling, gives form to the ambience. But what is late industrialism's ambience? As factory buildings crumble, we wonder whether the tap water's clean. The question of how to write the world is also a question of how to survive and even flourish. Drawing from archaeology, cultural anthropology, ecology, and literary theory, this course is a writing-oriented study of contemporary experiences of infrastructural failure, capitalist collapse, and ruination. One focus is the effects of capitalism on people of color and North American non-English speakers.
CST-253 Critical Race Theory
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.
CST-280 Literary and Cultural Theory
How and why do we read literature and cultural expression? What kinds of knowledge can different cultural media offer us about ourselves and the world? This introduction to literary and cultural theory will survey later 20th- and 21st-century thought, including theorists asking questions about labor, power, ideology, subjectivity, identity, race, gender, sexuality, indigeneity, empire, colonialism, language's figurality, affect, technology, and the nonhuman. We will think about these theories as their own forms of cultural expression and as methodologies that can help us discuss and make meaning of textual, visual, and digital culture.
CST-295 Independent Study
CST-342 Science as Culture
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.
CST-346 Irish Gothic
In this seminar, we will study the gothic 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 represent and to imagine aspects of Irish history, in particular colonialism and its traumas, in literature. The course focuses on the ways that the Irish gothic explores 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, Owenson, Lady Wilde, Mangan, LeFanu, Stoker, Joyce, Bowen, Boland, Edna O'Brien, and Heaney.
CST-349AC Advanced Topics: 'Latina/o/x Studies in Action'
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.
CST-349AD Advanced Topics: 'Abolitionist Dreams & Everyday Resistance: Freedom Memoirs, Struggles, and Decolonizing Justice'
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.
CST-349AE Advanced Topics: 'Race, Gender and Sexual Aesthetics in the Global Era' Justice'
Reading across a spectrum of disciplinary focuses (e.g. philosophies of aesthetics, post-structural feminisms, Black cultural studies, and queer of color critique) this course asks the question what is the nature of aesthetics when it negotiates modes of difference? This course explores the history and debates on aesthetics as it relates to race, gender, and sexuality with particular emphasis on Black diaspora theory and cultural production. Drawing on sensation, exhibitions, active discussion, observation, and experimentation, emphasis will be placed on developing a fine-tuned approach to aesthetic inquiry and appreciation.
CST-349AF Advanced Topics: 'African American Spiritualities of Dissent'
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?
CST-349AN Advanced Topics: 'Love, Sex, and Death in the Anthropocene, or Living Through the Age of Climate Change and Other Disasters'
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?
CST-349AR Advanced Topics: 'Aesthetics of Racial Capitalism'
Race is the modality in which class is lived," wrote the late cultural theorist Stuart Hall. This course takes Hall's axiom as a starting point for considering the racial, gendered, and sexualized character of capitalist domination. Throughout the course students will explore both the political economy and the cultural imaginary of racial capitalism. One question we will grapple with is the following: if capital itself is as imperceptible and objectively real as gravity, what are the common tropes we use to apprehend its circulation? Is it the stock market ticker tape, the shipping container, or the industrial wasteland? Drawing on writers and artists of color from around the world, we will consider ways they offer cognitive maps of the gendered and sexualized contours of racial capitalism. Authors may include Octavia Butler, Chang-rae Lee, Leslie Marmon Silko, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, and Ruth Ozeki. Visual artists may include Xu Bing, Otobong Nkanga, Allan deSouza, Rodney McMillian, Mark Bradford, Takahiro Iwasaki, Anicka Yi, and Candace Lin.
CST-349BC Advanced Topics: 'History of British Capitalism'
This is a research seminar, designed to introduce students to classic and recent debates on the "history of capitalism" and to support original research on a broad array of topics related to the social and cultural history of economic life. Rather than take British capitalism 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 economic life by gender, class and race.
CST-349BF Advanced Topics: 'Foundations in Black Feminist Thought'
This course offers a foundational investigation of African-American and other African descendant women's contributions to feminist theory as a heterogeneous field of knowledge encompassing multiple streams of gender- and race-cognizant articulation and praxis. While Black feminism's historical development will be sketched, our focus will be on the literature and theory of writers like Alice Walker, Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, bell hooks, and Barbara Smith. We explore these and other foundational texts as representatives of the contexts within which Black Women's Studies emerged along with various subaltern feminisms mobilized by other women of color in the Global North and South.
CST-349BG Advanced Topics: ''Beyond Geishas and Kung Fu'
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.
CST-349CF Advanced Topics: 'Free Them All: Abolition Feminism and Anticarceral Action Research'
This course will center the activism, theories and praxis of abolition feminism. We will collectively study how interpersonal violence (gender, racial, sexual, ableist) is intertwined with state violence (from domestic policing to militarism abroad). Through investigating the legal history of the criminalization of survivors alongside mainstream antiviolence research and statistics, we will challenge the use of criminological binaries such as victim/perpetrator and violent/nonviolent. Partnering with coalitions like Survived and Punished National, this course is structured by a series of anti-carceral action research projects such as contributing to active survivor defense campaigns.
CST-349EM Advanced Topics: 'Flesh and Blood: Naturecultural Embodiments'
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.
CST-349ER Advanced Topics: 'Theorizing Eros'
The erotic is a rich site of queer feminist thinking about the costs of the imposition of sexuality as an interpretive grid. The course begins with the study of sexuality as a knowledge system, with a focus on racial and colonial histories of sexuality, then moves on to considerations of the erotic. In both Lordean and Foucauldian genealogies, eros operates as a set of possibilities, or capacities -- for pleasure, joy, fulfilment, satisfaction -- that exceed "sexuality" and can inspire ways of rethinking nature, need, and relationality. Lynne Huffer, L.H. Stallings, Adrienne Marie Brown, Sharon Holland, and Ela Przybylo, among others, help us think capaciously about what the erotic can do.
CST-349FM Advanced Topics: 'Latina Feminism(s)'
In this seminar, we will explore the relationship between Latina feminist theory and knowledge production. We will examine topics related to 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. Our goal is to develop a robust understanding of how Latina feminist methodologies and epistemologies can be tools for social change.
CST-349HD Advanced Topics: 'Disposable People: A History of Deportation'
Taught in English, the course explores comparative racial and ethnic politics in the U.S. during the 20th century. We will analyze the creation and maintenance of structural inequalities through laws and policies targeted at persons of color in the areas of healthcare, transportation, immigration, labor, racial segregation, and education. Through readings, lectures and films, we will discuss critical histories of community struggle against social inequality, registering the central impact that race, class, gender, sexuality, and citizenship have had on efforts toward social justice.
CST-349LD Advanced Topics: 'Luminous Darkness: African American Social Thought After DuBois'
Examines the causes of and proposed solutions to 'the Negro problem' in post-Civil War American social thought and public policy. Begins with 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?' The course examines the development and contemporary status of black modernity and postmodernity in the writings of Robinson, Smith, Davis, Ransby, YamahttaTaylor, and others. Our focus on DuBoisian thought culminates in a careful examination of the emergence of racial capitalism in the 21st century.
CST-349MC Advanced Topics: 'Latinas/os/x and Housing: Mi Casa Is Not Su Casa'
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 the history of exclusionary housing policies in the United States. By exploring a range of topics (affordability, ownership, gentrification, etc), we will develop a sharper understanding of why housing is one of the most pressing issues for Latinas/os/x today.
CST-349MS Advanced Topics: 'Multi-Species Justice? Entangled Lives and Human Power'
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.
CST-349NC Advanced Topics: 'Revolution and Change in the Age of Necropolitics'
The "age of revolution" saw revolts in the Black Atlantic world: Americans rebelled against the British; Native Americans opposed white colonists; bourgeoisie vied for power against the aristocracy; women decried patriarchal imprisonment; Latin American creoles resisted Spanish imperialists; and slaves threw off their masters. This course considers these diverse narratives of revolution as a series of social, political, and philosophical movements to change "biopolitics" (control of life) and "necropolitics" (control via death). We will read revolutionary tracts, slave narratives, and abolitionary literature alongside critical theory to consider how these authors offer ways of living and surviving Western, racial imperialisms.
CST-349PA Advanced Topics: 'Natural's Not in It: Pedro Almodóvar'
This course studies the films of Pedro Almodóvar, European cinema's favorite bad boy turned acclaimed auteur. On the one hand, students learn to situate films within the context of contemporary Spanish history (the transition to democracy, the advent of globalization, etc.) in order to consider the local contours of postmodern aesthetics. On the other hand, the films provide a springboard to reflect on larger theoretical and ethical debates related to gender, sexuality, consumer culture, authenticity, and authorship.
CST-349PW Advanced Topics: 'Once More With Feeling: Intimacies and Affects in a Posthuman World'
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.
CST-349RE Advanced Topics: 'Body and Gender in Religious Traditions'
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.
CST-349RF Advanced Topics: 'Critical Refugee Studies'
Critical Refugee Studies will address a unique and growing portion of the migration flow to the United States -- refugees and asylum seekers. The course will discuss the historical development of persons in flight from their home nations and the U.S.'s ability (and sometimes reluctance) to receive them. The course will address their legal and popular categorization, the various reasons for their displacement abroad, and overt and buried expressions of their identities based on their categorization and displacement.
CST-349SE Advanced Topics: 'Black Sexual Economies'
At once viewed as a dysfunction of normative ideas about sexuality, the family, and the nation, Black sexualities are intimately linked to and regulated by political and socioeconomic discourses. Slavery studies scholars remind us of how it has proven foundational for modern notions of race and sex by making explicit links between labor and exploitation. Thus, this course moves through themes such as slavery historicity, intersections between Black feminisms and Black sexualities, sexual labor/work, pleasure, and the erotic, in order to consider the stakes of our current critical approaches to Black sexual economies and interrogate its silences and possibilities.
CST-349SV Advanced Topics: 'Media and Surveillance'
With corporations using our data to anticipate our desires and counterterrorism units tapping into our communications, we are increasingly embedded in a surveillance society. This course considers practices of surveillance across media platforms, from smartphones, fitness trackers, and baby monitors to the biometric technologies that determine who may cross borders. We will explore how different governments, corporations, and individuals use new media to surveil others, as well as the ways racism and transphobia are inscribed in surveillance practices. We will also discuss and try out protective measures and various subversive practices of "sousveillance.
CST-349TE Advanced Topics: 'Toxicity and Exposure ' History'
Every day, everywhere, we are exposed to toxins in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, the products we purchase, and the social worlds we inhabit. Yet while exposure is shared, its effects are unevenly distributed across lines of race, gender, class, and colonialism. Attending to unequal distributions and disproportionate harms, we consider how toxic exposure shapes historic and novel forms of difference, the politics of evidence, and assumptions about the integrity of bodies and nations. Analyzing ethnographies, film, art, and memoir, we investigate what toxicity is, when it comes into awareness, and how both bodies and environments are made and remade in the process.
CST-349UU Advanced Topics: 'Latina/o Immigration'
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.
CST-349VC Advanced Topics: 'Victorian Literature and Visual Culture'
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.
CST-350 Senior Seminar
This capstone course brings seniors together to think through relationships among empirical research, theory, activism, and practice in gender studies and critical social thought. Majors with diverse interests, perspectives, and expertise will have the opportunity to reflect on, and share with each other, the significance of their major education in relation to their current and past work, their capstone or senior projects, their academic studies as a whole, and their engagements outside of academia. Course readings and discussion will be shaped by students in collaboration with the instructor.
CST-395 Independent Study