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Undergraduate Courses

Fall 2022

Race, Gender, Sexuality, and Contemporary States of Unfreedom
This course explores the recent history of ideas about contemporary unfreedom, focusing on the influence of discourses about race, gender, and sexuality. We will study how scientific racism, structural violence, and climate change fuel contemporary slavery. Students will analyze how the silencing of the pervasiveness of contemporary slavery is tied to the narrative of "abolition" and the globalization of economic dynamics based on the exploitation of predominantly people of color. This course will also examine the racialization of child exploitation, survivor criminalization, and representation of unfreedom in the annual U.S. TIP Report.
Instructors: Dannelle Gutarra Cordero
Feminist Futures: Contemporary S. F. by Women
Feminist Futures explores the way in which recent writers have transformed science fiction into speculative fiction - an innovative literary form capable of introducing and exploring new kinds of feminist, queer, and multi-cultural perspectives. These books confront the limitations imposed on women and imagine transformative possibilities for thinking about gender roles and relationships, the body, forms of power, and political and social structures.
Instructors: Alfred Bendixen
Science After Feminism
Science is commonly held to be the objective, empirical pursuit of natural facts about the world. In this course, we will consider an array of theoretical, methodological, and substantive challenges that feminism has posed for this account of science, and for the practice of scientific knowledge production. In the course of this survey, we shall engage a number of key questions such as: is science gendered, racialized, ableist or classist? Does the presence or absence of women (and another marginalized individuals) lead to the production of different kinds of scientific knowledge?
Instructors: Catherine Clune-Taylor
Modern Brazilian History
This course examines the history of modern Brazil from the late colonial period to the present. Lectures, readings, and discussions challenge prevailing narratives about modernity to highlight instead the role played by indigenous and African descendants in shaping Brazilian society. Topics include the meanings of political citizenship; slavery and abolition; race relations; indigenous rights; uneven economic development and Brazil's experiences with authoritarianism and globalization.
Instructors: Isadora Mota
U.S. Legal History
This class views legal history broadly as the relationship between formal law, popular legal culture, state governance, and social change in the U.S., from the colonial period to the present. We will examine changing conceptions of rights, equality, justice, the public interest. We also will consider questions about the operation of law in U.S. history: How is law made? What do people expect from law? Who controls law? How did that change over time? These questions open up a rich, layered past in which the law was a source of authority that mediated social and political conflicts, even as those conflicts ultimately changed the law.
Instructors: Laura Edwards
Unrest and Renewal in Urban America
This course surveys the history of cities in the United States from colonial settlement to the present. Over centuries, cities have symbolized democratic ideals of "melting pots" and cutting-edge innovation, as well as urban crises of disorder, decline, crime, and poverty. Urban life has concentrated extremes like rich and poor; racial and ethnic divides; philanthropy and greed; skyscrapers and parks; violence and hope; downtown and suburb. The course examines how cities in U.S. history have brokered revolution, transformation and renewal, focusing on class, race, gender, immigration, capitalism, and the built environment.
Instructors: Alison Isenberg
The History of Christianity in Africa: From St. Mark to Desmond Tutu
This course will trace the history of Christianity in Africa from the first to twentieth centuries. We will focus on issues as diverse as the importance of Christians from Africa in the development of central Christian doctrines and institutions, the medieval Christian-Muslim encounter, the modern missionary movement, colonization and decolonization, the role of the church in freedom struggles, and more. We will ask the questions:how does studying the history of Christianity in Africa de-center Europe and the European experience in the history of Christianity? And:What would a global history of Christianity, pre-modern and modern, look like?
Instructors: Jacob Dlamini, Jack Tannous
Borderlands, Border Lives
The international border looms large over current national and international political debates. While this course will consider borders across the world, it will focus on the U.S.-Mexico border, and then on the Guatemala-Mexico and U.S.-Canada border. This course examines the history of the formation of the U.S. border from the colonial period to the present. Borders represent much more than just political boundaries between nation states. The borderlands represents the people who live between two cultures and two nations. This course will also study those individuals who have lived in areas surrounding borders or crossed them.
Instructors: Rosina Lozano
Readings in African American History
This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the literature of African-American History, from the colonial era up to more recent times. Major themes and debates are highlighted. The course should help students to define interests within the field to pursue further study and research and also to aid preparation for examinations.
Instructors: Tera Hunter
Musical Theatre and Fan Cultures
Why do people love Broadway musicals? How do audiences engage with musicals and their stars? How have fan practices changed since the 1950s alongside economic and artistic changes in New York and on Broadway? In what ways does "fan of" constitute a social identity? How do fans perform their devotion to a show, to particular performers, and to each other? This class examines the social forms co-created by performers and audiences, both during a performance and in the wider culture. Students will practice research methods including archival research, ethnographic observation, in-depth interviewing, and textual and performance analysis.
Instructors: Elizabeth Armstrong, Stacy Wolf

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