Related Courses, Spring 2022

Advanced Manuscript Studies

CLSS 624, ENGL 521, HIST 532, MDVL 621

The MacMillan Political Violence and Its Legacies (PVL) workshop is an interdisciplinary forum for work in progress by Yale faculty and graduate students, as well as scholars from other universities. PVL is designed to foster a wide-ranging conversation at Yale and beyond about political violence and its effects that transcends narrow disciplinary and methodological divisions. The workshop’s interdisciplinary nature attracts faculty and graduate students from Anthropology, African American Studies, American Studies, History, Sociology, and Political Science, among others. There are no formal presentations. Papers are distributed one week prior to the workshop and are read in advance by attendees. A discussant introduces the manuscript and raises questions for the subsequent discussion period. To help facilitate a lively and productive discussion, we ban laptops and cellphones for the workshop’s duration. If you are affiliated with Yale University and would like to join the mailing list, please send an e-mail to huseyin.rasit@yale.edu with “PVL Subscribe” in the subject line.

Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Monday, 10:30am - 12pm

Ancient Civilizations of the Eurasian Steppes

ANTH 326/726, ARCG 326/726 

Examination of peoples of the steppe zone that stretches from Eastern Europe to Mongolia. Overview of what archaeologists know about Eurasian steppe societies, with emphasis on the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron, and medieval ages. Attention both to material culture and to historical sources. Topics range from the domestication of the horse to Genghis Khan’s world empire, including the impact these events had on neighboring civilizations in Europe and Asia.

 
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Friday, 3:30pm - 5:20pm

Ancient Greek Literary Criticism

GREK 432

This course considers some of the foundational texts of Greek literary criticism, investigating how ancient interpreters read and thought about their canonical texts. We focus especially on the ancient reception of Homeric poetry, debates over the educational value of literature, and the history of poetics. This involves close reading in Greek of Plato’s Ion, selections from the Republic, and Plutarch’s How to Study Poetry, as well as shorter selections from Aristotle and Dio Chrysostom. We discuss a broader selection of criticism in English translation as we investigate how ancient readers practiced the art of interpretation. In addition to close reading, this course helps students at the L5 level significantly improve their command of Attic Greek and sensitivity to the nuances of Greek style. We draw on the methods of the ancient critics themselves to practice active reading and production in the language.

Prerequisite: L4 Greek or equivalent, or permission of the DUS or instructor.

Professor: Dexter Brown
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 1pm - 2:15pm

Ancient Greek Magic: Spells, Curses, Incantations

CLSS 839, HIST 609

This seminar explores private ritual practices in the ancient Mediterranean often categorized as “magical,” through the lens of literary, epigraphic, and material evidence for spells, curses, and incantations. The seminar begins in the world of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Phoenicia in order to assess later Greek borrowings; the primary focus, however, is on the circum-Mediterranean basin from the archaic period through Late Antiquity. Examined rituals include conditional self-curses attached to oaths, spells, incantations, revenge curses, binding-curses (defixiones), prayers for justice, curse effigies, amulets, and erotic curses used for seduction. Attention is paid to methodological problems of categorization in the historiography of ancient “magic,” in addition to debates about the place of such rituals within the broader framework of Greek and Roman religion.

Knowledge of Greek and Latin recommended.

Professor: Jessica Lamont
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Wednesday, 3:30pm - 5:20pm

Ancient Moral Psychology

PHIL 428, PHIL 628

The aim of the seminar is to examine Aristotle’s discussion of the psychology of ethical virtue and of ethical failing, as exemplified by akrasia and various forms of vice, and to compare it with later discussions of similar topics, some ancient and some contemporary. The goal of the seminar is to answer two questions: Did Aristotle develop a distinctive account of ethical motivation that resists analysis into two distinct, independently defined, components (such as reason or intellect and desire)? If so, does it withstand criticism from writers who analyze ethical motivation in terms of reason and/or desire (as two independently defined components)? In addressing the second question we consider criticisms of, and alternatives to, Aristotle’s account as developed in some Stoic sources, by David Hume and by some contemporary writers (such as John McDowell and Christine Korsgaard). No knowledge of Greek is required.

Professor: David Charles
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Wednesday, 3:30pm - 5:20pm

Apollonius' Argonautica

GREK 421

Apollonius of Rhodes’ Argonautica is the only extant large-scale narrative epic surviving from the centuries between the Homeric epics and Virgil’s Aeneid. One of the seminal works from the Hellenistic period, the Argonautica tells the famous myth of Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece. In this course, we read Book 3, which depicts the hero’s ill-fated meeting with the Colchian princess Medea and his trial with the Colchian king’s fire-breathing oxen. Alongside the Argonautica, we read excerpts from Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Euripides’ Medea, and Pindar’s Pythian 4, all of which were important influences for Apollonius, a learned Alexandrian scholar. With particular attention to language and characterization, we look at how Apollonius’ Argonautica draws on these earlier works and interacts with them in ways that reflect the scholarly atmosphere and poetic aesthetic of the Hellenistic period. By exploring Apollonius’ creative interaction with his predecessors and his emotional deep dive into the psychology of Medea, we trace some of the continuities in epic storytelling from the Homeric heritage to Apollonius’ influence on subsequent writers as we ponder the questions of what makes an epic great and what makes a story last.

Prerequisite: L4 Greek or equivalent, or permission of the DUS or instructor.

Professor: Erynn Kim
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 9am - 10:15am

Archaeology of the Roman Empire for the Study of New Testament and Early Christianity

RLST 861

The first portion of the course introduces students to working with archaeological data from the Greco-Roman world (inscriptions, architecture, sculpture, coins). The second consists of seminars in Greece and Turkey during May, including some meetings with archaeologists and other scholars abroad. The course is designed for EMWAR students with a primary or secondary area of concentration in New Testament, Early Christianity, Late Ancient Christianity, and Christianity and Judaism in the Hellenistic East. The course also provides important historical context for students concentrating in Second Temple and Hellenistic Judaism and in Rabbinic Judaism. The course can also be applied to secondary areas of concentration focused on archaeology and material culture.

Prerequisites: some level of reading ability in Greek, Latin, or Arabic; some level of reading ability in German, French, or modern Greek; and previous course work in early Christianity, New Testament, or Classics/Roman history. EMWAR area of concentration designations: NT, EarXty, LateXty, XtyJudEast.

Professor: Laura Nasrallah
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Thursday, 9:25am - 11:15am

RLST 861

The first portion of the course introduces students to working with archaeological data from the Greco-Roman world (inscriptions, architecture, sculpture, coins). The second consists of seminars in Greece and Turkey during May, including some meetings with archaeologists and other scholars abroad. The course is designed for EMWAR students with a primary or secondary area of concentration in New Testament, Early Christianity, Late Ancient Christianity, and Christianity and Judaism in the Hellenistic East. The course also provides important historical context for students concentrating in Second Temple and Hellenistic Judaism and in Rabbinic Judaism. The course can also be applied to secondary areas of concentration focused on archaeology and material culture.

Prerequisites: some level of reading ability in Greek, Latin, or Arabic; some level of reading ability in German, French, or modern Greek; and previous course work in early Christianity, New Testament, or Classics/Roman history. EMWAR area of concentration designations: NT, EarXty, LateXty, XtyJudEast.

Professor: Laura Nasrallah
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Thursday, 9:25am - 11:15am

Aristotle’s Ethics and Its Neo-Aristotelian Revival

PHIL 316

The aim of the lecture series is to examine Aristotle’s ethical theory, its aims, assumptions and discussions of particular issues, and to compare it with recent attempts to revive aspects of his account as part of a distinctive virtue-based approach to ethics. The goal of the seminar is to answer the following questions: did Aristotle develop a distinctive account approach to ethical issues and, if so, how is it best understood? Is it best expressed in the terms suggested by contemporary virtue-based theorists who see their work as a reformulation of certain basic aspects of his account. In addressing the second question we consider the neo-Aristotelian accounts developed and criticised by Philippa Foot, Rosalind Hursthouse, Bernard Williams, Michael Thomson and Terrence Irwin (amongst others).

The course is aimed at advanced undergraduates (seniors and juniors) in philosophy or classics. Priority will be given to these students for enrollment if necessary. Knowledge of Greek is not required.

Professor: David Charles
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 11:35am - 12:50pm

Baudelaire and the Arts

FREN 881, HSAR 829

The work of poet and art critic Charles Baudelaire, a pivotal figure in the history of both romanticism and modernism, has had a significant afterlife in modern art theory and criticism, modern literature, and modern thought about everything from pornography to photography, and from caricature to comedy, as well as cities, industrial forms, the temporality of modern life, modern art, modern music, and modern poetry. This interdisciplinary seminar pairs Baudelaire’s writing with the work of a variety of other figures of his and our time, from the artists Goya, Delacroix, Guys, and Manet; the photographers Nadar, Carjat, Disdéri, Marville, Le Gray, and Atget; the art critics Gautier and Zola; the Symbolist poets Mallarmé and Verlaine; the writers and artists of the Surrealist movement; and the composers and performers Wagner, Debussy, and Diamanda Galás; to the work and thought of Walter Benjamin concerning Parisian modernity, and the ideas of Sigmund Freud about dreams and the unconscious. We stress the visual, art historical, and art critical ramifications of Baudelaire’s work—in particular his Salons and Le Peintre de la vie moderne, but also his poetry and other writings. Many of these texts are translated into English, but as much as possible we try to read and discuss them together in the original French.

Professor: Carol Armstrong
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Wednesday 1:30pm - 3:20pm

Decolonizing Europe

WGSS 825

Decolonial theory imagines a world different from the one created by the dominance of Western modernity. However, it is not necessarily obvious what Europe can contribute to this process, as the decentering of Europe and its intellectual traditions are tenets of decolonial theory; the continent is arguably the only one in which Europeans do not appear as colonizers. In this class, following authors such as Aimé Césaire, Stuart Hall, and Houria Bouteldja, we approach Europe as a space that is key to the global process of decolonization. A return of land in the former colonies that includes actual sovereignty instead of exploitative postcolonial relationships would fundamentally change the European economy, which is built on a model of prosperity at the expense of non-Europeans, justified through a model of meritocracy that makes invisible the violence of the colonial project. But beyond that, Europe as a concept collapses without a colonial framework—what Europe stands for today (and has since early modernity) would be meaningless without the Western knowledge model that decoloniality aims to dismantle. So, what would a different, decolonized Europe look like? For potential answers, we turn to the practices of European activists and artists of color such as the French Indigènes de la République, the German Romani Phen, Spain’s Diásporas Críticas, and others. Among our themes are Europe’s investment in whiteness, museums and the question of repatriation of artifacts and human remains, queer Roma artists in Eastern Europe and the postsocialist legacy, and the so-called refugee crisis and reparations.

Professor: Fatima El-Tayeb
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Thursday 1:30pm - 3:20pm

Eastern Europe since 1914

ER&M 263, HIST 264, RSEE 268

Eastern Europe from the collapse of the old imperial order to the enlargement of the European Union. Main themes include world war, nationalism, fascism, and communism. Special attention to the structural weaknesses of interwar nation-states and postwar communist regimes. Nazi and Soviet occupation as an age of extremes. The collapse of communism. Communism after 1989 and the dissolution of Yugoslavia in the 1990s as parallel European trajectories.

Term: Spring 2022

Exploring Contemporary German Culture

GMAN 151

Advanced German course focusing on vocabulary expansion through reading practice; stylistic development in writing; and development of conversational German. Critical analysis of selected aspects of contemporary German culture, such as Green Germany, social movements from the 60s to today, the changing “Sozialstaat,” and current events.

Prerequisite: GMAN 140 or equivalent.

Professor: Marion Gehlker
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 11:35am - 12:50pm

Family in Greek Literature and Film

MGRK 218, WGSS 245, FILM 243

The structure and multiple appropriations of the family unit, with a focus on the Greek tradition. The influence of aesthetic forms, including folk literature, short stories, novels, and film, and of political ideologies such as nationalism, Marxism, and totalitarianism. Issues related to gender, sibling rivalry, dowries and other economic factors, political allegories, feminism, and sexual and social violence both within and beyond the family.

Professor: George Syrimis
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Friday, 1:30pm - 3:20pm

Fantastika: Russian Fantasy and Science Fiction

RUSS 177

This course explores the fantastic in Russian literature and film, while further advancing communicative competence in the Russian language. We trace the development of the fantastic in Russian literature and film in the 20th and 21st centuries, with an eye toward science fiction, which emerged and rose to prominence during the Soviet era. Among the questions we consider are the tension between imagined and real societies and how alternative worlds explore the nature of our own being; the impact of technical progress on human race and whether science fiction anticipates scientific innovation and social change; the appeal of the fantastic to a contemporary reader and how science fiction meets the human need for a desired past or future. Taught in Russian.

Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 2:30pm - 3:45pm

France by Rail: Trains in French Literature, Film, and History

FREN 307, LITR 302

Exploration of the aesthetics of trains in French and Francophone literature and culture, from the end of the nineteenth-century and the first locomotives, to the automatically driven subway in twenty-first century Paris. Focus on the role of trains in industrialization, colonization, deportation, decolonization, and immigration. Corpus includes novels, poems, plays, films, paintings, graphic novels, as well as theoretical excerpts on urban spaces and public transportation. Activities include: building a train at the CEID and visiting the Beinecke collections and the Art Gallery.

Professor: Morgane Cadieu
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:30pm - 3:45pm

From Wandervogel to Fridays for Future―German Youth and Student Movements From 1800 To Today

GMAN 166

This course takes a look at youth and student culture, movements and organizations from the early 1800s to today. We begin by looking at the development of the first fraternities (Urburschenschaften) at the beginning of the 19th century, and then discuss the Wandervogel movement of the late 19th century, the Bündische Jugend and a variety of other youth and student organizations during the Weimar Republic. We then discuss the different types of youth groups during the Third Reich including the official groups as well as as student opposition groups such as Die Weiße RoseEdelweißpiraten, and Swing Jugend. Next, we learn more about youth organizations in former East Germany―the official Freie Deutsche Jugend but also counter-groups such as Blueser, Tramper and Punks―and groups in West Germany, such as the Deutsche Waldjugend. We discuss the 68er student movement, and several more recent youth organizations and finally movements of today including Fridays for Future. In this course we analyze youth culture from a variety of perspectives exploring their attempts at defining their own holistic values and ideals, their agendas and characteristics, as well as problems they were (and are) facing.

Prerequisite: A previous L5 course or instructor permission.

Professor: Theresa Schenker
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 11:35am - 12:50pm

Germany from Unification to Refugee Crisis

HIST 254, GMAN 208

The history of Germany from its unification in 1871 through the present. Topics include German nationalism and national unification; the culture and politics of the Weimar Republic; National Socialism and the Holocaust; the division of Germany and the Cold War; the Student Movement and New Social Movements; reunification; and Germany’s place in contemporary Europe.

Term: Spring 2022

Goethe's Faust

GMAN 248, HUMS 236, LITR 240

Goethe’s Faust, with special attention to Faust II and to the genesis of Faust in its various versions throughout Goethe’s lifetime. Emphasis on the work in context of Goethe’s time and in the later reception and criticism. Reading knowledge of German beneficial but not required.

Term: Spring 2022

Grand Strategy and the Origins of the Second World War

HIST 220J

A survey of the most important literature and debates concerning the coming of the Second World War in both Europe and the Pacific. Emphasis on the comparative approach to international history and on the interplay of domestic politics, economics, and strategy.

Counts toward only European distributional credit within the History major.

Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Wednesday 1:30pm - 3:20pm

Heimito von Doderer’s The Strudlhof Steps

CPLT 522, GMAN 687

Spanning the fin-de-siècle to the postwar, high modernism and popular fiction, Heimito von Doderer’s classic 1951 novel of the city of Vienna was published in English only recently, in 2021. Unclassifiable in its combination of romanticism, realism, and modernism, The Strudlhof Steps has won over many generations of readers, critics, scholars, and other novelists (including recently Daniel Kehlmann, for whom Doderer’s novel is “the best German language novel of the 20th century”). This course undertakes a slow reading of Doderer’s 900-page bestseller, with attention to many relevant contexts, including: the theory and history of the novel, modernism in art and architecture, the complex genesis of The Strudlhof Steps, selections of Doderer’s other writings, the historical context (especially the interwar period, the rise of fascism, and the question of Habsburg nostalgia). Strongly recommended to avid readers of fiction. Knowledge of German is helpful.

Professor: Kirk Wetters
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Wednesday 1:30pm - 3:20pm

History of Medieval Christianity: Learning, Faith, and Conflict

MDVL 664, REL 713

This course is a general survey of the intellectual, political, and cultural developments that influenced the development of the Christian Church, primarily in the West, covering roughly the period from the end of the Roman Empire (ca. 476 CE) to the beginnings of the Reformation (ca. 1500 CE). Its goal is to help students preparing for ministry to understand the forces that shaped Christian doctrine and the institutional and liturgical structures of today. We explore together questions related to the arrival of Christianity in England, the Carolingian Renaissance, the impact of monastic reform movements, struggles between church and state at the time of the Investiture Controversy, the crusading movement, the rise of papal monarchy and canon law, intellectual movements such as scholasticism and nominalism, lay reforming moments, the Conciliar experiment, and popular piety and mysticism. Special attention is given to the timely topic of the impact of the Black Death pandemic on the church’s structure and spirituality.

Professor: Volker Leppin
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 9:30am - 10:20am

MDVL 664, REL 713

This course is a general survey of the intellectual, political, and cultural developments that influenced the development of the Christian Church, primarily in the West, covering roughly the period from the end of the Roman Empire (ca. 476 CE) to the beginnings of the Reformation (ca. 1500 CE). Its goal is to help students preparing for ministry to understand the forces that shaped Christian doctrine and the institutional and liturgical structures of today. We explore together questions related to the arrival of Christianity in England, the Carolingian Renaissance, the impact of monastic reform movements, struggles between church and state at the time of the Investiture Controversy, the crusading movement, the rise of papal monarchy and canon law, intellectual movements such as scholasticism and nominalism, lay reforming moments, the Conciliar experiment, and popular piety and mysticism. Special attention is given to the timely topic of the impact of the Black Death pandemic on the church’s structure and spirituality.

Professor: Volker Leppin
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 9:30am - 10:20am

History of Russian Theater

RSEE 219, THST 233

This seminar introduces students to the rich legacy of Russian theater, focusing specifically on the developments of Russian drama from the first third of the nineteenth-century to the early twentieth century. The readings and plays studied in the course are organized chronologically, starting with classic Russian comedies by Alexander Griboyedov and Nikolai Gogol, continuing with dramas by Alexander Ostrovsky and Ivan Turgenev, and ending with late nineteenth-century/early twentieth century plays by Leo Tolstoy and Anton Chekhov. Some readings from Stanislavsky are also included. 

Professor: Julia Titus
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Monday 1:30pm - 3:20pm

Human and Divine in Ancient Ethics

CLCV 304

“I go among you an immortal god, no longer mortal, honored by all”—in the mouth of the philosopher-poet Empedocles, these words stand, not for blasphemous hubris, but as an ideal for human life. Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, and the late Platonist tradition share this ideal. This course focuses on how these philosophers conceived of the best human life as a realization or understanding of the divine nature of every human being. We locate this motif within the broader context of ancient theology in canonical poetry, such as Homer as Hesiod, its criticism by early Greek thinkers, and the mystery religions called Orphic and Pythagorean. We attempt to answer the questions of how some ancient philosophers shaped and were shaped by their cultural and religious context and just how much god matters for understanding ancient ethics. This course is limited to 18 students; all primary texts are read in translation, and no Greek or Latin is required.

Prerequisite: PHIL/CLCV 125 or Directed Studies (Philosophy) and permission of instructor.

Professor: Brad Inwood, Professor: Jake Rohde
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday, 3:30pm - 5:20pm

Human Rights, Law, and Politics in Contemporary Russia

E&RS 501, PLSC 408, RSEE 360, SOCY 322

The seminar is designed to give a broad understanding of the lines of theorizing and types of research that animate the study of human rights issues and human rights mobilizations in post-Soviet Russia. Acquainting students with academic research in history, sociology, anthropology, and political science, the seminar seeks to analyze these topics going beyond media portrayals of Russian society and binary oppositions that often structure narratives of post-Soviet social and political reality (state vs. civil society, rule of law vs. kangaroo justice, democracy vs. authoritarianism, repression vs. resistance). This course analyzes how “human rights” have been constructed—as a cause, as a discourse, as a legal and institutional framework—since the Soviet dissident movement, then in the 1990s and 2000s, until today, when “human rights” have become a dominant frame on a number of very heterogeneous issues for media and activists denouncing the political regime in Putin’s Russia. It pays particular attention to the sociology of actors, as well as to historical, political, and social conditions of emergence and development of human rights mobilizations. The course also focuses on various empirical case studies on highly mediatized human rights issues: political prisoners, protest-related trials, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, prison and penitentiary institutions. These case studies provide students with a broader empirical knowledge of contemporary Russian society and serve as a magnifying glass, as they highlight complex dynamics of Russian politics and law in the past thirty years.

Professor: Renata Mustafina
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Wednesday 3:30pm - 5:20pm

Imperial Russia

HIST 685

This reading course focuses on Russian government and society between the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1853 and the consolidation of the revolutionary Bolshevik regime in the early 1920s. Particular attention is paid to new scholarship that emerged from the opening of the archival collections in the former Soviet Union and led to new perspectives and avenues of inquiry. Among these are exciting new histories of Russian regions and ethnic/religious minorities, legal culture and institutions, and economy and industrialization. All readings are in English, with Russian options also available.

Professor: Sergei Antonov
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday 1:30pm - 3:20pm

Introduction to Literatures in French

FREN 170

Introduction to close reading and analysis of literary texts written in French. Works by authors such as Marie de France, Molière, Balzac, Hugo, Baudelaire, Duras, Proust, and Genet.

Professor: Maryam Sanjabi
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday, 1pm-2:15pm

Japan and Germany, 1860 to the Present

EAST 403, HIST 315J

This course examines the histories of Japan and Germany from the founding of the two as modern nation states through the present. Relatively latecomers compared to supposedly “normal” nation states like the United States, France, and the United Kingdom, both societies followed similar, sometimes connected paths. The course introduces students to connections between East Asia and Europe through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and explores how the specific parallels and entanglements between Japan and Germany shaped the histories of both regions. The course emphasizes themes of race, gender, and empire. Students engage with texts in history, sociology, and anthropology to answer key questions about Japanese and German history with particular emphasis on the question: is there something “peculiar” about their histories that led them to similar outcomes?

Professor: Alex Macartney
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Monday, 3:30pm - 5:20pm

Judaism in the Roman Empire: Philo of Alexandria and Jewish Apologetics

REL 594

This course is intended to introduce students to some of the ways in which Jews (and Christians) interacted with the larger Roman world in the first century CE. We explore Philo’s fragmentary work known as the Hypothetica but use it as a lens to the larger issues it addresses. These issues comprise a wide range of topics including authenticity of fragmentary remains, historical origins of people, violence and nation formation, ethical codes and moral formation, the Essenes and the role of moral exemplars, Christianity’s indebtedness to Judaism, and the role of minority groups to empires. Area I.

Prerequisite: reading knowledge of Greek.

Professor: Greg E Sterling
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Monday, 3:30pm - 5:20pm

Media of Migration

CPLT 528, FILM 361, FILM 694, GMAN 319, GMAN 679, HUMS 379

What role do media play in current debates on transnational migration? How do the stories they tell shape our imagination of refugees’ journeys starting in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia? Against the backdrop of European colonialism, post-1945 labor migration, and the so-called European Refugee Crisis in 2015, this course analyzes media representations of migration to Europe in the twenty-first century. We explore representations of migration due to political conflict, global economic inequality, and climate change. Throughout the course, we analyze the critical potential of different types of media, in particular the problems of representation and appropriation they might pose. Examples include testimonial literature (In Our Own Words), short story (Popoola/Holmes, Breach), graphic novel (Evans, Threads), novel excerpts (Hamid, Exit West; Erpenbeck, Go, Went, Gone), cinematic adaptation of literature (Petzold, Transit), narrative cinema (Audiard, Dheepan), film essay (Ai, Human Flow; Sasse, #MyEscape), documentary (Clusiau/Schwarz, Immigration Nation; Brossmann, Lampedusa in Winter), mixed media art and various digital media projects (Refugee Radio Network; Arriving in Berlin; Bury Me, My Love). Fusing media analysis with studies of comparative racialization adapted to the European context, this course ultimately counters nationalist arguments by investigating the case for free movement.

Professor: Jette Gindner
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Thursday 3:30pm - 5:20pm

Modernity

CPLT 897

The seminar studies literature and art from nineteenth-century France alongside theoretical and historical reflections to explore the significance of modernity. How did historical forces shape cultural trends? How did literature and art define what it means to be modern? Writers to be studied include Balzac, Baudelaire, Flaubert, Maupassant, and Zola. Theorists include Benjamin, Durkheim, Foucault, Marx, Simmel, and Weber. We also examine the painting of Manet and his followers.

Professor: Maurice Samuels
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Thursday, 9:25am - 11:15am

Multicultural Literature of Russia and the Soviet Union

ER&M 303, RSEE 242, RUSS 242

This course examines literatures produced by non-Russians within the late Russian Empire, Soviet Union, and Russian Federation. Students encounter Caucasus mountain novellas, Persianate lyric about the Russian Revolution, Ukrainian war poetry, a Kyrgyz take on magical realism, and much more. Questions to be discussed include the cross-cultural adaptation of literary forms, (post)coloniality, indigeneity in the Russian imperial and (post-)Soviet context, the politics of translation, literary constructions of gender, the propaganda value of Soviet multiculturalism abroad, the dynamics of censorship and critique, and the role of literature in imagining imperial communities and shaping national/ racial hierarchies. Students become familiar with some of the major trends in the history of Eurasian literature more broadly and get a taste of the cultural diversity of the Russian and Eurasian world. 

Professor: Claire Roosien
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:30pm - 3:45pm

Music of Protest & Propaganda

MUSI 031

What does music bring to politics? What makes a song effective for protest versus propaganda? In countless political and social movements the world over, music has been a primary medium (and sometimes a target) of activism. This seminar asks students to interrogate music’s oft-celebrated role in political protests and propaganda, and also to challenge common understandings of these two arenas of communication. Focusing primarily on North America and (Post)socialist Europe but also drawing comparisons between and beyond these regions, it examines musical case studies from several periods of upheaval and activism, including the late 1960s, the early 1990s, and the past few years. Students learn to draw upon the methods and scholarship of several disciplines, and particularly those that inform the interdisciplinary field of ethnomusicology, in order to understand music’s varied roles in the social lives of those caught up in campaigns for change. The seminar introduces students to accessible music terminology, but no musical background is required for the course.

Professor: Ian MacMillen
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 1pm - 2:15pm

Nineteenth-Century French Art

HSAR 315

European art produced between the French Revolution and the beginning of the twentieth century. Focus on French painting, with additional discussion of Spanish, English, and German art. Some attention to developments in photography, printmaking, and sculpture.

Term: Spring 2022

Philosophy of Dissent in Central and Eastern Europe

HIST 212J

This is a seminar in the field of European intellectual history, based on primary sources. It focuses on how philosophers, novelists, sociologists, and other thinkers developed and articulated a philosophy of dissent under communism. More specific topics include the relationships between temporality and subjectivity and between truth and lies, and the role that existentialism played in formulating philosophical critiques of repression. Readings consist of a mixture of philosophical and literary works from the Soviet Union, East Germany and the lands in-between. Potential authors include Merab Mamardashvili, Danilo Kiš, Józef Tischner, Adam Michnik, Jacek Kuroń, Ladislav Hejdanek, Václav Havel, Jan Patočka, Leszek Kołakowski, Gajo Petrović, Norman Manea, Lev Kopelev, Igor Pomerantsev, Tomas Venclova. 

Professor: Marci Shore
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Wednesday, 1:30pm - 3:20pm

Poems and Their Theories

CPLT 777, ENGL 777, GMAN 777

A task lies before us: to go back and understand the importance that critical theory, in its inception and throughout its life, gave to poems. Poems and theories shared ideals from the turn of the nineteenth century to at least the end of the twentieth, at a minimum in German, French, and English. They dreamed of taking a vacation from language, of returning to the sensible, of imagining communities, of revising the model of Bildung and culture, of rethinking history, of critiquing the nation-state and capitalism, among other dreams. Why this shared project between poetry and theory? What did theory find in the resources of literature, the genius idea, the past, and other foreignnesses that seemed so vital to critiquing the perceived present? Readings include Hölderlin, Schlegel, Novalis, Wordsworth, Shelley, Baudelaire, Celan, Benjamin, Heidegger, Arendt, de Man, Lacoue-Labarthe, Sedgwick, Kristeva, Jacobs.

Professor: Paul North
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Monday 3:30pm - 6:20pm

Proseminar in Slavic Literature

RUSS 851

Introduction to the graduate study of Russian literature. Topics include literary theory, methodology, introduction to the profession.

Professor: Katerina Clark
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Thursday, 1:30pm - 3:20pm

Questions of Iconicity in Greek Art

HSAR 569, CLSS 842

The concept of iconicity is typically understood as the degree of correspondence between form and meaning of a visual sign. The seminar explores the very nature of this concept and its application in the context of Greek antiquity. How do we assess iconicity? How does iconicity relate to Greek anthropomorphism and naturalism? What do we make of the iconic and the aniconic? In what ways does context configure degrees of iconicity? Do the sensorial experiences of smell, touch, and sound impact iconicity? By seeking answers to these and other similar questions, students gain familiarity with ancient and modern conceptions of the image in ancient Greek visual culture from a wide time frame: that is, from the rise of the Greek polis (ca. 700 BCE) to late antiquity. The seminar includes a workshop for writing abstracts and provides a platform for students to practice the delivery of conference papers.

Professor: Milette Gaifman
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Wednesday, 1:30pm - 3:20pm

Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity in Soviet & Post-Soviet Debates

ANTH 347, E&RS 535, ER&M 331, RSEE 324

This course examines debates about race, ethnicity, and diversity in Russia and the former Soviet Union. We examine how discourses of ethnicity and culture produce and reproduce ideas of race, including racelessness, Blackness, “nativeness,” and unmarked Russianness. Bringing together readings and methods from history and anthropology and taking advantage of the robust Internet culture of blogs, memes, and videos, this course examines how politics and culture meet in contemporary debates about representation. We read ethnographic texts that represent the experiences of African Americans, Roma, Muslim immigrants from Central Asia, the peoples of the Caucasus, Indigenous peoples of Siberia and the Far North, and Russians. As we shift our focus east from the transatlantic, this course contributes to decentering binaries of Blackness and whiteness to look at how local racial formations interact with global discourses of race and racism.

Professor: Lauren Woodard
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Friday, 1:30pm - 3:20pm

Racial Republic: African Diasporic Literature and Culture in Postcolonial France

AFAM 457, AFST 457, AMST 470, ER&M 467, FREN 481

This is an interdisciplinary seminar on French cultural history from the 1930s to the present. We focus on issues concerning race and gender in the context of colonialism, postcolonialism, and migration. The course investigates how the silencing of colonial history has been made possible culturally and ideologically, and how this silencing has in turn been central to the reorganizing of French culture and society from the period of decolonization to the present. We ask how racial regimes and spaces have been constructed in French colonial discourses and how these constructions have evolved in postcolonial France. We examine postcolonial African diasporic literary writings, films, and other cultural productions that have explored the complex relations between race, colonialism, historical silences, republican universalism, and color-blindness. Topics include the 1931 Colonial Exposition, Black Paris, decolonization, universalism, the Trente Glorieuses, the Paris massacre of 1961, anti-racist movements, the “beur” author, memory, the 2005 riots, and contemporary afro-feminist and decolonial movements.

Professor: Fadila Habchi
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Wednesday, 3:30pm - 5:20pm

Russia and the Eurasian Steppe

HIST 222J, RSEE 222

A study of Russia’s interaction with the nomads of the Eurasian steppe. Topics include the Mongol invasion, the Mongol Empire in Asia and the Golden Horde, Islam, nomadic society, and the Russian state. Focus on conquest and settlement.

May count toward either European or Asian distributional credit within the History major, upon application to the director of undergraduate studies.

Professor: Paul Bushkovitch
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday, 1:30pm - 3:20pm

Russia, the USSR, and the World, 1855–1945

HIST 687

Political and economic relations of Russia/Soviet Union with Europe, the United States, and Asia from tsarism to socialism.

Professor: Paul Bushkovitch
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Wednesday, 1:30pm - 3:20pm

Russian and Soviet Art, 1757 to the Present

RUSS 220, HSAR 221

The history of Russian and Soviet art from the foundation of the Academy of the Arts in 1757 to the present. Nineteenth-century academicism, romaticism, and realism; the Russian avant-garde and early Soviet experimentation; socialist realism and late- and post-Soviet culture.

Term: Spring 2022

Russian Politics and Society

PLSC 432

This course examines critical issues in Russian politics. We use historical and comparative approaches towards Russian political development. We analyze the transformations of political regime and state-society relations in post-Soviet Russia in comparative perspective. We focus on the political logic of economic reforms, influence of the oligarchs, governance, center-periphery relations, authoritarianism, nationalism, civil society, media, and foreign policy.

Professor: Egor Lazarev
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 9am - 10:15am

Russian Style: Material Culture and the Decorative Arts in Imperial Russia

RUSS 655, HSAR 535

This seminar examines the historical development of a national style in Russian decorative arts and material culture from the eighteenth century to the early twentieth. Although known for borrowing liberally from western European artistic traditions, Russian imperial culture—from the baroque and neoclassical courts of Elizabeth and Catherine to the exported “native” imaginaries of the Ballets Russes—also sought to distinguish itself in design, scale, manufacture, and style. Structured around a series of case studies, this seminar considers highlights from the history of Russian decorative arts, all while exploring broader questions about the transnational movement of style, the intersection of nationalism and design, the invention of “native” cultures, and the materialities of empire and modernity. Topics include the branding of Catherine the Great; Russia’s natural resources and trade networks; consumer culture in St. Petersburg; the materialism of realism; the Abramtsevo artists’ colony and the discovery of folk art; russkii stil’ (Russian Style) at the World’s Fairs; curating ethnographies and archaeologies; and the “relics” of the Romanovs. Organized as an intensive research seminar, this course brings the central conceptual and theoretical concerns of visual and material culture studies (e.g., materiality and thing theory, ornament and the decorative, the socioeconomics of taste) to a historical and object-based consideration of Russian style. Significant use is made of the museum and library collections at Yale and nearby.

Professor: Molly Brunson
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Monday, 9:25am - 11:15am

Sexuality Studies in the French Renaissance

FREN 842

In the words of the anthropologist Maurice Godelier, “sexuality is always something other than itself” (a biological phenomenon), and it is sexuality’s social and discursive constructions that we study in this seminar, through a large sample of texts from different genres. By crossing the approaches of gender studies, the history of emotions, and historical anthropology and literary analysis, we look at the abundant speech of sex that characterizes the Renaissance, where prohibition has had the value of incentive, as Michel Foucault has so clearly shown. Readings in erotic/pornographic poetry (Ronsard, Jodelle, Théophile de Viau), travel literature (Cholières), self-portraiture (Montaigne), chronicles and anecdotes (Brantôme, Pierre de l’Estoile), medical literature (Joubert, Paré, Duval), and short stories (Cent nouvelles nouvelles). Conducted in French.

Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Monday, 9:25am - 11:15am

Slavery and the French Enlightenment

FREN 867

This course studies the encounter between eighteenth-century philosophers and the question of slavery. It examines the clash between the Enlightenment claim to universalism and the historical slave trade. Readings include the writings of the philosophes (Montesquieu, Voltaire, Rousseau, the Encyclopédie), testimonies of the victims of the trade (Equiano, Cugoano), the discourse of abolitionists (Condorcet, Grégoire), and plays devoted to the discussion of slavery (Gouges, Pigault-Lebrun). Our approach to those texts expands into a variety of critical and theoretical arguments spanning a number of disciplines (history, anthropology, economics, and ecology). Conducted in French.

Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday, 1:30pm - 3:20pm

Social Mobility and Migration

ER&M 335, FREN 416, WGSS 416, ECON 547

The objective of this course is to study the emerging literature on social networks and economic development. Both theoretical and empirical research papers are covered, at a level that is suitable for the advanced undergraduate or graduate student. The course is divided into three sections: (1) Labor Markets and Migration: how community networks support their members in the labor market and how they support their spatial and occupational mobility during the process of development; (2) Commitment: how communities use social ties to solve commitment problems in developing economics, both in theory and in practice; (3) Inter-Group Interactions: community networks do not operate independently, and a nascent literature is starting to investigate the nature of these group interactions. Time permitting, we examine the role played by networks in the diffusion of information at the end of the course.

Prerequisites: intermediate microeconomics, introductory econometrics, and data analysis. Students are expected to be familiar with calculus, basic microeconomics, and basic econometrics.

Professor: Morgane Cadieu
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 9am - 10:15am

The Euro Crisis

MGRK 236, PLSC 138, SOCY 221

Examination of how Europe continues to struggle with the social and economic repercussions of the Great Recession and the impact of socioeconomic asymmetries in countries such as Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Greece. Topics include the euro as a viable common currency; why and how the Euro crisis erupted and spread; how the COVID-19 fallout will impact the Union.

Professor: Paris Aslanidis
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Thursday, 1:30pm - 3:20pm

The History of World History

HIST 072

How the great historians of ancient Greece, Rome, China, the Islamic world, and nineteenth-century Europe created modern historical method. How to evaluate the reliability of sources, both primary and secondary, and assess the relationship between fact and interpretation. Using historical method to make sense of our world today. Strategies for improving reading, writing, and public speaking skills.

Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.

Professor: Valerie Hansen
Term: Spring 2022

The Idea of Statesmanship

PLSC 295, PLSC 644

Who is a statesman and what are the ideal qualities required for the office? This remains one of the enduring questions of political philosophy. This course examines the art of statesmanship in ancient and modern political thought. We consider examples of statecraft in both ancient Greece and Rome and the Hebrew Bible before viewing examples of modern statesmanship using Machiavelli, Hume, Burke, the Federalist Papers, and Abraham Lincoln. We consider the statesman’s role in different contexts, as political founder, preserver, and reformer. We also consider what kind of education is necessary to best carry out the work of statecraft.

Professor: Steven Smith
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Wednesday, 1:30pm - 3:20pm

The Materiality of Textual Culture in Early Modern Britain and in Colonial America

ENGL 598

This course examines the materiality of textual culture in early modern Britain and Europe and in colonial America, drawing upon the collections at the Beinecke Library, Yale Center for British Art, and Yale Art Gallery. There is a particular focus upon the bible and liturgical books, Shakespeare, English poetry in manuscript and print, letter writing, and children’s ABCs. At the same time, we explore language as a material practice, analyzing what is called in linguistics the T/V distinction (Thou/You in English, Tu/Vos in Latin, Tu/Vous in French, Du/Sie in German, etc.), and also investigating the development of new[ish] words (nation; modern; innovation; novelty; the news and newspaper; culture; manuscript; assassin; hammock; canoe; cannibal; tribade; fetish; trifle; trinket; trivial; trumpery; trash; reform/re-form/reformer/reformed; papist; protestant; puritan; trinitarian; socinian; quaker; orthodox/heterodox; sprezzatura) and the transformation in meaning of old ones (individual; revolution; price/prize/praise; culture [again]; nation [again]; gentle). More generally, we explore the problem of what the “new” meant both in terms of material culture and language between 1350 and 1700.

Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Wednesday, 9:25am - 11:15am

The Modern French Novel

FREN 240

A survey of major French novels, considering style and story, literary and intellectual movements, and historical contexts. Writers include Balzac, Flaubert, Proust, Camus, and Sartre. Readings in translation. One section conducted in French.

Term: Spring 2022

The Modern French Novel TR: French section

FREN 240, HUMS 201, LITR 214

A survey of major French novels, considering style and story, literary and intellectual movements, and historical contexts. Writers include Balzac, Flaubert, Proust, Camus, and Sartre. Readings in translation. One section conducted in French.

Term: Spring 2022

The Myths of Versailles

FREN 419

The mythical castle of Louis XIV epitomizes the continuous grasp that the French 17th-century has on the collective imagination. Attracting millions of tourists every year, welcoming expensive Versailles-labeled masked parties, it incarnates the French Classicism of legendary authors including Molière, Corneille, Racine, La Fontaine, Sévigné, and La Fayette. However, just as the castle was once simply a hunting lodge, literature in the age of Louis XIV was not always considered classical: it became such. This course explores and deconstructs the myths of Versailles, from the 17th century to present days. Through literature, music, painting, as well as modern novels and films, we study canonical and less-canonical works, inquiring how the mythical image was built, integrated into national identity and maintained, reading the resistance it raised then and now against this cultural hegemony and understanding how some authors (especially women writers) were dismissed by history while being genuine superstars back then. In the shadows of the monument appears a vivid world, full of fascinating cultural, commercial, and political struggles.

Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:30pm - 3:45pm

The Practice of Literary Translation

ENGL 456, HUMS 427, JDST 316, LITR 348

This course combines a seminar on the history and theory of translation (Tuesdays) with a hands-on workshop (Thursdays). The readings lead us through a series of case studies comparing, on the one hand, multiple translations of given literary works and, on the other, classic statements about translation—by translators themselves and prominent theorists. We consider both poetry and prose from the Bible, selections from Chinese, Greek, and Latin verse, classical Arabic and Persian literature, prose by Cervantes, Borges, and others, and modern European poetry (including Pushkin, Baudelaire, and Rilke). Students are expected to prepare short class presentations, participate in a weekly workshop, try their hand at a series of translation exercises, and undertake an intensive, semester-long translation project. Proficiency in a foreign language is required.

Professor: Peter Cole
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 2:30pm - 3:45pm

The Russian Works of Vladimir Nabokov

RUSS 174

An aesthetic reading of Vladimir Nabokov’s Russian works. Nabokov as a writer who first and foremost was interested in the question of the ontological significance of art and, consequently, in various modes of the artist’s relationship to the world.

Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Monday & Wednesday & Friday, 1pm - 2:15pm

Tragedy in the European Literary Tradition

ENGL 129, HUMS 127, LITR 168, THST 129

The genre of tragedy from its origins in ancient Greece and Rome through the European Renaissance to the present day. Themes of justice, religion, free will, family, gender, race, and dramaturgy. Works might include Aristotle’s Poetics or Homer’s Iliad and plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, Seneca, Hrotsvitha, Shakespeare, Lope de Vega, Calderon, Racine, Büchner, Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Wedekind, Synge, Lorca, Brecht, Beckett, Soyinka, Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Lynn Nottage. Focus on textual analysis and on developing the craft of persuasive argument through writing.

Professor: Greg Ellermann
Term: Spring 2022
Day/Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 9am - 10:15am