Related Courses, Spring 2021

Colonial Cities in the Early Modern Iberian Atlantic

Cécile Fromont

ER&M 449 / HSAR 444

This course explores urbanism and its representations in the colonial enterprises of Spain and Portugal from the 16th to the 19th century. Focusing on Latin America and Africa, we analyze how the policies adopted by the Spanish and Portuguese crowns led to the development of different types of cities, and how indigenous populations contributed to the distinctively local texture of each urban fabric. Bringing together analytical writings on urbanism, architecture, and space with close formal consideration of these cities and their representations in pictorial, cartographic, and literary media, we consider how urbanism on the one hand and its social uses on the other hand contributed to the political and religious enterprise of colonialism, shaped colonial identities, and helped fashion notions of race and gender. Along with architecture, both durable and ephemeral, and city planning, the class considers cities as spaces of social and economic interactions, examining processions, festivals, and other events and practices as key elements of the making of cities of colonial cities in the early modern era.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: W 3:30pm-5:20pm

European Politics

PLSC 755 / PLSC 366

Comparison of the political systems of the major European countries. Topics include political institutions, electoral politics and political parties, public policies, and contemporary problems.
 
Professor: David Cameron
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: W 3:30pm-5:20pm

Feminist Politics and Performances of Memory in Central and Eastern Europe

E&RS 629

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past,” observed George Orwell in his seminal novel on totalitarian oppression. Indeed, since the collapse of the Iron Curtain in 1989, an intense competition has commenced in Central and Eastern Europe for domination of the ideological interpretations and master narratives of the past. Since most countries in the region are ruled by illiberal, patriarchal leaders, it is no surprise that feminist voices and perspectives are often underrepresented in public discussions and performances of history and memory. This class explores how feminist sensibility and solidarity shape the public memory of twentieth-century genocides and dictatorships through the discussion of everyday life and political and artistic performances. Our aim is to understand how feminist memory informs contemporary politics, society, and our own private lives. What is it about the past that so intensely haunts our present and inevitably impacts our future? We start our investigation by tackling the notion of trauma through the psychoanalytical and philosophical texts of Freud, Cathy Caruth, and Ruth Leys to ask how acting out, reenactment, and witnessing transform the memory of the traumatic experience. Then, moving into the realm of the social through the lens of intersectionality, we look at how women of different ethnic, religious, and racial groups, including Jewish, Roma, and Bosnian Muslim women, evoke, narrativize, and occasionally theatricalize their distinctive historical legacies. We pay special attention to acts of transmission, the different embodied, affective, and performative modes in which individuals and social groups share—verbally and/or nonverbally—knowledge and experience of the past. Lastly, we examine public performances of cultural memory and the politicized commemorative events. Topics and genres include public testimonies, documentary theater performances, transitional justice trials, and public memorials.

Professor: Aniko Szucs
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: W 3:30pm-5:20pm

Fin-de-siècle France

FREN 898 / CPLT 898

The course examines major French literary and artistic movements of the last decades of the nineteenth century (Naturalism, Decadence, Symbolism) in their cultural context. Weekly reading assignments pair literary texts with contemporary theoretical/medical/political discourse on such topics as disease, crime, sex, poverty, colonialism, nationalism, and technology. Literary authors include Barbey, Mallarmé, Maupassant, Rachilde, Villiers, and Zola. Theorists include Bergson, Freud, Krafft-Ebing, Le Bon, Nordau, Renan, and Simmel. Some attention also paid to the visual arts.
 
Professor: Maurice Samuels
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: Th 9:25am-11:15am

French Cinema through the New Wave

FILM 755 / FILM 416 / FREN 394 / LITR 366 / CPLT 935 / FREN 752

Cinema is uniquely prominent in French culture. Painters, writers, and philosophers engage it. Its ambitions took off after WWII, when teenage film fanatics Truffaut, Godard, and Rohmer developed into feared critics at Cahiers du Cinéma, then began making world-famous New Wave films in 1959. This seminar examines the directors they admired (Renoir, Bresson) or eviscerated in order to capture the “idea of cinema” they injected into their own productions—romantic, existentialist, finally political—right up through the events of May ’68 in which cinema played a key role. The feminism of the 1970s (Varda, Duras, Akerman) challenged and expanded the New Wave idea, which has been carried into the twenty-first century by actors like Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Juliette Binoche, and Isabelle Huppert and by passionate philosophical directors like Claire Denis and Olivier Assayas. We study the politics of culture that fosters such ambitious cinema, while each student explores one director or trend in depth.
 
Professor: Dudley Andrew
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: TTh 4pm-5:15pm

FILM 755 / FILM 416 / FREN 752 / FREN 394 / LITR 366 / CPLT 935

Cinema is uniquely prominent in French culture. Painters, writers, and philosophers engage it. Its ambitions took off after WWII, when teenage film fanatics Truffaut, Godard, and Rohmer developed into feared critics at Cahiers du Cinéma, then began making world-famous New Wave films in 1959. This seminar examines the directors they admired (Renoir, Bresson) or eviscerated in order to capture the “idea of cinema” they injected into their own productions—romantic, existentialist, finally political—right up through the events of May ’68 in which cinema played a key role. The feminism of the 1970s (Varda, Duras, Akerman) challenged and expanded the New Wave idea, which has been carried into the twenty-first century by actors like Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Juliette Binoche, and Isabelle Huppert and by passionate philosophical directors like Claire Denis and Olivier Assayas. We study the politics of culture that fosters such ambitious cinema, while each student explores one director or trend in depth.
 
Professor: Dudley Andrew
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: TTh 4pm-5:15pm

German Novels After 1945

Rüdiger Campe

LITR 460 / GMAN 365 / HUMS 322

The course discusses exemplary novels in German language after 1945 from West and East Germany and Germany after Reunification, as well as from Austria and Switzerland. Part I, “Zero Hour - or Not,” on the political critique of Nazi Germany and the attempt at an aesthetic clean break (e.g., Gunther Grass, Ingeborg Bachmann, Max Frisch); Part II “1968: Revolution or New Interiority,” on social protest versus aesthetic internationalism (e.g., Peter Handke, Christa Wolf, Hubert Fichte, Thomas Bernhard); Part III, “The Attempt at Being Contemporary,” on German and German speaking societies in the global world (e.g., Elfriede Jelinek, Yoko Tawada, Rainald Goetz). While “contemporaneity” is the particular mark of the last section, all works desire to critically intervene in their historical moment. Giving an account of this desire is the goal of the course. Contextualization as needed; close reading of selected passages as the mode of work in the course; all works are provided in English translation and German.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: F 11:30am-1:20pm

Global History of Eastern Europe

HIST 683

A thematic survey of major issues in modern east European history, with emphasis on recent historiography. A reading course with multiple brief writing assignments.
 
Professor: Timothy Snyder
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: Th 9:25am-11:15am

History of Gender and Sexuality in Modern Europe

HIST 667 / FREN 900 / WGSS 667

An introduction to the various lines of inquiry informing the history of sexuality. The course asks how historians and others constitute sexuality as an object of inquiry and addresses different arguments about the evolution of sexuality in Europe, including the relationship between sexuality and the state and sexuality and gender.
 
Professor: Carolyn J. Dean
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: T 9:25am-11:15am

Human Rights, Law, and Politics in Contemporary Russia

Renata Mustafina

E&RS 501 / PLSC 408

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.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: T 3:30pm-5:20pm

Independent Study

E&RS 940

By arrangement with faculty.

Term: Spring 2021

Issues in Roman History: Inscriptions

Andrew Johnston

CLSS 809

A wide-ranging examination of a variety of questions and problems in the cultural, political, and social history of the Roman Republic and Roman Empire through the study of inscriptions in both Greek and Latin. Topics include law and imperialism, peer-polity interaction, local identity, memory and monumentality, aristocratic self-fashioning, and Greek culture under Roman rule. Ample attention is given to methodological issues. No previous experience in epigraphy required.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: W 1:30pm-3:20pm

Italian Film from Postwar to Postmodern

FILM 457 / ITAL 303 / LITR 359

A study of important Italian films from World War II to the present. Consideration of works that typify major directors and trends. Topics include neorealism, self-reflexivity and metacinema, fascism and war, and postmodernism. Films by Fellini, Antonioni, Rossellini, De Sica, Visconti, Pasolini, Bertolucci, Wertmuller, Tornatore, and Moretti. Films in Italian with English subtitles.
 
Professor: Millicent Marcus
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: TTh 4pm-5:15pm

Law and the Science of the Soul: Iberian and Mediterranean Connections

MDVL 658 / SPAN 658 / CPLT 969 / FREN 658 / NELC 684

This seminar suggests a research project to investigate the affinity between the legal discipline and the science of the soul, or, if you wish, between the science of the soul and the body of law. The point of departure for our framing argument—the existence of this affinity—is that at different moments in history, the legal science (in the form of legal scholarship, religious law, or even legislation) has toiled to appropriate cognitive processes (the external senses, for instance) and post-sensorial operations (imagination, fantasy, memory, etc.). However, this appropriation has become, at different moments in history, so naturalized, so dissolved, so automatized, that it has become invisible for us, and that, because of this invisibility, the affinity can continue doing a political work that is not always evident to us readers, citizens, and clients of the law. In this seminar we read Iberian and Mediterranean primary sources from different confessions, in different languages, and within different legal and political backgrounds—from pre-Socratic thinkers to al-Ghazali, from Averroes and Maimonides to Alfonso X, from Parisian theologians to Spinoza, etc. Likewise, we read theoretical work that allow us to conceptualize the kind of research we are doing.
 
Professor: Jesús Velasco
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

Legacies of Communism and Conflict in Europe

Andrea Aldrich

RSEE 400

This course examines the challenges of democratic transition and consolidation in Europe in an exciting way using contemporary and historical political research, documentary and dramatic film, a non-fiction graphic novel, and in class debates. Together we explore political themes like authoritarianism, state collapse, nationalism, ethnic conflict, transitional justice, and democratic development through the turbulent political history of Southeastern Europe, which provides a solid theoretical foundation for the understanding of past and current events around the world.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: T 9:25am-11:15am

Master's Thesis

E&RS 950

By arrangement with faculty.

Term: Spring 2021

Modern European Drama

Marc Robinson

ENGL 956 / DRAM 696

The major European playwrights active from 1879 (the premiere of Ibsen’s Doll’s House) to 1989 (the death of Beckett) were responsible for theatrical advances of continuing influence and importance. This seminar traces the advent of dramatic naturalism and realism (early Ibsen and Strindberg, the major plays of Chekhov); the contrary movement toward symbolist subtlety and expressionist urgency (late Strindberg and Ibsen, early Brecht); the effort to shoulder the burden of history and engage contemporary politics (Shaw, middle- and late-period Brecht); and the opening of drama to the ambiguities of religion and philosophy (Beckett). The seminar is grounded in close readings of representative plays but also considers how dramas change under the pressures of performance. Readings in theater theory, manifestos, and criticism supplement the primary texts.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: M 1:00pm-3:00pm

Modernist Culture in Russia

RUSS 692

This course offers an interdisciplinary overview of modernist culture in Russia. Focus is on how poets, prose writers, artists, intellectuals, and politicians (from Merezhkovsky to Stravinsky, from Diaghilev to Lenin) interacted with each other and how imperial Russia developed its own modernist culture in global context. Topics include institutions of art and media; literary journals and groups; translation and book market; theater as industry; European thoughts in Russia; theosophy and literature; modernist sexuality; prerevolutionary urban culture; gentry life; dance, music, costume design; Russia between East and West; revolution and modernism. Students establish an in-depth understanding of the cultural milieu in Russia from the 1890s to the 1910s and are introduced to the scholarly discourses on Russian modernism.
 
Professor: Jinyi Chu
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: Th 9:25am-11:15am

Moscow/Berlin: Leftist Avant-Gardes and Interwar Modernism

RUSS 712

From 1918 to the mid-1930s, Moscow and Berlin were central gathering points for left-wing modernists. Each city developed its own modes of modernism, yet in sustained dialogue, given massive Russian emigration to Berlin after 1918, the Weimar obsession with early Soviet aesthetics (and cinema), intellectuals traveling in both directions, and the large-scale emigration of German leftists to the Soviet Union after 1933. And in the late 1940s and ’50s, Soviet intellectuals (and German emigrants returning from Moscow) shaped a “late modernism” in East Berlin. Centered on literature and film, the course also considers a wide array of art forms (including painting, photography, architecture, music, and aesthetic theory). Works by modernists such as Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Vertov, Nabokov, Shklovsky, El Lissitzky, Rodchenko, Malevich, Tretiakov, Lukács, Moholy-Nagy, Benjamin, Brecht, Richter, Beckmann, Grosz, Heartfield, Höch, Lang, Döblin, Ruttmann, Mies van der Rohe, Eisler, Busch, Konrad Wolf, Peter Weiss.
 
Professor: Katerina Clark
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: W 1:30pm-3:20pm

New Approaches to Russian and Eurasian History: The Archival Revolution

HIST 688

A reading seminar addressing recent work on Russian and Soviet history grounded in the ongoing “archival revolution” that began in the late 1980s. After reviewing the major earlier paradigms, we examine how they were overturned or significantly modified by archival-based evidence. Topics include the development of government and the law; historical actors and places marginalized by the earlier historiography, such as non-capital regions, the middle classes, conservatism, religion, and (more generally) non-state structures; and Russia’s position in the imperial, Soviet, and post-Soviet periods as a vast and complex multiethnic political entity. Class discussions in English. Readings in English with Russian options available.
 
Professor: Sergei Antonov
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

Post-Imperial Reckoning

Yukiko Koga

ANTH 725

Imperial reckoning for colonial violence has gained a new momentum in recent years, from official apologies for colonial violence; to reparations lawsuits filed in Asia, Europe, and the United States for slavery, genocide, and massacres; to demands for the return of bodily remains and cultural artifacts from established cultural institutions. This seminar explores how these new attempts for belated imperial reckoning are reshaping relations between former empires and their ex-colonies. It approaches imperial reckoning as a site for redressing not only the original violence but also the transitional injustice incurred in the process of the unmaking of empire, which calls for post-imperial reckoning. Drawing on examples from recent cases, this course explores what it means to belatedly reckon with imperial violence today. What does it mean to reckon with imperial violence through legal means, decades after the dissolution of empires? What is the role of law in belated redress? How is historical responsibility articulated and by whom? Who is responsible for what, then and now? What are the stakes in reckoning with distant, yet still alive, pasts? Why and how does it matter today for those of us who have no direct experience of imperial violence? This course approaches these questions through an anthropological exploration of concepts such as debt, moral economy, structural violence, complicity and implication, and abandonment.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: W 9:25am-11:15am

Race and Nationality: Soviet and Post-Soviet Debates about Diversity

E&RS 535

This course examines debates about and lived experiences of race, nationality, and diversity in Russia and the former Soviet Union. In the context of a global rise in nationalism and populism, post-socialist countries too have grappled with questions about migration and diversity. This course takes these debates as a window into how people and governments negotiate cultural belonging and difference. By focusing on debates about race, diversity, and belonging, this course introduces students to an emerging field in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies. Bringing together readings and methods from history and anthropology and taking advantage of the robust Internet culture of blogs, memes, and videos, the course examines how politics and culture meet in contemporary debates about representation.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: Th 9:25am-11:15am

Readings in Modern European Cultural History

HIST 654 / FREN 700

Taught Remotely

This course covers readings in European cultural history from 1789 to the present, with a focus on Western Europe.
 
Professor: Carolyn J. Dean
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: T 1:30pm-3:20pm

Rise of the European Novel

ENGL 723 / CPLT 646

In the eighteenth century, the novel became a popular literary form in many parts of Europe. Yet now-standard narratives of its “rise” often offer a temporally and linguistically foreshortened view. This seminar examines key early modern novels in a range of European languages, centered on the dialogue between highly influential eighteenth-century British and French novels (Montesquieu, Defoe, Sterne, Diderot, Laclos, Edgeworth). We begin by considering a sixteenth-century Spanish picaresque life history (Lazarillo de Tormes) and Madame de Lafayette’s seventeenth-century secret history of French court intrigue; contemplate a key sentimental Goethe novella; and end with Romantic fiction (an Austen novel, a Kleist novella, Pushkin’s historical novel fragment). These works raise important issues about cultural identity and historical experience, the status of women (including as readers and writers), the nature of society, the vicissitudes of knowledge—and novelistic form. We also examine several major literary-historical accounts of the novel’s generic evolution, audiences, timing, and social function, and historiographical debates about the novel’s rise (contrasting English-language accounts stressing the novel’s putatively British genesis, and alternative accounts sketching a larger European perspective). The course gives special emphasis to the improvisatory, experimental character of early modern novels, as they work to reground fiction in the details and reality of contemporary life. Many epistolary, philosophical, sentimental, and Gothic novels present themselves as collections of “documents”—letters, diaries, travelogues, confessions—carefully assembled, impartially edited, and only incidentally conveying stories as well as information. The seminar explores these novels’ documentary ambitions; their attempt to touch, challenge, and change their readers; and their paradoxical influence on “realist” conventions (from the emergence of omniscient, impersonal narrators to techniques for describing time and place).
 
Professor: Katie Trumpener
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: M 1:30pm-3:20pm

Russian Politics and Society

Egor Lazarev

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.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: MW 4pm-5:15pm

Russian Symbolist Poetry

RUSS 689

This graduate seminar explores Russian Symbolist poetry in cultural and international contexts. We study the philosophical foundations (Nietzsche, Solovyov); the preoccupation with various temporalities (modernity); the longing for total art (Wagner) bounded by lyric form; aestheticism; utopianism; decadence; and other topics. Our readings include the works of Vladimir Solovyov, Valery Bryusov, Konstantin Balmont, Fedor Sologub, Zinaida Gippius, Mikhail Kuzmin, Vyacheslav Ivanov, Andrei Bely, and Aleksandr Blok—as well as of “post-Symbolists” Nikolai Gumilyov, Anna Akhmatova, Osip Mandelstam, and Marina Tsvetaeva. Our approach emphasizes prosody, genre, and medium as well as the dissemination of ideas across media and cultures. Weekly practices involve close reading, research, theoretical reframing, and ongoing collaborative participation and presentations.
 
Professor: Marijeta Bozovic
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: F 1:30pm-3:20pm

Saints and Relics in Medieval Europe

Jacqueline Jung

HSAR 421

In medieval Europe, the dead were always present, and none had a greater impact on visual arts, material culture, and architecture than the “very special” dead known as saints. This course examines the men and women whose holy lives and often spectacular deaths loomed so large in the Christian imagination, including biblical saints such as the apostle Peter and Mary Magdalene, early martyrs such as St Stephen and St Foy, and thirteenth-century celebrities such as Francis of Assisi and Christina the Astonishing. We look at how their stories inspired iconic and narrative representations in various media (textual and visual), and how their bodily remains, enshrined in various forms of reliquaries, forged communities of the faithful over centuries.

Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: F 1:30pm-3:20pm

Social Movements, Protest, and Rebellion

Agnieszka Pasieka

E&RS 534 / RSEE 374 / ANTH 351

Up-close study of contemporary social movements, protests, and rebellions, with a focus on Eastern Europe and a wide comparative perspective. Readings and discussions take up topics such as individual and group agency; ideas of utopia, change, and critique; and notions of justice. Emphasis on ethnographic approaches that consider protest and rebellion from the perspectives of everyday life and transformation.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: M 3:30pm-5:20pm

State Formation

Didac Queralt

PLSC 763 / PLSC 391 / HIST 469J / EP&E 302 / GLBL 259

Study of the domestic and international determinants of functional states from antiquity to the present. Analysis of state formation in Europe from premodern times and outside Europe from colonial times. Topics include centralization of power, capacity to tax, and contract enforcement.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: M 3:30pm-5:20pm

The Classics of Modern Hebrew Literature

Hannan Hever

MMES 418 / JDST 339 / LITR 418 / RLST 203

Overview of the Poetics, Culture, History and Political dynamics of Modern Hebrew Literature as a national literature over the last 300 years. The course will trace the literary development of its diasporic condition in Europe through the Hebrew Literature that is created in the Israeli Jewish sovereignty. Readings in translation.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: W 3:30pm-5:20pm

The European Union

PLSC 756 / PLSC 354 / EP&E 250

Origins and development of the European Community and Union over the past fifty years; ways in which the often conflicting ambitions of its member states have shaped the EU; relations between member states and the EU’s supranational institutions and politics; and economic, political, and geopolitical challenges.
 
Professor: David Cameron
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: T 3:30pm-5:20pm

The Geopolitics of Democracy

Lauren Young

PLSC 450 / GLBL 341

The threats to liberal democracy are being widely debated, from the US and Europe to developing nations.   In order for democracy to continue to thrive as the cornerstone of Western governance, it must adapt and be relevant to citizens of the 21st century. This course examines our appreciation of what constitutes democracy today and how to apply those understandings to the challenges of the 21st century. Our discussions look at the characteristics of democratic leaders and debate whether America, the bulwark of liberal democracy in the 20th century, is still an exporter of democracy and how that matters in today’s world. We then look at how to protect and adapt democratic institutions such as free elections, civil society, dissent, and the free press in the face of a rising wave of populism and nationalism. The course examines how refugee crises from conflict regions and immigration impact democracies and debate the accelerating paradigm shifts of income inequality and technology on democratic institutions.  We conclude the course with a discussion of the forms of democratic governance that are meaningful in the 21st century and the practicalities of designing or reforming democratic institutions to confront current challenges. 
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: T 1:30pm-3:20pm

The Performing Arts in Twentieth-Century Russia

RUSS 699 / RUSS 360 / CPLT 677 / LITR 372 / THST 371

The course covers ballet, opera, theater, mass spectacle, and film, as well as theory of the performing arts, including selections from the writings of some of the most famous Russian directors and choreographers, such as Constantine Stanislavsky, Vsevolod Meyerhold, and Michel Fokine. It also includes their major productions and some of the most important Russian plays of the twentieth century (e.g., by Anton Chekhov, Vladimir Mayakovsky, Mikhail Bulgakov) and works by contemporary dramatists. All readings are available in both English and Russian.

Professor: Katerina Clark
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: Th 1:30pm-3:20pm

The Politics of Diversity from Central-Eastern Europe to Russia

Agnieszka Pasieka

E&RS 529 / RSEE 352 / ANTH 350

This course uses an anthropological lens—and that of kindred social sciences—to explore how states and citizens from Central Europe to Russia are debating how they manage diversity. We begin by tracing the origins of the idea of a multicultural Europe, interrogating what the term multiculturalism means and the various hierarchies within the region. We then explore recent sociopolitical developments, including various facets of migratory phenomena; discourses on race, religion, and culture; sexuality and gender; the rise/return of the far right; youth and political activism; and Europe’s future and alternatives. Throughout the course, we ask how Eastern Europe and Russia fit into and shape these debates, from occupying the position of the Othered subject to offering ideological alternatives.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: T 9:25am-11:15am

Twentieth-Century Jewish Politics

David Sorkin

HIST 597 / RLST 797 / JDST 861

This seminar explores major aspects of twentieth-century Jewish politics with an emphasis on new forms of political practice.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: Th 3:30pm-5:20pm

United States and Russian Relations since the End of the Cold War

E&RS 511 / GLBL 693 / GLBL 290 / PLSC 139

This course examines the factors—political, socioeconomic, and ideological—that have shaped U.S.-Russian relations since the end of the Cold War, as well as specific issues in bilateral relations, including arms control, counterterrorism, energy, and regional affairs. The goal is to understand the way each country constructs relations with the other to advance its own national interests, and the implications of U.S.-Russian relations for global affairs.
 
Professor: Thomas Graham
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: M 9:25am-11:15am

War and Peace in Northern Ireland

Bonnie Weir

PLSC 431 / GLBL 289 / HIST 245J

Examination of theoretical and empirical literature in response to questions about the insurgency and uneasy peace in Northern Ireland following the peace agreement of 1998 which formally ended the three-decade long civil conflict known widely as The Troubles and was often lauded as the most successful of its kind in modern history. Consideration of how both the conflict and the peace have been messier and arguably more divisive than most outside observers realize.
 
Term: Spring 2021
Day/Time: T 1:30pm-3:20pm

“Political Art”: What It Is and What It Isn’t

Robert Storr

ART 535

The nature, raison d’être, and value of “political art” are among the most vexed questions in art history and criticism. Since the 1960s—and, in truth, since the 1860s—aesthetic conservatives have inveighed against work that eschews “beauty” and “art for art’s sake” for the purposes of art portraying the ugliness of the modern world or work made to convey a message about that world and the contradictions of society and humankind. “Pure” art was treated as a transcendent, ideal expression of art’s essential character and capacities. “Political art” was deemed its antithesis. Conversely, some “committed artists” came to view all forms of art that dealt with “nonpolitical” subjects or situations, or explored the parameters of “beauty,” as ipso facto retrograde aestheticism. Needless to say—but I’ll say it anyway—both sides of this crude divide are in error. There is no such thing as an art form with no political or social strings attached, and there is no art form, no matter how austere or displeasing, without an aesthetic dimension. Still, these debates are never as abstract and general as is the rhetoric employed on both sides, and it only matters to artists when it comes down to cases. This seminar traces the overall arc of this dialectic across time, geography, and cultures from eighteenth-, nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first-century Europe, to the Americas in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to Africa, Asia, and elsewhere in the postcolonial era. Conducted on Zoom, the course consists of lectures/expositions by the instructor and members of the class, readings and discussions, and viewing and collective interpretation of pertinent works. Sessions run approximately three hours. Weekly conversations center on concrete examples of “political art” from the instructor’s collection, some of it sanctioned by prevailing political power as well as examples that contest it. Requirements are consistent attendance, participation in the dialogue, a brief writing assignment, and a “project” in a medium and format of the student’s choice. Enrollment limited to twelve. With the instructor’s permission, there may be room for a handful of auditors. Preference is given to School of Art students but, space permitting, Yale students from other departments are welcome.
 
Term: Spring 2021