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Current and Future Courses

IH 203, Humanities Pedagogy: Theory & Practice: 

Anne Zanzucchi. Thursdays, 4:30-7:15 p.m. 

This introductory seminar engages teaching as research in a humanities context. Humanities teaching topics will include developing an integrative philosophy and practice, designing active learning activities, engaging students in course and field-specific expectations, defining measures of success, and evaluating evidence of effective practices. With a focus on both cognitive and affective domains, projects and readings will emphasize holistic teaching strategies. A range of strategies for communicating learning expectations will include classroom management techniques, rubrics, webinars, collaborative projects and assignment design. Measures of student success from a humanities perspective will also be explored, with identifying threshold concepts, designing learning outcomes, and promoting strategies for learning within and beyond the classroom. Course projects include a syllabus and lesson plan, reflection journal, microteaching, teaching philosophy statement, and culminating seminar paper.

IH 205, Humanities in the World: Seeing is Resisting: Critical Visuality 

ShiPu Wang. Tuesdays, 3:00-5:45 p.m. 

 **This is only a very rough draft. The course content will change over the summer.** 

One cannot overstate the centrality of visual representations in the epistemological formation of various disciplines beyond the visual arts. The deployment of visual propaganda in times of social upheaval for political persuasion (from French Revolution to the Civil Rights era, from World War II to Vietnam/American War), the ways in which photography played a vital role in 19th-century archaeological and anthropological inquiries as expressions of European colonialism, and the proliferation of a global American consumerism via the power of Hollywood image-making, are only some examples to illustrate the omnipresence of visuality throughout history. In this seminar, we read interdisciplinary texts on critical theories of visual representation/culture, and investigate historical, cultural, and sociopolitical issues in visual production relating to the following topics:  

  • Seeing as a Right, Seeing as Power;
  • Traveling Around the World in Three Blinks: Grand Landscapes of Colonial Empires;
  • Seen Against a Grid: Photographing “Others” in the Name of Science
  • Picturing Race, Picturing Agency;
  • Framing Gender: Pictorial Constructs of Femininity and Masculinity (from the Renaissance to the Victorian era to the Birth of Feminism);
  • Worth a Thousand Words? The Roles of Imagery in Times of Turmoil;
  • Museum Display as Epistemological Intervention;
  • Selling Eyeballs: The Visual Rhetoric of Desire (and Impulse);
  • Seeing is believing/questioning: the New Neurological and Cognitive Discoveries

Course assignments will include written and creative works. 

IH 206-1, Methods and Research; Regional Systems Theory and Methods 

Karl Ryavec. Mondays, 3:00-5:45 p.m. 

This seminar focuses on the Regional Systems approach to the mapping of political economies over time that was pioneered by the late anthropologist G. W. Skinner.  Based on the spatial analysis of historical census data and settlements, the spatial structure of societies and civilizations are mapped to study how socioeconomic and cultural processes relate to location across urban cores and rural peripheries.  In addition to weekly readings and discussion, a series of digital labs with examples from France, China, and America will be done in class using ArcGIS software.  These labs will be pass/fail, and done in a computer lab under the guidance of the professor, and will provide a basic working knowledge of the methods of Cartography and GIS for research in the humanities and social sciences.  Each student will also write a research paper, counting for half of their seminar work, focusing on how historical and/or contemporary GIS data and methods may be applied to better map and study spatial aspects to their own research problems and topics. 

IH 206-2, Methods and Research: Contemporary Approaches to Research, Writing, and Interpretation in History 

Susan Amussen. Mondays, 3:00-5:45 p.m. 

This course examines the way that the introduction of new questions has put pressure on approaches to archives, interpretation, and scholarly writing. How are historians reimagining their work, from the initial question to the final outcome? Readings, which will cover a range of time periods and geographical regions, will engage with ways of writing histories of those who have left limited traces in the archives; uses of digital humanities tools for analysis and presentation of findings; and writing for a variety of audiences in multiple forms, including web-based publications and writing for non-specialist audiences.    

IH 210, Readings in IH (Past Worlds): Cognition and Origins of Belief 

Holley Moyes. Wednesdays, 6:00-8:45 p.m. 

(Preliminary description) This course will explore the literature from regarding how humans develop beliefs and ideologies. It will include guest speakers from psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and cognitive science. Much of the course will be devoted to works theorizing the origins of spiritual or religious belief within the frameworks of the mind itself, but we will also investigate social conditions that promote and maintain belief systems. 

IH 230, Readings in IH (Expressive/Imaginative): Literature and Sexuality 

Matthew Kaiser. Wednesdays 3:00-5:45 p.m.  

According to Foucault, over the past three centuries, the concept of “sexuality” has gradually displaced “soul,” “mind” and “character” as the most essential and salient ingredient in modern subjectivity, as the “truth” of the self. For better or worse, understanding sexuality has become key to understanding not just human psychology, but the human condition. An increasing number of Western (and Westernized) societies associate sexual repression with political repression, with ignorance and superstition. How and why has sex become synonymous with freedom and enlightenment? How has Western literature—whose subject is subjectivity itself—grappled with, embraced, or stubbornly resisted the sexualization of subjectivity? With a theoretical backdrop of Freud, Bataille, Marcuse, Wittig and others, we will map the uneasy alliance between—and intertwining histories of—modern literature and sexuality: from the Marquis de Sade to Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, from D.H. Lawrence to Vladimir Nabokov and beyond.