Visiting Scholar Seminars

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Spring 2018

Edgar Schmitz, Goldsmiths, University of London

ENGL 197 (1 cr) Exit Time: On Futurity, Revolutionary Time, and the Crisis of the Contemporary in Recent Visual Arts, Literature, and Film - ethics course

Each week, a group of students will lead discussion of the assigned reading. Collectively and over the first five sessions, the whole group will compile an expanded index of film- and art-works concerned with temporalities of exit. Students will present the compiled material in the last session in the form of an open screening with discussion. Some representative readings for the course: Giorgio Agamben: What is the Contemporary, 2009; Walter Benjamin: On the Notion of History, 1940; Don de Lillo: Point Omega, 2010; and Hito Steyerl: In Defense of the Poor Image, 2009. Class Meetings: Tuesdays, March 13, 20, 27, and April 3 and 10, 6:00-8:00 p.m.; and April 17, 6:00-10:00 p.m.

Fall 2017

Vladimir Gel'man, European University at St. Petersburg, and Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki

PLSC 197 (1 cr) Political Changes in Post-Soviet Russia - ethics course 

This course is focused on political changes in post-Soviet Russia within the context of regime dynamics and state building. Starting with the Soviet system and collapse of the Soviet Union as a point of departure, the course traces the making and unmaking of major political institutions and practices in Russia by examining the impact of various legacies of the past and the role of domestic and international political and economic actors. Students will gain an understanding of the challenges facing post-Soviet Russia, and an analytical perspective on sources of its stability and instability. The course will include six two-hour classes (each as a combination of lectures and discussion sessions), and one class will take longer and include students' presentations (up to 7 minutes long) addressing one of the key questions of the subjects of class topics. Class meetings Wednesdays September 13, 20, and 27, and October 4 and 11, 4:30-6:30 p.m.; and October 18, 4:30-7:30 p.m.

Spring 2017

Kamilla Pawlikowska, Seikei University, Tokyo

ENGL 197H (1 cr) Anti-Portraits in Modern Literature and Visual Arts - ethics course 

The course will introduce students to debates from the 19th and 20th centuries over the connection between the human face and human character in modern art and literature. In particular, it will examine differences between representations of the face in realism, the fantastic and modernism. It will give students insights into the work of major figures from different cultures (for example, Nikolai Gogol, Edgar Allan Poe, Virginia Woolf, Charles Baudelaire) who challenged the connection and devised 'anti-portraits' of faces with blurred, fragmented or abstract features. Finally, this course will help the students understand why some critics considered modernist portraits (both textual and visual) to be dangerously subversive. Class meetings Tuesdays, February 7, 14, 21, and 28, 6:00-8:00 p.m.; and Thursday, March 2, 5:00-10:00 p.m. 

Fall 2016

Yogev Kivity, Department of Psychology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

PSYCH 197H (1 cr) Anxiety and Emotion Regulation - ethics course 

Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent class of psychological disorders with twelve-month prevalence estimates of 20%. Recent trends in understanding pathological anxiety have increasingly focused on the role of disruptions in emotion in the etiology, manifestation and treatment of pathological anxiety. Following a short introduction to anxiety disorders and emotion regulation, the course will explore the various emotion dysregulation models of anxiety disorder, their empirical evidence and their implications for the assessment and treatment of anxiety. Special attention will be given to critical evaluation of the emotion regulation theory of anxiety, and especially of its overemphasis of intra-personal processes of emotion regulation. Students will have an opportunity to visit a research lab that is focused on studying emotion regulationClass meetings Wednesdays, October 5, 12, 26, and November 2, 4:00-6:00 p.m.; Cole Emotion Regulation Lab visit Thursday, October 20, 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Spring 2016

Alexander Panchenko, Professor of Anthropology, European University of St. Petersburg, Russia, and Institute of Russian Literature, Russian Academy of Sciences

CMLIT / RUS 197H (1 cr) Conspiracy Theories and Contemporary Culture - ethics course

panchenko.jpgConspiracy theories are a powerful explanatory model, or way of thinking, that influences many cultural forms and social processes throughout the contemporary world. Generally defined as "the conviction that a secret, omnipotent individual or group covertly controls the political and social order or some part thereof," conspiracy theories include a number of principal ideas and concepts that make them adaptable to a broad variety of discourses and forms of collective imagination. This course engages a variety of approaches to conspiracy theories, from anthropology, history, sociology, to cultural studies, and addresses a broad spectrum of conspiratorial narratives, including examples from present day Russia. Proceeding from the necessity to explain and localize evil as a social and moral category, conspiracy theories produce ethical models that oppose us to themvictims to enemies, and heroes to anti-heroes. Class meetings Wednesdays, March 16, 23, 30, 6:00-8:00 p.m.; and April 6, 6:00-10:00 p.m. 

Fall 2015

Kathryn Dudley, Professor of Anthropology and American Studies, Yale University

ANTH / LER / SOC 197H (1 cr) Inequality in America - ethics course

This course explores the sociocultural dimensions and lived experiences of inequality in the contemporary United States. Our discussions draw on works in anthropology, sociology, economics, history, cultural studies, and investigative journalism to examine how economic policies, exacerbated by the Great Recession, impact Americans divided by identity categories such as race, class, gender, and citizenship. We focus on ways in which the social dynamics that produce inequality are embedded in worlds of cultural meaning and institutionalized as taken-for-granted aspects of everyday life. Structural disparities in income, wealth, and opportunity ultimately raise questions about the kind of society we live in an whether the nation's democratic ideals can survive the extreme polarization of life changes that exist in America today. Class meetings 9/28/15–10/7/15, M W 4:00–6:00 p.m., with Field Trip on 10/2/15

Amit Schejter, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Communication Studies, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

CAS / PL SC 197H (1 cr) Communication Policies and Political Activism - ethics course

Communication policy and its outcomes weighs heavily on the quality of our lives as citizens and on the quality of the environment in which decisions regarding our future as a society are being made. Students who value the quality of communication in the public sphere and who have an interest in communication policy issues, and who want to understand debates over network neutrality, media concentration, privacy on the net, and the future of public broadcasting, will get an opportunity to explore these issues and to meet the people who try to influence media policy and those that actually decide it. Students will have the opportunity to meet activists in media advocacy groups and the senior staff of the Federal Communications Committee in Washington, DC. Class meetings 9/30/15–10/21/15, W 6:00–8:00 p.m., with Field Trip on 10/16/15

Spring 2015

Patty A. Gray, National University of Ireland Maynooth

ANTH / ASIA / PL SC 197H (1 cr) From Recipients to Donors: Unpacking the Global Development Apparatus - ethics course

How often have you seen a call to end poverty coupled with images of brown people presumably located on the other side of the globe? Much of the public discourse about international development focuses on recipients of aid in the so-called ‘Global South’ and their problems and needs. This course shifts your gaze in other directions. We begin by looking from recipients to donors – at the global development apparatus and the development professionals that staff development agencies; we then consider how the tidy formulations of ‘donor’ and ‘recipient’ have been upset by the recent phenomenon of the so-called ‘emerging donors’.  We examine two such donor countries: Russia and China. You will go out and retrieve current examples of discourse about donors and recipients of international development assistance and will critically unpack it. The goal of the class is to foster a different way of seeing the world and the relationships within it, and to enable you to balance both macro- and micro-perspectives on that world. Class meetings: 6:00-8:00 p.m. on January 14, 21, and February 4, with a field trip on January 28.

Fall 2014

Jeanne Kormina, Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg, Russia

ANTH /HIST / RL ST 197H (1 cr) Religion and Society in Russia - ethics course

The course provides an introduction to the ethnographic study of religion with a focus on the post-Soviet space, and Russia in particular. How does religion influence the way people seek to shape and reshape their own selves and the meaningful world they live in? How can religious language be used for "silent criticism" of social injustice and other social problems? How and why does the state try to regulate religious expression, and what are the consequences of such regulation? The goal of the class is to come to a greater understanding of the diverse ways of defining and practicing religion, and to discuss their consequences for social identities and relations of power. Meeting dates: Tuesdays 4:15-5:45 p.m., October 7, 14, 21, 28; all-day field trip Sunday, October 19

Daniela Peluso, University of Kent at Canterbury, England

ANTH / LER / SOC 297H (1 cr) "Business as Usual": From Your Street to Wall Street - ethics course

This course will allow students to gain new perspectives on business formations, corporate cultures, capitalist practices and ideologies. Businesses – be they individuals, families, corporations, nation-states or multi-lateral corporations - have identities that are invariably distinct from one another and which are forged upon and promote particular social relationships. Ethnographic case studies, especially of the stock market and its related businesses, will provide the basis for discussing how these social relationships that enact power are embedded in broader cultural processes as well as ideologies. Acknowledging the multiple dynamic relationships between businesses, people and marketplaces will allow us to evaluate their roles as active and reactive producers, consumers and disseminators of cultural processes within our surrounding environments, extending from the local to the global. During the last class session, students will give presentations on a fieldwork-based interview project.  The instructor is a former Wall Street broker-turned-cultural anthropologist. Class meetings: 6:00-8:00 p.m. on November 18, 20, December 2, 9, and 16.

Congratulations to Business as Usual students Bronson Ford for "Most Original Presentation," and Elyse Grossman for "Most Persuasive Presentation."

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