Spring 2015 Course Offerings
HUM 305/TRA 306/ECS 305 Imagined Languages
Joshua T. Katz
Among the examples we will consider are Esperanto, Klingon, Middle Egyptian, Linear A and B, Cornish, Fortran, and Proto-World. Taking a view that is broad both geographically and temporally, we will explore, in an interactive and collaborative way, the philosophical and sociological implications of constructing and reconstructing languages for purposes that range from the political to the literary to the simple frivolous.
ART 335/ECS 335 Art, Science & Magic
Thomas D. Kaufmann
This class considers interactions of art, science and magic during the Early Modern Period (fifteenth to seventeenth centuries) in Europe. Topics include nature studies and natural history, collecting, art and magic, art and astrology, art and alchemy, and art and witchcraft. Students will also have the opportunity to pursue their own special interests.
COM 341/ENG 343/ECS 341/HUM 341 What is Vernacular Filmmaking?
Erika A. Kiss
We will study films that address global audiences while rooted in particular, local, vernacular sources of artistic creation. In order to understand this aesthetic phenomenon of World Cinema, we will examine theories of World Literature. Especially, we will focus on Auerbach’s famous book, Mimesis and his work on the formation of vernacular audiences.
ECS 342/ENG 355/COM 382 Literature and Photography
Eduardo L. Cadava
Since its advent in the 19th century, photography has been a privileged figure in literature’s effort to reflect upon its own modes of representation. This seminar will trace the history of the rapport between literature and photography by looking closely at a number of literary and theoretical texts that differently address questions central to both literature and photography: questions about the nature of representation, reproduction, memory and forgetting, history, images, perception, and knowledge.
ECS 353/ART 383/LAS 340 Size Matters: Crossed-Cultural Perspectives on Scale
Andrew J. Hamilton
When the Spanish conquered the Inca Empire, they became immersed in a civilization with its own age-old intellectual tradition that they often did not understand. Scale, or relative size, was a relational property that Andean people long employed to convey meaning between objects, individuals, and features of the experienced world. This course will juxtapose the way scale was conceptualized and utilized in the Andes with a variety of readings on scale from European sources - including architecture, cartography, literature, and other realms - to better understand the oceans that separate the cognitive orientations of these equally Old Worlds.
SLA 366/ECS 356/RES 347 Eastern Europe: Culture and History
This course will discuss the main trends in East European history and culture, concentrating mostly on the 20th and 21st centuries. Each week will be devoted to one aspect of East European studies and the classes will combine the theme-plus-methodology approach. There will be several invited speakers.
FRE 358/ECS 358/ART 358 Surrealism: Sex, Dreams, and Revolution
This course sets out to explore the basic ideas, works, and principles of Surrealism as it was developed in France from its inception in the early 1920s into the late 1950s. A very wide array of material will cover diverse literary genres (manifestos, novels, poems, essays) and media (film, photography, visual art, art exhibition, magazines) to show how the Surrealists wanted to revolutionize both art and life in its political and ethical dimensions. The course is highly interactive, built on a series of students’ group activities and projects, both creative and critical, with the use of various media.
ECS 376/ARC 376/ART 386 The Body in Space: Art, Architecture, and Performance
An interdisciplinary investigation of the status of the human body in the modern reinvention of space within the overlapping frames of art, architecture, and the performing arts, from the fin-de-siècle to the present. Works by artists, architects, theater designers, and film makers who address the human figure in space will be supplemented by readings on architectural theory, intellectual and cultural history, psychoanalysis, anthropology, and aesthetics. The course will address issues of bodily empathy, the relation between bodily perception and space, as well as the animation of mechanization of bodies and things inside modern enclosures.