Fall 2008 Course Offerings
ECS 209/HUM 209/POL 211 Cultural Interpretations
The goal of this course is to introduce students to the foundations of political rhetoric and to study the rhetorical structure of classical works in political theory and political speeches.
Professor Maurizio Viroli
MW 1:30 – 2:20
ECS 320 The Human Face of Soviet Socialism
Traditionally, life in the Soviet period is perceived as being polarized between the ideological constraints imposed by state authorities and acts of popular resistance by dissidents. In this course, we will try to understand how Communist values were "translated" in socialist countries into the language of everyday life. Through film, fiction, and academic studies of socialist life, we will analyze the cultural logic of socialism that still retains its legacy in a large part of the former Soviet world.
Professor Serguei A. Oushakine
TTH 1:30 – 2:50
ECS 321 Radio, the Avant-Garde, and the Sound of Modernity
This seminar will explore the avant-garde's fascination with radio (or the "wireless" as it was called at the time) as the ultimate symbol of technological modernity. Poets from Marinetti to Apollinaire embraced radio's potential for producing a new language attuned to the spirit of the twentieth century, and intellectuals from Mexico to the Soviet Union celebrated the new invention as a harbinger of a new world order marked by peace and unity. Readings include theoretical writings by Rudolf Arnheim, Bertold Brecht, Georges Duhamel, and Denis Hollier, as well as "radiophonic" poems by Marinetti, Apollinaire, Cendrars, and Huidobro.
Professor Rubén Gallo
M 1:30 – 4:20
ECS 323/SOC 321 Loving and Hating the West
Across the world, many people feel passionately about the "West." Some admire the Western world; others despise it for wanting to impose its own values. We will discuss what different people mean by "the West" and what kinds of people tend to have strong views about it, and why. We will also look at the relationship between anti-Western and anti-American views, and between pro- and anti-Western ideologies and political practice. We will explore the significance of the West for national identities by comparing European anti-Westernism (especially in Russia, Germany, and France) with Middle Eastern and East Asian varieties.
Professor Mischa E. Gabowitsch
TTh 10:00 – 10:50