Listed below are courses taking place this fall that relate to global or international themes that are still available for students to register for. Be sure to check them out before the available spots fill up!
One of the main questions that we will address throughout the course is what are the historical, social, and physical mechanisms that define the Caribbean and its relationship to other geographies produced through slavery and colonialism? To answer this question we will engage the work of geographers, historians, and anthropologists, interested in the formation of political, cultural, and economic life in the Caribbean.
This seminar examines Chinese theater and drama from their beginnings to the late 20th-century. We engage dramatic texts as well as performance practices; thus, the course draws on material from theater history, performance and acting conventions, and the literary history of drama. Readings and discussions span major genres of dramatic writing and their different modes of performance, including the dramatic genres of zaju, chuanqi, and modern/contemporary spoken drama, and performance styles of Beijing opera, Kun opera (Kunqu), and huaju (spoken drama).
This team-taught seminar introduces students to the ideas and practices central to strengthening one’s intercultural competence, in part through a critically informed approach to globalization. The course views “cultures” as porous, fluid, internally contested, and often overlapping–and yet still as vital realities shaping the lived experiences of all people.
From a continental standpoint, this course offers analytical tools to explore the political complexity of lies, secrets and fictions in both the United States and Latin America since the mid-twentieth century to this day. By studying a series of cases-including the Guatemalan civil war, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the Pentagon Papers, the U.S. intervention in the Middle East, the “dirty war” in Latin America, censorship in socialist Cuba, the arrest of Augusto Pinochet in London, Wikileaks, hacker practices in the early days of internet, or Cambridge Analytica-we will address the relations between surveillance, spectacle, and conspiracies (both factual and imagined) in the contemporary techno-political landscape.
This course traces the history of Rome from its foundation, through its rise as an Italic and Mediterranean power, up to the transfer of the empire to Constantinople. It focuses on the political, military, and social achievements of the Roman people and the contributions of its principal historical figures, from the legendary kings of the regal period, to Republican leaders such as Marius, Sulla, Pompey, and Caesar, through Augustus and the establishment of the principate and subsequent emperors such as Vespasian, Hadrian, and Diocletian.
In 2021, in the state of Connecticut, approximately 14% of the K-12 population were English Language Learners (ELL). This growing population includes students whose written languages vary considerably from English, students whose education has been interrupted due to the chaos of war and resettlement in the U.S., and students who have undiagnosed learning disabilities. This service-learning course focuses on an area of great need for this population — English literacy. This course will offer students an opportunity to tutor ELLs for 20 hours during the semester while studying and applying the theories and best practices of ELL literacy development. In addition, this course will discuss best practices for teaching math to ELLs, lesson planning, classroom management, and other necessary skills for successful teachers in any field.
This class will consider several canonical novels from sub-Saharan Africa. Our focus will be on their aesthetic and thematic properties; the novels are not meant as introductions to African histories, cultures, peoples, or practices. We will explore, instead, the specific subjects and styles of each work in the context of wider debates about orality, language, colonialism, gender, and the novel. To better understand the political and aesthetic stakes of African literary canon formation, we will also attempt to identify what makes a work canonical.
This course will examine why the Orinoco and Amazon basins in South America harbor a biological richness much larger than other river basins around the world. About 50% of all higher plant species of the world are included in these basins. Data on vertebrates showed that about 3,000 freshwater fish species, thousands of birds (migratory and local), and hundreds of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals have been found so far in those basins geographically included in six countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. We will examine the key factors that have affected their historical-geological development, the actual richness, and the threats to sustainable development and conservation.
How can we make sense of the largest war in Europe since 1945? To understand Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, we must turn to the past. This course covers major stages in the development of modern Ukraine, such as the competing imperial and national claims in the late 19th century and the major transformations brought on by WWI, liberal and socialist experiments, Nazi and Soviet occupations, WWII, and decades of Soviet rule. We will end with the post-Soviet independence, which has seen multiple popular revolutions, from the Orange Revolution to the Maidan. We will learn about Ukraine as a nation forged by multiple empires, languages, religions, and cultures.
This course surveys the history of Europe since 1815 and is intended primarily as an introduction to decisive events and interpretation of central themes. Attention will be devoted to major political, social, economic, and cultural developments, beginning with the many dimensions of the political and industrial revolutions of the 19th century; continuing with the emergence of nation-states and nationalism, working-class movements, the consequences of imperialism and the World War I, and communism and fascism; and concluding with study of the World War II, the reassertion of Europe, the collapse of the Soviet system, and contemporary issues.
Japan first became directly integrated into global networks of political power and trade from the sixteenth century, when pirates dominated many of those networks. Yet Japanese political and trade missions quickly stretched across the globe, ranging from Europe to Central and South America to East and Southeast Asia. However, by the early seventeenth century, the Japanese had the military and political power to establish rules for all international contacts, whether Asian or European. After that, these relations changed, if slowly, until the nineteenth century, when the American Commodore Perry forced the Japanese to surrender the control they had until then over their foreign relations. This course examines the changes that occurred between those two points from both Japanese and non-Japanese perspectives.
The U.S./Mexico border is not only a geographical boundary, but a complex mapping project, where governments and corporations project their visions of the landscape into policies and boundaries, only to run afoul of people, terrain, and climate. Using monographs, first-hand accounts, film, and music, we will trace the recent history, politics, and culture of the borderlands, exploring topics like racialization, immigration, gender, place-making, and cultural exchange. At the same time, we will examine and apply digital methods that complement our understanding of the U.S./Mexico border.
From the disgruntled Spanish conquistadors who first traversed the jungle’s rivers in search of cinnamon, to the 19th-century scientific expeditions of enlightened explorers, to contemporary environmentalists, the Amazon remains a mysterious object of inquiry. It still incites the imagination of travelers, filmmakers, and politicians alike. This seminar investigates the multiple ways in which the Amazon and its peoples have been portrayed in chronicles, scientific writings, and film. We will confront the historical circumstances, motives and ideologies that prompted each of these depictions and how, in turn, they shaped the colonization of the region. We will pay close attention to genre, and to themes such as cross-cultural encounter, imperialism, and the representation of indigenous societies.
In this study of Europe’s crisis, 1933-1939, from Hitler’s appointment as chancellor of Germany to the outbreak of the Second World War, attention will focus upon the reassertion of German power and its effects upon the diplomacy and politics of Great Britain and France. Specific topics will include Hitler’s aims and actions; critical events concerning the Rhineland, Spain, Czechoslovakia, and Poland; pacifism and the French Left; Neville Chamberlain and British conservatism; and the debate over the immediate origins of the war in 1939. Readings will include memoirs and contemporary diplomatic documents, newspapers, and journals.
This course is a study of French thinkers of the 20th century who challenged and reevaluated the principles upon which Western society was based, with an emphasis on the problems and theories concerning the standards of moral action, the nature of political knowledge, political engagement, ethical relativity, free will, and determination.
This course is an introduction to the modern standard form of Hindi-Urdu, the most widely spoken language in South Asia, with its manifestation in deeply rooted cultural contexts. Students are introduced to both writing systems: the Devanagari script of Hindi and the Nastaliq script of Urdu. The basic grammatical structures are presented and reinforced, and students are also exposed to the cultural and historical context in which Hindi-Urdu has existed over several centuries. The course also draws from the modern medium of film (in particular recent Bollywood songs) to reinforce structures and vocabulary.
When fugitive far-left terrorist Cesare Battisti was extradited to Italy in January 2019 to serve out a life sentence for crimes committed in the late 1970s, he provided fresh evidence for the way that 20th-century events still cast long shadows into contemporary Italy. The events, their narration and re-narration over time tell the story of unresolved conflicts and overturned verdicts in a context characterized by repression, revisionism, and rehabilitation. In this course we study three historical events of the past century that continue to haunt contemporary Italian society, culture, and politics: fascism; civil war and resistance; and the political violence of terrorism in the 1970s and 80s.
The COVID-19 pandemic revived a longstanding concern in Italian theory about the relationship between rule of law and state of exception. This course draws upon biopolitics and cultural studies to investigate the relevance and ramifications of the emergency management paradigm in modern Italy. It also provocatively questions an established trend in public discourse, namely the rhetoric of the crisis: “crisi di governo,” “crisi di valori,” but also “emergenza migratoria,” “emergenza ambientale,” and so on. Why is Italy constantly in crisis?
Advanced Korean I is the first half of the advanced course in spoken and written Korean. Various functions of more complex grammar patterns and vocabulary than those learned in previous levels will be introduced in a variety of sociocultural contexts. Upon the completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate an advanced level of balanced communicative skills in speaking, reading, writing, and listening.
Conquer Latin in two semesters! Acquire a basic vocabulary and build your skills with essential grammar as you develop your ability to read passages in Latin from the principal classical authors–including Cicero, Vergil, and Ovid. This first semester covers half the textbook. In the second semester (LAT 102), you will complete the textbook.
This optional “lab” class is intended for students (1) who have taken or are currently taking PHIL 210: Living a Good Life; and (2) who have little or no exposure to classical Chinese. Each weekly session will introduce students to aspects of the classical Chinese language–the written language of pre-20th-century China. Students will be able to read (in Chinese) and discuss (in English) key passages from the Confucian classics on which the Living a Good Life courses is partly based. No previous knowledge of Chinese (classical or modern) is necessary.
This optional “lab” class is intended for students (1) who have taken or are currently taking Phil 210: Living a Good Life; and (2) who have little or no exposure to Classical Greek. Each weekly session will introduce students to aspects of Attic Greek–the written language of most of the Greek texts we will be studying this semester. Students will be able to read (in Greek) and discuss (in English) key passages from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics and Epictetus’ Encheiridion, on which the Living a Good Life course is partly based. No previous knowledge of Greek (classical or modern) is necessary.
Topics in this critical examination of issues debated by the early Confucian, Daoist, and Mohist philosophers will include the nature of normative authority and value, the importance of ritual, and the relation between personal and social goods.