Spring 2020 Class Schedule
|HUM 325-4-20||Abolition & Equality: 19th Century Black Activism in the Midwest||Kate Masur||TTh 3:30 - 4:50 pm|
HUM 325-4-20 Abolition & Equality: 19th Century Black Activism in the Midwest
Co-listed with HISTORY 395-0-24.
This digital humanities course has two areas of focus, one historical and one technological: 1) We will research and write about how African Americans in the Midwest, particularly in Illinois, mobilized for freedom and equality in the 1840s and. Many of the historical themes we’ll examine—including forms of racial inequality in a post-slavery society, African Americans’ strategies for social and political mobilization, and Black activists’ relationships with white allies—are enduring topics in U.S. history and resonate with present-day questions and challenges. 2) We will participate in a major collaborative digital humanities enterprise, the Colored Conventions Project. This means exploring practices of digital history, conducting basic work with digitized documents, and designing a web-based exhibit. Prior experience in digital humanities is not required, but patience and curiosity are essential!
Bio coming soon
|HUM 325-6-20||Information Overload! From the Printing Press to the Smartphone||John R. Ladd||MW 3:30 - 4:50 pm|
HUM 325-6-20 Information Overload! From the Printing Press to the Smartphone
Co-listed with ENGLISH 385-0-20.
This course explores the anxiety, exhaustion, and unease brought on by information technologies. We will trace emotional responses to technological change, from the shock of the printing press to the malaise of the present "information economy." How did new text technologies reshape language and society? Who is permitted access to certain kinds of information and why? We will take a hands-on approach to these questions by pairing literature that addresses the anxieties of technology, like the scifi linguistics of Arrival and the postapocalyptic Shakespeare of Station Eleven, with book history and digital humanities techniques designed to manage information. Students will learn how books are made, how search algorithms work, and how to analyze text with code.
Bio coming soon
|HUM 370-3-20||City of Women: Race/Class/Sexuality in American Women's Lives||Micaela di Leonardo||Th 2:00 - 4:50 pm|
HUM 370-3-20 City of Women: Race/Class/Sexuality in American Women's Lives
Co-listed with ANTHRO 390-0-27
This seminar, which plays on Federico Fellini’s film of the same title, and the famous 13th century Italian feminist poem “The Treasure of the City of Ladies,” explores the variations across positionality, time, and space in women’s American urban experiences. We will establish some basic urban-studies concepts and, with a special focus on Chicago, will then read together literary work, historical and social science studies, and contemporary journalism in order to consider misogyny/racism/xenophobia/classism and their effects on women’s lives, and issues of women’s employment, reproductive rights, sexuality, and violence against women. And, of course, women’s own agency in attempting to live their urban lives, pursue their goals, and claim their equal rights and pleasures. We will also consider common representations—and misrepresentations--of varying women’s urban lives.
American women live in cities, work in cities, but have had to wage a fight that is by no means over to be accommodated in the urban world. From hostile built environments (e.g., lack of sufficient public women’s bathrooms), ongoing lower salaries than men’s, to the lack of subsidized childcare, to omnipresent harassment and sexual violence at work, at home, and in the public world, American cities are far more challenging environments for women than for men.
We are living in a strange new cultural and political-economic arena, in which daily horrific racist/misogynist attacks and policies, from the White House down, jostle up against vibrant, active backlash and organizing by grassroots and other feminist and antiracist movements. I encourage students who are interested in unpacking the present to choose some element of the current national conjuncture and gender to research as your topic.
Bio coming soon
|HUM 370-3-21||Earth Politics and Poetics: Knowing, Shaping, and Imagining the Planet||Zeynep Oguz||MW 3:30 - 4:50 pm|
HUM 370-3-21 Earth Politics and Poetics: Knowing, Shaping, and Imagining the Planet
Co-listed with ANTHRO 390-0-29 and ENVR_POL 390-0-22, and approved for credit in the Science in Human Culture major/minor
“Planet Earth” has a political and social history. The Copernican turn and geological notions of deep time, for example, radically shifted understandings of the Earth, time, and humans’ relationship to them. Whole Earth images first generated by the Apollo Space missions in the late 1960s and 1970s have been the characteristic form of planetary imagination during the late twentieth century. Earthrise and The Blue Marble images enabled humans to imagine the planet as an interconnected whole against the backdrop of the Cold War and environmental disasters. They have been crucial to the emergence of a “global consciousness” and became famous icons of the global environmental movement, depicting the planet as the common home of humans as one species. The power of these images has not decreased, yet other forms of representation and imagination have emerged as well. The development of Google Earth or advanced climate modeling systems, for example, mark a different notion of Earth, characterized by dynamic, heterogeneous, and open systems. This course examines such shifting notions of the Earth by tracing how practices and discourses of geopolitics, political theory, cartography, population studies, climate modeling, deep ocean sensing, outer space exploration and mining, and science fiction literature, have come to sense, know, represent, and imagine the planet since the 18th century. In doing so, this course also surveys shifting socio-political currents, from the intersection of the military-industrial complex and technoscience to how climate crisis, Anthropocene debates, and Earth Systems analysis reflect further shifts in the ways the planet is understood today. Tracing these shifts in planetary representation and imagination is also crucial to understanding how core concepts such as “humanity” and “species” are made and unmade. Understanding the deeply mediated processes behind planetary depictions is not only central to making sense of contemporary politics and policies that propose to shape the future, but also to imagining alternative worlds and futures beyond our grim ecological predicament.
Bio coming soon
|HUM 370-4-20||Red Power: Indigenous Resistance in the U.S. and Canada, 1887-present||Doug Kiel||TTh 3:30 - 4:50 pm|
HUM 370-4-20 Red Power: Indigenous Resistance in the U.S. and Canada, 1887-present
Co-listed with HISTORY 300-0-30.
In 2016, thousands of Indigenous water protectors and their non-Native allies camped at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in an effort to block the construction of the DakotaAccess Pipeline. That movement is part of a long history of Native activism. In this course, we will examine the individual and collective ways in which Indigenous people have resisted colonial domination in the U.S. and Canada since 1887. Inaddition to focusing on North America, we will also turn our attention to Hawai‘i and the U.S. territories. This course will highlight religious movements, inter-tribal organizations, key intellectual figures, student movements, armed standoffs, non-violent protest, and a variety of visions for Indigenous community self-determination.
Bio coming soon
|HUM 370-4-21||Archaeology and Nationalism||Ann Gunter||TTh 2:00 - 3:20 pm|
HUM 370-4-21 Archaeology and Nationalism
Co-listed with ANTHRO 390-0-28 and MENA 390-4-21.
Archaeology and nationalism have been closely intertwined at least since the idea of the nation-state emerged following the French Revolution. Archaeology offers nationalist agendas the possibility of filling in national historical records and extending the past far into prehistory. Its results can be displayed in museums, occupy entire sites, and be readily accessible online —thus potentially reaching many new audiences beyond traditional print media. In turn, nationalism has contributed significantly to the development of archaeology as a modern discipline.
Bio coming soon
|HUM 370-6-23||The Animated Documentary||Eric Patrick||TTh 9:30 - 10:50 am|
HUM 370-6-23 The Animated Documentary
Co-listed with RTVF 377-0-20.
Animation and non-fiction filmmaking seem contrary to one another, though relationships between animation and documentary practices date all the way back to the origins of cinema. This course will trace the history of that interplay, focusing on aesthetic interventions in animated documentaries, especially over the last twenty years (Waltz with Bashir, Persepolis). Parallel examples of non-fiction themes in comic art and video games will also be considered. These forms will be considered alongside readings that explore the rhetoric of design, aesthetics, semiotics, and anthropology. Through these readings, screenings, writing assignments and class discussions, students will explore the contours of this emerging genre.
Bio coming soon