Current Courses

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AMST 1101 : Introduction to American Studies
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Noliwe Rooks
This course is an introduction to interdisciplinary considerations of American culture. Specific topics may change from year to year and may include questions of national consensus versus native, immigrant and racial subcultures and countercultures; industrialization and the struggles over labor; the rise of leisure; the transformation of (the frequently gendered) public and private spheres; the relationship between politics and culture; the development and distinctions among consumer culture, mass culture and popular culture. These themes will be examined through a variety of media, such as literature, historical writing, music, art, film, architecture, etc. The course will also give attention to the many methods through which scholars have, over time, developed the discipline of American Studies.
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AMST 1149 : FWS: The Third World Within: Poverty and Paradox in the U.S.
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Eleanor Andrews
The United States is supposed to exemplify the First World and the global North. But poverty, colonialism, and marginalization are everywhere, evident in income inequality, environmental injustices, gun violence, high rates of incarceration, and more. Together, we will examine these problems, asking whether they stand apart from modern development or are a hidden but integral part of it. For example, how does the pipeline running through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation compare to energy extraction in other parts of the world? What does the continued crisis in Puerto Rico say about 21st-century colonialism? Over the course of the semester, students will produce a sociological research proposal, articulating realistic, data-driven research questions about the paradoxes that surround us.
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AMST 1290 : American Society through Film
Crosslisted as: SOC 1290 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
David Strang
Introduces students to the sociological analysis of American society through the lens of film. Major themes involve race, class, and gender; upward and downward mobility; incorporation and exclusion; small town vs the big city; and cultural conflicts over individualism, achievement, and community. We match a range of movies like American Graffiti (Lucas), Ace in the Hole (Wilder), The Asphalt Jungle (Houston), Do the Right Thing (Lee), The Heiress (Wyler), High Noon (Zinnemann), Mean Streets (Scorsese), Nashville (Altman), The Philadelphia Story (Cukor), and A Streetcar Named Desire (Kazan). Each film is paired with social scientific research that examines parallel topics, such as analyses of who goes to college, the production of news, deviant careers, urban riots, the gendered presentation of self, and the prisoner's dilemma.
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AMST 1312 : History of Rock Music
Crosslisted as: MUSIC 1312 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Judith Peraino
This course examines the development and cultural significance of rock music from its origins in blues, gospel, and Tin Pan Alley up to alternative rock and hip hop. The course concludes with the year 2000.
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AMST 1321 : Music of Mexico and the Mexican Diaspora
Crosslisted as: LATA 1321, LSP 1321, MUSIC 1321, SPAN 1321 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Alejandro Madrid
This class is a survey of music practices among Mexican communities both in Mexico and in the U.S. Taking contemporary musical practices as a point of departure, the class explores the historical, cultural, and political significance of a wide variety of Mexican music traditions (including indigenous, folk, popular, and art music, dating back to the 16th Century) from a transnational perspective.
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AMST 1500 : Introduction to Africana Studies
Crosslisted as: ASRC 1500, GOVT 1503 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Siba Grovogui
This course offers an introduction to the study of Africa, the U.S., the Caribbean and other diasporas.  This course will examine, through a range of disciplines, among them literature, history, politics, philosophy, the themes - including race/racism, the Middle Passage, sexuality, colonialism, and culture - that have dominated Africana Studies since its inception in the late-1960s. We will explore these issues in the attempt to understand how black lives have been shaped, in a historical sense; and, of course, the effects of these issues in the contemporary moment. This course seeks to introduce these themes, to investigate through one or more of the disciplines relevant to the question, and to provide a broad understanding of the themes so as to enable the kind of intellectual reflection critical to Africana Studies.
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AMST 1540 : American Capitalism
Crosslisted as: HIST 1540, ILRLR 1845 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Kim Todt
This course studies the history of American capitalism. It helps you to answer these questions: What is capitalism? Is the U.S. more capitalist than other countries? How has capitalism shaped the history of the United States? Has it been a force for freedom, or is it a system of exploitation? What is its future? Through lectures, readings, and discussions, we'll give you the tools to win all your future arguments about capitalism, pro and con. And we won't even charge you the full market price.
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AMST 1585 : Sports and Politics in American History
Crosslisted as: HIST 1585 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Lawrence Glickman
This course will explore the relationship between sports and politics over the course of American history since the 19th century.  Sports and politics have come together surprisingly frequently in the last two centuries and this course will take a "case study" method to examine particular episodes of politicized sports.  In the course of our investigations, we will the following questions: How do we define politics?  How have sports acted as a place for subversion and resistance? Conversely, how have sports reflected the power structure? No background knowledge is necessary.   Course materials will include memoirs, articles, and a variety of visual sources, including film and photography.   Course requirements will include a research paper.
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AMST 1601 : Indigenous Issues in Global Perspectives
Crosslisted as: AIIS 1110 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Karim-Aly Kassam
This course attends to the contemporary issues, contexts and experiences of Indigenous peoples. Students will develop a substantive understanding of colonialism and engage in the parallels and differences of its histories, forms, and effects on Indigenous peoples globally.  Contemporary Indigenous theorists, novelists, visual artists and historians have a prominent place in the course, highlighting social/environmental philosophies, critical responses to and forms of resistance toward neocolonial political and economic agendas and the fundamental concern for Indigenous self determination, among other topics.
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AMST 1640 : U.S. History since the Great Depression
Crosslisted as: HIST 1640 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Julilly Kohler-Hausmann
An introductory survey to United States history since the Great Depression, this course explores the dramatic social, economic, and political transformations of the last century. It emphasizes domestic political developments, particularly the evolving notions of government responsibility for various social problems. Therefore, the course is especially concerned with the interactions between the state, popular movements, and people's daily lives.
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AMST 2000 : Introduction to Visual Studies
Crosslisted as: ARTH 2000, COML 2000, VISST 2000 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Andrew Moisey
This course introduces the field of Visual Studies.  Visual Studies seeks to define and improve our visual relationship to nature and culture after the modern surge in technology and knowledge.  It contains objects, images, and problems that lie beyond the Art History and experimental science, yet is grown from both cultures.  It teaches the physical and legal limits of human, animal, and machine vision, how knowledge and power get into images, how spectacle drives the economy, and techniques of analysis that can deliver fresh perspectives across disciplines.
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AMST 2001 : The First American University
Crosslisted as: ENGL 2999, HIST 2005 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Corey Earle
Shirley Samuels
Educational historian Frederick Rudolph called Cornell University "the first American university," referring to its unique role as a coeducational, nonsectarian, land-grant institution with a broad curriculum and diverse student body. In this course, we will explore the history of Cornell, taking as our focus the pledge of Ezra Cornell and Andrew Dickson White to found a university where "any person can find instruction in any study." The course will cover a wide range of topics and perspectives relating to the faculty, student body, evolution of campus, and important events and eras in Cornell history. Stories and vignettes will provide background on the current university and its administrative structure, campus traditions, and the names that adorn buildings and memorials throughout campus. Finally, the course will offer a forum for students to address questions on present-day aspects of the university.
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AMST 2108 : Indigenous Ingenuities as Living Networks
Crosslisted as: AIIS 2100, ARTH 2101 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Jolene Rickard
This course explores Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) knowledge and its application across the disciplines and through time. In particular, it offers a glimpse into Cornell's local indigenous culture through Haudenosaunee understanding of themselves as a unique people, maintaining traditional teachings and fulfilling ancient responsibilities in the world. Students will engage multiple primary sources including: art, archives, material and expressive culture and interact with Haudenosaunee knowledge holders, intellectuals, and elders.
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AMST 2112 : Black Spirituality, Religion & Protest
Crosslisted as: ASRC 2112, HIST 2112, RELST 2112 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Margaret Washington
This course examines Black spirituality, religion, and protest from an historical perspective, beginning with African traditions and Christianity during enslavement, which created resistance ideology and racial nationalism. Prophetic Christianity and church formation became primary political weapons after enslavement, particularly in the Age of Jim Crow, and foundationally led to twentieth century civil rights movements. While exploring these themes, the course will also analyze the complexities and contractions (i.e. Southern Baptist Convention, Nation of Islam and Black Lives Matter) inherent in resistance movements based on spiritual leadership.
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AMST 2152 : (Im)migration and (Im)migrants: Then and Now
Crosslisted as: GOVT 2152, LSP 2152 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Sergio Garcia-Rios
One in ten residents of the United States was born outside the country. These people include international students, temporary workers, refugees, asylees, permanent residents, naturalized U.S. citizens and undocumented migrants. The arrival of these newcomers affects the cultural, economic, political and social dynamics of the country. Since immigration shows no signs of slowing down—in the United States or in many other nations of the world—the causes, consequences and repercussions of immigration will be one of the most important topics of the 21- century. Therefore this class will examine the history and contemporary role of immigration in the U.S. political system. The class will focus on two aspects of immigration: First, a historical examination of immigration policy from the founding of the country all the way forward to the current debate over immigration reform. Second, we will evaluate and assess the political incorporation and political participation of immigrant groups in the U.S. and determine whether immigrants are being incorporated, and if not, why? We will reflect on many important questions including the costs and benefits of immigration, issues related to civil rights and civil liberties, and finally propose our own ideas and solutions to the current immigration reform debate.
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AMST 2220 : From the New Deal to the Age of Reagan
Crosslisted as: HIST 2220 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Lawrence Glickman
This seminar will explore some of the major political and cultural trends in the United States,  from the era of the Democratic New Dealer, Franklin D. Roosevelt, through the era of the conservative Republican, Ronald Reagan? This seminar will explore through primary source research and secondary readings  the key economic, political, and cultural characteristics and transformations of the period from 1930 though the turn of the century.  The course will examine the rise, persistence, and breakdown of the so-called "New Deal Order" and the crucial political shifts that we call the "Reagan Revolution." A key theme in this course will be the transformations and critiques of American liberalism and conservatism.
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AMST 2274 : The Manson Murders
Crosslisted as: HIST 2274 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Claudia Verhoeven
On August 9-10, 1969, ex-convict, aspiring rock star, and charismatic leader Charles Manson ordered his so-called Family to brutally murder a few of LA's rich, white, "beautiful people" and leave clues implicating black radicals. The idea was to trigger an apocalyptic race war he called "Helter Skelter" (after a song by The Beatles). Today, these murders stand as the most infamous in twentieth-century U.S. criminal history and as synecdoche for the "end of the Sixties." They have also spawned a veritable Manson Industry in the popular realm: there are now Manson books, movies, TV shows, documentaries, podcasts, websites, music, comics, t-shirts, and even a tourist attraction (the Hollywood "Helter Skelter" tour).  The seminar will analyze the history of the Manson murders as well as their incredible resonance in American culture over the past half century. Who was Charles Manson and who were the members of the Family? What was the Family's relation to the counterculture, to Hollywood, Vietnam, the Black Panther Party, and environmentalism? How might we fit the Manson murders into the long history of apocalyptic violence and terror? And what does it mean that the Manson murders have occupied our collective imagination for fifty years? To answer these and other questions, we will analyze a variety of sources including television and newspaper reports, trial transcripts, true crime writing, memoirs, interviews, novels, films and documentaries, podcasts and pop songs.
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AMST 2391 : From Terra Incognita to Territories of Nation-States: Early American History in Two Dozen Maps
Crosslisted as: HIST 2391 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Jon Parmenter
This course engages the rich cartographic record of colonial North America via an in-depth analysis of two dozen iconic maps.  Integrating visual and textual analysis, students will assess human representations of space across cultural boundaries, explore change over time in the mapmaking practices of indigenous peoples and various European intruders, and study the evolving relationship between cartography and power, attending particularly to the process by which mapping promoted a revolutionary new understanding of American geography as composed of the bounded territories of nation-states.
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AMST 2423 : Dazed and Confused: The Politics of Drug and Alcohol in US History
Crosslisted as: HIST 2423 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Julilly Kohler-Hausmann
How did some intoxicating substances come to be illegal, while others are socially accepted? What is the role and responsibility of the state in managing the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol? This seminar examines the history of the nation's efforts to control and regulate intoxicants, with special attention given to why specific substances are criminalized and decriminalized at various points in history. It will focus on the relationship between social, economic, and political upheaval and campaigns to crack down on drugs. The course also investigates the growing trend to approach some drug and alcohol abuse as a medical problem and the rise of self-help societies and substance abuse rehabilitation. For example, we will examine state responses to opium use by middle class white women and Chinese immigrants during the 19th century, the passage and repeal of Prohibition, and the contemporary "War on Drugs."
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AMST 2470 : Digital Latinxs
Crosslisted as: LSP 2470, STS 2470 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Ivan Chaar Lopez
Digital technology has been a part of modern life in the U.S. since the Cold War. A growing population of users works, plays, become politically active and fight-off boredom through digital technology. But who are these users? Where do they congregate and how do they emerge? How do they make meaning of their lives? This course focuses on the everyday experiences of Latinxs as users. It examines their participation in digital environments and their engagements with technology while paying attention to their social, political, and cultural contexts. Rather than imagine "users" as a universal category, students will learn about the experiences of Latinxs in digital spaces and their contributions to what scholars call digital culture.
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AMST 2512 : Black Women in the 20th Century
Crosslisted as: ASRC 2512, FGSS 2512, HIST 2512 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Margaret Washington
This course focuses on African American women in the 20th century. The experiences of black women will be examined from a social, practical, communal, and gendered perspective. Topics include the Club Woman's movement, suffrage, work, family, black and white women and feminism, black women and radicalism, and the feminization of poverty.
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AMST 2620 : Introduction to Asian American Literature
Crosslisted as: AAS 2620, ENGL 2620 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Sunn Wong
This course will introduce both a variety of writings by Asian North American authors and some critical issues concerning the production and reception of Asian American texts. Working primarily with novels, we will be asking questions about the relation between literary forms and the socio-historical context within which they take on their meanings, and about the historical formation of Asian American identities.
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AMST 2645 : Race and Modern US History
Crosslisted as: AAS 2641, ASRC 2631, HIST 2641 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Derek Chang
This course surveys modern U.S. history, from Reconstruction to the contemporary period. It will examine how race has been the terrain on which competing ideas of the American nation have been contested. From struggles over citizenship rights to broader meanings of national belonging, we will explore how practices, ideas, and representations have shaped political, cultural, and social power. A key concern for this course is examining how groups and individuals have pursued racial justice from the late-nineteenth century to the present.
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AMST 2655 : Latinos in the United States
Crosslisted as: DSOC 2650, LSP 2010, SOC 2650 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Hector Velez
Exploration and analysis of the Hispanic experience in the United States. Examines the sociohistorical background and economic, psychological, and political factors that converge to shape a Latino group identity in the United States. Perspectives are suggested and developed for understanding Hispanic migrations, the plight of Latinos in urban and rural areas, and the unique problems faced by the diverse Latino groups. Groups studied include Mexican Americans, Dominicans, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans.
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AMST 2660 : Everything You Know About Indians is Wrong: Unlearning Native American History
Crosslisted as: AIIS 2660, HIST 2660 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Jon Parmenter
One thing many Americans think they know is their Indians: Pocahontas, the First Thanksgiving, fighting cowboys, reservation poverty, and casino riches. Under our very noses, however, Native American history has evolved into one of the most exciting, dynamic, and contentious fields of inquiry into America's past. It is now safer to assume, as Comanche historian Paul Chaat Smith has pointed out, that everything you know about Indians is in fact wrong. Most people have much to "unlearn" about Native American history before true learning can take place. This course aims to achieve that end by (re)introducing students to key themes and trends in the history of North America's indigenous nations. Employing an issues-oriented approach, the course stresses the ongoing complexity of Native American societies' engagements with varieties of settler colonialism since 1492 and dedicates itself to a concerted program of myth-busting. As such, the course will provide numerous opportunities for students to develop their critical thinking and reading skills.
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AMST 2841 : Viruses- Humans-Viral Politics (Social History and Cultural Politics of HIV & AIDS)
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 2021, BSOC 2841, FGSS 2841, LGBT 2841, STS 2841 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Christopher Roebuck
This course explores what has been termed "the modern plague."  It investigates the social history, cultural politics, biological processes, and global impacts of the retrovirus, HIV, and the disease syndrome, AIDS. It engages material from multiple fields: life sciences, social sciences, & humanities as well as media reports, government documents, activist art, and community-based documentaries. It explores various meanings and life-experiences of HIV & AIDS; examines conflicting understandings of health, disease, the body; investigates political struggles over scientific research, biomedical & public health interventions, and cultural representations; and queries how HIV vulnerability is shaped by systems of power and inequality. As well, we come to learn about the practices, the politics, and the ethics of life and care that arise in "the age of epidemic."
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AMST 2955 : Socialism in America
Crosslisted as: ASRC 2955, HIST 2955 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Russell Rickford
"Why no socialism in America?" Scholars and activists have long pondered the relative dearth (compared to other industrialized societies) of sustained, popular, anticapitalist activity in the United States. Sure, leftist movements in the U.S. have often looked and operated differently than those in other parts of the world. But many Americans have forged creative and vibrant traditions of anticapitalism under very difficult circumstances. This class examines socialist thought and practice in the U.S. from the 19th century to the present. We trace intersections of race, class, and gender while exploring the freedom dreams of those who have opposed capitalism in the very heart of global power.
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AMST 3010 : Photography and the American Dream
Crosslisted as: ART 3810, ARTH 3010, VISST 3010 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Bill Gaskins
Who are 'the poor' in the United States? Who are the largest recipients of federal welfare and entitlement spending? Why is there an unprecedented simultaneous increase in wealth and poverty in the United States at this point in its history? What role does photography play in our understanding and misunderstanding of poverty in 'the greatest country in the world?' In this course we will explore the perceptions of poverty in the United States through three major American newspapers.
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AMST 3020 : Representing Brooklyn: Race, Place and Popular Culture
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 3020, ASRC 3020 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Oneka LaBennett
Hip Hop/Hipster/Immigrant/Brownstone Brooklyn. This course borrows from hip hop's notion of "representing" to explore popular and cultural understandings of race and place in Brooklyn as depicted in print, music, film, and online. While today Brooklyn is New York City's hippest borough and the site of swift gentrification, booming real estate, and the ever-escalating displacement of immigrant and Black communities, in the 1980s and 1990s it was a hotbed of hip hop music, making the borough synonymous with Black cultural production. The course examines Black cultural production as it relates to representations of Brooklyn and deconstructs images and discourses that marginalize the borough's Black residents. Spanning the period from 1945 to the present day, the commodification of hip hop in the 1980s-1990s, and close readings of films including Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing," to reflect on how Black popular culture engages with Brooklyn's diverse communities. While materials are interdisciplinary in approach, our investigation is informed by anthropological, historical, and literary texts covering topics including immigration, youth culture, transnationalism, gentrification, authenticity, and classed, gendered and racialized inequality.
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AMST 3071 : Enduring Global and American Issues
Crosslisted as: GOVT 3071 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
David Silbey
The US and the global community face a number of complex, interconnected and enduring issues that pose challenges for our political and policy governance institutions and society at large.  Exploring how the US and the world conceive of the challenges and take action on them is fundamental to understanding them.  This course investigates such issues, especially ones that fit into the critically important areas of sustainability, social justice, technology, public health and globalization, security and conflict, among others. Students will engage with these areas and issues and the challenges they pose, using multiple frameworks and approaches, through weekly class discussions and lectures."
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AMST 3121 : Crime and Punishment
Crosslisted as: GOVT 3121 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Joseph Margulies
This is a class about the American criminal justice system—from policing to prisons, from arrest to reentry.  In many ways, the operation of the modern criminal justice system is taken for granted, which frequently allows it to escape close scrutiny. But we will examine it in great detail, with a focus on how it came about, how it sustains itself, its many roles in society (only some of which involve crime and justice), and how and why it may be changing.  NB:  This class is designed to challenge your settled assumptions and dearly held myths about what is right and wrong with the system.  Those who have made up their mind about criminal justice in America should not take the course.  This class was formerly GOVT 3141, PRISONS, taught by Prof. Margulies.  It has been renamed and renumbered as GOVT 3121 to distinguish it from the distance learning course taught by Prof. Katzenstein.
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AMST 3131 : The Nature, Functions, and Limits of Law
Crosslisted as: GOVT 3131, LAW 4131 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Dawn Chutkow
A general-education course to acquaint students with how our legal system pursues the goals of society. The course introduces students to various perspectives on the nature of law, what functions it ought to serve in society, and what it can and cannot accomplish. The course proceeds in the belief that such matters constitute a valuable and necessary part of a general education, not only for pre-law students but especially for students in other fields. Assigned readings comprise legal materials and also secondary sources on the legal process and the role of law in society. The classes include discussion and debate about current legal and social issues, including equality, safety, the environment, punishment, and autonomy.
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AMST 3142 : Incarceration, Policy Response, and Self-Reflection
Crosslisted as: EDUC 3143, GOVT 3142 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Maria Reed
This class is intended to provoke some hard thinking about the relationship of committed "outsiders" and advocates of change to the experience of crime, punishment, and incarceration and to the men we meet at Auburn/Cayuga who have been in most instances long-confined to prison. We will read, think, talk and write about the incarceration experience and about policies that shape this experience. We will also think self-reflexively about the character of the 'outsider's' educational, political, and personal engagement. What are the motivations and what are the goals of such engagement? What are the anticipated outcomes – personal, social, educational, political, and/or moral and perhaps spiritual? In an effort to delve deeply into these questions, we will read a broad selection of work on incarceration, itself, as well as on the experience of what has come to be termed service learning or civic engagement. (AM)  
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AMST 3321 : Jazz Around the World
Crosslisted as: MUSIC 3321 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Sergio Ospina Romero
This course explores the history of the globalization of jazz and offers a survey of local jazz scenes in various parts of the planet. Rather than presenting jazz as an exclusive U.S. tradition spreading throughout the world, the course fosters an understanding of jazz as taking shape in a series of diasporic channels, defined by the constant flux of musicians, audiences, and mass mediated music as well as by its adaptation to different musical structures, social conditions, cultural meanings, and racial ideas. By studying how musicians in multiple locals around the planet have engaged with jazz, the course furthers new and challenging understandings of what jazz is, of its significance in changing historical and cultural scenarios, and of the ways in which it has been shaped in the course of its global dissemination.    
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AMST 3370 : Contemporary American Theatre on Stage and Screen
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3370, PMA 3758 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
J Gainor
How has theatre shaped our notion of America and Americans in the second half of the 20th century and beyond? What role has politics played in recent theatrical experimentation? How has performance been used as a platform for constructing and deconstructing concepts of identity, community, and nationality? And how and why have certain plays in this era been translated to the screen? In this course we will examine major trends in the American theatre from 1960 to the present. We will focus on theatre that responds directly to or intervenes in moments of social turmoil, including: the Vietnam and Iraq Wars, the Civil Rights Movement, the Women's Movement, and the AIDS epidemic. We will also explore the tensions between Broadway and alternative theatre production.
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AMST 3405 : Multicultural Issues in Education
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 3405, EDUC 3405, LSP 3405 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Sofia Villenas
This course explores research on race, ethnicity and language in American education. It examines historical and current patterns of school achievement for minoritized youths. It also examines the cultural and social premises undergirding educational practices in diverse communities and schools. Policies, programs and pedagogy, including multicultural and bilingual education, are explored.
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AMST 3420 : Refugees and the Politics of Vulnerability: Intersections of Feminist Theory and Practice
Crosslisted as: FGSS 3400, GOVT 3401, LSP 3402 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Jane Juffer
Topic Spring 2019: Child Refugees and Politics: Children comprised 52 percent of the worldwide refugee population of 68.5 million in 2017. Traveling with families as well as unaccompanied, they appear in media accounts as the most vulnerable and at risk of all refugees. In this course, we will consider to what degree this assignation of vulnerability, often corresponding with victimhood, shapes the journeys and lives of refugee children. We will use the growing body of feminist scholarship on vulnerability in law, philosophy, migration studies, and other fields to investigate how "vulnerability" creates categories of worthy and unworthy victims. In the U.S., for example, images of babies and toddlers being separated from Central American parents prompted outrage. Yet images of teenage boys in makeshift tents in the New Mexico desert went largely uncovered. At what age does a child no longer deserve sympathy and protection? In what ways does vulnerability overshadow children's agency? How might vulnerability be rearticulated so as to address children's specific needs, at different ages? Our main focus will be Central American and Mexican children crossing into the U.S. at the southern border, but we will make comparisons to other groups throughout the world.
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AMST 3506 : Slavery and Visual Culture
Crosslisted as: ARTH 3506, ASRC 3506, COML 3681, VISST 3506 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Cheryl Finley
This interdisciplinary undergraduate lecture examines the visual culture of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade from the 16th century to the present. Lectures present artifacts, prints, paintings, photographs, sculpture, film and installation art that images the history of slavery and its profound contemporary resonance. Lectures and assignments consider the following themes: how does the gaze structure vision and influence the control of historical narratives? Which themes dominate the visual culture of slavery? How does visual culture encode memory, violence or racism? How did the visual culture of slavery produce and circulate new technologies of vison? Where is the history of slavery visible in the built environment or the local landscape? Students study artifacts in the May Anti-Slavery Collection at Kroch Library and artworks at the Johnson Museum. Field trip to nearby anti-slavery sites of memory.
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AMST 3581 : Imagining Migration in Film and Literature
Crosslisted as: COML 3580, GERST 3581, PMA 3481, VISST 3581 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Leslie Adelson
Sabine Haenni
What role should imaginative arts play in debates about transnational migration, one of the principal factors re-shaping community and communication today?  Focusing on literature and film from the late 20th and early 21st centuries, with primary examples drawn from Germany, France and the United States—in relation to Turkey, Hungary, Tunisia, Iran, Nigeria, China, Mexico, and Japan—this course explores how creative arts rework the fabric of social life affected by migration.  Seminar-style discussion of assigned readings and viewings, with occasional lectures on other arts and regions.  Thematic units organized around key concepts such as borders and movement, ethnoscapes and citizenship, reading and viewing, labor and leisure, cityscapes and place-making, mediascapes and personhood, lawfulness and illegality, language and speech, art and perception.   
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AMST 3703 : Asians in the Americas: A Comparative Perspective
Crosslisted as: AAS 3030, ANTHR 3703, ANTHR 6703 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Viranjini Munasinghe
The common perception of ethnicity is that it is a "natural" and an inevitable consequence of cultural difference. "Asians" overseas, in particular, have won repute as a people who cling tenaciously to their culture and refuse to assimilate into their host societies and cultures. But, who are the "Asians?" On what basis can we label "Asians" an ethnic group? Although there is a significant Asian presence in the Caribbean, the category "Asian" itself does not exist in the Caribbean. What does this say about the nature of categories that label and demarcate groups of people on the basis of alleged cultural and phenotypical characteristics? This course will examine the dynamics behind group identity, namely ethnicity, by comparing and contrasting the multicultural experience of Asian populations in the Caribbean and the United States. Ethnographic case studies will focus on the East Indian and Chinese experiences in the Caribbean and the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Filipino, and Indian experiences in the United States.
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AMST 3719 : The Jewish Life of DNA
Crosslisted as: JWST 3719, RELST 3719, STS 3719 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Cara Rock-Singer
This course will explore the relationship between DNA and Jewish life. We will conceive of Jews and Judaism broadly, in terms of religious, ethnic, and national discourses as we consider theories of kinship and nationalism, definitions of ethnicity and race, the "molecularization" of human life, the use of DNA as a spiritual metaphor, the ethics of "playing God" through biomedicine, and imaginations of utopian and dystopian futures. The entangled social, political, economic, legal, metaphorical, and theological questions that DNA has raised during the twentieth century will serve as a lens to fundamental issues in Jewish Studies and Science and Technology Studies about the nature of Jewish identity and about the social and political elements of knowledge production, respectively. Our readings will combine scholarly texts with a range of primary sources, while our classroom discussions will include guest lectures by scholars from Molecular Biology and other relevant fields to discuss the religious and social implications of their research. 
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AMST 3820 : Poetry and Poetics of the Americas
Crosslisted as: COML 3800, ENGL 3910, LATA 3800, SPAN 3800 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Jonathan Monroe
As globalization draws the Americas ever closer together, reshaping our sense of a common and uncommon American culture, what claims might be made for a distinctive, diverse poetry and poetics of the America? How might we characterize its dominant forms and alternative practices? What shared influences, affiliations, concerns and approaches might we find and what differences emerge? Ranging across North and South America, Central America and the Caribbean, this course will place in conversation such figures as Poe, Stein, Eliot, Pound, Williams, Neruda, Vallejo, Borges, Parra, Césaire, Walcott, Bolaño, Espada, Waldrop, Vicuña, Hong, and Rankine.
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AMST 3870 : The History of Consumption: From Wedgwood to Wal-Mart
Crosslisted as: HIST 3870, ILRLR 3870 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Louis Hyman
Whether buying at a general store, shopping at a department store, or loitering at a mall, consumption has always formed an important part of the American experience. More than just commodities bought and sold, consumption is also about the institutions, social practices, cultural meanings, and economic functions that have surrounded the merchandise. This course will look at the changing meanings consumption has had for life, politics, and economy in the US over the past 300 years.
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AMST 3980 : Independent Research
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Affords opportunities for students to carry out independent research under appropriate supervision. Each student is expected to review pertinent literature, prepare a project outline, conduct the research, and prepare a report. Topic and credit hours TBD as arranged between faculty and student.
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AMST 3981 : Latinx Popular Culture Matters
Crosslisted as: ENGL 3980, LSP 3980 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Ella Diaz
This course analyzes several areas of Latinx popular culture that deeply impacted U.S. politics and history, artistic productions, and aesthetic sensibilities, as well as popular and civic cultures. Mapping a historical trajectory of Chicanidad and Latinidad in art, music, film, and popular media in the twentieth century, the course also engages contemporary practices in art that are rooted in 1960s and 1970s civil rights and community art movements. Topics include Latinx people in film and TV, muralism and street art, music, spoken word as well as close examinations of representations of Latinx people in American mainstream culture.
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AMST 3990 : Readings in American Studies
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Individualized readings for junior and senior students. Topics, requirements, and credit hours will be determined in consultation between the student and the supervising faculty member.
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AMST 4021 : American Conservative Thought
Crosslisted as: GOVT 4021 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Richard Bensel
American conservative thought rests on assumptions that are strikingly different from those made by mainstream American liberals.  However, conservative thinkers are themselves committed to principles that are both quite varied and sometimes contradictory.  This course examines the assumptions upon which rest the libertarian, market/economic, and cultural/traditional strains of American conservatism and asks whether the tensions between them weaken or strengthen conservative thought as an alternative to mainstream liberalism.
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AMST 4030 : Poetry in Process
Crosslisted as: ENGL 4030 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Roger Gilbert
A close study of three major 20th century poets (Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks) who attended scrupulously to the diversity of life, both social and biological, while expanding the form and language of poetry. As women poets writing in a period dominated by males, they established a space for poetry that seems disarmingly modest in its emphasis on nature and domesticity yet harbors enormous moral power and sharp social critique. As an African American, Brooks made racial inequity a central focus of her work, but all three poets forcefully address issues of identity and injustice. We will read each poet's work in its entirety, tracking their careers from early to middle to late periods while putting them in ongoing dialogue with one another.
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AMST 4051 : The Death Penalty in America
Crosslisted as: LAW 4051 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
John Blume
The death penalty has gotten increased media attention due to high profile death row exonerations, and has long been under siege for other reasons, such as racial disparities in its imposition and the prevalence of very poor representation by defense counsel. This course surveys the legal and social issues that arise in the administration of the death penalty. The reading will be largely comprised of reported death penalty cases, but will be augmented by a variety of other sources, including empirical studies of the death penalty and the litigation experience of the professors. Although the focus will be on capital punishment as practiced in the United States, we will also consider international and comparative perspectives. Guest speakers will provide a range of views, and law students with experience working on capital cases will lead discussion sections.
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AMST 4130 : Service Learning for Democratic Citizenship: Literature of American Social Action Movements
Crosslisted as: WRIT 4130 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Darlene Evans
To what extent is civic engagement fundamental to democratic citizenship? This course seeks to answer that question by exploring the components of service learning as a discipline and to strengthen the intellectual foundation of students who wish to incorporate civic engagement into their curriculum. Students will become familiar with the history of service learning, explore competing theories of social justice and social inequality, and develop a framework for social action that exists at the juncture of theory and practice. Readings will include texts by Dewey, Freire, bell hooks, Franklin, Jefferson, Thoreau, Addams, Baldwin, King, Dorothy Day, and Fanon. Weekly seminar papers as well as a term paper through which students develop their own philosophy of civic engagement.
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AMST 4194 : American Shakespeare
Crosslisted as: ENGL 4291, PMA 4190 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor: Description
AMST 4220 : Locke and the Philosophies of Dispossession: Indigenous America's Interruptions and Resistances
Crosslisted as: AIIS 4200, AIIS 6200, AMST 6220, PHIL 4941, PHIL 6941 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Troy Richardson
This course looks at the philosopher John Locke as a philosopher of dispossession. There is a uniquely Lockean mode of missionization, conception of mind and re-formulations of the 'soul' applied to dispossess Indigenous peoples of the social institutions, intellectual traditions and the material bases and practices which sustain(ed) them. While colonization is typically used as a kind of shorthand for this process, we will be attempting to stay focused on the specific dimensions of Lockean dispossession and its mutually informing relationship with English colonialism.
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AMST 4470 : Data Bodies: Latinx Art and Politics
Crosslisted as: LSP 4470, STS 4470 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Ivan Chaar Lopez
What shapes do data and bodies take in digital environments? Conversely, how have computing cultures and networks been shaped by data and bodies? What kinds of politics can be performed in such conditions? This course tackles these questions by centering the artistic practices of Latinxs and their contributions to the history of performance, multimedia art and tactical media.
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AMST 4533 : The Lower East Side: Jews and the Immigrant City
Crosslisted as: ANTHR 4733, ILRLR 4533, ILRLR 7533, JWST 4533, JWST 7533, NES 4533, NES 7533 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Elissa Sampson
American Jews have frequently been touted as a "model minority." This course will take a more critical look at the historical interactions between Jewish immigration, United States industrialization, and processes of social and geographical mobility—all through the prism of New York's Lower East Side, first home for over 750,000 Jewish immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe, the Ottoman Empire and elsewhere between the mid-19th century and the 1920s.  We will compare the Jewish experience to that of other immigrants/migrants by considering social institutions as well as material and other cultural practices. We will examine interactions with the built environment —most especially the tenement—in Lower East Side culture. Special attention will be paid to immigrant labor movement politics including strikes, splits, and gender in the garment trade. From the perspective of the present, the course will examine how commemoration, heritage tourism and the selling of [immigrant] history intersect with gentrifying real estate in an "iconic" New York City neighborhood. Projects using the ILR's archives on the Triangle Fire and other topics are explicitly encouraged. This course counts as an out of college elective for B. Arch and M. Arch students.
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AMST 4550 : Race and the University
Crosslisted as: AAS 4550, ENGL 4961, HIST 4551 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Derek Chang
Sunn Wong
What is a university, what does it do, and how does it do it? Moving out from these more general questions, this seminar will focus on a more specific set of questions concerning the place of race within the university. What kinds of knowledge are produced in the 20th- century U.S. university? Why is it, and how is it, that certain knowledge formations and disciplines come to be naturalized or privileged within the academy? How has the emergence of fields of inquiry such as Ethnic Studies (with an epistemological platform built on the articulations of race, class and gender) brought to the fore (if not brought to crisis) some of the more vexing questions that strike at the core of the idea of the university as the pre-eminent site of disinterested knowledge? This seminar will give students the opportunity to examine American higher education's (particularly its major research institutions) historical instantiation of the relations amongst knowledge, power, equality and democracy.
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AMST 4630 : Pluralism and Political Authority
Crosslisted as: AMST 6630, GOVT 4835, GOVT 6835, PHIL 4435, PHIL 6435, SHUM 4631, SHUM 6631 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Avigail Eisenberg
This seminar considers new directions in thinking about political authority that focus on the claims of non-state groups. It considers leading 20th century political theorists who have recognized authority to be plural and contested as well as those who have resisted this characterization. We explore contemporary scholarship about religious groups that claim authority over their members, Indigenous peoples that claim authority over lands and resources, and employers that claim authority over workers by imposing their own rules and norms even if these depart from ones endorsed by the state. The aim is to understand where legitimate authority comes from, how it is enacted, and what role (if any) it plays in shaping the identities of those who are subject to it.  
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AMST 4655 : Topics in Social and Political Philosophy
Crosslisted as: AMST 6656, GOVT 4655, GOVT 6656, PHIL 4470, PHIL 6430, SOC 4430, SOC 6430 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Richard Miller
Advanced discussion of topics in social and political philosophy.
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AMST 4671 : How the Civil War Haunts America
Crosslisted as: ENGL 4671 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Shirley Samuels
The Civil War haunts the United States. Its legacy still drives protests over confederate monuments. Nineteenth-century writers and artists confronted war in their own backyards. Taking advantage of our location in Washington, we will consider how present day memorials and re-enactments keep the war alive, as well as reading 19th century poetry and novels. Looking at photographs and political cartoons gives a visual resonance to the iconography of national violence. We will visit archives at the Library of Congress, the National Museum of the American Indian, and the National Museum of African American History. And we will read newspaper coverage from the 2018-2019 debates over monuments. This class satisfies the pre-1900 requirement in American Studies as well as the capstone seminar requirement.
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AMST 4851 : Refugees
Crosslisted as: HIST 4851, HIST 6851, LSP 4851, LSP 6851 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Maria Cristina Garcia
Since World War II, over 4 million people have migrated to the United States as refugees. In this seminar we will examine some of these refugee migrations and the ways these migrations challenged our understanding of the United States as a "haven for the oppressed." We will examine the crafting of refugee/asylum policy, the role of nongovernmental actors in influencing policy, and the ways policy reflected foreign-policy interests and security concerns. The last weeks of the course will pay particular attention to climate refugees and asylum-seekers, and our changing definitions of who 'merits' protection in the United States.
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AMST 4994 : Honors Essay Tutorial II
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
To graduate with honors, AMST majors must complete a senior thesis under the supervision of an AMST faculty member and defend that thesis orally before a committee. Students interested in the honors program should consult the AMST director during the junior year and submit an honors application by May 1 of the junior year.
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AMST 6015 : Photography and the Archive
Crosslisted as: ARTH 4015, ARTH 6015 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Cheryl Finley
This graduate seminar explores the making of photographic archives, the narratives they tell, and the parameters that define them as objects of study. As visual collections, photographic archives present specific concerns - especially as digital technologies change the way knowledge is classified, stored, retrieved and disseminated. To be sure, differential power relations determine what is collected - what is remembered or forgotten - by societies and institutions. Social and economic histories as well as experiences of race, class, gender and sexuality affect the construction, acquisition and maintenance of archives and their ability to influence knowledge production. Students in this course study archival practices by choosing a unique photographic archive at Cornell for a research project, which may be realized as an exhibition (online or otherwise), a documentary film, or a digital humanities project.
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AMST 6201 : The United States Congress
Crosslisted as: GOVT 6201 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
David Bateman
The United States Congress will be examined: first, as a "closed system" in which institutional arrangements decisively apportion political power; and, second, as the product of electoral and social forces outside the institution. Emphasis will be placed on the historical relationship between institutional growth and state formation, parliamentary rules as both arrangements within which the "rational choices" of legislators are played out and as deliberate, constructions and allocations of political influence, and the use of legislative behavior as evidence in the analysis of fundamental principles of politics. Because the literature on the lower chamber is generally more rich, the House of Representatives will receive greater attention than the Senate.
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AMST 6220 : Locke and the Philosophies of Dispossession: Indigenous America's Interruptions and Resistances
Crosslisted as: AIIS 4200, AIIS 6200, AMST 4220, PHIL 4941, PHIL 6941 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Troy Richardson
This course looks at the philosopher John Locke as a philosopher of dispossession. There is a uniquely Lockean mode of missionization, conception of mind and re-formulations of the 'soul' applied to dispossess Indigenous peoples of the social institutions, intellectual traditions and the material bases and practices which sustain(ed) them. While colonization is typically used as a kind of shorthand for this process, we will be attempting to stay focused on the specific dimensions of Lockean dispossession and its mutually informing relationship with English colonialism.
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AMST 6321 : Black Power Movement and Transnationalism
Crosslisted as: ASRC 6321, HIST 6321 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Russell Rickford
This seminar explores the international and transnational dimensions of the Black Power Movement, broadly defined. Beginning with an examination of transnationalism in the early 20th century, it examines the thought and political activities of African-American intellectuals and activists who crossed national boundaries, figuratively and literally, in the quest for black freedom. We will focus on the postwar era, particularly the 1950s through the 1980s, exploring transnationalism in the context of black feminism, Marxism, black nationalism, Pan Africanism, and other political traditions. We will examine the meeting and mingling of transnational discourses, ideologies, and activists in North America, the Caribbean, and Africa. 
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AMST 6630 : Pluralism and Political Authority
Crosslisted as: AMST 4630, GOVT 4835, GOVT 6835, PHIL 4435, PHIL 6435, SHUM 4631, SHUM 6631 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Avigail Eisenberg
This seminar considers new directions in thinking about political authority that focus on the claims of non-state groups. It considers leading 20th century political theorists who have recognized authority to be plural and contested as well as those who have resisted this characterization. We explore contemporary scholarship about religious groups that claim authority over their members, Indigenous peoples that claim authority over lands and resources, and employers that claim authority over workers by imposing their own rules and norms even if these depart from ones endorsed by the state. The aim is to understand where legitimate authority comes from, how it is enacted, and what role (if any) it plays in shaping the identities of those who are subject to it.
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AMST 6656 : Topics in Social and Political Philosophy
Crosslisted as: AMST 4655, GOVT 4655, GOVT 6656, PHIL 4470, PHIL 6430, SOC 4430, SOC 6430 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Richard Miller
Advanced discussion of a topic in social and political philosophy.
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AMST 6818 : Race, Performance, and Sound Studies
Crosslisted as: AAS 6818, PMA 6818 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Christine Balance
This course engages with new and foundational writings in sound studies that center the racialized body -- be it of the performer, listener, or critic -- as well as racialized histories, places, and practices. This interdisciplinary course will study methodological tools, critical concepts, and readings drawn from queer, feminist, black, Latinx, Asian American, and postcolonial approaches, to name a few. We will engage with the role of sound and its technologies throughout U.S. history (i.e. slavery, wars and empire, social movements, immigration & migration, militarism) as well as the ways in which racialized performers, listeners, and critics have labored within and against these sonic regimes, imagining new politics, practices, and ways of being.
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