Winter 2012

Celina Hung

“Writing from the Margin: the Global Politics of Sinophone Literature
 Department of Asian Languages and Cultures
This course engages current intellectual debates over the conceptual, geopolitical, linguistic, and historical tensions in the study of “modern Chinese literature” through an emerging Sinophone perspective. Bringing together essays and fictions by both established and marginalized writers working from and between such locations as mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the U.S. and parts of Southeast Asia, we place the nation-based rubric of twentieth century Chinese literary and cultural studies in critical dialogues with the jarring historical realities undermining the discourse of a centripetal “Chinese” literature. Considering phenomena spanning the last two centuries like imperialisms, Chinese emigration, language-based regionalisms, the 1949 change of political landscapes, divergent literary and cultural movements, and the indigenization of Nanyang Chinese, this course aims to give voice to a spectrum of Sinophone articulations across conventional identitarian bounds. 

Annette Damayanti Lienau

“Comparative Literatures of the Indian Ocean”
Department of Comparative Literature

S. Ani Mukherji

“Race, Politics, and the Cold War”
Department of History
The Cold War was arguably the defining political event of the twentieth century.  Building on recent scholarship, this course asks how this geopolitical conflict transformed American politics, culture, and society with a particular focus on how the Cold War shaped the lived experience of people of color and, conversely, how people of color shaped the outcomes of the Cold War.  This approach not only underscores an often ignored perspective in foreign relations—race—but will also help us appreciate how the Cold War occurred alongside other major transformations of the past century, namely decolonization and migration. 

Namrata Poddar

“Postcolonial Island Literature and Theory”
Global Studies
Both of the above courses focus on the historic and cultural dynamism of tropical islands from the Caribbean, Pacific and the Indian ocean, their negotiation with the shifting forces of empire and the unique vantage point they offer toward rethinking some of the current critical debates on empire, ecology, migration, creolization, transnationalism and globalization. Primary readings include a mix of fictional, historic and critical texts drawn from the fields of postcolonial, diaspora, oceanic, urban, tourism and environmental studies.  Secondary sources include film, paintings and/or popular iconography.

JoAnne Ruvoli

“Italian American Circuits: Codes, Crimes and Contradictions”
Department of Italian
This course focuses on the “criminalized” behavior of men and women, in both Italy and in U.S. Italian American communities, and examines how the historical interplay between justice, vengeance, and the illicit movements of people, goods, and ideologies constructs the transnational circuits of Italian American culture.