Urban Collective Violence in America
(V28.0105; call # 72268)
Instructor: Daniel J. Walkowitz
Wednesday, 2:00 - 4:30 p.m.
This seminar examines the urban origins, character, and changing patterns of violence in American cities. It focuses on collective violence rather than on individual acts of violence, regardless of how many victims an individual may have claimed. One part of the course considers the extent to which American culture and political institutions encourage, sanctify, or militate against aggressive behavior and create a climate for or against violence. In that context, some of our concerns must be comparative, cross-cultural, and transnational. In addition, we address broad interdisciplinary conceptual questions that anthropologists, psychologists, and sociologists, in particular, ask about human nature, gender conditioning in Western cultures, and "deviant" subcultures. In creating a typology for the analysis of violence in American cities over time, we distinguish between forms of violence, the direction of changes sought, and the social and material characteristics of the antagonists—is the conflict generated, for example, by a privileged elite seeking to protect authority it feels jeopardized by aspiring newcomers, or is it rooted in efforts by the dispossessed struggling to gain some notion of a fair share?
Daniel J. Walkowitz is Professor of History and Director of College Honors. A specialist in labor and working-class history, he has written numerous articles and co-edited or authored five books, including Working with Class: Social Workers and the Politics of Middle-Class Identity and Memory and the Impact of Political Transformation in Public Space. In addition, as co-founder and co-director of NYU's Graduate Program in Public History, he has pioneered efforts to bring America's past to broad general audiences through film and video. The subjects of his documentary projects have ranged from iron and cotton worker protests in Troy, New York, to a miners' strike in Donetsk, Ukraine.
Political Cinema and Representation of the Other
(V28.0107; call # 72270)
Instructor: Shimon Dotan
Friday, 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 noon
Representation of the Other is a variation of the search for self-identity. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its political cinema exhibit a clear pattern in which the parties attribute to the Other qualities and traits that reflect their own distress and aspirations. But how does the concept of representation connect meaning to a sequence of successive images? Which of the following accounts (in a variation on Stuart Hall) will apply to a cinematic work? The reflective—does film reflect a meaning, which already exists in the real world? The intentional—does film expresses only what the filmmaker intends to express? The constructionist—is meaning constructed in and through the process of filmmaking? Each class consists of a screening followed by a discussion concentrating on representation in the context of the political conflict, variations in the use of film language to achieve a subjective portrayal, and modalities of representation and self-critique. Screenings include films such as The Battle of Algiers, by Bruno Pontecorvo; Divine Intervention, by Elia Suleiman; Fog of War, by Earl Morris; Final Cup, by Eran Riklis; and The Smile of the Lamb, by Shimon Dotan.
Shimon Dotan, a Fellow of the New York Institute of the Humanities at NYU, is an award-winning filmmaker with ten feature films to his credit. His films have been the recipients of the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival (The Smile of the Lamb), numerous Israeli Academy Awards, including Best Film and Best Director (Repeat Dive; The Smile of the Lamb), and Best Film at the Newport Beach Film Festival (You Can Thank Me Later). Dotan has taught filmmaking at Tel Aviv University and at Concordia University in Montreal.
Reading Don Quixote
(V28.0108; call # 72271)
Instructor: Hector Feliciano
Wednesday, 3:30 - 6:00 p.m.
The central goal of this seminar is to deepen the pleasure of reading through an immersion in Cervantes' masterpiece, Don Quixote—a pillar of the Western canon and one of the first modern novels. In it Cervantes created an emblematic figure of Western culture, the feverishly imaginative Don Quixote, along with Sancho Panza, his squire, a symbol of earthiness, arguing friendship, camaraderie, and dialogue. Through Don Quixote's foolishly impractical and idealistic behavior, Cervantes develops a satire of medieval chivalry and a parody of courtly love. While mockingly funny, this book is also a complex one that praises—and sets the limits of—reading, imagination, and fiction. It is a novel whose main character's defining quality is being a thoroughly believing reader, whose credulousness sets him forth on a meandering philosophical journey, and whose folly forces him to acknowledge the importance of reality. In this work Cervantes created layers upon layers of fiction, starting with the book's numerous false dedications and its purported origins as a Moorish manuscript translated from Arabic. A recent English translation of Don Quixote serves as the primary text of the course, but we will also study and compare several other English translations. In addition, we will sample a range of commentaries on the work across the centuries.
Hector Feliciano is a Fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU. Formerly a cultural writer for the Paris bureaus of the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, he has also published articles and essays on literature, the arts, and culture in Le Monde (France), El Pais (Spain), and Clarin (Argentina). Since his teenage years he has had a deep interest in Cervantes and Don Quixote. He studied comparative literature at the University of Paris, where he specialized in literary translation. He is also the author of The Lost Museum: The Nazi Conspiracy to Steal the World's Greatest Works of Art (first published in French, this work has since been translated into several other languages). He served on the panel of experts of the U.S. Presidential Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States and organized the First International Symposium on Cultural Property and Patrimony (Columbia University, 1999).
Cinema and Society in Europe since 1945
(V28.0112; call # 75008)
Instructor: Tony Judt
Monday, 3:30 - 6:00 p.m., and Wednesday, 3:30 - 4:45 p.m.
This seminar addresses aspects of the history of European history since World War II through postwar European cinema. The seminar will pay attention to the films themselves, as art and as entertainment; but we shall also and above all be concerned with their subject matter, their contemporary setting, and their impact (at the time and since). Participants will meet twice weekly: once to see that week's film, once for discussion. In addition to watching the films, students will be required to read assigned works of history dealing with the period. Among the themes to be addressed—in the films, the readings, the class discussion, and, eventually, the final papers—are the following: war and civil war as represented and remembered in the postwar decades; the Cold War; decolonization; the European "economic miracle" and its attendant social impact; the "sixties"; different generations of migration, both into Europe and within and between countries; national identities and the attached stereotypes; the Yugoslav wars; remembering (and forgetting) Communism; and the Holocaust in postwar European consciousness. A final paper will require students to choose one theme and then, with the instructor's assistance, identify a body of related films to see and discuss.
Tony Judt is Erich Maria Remarque Professor of European Studies and Director of the Remarque Institute at NYU. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he has written widely on modern French and Central European history, as well as on contemporary affairs in Europe and the U.S. He is a regular contributor to the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, and the New Republic. He directed a long-term international collaborative research project called "Rethinking World War II and Its Aftermath in Europe." His book Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 was published in fall 2005.
The History of Disbelief
(V28.0113; call # 75007)
Instructor: Mitchell Stephens
Thursday, 2:00 - 4:30 p.m.
This seminar will take up an extended history of atheism and doubt (in the context of a history of religion). It will begin in Greece and then move on to a brief discussion of anthropological perspectives on belief, before returning to Greece, to the Hebrews and Rome, to India and Baghdad, and then back to Europe during the Renaissance, the Scientific Revolution, the Enlightenment, and the Romantic period. Time will be spent in England and America in the 19th century, when disbelief was being tied to radical politics, before moving on to the connection between disbelief and realism, modernism and postmodernism. The main arguments for and against the existence of God will be considered. However, the main purpose of this course will be to force students to confront and grapple with some of the most sophisticated and profound human expressions of disbelief. Authors whose works will be read may include Cicero, Hume, Holbach, Paine, Shelley, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Woolf, and Freud, among others.
Mitchell Stephens is Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is the author of, among other books, The Rise of the Image the Fall of the Word and A History of News. Articles by him on media issues, philosophy, anthropology, physics, and other subjects have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, FEED, and other publications. He has recorded radio commentaries for Marketplace and On the Media and serves as history consultant to the Newseum in Washington, D.C. In 2001 he completed a trip around the world, during which he reported for public radio and a number of websites on cultural homogenization. He is also director of the Russian-American Journalism Institute in Rostov-on-Don.
Geology and Antiquity in the Mediterranean
(V28.0114; call # 74785)
Instructor: Steven Soter
Thursday, 2:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Over timescales of centuries and millennia, geological forces have worked profound changes on the landscape of the Mediterranean. Gradual processes of silting, erosion, and local sea level change, as well as infrequent but catastrophic natural disasters—earthquakes and tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and major floods—have all left their marks. Many ancient sites are now deeply buried, while others lie exposed to the elements. Great ancient seaports now lie stranded miles inland from the nearest shore, while the palace of Cleopatra is submerged. The oracle of Delphi, the legendary Atlantis, and the one-eyed giants of the Odyssey have origins in geological phenomena. This course explores the impact of geological forces on the natural and human environments of the ancient Mediterranean world. Special attention is given to the site of Helike—a Greek city destroyed and submerged in the Early Bronze Age and again in Classical times—which the instructor has been exploring.
Steven Soter is a Scientist-in-Residence at NYU's Center for Ancient Studies and a Research Associate in the Department of Astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. He co-directs an interdisciplinary scientific team excavating the Early Bronze Age, Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman settlements at Helike, a coastal site on the Gulf of Corinth in Greece. He was co-author with Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan of the Cosmos television series and co-author of the two Hayden Planetarium space shows.
Greek and Roman Coins and Economies
(V28.0115; call # 75006)
Instructor: Peter van Alfen
Monday 2:00 - 4:30 p.m. (meets at American Numismatic Society, 96 Fulton Street)
Because we are so accustomed today to thinking constantly about money and using it in its various guises—paper bills, credit cards, checks, etc.—we are hard pressed to imagine a world without it. Our concept of money we basically owe to the ancient Greeks, as well as the promulgation of money in its earliest form: coinage. But just how and why money came to be puzzled even Aristotle. In this course we shall trace the origin of coinage and the concept of money in the Aegean, its rapid spread throughout the Mediterranean, and the way in which the Romans eventually adopted and adapted Greek monetary habits. We shall consider numismatics (the study of coins), economics/economies, history, and art (in miniature) as different modes of thinking about the past (and the present). (No previous knowledge of any of these subjects is assumed.) Students will have the rare opportunity to handle actual Greek and Roman coins in the American Numismatic Society's (ANS) collection. The course has three main goals: to study in depth the development of Greek and (Republican) Roman coinage; to analyze the concept of money in Mediterranean societies and the way in which ancient economies functioned; and, finally, to develop critical interdisciplinary skills in the use not only of texts, but of actual artifacts as well.
Peter van Alfen is Curator of Ancient Greek coins at the American Numismatic Society. Dr. van Alfen's interest in ancient economies and trade ranges beyond coins and their uses: he has excavated Bronze Age, Classical, and Byzantine shipwrecks in the Mediterranean, and has done extensive work on the Linear B tablets. His current research focuses on Aegean-Levantine interaction during the Persian period, around the sixth to fourth centuries B.C.E.
Current Political and Moral Conflicts and the U.S. Constitution
(V28.0116; call # 74812)
Instructor: Alan J. Pomerantz
Tuesday, 4:55 - 7:25 p.m.
The U.S. political and moral debate has moved steadily into the realm of the Supreme Court. Some have strongly argued that the Court's interpretation and application of the Constitution, and the Court's new, self-defined role, have adversely affected our fundamental rights, usurped powers from other branches of government, disregarded all notions of federalism, upset the separation of powers necessary for a stable democracy, and created an "Imperial Judiciary." Others have argued as strongly that the Court has acted properly to protect fundamental freedoms and individual rights in the face of unprecedented political and governmental efforts to limit them, and in doing so has fulfilled the role envisioned for the Court by the Constitution. Conducted by the Socratic method, the seminar examines current controversial political issues that have a constitutional basis, the Court's participation in the debate, and the effect that nine people appointed for life (the justices) have on how we live. Topics include abortion, euthanasia, medical life support, and capital punishment; gay rights, gay marriage, and acts in private among consenting adults; affirmative action; college speech codes, including "hate" speech, verbal sexual harassment, group liable and symbolic speech; prayer in school and students' right of privacy; and racial and ethnic profiling, government's right to detain accused terrorists, and the USA PATRIOT Act. Participants read the relevant Supreme Court cases, news reports, and political and legal commentary from across the political spectrum.
Alan J. Pomerantz, Esq., is a practicing lawyer and partner of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, a major international law firm. A graduate of the NYU School of Law, he also studied in Chile and received an advanced legal degree from the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands). He has lectured and taught widely, including at the NYU School of Law, the University of Amsterdam, Columbia Graduate School, the University of Concepcion (Chile), the School of Visual Arts, and Hunter College High School. He has published numerous articles and contributed to several treatises on legal topics and is recognized in the International Who's Who—Lawyers. Mr. Pomerantz and Weil, Gotshal have participated in important and controversial matters affecting individual rights, including death penalty appeals, rights of public artistic expression, political asylum applications, voting rights, right of privacy for acts of consenting adults, equal access laws for disabled persons, and numerous free speech cases.
The Port of New York
(V28.0117; call # 74813)
Instructor: Bryan Waterman
Wednesday, 3:30 - 6:00 p.m.
"The Port of New York" offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of New York City cultures through the prism of its waterfront and harbor, a source not only of the city's economic development but also of its multicultural and polyglot character. From a "home base" meeting location at NYU's Water Street residence hall, which is within steps of the historic seaport district, the seminar will seek to make the city itself the classroom: at least half of the seminar will be conducted out of doors or in cultural institutions downtown and elsewhere, including the South Street Seaport Museum, the Museum of Chinese in the Americas, Ellis Island Immigration Museum, the New-York Historical Society, and others. Incorporating discussions from the disciplines of architectural history, archaeology, literary studies, and history, the seminar will foreground problems of discipline and method in the study of the city's cultures and therefore seeks participation from the range of disciplines and departments that make up CAS. Topics will include the founding of New Amsterdam, slavery in British Manhattan and the early American Republic, immigration's perpetual reshaping of city cultures, the emergence of popular forms such as blackface minstrelsy, the "destruction" of lower Manhattan in the 20th century, the decline of the port and its marketplaces, the development of the World Trade Center, and the ongoing effects of the 9/11 attacks.
Bryan Waterman, Assistant Professor of English, received his Ph.D. from Boston University in American Studies; since 2001 he has been a member of NYU's English department, where he teaches courses in early American literature and "Writing New York" (with Professor Cyrus Patell). He is the author of articles on late 18th-century New York City's literary and intellectual cultures, as well as Republic of Intellect: The Friendly Club of New York City and the Enlightenment Origins of American Literature (forthcoming). He is a Faculty Fellow in Residence at Water Street and is currently at work on a book about seduction narratives in the era of the American and French Revolutions.
From Civil Rights to Gay Liberation: U.S. Social Movements, 1950 - 1980
(V28.0118; call # 74978)
Instructor: Linda Gordon
Tuesday, 3:30 - 6:00 p.m.
Social movements have been theorized primarily by social scientists; a typical sociological definition is, episodes of collective behavior and action that create significant social change and command significant grassroots participation. We will be considering these theories but also asking various questions: What do "organizers" do? How do social movements construct identities, and how do identities affect social movements? How do social movements use or repress multiple identities? When are social movements political? How and when do social movements yield or grow out of organizations, and what is the impact of the relation between movements and organizations? Are there elite social movements? Are social movements always democratic? When do social movements become violent? Are social movements inevitably vulnerable to demagoguery and authoritarianism?
Linda Gordon is Professor of History. She is author of, among other books, Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America; Heroes of Their Own Lives: The Politics and History of Family Violence, Boston, 1880 - 1960; Pitied But Not Entitled: Single Mothers and the History of Welfare, 1890 - 1935; and, most recently, The Great Arizona Orphan Abduction. She is co-editor of America's Working Women: A Documentary History, 1600 to the Present.
Jesus and Muhammad
(V28.0119; call #s 74979, 74980)
Instructor: Francis E. Peters
Section 001: Monday, 4:55 - 7:25 p.m.
Section 002: Tuesday, 4:55 - 7:25 p.m.
Jesus and Muhammad were the founders, though in very different senses, of the world's two most populous religious traditions, Christianity and Islam. As such they have been the objects of veneration since their own lifetime and also, since the 19th century, the subjects of intense historical scrutiny by both believers and nonbelievers. The "quest for the historical Jesus" has become in fact almost a laboratory experiment in historiography, and with increasing confidence in the results. The same quest for the "Muhammad of history," as opposed to the "Muhammad of faith," though conducted in much the same way, and with much the same kind of evidence—the testimony of believers—has been somewhat less successful. This seminar attempts to investigate why and, in the process, to expose its participants to the basic tools of "text" historiography: source, form, and redaction criticism, in a comparative setting and as applied to two very similar and yet very different—and very important—men of the past.
Francis E. Peters is Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies as well as History and Religious Studies. During his career at NYU he has taught courses on subjects ranging from Homer, Aristotle, and Plotinus through the Gospels, Muhammad, and Near Eastern urbanism to Islamic philosophy and theology. He has written books on Greek philosophy and Jerusalem, on Mecca and the Hajj, Muhammad and the Origins of Islam, and, most recently, the prize winning two-volume study The Monotheists: Jews, Christians and Muslims in Conflict and Competition.
The Security Council and Peacekeeping Operations in the 21st Century
(V28.0120; call # 75148)
Instructor: Elisabeth Lindenmeyer
Thursday, 11:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
This course will focus on the role of the Security Council of the United Nations as a decision-making body in the maintenance of international peace and security. It will examine the evolution of the Security Council since the end of the Cold War and review how its decisions have deeply affected international relations. It will also review the evolution of peacekeeping operations through a selective review of the literature and case studies, some of which will be based on the instructor's experience. The course will explore some of the major successes and setbacks of the Security Council and the many lessons learned. It will focus on the varying responses of the international community to humanitarian crises. We will ask the question "Whose responsibility is it to protect?" Finally, the course will demonstrate the need for reforms to address the unprecedented challenges of the 21st century, including the reform of the Security Council.
Elisabeth Lindenmayer has had a long career with the United Nations, where she served as the Deputy Chef de Cabinet and as the Executive Assistant to the current Secretary General, Kofi Annan. In addition, she carried substantive responsibilities relating to peacekeeping operations dealing with the crises in Iraq-Kuwait, Somalia, Rwanda, and the Great Lakes region. She has also taught at Columbia University.
(V28.0121; call # 75254)
Instructor: William Klein
Wednesday, 12:30 - 3:00 p.m.
How influential can a writer be? Can people hear what they aren't prepared by history to hear? When they embrace a writer's formulations and seem to fall under his or her influence, is it because they had already been made ready—somehow? If so, how does the readiness in turn structure the nature of the reception? How often do people think they are ready to embrace a writer whose subtleties escape them? It is one thing to ask these questions about the influence of original literary minds on other literary minds (original or not), another when the writer of influence experiments not only with literary forms but with social, moral, religious, political, or military ones. Machiavelli was a writer whose wake caused disturbances in all of these areas, and so a study of his influence gives us a lot to explore. We will look for areas in which the world seemed to be ready for Machiavelli, and for those in which the readiness was not anticipated by him (such as in moral attitudes toward the growth of capitalism). And we will look at the large areas in which people professed to be not ready, and at those where apparent readiness competed with deep unease (as seems to be the case with Shakespeare). These historical explorations would be of limited interest if they did not push us to see what our own era (of multinational corporations and unmanned war machines and feminism and pornography...) can make of Machiavelli, whose works we will read as carefully as we can. Have we outgrown him, or are we still ready to listen? If the latter, is that a good thing?
William Klein is Master Teacher in NYU's General Studies Program. In the College of Arts and Science he has taught in both the Morse Academic Plan and the Freshman Honors Seminar program. Before coming to NYU, he was at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he taught the history of Western social thought. He specializes in early modern European legal and political thought and has been on the editorial review boardof the Journal of the History of Philosophy. He has also published, under a pen name, several mysteries for young adults.
The United States and the War on Terror: Terrorism, Counterterrorism, and National Security
(V28.0122; call # 75147)
Instructor: Karen J. Greenberg
Tuesday, 3:30 - 6:00 p.m.
In the aftermath of 9/11, the United States launched a "war on terror" and in so doing challenged some of the basic assumptions of American domestic and international policy. In the name of security, the powers of the presidency, the nature of the courts, the role of the media, and the limits of internationalism have come under scrutiny. This seminar explores the questions that have come to the fore in the war on terror and seeks to place them in historical context. The course will address, among other topics, the balance between security and liberty, the history of emergency powers, the question of torture and rendition, the changes in the intelligence services, the birth of the Department of Homeland Security, and the effectiveness of the United States as a partner in the global war on terror. The course considers the changes that may be required by a 21st century in which the emergence of security as a vital concern has come to dominate questions of policy and philosophy.
Karen J. Greenberg, Executive Director of the Center on Law and Security at the NYU School of Law, is the editor of the NYU Review of Law and Security. She co-edited The Torture Papers, the Road to Abu Ghraib and is the editor of Al Qaeda Now and The Torture Debate in America. She is a frequent contributor on security issues for national publications.
(V28.0123; call # 75358)
Instructor: Tom Gerety
Tuesday, 12:30 - 3:00 p.m.
This seminar takes up the centuries-old question of the identity of Socrates as a philosopher and a citizen. We will read Plato, Xenophon, and other ancient accounts of Socrates as well as modern and ancient critiques of his stance as "a gadfly" opposed to Athenian tyrannies and corruptions and to what we might call the tyranny of the ordinary in the moral lives of his compatriots. We will compare Socrates to other intellectuals and philosophers in political life, including the American and English abolitionists, Gandhi, Camus, and King. The central questions in this seminar will be the ones Socrates posed again and again in Athens: What really matters? And how should we live our lives? Students will be required to write a research paper on a Socratic figure of interest to them.
Tom Gerety joined the NYU faculty as a Collegiate Professor in 2005, having first come to NYU two years earlier to head the Brennan Center for Justice at the Law School. Before then he served as president of Amherst College from 1994 to 2003 and of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, from 1989 to 1994. From 1986 to 1989 he was the Dean and Nippert Professor at the College of Law of the University of Cincinnati. As a law professor he taught and wrote on constitutional law and political philosophy, with a special emphasis on First Amendment freedoms, including speech, privacy, and religious freedom. With Judy Woodruff, he wrote and narrated a PBS series, Visions of the Constitution, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Updated on 04/02/2014