CSER UNDERGRADUATE COURSES FALL 2020

*NEW CSER COURSE*

CSER UN4023 Sec 001

THE DECOLONIAL APPEAL:

DESIRING DECOLONIZATION IN SITES OF REPRESENTATION

Jackson Polys - W 2:10pm-4pm | ONLINE ONLY

Contemporary sites of representation - museums and institutions - operating in a readymade terrain of settler colonial public secrets, have increasingly been called upon, from within and without, to reckon with their own entanglements, to decolonize. Responses to this appeal reveal the difficulties of navigating in the wake of contradictions left by partial past attempts. As institutional moves risk recurrent denials of contemporaneity and slippages into neo-primitivism, manifesting as symptoms of the creation of museums as sites with a dependence on racialized territorial dispossession and foundational displacement, with the inheritance of collections, sites of containment, and conditions of display as legacies to uphold, how can we escape entrapment?

*NEW CSER COURSE*

CSER UN4361

DOCUMENTING DISASTER

Prof. Deborah Paredez—T 10:10pm-12pm | ONLINE ONLY

How have writers from across the Americas written into and from and through and beyond disaster? How can their work guide us through our current moment?  Disaster simultaneously obliterates and generates language. The language of disaster is found in the silenced plea or the official decree that denies or ensures the disaster's spread. To speak toward and against the disaster is to speak in a stutter or a slash or a song. What labor and what ethical, political, and aesthetic considerations are required of and modelled by writers who document disaster? What can we learn from the techniques of point of view, form, voice, silence, sound, and shape used by these writers? What do their works teach us about the intersections among racial and class disparities, gendered and sexual violence, homo-and trans-phobia, war, public health emergencies, disaster capitalism, environmental racism, authoritarian regimes, and militarized policing? Genres studied include poetry, lyric essays, fiction, graphic novels, memoir, and drama..

 

*NEW CSER COURSE*

CSER GU4040

WHITENESS, SENTIMENT AND POLITICAL BELONGING

Prof. Catherine Fennell -- R 2:10PM-4PM | ONLINE ONLY

Throughout the history of the United States of America, whiteness has operated as an “unmarked” American identity. This implicit equation of the ideal American with a white American has had far ranging effects, influencing everything from the distribution of critical resources to the terms and processes through which “non-white” groups negotiate their qualified or contingent inclusion within the body politic. This course examines the ramifications of this implicit equation by focusing on several recent moments in which whiteness became explicit and critical to the dynamics of political belonging. Working through the lens of political feeling, we will read classic and contemporary works on sentiment, emotion, and racialization. These readings will be supplemented with artistic and documentary works. Through our engagements, we will contextualize discussions “white” paranoia, resentment, and sympathy and their political ramifications.

 

CSER UN1010 SEC 001

INTRO TO COMPARATIVE ETHNIC STUDIES

Frances Negron-Muntaner  -- MW 2:40PM - 3:55PM | ONLINE ONLY

Introduction to the field of comparative ethnic studies. This course provides an introduction to central approaches and concepts animating the investigation of race and ethnicity. We will not treat either of these categories of difference as a given, nor as separable from other axes of social difference. Rather, we will apply an interdisciplinary and intersectional framework to illuminate how these concepts have come to emerge and cohere within a number of familiar and less familiar socio-cultural and historical contexts. We will consider how racial and ethnic differentiation as fraught but powerful processes have bolstered global labor regimes and imperial expansion projects; parsed, managed, and regulated populations; governed sexed and gendered logics of subject and social formation; and finally, opened and constrained axes of self-understanding, political organization, and social belonging. Special attention will be given to broadening students' understanding of racial and ethnic differentiation beyond examinations of identity. Taken together, theoretical and empirical readings, discussions, and outside film screenings will prepare students for further coursework in race and ethnic studies, as well as fields such as literary studies, women’s studies, history, sociology, and anthropology.

 

CSER UN3932 SEC 001

US LATINX HISTORY

Alex La Rotta -- W 12:10PM-2PM | ONLINE ONLY

With a current presence of over fifty-five million people of Hispanic descent, Latina/o/xs have played a significant role in shaping U.S. history and national identity. This course is intended to introduce students to some of the major themes in U.S. Latinx history with particular attention to source material and methodologies in assigned readings. More broadly, we will explore the histories of the diverse Latina/o/x populations in the U.S. to understand how Latina/o/xs maintain cultural and political links within the diaspora and fit within shifting national projects of race and citizenship. To this end, we will also discuss the incorporation of Latina/o/xs into society both as a broad demographic group and specifically within major immigrant groups: Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Central Americans, and South Americans.

 

CSER UN1040

CRITICAL APPROACHES - STUDY OF ETHNICITY AND RACE

*Major Requirement

Prof. Jennifer Lee —T  2:10PM - 4:00PM | ONLINE ONLY

This course provides an introduction to central approaches and concepts animating the investigation of race and ethnicity. We will not treat either of these categories of difference as a given, nor as separable from other axes of social difference. Rather, we will apply an interdisciplinary and intersectional framework to illuminate how these concepts have come to emerge and cohere within a number of familiar and less familiar socio-cultural and historical contexts. We will consider how racial and ethnic differentiation as fraught but powerful processes have bolstered global labor regimes and imperial expansion projects; parsed, managed, and regulated populations; governed sexed and gendered logics of subject and social formation; and finally, opened and constrained axes of self-understanding, political organization, and social belonging. Special attention will be given to broadening students’ understanding of racial and ethnic differentiation beyond examinations of identity.

 

CSER UN3490 Sec 001

POST 9/11 IMMIGRATION POLICIES

Prof. Elizabeth OuYang—R 10:10am –12:00pm | ONLINE ONLY

Since September 11, 2001, there has been an avalanche of immigration enforcement policies and initiatives proposed or implemented under the guise of national security. This course will analyze the domino effect of the Patriot Act, the Absconder Initiative, Special Registration, the Real I.D. Act, border security including the building of the 700 mile fence along the U.S./Mexico border, Secured Communities Act-that requires the cooperation of state and local authorities in immigration enforcement, the challenge to birthright citizenship, and now the congressional hearings on Islamic radicalization. Have these policies been effective in combating the war on terrorism and promoting national security?  How have states joined the federal bandwagon of immigration enforcement or created solutions to an inflexible, broken immigration system?

CSER UN3904 Sec 001

RUMOR AND RACIAL CONFLICT

Prof. Stuart Rockefeller—T 10:10am -12pm | ONLINE ONLY

This course will take a transnational look at the strange ways that race and mass rumors have interacted. From the judicial and popular riots in the U.S. justified by recurrent rumors of African-American insurrection, to accusations that French Jews were players in the ‘white slave trade,’ to tales of white fat-stealing monsters among indigenous people of Bolivia and Peru, rumors play a key role in constructing, enforcing, and contesting regimes of racial identity and domination. In order to grasp rumor’s importance for race, we will need to understand how it works, so our readings will cover both instances of racialized rumor-telling, conspiracy theories and mass panics, and some key approaches to how rumors work as a social phenomenon.

CSER UN3919
MODES OF INQUIRY

Prof. Sayantani Dasgupta—R 10:10pm-12:00pm | ONLINE ONLY

*Major Requirement

Must register for Lab Session Mondays 2:10-3:10pm. This class, a combination of a seminar and a workshop, will prepare students to conduct, write up and present original research. It has several aims and goals. First, the course introduces students to a variety of ways of thinking about knowledge as well as to specific ways of knowing and making arguments key to humanistic and social science fields. Second, this seminar asks students to think critically about the approaches they employ in pursuing their research.   The course will culminate in a semester project, not a fully executed research project, but rather an 8-10 page proposal for research that will articulate a question, provide basic background on the context that this question is situated in, sketch preliminary directions and plot out a detailed methodological plan for answering this question. Students will be strongly encouraged to think of this proposal as related to their thesis or senior project. Over the course of the semester, students will also produce several short exercises to experiment with research techniques and genres of writing.

 

CSER UN3922

RACE & REPRESENTATION IN ASIAN AMERICAN CINEMA

Prof. Eric Gamalinda—R 4:10pm – 6:00pm | ONLINE ONLY

This seminar focuses on the critical analysis of Asian representation and participation in Hollywood by taking a look at how mainstream American cinema continues to essentialize the Asian and how Asian American filmmakers have responded to Orientalist stereotypes. We will analyze various issues confronting Asian American communities, including “yellowface”; white patriarchy; male and female stereotypes; the “model minority” myth; “Chinatowns” as spectacle; panethnicity; the changing political interpretations of the term “Asian American” throughout American history; gender and sexuality; and cultural hegemonies and privileging within the Asian community. Feature films and documentaries will be supplemented by a substantial amount of literature to provide a solid grounding on race theory and help students examine Asian [mis] representation in mainstream media; we will then view some examples of contemporary Asian American films and discuss how they challenge culturally embedded stereotypes.

 

CSER UN3923

LATINX & ASIAN AMERICAN MEMOIR

Prof. Nathalie Handal—M 2:10pm – 4:00pm | ONLINE ONLY

In this class, we will explore Latino and Asian American memoir, focusing on themes of immigration and duality. How do we construct identity and homeland when we are ‘multiple’? How do we define ourselves and how do others define us? By reading some of the most challenging and exciting memoirs by Latino and Asian Americans, we will attempt to answer these questions and/or at least try to understand these transnational and multicultural experiences. This class combines the critical with the creative—students have to read and critic memoirs as well as write a final 10page nonfiction creative writing piece. *Students will also have the opportunity to speak to some Latino and Asian authors in class or via SKYPE. Students will be asked to prepare questions in advance for the author—whose work(s) we will have read and discussed. This usually arises interesting and thought-provoking conversations and debates. This ‘Dialogue Series’ within the class exposes students to a wide-range of voices and offers them a deeper understanding of the complexity of duality.

 

CSER UN3926

LATIN MUSIC AND IDENTITY

Prof. Edward Morales—T 4:10pm – 6:00pm | ONLINE ONLY

Office Hours – email for appointment

Latin music has had a historically strained relationship with mainstream music tastes, exploding in occasional ‘boom’ periods, and receding into invisibility in others. What if this were true because it is a space for hybrid construction of identity that directly reflects a mixture of traditions across racial lines in Latin America. This course will investigate Latin music’s transgression of binary views of race in Anglo-American society, even as it directly affects the development of pop music in America. From New Orleans jazz to Texas corridos, salsa, rock, and reggaeton, Latin music acts as both as a soundtrack and a structural blueprint for the 21st century’s multicultural experiment.

 

CSER UN3928

COLONIZATION/DECOLONIZATION

*Major Requirement

Prof. Manan Ahmed, —W 10:00am – 12pm | ONLINE ONLY

Prerequisites: Open to CSER majors/concentrators only. Others may be allowed to register with the instructor’s permission. This course explores the centrality of colonialism in the making of the modern world, emphasizing cross-cultural and social contact, exchange, and relations of power; dynamics of conquest and resistance; and discourses of civilization, empire, freedom, nationalism, and human rights, from 1500 to 2000. Topics include pre-modern empires; European exploration, contact, and conquest in the new world; Atlantic-world slavery and emancipation; and European and Japanese colonialism in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

CSER GR5000

INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN STUDIES

Prof. Matthew Sandler —M 4:10-6:00pm | ONLINE ONLY

This course focuses on the interpretation of primary sources, and how to write about the different genres of American culture and history. “Methods in American Studies” focuses on the history of the American and Ethnic Studies as areas of academic inquiry. Here students address issues in their own practice as researchers in relation to the major debates in the field.


 

CSER continues to be Columbia's main interdisciplinary space for the study of ethnicity and race and their implications for thinking about culture, power, hierarchy, social identities, and political communities. The Center also offers a wide range of public programming, including Artist at the Center, Indigenous Forum, and Latino Public Speaker Series and the Transnational Asian/American Speaker Series. CSER's most recent spaces include the Media and Idea Lab and Gallery at the Center, a space dedicated to curating artistic and thematic exhibits around the Center’s key areas of interest.

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Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race

420 Hamilton Hall, MC 2880

1130 Amsterdam Avenue

New York, NY 10027

Tel 212-854-0507

Fax 212-854-0500

CSER@columbia.edu