Course Descriptions


Spring Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
This course is a workshop for the students admitted via the 2023-24 Black Studies Cohort.


This seminar has two objectives.  First, it is designed to introduce students to the thought of two of the most influential social and political theorists of the twentieth century, Hannah Arendt and Pierre Bourdieu.  Over the past few decades, interest in Arendt and Bourdieu has literally exploded, with a daunting number of books and articles analyzing their thought.  This interest, moreover, is not confined to the narrow shores of political theory or sociology, but instead includes virtually the entire expanse of the social sciences and humanities.  Indeed, Arendt and Bourdieu have now become so central to so much debate and discourse in the social sciences and humanities that it is difficult for those who are unacquainted with their scholarship to be active participants in, or contributors to, these conversations.  In addition to providing a general introduction to Arendt’s and Bourdieu’s work, our inquiries are animated by a second objective, namely, to explore a family of questions about the relationship between language, power, and political agency.  It goes without saying that these questions are also central to much discussion in social and political theory, cultural theory, and many other areas of the social sciences and humanities.  In this course, we will pay close attention to Arendt’s distinctive view of the role of public speech in identity formation, her highly original account of the concept of power, her key--yet often puzzling--conceptual distinctions (between the “public,” “private” and “social”; or among “labor,” “work” and “action”), and her broader phenomenology of human activity.  Moreover, we will attempt to place Arendt’s account in conversation with Bourdieu’s rather different but equally original analysis of language, power and political agency.  To this end, we will examine both the overall contours of Bourdieu’s social theory--his account of the habitus, theory of social fields, and depiction of the different forms of “capital”--and his specific investigations of language, power and agency.  My expectation is that this seminar will be a springboard for a series of future courses that explore, in different ways and from different perspectives, questions of language, power and agency.
CompLit 210
Interpretation of Dreams

This course will be devoted to an immersive reading of Freud’s The Interpretation of Dreams along with his “metapsychological” reframings of its theses and selected commentary from the subsequent psychoanalytic tradition. Depending on how discussion proceeds, we may pay visits to adjacent sites—e.g. surrealism, Walter Benjamin, early film and film theory, Marxist theories of ideology—and students are welcome to write their papers on anything related to the questions Freud raises, or fails to raise, about dreams. Students will keep a dream journal as part of the work for the course (1) as a way of thinking along with Freud, who is working on his own dreams in the first place, and (2) because the medium of dreams is such that one can only see one’s own. The question of the status of the medium will be at the center of our concerns. The course will work on locating the place of the dream as an image-medium among image-media. The dream, which is made of pre-recorded material, is not necessarily any more a medium for novelty than it is a new medium, and it has the metapsychological function of guarding sleep, forestalling awakening. Still, we wake up daily, none the wiser. What might a new awakening to dreams require?
EAS220 / HM270  Spring 2024 
Care of the Self: Disability, Neurodiversity, Japan
Margherita Long, Department of East Asian Studies

This seminar introduces recent works in disability studies and feminist studies to read a mini-canon of Japanese novels and films about giving and receiving care. We also study debates in Japanese studies over whether “care of the self” is a neoliberal imposition, as argued in some schools of Marxism, or an artistic and philosophical style, as argued in some schools of environmental humanities. Reading knowledge of Japanese not required, but those who can are encouraged to read in the original. Film students may opt to watch cinema versions for works that have been made into films (*). One week, the primary text is a film (**).

Primary texts include:

*Nagatsuka Takashi, The Soil (agrarian novel, 1912) // Shimao Toshio, “With Maya,” “The Sting of Death,” “The Heart that Slips Away” “Out of the Depths” (disabled daughter and “mad wife” stories, 1960s and 1970s)  // *Morisaki Kazue, Makkura (literary ethnography of coal miners, 1977) // Tsushima Yuko, Child of Fortune (feminist neurodivergence novel, 1978) // Ogata Masato, Rowing the Eternal Sea (mercury poisoning eco-memoir, 1996) // Medoruma Shun, “Taiwan Woman,” “Tree of Butterflies” (Okinawan war-memory fiction, 1983, 2000) // Ito Hiromi, The Thorn Puller (feminist eldercare novel, 2004) // Oe Kenzaburo, Death by Water (postwar democracy meets disability care novel, 2008) // **Shishido Daisuke, Grass on the Wayside (documentary about living with autism and the activist group Aoba-no-kai, 2019)

Secondary texts include:

Eli Clare, Brilliant Imperfection (2017) // Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarashina, The Future is Disabled (2022) // Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality Volume I (“The Will to Knowledge” 1976) and III (“The Care of the Self” 1984) // Eve Sedgwick, “Paranoid Reading and Reparative Reading” (2003) // Fred Moten and Stefano Harney, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (2013) // Saito Kohei, “Marx’s Theory of Metabolism in the Age of Global Ecological Crisis” (2022) // Lisa Yoneyama “Sovereignty, Apology, Forgiveness” (2016)

No detailed description available.