Previous and Current CLAC Courses

  • Spring 2019

    ARHA 208/CGST 208: ¿Convivencia o conflicto?: Las tres culturas de la España medieval a través del arte [Spanish], Prof. Melissa R. Katz

    For eight centuries, Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived side by side as neighbors on the Iberian Peninsula in a carefully negotiated state of coexistence known as "convivencia." While much of the written record is full of enmity, religious polemic, and mutual suspicion, the artistic record tells another version, of lives lived in close proximity giving rise to shared cultural practices, artistic tastes, and long interludes of mutual wellbeing. This Spanish-language section complements the ARHA 310 curriculum, by exploring the resonance between medieval experiences of identity, pluralism, appropriation, and exchange and our own uneasy attempts at building a multiethnic, multicultural society.

    Parent Course: ARHA 310/MDST 310 (Muslims, Jews, and Christians: Convivencia in Medieval Iberia)

     

    HIST 281/GRST 350/CGST 281Global Economy: Germany and the World in an Age of Extremes, 1870-1957 (Weltwirtschaft: Deutschland und die Welt im Zeitalter der Extreme, 1870/1957) [German], Prof. Erik Grimmer-Solem

    Learn about the history of globalization in German! This CLAC section will explore the experience of globalization in the German-speaking world from German unification in 1870 and the rise of Imperial Germany as a global economic power to the disaster of the world wars, the postwar “economic miracle,” and formation of the European Community in 1957. We will be using select German-language primary sources to explore this topic, supported by short secondary source narratives in both German and English pitched at intermediate-advanced German speakers and readers. Unlike the parent lecture class, this is a discussion course aimed at expanding vocabulary and practicing fluent discussions in the fields of history, politics, and economics.

    Parent Course: HIST 280 (The Industrial Revolution in Global Context: Economic History Since 1800)

     

    CJST 413/CGST 413/HEBR 413From Black and White to Colors: Israeli Cinema [Hebrew], Prof. Dalit Katz

    This Hebrew course will be linked to a new film course, taught in English and offered in spring 2019. The film course is entitled CJST 249: From Black and White to Colors: Israeli Cinema, a Melting Pot Fragmented. This course is targeted towards heritage Hebrew speakers and students with very advanced knowledge of the Hebrew language. Students will view the same films as the parent class with special attention to the Hebrew language. We will analyze, discuss, and write on each of the films. In addition, students will be required to attend all the screenings in the Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival and to meet with native guest speakers. The focus of the course will be to map the cultural and social changes in Israeli society reflected in the transformation in format and themes of Israeli films. This course may be repeated for credit.

    Parent Course: CJST 249 (From Black and White to Colors: Israeli Cinema, a Melting Pot Fragmented)

  • Fall 2019

    CGST 231/LAT 230: Love and Suffering in Ancient Rome [Latin], Prof. Serena Witzke

     In this CLAC course, students with some background in ancient Latin will read selections of the extant sources on love and suffering in Roman myth, history, and thought. The sources that we will cover will be drawn from diverse genres and periods: historiography, epic poetry, lyric poetry, and comedy. This diversity will offer a unique opportunity for students to identify and analyze the intersections of age, class, status, gender, and ethnicity and the way they shaped Roman ideology on "love." We will be looking at how cultural practice shapes language, how ideology shapes law, and how literature challenged cultural norms of love and marriage, all the while unpacking and interrogating the Roman belief that love had no place in the citizen life dedicated to serving the state: love produces suffering. In turn, we will reflect on the ideological shift in the last 150 years that has come to dominate "western" beliefs on love and marriage, that is, "all you need is love," over family, friends, and society, despite the obstacles: suffering produces love.

    The selections of readings will be drawn primarily from what the students read in translation in the parent course. The final selection will be based on the level of the students. This CLAC is conceived as appropriate for students on the intermediate and advanced level of ancient Latin.

    CGST 250/GRK 250: Body, Soul, and Afterlife Journeys in Ancient Greece [Greek], Prof. Eirene Visvardi  

    The connection between body and soul and their journey in the afterlife were at the center of how the ancient Greeks thought not only of mortality but also of the good life itself. This CLAC course is connected to the Classical Civilization course titled "Death and Afterlife in Egypt and Greece" that will be taught in the fall by Kate Birney. The parent course explores the archaeology of death and burial in Egypt and Greece. It examines how the funerary practices and the very notions of death, the soul, the body, and the afterlife operated in these societies by drawing upon diverse evidence--archaeological, art historical, and mythological.

    In this CLAC course, students with some background in ancient Greek will read selections of the surviving evidence on death and the afterlife. Sources will be drawn from diverse genres and periods: historiography, Homeric poetry, Platonic philosophy, and religious tablets. This diversity will offer a unique opportunity to identify different registers and to explore how language itself reflects and in turn shapes the ideas and practices for which it is used. We will thus be looking at: how different media and performances are used to express loss, hope, and heroism in the face of death; how social class, gender, and political ideology are reflected in these media and how they influence ideas about death and the afterlife; and, last, how we are to create adequate methodologies as "readers" of such diverse evidence.

    The selections of readings will be drawn primarily from what the students read in translation in the parent course. The final selection will be based on the level of the students. This CLAC is conceived as appropriate for students on the intermediate and advanced level of ancient Greek.

    CGST251/CHIN 351/PHIL 251: Classical Chinese Philosophy: Chinese Lab [Chinese], Prof. Stephen Angle 

    This 0.5 credit course is conducted in Chinese and designed to supplement the standard English-language Classical Chinese Philosophy (PHIL205) course. Students must have taken PHIL205 in the past or be enrolled in it simultaneously. The course will have two main foci: introducing students to modern and contemporary Chinese-language debates about Chinese philosophy and exploring in greater depth the meaning of key passages from the classical works students are reading in translation in PHIL205.

    Both advanced learners of Chinese (fourth-year level or above) and native speakers are welcome. Familiarity with classical Chinese is desirable but not required. Assignments will include presentations in Chinese and some written work in English; evaluation will be tailored to each student's language background. If you are unsure whether your language background is sufficient for the course, please contact the instructor.

    CGST255/KREA 255: Modern History and Culture of Korea: From Imperialism to Two Koreas [Korean], Prof. Hyejoo Back

    This course will serve as an introduction to the more recent history and culture of Korea; South Korea's rebirth from the remnants of a devastating war into a globalized country whose cultural influence has grown drastically since the 2000s. We will be discussing politics and diplomacy, economic development and industrialization, the growth of mass culture, and social changes concerning Korean women and family. Key topics will include the colonial period, the Korean War and national division, the struggle for democracy, and Korean pop culture. Course material will include films, dramas, and literature on these topics.

    This course will be conducted in Korean. Students who have either completed three years of Korean or meet the language fluency equivalent are encouraged to take this course. Native speakers of Korean are also welcome.

    CGST290/GRST 330/COL 287/PHIL 353: Nietzsche als Versucher [German], Prof. Daniel Smyth

    The term "Versucher" combines three meanings: (i) a writer of essays, (ii) a maker of experiments and hypotheses, and (iii) a tempter who seductively tests convictions and provokes latent desires. Friedrich Nietzsche draws on all these senses when he proposes "Versucher" as "the not-undangerous name [he] dares to bestow" on the "philosophers of the future"--a coming generation of free spirits who will (finally) be capable of appreciating and continuing his intellectual legacy (Beyond Good and Evil, §42).

    This course will interrogate Nietzsche's conception of a philosophical Versucher and examine how this concept might apply to Nietzsche himself: as an experimenter with literary style and genre (including the essay form) and as a polarizing cult figure who has attracted the fascination of generations of teenagers and the most diverse (often diametrically opposed) ideological movements. How is it that Nietzsche inspires such passionate attachment in such radically different readers? What is it about his philosophical style and literary form that cultivates a feeling of intimacy and fierce allegiance while also admitting such aggressively divergent interpretations? To explore these questions, we will read and discuss excerpts from Nietzsche's writings and correspondence alongside texts by his friends and interlocutors--such as Richard Wagner, Paul Rée, and Nietzsche's unrequited paramour, Lou Andreas-Salomé. We will also look at prominent cases of his cultural reception--notably by the Nazi party (due to the influence of Nietzsche's sister, who was a party member) and simultaneously by opponents of totalitarianism such as Robert Musil, Karl Löwith, and Walter Kaufmann.

    This course is part of the Fries Center for Global Studies' Cultures and Languages Across the Curriculum (CLAC) initiative. It is taught in German and associated with COL290/PHIL252 "Nietzsche - Science, Psychology, Genealogy," though students can take either course independent of the other. No background in philosophy or literature is required for this course, but advanced-intermediate (B2+) reading and spoken German is a must.

  • Spring 2020

    CGST 291/GRK 291: "Sexuality" in the Making: Gender, Law, and the Use of Pleasure in Ancient Greek Culture [Greek], Prof. Eirene Visvardi

    The parent course (CCIV 281/FGSS 281) examines the construction of gender roles in ancient Greece and approaches gender as an organizing principle of private and public life in ancient Greek society by using literary, scientific, historical, and philosophical sources as well as material evidence. Issues addressed include: the creation of woman, conceptions of the male and female body, the legal status of men and women; what constitutes acceptable sexual practices and for whom (e.g., heterosexual relationships, homoeroticism, prostitution, etc.); ideas regarding desire, masculinity and femininity, and their cultivation in social, political, and ritual contexts such as rituals of initiation, marriage, drinking parties (symposia), the law court, and the theater.

    The textual sources used in the course cover a spectrum of genres: medical texts, Homer, lyric poetry, tragedy, comedy, law-court speeches, and philosophy among others. In the CLAC connected to this course students with some background in ancient Greek will read selections from these genres and will be able to compare different discourses and registers in the original. In the past, even though brief lexical examples--e.g., pointing at the use of ta Aphrodisia (the things/matters related to Aphrodite) in a culture that has no one term/concept for our notion of "sexuality"--students were intrigued by how different terms and discursive media in the original may offer access to perspectives, visions, and values that differ from and can, in turn, inform our own. The CLAC will create an opportunity precisely for this kind of access and a better informed and nuanced conversation.

    CGST 352/HIST 352/REES 352: The Communist Experience in the Soviet Union [Russian], Prof. Victoria Smolkin

    Like the parent course, HIST353: The Communist Experience in the 20th Century, this CLAC course will engage with the problem of experience through a series of themes: subjectivity; engaging in the political process of building socialism; aesthetics; travel and tourism; East and West; race and ethnicity; production and consumption; time and space; political engagement and disengagement; science and technology; and emotions. We will work with sources from oral histories, diaries, film, television, and the press. The final project would involve close reading and paper on a theme covered in class using both primary and preapproved secondary sources in Russian. The student language background appropriate for this class is (preferably advanced) intermediate to native. 

    CJST 413/CGST 413/HEBR 413: From Black and White to Colors: Israeli Cinema [Hebrew], Prof. Dalit Katz

    This Hebrew course will be linked to the English-language film course, From Black and White to Colors: Israeli Cinema, a Melting Pot Fragmented. This course is targeted towards heritage Hebrew speakers and students with very advanced knowledge of the Hebrew language. Students will view the same films as the parent class with special attention to the Hebrew language. We will analyze, discuss, and write on each of the films. In addition, students will be required to attend all the screenings in the Ring Family Wesleyan University Israeli Film Festival and to meet with native guest speakers. The focus of the course will be to map the cultural and social changes in Israeli society reflected in the transformation in format and themes of Israeli films. This course may be repeated for credit. 

    Parent Course: CJST 249 (From Black and White to Colors: Israeli Cinema, a Melting Pot Fragmented)

    CEAS 302/CGST 302: Narrating China in the Chinese Original [Chinese], Prof. Mengjun Liu

    This 0.5 credit course is conducted in Chinese and designed to supplement the standard English-language Narrating China: Introduction to Modern Chinese Literature (CEAS 202) course. It allows students to encounter a selection of modern and contemporary Chinese literary texts in their original Chinese. As the parent course guides students through major literary movements and themes from 20th-century China, students in the CLAC tutorial will read poems, short stories, or excerpts of longer texts from the same periods in the original Chinese. In weekly meetings, students will discuss the readings in Chinese, to delve deeper into their stylistic and linguistic characteristics unobservable in translations.

    Both advanced learners of Chinese (fourth-year level or above) and native speakers are welcome. Evaluation is based on students' preparedness, participation, and formal oral presentations, and will be tailored to students' language background. If you are unsure about whether your language background is sufficient for the course, please contact the instructor.

    SPAN 265 / CGST 265History of Spanish Cinema for Spanish Speakers [Spanish], Prof. Antonio Gonzalez
    Students with proficiency in Spanish and who are enrolled simultaneously in SPAN 301 will have the opportunity to further their knowledge of Spanish cinema in its cultural and historical context through secondary readings in Spanish. Discussions in this class and all written work are conducted in Spanish, and they will pertain to the films and other readings included on the syllabus for SPAN 301.