Fall 2021 Graduate Courses

Fall 2021

French 207: The Crisis of Universalism

Instructor: Laure Murat

Why French universalism, as a project for a fairer society, is now in crisis? How does it compare specifically to the American model? As a political and philosophical concept, universalism has always been at the chore of the debates about democracy in France. From revolutionary idealism to post-colonial era, we will analyze historically the evolution of an idea and its impact on migration, minorities, gender and race. Taught in French. 

German 213: Document Work in Film Culture

Instructor: Kalani Michell

Film work is often thought to begin when the camera starts rolling: lights and props, stars and takes, and big names on the set looking through the lens and yelling at the crew. This is the labor of major decision-making and is creative and glamourous, reinforcing heroic self-descriptions. But something is conspicuously missing from this fantasy of film labor: the role of paperwork. This course focuses on German and European films that thematize the history and labor of administration and bureaucracy. Drawing recent research on bureaucracy in anthropology, ethnography, legal, and media studies, it will seek to push the study of paperwork beyond industrial cinema and into a film genre that has been reluctant to be seen through the lens of multiple authorship, namely experimental and documentary cinema. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. Taught in English. 

German 261: Inheriting the Past: History, Memory, Family

Instructor: Yasemin Yildiz

Study of the family (especially grandparents) as a crucial but ambivalent site of the transmission of the past and how its stories differ from public narratives: sometimes offering alternative access to repressed histories and other times covering them up. Examples principally from the postwar German cultural context, with special attention to the dynamics at play in (not) remembering National Socialism and the Holocaust. Introduces students to central concepts from Memory Studies, such as cultural and communicative memory. No prior knowledge required. Taught in English. 

Italian 216A: Studies in the Renaissance: Machiavelli and Renaissance Political Thought


This course considers the idea of Humanism or, more correctly, of Humanisms, as the plural form conveys the multiple ways in which one can interpret the word “Humanism.” Although the class focuses primarily on 14th-16th-century Italy, we also aim to reflect on what it means to speak of Humanisms – and critiques thereof – in the 21st century. The course is divided into two parts: 1) we will explore various forms of Humanism; 2) we will examine a specific case of classical adaptation, that of the centaur myth, which will help us probe how these different forms of Humanism defy facile historical and conceptual definitions. Readings include Pico della Mirandola’s On the Dignity of Man, Machiavelli’s The Prince, and Braidotti’s The Posthuman. Taught in English and reading knowledge of Italian recommended 

Scandinavian C266A: Ingmar Bergman

Instructor: Arne Lunde

This cinema class explores the pre-Modernist classical period (1944-1960) in the career of iconic Swedish auteur filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. The course focuses on Bergman’s first decade and a half as a writer-director working within the Swedish studio system. During this period of ambitious maturation and experimentation, he developed from genre pictures made for the Swedish domestic market toward his international breakthrough triumphs of the mid-to-late 1950s. Lectures and discussions will focus on post-WWII Swedish society and politics, film style and aesthetics, genres, the star system, cinematography, music, et al. Taught in English.