* Important *

This page will be updated each quarter around the time that the Schedule of Classes comes out.  Please check back regularly for updates/ corrections.  Please NOTE that a course which has been accepted in the past may not be in the future. For any questions relating to this minor, please either contact us or visit the Humanities Undergraduate Counseling Office in HIB 143.

Courses Prior to Fall 07 (and Summer courses prior to Summer 08) are shown in a different format and can be accessed by clicking HERE.

Approved Courses

Course Term (Y=Summer Session 1, Z=Session 2):  

Spring Quarter (S20)

Dept/Description Course No., Title  Instructor

This mixed lecture (60%) and seminar (40%) course examines key debates about the African diaspora especially through the vantage point of black women. There have been massive shifts in the study of black people in the world and black identities as world-making. From Pan-Africanist movements that sought to link the battle against Jim Crow and U.S. apartheid to independence movements in colonized Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean to the cultural turn evidenced by Negritude and Afrocentricity to the insistence that different colonial/slave/and emancipation histories produced different kinds of black political realities to false debates over whether struggles in the U.S. get too much attention compared to struggles in the global South, to the question of the relationships between bondage, enslavement, and waged work, the role of blackness as a global phenomenon is being taken up. We begin with black women’s roles in knowledge systems in the triangular slave trade and the meanings which they brought to their reproductive (affective, cultural, and economic) labor, shift to black women’s radical politics in the 1930s, turn to mid-century political movements against restrictions on black women, return to the radical movements of the 1960s, and end with writings by black women both political essays and a novel. These sources provide us with a potent assessment of diasporic and internationalist frameworks.
Days: WE  10:00-12:50 PM


According to the United Nations, two thirds of the world's population will live in cities by 2050.  Many people will occupy mega-cities of unprecedented size. This class provides a cross cultural survey of urban form from antiquity to the present.  Our emphasis will be on the design of cities, their circulation  patterns, symbolic structures and monuments, residential neighborhoods, and schools and parks.  We will consider cities in Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and Africa.  Questions of sustainability, public space, urban aesthetics, mass transportation, infrastructure, historic preservation, the provision of clean air and war, and urban toxicity will be addressed. Assignment structure: take-home midterm and final research paper.  Instructor: Edward Dimendberg
Days: TU TH  05:00-06:20 PM


At what point in time did Vietnamese America begin? Did it begin with the Fall of Saigon? Or did it began with the first established Little Saigon? In looking to define what it is, do we limit what Vietnamese America has been and what it could be?

This course will honor and center the complexity of community, bearing witness to the multiple realities and truths that exist. By utilizing a critical refugee lens, we will examine how social structures like capitalism and nationalism are interwoven into the Vietnamese American experience. This course seeks to unravel, understand, and complicate what Vietnamese America is and who gets to tell the Vietnamese American experience.

This course aims to:
Introduce how power and privilege plays a role in the history, culture, and contemporary experiences of Vietnamese Americans.
Expand current discourse around social issues that affect Vietnamese Americans by using different ways of knowing, such as scientific literature, creative works and scholarly articles.
Expose students to the multitude of historical, contemporary and local Vietnamese American narratives, taking advantage of the proximity to one of the largest Little Saigons.
Days: TU TH  02:00-03:20 PM


This course introduces students to the 60-year political economy of transnational adoption of children from Korea to the US (and other parts of the West) and the cultural productions of Korean adoptees. We will critically engage the discourse of the “rescue” of children and the construction of the Korean “orphan” to create Western desire and demand, and explore how adoptees themselves are reframing adoption through literature, film, and activism, as well as building new networks of solidarity with unwed mothers in Korea.
Days: MO WE  10:30-11:50 AM


This course will be a broad but strategic and selective chronological survey of what constitutes Western Literary Theory, all the way from Socrates-Plato-Aristotle right down to this very moment of our problematic, conjunctural, and intersectional contemporaneity.  We will begin with the Socratic move to professionalize the role of the critic, and then move on to issues of mimesis, Plato’s quarrel with Poetry, and the nature of academic and literary freedom within the jurisdiction of the State.  Here are a few stops on our journey: some stops will be longer than others: Sir Philip Sidney (On Poetry, Philosophy, Poetry; the role of poesy in both educating and delighting the reader, its role in the body politic); Immanuel Kant on Subjectivity and Aesthetic Judgment; the English Romantics with particular emphasis on William Wordsworth and Percy Bysshe Shelley (Poetry, Prose, the Common Man, Nature and Society, Imagination, Society and Revolution); T.S. Eliot’s profoundly anti-Romantic Modernism, (Sense of Tradition and the Poetry of “impersonality”); Ferdinand de Saussure and ‘the linguistic turn”: Voloshinov and the Marxist theory of language: Freud, psychoanalysis and the interpretation of Dreams; Marxist concepts of base-superstructure-ideology-mediation and critique by way of Antonio Gramsci and Raymond Williams; Structuralism and Post-Structuralism (Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Jacques Lacan, deconstruction, the “death of the author,”); Feminisms and feminist theories of subjectivity, representation, and revolution; W.E.B. Du Bois, “the color line,” ‘the veil,” “double-consciousness,” critical Race Theory; postcolonial theory by way of Frantz Fanon and Edward W. Said; the queering of Theory.

We may not be able to make all the stops, or tarry meaningfully at each juncture.  This is the overall map. We will travel and cover what we can.  My objective is to find the right balance between coverage and depth.  With your help, I will make sure that we take on no more than what we can digest and relish. Wherever possible, I will align theory with a literary text to make a point, prove a thesis.  After all, literature and theory are friends, not antagonists; and theory can be literary, and literature theoretical.

Lecture combined with open-ended discussions, questions, and answers.
1 Short and 1 Long Paper.
Days: MO WE  04:00-04:50 PM


This course will investigate the shifting history of the concept of work. Some questions we will ask: When and in what context did work come to be understood as an essential practice of self-expression?  What are the different ways in which the work of multiple people is understood to link or divide them? How does the existence of compulsory work – slavery – affect our conceptions of work as free expression? Is literary production to be understood as a kind of work, or something to be distinguished from work?  Does the relation between work and literary writing change depending whether the “work” in question is poetry or prose?  We will read the writings of several important theorists of work, including John Locke and Karl Marx before moving to poetry about work from 19th-century poets including William Wordsworth, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Anna Leticia Barbauld and Frances Harper, followed by more contemporary poets including Robert Pinsky, Philip Levine, Muriel Ruykeser, John Ashbery and Mary Oliver. We will conclude with a sustained engagement with two narratives that dramatize the peril and precariousness of work: Frank Norris’s McTeague, which tells the story of dentist whose practice and relationship with his wife complicate the process of transforming work into money, and the Belgian film Two Days, One Night, the real-time narrative of a woman who must petition her coworkers in order to get her job back.
Days: TU TH  05:00-06:20 PM


The Eighteenth Century is often called the Age of Enlightenment for the widespread diffusion of philosophical ideas that promoted the critical use of reason against various forms of ignorance, superstition, authoritarianism, and prejudice. Kant’s credo, “dare to know,” was meant to encourage the liberation of human beings from oppression, physical and ideological, by means of their self-empowerment through education. To this egalitarian end, it was, in Montesquieu’s words, “essential that the people be enlightened.” But Enlightenment thinkers did not see education as based solely in books but also more generally as a function of practical experience, including travel and the meaningful encounter with foreign peoples and cultures.  It was foreseeable that an “enlightened” populace would no longer accept the strictures of traditional monarchy and would demand the institution of democratic societies, be that at the cost of extreme violence and insurrection.  The Age of Enlightenment would thus culminate in both the American and French revolutions.  We will explore the philosophical and literary expressions of Enlightenment thinking along with a reflection on the relationship of that thinking to the previously unimagined possibility of revolution, as famously inscribed in the American Declaration of Independence (1776) and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789). In addition to a critical reading of these two founding documents, we will read from works by Immanuel Kant, “What is Enlightenment?”; David Hume, An Enquiry on Human Understanding; Alexander Pope, “Essay on Man”; Bernard Mandeville, “Fable of the Bees”; Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; Baron Montesquieu, Persian Letters; Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Turkish Letters; Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels; Voltaire, Candide; Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality; the Marquis de Sade, Philosophy in the Bedroom; Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man; and Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France. In addition to the readings and active class discussion, students will be expected to write two formal essays, keep a journal of ideas, and give an oral presentation on material related to the course.
Days: MO WE  03:00-03:50 PM


English 105/French 170/ELS 200C:

The term “Black Internationalism” refers to a movement of African and African diasporic peoples to unite across national and ethnic boundaries.  In dialogue with the Socialist tradition (often identified with the rise of the industrial worker in the late 18th century) and Communism (a movement established by Marx and Engels in 1848), Black Internationalism developed into a race- and culture-based critique of these allied European movements.  The first Pan-African Conference was held in London in 1900, giving birth to many subsequent activities that joined together the cultural elites of the Black world and advancing what is arguably the greatest challenge to—and extension of—Enlightenment thought.  In this course, we will study the literature of Black writers involved in the political and cultural agitation of the 20th century.  Readings will include writings by W. E. B. Dubois, Marcus Garvey, Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Paulette Nardal, Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, C. L. R. James, Richard Wright, James Baldwin, Edouard Glissant, Paul Gilroy, and Brent Hayes Edwards.
Days: TU TH  02:00-03:20 PM


No issue appears so pressing in Europe today as migration. From Brexit to national and European Union elections in every zone of Europe, migration dominates public discourse and is determining far-reaching political decisions. This course will examine the phenomenon of contemporary migration largely through the perspectives of migrants themselves, as found in works of memoir, fiction, and film. We will also survey the deeper history of migrations into, within, and out of Europe, beginning with the mass migrations of late antiquity and the Middle Ages, placing these movements in relation to the economic, social, and political conditions that helped produce them.
Days: TU TH  11:00-12:20 PM


Current debates on migration and refugees and migration become ever more
intertwined with questions of the environment, global warming, and the
rise of populist political movements.  Taking Germany since the Second
World War as a case study we will analyze how the various refugee crises
caused by WWII shaped after 1945 new understandings of human rights,
citizen rights, and the status of foreigners and refugees in postwar
Germany and postwar Europe.  We will then explore the rise of
environmental movements in West-Germany of the 1970s and 1980s. These
two initial investigations are meant to prepare our course to analyze
and to better understand what is at stake in contemporary debates on the
European refugee crisis, global warming, and the rise of populism,
topics we will discuss in the second half of the quarter.
Days: TU TH  11:00-12:20 PM


This course introduces students to interdisciplinary ethical analyses of science. It explores the social role of scientific knowledge, focusing on the history of the biological sciences with special attention to gender, race, class, and empire. How does science influence everyday life? How do the priorities of a society shape its approach to science? Over the past two decades, ethical and diversity issues in the practice science have grown dramatically in importance. Scholars as well as policy makers and activists have argued that the views of practicing scientists, of social scientists, and of philosophers should inform one another. Any systematic social and historical understanding of the sciences requires us to use a wide range of disciplines. We will survey the history and politics of biology, with a focus on the sciences of sexuality, race, and the body, the readings are drawn from academic studies of history, culture, and politics.
Days: TU TH  03:30-04:50 PM


This course offers a topical and thematic engagement with histories of disability in the United States.  How have diverse kinds of embodiment and ability been understood and used to characterize and organize people?  Whereas medical experts have historically treated disability as a defect to be fixed or cured, people with disabilities have approached disability as a social and political category of identification.  Rather than cataloguing or providing a compendium of diverse disabilities, this course asks how ability, normativity, able-bodiedness, incompetence, and citizenship have been constructed historically.  We will examine how disability as a category of analysis has informed and worked with, as well as against, other forms of difference like race, indigeneity, gender, and sexuality.
Days: TU TH  12:30-01:20 PM


In popular memory, the post-WWII era is frequently viewed nostalgically as a US golden age of patriotic consensus, traditional family values, and widespread prosperity. In this course, we will analyze primary source documents to complicate this rosy vision of the early Cold War era.  Using gender and sexuality as our principal focus, we will examine how the politics of the international Cold War shaped and emphasized domestic ideas about “normal” femininity, masculinity, and sexual desire.  Relatedly, we will explore the way these ideals were policed and subverted.  Topics will include the TV nuclear family, Disneyland, the Lavender Scare, the Kinsey Report, and more.
Days: MO WE  03:00-03:50 PM


The history of Latinas in the U.S. from 1900 to the present, offering a diversity of their cultures, regional histories, sexualities, generations, and classes.
Days: TU TH  09:30-10:50 AM


Explores political, economic, social, and cultural ties that bind Latin America to the United States. Focuses on U.S. intervention and Latin American response from early nineteenth century to present day. Case studies include Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, Chile, and Central America.

Same as POL SCI 142J, INTL ST 177D, CHC/LAT 150.
Days: MO WE  01:00-01:50 PM


Explores the causes, development, and legacy of the 1959 Revolution. Themes include economic dependency, democracy, race, gender, culture, and the always volatile relations between Cuba and the United States.
Days: MO WE  11:00-11:50 AM



A cardinal rule of journalism is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. In this class we will study writers who shine a spotlight on injustice and how this spotlight can sometimes bring about justice. A writer uncovers a series of murders for financial gain on a Native American reservation. Corruption in a major religion in revealed. A quiet genocide takes place a Los Angeles neighborhood and no one seems to care. A man in Alabama commits numerous murders but is never convicted. Guest speakers will provide different perspectives on the criminal justice system. There will be a midterm, a final paper, and occasional quizzes.
Days: TU TH  12:30-01:50 PM


Speech Ethics: This course will consider how moral theory might help illuminate a variety of questions about the ethics of speech.  Topics include: insults, slurs and hate speech; "silencing" and misogyny; "call outs" and "calling bullshit"; "bullshitting," "fake news," and propaganda; "mansplaining," testimony and credibility; U.S. "free speech" exceptionalism; and the cooperative "speech commons" required for functioning democracy.
Days: TU TH  01:00-02:20 PM


In their definition of religion, Emile Durkheim and Mircea Eliade present the human/animal boundary as a fundamental hallmark of the discipline, one often overlooked in contemporary studies of “animals and religion.” In this course we will utilize this fundamental binary to identify the construction of  “human” and “animal” subjectivities in religious narratives such as Jewish, Islamic, Christian, Jain, and Buddhist, as well as in other scientific and ethical accounts of humans and animals, including those considered secular. We will identify practices and modes of thinking that might disturb this conceptual binary, creating new opportunities for rethinking identity, community, and response beyond species lines.
Days: MO WE  01:00-02:20 PM


Visit the Logic and Philosophy of Science website for more information.
Days: TU  02:00-04:50 PM


A selection of topics in social epistemology with a special emphasis on testimony, implicit bias, background assumptions, prejudice, feminist epistemology, and the epistemology of resistance. We will work on the blurred boundary between common sense certainties and deeply entrenched prejudices, making use of the Wittgenstein-inspired perspective of hinge epistemology in the social domain.
Days: TU TH  12:30-01:50 PM


It might seem to be a commonplace that we are only responsible for what we do. But is this
commonplace correct? In order to answer this question, it needs to be determined just what we
do—i.e., what actions are—and what we are responsible for—i.e., what responsibility is. This
course will examine the nature of actions and the nature of responsibility in order to determine just
what we do, whether—and if so—why we are responsible for what we do, and whether we are only
responsible for what we do.
Days: MO WE  02:30-03:50 PM


A survey and investigation of the major thinkers, theories, and methodologies in the study of religions. Designed to develop the student's ability to analyze and articulate theoretical arguments in writing; includes a paper on relevant Religious Studies topics.
Days: TU TH  12:30-01:50 PM