COURSES

Fall 2019

IAS A6119 Cultures of Capital Tuesday 5:30-7:10 Susanna Rosenbaum

This course will explore both theories and everyday experiences and construction of capitalism. We will begin with foundational texts, looking at historical, theoretical, and social constructions of capitalism.  We will then move on to ethnographic examples, asking how capitalism plays out in different places and historical moments across the Americas.

IAS A5010  Graduate Research Methodology Tuesday 7:30-9:10 Justin Williams  

This course will trace the changing definition of American Studies, originating as a field of study with a focus primarily on the United States to projects spanning both American continents.  Students will study the field’s relationship to twentieth-century social movements and related theoretical categories, including Marxist theory, cultural studies, feminist theory, post- colonial theory, and ethnic studies. They will learn the various research techniques necessary to produce graduate-level writing in their courses in the Study of the Americas.  Students will choose a topic, develop a research agenda, conduct interdisciplinary research, and write a final paper of 15-20 pages. Open only to students accepted into the M.A. in the Study of the Americas program.

IAS A6080  Gated Cities, Gated Communities, Gated Minds Wed 5:30-7:10                                                       Susanna Schaller                   

This course explores the global phenomenon of “gating” and privatizing urban spaces to create residential and commercial areas that offer a sense of heightened security and seclusion, a respite from the perceived chaos, violence and anonymity of the ever encroaching city. Gated communities are no longer to be found in the suburbs but are fracturing city spaces as fortified enclaves become sanitized, re-imagined, branded and sold. In this course we will explore the contours and content of this gating of urban metropolitan spaces through divergent lenses, taking an interdisciplinary journey into some of the “cities of walls” that have been emerging in the Americas.  We will read ethnographic and sociological studies and urban theory as well as literary works that examine how the privatization of the city is redefining urban life in the Americas - from Buenos Aires and Sao Paolo to Los Angeles and New York. What does this (re)segregation by class, race, ethnicity and gender imply in terms of our day-to day encounters and relationships as well as our roles as citizens?  Are we just gating our lives or our minds as well?  We will cover some of the theoretical debates on gated communities, thinking about the reasons behind gating and the typologies associated with these different motivations, assessing the impact on the urban fabric as well as investigating the implication the increasing privatization of neighborhood and commercial spaces has in term social inclusion and exclusion. We will be examining the formation of "American Apartheid" in the US, scrutinize the “the City of Walls” of Sao Paolo and“excavate the “fortress cities” of Los Angeles and New York.  We will also read several novels and view films to explore the physical gating of or living environment and the "gating" on our minds and social encounters.


Spring 2019

IAS A6118 Indigenous Visions Across the Americas Tuesday 6:00-7:40 Campell Dalglish

This course covers films by and about the Indigenous Peoples of Americas with a primary focus on the American Indian so that students can grasp an ethnographic experience similar to that of Ethnographer Franz Boas. Through weekly screenings, discussions and written assignments, students learn to understand the critical importance of multiple diverse tribal and indigenous cultures when confronted with a modern day outside colonial perspective. Beginning with Edison’s silent film projector that began the movie house industry with a single peephole projector called a Kinetoscope, we begin with silent ethnographic studies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas (North and South America). Important guest speakers frequent the class along with significant visits to the neighboring National Museum of the American Indian.

IAS A5104 The Making of the Dominican People: From African Slavery to the Advent of Trujillo Wednesday 6:00-7:40 Ramona Hernandez

 This course addresses relevant issues that marked the formation of Dominican society from the 1500s to 1930 and whose repercussions continue to impact and define the Dominican people today. It pays particular attention to the birth of African black slavery, to the ideologies and ideals behind the formation of the Dominican Republic, to the development of a Dominican national identity, and to the United States’ occupation of 1916. The course ends in 1930, with the ascendance of Rafael L. Trujillo.

IAS 6011 Populism and Popular Culture in the Americas Thursday 6:00-7:40  Carlos Aguasaco

This course explores the symbiotic relation between political populism and the emergence of national and transnational popular culture(s) in the Americas. Following Garcia Canclini’s concept of economic citizenship, and Ernesto Laclau’s visions on Populism as an articulatory form, this course focuses on revealing the economic and political aspects that constitute both cultural practices and products in the Americas. The class discussions and readings will provide the theoretical framework while the students concentrate in studying cultural practices or products of their own choosing.


Fall 2018

IAS A5000 Inventing the Americas Tuesday 6-7:40 Martin Woessner

This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to the study of the Americas.  It examines some of the ways in which the Americas have been constructed, defined, and redefined since the time of Columbus (and before).  Touching upon some of the topics that have come to define the history of the Americas, students will discuss the science(s) of exploration; the imaginaries of the new world and the old; the politics and economics of empire and colonialism; the cruelties of invasion, conquest, and slavery; the transformations of ecology and biology; the contours of nationalism and transnationalism; as well as the more recent phenomenon of globalization. Open only to students accepted into the M.A. in the Study of the Americas program.

IAS A6117  Founding Fathers Wednesday 5:30-7:10 Marlene Clark

In his “Letter from Jamaica” (1815), Simón Bolívar repeatedly states his belief that South and Central America, on their way to liberation from Spanish rule, are not yet ready for a “Federal Republic” on the model of the United States to the north. With freedom from colonial power not yet won, it is difficult for him to say what form of government the huge landmass from Mexico to Patagonia should adopt once free to form a government or governments. But what is a “federal republic” and how does it differ from a Constitutional Republic, a Democratic Republic, a Parliamentary Republic or, for that matter, a “Banana Republic”? This course will trace the formation of governments in the early Americas, and the influence of Enlightenment philosophy on their founders’ design and implementation. The course will begin by studying a wide selection of influential Enlightenment philosophy, mainly Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Montesquieu, with particular emphasis on the notion of the nation-state and rulers. We will then build upon that foundation by closely reading notable biographies of Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, whose at times acrimonious debates laid the foundation for the Constitution of the United States of America. We will closely read that constitution and the Bill of Rights that informed it, as they are debated and revised prior to ratification. Slavery was of course the main bone of contention, but so was the creation of a central bank and a standing army. To better understand these heated exchanges, we will look at a number of pertinent essays from The Federalist Papers. Perhaps then we can begin to understand Bolívar’s reservations as to the feasibility of the Federal Republic for the southern hemisphere. Hence, the course now will return to Bolívar, and study the formation of nation-states to the south: Argentina and Peru, and their “founding father,” José de San Martín. Again we will read his biography and study the founding constitution of these states. Finally, in the same manner, we will explore the  “founding” of the Dominican Republic by Juan Pablo Duarte. In each case, we will frequently refer back to the Enlightenment philosophy that greatly influenced the ideas of these men. One notable surprise: the influence of women during this period. For each of these “founding fathers,” we will examine the growing body of scholarship on the women in their lives--their roles, their contributions, and their political tendencies (and oftentimes, their astuteness).

IAS A611 Race and Nation in the Americas Wednesday 7:30-9:10 Justin Williams

This course is an interdisciplinary survey of the legacies of trans-Atlantic slavery/settler colonialism and their roles in forming ideas about race, nation and citizenship across the Americas.  During the course, students will read theoretical, empirical and comparative texts on Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago, and the United States.  By the conclusion of the term, students will have a sense of the socially constructed nature of racial ideas, their historical evolution and diverse manifestations in different nation-building projects.


Spring 2018

IAS A70100  The Labor of Care (MA Capstone Seminar) Tuesday 5:30-7:10 p.m. Kathlene McDonald

Every year, millions of women leave economically challenged countries in the Americas for care jobs in the United States as nannies, domestic workers, and home health aides. This transfer of labor results in a care deficit in their home countries in order to ease a shortage of care workers in the US.  This capstone seminar will focus on this labor exchange, with an emphasis on home health workers, whose labor is becoming more and more necessary as life expectancy increases in the US and those with chronic illnesses and disabilities are living longer than in previous eras. The labor of home health care work has been at the crux of most major policy debates in the United States as of late, including immigration reform and affordable health care.  It has also been a central issue in labor organizing campaigns across the country.  This seminar brings together narrative inquiry and social science research to provide students opportunities to produce innovative interdisciplinary research projects that draw on multiple research methodologies.  The first part of the class will explore the flow of workers within the Americas and the role of carework in the global economy through readings in history, sociology, anthropology, and public policy.  In the middle part of the semester, students will be given an introduction to oral history methodology and will conduct two oral history interviews with care workers in the NYC area.  Ultimately, students will develop capstone projects that connect these interviews to course readings and themes and which could take the form of a research paper or a written or digital narrative (short story, documentary play scene, autoethnography, podcast, etc.).

IAS A5060 Latinos and Race Tuesday 7:30-9:10 p.m. Susanna Rosenbaum

This course explores constructions of race in the U.S. with a focus on “Latinos.” Seen as perpetual outsiders, those who would be defined by this term are not easily categorized: do they comprise a cultural, religious, racial, ethnic, linguistic, national group? To get at these questions, we begin with the historical and legal construction of whiteness and its “others.” We then explore how Latinos fit into the black-white racial binary—how are they situated and how do they situate themselves within this paradigm? Finally, we turn to emergent forms of racialization, honing in on language and immigration as newly defined sources of difference.

IAS A61160 Black Atlantic Cultures Thursday 5:30-7:10 p.m. Cheryl Sterling

African cultural forms have been preserved and transformed in radically new ways in the Black Atlantic. This course will explore the “roots” and “routes” of African cultural dynamics and their transformation through literature, religious rituals, and musical forms. First we will begin with an exploration of theoretical constructs that foreground ideas of diaspora, creolization, hybridity and the rhizome. We will then use these concepts to explore “Vodou” and the Haitian/Dominican Divide, Rastafari and Reggae in Jamaica, and Brazilian carnival and candomblé. We will conduct a series of critical readings and discussions of texts from different genres such as literature, film, and music, and use these texts to interrogate issues of race and representation in cultural forms.


Fall 2017

Graduate Research Methodologies, IAS A5010, Susanna Schaller

Childhood Poverty in the Americas, IAS A61130, Elizabeth Matthews

Dreams, Ethics, and Society in the Americas, IAS A 6115, Craig E. Stephenson


Spring 2017

Urban Sustainability and Neighborhood Change, IAS 5090, Susanna Schaller

Inventing the Americas, IAS 5000, Marlene Clark

Populism and Popular Culture in the Americas, IAS 6011, Carlos Aguasaco


FALL 2016

Graduate Research Methodology, IAS 50100, Justin Williams

Making Race in the 21st Century, IAS 50700, Susanna Rosenbaum

Religion in the Americas, IAS 60400 Martin Woessner

Crime Narratives of the Americas, IAS 5040 Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken


Spring 2016

Dictatorships in the Americas (MA Capstone Seminar), IAS A70100, Justin Williams

Latinos and Race, IAS A5060, Susanna Rosenbaum

Special Topic Series: Human Rights, IAS 5090, Danielle Zach

Witches, Masons, Slaves, and Revolutionaries, IAS 5000 Alessandra Benedicty-Kokken


Fall 2015

Inventing the Americas, IAS A5000, Alessandra Benedicty

Gender and Race in the Americas, IAS A6010, Susanna Rosenbaum

Gated Cities, Gated Communities, Gated Minds, IAS A6080, Susanna Schaller

Indigenous People and Human Rights, IAS A61120, Marcia Esparza, Professor of Sociology, John Jay College


Spring 2015

Graduate Research Methodology, IAS A5010, Karen Gregory, Title V Lecturer in Sociology

Critical Childhood and Youth Studies Across the Americas, IAS A6100, Wendy Lutrell, Professor or Urban Education, CUNY Graduate Center   

Race and Nation in the Americas, IAS A6111, Justin WIlliams

American Revolutions of the 20th Century (MA Capstone Seminar), IAS A7010, Marlene Clark, Mondays 5:30-7:10.


Fall 2014

Inventing the Americas, IAS A5000, Martin Woessner

Populism and Popular Culture in the Americas, IAS A6011, Carlos Aguasaco

Microfinance in the Americas, IAS A6100, Rosa Franco                                                                                                          


Spring 2014

Graduate Research Methodology, IAS A5010, Susanna Rosenbaum

Comparative Slaveries of the Americas, IAS A6020, Justin Williams, 

Slavery & Its Historical Legacy in the Film & Fiction of the Americas (MA Capstone Seminar), IAS A7010, Jerry Carlson                                                                                                                    


Fall 2103

Inventing the Americas, IAS A5000, Marlene Clark

Gated Cities, Gated Communities, Gated Minds, IAS A6080, Susanna Schaller

Labor Strategies in the Americas, IAS A6090, Ian MacDonald
 


Spring 2013

Graduate Research Methodology, IAS A5010, Justin Williams 

Society and Cultures of the Americas from the 19th to 21st Century, IAS A5020, Carlos Aguasaco

Race and Gender in the Americas, IAS A6010, Susanna Rosenbaum

MA Capstone Seminar: Poverty, IAS A7010, Alessandra Benedicty


Fall 2012

Geopolitics and Diplomacy Across the Americas, IAS A50300, Susanna Schaller

Religion in the Americas, IAS A60400 Martin Woessner

Musics of the Americas, IAS 60600, Antoni Piza