• This seminar focuses on art from the mid-1990s to the present. We will examine a wide range of practices and media (video, performance, photography, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and installation art) by prominent artists from diverse ethnic, cultural, and geographical backgrounds. Emphasis will be on artists from Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. In addition to aesthetic issues, we will explore themes of war, displacement, and exile; trauma, memory, and loss; colonialism and identity politics; the lure of spectacle; and the politics of journalism and narration.
  • This course will examine the history of immigration to the United States from the 18th century to the present. We will study the diverse experiences of immigrants to the U.S. from Africa, Asia, Central and Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. The concept of the United States as a melting pot that welcomes the downtrodden of the world has long been an integral component of our national identity. The conflict of whether to include or exclude various groups of people who wish to become part of American society, and in what numbers, in addition to competing beliefs about how immigration shapes our nation’s well-being are part of the drama that has been played out through the course of American history. With the objective of seeking to provide historical context to current debates on immigration reform, integration and citizenship, this course will address themes such as assimilation, gender differences, generational conflict, transnationalism, nativism and xenophobia, racialization and racism. This course will adopt a multi-disciplinary approach towards the history of U.S. immigration which will include the study of immigration law and legal cases, oral history, fiction and film, and both primary and secondary historical sources.

  • In this course we will examine, through viewing and discussing various animations, the development and relative popularity of animation in Asian countries, particularly in China and Japan. We will consider differences in political and social conditions that had an impact upon animation in these countries as well as influences from the west. The nature of animation before and after the Cultural Revolution in China will be addressed, noting the dominance of Japan’s animation production in more recent times. We will discuss the place of animation within the culture of post-war Japan and the shifting societal perspectives that affect the content and style of animation. Issues of identity, sexuality and gender within the Japanese anime subculture will also be explored.


  • La Serenissima, the Most Serene Republic – at the height of its power during the Renaissance, Venice developed its own distinct society, political system, religious traditions, and art. For centuries, numerous painters, sculptors, and architects contributed to Venice’s fame.In this course, we will examine the arts of Venice from about the 14th century through the 18th century. Emphasis will be placed upon great artists like Giovanni Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, and Veronese who developed a rich “colorist” approach to painting that rivaled the painting traditions of Florence. While many Venetian works are religious in subject matter, discussions will also concern mythological and pastoral traditions, portraits, landscapes, and, of course, fine examples of sculpture and architecture. The art will be studied within the context of Venice’s culture, addressing such topics as the impact of the various scuole upon the arts, the “myth of Venice,” and the influence of the theater.

  • In this course, we will examine the history of ceramics in China, Japan and Korea.We will study the simple to complex forms of Neolithic pottery produced by the Yangshao and Jomon cultures to refined examples of celadons from the Chinese Song and Korean Koryo Dynasties.Our concerns will range from an understanding of the elegantly defined Ming Dynasty porcelains and the market for them, to effects of sakui in the rustic Bizen tea ware of Momoyama period Japan.We will also consider how contemporary ceramists respond to tradition or experiment with technical innovations and new styles.Discussions will focus on examining historical contexts, materials and techniques, aesthetic concerns, and utilitarian to expressive, spiritual functions.

  • This course is a multidisciplinary study of the scholarship on women, with an introduction to feminist theory and methodology. As Maxine Hong Kingston explains, a woman warrior must “make (her) mind large, as the universe is large, so that there is room for paradoxes.” This course will explore the various paradoxes involved in constructing the concept of the woman warrior by looking at historical and contemporary experiences of women at the micro level (personal and individual), the meso level (community, neighborhood, etc.), the macro level (national), and the global level. We will examine representations of female identity in literary works such as Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior. In addition, we will look at imposed standards of beauty (i.e., foot-binding) and social codes of conduct that contribute to the formulation of the ideal female image. Specific attention will also be given to how the construction of the concept of the woman warrior intersects with nationality, race, class and sexuality.