Spring 2014 Courses
This schedule is subject to change. For the most accurate information concerning other programs and departments, consult the University Class Schedule online: www.bu.edu/studentlink, as well as each department’s own website. Graduate students may not take courses below the 500 level for credit.
CAS AM 502 – Special Topics in American Studies: The American Cultural Landscape. This interdisciplinary research seminar challenges students to interpret the built environment as evidence of human activity. Buildings, landscapes, transportation networks, and religious compounds are examined as carriers of historical and cultural meaning. The field’s historiography is also addressed. William D. Moore, Thursday 2:00pm – 5:00pm.
CAS AM 553 – Documenting Historic Buildings and Landscapes. A seminar designed to train students in architectural research techniques through supervised reading, fieldwork, and writing. Students are introduced to the skills needed to conduct research on both individual resources and groups of resources, clustered within an area or scattered throughout a community. Also offered as CAS AH 553 and MET UA 554. Claire W. Dempsey, Wednesday 10:00am – 1:00pm.
GRS AM 735 – Studies in American Culture. Introduction to handling of primary materials from a number of disciplines in order to develop an American Studies perspective. Required of all American Studies PhD students. Nina Silber, Wednesday 1:00pm-4:00pm.
African American Studies
CAS AA 580 – The History of Racial Thought. Study of racial thinking and feeling in Europe and the United States since the fifteenth century. Racial thinking in the context of Western encounters with non-European people and Jews; its relation to social, economic, cultural, and political trends. Also offered as CAS HI 580. Ronald Richardson, Wednesday 2:00pm – 5:00pm.
GRS AA 885 – History of the Atlantic World. Examines the various interactions that shaped the Atlantic World, connecting Europe, Africa, and the Americas between 1400 and 1800. Begins by defining the political interaction, then emphasizes cultural exchange, religious conversion, and the revolutionary era. Also offered as GRS HI 750. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered GRS HI 885. John Thornton, Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 – 11:00am.
CAS AR 577 – Pots and Pans. Exploration of the food cultures and technologies through material culture – pots, pans, and utensils. Course will range broadly across cultures, time, and space with emphasis on medieval and early modern times. Life histories of humble, overlooked, everyday objects associated with food preparation and consumption; kitchens from prehistory to the present; tradition and fashion in cooking & dining vessels; pots and cooking technology; pots as metaphors & symbols. Also offered as MET ML 621. Mary C. Beaudry, Monday 6:00pm – 9:00pm.
GRS AR 810 – International Heritage Management. Investigations of issues in archaeological heritage management at the international level. Approaches, challenges, and solutions to problems in the identification, evaluation, conservation, management, and interpretation of archaeological resources. Focus on specific topics (e.g. legislation) and/or geographical regions. Rafique Mughal, Wednesday 9:00am – noon.
CAS EN 546 – The Modern American Novel. From 1900 to 1950. Works by Dreiser, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and others. Susan Mizruchi, Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10:00am – 11:00am.
CAS EN 547 – Contemporary American Fiction. Study of major American novels since 1984, by De Lillo, Morrison, O’Brien, Oates, Roth, as well as Chang-rae Lee’s “Native Speaker”, Kim Desai’s “The Inheritance of Loss”, and others. Course topics include risk, multiculturalism, trauma, and memory, postmodern spiritualities. Susan Mizruchi, Monday/Wednesday/Friday 11:00am – noon.
CAS EN 594 – Studies in Literature and the Arts: Dark Dreams: The Cinema of David Lynch. Intensive study of David Lynch’s films, informed by readings in literature and Freudian psychoanalysis. Topics include: the logic of dreams, forms of evil, the death drive, and small-town America. Weekly screenings. Leland Monk, Tuesday/Thursday 3:30pm – 6:00pm.
GRS EN 741 – Money and Marriage in American Fiction 1796 – 1925. How has Americans’ understanding of marriage shaped and been shaped by the American novel? What are the implications for fiction of thinking about marriage as a contract, with contract’s requirements of consent, bargain, rights and obligations, its links to notions of autonomy and individualism, but also to commerce and commodification? How did historical events like the Revolution or the Civil War and Emancipation affect marriage? If marriage is “the structure that maintains the Structure,” then how has it carried, enforced, or challenged the values that characterized American culture at different historical moments? What is “the marriage plot” and how is it key to the novel’s development as a genre? What happens when a novel begins rather than ends with marriage? American literature is often imaged as centrally concerned with the self-creating individual defining himself in opposition to women, society and marriage; how then do novels that engage courtship, marriage, divorce, and adultery contribute to shaping the American literary tradition? How have American writers represented the Gilded Age marriage market and its paradoxical requirement that every participant be both commodity and consumer, purchaser and purchased? What happens when the woman has the money? Readings in law, economics, criticism. Authors include Foster, Phelps, Howells, Hopkins, Wharton, James, Fitzgerald. Laura Korobkin, Thursday 3:30 – 6:00pm.
GRS EN 786 – Transnational Modernism. Drawing on examples from literature, art, architecture, photography, and history, this course examines a series of intercultural dialogues and exchanges across national frontiers that shaped various traditions in American modernism. We begin by focusing on the effects of transatlantic migration, tourism, and expatriation in writings by Henry Adams, Henry James, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway. Next, we will adopt a comparative, hemispheric perspective, studying the dynamics of cross-racial exchange in fiction and poetry by Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, and Aimé Césaire, in order to trace the rise of black internationalism and flourishing of New World modernisms. Our final sessions will explore the significance of formative cultural crossings between Japan and the US in works by James Whistler, Kakuzo Okakura, Frank Lloyd Wright, Ezra Pound, Alfred Stieglitz, and others. Anita Patterson, Wednesday Noon – 2:30pm.
CAS HI 580 – The History of Racial Thought. Study of racial thinking and feeling in Europe and the United States since the fifteenth century. Racial thinking in the context of Western encounters with non-European people and Jews; its relation to social, economic, cultural, and political trends. Also offered as CAS AA 580. Ronald Richardson, Wednesday 2:00pm – 5:00pm.
GRS HI 706 – Intellectual History of the United States, 1900 to the Present. Investigates how American thinkers brought about an intellectual revolution in three challenging moments: the naturalist revolt in pragmatic philosophy and modern art; progressive liberals’ confrontations with radicalism and new conservatisms; and poststructuralists’ uncertain leap beyond modernist science, religion, and humanities. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered GRS HI 874. Charles Capper, Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10:00am – 11:00am.
GRS HI 750 – History of the Atlantic World. Examines the various interactions that shaped the Atlantic World, connecting Europe, Africa, and the Americas between 1400 and 1800. Begins by defining the political interaction, then emphasizes cultural exchange, religious conversion, and the revolutionary era. Also offered as GRS AA 885. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered GRS HI 885. John Thornton, Tuesday/Thursday 9:30 – 11:00am.
GRS HI 850 – American Historiography. Examines the methodological and professional development of American historians since the 1880s, changes in the field since the founding period, and new directions in U.S. history. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered GRS HI 750. Brendan McConville, Tuesday 3:00pm – 6:00pm.
GRS HI 859 – The United States as a World Power. Meets with CAS PO 578. The course material is organized along a debate format. Although the course is primarily concerned with twentieth-century U.S. foreign policy, attention is also given to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century issues. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered GRS HI 759. David A. Mayers, Monday 3:00pm – 6:00pm.
History of Art & Architecture
CAS AH 541 – African American Art. Studies African American art and craft production from the early nineteenth century to the present against the background of the diaspora, reconstruction, and the modernist movements of the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Patricia Hills, Monday 9:00am – noon.
GRS AH 782 – Colloquium on Nineteenth-Century Architecture. Dilemma of style in nineteenth-century architecture; study of the relationship of architectural theory to the changing philosophy and aesthetic theory of the period. Development of functionalist theory. Students must also attend CAS AH 382. Keith Morgan, Tuesday 10:00am – noon.
GRS AH 886 – Seminar: Visual Culture of Slavery and the Civil War. The seminar focuses on the visual culture of American slavery and the Civil War. Sources to be investigated include paintings, sculpture, book illustration, graphics in the illustrated weeklies, photography, exhibitions, and organized urban spectacles, with a focus on the structures, representations, and experiences of enslaved persons, politicians, soldiers, and women and children on the home front. Patricia Hills, Tuesday 2:00pm – 4:00pm.
GRS AH 895 – Seminar: Contemporary Art and Globalization. This seminar examines the ways in which cultural globalization has fundamentally altered the production and reception of art during the past three decades. Students will explore how artists have negotiated the space between local tradition and global exchange while working in multiple locations and participating in large-scale, international exhibitions. In addition to reading theories of globalization, the class will address the political and social realignments that took place after 1989, as today’s interconnected art world began to emerge. Gregory Williams, Monday noon – 2:00pm.
GRS SO 811 – Ethnic, Race, and Minority Relations. Formation and position of ethnic minorities in the United States, including cross-group comparisons from England, Africa, and other parts of the world. Readings and field experience. Ruha Benjamin, Monday 1:00pm – 4:00pm.