Spring 2009 Course Offerings

SHUM 4921 Music Industry and Society

(also MUSIC 4321, LATA 4291, ASRC 4521)
Spring.  4 credits.  
Limited to 15 students.  
M. Monestel.  
T 2:30 - 4:25 ADW 110.

This course will focus on contemporary popular music and its relations with the music industry and the market. However, it will also cover the historical development of different musical processes, different migration, political and social factors on the origins of the music. The course will explore concepts like standardization, cultural exchange, cultural industry and cultural identities in relation to different contextual frames in and out the USA.

Manuel Monestel studied Sociology and Arts at the University of Costa Rica and Popular Culture and Ethnomusicology at the State University of Bahia in Brazil. He has taught various courses and workshops like Ethnomusicology, Music and Cultural Industry, Music and Drama, Music and Dance and Music and Society at the University of Costa Rica and the Distance University of Costa Rica, and has been head of cultural departments and projects for various institutions such as the University for Peace, the National Counsel of University Principals and the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. He has published many articles in books (for example Regional Footprints, University of the West Indies, 2006, Nuestra Musica y Danzas Tradicionales, UNESCO, 2003), magazines (Popular Music, Oxford University Press, 1986) and newspapers and the book Ritmo Canción e Identidad: Una historia Sociocultural del Calypso Limonense (2003). A singer and composer of over 100 songs, he has studied, recorded and performed calypso music and other Caribbean styles in Costa Rica during the past three decades and has toured the Americas, Europe and Asia as leader of his band Cantoamerica, with La Orquesta de la Papaya and as a soloist. He is currently writing a book on Costa Rican popular music and is in the process of recording two new music albums.

SHUM 422 Ocean: The Sea in Human History

(also HIST 4922, ASIAN 4492) 
Spring.  4 credits.  
Limited to 15 students.  
E. Tagliacozzo.  
W 2:30 - 4:25 ADW 110.

This course looks at the oceans as a canvas for human history. The class moves through a number of different topics and rubrics in respect to the history of the sea (Ancient Seas, Routes, the Age of Discovery, Science of the Sea, and Whaling) before spending individual weeks on each of the world’s oceans (the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian Ocean, and the Polar Seas).

Eric Tagliacozzo is Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies at Cornell University. He is the author of Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States Along a Southeast Asian Frontier (Yale, 2005), which won the Harry J. Benda Prize from the Association of Asian Studies in 2007. He is also the editor or co-editor of three books due out in 2008/9: The Indonesia Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Duke University Press); Clio/Anthropos: Exploring the Boundaries Between History and Anthropology (Stanford University Press); and Southeast Asia and the Middle East: Islam, Movement, and the Longue Duree(also Stanford University Press, and Singapore University Press in Asia). His next book, The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca, will be published by Oxford University Press.

SHUM 4923 Renaissance Venice, Queen of Seas

(also COML 4923, ROMS 4923, ARTH 4923, MUSIC 4224, 
HIST 4923)
Spring.  4 credits.  
Limited to 15 students.  
W. Kennedy.  
T 12:20 - 2:15 ADW 110.

This interdisciplinary seminar will focus upon the social and economic history of the Venetian Republic; its cultural and educational institutions under the aegis of Renaissance Humanism; the evolution of its art, architecture, music, poetry, drama, and opera; and its unique contacts with the Islamic cultures of the Middle East, central Asia, and north Africa. Readings include texts by Italian historians such as Gasparo Contarini and Francesco Guicciardini, French authors such as Jean Bodin and Philippe Desportes, Turkish writers such as Mustafa Ali and Evilya Celabi, Venetian poets such as Gaspara Stampa and Veronica Franco, and English commentators such as William Shakespeare and Henry Blount, with consideration of paintings by Giovanni Bellini, Titian, and Tintoretto, and music by Adrian Willaert, Cipriano de Rore, and Claudio Monteverdi.

William J. Kennedy is Professor of Comparative Literature at Cornell University. He is the author of Rhetorical Norms in Renaissance Literature; Jacopo Sannazaro and the Uses of PastoralAuthorizing Petrarch; The Site of Petrarchism: Early Modern National Sentiment in Italy, France, and England ; and co-editor of Writing in the Disciplines. He is currently working on a book about figurations of economic transactions and exchanges in the literature of Renaissance Europe.

SHUM 4924 The Intertidal Zone

(also COML 4115, FREN 4924)
Spring.  4 credits.  
Limited to 15 students.   
F. Neyrat.  
R 2:30 - 4:25.

The purpose of this seminar consists in testing the concept of liquidation, in order to describe contemporary phenomena of transformation and destruction. We want to analyze the way in which an imaginary of liquids inhabits our representations, and to show the limits of these images by locating the existence of unscathed spacesand ontological cleavages which were not destroyed by the large modern process of destabilization of the world. We’ll propose an aesthetics of space that would make it possible to avoid the pitfall of solidity-without-fault and flat liquidity. We will insist on the concepts of limits, transitions and shorelines, in order to answer this ecological question: how to live in an intertidal zone? Course readings will include works of Bauman, Deleuze, Nancy, Heidegger, Sloterdijk, Serres, and others.

Frederic Neyrat is a French philosopher, former Program Director at the College International de Philosophie (2001-2007). He has published books on political imaginary (Fantasme de la communauté absolue, 2002), the function of the images (L’image hors-l’image, 2003), the globalization and the postmodern condition (Surexposés, 2005), Heidegger (L’indemne. Heidegger et la destruction du monde, 2008), ecopolitics (Biopolitique des catastrophes, 2008)

SHUM 4925 Rivers in Human Life and Death

(also HIST 4925)
Spring.  4 credits.  
Limited to 15 students.   
E. Baptist.   
M 2:30 - 4:25 ADW 110.

Throughout human history, rivers have served as both routes and markers, sources of both life and death, the valleys of civilization and the pathways of destruction, boundaries and pathways that break barriers. Novelists and historians have tried to probe their meanings, to search out the pathways by which they travel down to the sea, or to evoke the foreboding with which moderns traveled up their pathways into terras incognitas. Moving both chronologically and thematically, focusing on histories and novels, this course aims to explore the various ways in which rivers have shaped human life, society, and culture. We will also discuss the place of rivers in environmental history, looking at how they have fared in modernity—the Rhine, the Congo, and the Mississippi will be our major foci here.

Edward E. Baptist is Associate Professor in the Department of History at Cornell. He has published two books [Creating an Old South: Middle Florida’s Plantation Frontier Before the Civil War (Chapel Hill, 2002); and New Studies in the History of American Slavery (Athens, 2006), co-edited with Stephanie M. H. Camp] and various articles. He is currently writing a history of the expansion of slavery in the United States from the Constitution to the end of the U.S. Civil War.

SHUM 4926 Cross-Cultural Approaches to the Environment and the Animal

(also COML 4114.101, ASIAN 4488)
Spring.  4 credits.  
Limited to 15 students.  
C. Marran.  
R 12:20 - 2:15 ADW 110.

In this course we will explore the concept of “posthumanism,” asking along the way some fundamental questions about the role of culture in depicting a non-anthropocentric vision of the world. How have philosophers, novelists and filmmakers engaged the land, seas and animal in offering a “posthumanist” vision? What is the role that cultural difference plays in considerations and representations of the anthro/non-anthropocentric? What is the relevance of posthumanist thought to ecology? In pursuing these questions we will engage a variety of theoretical, literary, and film texts primarily from Japan, U.S and western Europe. They will include works by novelists Michiko Ishimure, Haruki Murakami, Miyazawa Kenji, and Rachel Carson; poets Kotaro Takamura and Denise Levertov; filmmakers Shohei Imamura, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, and Werner Herzog; and theorists Cary Wolfe, Derrida, and Akira Mizuta Lippit among others.

Christine Marran is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures at the University of Minnesota. She has most recently published a book on images of criminality and sexuality in modern Japanese culture (Poison Woman: Figuring Female Transgression in Modern Japanese Culture, Univ of Minnesota Press, 2007), and various articles on Japanese film and literature. She is currently writing a book on aesthetics and ecology in postwar Japanese literature and film.

SHUM 927 The Amistad Rebellion

(also ASRC 4927, AMST 4927, HIST 4927)
Spring.  4 credits.  
Limited to 15 students.   
M. Rediker. 
T 10:10 - 12:05 ADW 110.

This course explores a famous event in American and Atlantic maritime history: a successful rebellion waged by fifty-three enslaved Africans on a Spanish schooner called the Amistad that took place in 1839 and became, after a series of legal battles in Connecticut, a major event in the Atlantic-wide struggle against slavery. We will use primary sources to reconstruct the uprising at sea and to probe its causes and consequences, all set against a fiery backdrop of Atlantic slave revolt in the 1830s. We will use secondary sources to study the representations and interpretations of the event in both scholarship and popular culture, giving special attention to Steven Spielberg’s 1997 film, Amistad.

Marcus Rediker is Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh. He is author of five books including (with Peter Linebaugh) The Many-Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners, and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic (Beacon, 2000) and The Slave Ship: A Human History (Viking, 2007)

SHUM 6791 Acoustic Horizons

(also ENGL 6791, VISST 6791, COML 6791)
Spring. 4 credits.  
T, Murray,  
T 1:25 - 3:20 ADW 201. 

The course will explore the aesthetics and politics of sound along the artistic interface of cinema, video, installation, and new media art. From analysis of synchronization of sound and image in the talking movie to its disruption in experimental film, video, and narrative sound art, we will consider the prominence of sound as a carrier of gender, ethnic and cultural difference. We also will explore the theory of sound, from tracts on futurism, feminism, new music, and glitch, to more recent acoustic applications of eco-theory in which sound merges with discourses of water, air, wind and fire. In addition to studying a wide range of artistic production in audio, sound, new media and screen arts (Duras, Marker, Akerman, Cage, Cardiff, Jones, Viola, Out-of-Sync, Eno, Ikeda, Migone) and the corollary relation of the phenomenal growth of digital acoustic horizon in the Pacific Rim (Australia, Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea). We will discuss the dialogical impact of theoretical discussions of sound in psychoanalysis and aesthetics (Freud, Laplanche, Doane, Kristeva, Bonitzer, Barthes, Deleuze, DJ Spooky, Kahn). 

Tim Murray is Director of The Society for the Humanities and Professor of Comparative Literature and English. His areas of research include new media, film and video, and visual studies, as well as seventeenth-century studies and literary theory, with strong interests in philosophy and psychoanalysis. He is the founding Curator of The Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art in the Cornell Library, the Co-Curator of CTHEORY Multimedia, and curated the traveling exhibition, "Contact Zones: The Art of CD-Rom." He is the author of Digital Baroque: New Media Art and Cinematic Folds (2008); Zonas de Contacto: el arte en CD-Rom (1999); Drama Trauma: Specters of Race and Sexuality in Performance, Video, Art (1997); Like a Film: Ideological Fantasy on Screen, Camera, and Canvas (1993); Theatrical Legitimation: Allegories of Genius In XVIIth-Century England and France (1987). He is editor of Mimesis, Masochism & Mime: The Politics of Theatricality in Contemporary French Thought (1997) and, with Alan Smith, Repossessions: Psychoanalysis and the Phantasms of Early-Modern Culture (1997).