Fall 2020

Fall 2020

It's about Time

Daniel Sheehan, Halina Duraj

Time lies at the heart of the human condition and science’s description of the natural world. Nothing ’happens’ without it. Despite its seeming familiarity it remains elusive, mysterious, paradoxical in nature. This team-taught, upper-division honors class will explore the phenomenon of time through the lenses of literature and physics.

HNRS 322

Daniel Sheehan


HNRS 323

Halina Duraj


Queer Cinema and Theory

Ivan Ortiz, Martin Repinecz

This course will introduce students to queer cinema and theory in an international context. We will place foundational texts of queer theory in dialogue with a variety of historical and contemporary queer films in order to illuminate the reciprocal relationships between these two bodies of knowledge. Films and theoretical texts will represent a range of global perspectives in order to highlight the diversity of queer experiences in different historical moments and geographies. Such a scope will allow us to analyze the intersections between sexuality and race, gender, class, and nationality. At the same time, special attention will be given to the formal attributes of cinema as windows into queer representation. Major issues to be covered include: camp, affect, psychoanalysis, feminism, trans studies, genre studies, and critical race theory, among others. Some directors to be studied may include: Pedro Almodóvar, Alfred Hitchcock, Ang Lee, and Cheryl Dunye. Some theorists to be considered may include: Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Eve Sedgwick, and José Esteban Muñoz.

HNRS 360

Ivan Ortiz


HNRS 361

Martin Repinecz


Apocalypse Then and Now

Vidya Nadkarni, Kathryn Statler

With the Cold War’s end in 1989 and the Soviet collapse in late 1991, President George H.W. Bush announced a “new world order” underpinned by cooperation among the major powers. And yet, as early as 1993, President Clinton’s CIA nominee James Woolsey warned against emerging security threats to the United States, observing that “we have slain a large dragon, but we live now in a jungle filled with a bewildering variety of poisonous snakes. And in many ways, the dragon was easier to keep track of.” Military interventions during the Cold War occurred in contested areas all over the world as the United States and the Soviet Union jockeyed for power and influence. These interventions saw the interplay of both ideology and interests with complex geopolitical and strategic goals that often overlooked the national aspirations and needs of the target states, many of which were far more concerned with the process of decolonization than Cold War imperatives. Such interventions have continued during the post-Cold War period for humanitarian and economic reasons, to preserve geo-political dominance, and in order to combat the new menace of terrorism. In this class, we will explore whether we should miss the Cold War with respect to military intervention, weighing whether such interventions have been more, or less, complicated post Cold War. We begin with an examination of the origins both of the Cold War and of Islamic fundamentalist movements, focusing on case studies from the Cold War era (the Korean War, the Vietnam War) and post-Cold War U.S.-led interventions (Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria). We will alternate between interactive lectures (from two faculty members who will provide historical and political science perspectives), seminar-style discussions, and debates. Readings will be supplemented with documentaries and movies, as appropriate.

HNRS 336

Vidya Nadkarni


HNRS 337

Kathryn Statler