Preliminary Syllabus

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Preliminary Syllabus Empty Preliminary Syllabus

Post by Yael on Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:22 pm


Summer 2018
Mon. 15.30-17.00
Social Studies (4 ECTS)
Tutorials: Weds. (per group)
Room 208
Dr. Yael Almog                                                                                                                                                               
Office Hours (by appointment): Mon. 14.30

This seminar seeks to engage students in policy issues raised by conscious political participation. This is an interdisciplinary seminar that offers subject-specific tools for identifying and analysing problems of global significance pertaining to four broad topics: Migration & Exile; Climate Change; Secularism and Religion; and Cultural Policy (public funding for the arts). We will review and discuss the issues through a number of lenses, including social theory, political philosophy, public debate and artistic expression. Since some participants arrive with basic background in social and political theory, while others have been exposed to more concrete dimensions of social studies, groups of students working together will be invited to relate differently to the materials provided and work together on presenting topics from various angles. For example, in considering the topic of migration, one person might emphasize Marxist and post-colonialist theory, another might analyse trends using empirical data, a third could analyse the work of journalistic photography and its effect, and a fourth might propose a close reading of a few passages from Edward Said’s Reflections on Exile. In addition to subject-specific materials, the instructor and guest experts will provide broad descriptive and normative frameworks concerning global geopolitics and global justice; dynamics of economic development; and international law.

There is no required textbook for this class. We will use the Reader and other sources and materials. Please note your email every week for special introductions and reading questions.

Participation. Both written reflection and conversation are essential elements in this class. You will be asked to write two brief reactions to the readings on the class’ electronic forum due the night before class at 20.00: a response to the text; and a short commentary on the response of another class member. Meaningful class participation is a subtle art of listening and speaking. Please listen to your teacher and to your peers, raise your hand to participate, and make your contributions relevant.
You will be asked to actively contribute to one group presentation that will provide the class with additional background and information on the respective theme. The group presentations are a central part of the course that will incorporate collaboration with peers and mentorship of the instructor.

Final Paper. Students will be asked to submit a final paper (8-10 pages long). The paper will engage with two of the texts discussed in class with use of three additional secondary sources on the topic.

* Please format all written work as 12pt, Times New Roman font, double-spaced. Please send all files as a word document. Be sure to include your name, date, the course name, as well as a subject heading. Citations should follow the Guidelines for Academic Writing.

You are expected to be present for every class, and be on time. If you must miss a class, please e-mail me as soon as possible (this includes Authorized Absences as described in the Student Handbook). Missing more than one class, or arriving late to class may affect your “participation” grade.

The final paper will be given a letter grade (A-F), based on the standard grading chart. The final grade will be calculated according to the following proportions:
Class participation and short responses (quality and quantity): 30%; Group presentation: 20%; Final Paper: 50%.

Migration, Exile, Citizenship
Week 1 (March 19)
Introduction; Hannah Arendt, “We, Refugees”
A key text on the cultural heritage of European Jews’ exile; the essay develops arguments seminal to Arendt’s scholarship which include her presentation of citizenship in European nation states as a precarious status
Week 2 (March 26)
Michael Fullilove, World Wide Webs: Diasporas and the International System
A sociological overview of emigration in a global age; depicts the distinction between migration and exile as volatile
Sandro Mezzadra, “The Right to Escape”
An intervention into left-wing strategies of supporting refugees that argues for the need to highlight refugees’ agency
Week 3 (April 9)
Ayelet Shahar, The Birthright Lottery
A case for revoking current laws that prioritize birthright in granting citizenship; presents as an alternative the consideration of social assimilation and contribution to society  
Week 4 (April 16)
Charles Taylor, A Secular Age
Depicts the notion of religious freedom and the right to avoid religious affiliation altogether as milestones of Western thought in modernity
Week 5 (April 23)
Gil Anidjar, “Secularism,” Critical Inquiry 33, no. 1 (Autumn 2006): 52-77.
Takes “secularism” to mask the dominance of the Christian tradition in shaping various cultural practices and world perceptions that are presented as religiously neutral; argues that the dissemination of this category shows Christianity to enhance its power
Week 6 (April 30)
Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety
An influential critique of feminist theory and liberal political thought that is based on ethnographic study of traditionalist Egyptian women
Climate Change
Week 7 (May 7)
Guest lecture: Climate Change – Current Concerns and Social Implications
Barrie Pittock, Climate Change: The Science, Impacts and Solutions (“Projecting the Future,” 43-58);
John T. Hardy, Climate Change: Causes, Effects, and Solutions (“Policy, Politics, and Economics of Climate Change,” 221-230).
Recent Empirical data concerning climate change and international treatises pertaining to its regulation
Week 8 (May 14)
Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything
An activist’s point of view on the acute need to regulate climate change; reflects on the failure to do so as ingrained in neo-liberal economies
Week 9 (May 25; *class is on Friday)
George Marshall, Don’t Even Think about It: Why our Brains are Wired to Ignore Climate Change
Offers sociological and psychological explanations for the overall tendency to ignore climate change or deny its existence; overlooking climate change despite its acute perils is linked to other cognitive lacunas of both individuals and societies  
Liberal Economy & the Arts
Week 10 (May 28)
Guest Lecture: State Subsidy for the Arts in Germany
Ronald Dworkin, “Can a Liberal State Support Art”?
A seminal essay that scrutinizes various philosophical arguments in favor of public funding for the arts; considers paternalism as inherent to the treatment of citizens in the sovereign state.
Week 11 (June 4)
Lambert Zuidervaart, Art in Public: Politics, Economics, and a Democratic Culture
A case for governmental funding for the arts that argues for the contribution of the arts to communication, social economy and democratic values
Week 12 (June 11)
Eitan Wilf, School for Cool: The Academic Jazz Program and the Paradox of Institutionalized Creativity
An anthropological and ethnographic perspective on the contradictions ingrained in institutionalized creativity; argues that the allocation of artistic training to institutions of higher education demonstrates the conundrum of artistic reproduction


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Join date : 2018-03-19

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Preliminary Syllabus Empty Re: Preliminary Syllabus

Post by Yael on Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:50 pm

Yael wrote:Week 10 (May 28)
Guest Lecture: State Subsidy for the Arts in Germany


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