SCCT Courses AY 19-20

CORE COURSES  - Spring 2020

SCCT 510: Problems in Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory
Politics of the Archive/s

Dr. Anita Huizar-Hernández, Spanish and Portuguese and Dr. Jamie A. Lee, School of Information

Tracing what's been called 'the archival turn' in a large number of disciplines, this graduate seminar centers the archive/s as both the conceptual 'archive' and the material 'archives' to make sense of the tension that arises within transdisciplinary deployments, translations, and interpretations of what might be considered 'archival.'  Drawing from a range of theoretical, methodological and analytic approaches to archive/s --from archival studies, the humanities, feminist and queer studies, and Latinx and Critical Indigenous studies --, we aim to explore together the seeming neutrality and simplicity of the archive/s in order to enact both a politics of recovery and an intervention into singular and dominant histories.  Through hands-on archival production and research, students will interrogate the archive/s through 1) the Colonial, 2) the Postcolonial, and 3) the Decolonial frameworks to study the material consequences of the political projects of archive/s, archiving, and remembering.



ENGL 515:  Marxism and the Critique of Modernity
Th 3:30-6 PM
Lee Medovoi

Capitalism, we are told, is the only viable framework we have ever developed for modern human life. It has steadily enveloped more of the world and insinuated itself ever more deeply into our everyday existence from the sixteenth century onward. And yet, capitalism has always been accompanied by a palpable sense of impending social, political, economic and environmental crisis. On what basis can we critically examine the forms of life and the historical trajectories of sociality, culture and subjectivity that capitalism continuously creates and recreates? This class will work through the Marxist tradition for approaching these questions. As arguably the richest and more sophisticated tradition of critical thought we have for thinking about capitalist modernity, marxist insights and approaches have been engaged by critical scholars working in disciplines across the humanities and social sciences. What are the marxist tradition's key strengths and weaknesses? Has marxism been thought and rethought as a means of investigating the predicaments of capitalist modernity?

We will begin with a detailed examination of Karl Marx’s own work, including his conceptions of historical materialism, the mode of production, capital and labor, the state and civil society, ideology, base and superstructure, the commodity-form, world history, alienation and expropriation. From there, we will skip ahead to various recent (i.e. late twentieth-century and early twenty-first century) revisions and challenges to his modes of analysis. Along the way we may explore marxism’s intersections with the study of race/racism, postcolonial theory, feminism, immaterial labor, art and culture, ideology/common sense, and nature/environment. Authors whose work we may read include Lous Althusser, Moishe Postone, Sylvia Federici, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Cedric Robinson, Etienne Balibar, Slavoj Zizek, Antonio Negri, Jason Moore, Frederic Jameson, Mark Fisher, and others.

ENGL 696E-003 : Rhetoric Within and Beyond Borders: Xicanisma, Indigeneity, and Livable Futures
Damián Baca
M 9:30 AM-12:00 PM

What happens to Rhetoric once we refuse the racially coded, pedagogically violent “From-Aristotle-to-the-Present” mythology still dominating our graduate seminars? What becomes of Composition when alphabetic script and White Settlers are no longer the unquestioned foundations for the history and theory of written communication? To account for these inquiries, we will advance a subaltern, third-space Xicanista border consciousness. This transgressive, post-Occidental analytic advances a necessary corrective to the field’s hegemonic macro-narratives still circulating through assessment, cultural rhetorics, first year composition, leadership, literacy, multimodal composition, research methods, rhetorical history, trans-languaging, and writing program administration. We will furthermore shift our attention to the survivors of colonial exploitation in order to 1) reveal the false universalism of Rhetoric and Composition, 2) interrogate why Hegelian Greek fantasies have become acceptable alternatives to a global diversity of expression, and 3) affirm a pluriverse of flourishing no longer b/ordered by geospatial and pedagogical manifestations of racialized / languaged / gendered colonial violence.

German 506: Decolonization
Weds. 4:00 to 6:30 pm
Prof. David J Gramling

In recent years, Germany and Austria have been the site of multiple, ongoing, local interventions with the goal of decolonizing literature, public institutions, education, language, art, urban space, and the prerogative to define Germanness. Black German feminist scholarship, in particular, has sought to move the agenda of Vergangenheitsbewältigung (overcoming the past) to deal more squarely with Germany’s colonial occupations in Africa and their contemporary repercussions, alongside its efforts to atone for National Socialism. In this research seminar, participants will engage interdisciplinarily with the broad agenda of decolonization (in curriculum, public works, education, literature, language, and research), drawing particularly on the work of Germanophone theorists, writers, and activists. For students who prefer to work in a research language other than German, alternative research readings can be agreed upon with the instructor before the beginning of the term (please contact in December). Final projects involving a range of potential formats, including translation, creative work, curriculum design materials, and theoretical / empirical research will be welcome. Authors considered in the course include: SchwarzRund, Saša Stanišić, Grada Kilomba, Oumar Diallo, Eva Bahl, Maisha Eggers, Eve Tuck, Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández, Hito Steyerl, Encarnación Gutiérrez-Rodríguez, Anibal Quijano, María Lugones, Sharon Dodua Otoo, Nelson Flores, Jonathan Rosa, Kien Nghi Ha, Fatima El-Tayeb, Theodor Michael, Fatma Aydemir, Hengameh Yaghoobifarah, Noah Sow, Natasha R. Kelly, and many more.

Note on language and interdisciplinarity

Any UA graduate student is welcome to join the course, if they have interest in Germanophone contexts. Ability to read / speak German is not necessarily a requirement; alternate readings can be found in consultation with the instructor. Students should expect to be able to do a final project that corresponds with their overall graduate research area. For those who do not read / speak German, it might be wise to contact the instructor during Winter Break to discuss alternate readings.

GWS/ARH 530: QUEER CINEMA Form & Fantasy
Dr. Eva Hayward (
Th 3:30-6:00PM Chavez 305

Fantasy is a fundamental human activity based on the capacity for imagining and imaging: for making images in one’s mind (imagining) and making images in material expressions (imaging) by various technical means that include, say, drawing and photography but also language and even one’s own body, for example, in performance. Psychoanalytic theory understands fantasy as a primary psychic activity, a creative activity that animates the imagination and produces imaginary scenes of scenarios in which the subject is protagonist or in some other way present—Teresa de Lauretis Signs, 1999.

Cinema has a privileged relationship with sexuality—fantasy, desire, and want shape how we watch film. Looking at cinematic form—narrative, editing, cinematography, mise-enscène, character and casting, lighting, and editing—this course asks how the work of sexuality is as much formal as it is content driven. In this way, queer is as much about the structure of films as it is about inclusion, visibility, or representation of LGBT characters. By rigorously re-working cinematic conventions through genre-confusion, non-narrativity, abstraction, discontinuity editing, and the foregrounding of the filmic apparatus, queer cinema resonates with queer theory’s commitments to desire, dis/identification, non-normativity, deconstruction, and anti-sociality. We will watch films by Kenneth Anger, Isaac Julien, Barbara Hammer, Nguyen Tan Hoang, Andy Warhol, Lourdes Portillo, Lizzie Borden, Marlon Riggs, and others.

In this course, we will reflect on the following questions, and more: What is the relationship between queerness and fantasy? What constitutes queer film, queer characters, and queer dis/pleasures? How might we (or can we) define, or conceptualize, a queer aesthetics? How is spectatorship shaped by sexuality, and how does queerness alter this relationship? Is there a cost to LGBTQ visibility through cinema, and if so, what is it? What are the limits of politics, and how can politics be a refusal of fantasy? How is queerness made un/legible through gender, race, sexuality, and nation, and ability? Is film inherently queer?