Spring 2019 Course description


SCCT 500: Introduction to Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory
Monday, 5-7:30pm
Dr. Jill Koyama, Educational Policy Studies and Practice and Director of the Institute for LGBT Studies

This core course introduces students to classic and emergent intellectual theoretical frames through readings, writing, and discussions. It also explores how these theories are applied or enacted across multiple fields to address and study contemporary issues. Emphasis will be placed on theories that attend to the multiplicities or “mangle” (messy intersectionality) of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality. UA faculty who engage with particular theories will come to speak in the course in seminar style.


Anth/Hist 612   Anthropology of Modernity

Brian Silverstein
W  3:00-5:00

This seminar brings anthropological attention to bear on classic and more recent work identifying and analyzing characteristically modern and emergent social forms. After a review of the historical contingency of their emergence, we will examine the careers of these forms beyond their historical heartlands in a number of case studies from around the world; the relationship between them and colonial and imperial projects; their articulation with locales on various scales and their impact on the politics of self and community. In the process, the historical and cultural specificity of some of the central categories of social scientific analysis — often taken to be a-cultural or universal — like history, labor, society, economy, and the ‘human,’ as well as the ethical and political issues involved in such an inquiry, will be highlighted. Topics to be addressed include: capitalism; colonialism; race; nature; history; development; science and expertise; power and subjectivity; liberty; resistance; and human rights. 

(all except Mintz and Rosenthal available as ebooks through the UA Library)Chakrabarty, Dipesh. Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought & Historical Difference, 2nd ed. Princeton: Princeton U Press, 2007.
Escobar, Arturo. Designs for the Pluriverse: Radical Interdependence, Autonomy, and the Making of Worlds. Durham: Duke UP, 2017.
Ferguson, James. Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution. Duke U Press, 2015.
Hirschman, Albert. The Passions and the Interests: Political Arguments for Capitalism Before its Triumph. Princeton UP, 1997 [1977].
Li, Tania Murray. The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development and the Practice of Politics. Durham: Duke U Press, 2007.
Mintz, Sydney. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. NY: Penguin, 1985.
Mitchell, Timothy. Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity. Berkeley: UC Press, 2002.
Rosenthal, Caitlin. Accounting for Slavery: Masters and Management. Harvard U Press, 2018.
Tsing, Anna, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan and Nils Bubandt, eds. Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet: Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene. Minneapolis: U Minn Press, 2017.
White, Richard. The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires, and Republics in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815. New Ed. Cambridge: CUP, 2011 [1991].
Wolf, Eric. Europe and the People Without History. Berkeley: UC Press, 2010 [1982].

A few additional readings will be posted as PDFs, including writings by T. Asad; C. Tilly; and H. Blumenberg.

ENGL/LIS 544: Media Archaeology
Tuesday, 3:30-6pm|
Dr. Jennifer Jenkins, English

This course explores the moving image as evidence across the disciplines, from Film Studies to History to Anthropology, the Social Sciences, and the Humanities. The course breaks the semester into three successive parts: 1) Background: a survey of historical and contemporary media theory, moving image narrative, and basic film theory; 2) Methodologies: methods, materials, and approaches to researching moving image documents, including identification and use of technologies, descriptive metadata, primary and archival source materials, and oral history techniques; 3) Applied Practice: students will identify, research, and document an assigned film or films from local archival collections that relates to their topic area, thereby building skills in and methodologies of defining and determining visual media as evidence. The semester’s work will culminate in an in-house Media Archaeology symposium.    

I am expecting to co-convene with a parallel course at the Colegio de San Luis, in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. There will be opportunities for shared projects and collaborations as well as binational discussion of materials and methodologies.


GWS 696M: Gender, Sexuality and International Migration
Wednesday, 3:30-6pm
Dr. Eithne Luibheid, Gender and Women’s Studies

Focusing on contemporary migration across international borders, we explore how migration contributes to the production, contestation, and remaking of dominant gender and sexual norms as these articulate hierarchies of race, class, and geopolitics. We particularly examine how the selection, incorporation or “illegalization,” and governance of migrants provide occasions for contesting, renegotiating, or affirming dominant gender and sexual norms; how migrants contest multiple exclusions and refashion identities, communities, and politics through gender and sexuality; and how transnational social fields, grounded in histories of empire and global capitalism, shape and are reshaped by these processes. We link these changes to other kinds of flows across borders, including of capital, goods, information, images, and technology. Moreover, we historicize and critically interrogate the formation and function of nation-state borders in relation to the regulation of sexualities and genders at multiple scales. We also analyze the circulation, impact, and contestation of hegemonic discourses about gender and sexuality that affect migration possibilities and materially impact on migrants’ lives. We consider how these processes also implicate people who do not migrate but are nonetheless affected by the dynamics of transnational migration and its governance.

SPAN 571: Visual Culture, Performance, and Political Life in the Americas
Tuesday, 3:30-6pm
Dr. Kaitlin Murphy, Spanish and Portuguese and Chair of SCCT

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of visual and performance theory via examination of some of the foundational texts, tracing various genealogies of the field and considering links to various disciplines/modes of inquiry (anthropology, theater studies, dance studies, gender studies, critical race theory, psychoanalysis, etc.). Throughout, the course will introduce students to a range of contemporary artists and activists working in the Americas. Additional interrelated themes will include affect, human rights, memory, immigration and borders, power, resistance, and intersectional body politics.



SCCT 510-001...Cultures and spaces of Finance and Debt: A Long View of the Big Short

Marcia Klotz
Mark Kear
Tuesday 3:30-6:00

It has been ten years since the global financial crisis, but its effects remain all around us. Yet long before it first appeared on the horizon, Gilles Deleuze argued that the United States and other advanced capitalist states had become “societ[ies] of control,” where social order was produced not only through disciplinary institutions (prisons, factories, schools), but increasingly through relations of debt; in short, “encircled man [sic] has become indebted man.” The consequences of this shift have been profound, altering human spaces and architectures as well as our daily lives, our sense of the future, intimate relationships and subjectivities.
To analyze the origins and consequences of the neoliberal “financialization” of the economy, society and culture, this seminar adopts interdisciplinary methodologies drawn from geography, history, literary analysis and critical theory to track the changing role of debt, finance and money in shaping the human experience from the scale of the body to the scale of the globe. To help us along the way, we will explore the work of Giovanni Arrighi, David Harvey, Annie McClanahan, David Graeber, Karl Marx, Michel Foucault, Wendy Brown, Mary Poovey, Fred Moten, Maurizio Lazzarato, Randy Martin, Arjun Appadurai, and Greta Krippner, among others.
Students enrolled in this course will have the unique opportunity to present their work at the international Futures of Finance and Society conference to be held in Tucson in Fall of 2019, and meet eminent scholars from across the US and around the world.