This course offers an introduction to Asian American studies centered on the issues of “race,” “privilege,” and “power” from the premise that multiple racial projects—including Orientalism, Islamophobia, anti-Black racism, and settler colonialism—contribute to Asian racial formation, and that warfare plays a central role in these projects. With a focus on militarism in the US, Asia, and the Pacific region, the class explores the intersections of race, Indigeneity, and class as well as possibilities for making connections across variegated groups. Exploring Asian Americanism through archives, personal narratives, and other texts, the course focuses on the role of history in producing current conditions and our understandings of them.
This course examines what makes certain spaces — a multi-ethnic suburb of Paris, a museum, or a building — more controversial or problematic than others. Students produce a body of journalistic work based on historical and archival research, interviews, investigation, and field work in Paris during spring break.
This course explores the use of sound in relation to moving images, including film scoring, musicals, soundtracks, music videos, and experimental sound and video art. Significant attention is devoted to digital technology and media soundscapes. Several questions are addressed in the course: How does sound reinforce regimes of audiovisual representation? How does it disrupt them? To what political ends do artists deploy sound, music, and noise? What role does technology play in their effectiveness? Screenings range from Hollywood blockbusters and immersive media to fine art, video games, and independent cinema.
This course introduces the media as an arena for anthropology by exploring how media texts and technologies are embedded in social forces and cultural values. The course reveals the assumptions about reality that frame representations of cultural difference and social inequality in documentary films, track the global circulation of mass media, and examines how indigenous societies have taken up media-making as a means of cultural production and politics. By studying media from anthropology’s comparative and ethnographic perspectives, students learn to identify and describe the diverse and potent relationships between media and social life.
This seminar offers students the opportunity to dig into readings treating American history during the early national period, roughly 1783-1820, when the ideals of the Revolution met the realities of statecraft, when the social institutions of British America were strained through a new national idiom, and when many important issues that would prove vital to subsequent American history were first raised. Participants in the course read and talk about Washington, Jefferson, and the like, but also people and groups who are less familiar.
This creative-collaborative assignment is meant to give students an opportunity to engage critically with visual art and explore the ways it has been put to use to both re-frame and re-conceptualize the Caribbean’s catastrophic history. By coming together around the work of one of the Caribbean artists recently featured in the Small Axe Visual Life of Catastrophe project, students are asked to think about limits and potentials of visualizing disaster through art. How might the visual arts help us see history with new eyes? In what ways do these artistic works call upon us to look at our present differently—perhaps, not just as a moment in time but as the remains of an unending catastrophe? How might both of these practices of seeing and looking compel us towards a new kind of response, a new notion of responsibility or, even, an ethics that is informed by the unimaginable atrocities that still haunt our everyday life?
In June and July 2016, students traveled to Athens and the island of Lesbos, notebooks and cameras in hand, to serve as eyewitnesses at a pivotal moment in world affairs. Their challenging assignment: Produce a compelling and rigorous first rough draft of history.
This course traces the intersecting discourses of race, nation, and disease throughout US history, examining various “living laboratories” or sites of state-sanctioned medical experimentation on populations such as Asian American, African American and Latinx, deemed to harbor disease.
Born in the late 1800s, the New Negro movement demanded political equality, desegregation, and an end to lynching, while also launching new forms of international Black cultural expression. The visionary modernity of its artists not only reimagined the history of the black diaspora by developing new artistic languages through travel, music, religion and poetry, but also shaped modernism as a whole in the 20th century. Incorporating field trips and sessions in the Princeton University Art Museum, this course explores Afro-modern forms of artistic expression from the late 19th-century into the mid-20th century.
The East Asian Studies department’s East Asian Humanities course expands upon a model developed four years ago. In collaboration with staff from the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, faculty members in the department continue to develop an online space that not only presents course materials but also allows students augment course readings with multimedia annotations of their own. Teams of students also developed digital projects such as timelines, interactive narratives, and digital maps.