Print Options

Master of Arts Program in the Humanities

This is an archived copy of the 2023-2024 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, plesae visit


  • Hilary Strang, Associate Senior Instructional Professor, Humanities and Affiliate Faculty, Department of English, Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality


The Master of Arts Program in the Humanities (MAPH) is an intensive one-year interdisciplinary program leading to the A.M. degree. MAPH is designed to address the diverse needs and interests of intellectual generalists and specialists who may benefit from a year of intensive work in the humanities. Many MAPH students are recent college graduates. Others are professionals at mid-career, freelance writers, or performers. They hold undergraduate degrees from public and private institutions throughout the world in disciplines ranging from biology to English to marketing. Others come with extensive experience in non-academic fields, including independent film-making, politics, science, non-profit work, and business.

Many students in MAPH plan to continue their studies at the doctoral level in preparation for a career in teaching and research. For these students, MAPH provides an ideal setting for clarifying their academic and professional goals and offers a year of intensive preparation for competitive Ph.D. programs.

MAPH’s emphasis on critical writing, analytical thinking, scholarly research, and flexible cultural perspectives is invaluable for students interested in careers at cultural institutions, in publishing, journalism, business, politics, secondary and community college teaching, or the full spectrum of the nonprofit sector. 

Degree Requirements

Requirements for the degree include:

  • The fall quarter MAPH Core Course, Foundations of Interpretive Theory (known to MAPH students as “Core”). Core begins two weeks before regular University classes and covers seminal works by thinkers such as Freud, Lacan, and Marx. It is taught by the MAPH Director and includes guest lectures by Assistant Instructional Professors from different disciplines. The course is designed to give MAPH students a shared base for their further study.
  • Eight elective courses chosen from the Division of the Humanities, Social Sciences, or the other divisions and professional schools. The choice of these courses is left largely to the student, although a program of study will be designed in consultation with and approved by the student's preceptor and other faculty advisers. Some students concentrate their courses in one field of study; others take a wide-ranging variety of courses in multiple disciplines. Most programs of study fall somewhere in between these two extremes.
  • One elective may be devoted to a larger project. Some MAPH students choose a curricular option, such as a research seminar. Others opt to complete an MA thesis under the supervision of a UChicago faculty advisor. Some students write critical, scholarly papers for their thesis project while others produce a non-traditional or creative thesis accompanied by a critical piece of writing.

Two-Year Language Option

MAPH offers students the option to intensively study language over the course of two academic years and three summers through the Two-Year Language Option (TLO). TLO students complete the traditional MAPH curriculum during their first academic year but must also take one language course at the intermediate or advanced level each quarter. During the second year, students take nine courses, six of which must be continued language study. Students have the option to take courses through the Summer Language Institute or to study abroad for three summers -- the summer before the program begins, the summer between the first and second academic year, and the summer following the second academic year.   


Preceptors are Assistant Instructional Professors who oversee the progress of 10-12 MAPH students. Each student is assigned a preceptor for duration of their time in the program. In addition to serving as a general adviser, the preceptor leads small discussion groups in connection with the Core course and leads the winter and spring thesis workshops. Preceptors also teach graduate-level courses in the autumn, winter and spring quarters specially designed for MAPH students.


Applicants to MAPH must meet the general divisional requirements for admission and must submit a critical writing sample of no more than 15 pages. Students applying to the MAPH Creative Writing Option must also submit a substantial creative writing sample in their chosen genre (e.g., several poems, a short story, a chapter from a work of longer fiction in progress, a play, or a 10-15 page work of creative nonfiction). 

Information on how to apply

The application process for admission and financial aid for all graduate programs in the Humanities is administered through the divisional Office of the Dean of Students. The Application for Admission and Financial Aid, with instructions, deadlines, and department specific information is available online at:

Questions pertaining to admissions and aid should be directed to

International students must provide evidence of English proficiency by submitting scores from either the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Current minimum scores, etc., are provided with the application. For more information, please see the Office of International Affairs website at, or call them at (773) 702-7752.

Contact Information
(773) 834-1201

MAPH Courses

MAPH 30100. Foundations of Interpretive Theory. 100 Units.

The MAPH Core Course, Foundations of Interpretive Theory, begins two weeks before regular University classes and covers seminal works by thinkers such as Freud, Lacan, and Marx. It is taught by the MAPH Director and Preceptors and may include guest lectures by distinguished faculty members from different disciplines. The course is designed to give MAPH students a shared base for their further study.

Instructor(s): Strang, Hilary Bayne, Rowan Carloy, Chris Chia, Darrel Hutchison, Bill Kunjummen, Sarah Malinowska, Agnes Schweiger, Tristan Tusler, Megan
Note(s): Required for MAPH students. Others by consent only. Register by Preceptor Section.
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 34100

MAPH 30200. Thesis Writing Workshop A. 000 Units.

MAPH students begin work on their MA thesis.

Terms Offered: Autumn Spring Summer Winter

MAPH 30400. Thesis Writing Workshop B. 100 Units.

MAPH students complete their MA thesis.

Terms Offered: Autumn Spring Summer Winter

MAPH 30300. Prep of M.A. Thesis: MAPH. 100 Units.

Preparation of MA thesis is a course only offered if a student has a special research component related to the thesis. It is very rarely used and there is no standing course description because it will vary with the student.

MAPH 30677. Topics in EALC: Race, Media, and Translingual Practice. 100 Units.

In this class, we will discuss the role that comparison plays as a key method for studying East Asian cultures. We will explore ways of making comparison and reflect on our own habits of comparative thinking. What is comparable and what is not? How can comparison reveal otherwise hidden connections? How might comparison inflict violence on the subjects that we study? How can we compare responsibly, sensitively, and creatively? We will focus on three themes: race, media, and language. We will explore how their interconnections present new opportunities and challenges for comparative thinking when studying Japan, Korea, and China from a global perspective. In lieu of a final paper, each student will develop a critical reflection journal responding to these questions by examining selected cases in a medium of choice (such as handwritten pages, podcast, short film, blog, poetry). All classes will be divided into seminar sessions and workshop sessions. In a seminar session, we will discuss a selection of literary materials, films, and recent theoretical texts produced in interdisciplinary fields including cultural studies, media studies, and postcolonial studies in East Asian contexts in the premodern and modern eras. In a workshop session, we will discuss new portions of students' journal-in-progress (which will be circulated beforehand). The goal is to help each student develop and modify their own approach to drawing insightful comparison.

Instructor(s): Y. Zheng     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 10677, EALC 30677, EALC 10677

MAPH 31414. MAPH Core Course: Contemporary Analytic Philosophy. 100 Units.

This course is designed to provide MAPH students - especially those interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Philosophy - with an introduction to some recent debates between philosophers working in the analytic tradition. The course is, however, neither a history of analytic philosophy nor an overview of the discipline as it currently stands. The point of the course is primarily to introduce the distinctive style and method - or styles and methods - of philosophizing in the analytic tradition, through brief explorations of some currently hotly debated topics in the field.

Instructor(s): Thomas Pashby     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): This course is open only to MAPH students. MAPH students who wish to apply to Ph.D. programs in Philosophy are strongly urged to take this course.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 31414

MAPH 32301. Digital Geographies of Climate Justice. 100 Units.

Struggles for climate and environmental justice are increasingly mediated by digital technologies and geospatial data, especially in the Global South. In Amazonia, for example, the plight of indigenous groups bearing the brunt of ecological dispossession and political violence by deforestation is frequently represented through remotely-sensed data showing time-series of canopy loss; in turn, these data are often prompted, groundtruthed, and mobilized by indigenous communities and affiliated activists in legal and political campaigns. In parallel, across the world ocean, countries across the Global South- from Papua New Guinea and Ecuador to Ghana- are partnering with watch-dog organizations using satellite imagery and GPS data to track illegal fishing and human rights abuses at sea, acting as an auxilliary ecological police force to identify and provide data to prosecute offending vessels. The proliferation of these digital geographic technologies and techniques pose a number of complex questions. Drawing on contemporary cases, experimental projects in "forensic" approaches to activism, and recent work in critical geography, aesthetics, STS, and political theory, this seminar will attempt to map out these digital geographies of climate justice as they emerge. The course will also involve introduction to entry-level remote sensing + GIS workflows (no prior experience required) in a pair of intensive workshops led by guest lecturers/practitioners.

Instructor(s): Alexander Arroyo     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Undergraduate/Graduate Course - only open to 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students. This course counts toward the 4th year ENST capstone requirement.
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 22301, CEGU 32301, CEGU 22301, GLST 29301

MAPH 32819. Philosophy of Education. 100 Units.

What are the aims of education? Are they what they should be, for purposes of cultivating flourishing citizens of a liberal democracy? What are the biggest challenges-philosophical, political, cultural, and ethical-confronting educators today, in the U.S. and across the globe? How can philosophy help address these? In dealing with such questions, this course will provide an introductory overview of both the philosophy of education and various educational programs in philosophy, critically surveying a few of the leading ways in which philosophers past and present have framed the aims of education and the educational significance of philosophy. From Plato to the present, philosophers have contributed to articulating the aims of education and developing curricula to be used in various educational contexts, for diverse groups and educational levels. This course will draw on both classic and contemporary works, but considerable attention will be devoted to the work and legacy of philosopher/educator John Dewey, a founding figure at the University of Chicago and a crucial resource for educators concerned with cultivating critical thinking, creativity, character, and ethical reflection. The course will also feature field trips, distinguished guest speakers, and opportunities for experiential learning. (A) (B)

Instructor(s): Bart Schultz     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 22819, PHIL 22819, CHDV 22819, EDSO 22819

MAPH 32840. Knowing the Good. 100 Units.

In this class we'll think about a family of problems that arise concerning moral knowledge. What is the nature of the connection - if indeed there is one - between knowing what you ought to do and actually doing it? Is moral knowledge sufficient, or necessary, for virtue? Was Socrates right to think that weakness of will ('akrasia') is impossible? How is moral knowledge acquired, and how can it be passed on between people? Are there such things as moral experts, and if so, should we defer to their judgments concerning what we ought to do? To support our thought about these topics, we'll read a range of texts from throughout the history of philosophy, beginning with Plato and continuing to authors from the present day.

Instructor(s): Claire Kirwin     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 22840, PHIL 32840

MAPH 33000. Methods and Issues in Cinema Studies. 100 Units.

This course offers an introduction to ways of reading, writing on, and teaching film. The focus of discussion will range from methods of close analysis and basic concepts of film form, technique and style; through industrial/critical categories of genre and authorship (studios, stars, directors); through aspects of the cinema as a social institution, psycho-sexual apparatus and cultural practice; to the relationship between filmic texts and the historical horizon of production and reception. Films discussed will include works by Griffith, Lang, Hitchcock, Deren, Godard.

Instructor(s): S. Skvirsky     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 48000, CMST 40000, ARTH 39900

MAPH 33600. History of International Cinema I: Silent Era. 100 Units.

This course provides a survey of the history of cinema from its emergence in the mid-1890s to the transition to sound in the late 1920s. We will examine the cinema as a set of aesthetic, social, technological, national, cultural, and industrial practices as they were exercised and developed during this 30-year span. Especially important for our examination will be the exchange of film techniques, practices, and cultures in an international context. We will also pursue questions related to the historiography of the cinema, and examine early attempts to theorize and account for the cinema as an artistic and social phenomenon.

Instructor(s): Allyson Field     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Prior or concurrent registration in CMST 10100 is required. Course is required for students majoring or minoring in Cinema and Media Studies.
Note(s): For students majoring in Cinema and Media Studies, the entire History of International Cinema three-course sequence must be taken.
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 48500, ARTV 20002, ENGL 29300, ARTH 28500, CMLT 32400, CMST 28500, ENGL 48700, MAAD 18500, ARTH 38500, CMLT 22400

MAPH 33700. History of International Cinema II: Sound Era to 1960. 100 Units.

The center of this course is film style, from the classical scene breakdown to the introduction of deep focus, stylistic experimentation, and technical innovation (sound, wide screen, location shooting). The development of a film culture is also discussed. Texts include Thompson and Bordwell's Film History: An Introduction; and works by Bazin, Belton, Sitney, and Godard. Screenings include films by Hitchcock, Welles, Rossellini, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni, and Renoir.

Instructor(s): James Lastra     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Prior or concurrent registration in CMST 10100 required. Required of students majoring or minoring in Cinema and Media Studies.
Note(s): CMST 28500/48500 strongly recommended
Equivalent Course(s): MAAD 18600, ARTH 38600, CMLT 32500, REES 25005, ENGL 48900, REES 45005, ENGL 29600, ARTV 20003, CMST 48600, ARTH 28600, CMST 28600, CMLT 22500

MAPH 34325. Religion and politics in a post-secular age. 100 Units.

The confluence and discord between religious freedom, religious institutions, and the state drives many contemporary human rights challenges. This course examines the impact of religion and secularism on global topics from constitutionalism to nationalism to development. It will also consider the impact of religion and religiosity on multiple policy domains, including social issues, the welfare state, and foreign policy. Course discussions will include multiple traditions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and atheism. Our overall goal is to improve students' ability to recognize the historic and cultural contexts at work in debates about religion, secularism, and political issues. Students will analyze and discuss academic work studying the impact of religious belief on policy preferences and of state policies on religious behavior. They will also apply the course material to contemporary issues in (religious and secularism) politics.

Instructor(s): Hannah Ridge, Pozen Center for Human Rights Social Science Teaching Fellow     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 34325, RLST 28025, HMRT 24325

MAPH 34516. 1990s Videogame History. 100 Units.

This course will trace developments in the videogame medium and videogame cultures in the final decade of the 20th century, discuss the unique possibilities and difficulties arising from the study of recent history, and put these discussions into practice through research-based assignments. Questions that will guide our study include: what was the relationship between technological innovations and stylistic changes in the videogame medium? How did the entry of new corporate and creative players into the business affect industrial structures and strategies? What do we make of "freedom," "realism," and other concepts that dominated videogame press coverage - and how were they connected to broader cultural discourses? How did understandings of what it meant to play videogames, and the types of experiences that videogames could offer, change over the course of the decade? What was the relationship between developments in the videogame medium and other media - from film and fiction to virtual reality and the Internet? How has this decade been remembered, conceptualized, preserved, and repackaged in subsequent decades?

Instructor(s): Chris Carloy     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CMST 37867, CMST 27867, MAAD 15416

MAPH 34800. Poetics. 100 Units.

In this course, we will study poetry 'in the abstract'. We will study various efforts on the part of philosophers, literary critics, and poets themselves to formulate theories of poetic discourse. We will examine a range of historical attempts to conceptualize poetry as a particular kind of language practice, from Greek, Chinese, and Indic antiquity to the present. (18th/19th, 20th/21st)

Instructor(s): TBD     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 34801, ENGL 34800

MAPH 34960. California Fictions: Literature and Cinema 1945-2018. 100 Units.

This course will consider works of literature and cinema from 1884-2018 that take place in Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and rural California to offer a case study for everyday life and critical space theory. Beginning with Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona and ending with Boots Riley's Sorry to Bother you, we will also consider how "the west" provides an opportunity for reconsidering canon formation and genre. (20th/21st)

Instructor(s): Megan Tusler     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Open to MAPH students: 3rd and 4th years in the College email 2-3 sentences about why you want to take the course for consent.
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 34960, ENGL 24960

MAPH 37817. Sonic the Hedgehog. 100 Units.

In this course, we will use a single franchise - Sonic the Hedgehog - as an access point to study media history, aesthetics, social and cultural practice, and the relationships between games, film, and other artforms. Originally released in 1991 for Sega's Genesis console, the Sonic series has spawned over three decades of games, cartoons, manga, novels, films, music, board games, action figures, fan art, cosplay, and merchandizing. Both the volume and the variety of these texts allow the Sonic corpus to be a focal point for questions with broader stakes for the study of games and media in general. Some of the questions we will be considering in this course include: What has been the relationship between particular videogame characters and franchises and the business practices and strategies of entertainment industries? What form does stardom take in the world of digital games, and is it an appropriate concept to apply to a mascot like Sonic? How have established game franchises responded to major technological and aesthetic shifts in the medium? How might we understand the concept and practice of adaptation as applied to the digital games, and what does it reveal about the medium specificity of and the relationship between games, film, comics, novels, and other forms? What can a game franchise that has taken a wide variety of generic forms (platforming, racing, fighting, and pinball, to name just a few) tell us about how genre works as concept and system in digital games?

Instructor(s): Chris Carloy     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): MAAD 17817, CMST 37817, CMST 27817

MAPH 39800. Approaches To Art History. 100 Units.

This seminar will examine a range of methodological approaches to doing the work of art history. Through close reading of key texts, we will interrogate how various authors have constructed novel ways of seeing and understanding visual and material objects. Crucially, this course doesn't assume "theory" or "methodology" to be a set of texts we use to explicate or read works of art in specific ways. Rather, we investigate how each of our authors forges new concepts in response to an object's specific exigencies. Students need not self-identify as art historians to enroll in this seminar-it will be helpful for all students who want to think deeply and in self-reflexive ways about their own approaches to visual and material objects (still or moving images, sculpture, performance, architecture, etc.), particularly if those objects feel genre-bending, difficult to theorize, or recalcitrant in any way.

Instructor(s): Pires, Leah     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open to MAPH students concentrating in Art History. Others by consent only.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 39800

MAPH 39900. Independent Study: MAPH. 100 Units.

Independent reading and research course; regular meetings with a faculty supervisor required.

MAPH 39943. Diasporic Narratives and Memories. 100 Units.

Of the many emigrant communities in Chicago, Belarusians are the only group that does not yet have its own museum. Our course takes this lack as an opportunity to provide training for students to create a grassroots community-driven initiative that empirically develops a conceptual foundation for a new type of multi-ethnic museum of emigration, one informed by the experiences of community members themselves and their relationship to the artifacts that define their identities and memories. This course allows students to actively participate in a museum creation project which takes as its point of departure not a nation-state narrative, but the everyday life of a multi-ethnic community with the goal of informing research, policy, and public discourse about emigration. We center our course around the material heritage of Belarussia and its dispersal in emigration. We analyze how a diasporic museum's main role is to collect, protect and curate the material legacy of the Belarussian community to ensure its future stability. The course participants collaborate with the Chicago Studies Program, the NGO Belarusians in Chicago, and the Chicago History Museum to study the role of artifacts in museums. The students conduct the field work about multi-ethnic Belarusian emigration to include experiences of Belarusian Jews, Belarusian Russians, Belarusian Lithuanians, Belarusian Tatars, and other groups from Belarus.

Instructor(s): Olga Solovieva and Bozena Shallcross
Equivalent Course(s): CRES 29943, BPRO 29943, CHST 29943, KNOW 29943, CMLT 29943, HIPS 26943, REES 29950

MAPH 40130. Gender, Capital, and Desire: Jane Austen and Critical Interpretation. 100 Units.

Today, Jane Austen is one of the most famous (perhaps the most famous), most widely read, and most beloved of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British novelists. In the 200 years since her authorial career, her novels have spawned countless imitations, homages, parodies, films, and miniseries - not to mention a thriving "Janeite" fan culture. For just as long, her novels have been the objects of sustained attention by literary critics, theorists, and historians. For example, feminist scholars have long been fascinated by Austen for her treatments of feminine agency, sociality, and desire. Marxists read her novels for the light they shed on an emergent bourgeoisie on the eve of industrialization. And students of the "rise of the novel" in English are often drawn to Austen as an innovator of new styles of narration and a visionary as to the potentials of the form. This course will offer an in-depth examination of Austen, her literary corpus, and her cultural reception as well as a graduate-level introduction to several important schools of critical and theoretical methodology. We will read all six of Austen's completed novels in addition to criticism spanning feminism, historicism, Marxism, queer studies, postcolonialism, and psychoanalysis. Readings may include pieces by Sara Ahmed, Frances Ferguson, William Galperin, Deidre Lynch, D.A. Miller, Edward Said, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, and Raymond Williams. (18th/19th)

Instructor(s): Tristan Schweiger     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Open to 3rd and 4th years with consent of the instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 41303, ENGL 41360, GNSE 21303, ENGL 21360

MAPH 40150. American Literature and Photography. 100 Units.

This class considers how photographic techniques spurred new literary methods. We'll discuss how visual media impact the development of forms, methods, and genres of literature, and how pictures and novels can be read together. Students will learn how to consider the visual register in novels, and how the drive to make fiction "real," or "photographic," helps to shed light on many attendant issues - the question of evidence, the problem of reliability, the terms of objectivity. We will discuss the drive to narrate real events in photographic and literary terms, and the limits of representation. Furthermore, we will think carefully about how discourses of race and poverty are imbricated with the development of photographic technologies and methods, and how racial groups such as American Indians are invented and reinvented in the advent of the mobile camera. Primary texts include fiction by Stephen Crane, Ella Cara Deloria, and Ralph Ellison and secondary texts include works from Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Judith Butler, Susan Sontag, and Gerald Vizenor.

Instructor(s): Megan Tusler     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Instructor consent required for undergraduates.
Equivalent Course(s): AMER 40150, AMER 25150, ENGL 26150, ENGL 45150

MAPH 40180. Women Writing God. 100 Units.

This course examines imaginative works by women that take on the task of representing divine or supernatural being from the medieval era to the present. Drawing on the work of critics such as Luce Irigaray, Caroline Walker Bynum, and Judith Butler, we explore what strategies these writers employ to depict an entity simultaneously understood to be unrepresentable and to have a masculine image. Texts range from premodern mystics such as Julian of Norwich and Teresa of Avila to Octavia Butler's Parable of the Sower. (Med/Ren)

Instructor(s): Sarah Kunjummen     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Instructor consent required for first and second year undergraduates.
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 20180, GNSE 25180, GNSE 45180, ENGL 40180

MAPH 40182. Early Modern Loss and Longing. 100 Units.

This course examines depictions of early modern desire and loss in genres including the essay, lyric, drama and fiction. The class will also have substantial engagement with affect theory as well as period theorizations (Neoplatonic accounts of desire, humoral accounts of melancholy, etc.) (Med/Ren, 18th/19th).

Instructor(s): Sarah Kunjummen     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 20182, GNSE 22182, GNSE 42182, ENGL 40182

MAPH 40202. Postcolonial Bildungsroman. 100 Units.

In this course, we consider the novel of subject formation in the twentieth-century, with a particular emphasis on postcolonial adaptations of this form. We examine how different instances of the genre play across tropes of aesthetic education, self-making, and nation-building. Readings will likely include Conrad's Lord Jim, E.M. Forster's A Passage to India, Olive Schreiner's Story of an African Farm, and Tsitsi Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions, as well as key critical pieces by Mikhail Bakhtin, Marc Redfield, and Jed Esty, among others.

Instructor(s): Darrel Chia     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 21212, ENGL 40202

MAPH 40464. The Lives of Others. 100 Units.

How much can you ever really know someone else? In this course, we take up the inscrutability of others through a range of narratives about - politically, socially, and geographically - distant others from the early 20th century. Texts include fiction, documentary film, and critical theory around transnationalism, contact zones and ethnography).  Some of these texts meditate on the general problem of living with others. Others take on the limits of empathy, access, and friendship whether explicitly or in their formal arrangement. Specifically, we focus on works that engage with an ethics or "work on the self" as a preliminary to having knowledge of others. We will be guided by primary readings that likely include Claude Levi-Strauss, Kazuo Ishiguro, Werner Herzog, Maggie Nelson, Amitav Ghosh, and J.M. Coetzee. (20th/21st)

Instructor(s): Darrel Chia     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 40464, ENGL 20464

MAPH 40565. Postcolonial Aesthetics. 100 Units.

What do we mean by the "postcolonial aesthetic"? In this course, we read and think through the literary and conceptual resources that might help us reconstruct this notion - from Deepika Bahri, to Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin. Our goal is to attend to "the aesthetic" as an experience that reshapes subjectivity in terms of our relation to ourselves and others. By engaging with twentieth-century novels, memoir, and film, we consider how this postcolonial aesthetic might function. What habituated forms of perception or common sense notions does it seek to interrupt? What ways of sensing and living does it offer? Readings will likely include Ashis Nandy, Deepika Bahri, Theodor Adorno, Derek Walcott, Frantz Fanon, Arundhati Roy, and Jean Rhys. (20th/21st)

Instructor(s): Darrel Chia     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 20565, ENGL 40565

MAPH 41300. Our biopolitics, ourselves: feminist science fiction. 100 Units.

What could a feminist utopia be? What is it like to encounter the kind of difference in living relations that gender utopianism offers? This class enters into those urgent questions by way of a serious engagement with the feminist science fiction of the 1970s. 1970s feminist theory made a significant conceptual move in provisionally bracketing off biological sex from the historical/cultural work of gender. Feminist science fiction (in contrast), in its brief flourishing in the 70s, finds many of its utopian moments in the biological, in genetic manipulation, reproductive technology, ecological forms of being, shared affects, new bodies, and transformed kinship relations. Readings will be from 1970s feminisms, contemporary theory (including biopolitical theory, new materialisms, gender and race theory), and as much science fiction as possible. SF authors include Le Guin, Russ, Butler, Piercy.

Instructor(s): Hilary Strang     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 21310, ENGL 41310, GNSE 21310, GNSE 41300

MAPH 41370. Ships, Tyrants, and Mutineers. 100 Units.

Since the Renaissance beginnings of the "age of sail," the ship has been one of literature's most contested, exciting, fraught, and ominous concepts. Ships are, on the one hand, globe-traversing spaces of alterity and possibility that offer freedom from the repression of land-based systems of power. And they are Michel Foucault's example of the heterotopia par excellence. From Lord Byron to Herman Melville to Anita Loos, the ship has been conceived as a site of queerness and one that puts great pressure on normative constructions of gender. At the same time, the ship has been a primary mechanism for the brutality of empire and hegemony of capital, the conduit by which vast wealth has been expropriated from the colony, military domination projected around the world, and millions of people kidnapped and enslaved. Indeed, the horror of the "Middle Passage" of the Atlantic slave trade has been a major focus of inquiry for theorists like Paul Gilroy and Hortense Spillers, interrogating how concepts of racial identity and structures of racism emerge out of oceanic violence. In the 20th and 21st centuries, science-fiction writers have sent ships deep into outer space, reimagining human social relations and even humans-as-species navigating the stars. While focusing on the Enlightenment and 19th century, we will examine literary and filmic texts through the present that have centered on the ship, as well as theoretical texts that will help us to deepen our inquiries. (18th/19th)

Instructor(s): Tristan Schweiger     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Open to open to 3rd and 4th years.
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 21370, ENGL 41370, GNSE 21370, GNSE 41370

MAPH 41400. Futures Other Than Ours: Science Fiction and Utopia. 100 Units.

Science fiction is often mistaken for a variety of futurism, extrapolating what lies ahead. This class will consider what kind of relationship science fiction might have to the future other than prediction, anticipation, optimism or pessimism. How might science fiction enable thinking or imaging futures in modes other than those available to liberalism (progress, reproduction, generation) or neoliberalism (speculation, anticipation, investment)? This class asks how science fiction constitutes its horizons, where and how difference emerges in utopias, and what it might be to live in a future that isn't ours. Readings may include SF works by Delany, Le Guin, Russ, Butler, Robinson, Banks, Ryman, Jones; theoretical and critical readings by Bloch, Jameson, Suvin, Munoz, Murphy, and others.

Instructor(s): Hilary Strang     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Email the instructor directly for consent.
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 41420, ENGL 21420

MAPH 41600. American Muckrakers: The Literature of Exposé, 1900/2000. 100 Units.

This seminar examines the genre of American "muckraking," a form of journalism and fiction intended to expose social and economic injustices. We attend, in particular, to writers active in the years surrounding 1900, when muckraking narratives enjoyed great social influence, and then turn to the new crop of prominent muckrakers that emerged around 2000. In coining the term "muck-rake" in a 1906 speech, President Theodore Roosevelt linked the genre's aesthetic deficiencies to a potentially dangerous political impact: Its tendency towards "hysteric sensationalism" threatened to provoke a "morbid and vicious public sentiment" marked by cynical apathy. Though we may not end up agreeing with Roosevelt, the seminar picks up his emphasis on the relationship between the aesthetics and politics of exposé in our examination of muckraking media. We will discuss the narrative strategies of a genre often designated as "bad" literature, focusing, in particular, on the link between its purported aesthetic deficiencies-populism, sentimentalism, melodrama, sensationalism-and its political mission. Last but certainly not least, this seminar situates muckraking narratives in their historical contexts-what they hoped to expose, why, and what impact they ended up having. Texts in this course may include the work of: Upton Sinclair, Ida Tarbell, Jacob Riis, Ray Stannard Baker, Frank Norris, Lincoln Steffens, Barbara Ehrenreich, Eric Schlosser, Naomi Klein, Michael Moore, and Laurie Garrett.

Instructor(s): Agnes Malinowska     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 21644, ENGL 41644

MAPH 41710. Rocks, plants, ecologies: science fiction and the more-than-human. 100 Units.

Science fictional worlds are full of entities more familiar and perhaps less noticeable than the aliens that are often thought to typify the genre. Rock formations, plants, metallic seams, plastics, crystalline structures, nuclear waste and oozing seepages are among the entities that allow SF to form estranging questions about what it means to be in relation to others, what it means to live in and through an environment, and what it means to form relations of sustenance and communal possibility with those who do not or cannot return human care and recognition. Such questions about are urgent ones for thinking about climate catastrophe, capital, settler colonialism and endemic pandemics, as well as for thinking substantively about resistance and what life and livable worlds beyond the bleak horizons of the capitalocene could be. This class will engage science fiction (authors may include Ursula Le Guin, Vonda McIntyre, Kim Stanley Robinson, Nalo Hopkinson, Jeff Vandermeer and more) and environmental and social theory of various kind (authors may include Elizabeth Povinelli, Katherine Yusoff, Andreas Malm, Eduardo Kohn, James C. Scott, David Graeber, Jasper Bernes, Mike Davis and more).

Instructor(s): Hilary Strang     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): ENGL 41710, ENGL 21710, CEGU 21710

MAPH 41720. Science fiction against the state. 100 Units.

Ursula Le Guin's anarchist utopia, The Dispossessed was published 50 years ago, but its complex imagining of a whole way of life without law, police, money or sovereignty, and its investment in thinking that way of living in relation to environment, gender, freedom and work offers a science fictional horizon for what it might be to live communally in our own moment. This course will read The Dispossessed and other science fiction that imagines what it might mean to live against, beyond or without the state, alongside theorizations that may help us formulate our own visions of other possible worlds. We will pay particular attention to questions of environment and ecological relations, race, gender and social reproduction, and feminist utopias. We'll also spend some time thinking about actually existing forms of living against the state (including blockades, encampments, autonomous zones). SF authors may include Le Guin, Samuel Delany, Kim Stanley Robinson, Tade Thompson, Sally Gearhart, Iain Banks, and ME O'Brien and Eman Abdelhadi. Other authors read may include Saidiya Hartman, Monique Wittig, Fredy Perlman, James Scott, Pierre Clastres, and David Graeber.

Instructor(s): Hilary Strang     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 41720, ENGL 21720, ENGL 41720, GNSE 21720

MAPH 42002. Human Rights: Philosophical Foundations. 100 Units.

In this class we explore the philosophical foundations of human rights, investigating theories of how our shared humanity in the context of an interdependent world gives rise to obligations of justice. Webegin by asking what rights are, how they are distinguished from other part of morality, and what role they play in our social and political life. But rights come in many varieties, and we are interested in human rights in particular. In later weeks, we will ask what makes something a human right, and how are human rights different from other kinds of rights. We will consider a number of contemporary philosophers (and one historian) who attempt to answer this question, including James Griffin, Joseph Raz, John Rawls, John Tasioulas, Samuel Moyn, Jiewuh Song, and Martha Nussbaum. Throughout we will be asking questions such as, "What makes something a human right?" "What role does human dignity play in grounding our human rights?" "Are human rights historical?" "What role does the nation and the individual play in our account of human rights?" "When can one nation legitimately intervene in the affairs of another nation?" "How can we respect the demands of justice while also respecting cultural difference?" "How do human rights relate to global inequality and markets?" (A) (I)

Instructor(s): Ben Laurence, Pozen Center for Human Rights Instructional Professor     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 21002, PHIL 31002, INRE 31602, HIST 29319, HMRT 31002, PHIL 21002, HIST 39319

MAPH 42021. Music, Colonialism, and Nationalism. 100 Units.

In this seminar we examine and disentangle the triangulated historical and cultural spaces that form through the complex interaction of the three larger subject areas: music, colonialism, and nationalism. Colonial encounter because audible to the extreme when sound is unleashed as the language of control and resistance by the colonizer and colonized alike. Music, as the amalgam of sonic difference, opens the metaphorical and material spaces in which the struggle for power is also articulated as the aesthetic expression of sovereignty. Song sounds linguistic and geographic borderlands, transforming them into the contested boundaries of nations both in ascendancy and in decline. In the course of the seminar, we seek the ways in which music and sound articulate the counterpoint between colonialism and nationalism, yielding one of the most forceful narratives for understanding the history of the present. We shall draw upon diverse resources and approaches throughout the seminar. We shall devote attention to specific repertories and genres that have the power to represent the colonial and national interests. In addition to reading critically important works on colonialism and nationalism, we shall also listen widely and to different types of sound material, ethnographic and commercial, classical and popular, in literature and in film. It will be our goal to bear witness to the shape of the music-colonialism-triangle in as many shapes as possible.

Instructor(s): Phil Bohlman     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Students from many departments and centers are welcome in this seminar. Extensive analytical work with music is not required.
Equivalent Course(s): TAPS 42021, MUSI 42021

MAPH 42920. Coming of Age: Reading and Writing Autobiographical Memoirs. 100 Units.

This course seeks to study the mixed literary history of coming-of-age narratives, beginning with 19th-century autobiography and the Bildungsroman through to modern memoir, in order to inform the writing of our own coming-of-age narratives. The analytical and creative habits of mind will be closely linked as we learn about how childhood, adolescence, and development, along with ideas around education and trauma, took on new significance in the nineteenth century, setting generic terms that have been continually mobilized, revised and reimagined in the coming-of-age memoirs of the twentieth century and beyond. Readings by Mary Prince, John Stuart Mill, Charles Dickens, George Orwell, Kathryn Harrison, Jamaica Kincaid, and Alison Bechdel, among others. This course will be of particular interest to those working on autobiographical narrative and will ask you to deepen your understanding of the past and present of this ever-developing form through critical and creative responses and projects.

Instructor(s): Elaine Hadley and William Boast     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CRWR 20500, CRWR 40500, ENGL 42920, ENGL 22920

MAPH 47303. The Principle of Sufficient Reason. 100 Units.

The Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) is the principle according to which every truth or fact can be explained. Appeals to explicability are pervasive in our everyday reasoning as well as in philosophy and the sciences - for example, the view that consciousness is grounded in physical features of the world is motivated by the thought that otherwise consciousness would be inexplicable. However, while the thought that phenomena admit of explanation motivates a great deal of philosophy, contemporary philosophers on the whole reject the PSR. Their reasons for doing so are partly because the PSR is thought to have the following surprising consequences: that God exists; that everything that could possibly be true is not only actually true, but necessarily true (also known as necessitarianism); and that only one thing exists (also known as monism). In this course we will read, write, and think about the philosophical tradition of metaphysical rationalism that is characterized by its embrace of the PSR. Our course will divide into three sections. First, we will study the 'golden age' of metaphysical rationalism in the 17th century through the writings of Spinoza and Leibniz. From there, we will turn to the recent resurgence of interest in metaphysical rationalism within analytic metaphysics, much of which has been influenced by scholars working in 17th century philosophy. (B)

Instructor(s): Andrew Pitel     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergraduate and MA students, and all others with consent.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 27303, PHIL 47303

MAPH 44422. Sounding Viral - Metaphor, Media, Aesthetics. 100 Units.

Earworms, hooks, catchy tunes, sticky sounds. Far predating Old Town Road or Gangnam Style, music has been conceived of as an infectious cultural force-but the 21st-century regime of ubiquitous digital and social media platforms has amplified and accelerated the potential for music-gone-viral. In this seminar we will grapple with a range of questions that interrogate specific digital assemblages, as well as longer histories and broader concepts of sonic contagion. What does virality sound like? Look like? Feel like? What are the aesthetics of the viral? What does digital viral circulation have to do with "real" biological contagion, in its patterns and mechanisms of infection and social spread? How does digital virality happen? What are its media, social, structural preconditions? (How) is it musical? In seeking to answer these questions, and in surveying what it might mean to engage in a musicology of the digital age more broadly, we will read across disciplines including musicology and popular music studies, sound studies, philosophy and critical theory, media and platform studies. The quarter will begin with an investigation of keywords and more "canonical" texts, and will proceed through case studies and practical (auto)ethnographic engagements with contemporary digital sonic culture.

Instructor(s): Paula Harper     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): MUSI 44422