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Master of Arts Program in the Humanities

Director

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

Overview

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 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.
  • Seven 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.
  • A master’s thesis of 25 to 35 pages, produced under the supervision of a faculty thesis adviser and a preceptor, and completed toward the end of the spring quarter. In conjunction with thesis preparation, students take a thesis workshop, which involves small group meetings focused on the development of thesis topics and the writing of the thesis. MAPH thesis projects range from traditional research papers to creative works accompanied by a critical assessment. With good reason, students can instead take eight courses and complete an additional assignment rather than writing a thesis.

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 langauge 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

Preceptors are post-doctoral instructors or doctoral candidates who oversee the progress of 10-12 MAPH students. Each student is assigned a preceptor for the academic year. 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 courses in the winter and spring quarters specially designed for MAPH students.

Admission

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: http://humanities.uchicago.edu/students/admissions.

Questions pertaining to admissions and aid should be directed to humanitiesadmissions@uchicago.edu or (773) 702-1552.

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 https://internationalaffairs.uchicago.edu, or call them at (773) 702-7752.

Contact Information

maph.uchicago.edu
ma-humanities@uchicago.edu
(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): EALC 30677, CRES 10677, 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): A. Vasudevan     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 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 32840, PHIL 22840

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): Daniel Morgan     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 39900, ENGL 48000, CMST 40000

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): ARTH 28500, CMST 48500, CMLT 22400, ENGL 29300, CMLT 32400, CMST 28500, ARTV 20002, ENGL 48700, MAAD 18500, ARTH 38500

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): Daniel Morgan     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): ARTV 20003, ENGL 29600, MAAD 18600, CMLT 22500, REES 25005, REES 45005, CMST 48600, ARTH 38600, ENGL 48900, CMST 28600, ARTH 28600, CMLT 32500

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 27867, MAAD 15416, CMST 37867

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): David Wray     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: Autumn
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 24960, ENGL 34960

MAPH 38922. Anticolonial Thought. 100 Units.

This course looks at the traditions of anticolonial thought from the late nineteenth century to the present day. Comparing movements for national liberation, realignment, and literary self-determination from across the world, we'll consider the shifting claims of the British, American, French, Spanish, and Russian empires, and the colonial subjects, postcolonial frameworks, and decolonial movements that sought to contest these formations from Chile to Alcatraz, India to Ireland, and Azerbaijan to Martinique. Our focus will most often be on the manifestos and essays in which anticolonial writers outlined their literary and political programs, but we may also look at a few poems, stories, and films. From Vicente Huidobro's fantasies of a secret international society to end British Imperialism to Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o's call to abolish the English Department, how did the radical claims of anticolonial political thought take shape in literary writing?

Instructor(s): Leah Feldman      Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): NB: This course is designed for undergraduate and MA students. PhD students will not be admitted. This course will be taught in conjunction with parallel courses offered by [Professor Harris Feinsod at Northwestern University] and [Professor Peter Kalliney at the University of Kentucky]. The class will meet remotely on zoom one day a week across the three campuses and one day in person. We anticipate building opportunities for cross-campus collaborative research among students as part of an ongoing, large-scale research collaboration. This course will be taught in conjunction with parallel courses offered by [Professor Harris Feinsod at Northwestern University] and [Professor Peter Kalliney at the University of Kentucky]. The class will meet remotely on zoom one day a week across the three campuses and one day in person. We anticipate building opportunities for cross-campus collaborative research among students as part of an ongoing, large-scale research collaboration.
Equivalent Course(s): CMLT 38922, CMLT 28992, CRES 28992, ENGL 28992, HMRT 38992, HMRT 28992, ENGL 38992

MAPH 39022. Research Design and Archival Theory and Practice for Cinema and Media Studies. 100 Units.

What constitutes archival research in cinema and media studies? What role do archives play in research into and studies of media? What role does research play in shaping archival policy and practice? This course will explore the process of research on moving image media through a range of formats: the archive as space and repository, digital tools used for archival practice and access, and archival theory, questions of evidence, and the writing of history-both of and through moving images. Emphasis is on the process of research with attention to foundations of historiography, evidence, archival theory, and the various stages of writing. The course has two main threads. First, we will investigate a range of sites, practices, policies, and theoretical concerns surrounding moving image archiving. We will meet scholars and professional archivists working on a wide variety of research projects who will share their processes with us. Second, we will embark on one collective project that collaboratively weaves together multiple lines of inquiry around one topic. Drawing from traditional archives and libraries as well as engaging with digital tools, students will gain first-hand experience following the research process from discovery to identification to interpretation. From this course, students will learn how to design and implement archival research projects in cinema and media studies (with translatability to related disciplines).

Instructor(s): Allyson Field     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Not offered in 2022-23.
Equivalent Course(s): IRHU 27011, CMST 29022, CMST 39022

MAPH 39162. Masquerade as Critique. 100 Units.

Critique is most often figured as an act that reveals a reality that was previously hidden, as though one were pulling back a curtain or lifting a veil. But, as the critic Craig Owens points out, "in a culture in which visibility is always on the side of the male, invisibility on the side of the female…are not the activities of unveiling, stripping, laying bare…unmistakably male prerogatives"? This interdisciplinary seminar develops an alternate genealogy of critique informed by feminist, queer, and Black studies perspectives. It eschews the modernist drive toward transparency, instead examining tactics of resistance such as masquerade, disidentification, appropriation, drag, fugitivity, and critical fabulation. This course pairs readings by authors including Eve Sedgwick, bell hooks, José Muñoz, and Saidiya Hartman with art, performance, and films by figures like Claude Cahun, Carrie Mae Weems, Jack Smith, the Karrabing Film Collective, Cheryl Dunye, David Hammons, and Jennie Livingston. Together, we will ask: What is critique, and how does it relate to power? How have artists engaged strategically with visibility and invisibility, and what can their work teach us today? This course will incorporate guest lectures and fieldwork in museums and archives. Culminating in a creative final project, it aims to develop a toolkit for critique that thinks past the timeworn imperative to render the invisible visible.

Instructor(s): L. Pires     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Registration by consent, only.
Equivalent Course(s): ARTH 39162, ARTH 29162, CRES 29162, GNSE 29162, GNSE 39162

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.

Diasporic Narratives and Memories: Designing a New Concept for a Multi-Ethnic Museum of Belarusian Emigration This course project takes the instability of Belarusian identity as an advantage for creating a new model of multi-ethnic, open emigrant community with a potential of cooperative democratic integration into a larger multi-ethnic landscape of Chicago. This project's relevance goes beyond the Chicago community, offering a model of multi-ethnic integration for building a civil society in the Belarusian homeland. The course will involve theoretical readings in the studies of diaspora, training in oral histories gathering provided by the Chicago History Museum, and weekly field trips to the diasporic museums in Chicago. We will analyze these museums' curatorial and narrative concepts in order to build upon their strengths and to avoid their weaknesses. This course is part of IFK's Experimental Capstone (XCAP) program for students interested in building upon their experience by adding practice, impact, and influence as important dimensions of their undergraduate work.

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

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 two hundred 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 a landmark case - 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 Shoshana Felman, 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): ENGL 41360, GNSE 41303, ENGL 21360, GNSE 21303

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 25150, ENGL 45150, ENGL 26150, AMER 40150

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): GNSE 25180, ENGL 20180, ENGL 40180, GNSE 45180

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 readings that likely include Jacob Riis, How the Other Half Lives, E.M. Forster's A Passage to India, Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man, Victor Segalen's Essay on Exoticism, Levi-Strauss' Tristes Tropiques, Vikram Seth's The Golden Gate, Amitav Ghosh's In An Antique Land and J.M. Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello. (20th/21st)

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

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, GNSE 41300, ENGL 41310, GNSE 21310

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, GNSE 21370, GNSE 41370, ENGL 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 21420, ENGL 41420

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 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): B. Laurence     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): LLSO 21002, HMRT 21002, PHIL 21002, PHIL 31002, HIST 29319, HIST 39319, HMRT 31002, INRE 31602

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 Zakkiyah Iman Jackson, 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 21710, ENGL 41710

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): MUSI 42021, TAPS 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): ENGL 42920, ENGL 22920, CRWR 20500, CRWR 40500

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, DIGS 30022