Fall 2021 FHI-Affilated Courses
Whether you're a student bookbagging for the Fall 2021 semester, or simply interested in the range of courses taught by our faculty affiliates, enjoy exploring the list below!
Environment in Lit, Law, & Sci
DOCST 290 / ENGLISH 490 / ENVIRON 390 / PUBPOL 290 / SCISOC 290
W 1:45pm - 4:15pm
In person (French Science 4233)
Instructors: Saskia Cornes (Duke Campus Farm, FHI), Priscilla Wald (English, GSF), Daniel Richter (Nicholas School)
Climate change, resource exhaustion, an increase in natural disasters, from tornados, hurricanes, droughts, earthquakes and floods to pandemics: these, we are told, are problems with “the environment.” We are living, it seems, in the Age of the Anthropocene, when humanity has become a geological force.
Racism, unprecedented poverty, inadequate health care, and urban blight in the midst of rising affluence: these, too, are problems with “the environment.” The world population has exceeded seven billion; we are putting increasing pressure on the planet, with dangerous consequences, as the pandemic we are currently living through has made so starkly clear.
So what is this “environment,” and why does this question matter, now more than ever? How might a better understanding of how that term is circulating and being used help us move beyond our impasses and think more productively about how to live more justly, equitably, compassionately, and responsibly in our world.
This class will address these questions by considering the very ground on which Duke is standing: the Southern Piedmont, the City of Durham, and the Duke Campus Farm. Beginning with early human settlement, when the Earth began to get a “history,” we will consider three historical trajectories — settlement; plantation culture and slavery; and the ongoing struggles for Civil Rights from the late 1960s into the environmental justice and Black Lives Matter movements of the present—to show how science, law, and cultural forms (literary and scientific works, films, news media) contribute to the changing idea of “the environment.”
We will trace the idea of the environment not only across time, but also across geographical space, as we consider how ideas take root locally, and also travel through social, cultural, economic, agricultural, academic, and other networks, reshaping the ever-changing relationship between the local and the global.
Land and Literature
F 10:15am - 12:45pm
In Person (Classroom Building 106)
* This course is for DukeImmerse students only; consent of the instructor required
Explores literary representations of American agriculture from the 19th century to the present in order to better understand how our collective cultural imagination about who farms and why both reflects and shapes America's farmed landscapes.
US Youth Movements since 2010: Expanding Human Rights for All
DOCST 179FS / PUBPOL 189FS
TuTh 1:45pm - 3:00pm
In Person (Bridges House 113)
Immersion in the dangerous and contentious history of youth activism in the US since 2010. Using oral history, archival research methods, and cultural production, students explore methods for researching documenting and creating narratives of youth social activism. Historical and contemporary youth campaigns explored in this course include those to end racial profiling and mass incarceration, prevent environmental destruction, improve public education, advocate for undocumented families, create safe spaces for GLBTQIA youth, and champion reproductive justice. All of these movements have expanded the legal, narrative, and practical understanding of human rights in US and global frameworks.
Oral History Methods
M 12:00pm - 2:30pm
In Person (Classroom Building 229)
Oral History sculpts the newest tools available for practitioners of one of the most ancient of the scholarly disciplines. Using technical innovations from the 1963 portable cassette recorder to cutting edge digital tools today, oral historians co-create, archive, analyze, and share stories from people who otherwise historians might “miss” because most people don’t put their materials into archives, don’t leave a written record, might not trust institutions like libraries, or plain and simple, don’t have access. This course is a seminar for graduate students and advanced History Majors where we immerse ourselves in the methods, controversies, limits, and possibilities of oral history.
AAAS 390S / CULANTH 290S / LIT 390S / ENGLISH 390S / ROMST 390S
TuTh 8:30am - 9:45am
In Person (Smith Warehouse Bay 6 B177)
Postcolonial Studies analyzes cultural texts from the period of modern European colonialism and after. It emerged from the political, literary, psychological, and sociological struggles for decolonization from the 1940s to the 1960s. In Britain, it was related to Commonwealth Studies, but departed from this largely literary field which often resisted political interpretation and historical contextualization. In France, it was called postcolonial studies only recently, even as many of the foundational texts we associate with it in the US were written by those involved in decolonization movements in French colonies. Drawing on the history of colonialism and the way in which that manifested itself in cultural products (literary, artistic, political, or structural), critics from the 1970s on began to analyze processes of coloniality in the historically colonial and postcolonial periods of colonies and colonizing nations alike. Questions began to arise about the disciplinary formations, intellectual and sociological, which seemed profoundly shaped by the colonial enterprises of the late eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. This course is an introduction to the field of postcolonial studies through readings involved in the critique of colonialism from the periods of modern colonialism, decolonization, and its aftermath. It will also address its relation to the related fields of Black Studies, Marxism, Decolonial Studies, Marxist thought, and Gender & Sexuality Studies.
Special Topics Seminar in Criticism, Theory, or Methodology
TuTh 12:00pm - 1:15pm
In Person (Reuben-Cooke Building 128)
* Seminar Version of 288. Satisfies the Criticism, Theory, or Methodology (CTM) for English majors.
This course addresses how psychoanalytic theorists and practitioners have conceived of the non-human. “Psychoanalysis” constitutes a body of theoretical texts with the aim of providing regular therapeutic care to patients by addressing the manner in which conscious life interacts with the unconscious and repressed desires, fears, and emotional reactions. Even as it is a model that was constitutionally developed with an idea of regular, frequent, and long-term sessions with individual humans with the ability to speak paying for their service, it necessarily created techniques with certain ideas of the individual in mind—their relation to the group and the social; ideas of property and self-possession; concepts of sexual difference; the relationship between the neurological and the psychological; the vexed notions of phylogeny and ontogeny and their symmetries; the status of the spiritual and the religious; cultural norms in civilization; and the constitution of desire. The varied and changing body of psychoanalytic theory that has developed over the last 120 years and all over the world has approached these ideas in a variety of ways. And while ideas of the human were proffered, psychoanalysis itself had multiple ways of addressing elements that were apparently in excess of existing ideas of the human, and that had non-human components.
This course will address the “non-human” aspects of psychoanalysis through its history and focus then on the uses of psychoanalysis today in the context of different and distinct ways of conceiving some of its basic categories. What can psychoanalysis give us today to help think of the issues that plague our time like the post-human, climate change, pandemic, technological shifts, racial injustice, and poverty? What is a world and what is life according to psychoanalysis?
Requirements: In addition to attending eight jointly taught classes, students at each institution will be in discussion sessions with their home professor and also will be required to work on projects between institutions with collaborators over a project on psychoanalysis and the non-human.
The Amazon: Evolution of Its Climate, Landscape, Ecology, and Human Civilizations
ECS 507S / ENVIRON 507S / EOS 507S
TuTh 7:00pm - 8:15pm
In Person (Grainger Hall 2102)
Introduction to the natural and human evolution of the Amazon region of South America, from the Andes Mountains, to the rain forests, to the Amazon River delta. Exploration of the interactions among changes in landscapes, ecology, biota, climate, and human civilizations through time. Topics include human impacts on biodiversity, landscape processes, and resources from pre-history to modern societies, and their future outlook.
Decolonizing Social Theory
Tu 3:30pm - 6:00pm
Instructor: Christine Folch and Anne-Maria Makhulu
This course is the first in a two-semester sequence revised to address what was exposed by the murder of George Floyd (May 25, 2020); the global COVID19 pandemic; and in recognition of the necessary intellectual work to align the discipline with a social reality in tension with a “Great Books” approach. “Great Books” alone cannot account for a world connected by histories of empire, settler colonialism, indigenous genocide, white supremacy, racism, and misogyny. Instead we propose a decolonial reading of those traditional texts previously deemed formative to anthropological thought.
Perspectives on the Amazon
ROMST 341S / PORTUGUE 341S / LATAMER 341S / LIT 341S
TuTh 3:30pm - 4:45pm
In Person (Languages 305)
The Amazon has been a source of awe to outsiders at least since the first Europeans navigated the Amazon River in 1542. While early explorers searched the forest for a mythic city of gold, contemporary travelers, scientists, and concerned citizens look to the Amazon as the key to our endangered future. Focusing on a variety of textual and visual representations, we will deal with major themes in the history of the Amazon and consider the ways in which this vast and widely depicted region eludes representation, holding entirely different and contending meanings to distinct socio-cultural groups. Our sources include works by indigenous thinkers and cultural producers.
Learning to Fail
TuTh 10:15AM - 11:30 AM
Online and On Campus (East Duke 204B)
Instructor: Amanda Starling Gould
School, and um life, teach us to fear failure. In contrast, many of the world’s most impactful innovations – from life-saving solutions to life-changing social revolutions to life-giving art – were cultivated out of, and often because of, a series of large and small failures. As a result, this class wonders: Is failing as antithetical to learning and creating as we’re taught to believe? We’ll spend our semester looking closely at failure and trying to understand where it comes from, how it means differently to different people, the kinds of social/political/cultural/economic structures that impact it, and, ultimately, how to use it as a strategy for learning and growth. Contrary to the trope that 'failure is not an option', this course operates from the position that failure is the only option. It is through failure that we learn.
Historical and Cultural Visualization Proseminar 1
HCVIS 580S / VMS 580S / ISS 580S / ARTHIST 580S / CMAC 580S
W 8:30am - 11:00am
In Person (Smith Warehouse Bay 11 A233)
Interactivity and online content management through databases, collaborative blogs, and other systems. Data visualization based on textual, image, and quantitative sources. Basic techniques for virtual reality, simulations, augmented reality, and game-based historical and cultural visualization project development. Mini-projects based on existing and new research data from the Smith Media Labs and other sources. Best practices for digital research project planning and collaboration. Theoretical topics include: critical digital heritage, virtuality and culture, information aesthetics, hypermedia information design. Instructor consent required.
Digital Storytelling and Interactive Narrative
ISS 187FS / VMS 187FS
TuTh 10:15am - 11:30am
In Person (Perkins LINK 072 / Classroom 6)
Digital storytelling methodologies, theory, and practice. In-depth analysis of digital storytelling in various media forms and modes of production. Cultural impact of new media narratives. Exploration of digital storytelling affordances and approaches: text, video, audio, design, animation, and interactivity. Critical analysis of existing media and remediation of older media forms. Experimentation with non-linear, spatial, ludic, and hypermedia approaches. Questions of authorship, agency, authority, and collaboration in blogs, games, fan fiction, adaptations. Hands-on experience developing digital narratives and creating digital critiques. Analytical paper and regular crits.
Human Rights: Back to the Future, looking at roots and current reality of human rights
MW 12:00pm - 1:15pm
In Person (Classroom Building 106)
CULANTH 103FS / PUBPOL 115FS / ICS 119FS / RIGHTS 103FS
* Open only to students in the Focus Program.
This Focus course introduces students to a brief history of rights as a way to ground our exploration of current human rights challenges and what rights may be envisioned in the future. Rights have never been static. Recent changes in how we see rights include the right to truth in post-conflict societies and animal rights. We'll explore how cutting-edge thinkers contribute to an expanded horizon of rights. We will be engaging with activists, scholars, and artists.
Envisioning Human Rights
M 5:00pm - 6:30pm
In Person (East Duke 108)
* Open only to participants in the Focus Program.
Forum for discussing and bridging the varied interdisciplinary issues that arise within the individual Focus Program seminars. May include group discussion, readings, guest lectures, film viewings, and other educational activities.
Global Stories, Local Issues
CULANTH 223S / DOCST 223S / ICS 260S
TuTh 5:15pm - 6:30pm
In Person (Friedl Bldg 216)
What stories are there to tell about often overlooked objects and people and places? How can we research and share those stories with generosity and integrity? In every corner of our lives—the stickers on our computers, the plates at a local restaurant, the wood in our guitars—there is a story to be told that connects our individual experiences to broader, often global, phenomena. Participants will learn and use methods of ethnography and archival research to connect their experiences and their observations about a place, community, or thing to larger stories about culture and society, and they will practice writing about their research in engaging and broadly accessible ways.
Black Brazil: Race/Nation/Cult
PORTUGUE 490S / LATAMER 490S / AAAS 490S
TuTh 12:00pm - 1:15pm
In Person (Classroom Building 125)
Brazil is commonly understood as an example of a “racially democratic” nation, but as scholars have recently shown, racism permeates all aspects of Brazilian society. This course examines the development of the theorization of race, racial identity and race relations in contemporary Brazil. The approach of the course will be interdisciplinary, drawing upon works from anthropology, literature, history, music, and film. Topics will include colonialism and enslavement, nationalism, social activism, and popular culture. We will also consider how Brazilian social relations differ from or conform to other racialized patterns in other nation-states in the Americas. Particular attention will be placed on the impact of the interrelationship between race, gender, class, and nation on the lives of black Brazilians.
ROMST 490S / LATAMER 490S / AAAS 490S / CULANTH 490S
TuTh 1:45pm - 3:00pm
In Person (East Duke 204A)
This course focuses on the position of Blacks in the national histories and societies of Latin America from slavery to the present day. Emphasis is on an interdisciplinary engagement with issues and critical discussion of national images contrasted with the realities of blackness. We will explore the connections between race, gender, sexuality, and representation in national and transnational encounters and the consequences of the migration of people and ideas within the hemisphere. Countries to be explored include Cuba, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Mexico, Haiti, and Peru.
The Black Atlantic
AAAS 329 / ARTHIST 383 / ICS 226
Th 10:15am - 12:45pm
In Person (Smith Warehouse Bay 10 A266)
The African diaspora—a direct result of the transatlantic slave trade and Western colonialism—has generated a wide array of artistic achievements, from the "shotgun" houses of New Orleans to the urban graffiti of NYC. The course surveys several major cultural groups in West and Central Africa and their aesthetic impact on the arts, religions, and philosophies of peoples of African descent in South America, the Caribbean, and the United States.
African Art: From Royal Court to Contemporary Marketplace
ARTHIST 345 / AAAS 348 / ICS 223
Tu 1:45pm - 4:15pm
In Person (Smith Warehouse Bay 9 A290)
Explores traditional, modern, and contemporary African art from the ever-shifting perspectives of prestige, power, and identity. The conceptual framework guiding this survey is both a broad introduction to the major artists and artworks of Africa across millennia, as well as probing specific questions about the changing definitions of African art, individual versus state identities in African art, and the impact of religion, colonization, and trade/commerce on African art.
Literatures and Films of Pandemic
RUSSIAN 278S / ICS 251S / GLHLTH 278S / LIT 278S / ENGLISH 243S
MW 3:30pm - 4:45pm
In Person (Languages 320)
This course explores past pandemics as a way to think about how to best live through COVID-19 and prevent or minimize future pandemics. Through examining literature and film, we will analyze the psychosocial dimensions of pandemic. We will read a variety of texts including: histories, fiction (Bulgakov, Porter, Tolstoy, Colson Whitehead); short essays; and films (e.g., Contagion, Outbreak). How do science, medicine, and society interact in a time of pandemic? How do pandemics reveal social inequities, and how could we use this knowledge to decrease disparities? And why do people turn to the humanities and arts in times of pandemic?
The Experience of Illness
GLHLTH 89S / ETHICS 89S
M 3:30pm - 6:00pm
In Person (West Duke 107F)
"When I go to see my diabetes doctor, I feel that he and I are singing the same song.” This comment from a South African man battling chronic illness underlines the wonderful potential of the patient-provider relationship. We will be using the doctor-patient relationship and experience as a lens to understand place of illness and empathy in the human. We will explore concepts of culture and global health. How does culture affect all of us? What is global health, and how do our beliefs affect this entire discipline? Along the way, we will all be learning about ourselves, how it feels to express and receive empathy, and how the simple act of being curious make us better people.Part of the What Now? network of first-year seminars.
Race, Disability, & Ethics
WRITING 390S / PUBPOL 290S / GLHLTH 390S / ETHICS 390S / RIGHTS 390S
MW 12:00pm - 1:15pm
In Person (Crowell Building 107)
This course uses strategies of ethical inquiry, policy debate, rhetorical analysis, and analytic writing to examine discourses around lives that matter during the present pandemic:
1) Black and disabled lives within a racist policing and criminal justice system,
2) disabled people and racial minorities within the healthcare system during the pandemic, and
3) “essential” workers like environmental service workers, certified nursing assistants, home health aides, and personal care attendants, both in the US and around the world.
The demographics of “essential” labor suggest that our society’s most important work, including care work, is also the least compensated. It is disproportionately performed by women—and in racially diverse societies like the US, by minority women. With home health work undervalued, elder and disabled populations often have no alternative to congregate living situations, where disease is more easily transmitted. Despite legal and legislative progress for disability rights and independent living over the past few decades, the actual liberation of these communities cannot occur without the liberation of care workers around the world.
Our reading will include critical articles about carceral logics, race, disability, and care work; two major global health policy documents on disability and care work in majority world nations; and a novel, Susan Nussbaum’s Good Kings, Bad Kings, which takes place in a nursing home for disabled youth. First-person essays and interviews on these subjects will allow us to study the care networks that disability communities create, not only in times of crisis but always. What can we learn from the “crip wisdom” of communities that have already figured out how to survive on the margins, centering vulnerability as the rule rather than the exception? Students will facilitate a class discussion, write weekly responses to readings, conduct secondary research and write a rhetorical analysis paper engaging with an ethical or policy debate, and participate in qualitative research by performing interviews. Class time will also be devoted to training students in advanced peer review, revision, and editing techniques for the collaborative Immerse assignment: the COVID stories booklet.
Academic Writing: Disability and Democracy
MW 3:30pm - 4:45pm
In Person (Bell Tower West 113)
MW 5:15pm - 6:30pm
In Person (Bivins 114)
On January 6, a day that brought American democracy to the knife’s edge, Trump said to the crowd, “You’ll never take back our country with weakness; you have to show strength”—appealing to deeply ingrained cultural beliefs about strength and weakness, ability and disability as measures of worthiness for citizenship, wealth, and even life. In this course, we will study the many civil rights contexts of disability. People with disabilities are the world’s largest minority, and also the most disenfranchised and impoverished. The coronavirus reveals not only the vulnerabilities of this population, but also the forms of medical and economic bias that threaten to sacrifice their lives. In June, Michael Hickson, a Black quadriplegic man, died of COVID-19 in Austin, Texas after doctors told his wife Michael’s quality of life was too poor to justify further treatment. Hickson’s story begs the question: which lives are considered worth protecting in our democracy? How does disability injustice intersect with other forms of injustice like racism, sexism, anti-immigration sentiment, and economic inequality? How have standards of fitness and ability limited disabled people’s inclusion in citizenship, education, employment, and healthcare? Analyzing cultural beliefs about disability as reflected in the media, the arts, the law, and even the built environment, we will ask critical questions about the state of our democracy, and envision a world where disability justice is possible.
Course materials will include an assortment of texts, including one novel, two documentary films, personal essays by disabled activists, and academic writing by disability studies scholars. In an online discussion forum, you will write responses to the readings and other course content across the semester, and interact with your classmates. Your first major assignment is a Class Presentation (8-10 minutes) and Discussion Facilitation (20-30 minutes). Through these discussions we will explore topics like citizenship, civil rights, law, labor, institutions, incarceration, activism, mutual aid, and medical ethics, and generate a list of potential research questions for your second major assignment, a Researched Essay (six to eight pages). You will work toward this final paper with an annotated bibliography that summarizes your reading on the topic, and a research statement that clarifies your argument.
While our theme is interdisciplinary, our papers will follow the disciplinary conventions of cultural studies, which draws on diverse academic methodologies to generate an integrated understanding of history, politics, and power. We will devote classtime in the final weeks of the semester to drafting, workshopping, and revising your writing. By taking this course, you will learn to enter into important conversations, both in speech and in writing; to support your ideas effectively; and to raise social consciousness.
Global Narratives of Illness and Disability
GLHLTH 302 / ICS 295 / RIGHTS 302 / SCISOC 302
W 3:30pm - 4:45pm, M 3:30pm - 5:15pm
In Person (Trent Hall 040, Duke South 3031)
Open to all: seats still available! This is a 10-week, 1 credit, C/NC course and runs Sept 28 – Nov 30.
The humanities help us learn more about the global experiences of people living with illness and disability. Using a global health humanities approach, we study illness and disability through biography, poetry, blogs, and art created by patients, families, friends, doctors, and caregivers. We look beyond data to find meaning through documentaries, theories of representation, and illness narratives. We explore different illness experiences, such as HIV/AIDS and Ebola; different disabilities, such as physical and cognitive; different gender identities and ages; and different locations, such as South Africa, West Africa, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Haiti, and rural and urban USA.
Decolonizing Global Health
Tu 5:15pm - 6:30pm
* Open only to Global Health master's students.
Recent calls to decolonize global health reflect a growing awareness of the failure of global health to address persistent colonial/imperial attitudes, structural racism, and power asymmetries. Global health trainees, educators, and practitioners must interrogate their own colonial history, study theories of decolonization and indigenous activist movements, confront systemic/structural racism, and articulate transformative solutions. This course offers a brief, but wide-ranging, overview of some of the most critical questions shaping the Decolonize Global Health movement, and guides students to formulate actionable strategies to decolonize global health curriculum, research, and practice.
Readings in Early Christian Literature: Greek
M 12:00pm - 2:30pm
In Person (Languages 312)
Close readings of key texts in early Christian literature in the original language.