Classes

The Hip Hop Generation and Post-Civil Rights Black Politics (Undergrad Lecture)

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2012

The representatives of this new day (sporting baggy clothes and spitting rap lyrics) seem to contrast with the public image of Civil Rights icons like Martin Luther King, Jr. (the clean cut, orator). But despite surface dissimilarities these figures bear an eerie resemblance. Both the emcee and the orator assume that black male leadership is a reliable index for the fate of the black community. This course mixes a diverse set of readings with music and film to interrogate the specific generational tensions that structure popular and intellectual discourses concerning the "hip-hop...

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Gangsters and Troublesome Populations (Undergrad Lecture)

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2012

The term "gang" has been used to describe all kinds of collectives, from well-dressed mobsters to petty criminals to juvenile delinquents. About the only thing that has remained consistent about gangs is their characterization as the internal Other. This class investigates how the category of "the gang" serves to provoke discourses of "dangerous" subjects in urban enclaves. More broadly, we will examine the methods and means by which liberal democratic governments maintain their sovereign integrity through the containment of threatening populations.

Health, Society, and Subjectivity in the American Context (Undergrad Seminar)

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2011

While diseases are often imagined to be scientific, medical conditions, they are also social constructs. In the nineteenth century, for example, the condition of Dysaesthesia Aethiopis (an ailment that made its sufferers "mischievous") was considered nearly universal among free blacks. Today, diseases like AIDS and tuberculosis are often associated with personal attributes, while the social forces at work to structure risk for acquiring these illnesses are glossed over. This course examines the ways people reproduce and challenge contemporary visions of society through the lens of social...

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Disease, Disability, and the Body (Grad Seminar)

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2011

This course theorizes the ways in which disability and disease become linked to inequality. We explore the social factors that produce forms of suffering, as well as kinds of violence that people experience when social difference is mapped onto the materiality of their bodies.