Monday, October 29, 2018

Back Again! Spring 2019: MALAS 600D/RWS 730 RHETORIC OF GENDER with Professor Suzanne Bordelon

MALAS 600D/RWS 730
Professor Suzanne Bordelon
Section 1: M 3:30-6:10 pm

This graduate seminar explores the intersection of gender, rhetoric, and the body.  As Jack Selzer explains, in recent years scholars have noted the “rhetorical turn,” in both the liberal arts and the sciences.  Although this turn has made various fields more reflective about disciplinary practices, particularly in terms of language, “it has consequently deflected scholarly attention from material realities and toward the way those realities are represented in text” (4).  However, scholars, especially those in Rhetoric and Composition, have stressed that the material and the body matter: they contribute to rhetorical action and, thus, deserve our attention. 

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NEW MALAS CLASS! Spring 2019 MALAS-600C SEMINAR ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS with J. GRAUBART | 4pm to 6:40pm on Wednesdays in Nasitir Hall 131

One useful bit of information you have already learned or will learn soon is that there is no consensus view on what is regarded as proper “Political Science” or proper “International Relations,” though you will likely encounter certain academics convinced that their approach is the only acceptable one. Regrettably, there seems to be an unwritten consensus throughout much of the Political Science discipline that political ideas and historical development are of secondary concern. Focusing on the subfield of International Relations, the beginning Ph.D. student is confronted with a series of leading theoretical approaches within the discipline. These typically feature “Classical Realism,” “Structural Realism,” “Liberalism,” “Neoliberal Institutionalism,” “Constructivism,” and perhaps a few weeks at the end on “IR Feminism,” “Post-Structuralism,” “Post-Colonialism,” and some variant of “Marxism.” To be sure, all of these theoretical approaches have their uses, leaving it to individual discernment on which approach or approaches are most valuable. But the problem with immediately immersing oneself into a specialized academic discipline is that most students have not yet adequately reflected on international politics in general. Lacking sustained exposure to the evolution and nature of world politics and to the contentious struggles that have shaped the global order, one is hardly in position to form second-order disciplinary perspectives on how to study global politics. 

The aim of this course is to examine closely global politics. Although we will dabble in a few International Relations theories, our focus will be on important historical developments and broader normative ideas and struggles that have profoundly shaped modern global politics over the past two centuries. To be sure, this course will not, in itself, give you comprehensive expertise on the gamut of historical events, ideas, and struggles in global politics. But the course will acquaint you with several major themes and provide depth on a few pivotal themes, such as the rise and evolution of modern nationalism and the nation-state. You will then be much better equipped to engage theoretical approaches to International Relations and develop your own normative voice. Moreover, you will gain a more sophisticated perspective on what theoretical and empirical issues most interest.

The course is broken up into two sections. The first surveys a range of historically informed arguments on the nature of global politics. Collectively, they present a range of analytical and ideological views with each summoning extensive historical evidence to advance their arguments. The second section takes an in-depth look into the emergence of contemporary nationalism. We will use Hannah Arendt’s magisterial Origins of Totalitarianism to set up the big themes and historical developments. We then delve into the emergence of Zionism and Palestinian nationalism in the 20th century. The idea is not to gain expertise on the contemporary dividing issues but to gain a historical and normative deep appreciation of the dynamics that have shaped both nationalisms and their contentious interaction over the years.

Here's a preliminary book list:

·       E.H. Carr, The Twenty Year’s Crisis, 1919-1939. Harper Perennial, 1964.
·       Michael Doyle, Liberal Peace: Selected Essays, First Ed., Routledge Press, 2011. 
     Hedley Bull, Anarchical Order: A Study of World Politics
·       Noam Chomsky, The Chomsky Reader (edited by James Peck). Pantheon, 1987.
·        Hannah Arendt, Origins of Totalitarianism. Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1973.
·       Edward W. Said, The Question of Palestine. Vintage Books, 1992.
      Edward Said, Orientalism

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Monday, October 8, 2018

A MALAS Co-Sponsored Event Featuring Adam Brookes and Jeffrey Wasserstrom | "Big Brother States in Fact and Fiction: Thoughts on China and Other Places"

Please join us for a special event sponsored by the Center for Asian & Pacific Studies, the School of Journalism and Media Studies, MALAS, and the Departments of History and Political Science.  At 4pm on Wednesday October 17th spy novelist and former BBC foreign correspondent Adam Brookes, and China Historian Jeffrey Wasserstrom from UC Irvine will give a joint talk titled "Big Brother States in Fact and Fiction: Thoughts on China and Other Places."  This presentation will take the form of a public conversation in which the speakers will focus on issues of surveillance and control in not just China, but also other parts of the world where elements of the future George Orwell conjured up in Nineteen Eighty-Four may be found. Please let your students know about this timely event.  You'll find the details below, and on the attached flyer.  

                            Thanks and best regards, 

                             Kate Edgerton-Tarpley 
                             Department of History 
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PUBLIC TALK:  4:00pm on Wednesday October 17th, in International Student Center 
"Big Brother States in Fact and Fiction: Thoughts on China and Other Places"
This presentation will take the form of a public conversation in which the speakers will focus on issues of surveillance and control in not just China but also other parts of the world where some commentators claim that elements of the dark future George Orwell conjured up in Nineteen Eighty-Four can be found.  How can concepts like that of the "Big Brother State" help or hinder efforts to make sense of the current era, when new technologies of communication have become so powerful in both efforts to challenge and efforts to assert authoritarian control?  Are there other dystopian visions that are equally or more useful for thinking about authoritarian states and authoritarian trends in democracy societies?  Do new technologies of surveillance make old genres, such as the Cold War era spy novel, obsolete or open new possibilities for their reinvention?  These are the kinds of questions that the speakers will pose to one another before opening the discussion to for questions from the audience.    

Adam Brookes studied Chinese at the University of London, then worked as a foreign correspondent for the BBC (based in Indonesia, China and the United States), before switching gears to write a trio of acclaimed novels of international intrigue: Night Heron, Spy Games, and The Spy's Daughter.  NPR selected his first book as its "must-read thriller of the year"; the Washington Post called it 'outstanding'; Kirkus Reviews said of his second that "a smarter or more exciting mystery likely won't be released this year"; while The Sun said of his third that it cemented his "reputation as a superb spy novelist" who draws comparisons to "espionage heavyweights including John le Carré."  
Jeffrey Wasserstrom spent much of the first part of his teaching career at Indiana University but is now Chancellor's Professor of History at UC Irvine, where he also serves as the Historical Writing Mentor for the Literary Journalism Program.  He is the author or co-author of five books, including most recently the third edition of China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know (Oxford, 2018).  He edited the The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China (Oxford, 2016), often writes for newspapers, magazines, and online publications, such as the Los Angeles Review of Books and its associated "China Channel," and has been interviewed by both NPR and the BBC.