Thursday, January 24, 2019

New MALAS Seminar, Spring 2019, "The Mestizo Metropolis: Latinx and African Cultural Landscapes in the American Global City" with History Professor Angel Nieves

The Mestizo Metropolis
Latinx and African Cultural Landscapes 
in the American Global City
Dr. Angel Nieves 

The Simpsons Visit “Little Ethiopia”
This hybrid lecture class will focus on the strategic roles that emerging Latinx and African communities play in various urban centers across the U.S. – including cities such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and New Orleans – by exploring how both groups establish and maintain distinctive social and cultural identities in the American metropolis. Beginning our investigation in the 19th century, we will develop a broad historical approach to evolving community realities, and will focus on the continuing demographic changes of the present generation. We will study this present-day process using current interdisciplinary theories of globalization, diaspora, and nation-building. The varying forms of cultural expression, production, and representation of both groups will be explored through film, literature, art, architecture, and the media. In small groups students will develop a cultural landscape report for a building, place, neighborhood, region, or city with a growing Latinx and/or African immigrant community. For their final project, students will develop a Google Site for public display and dissemination. 

Footnotes: 07 , ZL

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Spring 2019: New MALAS Seminar at SDSU | Torture and Service to the Modern State with Dr. Geoff West

Torture and Service to the Modern State 
Dr. Geoff West

The rise of the modern nation-state was predicated on the willingness of citizens to sacrifice their lives for the state. It also demanded loyalty and a commitment to carry out the state's will. But how have those demands intersected with the rise of liberalism, individualism, and the idea of human rights? Using literary texts, historical records, and philosophical debates on violence and human rights, this course aims to critically examine how torture has been envisioned both by the state and its critics through the lens of torture. Does service to the state preclude the rights of others to their bodies?

Geoffrey West
Geoffrey is a doctoral candidate in the History Department at the University of California San Diego. He studies citizenship and service to the state in the late nineteenth century. He focuses on the relationship between gender, race, and subject status and how they relate to military service in a global imperial context. Geographically, his work is centered on the Northern Great Plains but connects with North, East, and South Africa, as well as Southeast Asia. He teaches in the Humanities Program at Revelle College at UCSD. The program combines a classical Western Liberal Arts focus on the Great Works with a five part writing sequence. Geoffrey has lived in San Diego since 2006 when he, his partner, and his dog moved from New York City to the West Coast. In his free time, he enjoys snow-free winters and frequent trips to Disneyland.

Footnotes: 02 , ZL

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

MALAS Spring 2019 Seminar! World Cities with Professor Kate Swanson

Course MALAS-600C 
Professor K. Swanson

Around the world, cities are growing at an incredible speed, particularly in Asia and Africa where megacities continue to increase in number. Along with this growth, new issues are emerging including rising inequality, environmental pollution, racialized segregation, growing slums, crime and violence. Municipalities are responding by restructuring and gentrifying urban spaces to attract economic growth, often at the expense of the poor. In this course, we focus on cities mostly outside of the United States in order to understand how rapid urban growth is reshaping cities around the world. Themes include: neoliberalism, migration, megacities, slums, segregation, sustainability, gentrification, crime, resistance movements, and alternative urban futures. 

Footnotes: 05 , ZL

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

New Spring 2019 MALAS Seminar: Women in Muslim Societies with Professor Amira Jarmakani

Women in Muslim Societies  
Professor Amira Jarmakani

Grounding itself in the theoretical frameworks and foundational questions of Islamic feminism, or questions of gender justice both in relation to Islam and in Muslim-majority contexts, this course is interested in exploring the following questions: What is Islamic feminism? What is a Muslim society? Is Islam modern? How does colonialism inform all of the previous questions? We will both look at the way in which Islamic feminisms articulate with the concerns of other feminisms indigenous to the global south and the way in which Islamic feminisms have emerged as oppositional discourses to colonialism, patriarchal nationalism, and Western feminism.  We will read literary, historical, and ethnographic texts with the aim of exploring the following topics (among others): colonialism, neocolonialism, and neoliberal globalization in relation to Islams and feminisms; Muslim feminist interpretations of Islamic texts; the notions of emancipation and agency within Islamic feminisms; Islamic feminisms and/as transnational feminisms; feminist engagement with fundamentalisms (including neoliberal market fundamentalism); and gender justice and sexuality in Islamicate societies. 








Footnotes: 04 , ZL

New Spring 2019 MALAS Seminar on International Relations with Professor Jonathan Graubart

Seminar on International Relations

Professor Jonathan Graubart

'If there is a body of theory, well tested and verified, that applies to the conduct of foreign affairs or the resolution of domestic or international conflict, it’s existence has been kept a well-guarded secret."
Noam Chomsky, “the Responsibility of Intellectuals.”

"The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them."
George Orwell, “Notes on Nationalism.”

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. 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.