Problems of mass migration are among the most pressing of our times. What does it mean to be a stranger in a strange land? What do we owe foreigners and what might foreigners owe their host nations? This course focuses on biblical depictions of strangers and migration, with particular attention to the story of Joseph, the Exodus from Egypt, and the Book of Ruth. The course explores the use of these biblical texts in modern literature, art, film, theology and political theory, with particular attention to debates about exile, acculturation, race, and gender.
- This course introduces students to the richness and diversity of South Asian literature produced in vernacular languages and in English. Texts represent major themes and popular trends in the 20th and 21st century; and we discuss them in historical and literary contexts. Topics include cultural renaissance and nationalism; progressive- Marxist literary movement; modernist and experimental literature; feminist, dalit (oppressed castes), and diaspora literature; and various postmodern and contemporary literary trends.
- This course traces the history of the photographic medium from the introduction of the daguerreotype in 1839 to socially engaged documentary photography of the 1930s and beyond, questioning the notion of photography as a modernist artistic and documentary medium in Russia and the West. Central issues in the course are the role of authorship in photography and in the hybrid photo-textual spaces of print media, photography's politicization and instrumentation, and photography as a reflection of a shifting modernist vision.
- Do feelings have history? How do they influence history? Do "natural" emotions exist? How do political regimes control the emotional sincerity of their subjects? What is the role of literature in cultivating certain emotional modes? How do people interpret and express their emotions in different periods? In this course, we apply these and similar questions to the emotional history of Russian culture considered within western contexts and theoretical frameworks offered by scholars of emotions.
- What is translation? What is a language? So essential and widespread is translation today that it has become a central analytic term for the contact of cultures, and a paradigm for studying many different aspects of our multilingual world. This course will consider translation as it appeared in the past, but especially as it constructs everyday life in the contemporary world. It will look at issues of anthropology, artificial intelligence, diplomacy, film, law and literature that involve interlingual and intercultural communication.
- A required course for students taking the certificate in Translation and Intercultural Communication but open to all who are interested in translation or any of its aspects, that is in movements between languages of any sort. Readings will focus on recent contributions to the emerging disciplines of translation studies across a wide spectrum of thematic fields (science, law, anthropology, literature, etc.). The seminar will incorporate the individual experiences of the students in their contact with different disciplines and idioms and, where relevant, in developing their senior theses.