Recent offerings include African American Women Writers, Evolutionary Theories and Narrative, Sentimental Novel, V. Deloria and Native American Cultural Values. Repeatable.
ENG 660 Theories of the Commons introduces graduate students to the concept of the commons as it has been theorized within the interdisciplinary field of Environmental Humanities. As Arctic territories and Pacific island states recede to sea level rise, as wildfires burn through suburban communities in the wealthy world, as global fresh water runs dry, uncertainty shadows what it means to own, to use, and to inhabit—distinctions anxiously defended within colonialist capitalism. Enter the “commons,” a concept and praxis tied to sustainability in the form of stable subsistence in anthropological literatures, to Indigenous economies and cosmologies worldwide, and to European peasant economies. We’ll consider the successes and failures in “commons thinking” for ecological and racial justice.
Instructor: Sharon Luk
This course is an introduction to historical materialist methods of cultural studies. We will examine language and aesthetics as “constitutive human processes” in the modern world, with particular attention to relations of capital, race, nation-state, and social reproduction. Course work will guide you to understand and apply methods of marxian analysis and to participate in the ongoing criticism and evolution of such approaches. In this pursuit, you will become more familiar with critical vocabularies for thinking about modernity and consider how race, class, gender, and sexuality function as determinate forces. As intellectuals, you will also practice grounding yourselves as the center of your own projects and, from this standpoint, responsibly and deliberately position yourselves in the larger ideological terrain in which your work unfolds.