Courses - Fall 2019

LGBT 2421 Worlding Sex and Gender

An introduction to the anthropology of sex, sexuality and gender, this course uses case studies from around the world to explore how the worlds of the sexes become gendered.  In ethnographic, ethnohistorical and contemporary globalizing contexts, we will look at: intersexuality & 'supernumerary' genders; physical & cultural reproduction; sexuality; and sex- & gender-based violence & power. We will use lectures, films, discussion sections and short field-based exercises.

Distribution: (SBA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Lucinda Ramberg (ler35)
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LGBT 2770 Islam and Gender

This course explores the role of gender and sexuality in shaping the lives of Muslims past and present. Through a close examination of ethnographies, intellectual histories, and religious treatises, we will analyze the key debates and discourses surrounding the intersection of gender and Islam. We begin by investigating Quranic revelations and hadith concerning gender and sexual ethics, female figures of emulation in early Islam, and feminist exegeses of the Quran. Continuing onward, we focus upon the everyday lives of Muslim women and non-binary individuals in medieval, colonial, and post-colonial contexts, highlighting the ways in which people negotiate and respond to the sexual politics of the times in which they live as we ask what, if anything, is specifically "Islamic" about the situations under discussion? Following this, we embark upon a history of sexuality within Islam, tracing the ways in which the categories of "homosexuality" and "heterosexuality" came to exist in the Muslim world, as well as the history and positionality of trans communities past and present. We then continue with an exploration of Islamic feminism as it exists today, looking to the ways in which Muslim feminists have critically engaged both religious texts as well as Western feminist theory. Finally, the course concludes by analyzing the relationship between the study of Islam, gender, and empire.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Seema Golestaneh (sg2327)
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LGBT 2780 Body as Text: Pleasure and Danger

We experience our bodies as so much a part of who we are that we take them for granted. Yet the way we think about the body has a history of its own. This class looks at how the idea of "the body" gets constructed over time. How has the body come to have attributes called "gender," "sexuality," and "race"? Why have some bodies been seen as monstrous, perverted, and unholy, others as gorgeous, normal, and divine? What makes bodies pleasurable and dangerous? We'll find out by examining a broad range of evidence from the ancient era to the present day, including literature (Ovid, Kafka, Octavia Butler), philosophy (Plato, Descartes, Judith Butler), film, and the history of science.

Distribution: (LA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Masha Raskolnikov (mr283)
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LGBT 3310 Afro-Asia: Futurism and Feminisms

This course explores cultural representations of Afro-Asian intimacies and coalition in novels, songs, films, paintings, and poems. What affinities, loves and thefts, and tensions are present in cultural forms such as anime, jazz, kung fu, and K-pop? Students will consider the intersections and overlap between African and Asian diasporic cultures in global cities such as New York, Chicago, Havana, Lahore, Kingston, and Hong Kong to ask the question: when did Africa and Asia first encounter each other? This will be contextualized through a political and historical lens of the formation of a proto-Global South in the early twentieth, Afro-futurism, women of color feminisms, and Third World solidarity and internationalism. Tackling issues of race, gender, sexuality, and resistance, this seminar also reckons with the intertwined legacies of the institutions of African enslavement and Asian indenture by reading the novels of Patricia Powell and the paintings of Kehinde Wiley, for instance. Students will work in groups to produce Afro-Asia DJ visual soundtracks as part of the final project.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Tao Goffe (tlg92)
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LGBT 3754 Spoken Word, Hip-Hop Theater, and the Politics of the Performance

In this course, we will critically examine the production and performance of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender through literature and contemporary performance genres such as spoken word, slam poetry, and hip-hop theatre.

Distribution: (LA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Karen Jaime (kj12)
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LGBT 4312 Synthesizing Pop: Electronics and the Musical Imagination

From Switched-On Bach to Synthpop and EDM, since the late 1960s electronic synthesizers have expanded the sonic palette and identity formation of popular musicians, leading to new concepts of sound and performance as well as communal, technological, and human interfaces. This course will explore the cultural history of analog synthesizers and their progeny of digital devices (samplers, sequencers, drum machines) and desktop technologies that revolutionized popular music soundscapes and embodiment. Synthesis will be considered as both a musical technology and theoretical concept that together spark imagined cyborg identities and post-human futures, challenging and resynthesizing categories of gender, sexuality, and race. Student will also have the opportunity to engage with Cornell's Robert Moog Archive and develop research, creative, or curation projects that may be featured in the spring 2020 exhibition and programming to celebrate this collection.  This course is open to graduate students and fourth-year undergraduates by permission.  Undergraduates should contact the instructor before enrolling.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Roger Moseley (rsm253)
Judith Peraino (jap28)
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LGBT 4451 Gender and Sexuality in Southeast Asian Cinema

Examines the new cinemas of Southeast Asia and their engagement with contemporary discourses of gender and sexuality. It pays special attention to the ways in which sexuality and gendered embodiment are at present linked to citizenship and other forms of belonging and to how the films draw on Buddhist and Islamic traditions of representation and belief. Focusing on globally circulating Southeast Asian films of the past 15 years, the course draws on current writings from feminism, Buddhist studies, affect theory, queer studies, postcolonial theory, and film studies to ask what new understandings of subjectivity might emerge from these cinemas and their political contexts. Films will be drawn from both mainstream and independent cinema and will include the work of directors such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Danny and Oxide Pang, Yau Ching, Thunska Pansittivorakul, Garin Nugroho, and Jean-Jacques Annaud.

Distribution: (LA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Arnika Fuhrmann (aif32)
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LGBT 4944 Biopolitics: New Directions

This course explores the philosophical concept of biopolitics and its diverse translations and/or adaptations across multiple disciplines and across the globe (Africa, Far East, South East Asia, and the Americas). We will trace the concept of biopolitics and its attendant notions-Biopower, Sovereignty, Governmentality-as they emerge in the work of Michel Foucault and analyze the multiple disciplinary and geographical directions in which they have travelled. Throughout the semester, we shall examine 1. the innovative thinking around biopolitics in the works of Arendt, Esposito, Agamben, Hardt and Negri, 2. the connections and entanglements of the concept with postcolonial theory in Mbembe, Samaddar, Sakai, Mezzadra, 3. the extension and complication of biopolitical logistics over to non-human bodies in Uexküll, Sloterdijk, Wolfe, Shukin. Additionally, we will examine theorizations of new stylistics of power as well as emerging forms of agency and political organizing in the biopolitical sphere. Key terms include race, postcoloniality, animality, capture, embodiment, agency, technology.

Distribution: (CA-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Naminata Diabate (nd326)
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LGBT 6312 Synthesizing Pop: Electronics and the Musical Imagination

From Switched-On Bach to Synthpop and EDM, since the late 1960s electronic synthesizers have expanded the sonic palette and identity formation of popular musicians, leading to new concepts of sound and performance as well as communal, technological, and human interfaces. This course will explore the cultural history of analog synthesizers and their progeny of digital devices (samplers, sequencers, drum machines) and desktop technologies that revolutionized popular music soundscapes and embodiment. Synthesis will be considered as both a musical technology and theoretical concept that together spark imagined cyborg identities and post-human futures, challenging and resynthesizing categories of gender, sexuality, and race. Student will also have the opportunity to engage with Cornell's Robert Moog Archive and develop research, creative, or curation projects that may be featured in the spring 2020 exhibition and programming to celebrate this collection.  This course is open to graduate students and fourth-year undergraduates by permission.  Undergraduates should contact the instructor before enrolling.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Roger Moseley (rsm253)
Judith Peraino (jap28)
Full details for LGBT 6312 : Synthesizing Pop: Electronics and the Musical Imagination
LGBT 6331 Gender and Sexuality in Southeast Asian Cinema

Examines the new cinemas of Southeast Asia and their engagement with contemporary discourses of gender and sexuality. It pays special attention to the ways in which sexuality and gendered embodiment are at present linked to citizenship and other forms of belonging and to how the films draw on Buddhist and Islamic traditions of representation and belief. Focusing on globally circulating Southeast Asian films of the past 15 years, the course draws on current writings from feminism, Buddhist studies, affect theory, queer studies, postcolonial theory, and film studies to ask what new understandings of subjectivity might emerge from these cinemas and their political contexts. Films will be drawn from both mainstream and independent cinema and will include the work of directors such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Danny and Oxide Pang, Yau Ching, Thunska Pansittivorakul, Garin Nugroho, and Jean-Jacques Annaud.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Arnika Fuhrmann (aif32)
Full details for LGBT 6331 : Gender and Sexuality in Southeast Asian Cinema
LGBT 6944 Biopolitics: New Directions

This course explores the philosophical concept of biopolitics and its diverse translations and/or adaptations across multiple disciplines and across the globe (Africa, Far East, South East Asia, and the Americas). We will trace the concept of biopolitics and its attendant notions—Sovereignty, Governmentality—as they emerge in the work of Michel Foucault and analyze the multiple disciplinary and geographical directions in which they have travelled. Throughout the semester, we shall examine 1) the innovative thinking around biopolitics in the works of Arendt, Esposito, Agamben, Hardt and Negri, Wolfe, 2) the connections and entanglements of the concept with postcolonial theory/black studies in Mbembe, Weheliye, Comaroff, Mezzadra, 3) the extension and complication of biopolitics in gender, feministand sexuality studies, and new media studies.  Ultimately, we will examine theorizations of new stylistics of power as well as emerging forms of agency and political organizing in the biopolitical sphere. Key terms include race, postcoloniality, feminism, agency, and new media.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Naminata Diabate (nd326)
Full details for LGBT 6944 : Biopolitics: New Directions