Sample Core Communities Courses

The following are sample Core Science courses, and may not be available every semester.

    CORE C142/142C - Addiction & Recovery

    Explores addiction and recovery through fiction, poetry, memoir, film, and psychological theory. Examines how intersections of gender, race, age, class, sexuality, and disability inform people's experience of addiction and access to recovery. Coursework is designed to improve student's ability to analyze complex texts and to situate them within their cultural, political, and historical contexts.

    CORE C143 - Jewish Diasporas: Ukraine, Moscow, Jerusalem, New York

    Looks at the evolution of East European Jewry at the turn of the twentieth century, as a community with a single way of life finds itself in the vastly different environments of immigrant New York, Ottoman-era Palestine, and Soviet Russia. What stays the same and what changes? What is the fate of Marxist-inspired Jews in Palestine and in Soviet Russia? What happened, and what did they think as it happened? The course starts in the 1880s and ends in 1953 (the end of World War II, the formation of the State of Israel, the death of Stalin). The group we are studying is both a historical community, with roots going back 3,000 years, and a community of practice.

    CORE C144 - Time

    What is time? The question has been asked by philosophers, theologians, scientists, as well as many other serious thinkers over the centuries. Nevertheless, human beings are still far from deciphering the enigmatic qualities of time today. Students spend a semester together tackling the profound question of time from diverse angles and through diverse means. Students engage in the conversations between scientists and religious thinkers; take a moment to meditate; look at how temporality in other cultures reflects and shapes alternative relationships between man and nature; watch and discuss films; also indulge in dance and music; explore how time is connected to our body, to social structures, and to power; also make the effort to capture, reconstruct and present time through art works. This intellectual / experiential / artistic journey through "time" is intended to serve as a mirror that reflects on ourselves — our body and mind, our history, our society, and ultimately, who we are.

    CORE C165/165C - China

    China has the distinction of being one of the world's oldest continuous cultures, with 5,000 years of rich, complex history. Today, it is also a rising international power with the second largest economy on the globe. CORE 165C approaches China not as a monolithic entity, but as a complicated place and people best understood through diverse perspectives, including but not limited to history, economics, geography, literature, art, politics, environment, society, ethnicity, gender, migration, and diaspora. Students also gain indispensable research skills as they develop their own projects.

    CORE C166/166C - India

    Offers a wide-ranging and challenging introduction to contemporary India--its famed social, political and cultural diversity, its conflicts and contradictions, its literature and history. India as it is known today, with its population of more than a billion, is a recent creation, a product of the partition of the South Asian colonies of the British Raj (Empire). How has such a diverse region come together, and been held together, as one nation? How have its conflicts and contradictions—of class, caste, ethnicity, language, religion and politics— been managed by its rulers and politicians? How have these conflicts and contradictions been captured in novels and on film? The course goal is to subject the "Idea of India" to a detailed investigation, beginning in the present, and working through a process of excavation, discovery, and critique.

    CORE C175/175C - Wilderness

    A multidisciplinary engagement with the idea of wilderness and the lived experience of the people and communities that have been shaped and reshaped by the local, regional, and global forces involved in the conservation and preservation movements in the US and internationally. Students explore the lives of the, often, land-based or agrarian local peoples who, in the service of environmental protection, are excluded from places and social and economic activities that are tied to their identities and livelihoods. Reading and research topics include historical and contemporary case studies such as national parks, national forests, national monuments, wildlife refuges, and ocean preserves and the forces that have formed these places and changed the communities of practice that have access.

    CORE C180/180C - Francophone & Creole Identities

    Martinique, a 400 square-mile island, is an official part of France today despite being 4200 miles away from mainland France. French is the official language but most Martinicans freely express themselves in Creole. The majority of Martinicans will declare that they are, first and foremost, citizens of the French Republic, but will also readily admit that they are Martinican by culture. What is striking about Martinique is the dizzying array of cultural signifiers that seem to coexist in a veritable braided community, in which it can be genuinely difficult to tell where one cultural identity strand ends and another begins. Martinique is thus a fabulous lens through which this process of negotiating and renegotiating of cultures, languages, and identities can be viewed, and can be considered a precursor to modern-day globalization.

    CORE C184/184C - The Danube

    The Danube is Europe's second largest river: from its beginnings in the German Black Forest to the Romanian and Ukrainian shores where it meets the Black Sea, the Danube flows through and/or borders ten countries, while its watershed covers four more. The river serves as a unifying artery of economic, cultural, and international exchanges in the diverse region of central and southeastern Europe. The course structures its multidisciplinary inquiry around the river to examine the region's long-standing history as a neglected, maligned, and contested multilingual, multicultural, and multinational space. Culturally mapping the region by focusing on the river's peoples, their intertwined histories, and their cultural imaginaries, the course traces the turbulent history of the region from antiquity, with an emphasis on the 19th century up to the present, to explore the Danube as a quintessential site of cross-cultural engagement in the New Europe.

    CORE C187/187C - Russia at the Crossroads

    Examines Russian society, culture, and identity through eras of Tsarism, revolution, social engineering, war, and societal transformations. Explores Russia's distinctiveness - its place in the world, struggles, and successes - looking at how Russians themselves understand and contest this heritage. Examining the roots of Russian identity, students consider the images of leaders from Peter the Great to Stalin and Vladimir Putin, as well as the work and legacies of artists, writers, and composers. Another major focus is peoples' everyday lives during political and social upheavals. Students examine what life was like during the Stalinist 1930s, through the traumas of World War II ("The Great Patriotic War"), Perestroika in the 1980s, and the post-Soviet present. Students learn about the dynamic ways that culture, history, politics, and identity intertwine in any society.

    CORE C188/188C - Haudenosaunee

    Examines the archaeology, culture, history, economics, religion, literature, arts, politics, law, and individual lives of the Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Indians - Colgate's closest Native American neighbors - from the period before European contact to the present day. Students place Iroquois experiences in North American Indian contexts (comparing the Iroquois, e.g., to the Cherokee), especially regarding the loss and persistence of tribal sovereignty; and investigate Iroquois relations with New York State and the United States, especially in regard to competing land claims.

    CORE C193/193C - Brazil

    Examines communities and identities in Brazil, the largest nation in Latin America. Focuses on the formation of communities under the constraints of Portuguese colonialism, within slavery, in the vast interior of the country, under conditions of extreme violence and poverty, and in the realm of Brazil's vibrant popular culture. Particular attention is paid to the role of individuals in forming and maintaining communities, and to the complex processes of regional and national identity formation. Spans the colonial period to the present, with readings drawn from history, anthropology, literature, ethnography, and journalism, as well as a range of visual sources.

    CORE C197/197C - Tibet

    Examines the formation of a Tibetan identity. This is largely a recent phenomenon brought about unwittingly by the ethnocentric policies imposed throughout the Tibetan Plateau by the modern Chinese state. However, earlier processes were already under way before the People's Liberation Army entered Tibet in the 1950s, which made the transition from a constellation of feudal polities to a nation possible. These included a common written language, common subsistence patterns (farming, pastoralism, and trade), Buddhism, participation in common rituals and festivals (especially religious pilgrimage), a certain respect for the authority of the Dalai Lamas, and so on. Students examine these processes as well as the consequences of China's political and economic incorporation of Tibetan areas into its nascent nation-state. Specific topics to be explored include "the Tibet Problem" (i.e. contemporary Sino-Tibetan relations and conflict), the historic colonial and religious ties between China Proper and Tibet, religious life and everyday Tibetans, "nomadism" (or pastoralism), polyandry and women in Tibet, and Tibetans' encounter with modernity and the West.

    CORE 146C - Haiti

    Students seek to understand the lived experiences of Haitians in Haiti and other particular geographically distinct regions of the world, with a focus on different enclaves in the Dominican Republic and United States. Students critically examine the multiple forms of social life and analyzes the ways in which the Haitian society functions as a unified whole and yet encompasses multiple, sometimes conflicting identities (based, for example, on gender, race, color, status, class, religion, and immigration status). Interdisciplinary in focus and materials, students study the geography, history, politics, sociology, and economics as well as their languages, literature, film, art, music, and religions, students will develop a comparative, historical frame of reference between Haiti and the communities to which they belong

    CORE 147C - Senegal

    An introduction to the cultural diversity and vitality of Senegal. Focusing on postcolonial Senegal and the diaspora, we will study the lived experiences of and theoretical scholarship on gender, sexual, religious, racial, national, and class categories and identities. The course asks how these are informed by shifting political economic agendas including decolonization, nationalism, and global capitalism. Employing a decolonial perspective, we will pay particular attention to the afterlife of French colonialism, based on the premise that "postcolonial" describes not the end but the shifting nature of European domination. The objectives are to unpack how Senegalese people of various identities are positioned in the world, to understand the constructed nature and fluidity of intersecting identities, and to encounter the ways in which individuals and communities creatively respond to identity-based oppression.

    CORE 148C - Black Migrations

    An investigation of the contemporary dispersal of African-descended people throughout the world. While students focus primarily on dispersion to the Americas, some attention is also given to Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Indian Ocean Basin. Recognizing the value of a complex diasporic lens that includes race, gender, sexuality, immigration status, and class, students are introduced to diasporic encounters African descendants have experienced, the formation of transnational social movements, black internationalism, Pan Africanism, post-1965 immigration, and contemporary Black life. To this end, coursework will challenge and expand students' understandings of the diverse and complex history of people of the African Diaspora, what it means to be Black in the 21st Century, and how contemporary Black life is been informed by cultural exchanges in addition to migration, colonialism, slavery, and the quest for political enfranchisement.

    CORE 149C - Hispaniola (Haiti/Dominican Republic)

    A single island, both divided and unified by distinct languages and colonial legacies, students explore the complex negotiations of race and nation in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. By studying works of literature, film, cultural studies, history, and politics from both sides of the border and its diasporas, students consider how the various articulations of colonial and postcolonial identities by states and different social actors have affected the national and international narratives of what it means to be from Hispaniola. Throughout the course, students ponder how physical and notional borders are employed as both tools of exclusion and sites for cooperation and exchange, while considering the complex processes by which national identities are constructed, disputed, and negated. In particular, students focus on discourses of race, language, gender, class, and migration as key to understanding the complexity of these issues, both on the island and in its diasporas.

    CORE 150C - Native Peoples of the Great Plains

    The Native people of the Great Plains are among the most familiar, yet least understood, cultural groups in all of North America. This course seeks to understand Plains Indian people beyond the simplistic renderings of Hollywood films. How have Plains people adapted to their unique environment, and how have their livelihoods changed over time? What historical processes underlay Plains Indian people's relationship to settler society, and how can we understand changes to plains life through lenses like race and gender? And what is happening in Plains Indian communities today? With these questions in mind, this Core Communities and Identities seminar will trace the experiences of Plains Indian people from the colonial era through the present day.

    CORE 153C - Appalachia

    A multidisciplinary introduction to the Appalachian region of the United States, with a particular focus on representation, culture, sense of place, the history of the labor movement, and issues of social and environmental justice. Books, articles, movies, songs, and art that engage the reader critically with the history, people, environment, and economy of central Appalachia will serve as the texts for this course. The course seeks to complicate and challenge popular myths and stereotypical renderings of the Appalachian region, which typically portray its people as devastatingly and deservedly impoverished: economically, intellectually, and culturally. Through the works of Appalachian authors, filmmakers, songwriters and musicians, artists, storytellers, and scholars, students develop a deeper understanding of Appalachian identity, an appreciation for the phrase "sense of place," and a new critical lens through which to view American society and their role within it.

    CORE 154C - Indonesia

    As the world's fourth most populous country, modern Indonesia is home to over 260 million religiously and ethnically diverse individuals. Despite its substantial population and rich regional cultures, Indonesia is often overlooked both in American popular discourse and at American universities. This course pushes back against this unfortunate pattern of neglect. Students approach Indonesia as a valuable window into a whole host of global issues including: the legacy of European colonialism, the complexities of nation-building, cultural evolution, religious revivals, literature and the arts, economic development, and climate change. The vibrancy and paradoxes of modern Indonesian lives are highlighted.

    CORE 155C - Internet

    Examines the internet as a site of disparate cultures from multiple disciplines including: computing, history, psychology, and sociology. Students are introduced to the technological infrastructure of the internet and the historical context in which it was developed. Drawing on theory, this course explores the internet as a place for communities to form, individual self-presentation, social interactions online and off, as well as power and inequality. Topics may include: digital divide, echo chambers, trolling, cyberbullying, etc. Ultimately, the internet provides a context to study the concept of community and the ways in which shared identities are constructed and negotiated.

    CORE 156C - Southern Africa

    Introduces students to the history the major countries of Southern Africa. The course emphasizes that these countries are connected by patterns of culture, migration and economic exchange, political contingencies and warfare. It ranges from the precolonial period, through the time of the British, Portuguese, Belgian and German Empires, to conflicts in the region during the independence and Cold War eras. It seeks to give a picture of the cultures of these countries, and their political, social and economic conditions, today. There is a particular focus on interactions between nations, and issues of migration and transborder initiatives. South Africa has a central place in the course but attention will particularly be given to Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe, Namibia and the 'Copperbelt' region of northern Zambia and Katanga/Shaba.

    CORE 157C - France

    A multidisciplinary survey of the varied communities and identities of France. It focuses on France as a leading member of the European Union, as a former major colonial power, and as a leader in the arts. Using history, films, photography, literature, and journalism, the course will examine France's efforts to come to terms with its colonial past; its self-examination through the "politics of memory"; the different "communities" within France itself--youth, religious groups (e.g., Jewish, Muslim, Catholic), the communities of refugees and immigrants and the divisions within those groups; and its vibrant culture, with a particular focus on French cinema. The course will also examine the current political landscape in France.

    CORE 158C - Puerto Rico

    Understand the cultural, political and social complexities of Puerto Rican identity, with particular attention given to the effects of Spanish and U.S. colonialism on gender and race relations in the stateless nation. Students will study how the colonial discourses that shaped the earliest modern Puerto Rican imaginary continues to inform current political discourse. Through the study of a wide-ranging body of Puerto Rican work that includes literature, cinema, history, and politics, students seek answers to how national identity is articulated in a colonial context, how migration to the mainland has altered the cultural landscape and what kinds of collective cultural and political movements have emerged in response to the island's socio- economic and political problems. Focused on issues of gender and sexuality to understand how these, along with issues of race and class today are linked to the island's colonial legacy, in order to develop a framework for understanding the complex relationships between nation, gender and race on the island and within Puerto Rican communities in the U.S.

    CORE 159C - Maya

    The term "Maya" typically conjures images of ancient pyramids and/or ancient civilizations that are now found in ruins. Some forms of popular media, particularly science fiction, even go as far as describing the Maya people as a civilization that mysteriously disappeared sometime around AD. 900. The Maya currently total over 7 million people in what is today Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador. Furthermore, the word "Maya" serves as an umbrella term that refers to a number of diverse populations, each with distinct culture, language, and material culture. This course will focus on both the construction of the pan-Maya identity, and the numerous populations included within the concept, such as the Tzel Tal, Tzotzil, Kaqchikel, K'iche', Chantal, and the Lacandon, just to name a few. Each of these groups has distinct histories, which often demonstrated significant clashes with colonial and modem national hegemonies. This course also highlights how tradition, language, and identity are preserved under the forces of colonial and nationalistic domination and will also delve into the subject of changing traditions, as these Maya movements of resistance have integrated social media, rock music, and hip-hop to engage younger generations. Ultimately, the Maya provide a means of deconstructing the concept of identity itself by demonstrating how shared identities are constructed, contested, and negotiated.

    CORE 160C - Latin America

    Explores how the idea of "Latin America" came to be and the various political purposes it has served from the colonial encounter to the contemporary moment. This is not a traditional survey course that gives an overview of the regional mosaic we have come to call "Latin America." Instead, it illuminates how the very notion of Latin America as a discrete world-region has been conjured and politicized at key historical moments, emphasizing the underlying social inclusions, exclusions, and global relations fueling these multiple (re)inventions. In addition to the central themes of race, nature, and anti-imperialism, the crucial role of the United States as an interventionist foreign power also looms large in this story.

    CORE 162C - Colombia

    Introduces communities and identities of Colombia through the exploration of music, film, literature, and art. Approaches the complex history and geography that has made Colombia a quilt of Latin American cultures, and one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth. Aims to understand the rich culture created by geographical regions as diverse as the Caribbean, the Andean, the Pacific, the Orinoquia, and the Amazon regions. Further aims to reflect on the unique ways in which multiple groups have described boundaries and attached or separated themselves from an elusive central government in this part of the world.

    CORE 163C - The Caribbean

    The archipelago of islands and mainland nations called the Caribbean constitutes a complex montage of races, ethnic groups, languages, and nations. Stretching from Guyana in South America to as far north as the Bahamas, minutes from the coast of Miami, the region is joined by a common history of slavery, imperialism, and resistant self-definition. This course studies literature, film, and music of the region to trace a socio-cultural history of the Caribbean. What are the continued effects of slavery and imperialism on the Caribbean? How does African-Creole culture in particular respond to these continued effects? How do tourism, advertising, music, and film inform/construct people's relationship to the Caribbean in the global present?

    CORE 164C - Argentina

    From gauchos in the Pampa, to immigrants in Buenos Aires, to oil workers in Patagonia, Argentina offers a fascinating place to examine the creation, transformation and contestation of identities and communities. This course introduces students to some of the events, institutions, people and sites that have been important for the development of Argentina, from before the land's European colonization, to the rise of populism, dictatorship and resistance in the 20th century, to neoliberal globalization in the current moment. In the process, students gain new ways to understand identity, community, nation, and culture, which they can use wherever they encounter people different from themselves. The course is interdisciplinary and draws from anthropology, history, geography, literature, film, and related disciplines.

    CORE 167C - Japan

    Engages in dialogue with popular discourses, scholarly literature, and primary information sources of Japan and those who live in the island nation state. Focuses on key social and cultural issues that characterize contemporary Japan while also paying attention to its historical experiences and traditions that variably shape the present. Examines such topics as changing 'western' views on the Japanese, diversity in Japanese society, socio-demographic challenges, literature and religion, Japanese political economy and globalization, societal response to natural disasters, and popular culture. Employs a wide range of learning methods, including lecture, class discussion, films, hands-on experiences (e.g., calligraphy), and intensive projects which require students to collect, analyze, and synthesize a wide range of scholarly and non- scholarly sources. Ultimately aims to nurture students' ability to understand and empathize with the logic (and illogic), experiences and emotions of the Japanese people; that is to say, to understand them as you would understand yourselves.

    CORE 168C - The Arctic

    The circumpolar north spans three continents and eight countries, and encompasses numerous indigenous groups, but is unified by its distinct ecosystem. The region has held sway in the popular imagination as an isolated realm apart, but is in fact an integral part of global society that has both been influenced by outsiders and has influenced the cultures of the West for centuries. This course surveys the land and peoples of the circumpolar north, looking at both traditional cultures and the region's current inhabitants. It is a multi-disciplinary course focused on the interactions of people and their environment which explores the region's geography; indigenous cultures including lifeways, art, and stories; Western exploration of the circumpolar north and its impact on both indigenous people and Western cultures; and current challenges facing the region such as cultural disruption, the discovery of fossil fuels, and the impacts of climate change.

    CORE 169C - Rwanda

    A multidisciplinary examination of the ways in which community and identity have been formed, are politicized, and remain relatively static over time. This is not a course about the 1994 genocide, but rather one about how such an event could have happened. This watershed event is historically situated and culturally contextualized as a way to study Rwanda's past and the questions it raises about its future. The experience of Rwandans and consideration of how they understand themselves are analyzed. Assesses the historical and social implications of being ethnic Hutu, Tutsi, or Twa in Rwanda, whether at particular watershed moments — in for example 1894, 1931, 1959, or 1994 — or during periods of so-called 'normalcy' that the country has enjoyed in the past and is experiencing at the moment.

    CORE 170C - Islamic North Africa

    Surveys the varied ethno-national and religious identities and communities of Islamic North Africa, or "the Maghreb": Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, and sometimes Libya, Western Sahara, and Mauritania. Students briefly survey pre-modern Maghreb history from the 7th-century advance of Islam to 19th-century French colonialism. Students focus on the modern Maghreb from the colonial 19th century to the global 21st.

    Pursuing central CI themes, students examine the region from "the natives' point of view," i.e., from North Africans' perspectives on Islam and politics, European and American imperialism, authoritarianism and democracy, technological media, gender, and class. Central to this discussion are the recent Arab revolutions and their continuing aftermath.

    CORE 171C - Mexico

    An interdisciplinary introduction to the history, people, art and cultures of Mexico, a country of diverse ethnic, sexual, gendered, class, and political identities that shares a 2,000-mile border with the United States. How does Mexico's colonial past inform the present? On what terms has a Mexican national identity been defined and who is included or excluded from rights and citizenship? Objectives are to examine Mexico's complex history and social fabric; to study Mexican identities, politics, and cultural expressions with relation to this history; and to gain a general understanding of contemporary Mexico in the context of current events and Mexico's relationship to the United States.

    CORE 172C - California

    Examines the fabric of California's syncretic cultures in historical, geographic, sociologic, artistic, racial, literary, political, and economic contexts. The diverse settlement patterns, environmental and economic challenge/opportunity, explosion of art forms, and continuous creation of new communities often foreshadowed trends of the entire nation. Readings explore major themes and issues of California history, while literary and personal narratives provide insight into social and political realities, including the struggles of successive waves of immigrants to interact with the established populations. Artistic and architectural expressions that document cultural phenomena offer tangible examples of the creative forces that shaped Californian intellectual and physical communities. Sociological case studies as well as economic, political, and environmental reporting assist students to understand the challenges, failures, and victories of the composite California culture. Underlying all of this is a continuous study of the variegated geography of California, which has both offered and required substantial human choices.

    CORE 173C - Ethiopia

    Surveys the culture, religion, communities, history, and socio-economic developments of Ethiopia from the ancient times to the modern period. Ethiopia is home to over 80 ethnic groups with striking cultures that are distinct from Western traditions. Major themes include peoples and languages; traditional customs and beliefs; Christianity and Islam; marriages; community service organizations; literature, novels; education; ethnic relations; traditional art and music; colonial resistance; sports; socio-economic developments; natural resources usage; Ethiopia and Europe; the Ethiopian revolution; Ethiopian immigrants in the United States; traditional harmful practices; and politics. Emphasis is also given to contemporary issues. Lectures are supplemented by discussions, film presentation, group activity, and coffee ceremony.

    CORE 174C - Multi-Ethnic Israel

    Examines the diverse society of Israel, and its transformation from "Melting Pot" to "Multi-Ethnic Society." It focuses on different Jewish and non-Jewish ethnic groups, their cultural traditions, and how ethnicity itself has played a central role in shaping Israeli society. Students begin with a study of the Zionist movement and the corresponding waves of immigration of Jews to Israel. Some issues addressed along the way include: the Zionist movement's attitudes towards the 'negation of the Diaspora,' the 'melting-pot approach' to diversity, the range and types of 'Sephardic protests' that arose over the years and the politics of ethnicity as it has been witnessed in and through events like the rise of the 'Shas' (religious-political) Party. The objective is to examine the political, sociological, and cultural implications of this demographic composition and how it manifests in contemporary Israel—in social life, music, film and popular culture.

    CORE 176C - North American Indians

    Provides an overview of North American Indians by drawing on case studies from four groupings: New England tribes; Iroquois; Cheyenne; and Pueblos. These cultures are studied in terms of their historical and political relationship to Anglo-American society and institutions, attending to Native Americans' resistance to attempted conquest by European or American powers, the creation of reservation systems, and the use of institutions (e.g., the Bureau of Indian Affairs, schools, missions) to change Native American cultures. Students also examine the response of Native Americans to outside pressures. Students explore other issues, such as sovereignty, identity, gambling, repatriation, land claims, and education, and their impact on North American Indians. Videotapes and Native American artifacts are studied throughout the semester.

    CORE 177C - Peru

    The Latin American country Peru evokes dramatic and conflicting images of spectacular natural settings, ancient ruins, cosmopolitan cities, shantytowns, street children, poverty and more. It is a country of extremes. This course offers an interdisciplinary inquiry into this ecologically and culturally diverse land. The course begins by exploring the distinct geography and ecology of the central Andean region (rainforest, mountains, desert, and ocean) in order to understand how these features have shaped the societies that inhabit the region of present-day Peru. This involves analyzing the evolution and organization of Pre- Columbian societies, paying special attention to the Inca civilization. It also examines the ideologies, institutions and practices introduced with the Spanish conquest and era of colonialism in order to understand their impact on indigenous society and their relevance to the state of underdevelopment that characterizes contemporary Peru. Study of present-day Peru juxtaposes rural and urban life, the ties between the two spheres, and the crisis conditions that enveloped both ways of life until recently. Specific issues include the internal armed conflict, the coca culture and cocaine economy, shantytowns and land invasions, oil extraction and indigenous resistance, among other compelling issues. Throughout the term, this course emphasizes the many paradoxes of this intriguing land.

    CORE 178C - Korea

    Designed for students to explore the culture of Korea/Corea. In order to engage in critical learning and dialogue, students look at a wide range of academic and non-academic materials from an interdisciplinary approach. Throughout the semester students delve into issues that have had a deep impact upon post- modern society, which include the cultural-historical and sociocultural foundations of Corea (i.e., social and political history and religious influence), international relations and influences on the economy, the social and political identities, and current cultural structures of North and South Corea. Some of the topics covered may include but are not limited to the Opening of Corea in 1882, Japanese colonial years (1910-1945), division and reunification of Corea (1945-present), the Korean War (1950-1953), North Korea's Juche Policy, South Corea's attempts at democracy and current governmental system, educational reform in South Corea, women's movement in South Corea, and globalization's impact on higher education in South Corea. The main objective is to draw the students' interests towards understanding the world from multiple perspectives, the impacts globalization has upon these multiple systems and institutions, and their individual role in the ever-changing world.

    CORE 179C - Central Asia

    Central Asia lies at the intersection of East and South Asian, Islamic, and European worlds. Yet Central Asia possesses a unique culture of its own, shared by nomads of the steppes and settled peoples of the oasis cities throughout the region constituted by the modern nation-states of Afghanistan, Kirghizstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan (and, to some extent, Mongolia). This course offers an introduction to this multiethnic, multinational community through the eyes of its participants, from medieval geographers to nomad bards to pan-Turkist revolutionaries and post-Soviet autocrats.

    CORE 180C - French Caribbean

    Martinique, a 400 square-mile island, is an official part of France today despite being 4200 miles away from mainland France. French is the official language but most Martinicans freely express themselves in Creole. The majority of Martinicans will declare that they are, first and foremost, citizens of the French Republic, but will also readily admit that they are Martinican by culture. What is striking about Martinique is the dizzying array of cultural signifiers that seem to coexist in a veritable braided community, in which it can be genuinely difficult to tell where one cultural identity strand ends and another begins. Martinique is thus a fabulous lens through which this process of negotiating and renegotiating of cultures, languages, and identities can be viewed, and can be considered a precursor to modern-day globalization.

    CORE 183C - The Middle East

    A multi-disciplinary introduction both to the region conventionally referred to as the Middle East, and also to the academic discipline of Middle Eastern Studies. In other words, it is a study of the people, religion, history, and culture of the region, and also about the politics of studying that region. One of the presuppositions is that a careful, rigorous, and critical study of cultural studies can help one understand one's own assumptions, presuppositions, etc. Among the topics students examine are the multiple interpretations of religion, including sects within Islam, that exist in the region; a variety of cultural practices and various languages; and the effect of imperialism and colonialism on the area. Readings include what current native commentators are saying on cultural, economic, and social debates.

    CORE 185C - The Sahara

    The Sahara has loomed large in the Western imagination yet it has rarely been understood on its own terms. The Sahara's role in world history has been framed as a bridge or a barrier, the dividing line between Arab and African Africa. Such framings obscure the agency of the people in the Sahara and the land itself. This course explores the relationship between imagination and imperialism in the Sahara, problematizing the idea of objective and disinterested knowledge about the Other — other peoples, other places, and other histories. The central themes of this course are power, racism, and imperialism, which are examined through theories of Orientalism; neocolonialism and world systems theory; post-colonialism and subaltern studies; as well as feminist, gendered, and queer studies approaches.

    CORE 189C - Africa

    An introduction to the interdisciplinary study of Africa and to the African Studies major and minor at Colgate. The goal is to introduce students to a major world area with which many, even highly educated, Westerners are unfamiliar. Africa is the original home of the human species, and the intellectual contributions of the continent and its people to the concept of a common humanity are tremendous, including agricultural and industrial technologies, artistic and aesthetic principles, and religious and philosophical ideas. Due to early patterns of globalization and European colonization in the western hemisphere, the Atlantic slave trade, and ultimately colonialism on the continent itself, Africa was configured as "the Dark Continent" in European discourses of the nineteenth century.

    CORE 190C - South Africa

    Aims to provide students with an overview of the social, cultural, political, and economic dynamics that have shaped life in South Africa. Students and faculty work together to better understand the way in which the country of South Africa came into being, how that national identity has been a site of struggle and contestation, particularly in the case of the struggle to overcome Apartheid, and how South Africans are working to overcome the legacy of racism and oppression that has marked much of the social and cultural experience of South Africa. In doing so, students investigate the changing dynamics of race, gender, and culture in South Africa, with a particular focus on understanding the ways South Africans are actively reshaping and unsettling existing social identities and distinctions.

    CORE 191C – Spain

    Covers diverse aspects of "Spanish" society, history, and culture, past and present. Tracing Spain's cultural self-image and national identities through its encounters with war, fascism, democracy, and societal transformations during our global era, students explore its place in the world, its collective struggles, its encounters and negotiations of diversity, and how these have been understood and contested by "Spaniards" themselves. Drawing on fictional works, art, music, and ethnographic texts, a significant portion of the course examines peoples' everyday lives in contexts of violence, war, and socio-cultural change. In sum, students grapple with an inherent paradox in the study of "Spain": the failure to create a homogenous national identity and a coherent, commonly shared historical memory

    CORE 192C - Native Americans in the Southwest

    Focusing on the words from people within the Pueblo, Apache, and Dine communities of what is now called the American southwest, students are introduced to Native American intellectual traditions and their longstanding history. Works from poets, storytellers, educators, artists, scientists, tribal council members, elders are the heart of this course in a sustained consideration of interdependence, complementarity, and the vital interconnections across past and present that are held within specific places. Particular attention is given to the importance of the land, to language retention, and to the power of story as an interventionary force in colonialism and neocolonialism.

    CORE 195C - West Africa

    In contrast to Western journalists' focus on Africa's underdevelopment and widespread disease, West Africa stands out as an area of remarkably vibrant culture. West Africa has always been a space of much social interaction between its various peoples, with many shared cultural practices. In this course, students examine how the pre-colonial and colonial histories shaped social identities. Using an interdisciplinary approach, students analyze how people in West Africa express and reinvent their identities through art, music, dance, clothes, and food. The course draws further on film and literature to understand the specific experiences of West African peoples.

    CORE 198C - Cuba

    Examines the complex geographic, historic, social, racial, literary, political, and artistic fabric of Cuba. Historical readings explore major themes of Cuban history, while literary and personal narratives provide insight into social and political realities. These themes are complemented by a study of Cuban film, dance, and music as agents of identity formation.

    CORE 199C - Bolivia

    A multidisciplinary look at communities and identities in Bolivia, a country in the heart of South America that has captured transnational attention for its Andean panpipe music, its majority indigenous population, and its social movements. The course uses music, dance, film, history, memoir, political documents, policy reports, anthropology, and journalism to grasp different community articulations in Bolivia. Along with historical understandings of Bolivian communities, the course takes a special look at thematic issues that, while locally grounded, have global resonances: indigenous rights, water, resource extraction, neoliberalism, coca and cocaine, and Andean music and dance.