Courses and Seminars

COURSES and SEMINARS

THEMES

NAVIGATION BOARD

COEXISTENCE STUDIES
MARGINALIZATION AND EXCLUSION
GENOCIDE AND SHOAH STUDIES
INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES
CHILDREN AND YOUTH AT RISK

EUROPE IN ITS GLOBAL DYNAMICS
CARIBBEAN AND LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES
AFRICA IN ITS GLOBAL DYNAMICS

Examples of courses taught by Members of the Board of Senior Academic Directors of the City at their respective universities. The courses give students an insight into different aspects of the culture of peace, ranging from coexistence studies to ethical problems in genetics.

 
EUROPE IN ITS GLOBAL DYNAMICS
COEXISTENCE STUDIES

VIENNA 1900

Amy-Diana Colin, Germany/USA

Looking at major political, social, scientific, and cultural changes in one of the most fascinating periods in European history, the turn of the nineteenth century, this course gives students an insight into the preconditions for peace in pluri-ethnic societies of the past as well as into the forces undermining peace: violent nationalism, ethnic and religious hatred, violence; and war. Through documentary and feature films, slide shows, music, and readings of political, philosophical, and literary texts, this interdisciplinary multi-media course investigates the parallels and differences between Europe 1900 and Europe 2000, introducing students to the multifaceted turn of the century culture in its relation to the present time.



The first part of the course focuses on crucial developments in European history, politics, science, philosophy, art, music, and literature at the turn of both centuries, giving special attention to Paris, London, Berlin, and Vienna as centers of intellectual and artistic life, but also of testing grounds for political, social, and economic conflicts. In Vienna, Wittgenstein wrote his revolutionary critique of philosophical language; Freud uncovered substructures of the human psyche; Gustav Klimt and the Secession developed a new style of painting; Arnold Schönberg created the twelve-tone music; Adolf Loos revolutionized architecture; and Karl Kraus wrote his superb polemics against journalists and politicians.

The second part of the course focuses on the response of Viennese intellectuals, writers, philosophers, scientists, and artists to political developments of their time. At the turn of this new century, their reflections and answers regain crucial significance, for they shed light on contemporary concerns and problems in Europe and especially in Vienna. There, 150 different nationalities coexist relatively peacefully in spite of the looming danger of neo-fascism, racism, and xenophobia. Vienna, a multi-ethnic town, strives to become once again a central gateway to Eastern Europe, while remaining aware of its past.

 
SHOAH STUDIES

Jewish Writers in German Literature
Amy-Diana Colin, Germany/USA


Auf daß die Verfolgten nicht Verfolger werden,” the title of a key poem by Nelly Sachs, Nobel Prize Winner for literature, could be the motto of this seminar, which attempts to teach a culture of humaneness and peace via the literature of authors who were victims of persecution, violence and war. The first part of this seminar is devoted to teaching Shoah poetry and prose writings. Among the authors discussed in this course are Paul Celan; the poets from his cultural background, the Bukovina; Nelly Sachs; Edgar Hilsenrath; and Jurek Becker whose novel Jacob, the Liar has become the basis of one of the most interesting movies invoking the Shoah. The second part of the class focuses on other aspects of the intricate interrelations between writers of Jewish descent and their German-speaking contextuality. Walter Benjamin’s Illuminations, Franz Kafka’s The Trial, and S. Freud’s Civilization and its Discontent are among the texts analyzed in this class.
Seminars taught in Germany, Italy, and the United States.


 
MARGINALIZATION AND EXCLUSION

LITTÉRATURE FRANÇAISE DU XXÈME SIÈCLE
Patrick Imbert, University of Ottawa, Canada
Septembre-Décembre/September – December, 2001

De Mao à Balzac. En 1999, dans Balzac et la Petite Tailleuse chinoise, l’écrivain français Dai Sijie réécrit Balzac en lutte contre Mao Tsé Toung. Il calcule l’impact des lectures subversives possibles dans le monde de la répression. Il trace les stratégies de lutte du lecteur qui renouvelle et décontextualise le texte devenu support révolutionnaire de l’épanouissement individuel. Dai Sijie nous introduit à la joie de lire et de réécrire selon une pratique de décontextualisation dans les marges du texte orthodoxe, de l’histoire littéraire officielle et du canon débouchant sur le racisme ou l’exclusion. Dans le contexte du libéralisme, cette pratique herméneutique et pragmatique s’épanouit dans les romans de Michel Houellebecq (Extension du domaine de la lutte) ou de Frédéric Beigbeder. Ils y explorent une société qui a perdu ses grands récits de légitimation, comme le soulignait J.-F. Lyotard dans La condition postmoderne en 1976. Ils y tracent les voies d’une rétorsion improbable inscrite dans une transition permanente ouvrant l’écriture à la prise en charge de l’immédiateté contemporaine.

 
LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES

PROBLÉMATIQUE LITTÉRAIRE
Patrick Imbert, University of Ottawa, Canada
Janvier – Avril / January to April, 2002

AFRICA IN ITS GLOBAL DYNAMICS

AFRICAN-AMERICAN LITERARY TRADITIONS
Henry L. Gates, Harvard University, USA


Explores the emergence and formal development of the African-American literary “tradition” from the 18th to the 20th century. Close readings of the canonical texts in the tradition and their structural relationship is stressed, as is the very idea of “tradition” itself. Authors include Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Booker T. Washington, Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Glorai Naylor, Amiri Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others.

 
CHILDREN AND YOUTH AT RISK
INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES

Nina Scribanu, Georgetown Medical School, USA and School of Medicine, University of Bucharest, Romania.

INCORPORATION OF GENETICS IN CLINICAL PRACTICE ETHICAL ISSUES OF THE GENOME PROJECT, course taught at the School of Medicine, University of Bucharest, Romania, April to June 2002.

The focal theme of this course is the introduction of new concepts of clinical genetics in the medical practice of the post genom era as well as the translation of research into clinical application.

TEACHING PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING, BIOCHEMISTRY AND GENETICS COURSES, junior medical students, January-March 2002.

TEACHING MEDICAL GENETICS, first- and second-year medical students, January-March 2002.

TEACHING CLINICAL CORRELATION, BIOCHEMISTRY COURSE, first-year medical students, January-March 2002.