schedule 2020-21 [draft]

Sapere aude pre-orientation workshop, one week before regular orientation.
August 8 – August 11, online. Participation required.

  • Our class meets online, beginning Thursday 20 August through Thursday November 19
    • the course has both synchronous and asynchronous elements
  • Our course continues in December without class meetings, but with peer review sessions and conferences with fellows and faculty, from November 30 through December 18.

Conceptual schemes (Robb — )
Activist theatre and performance 1 (Green — )
Black Venuses (Fache — )
Activist theatre and performance 2 (Green — )
The ethics of coexistence and co-vibrancy (Tamura —)
Activist theatre and performance 3 (Green —)

winter break  (assignment 12/15-1/10)


unit 5 (Bory)
unit 6 (Munger)
unit 7 (Ewington)
unit 8 (Denham)
final work (final work)

presentation and evaluation 4/28-5/6

S = synchronous meeting
A = asynchronous meeting

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Thursday 20 August
Opening Sessions – plenary and breakout sessions
9:50 am EDT synch + asynch

Professor Robb

Tuesday 25 August Robb

Thursday 27 August

Tuesday 1 September

Thursday 3 September

Tuesday 8 September

Thursday 10 September

Professor Green

Tuesday 15 September Green

Thursday 17 September

Professor Fache

Tuesday 22 September Fache

Thursday 24 September

Tuesday 29 September

Thursday 1 October

Tuesday 6 October

Thursday 8 October

Professor Green

Tuesday 13 October Green

Thursday 15 October

Professor Tamura

Tuesday 20 October Tamura

Thursday 22 October

Tuesday 27 October

Thursday 29 October

Tuesday 3 November

Thursday 5 November

Professor Green

Tuesday 10 November Green

Thursday 12 November

Tuesday 17 November

Thursday 19 November

What is truth? What is knowledge? Is there an objective world independent of us, or is reality subjective, constructed by our various experiences? We look at these questions with a special focus on conceptual schemes. These are ways of thinking that tell us how to categorize objects, interpret experiences, and ask questions. Conceptual schemes are indispensable in the humanities, sciences, and everyday life, but their influence on knowledge and experience is often hidden from us. A conceptual scheme is, roughly, a set of foundational principles and concepts that shape how we experience the world. (To see the role of a conceptual scheme on a small scale, note how your experience of the figure below changes as you categorize it first as a duck and then as a rabbit.) In this unit we’ll look at (1) the role of conceptual schemes (“paradigms”) in science, with a focus on the scientific revolution; (2) the possibility of radically different conceptual schemes, and the criteria we might use to choose among them; and (3) the sense, if any, in which truth and knowledge are constructed by our conceptual schemes.

This unit’s artifact:

Anon. “Which animals most resemble one another? Rabbit and duck.” Fliegende Blätter (23 October 1892): 17.

Thursday, September 19 afternoon, Hance

Prof. Kristen Thompson “From Observation to Theory:  Revolution in Science”
READ: Principe, The Scientific Revolution: A Very Short Introduction, chs. 1-3.• required plenary response form here

Sunday Sept 22 5:00pm
unit 2, post 1 due

week of 9/23-9/27
paper 1 revisions with fellows and faculty; required one-on-one writing tutor sessions; required meetings with faculty

Tues Sept 24 morning in sections
READ: Principe, The Scientific Revolution: A Very Short Introduction, chs. 4-6 and the Epilogue

Wednesday Sept 25 evening screening 9:00pm – 11:00pm
We’ll screen Arrival in Hance. Movies are more fun together. You can also stream it on your own or in small groups (on-campus link for viewing here). See this film before Thursday afternoon.

Thurs Sept 26 morning in sections
READ: Kuhn, selections from The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (with commentary in Boersema, “Paradigms and Research Programs”); in the Robb dropbox folder.

Thurs Sept 26 afternoon, Hance
Faculty Panel, On Translation. Profs. Marija Jankovic, Amanda Ewington, Scott Denham.
VIEW: Arrival (film, streamed on Swank, link for viewing here)
• required plenary response form here

Friday, September 27, 5:00 pm. Draft 2 of paper 1 due.

Sunday Sept 29 5:00pm
unit 2, post 2 due

week of 9/30-10/4
paper 1 revisions, required meetings with peers and fellows

Tues Oct 1 morning in sections
Borges, “Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius” PDF in the dropbox
Plato, The Allegory of the Cave (selection from The Republic); in the Robb dropbox folder.

Thurs Oct 3 morning in sections
Read: James, Pragmatism, Lecture VII (optional pre-read: Lecture VI); in the Robb dropbox folder.Optional pre-read: Appiah, Thinking It Through, pp. 39-61; EBOOK here.

Thurs Oct 3 afternoon in sections

Frankfurt, “On Bullshit”, ch. 10 of The Importance of What We Care About EBOOK here

Friday Oct 4 5:00pm
Project 1 final version due.

Sunday Oct 6 5:00pm
unit 2, post 3 due

Tues Oct 8 morning in sections
Appiah, selection from Thinking it Through (pp. 339-60) EBOOK here

Thurs Oct 10 morning Hance
Plenary Lecture open to the public
Prof. Dave Robb
Read: Rorty, “Solidarity or Objectivity?”; in the Robb dropbox folder.
• required plenary response form here

Thurs Oct 10 afternoon in Hance – plenary session
open to the public
• Librarians and archivists
Cara Evanson and colleagues
Debbie Lee Landi and colleagues
Ethics, politics, philosophies of organizing, storing, owning, finding, sharing, selling and giving away knowledge in the humanities. • required plenary response form here 

Fall break assignment here. You need Lapham’s Revolutions and your red notebook over break.
You should also get started on the two books we’ll read this unit: Gourevitch and Sontag.

The fall study trip as been cancelled. Study trips in January and  February are on.

UNIT 3 • Professor Tamura
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This unit’s artifact:

James Nachtwey's photo of piles of machetes abandoned by Hutu genocidaires at the Tanzanian border.
“As the vanquished Hutus fled into Tanzania, they had to leave at the border the weapons with which they had committed the genocide, Rwanda, 1994.” James Nachtwey for TIME

NB: Texts to purchase for this unit are in the college bookstore:
• Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1998.
• Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2003.

Wednesday post, due 5:00pm.
This is a little research post, assignment here and under the assignments tab.

Thursday Oct 17 morning in Hance
public lecture
• announcements; checking in on paper 1; reviewing the fall break assignment; in-class responses

Professor Tamura — introduction to the unit
Before this session (1) read or listen to this brief interview between host Jacki Lyden and biographer Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, “Hannah Arendt and the Study of Evil” (link here and a pdf transcript in the Tamura dropbox folder) and (2) read Randall Ingram, “banality vs. ubiquity”  from the course teaching notes last year (in the Tamura dropbox folder).
• required plenary response form here 

Thursday Oct 17 afternoon in Hance
James Sponsel and colleagues
How to find the conversation and know if it has value.
research basics and Zotero with examples for the unit and the paper 2 assignment. Have a very close look at the artifact for this unit and the linked source for this artifact before this session.
• required plenary response form here

Tuesday Oct 22 morning in sections
Philip Gourevitch, We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families, pages 3-62.

Tuesday Oct 22, 11 am – 3pm, drop in — Alvarez Student Union
Attend the Make Your Own Passport Workshop 11-3 in the Union with visiting artist Tintin Wulia. See the prompt due Wednesday at 9pm.

ATs this week: Fellows work with Humesters in AT sessions on their Zotero accounts.

Wednesday Oct 23
brief post, assignment here and under the assignments tab

Thursday Oct 24 morning in sections
read beforehand
Gourevitch, 85-99, 110-131
Valerie Hartouni, “The Banality of Evil,” in Visualizing Atrocity: Arendt, Evil, and the Optics of Thoughtlessness (New York: NYU Press, 2012), 81-88. In the Tamura dropbox folder.

Thursday Oct 24 afternoon in Hance
public plenary session
Prof. Tamura presentation and discussion
Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others, chapters 1, 6, and 8
• required plenary response form here

Sunday Oct 27 post due 5:00pm
Assignment here and under the assignments tab

Tuesday Oct 29 morning in discussion sections
Philip Gourevitch, We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families, 147-171
Sontag chapter 4 and pages 125-26

Thursday Oct 31 morning meet at the galleries in the VAC
Gallery Director Lia Newman and visiting artists: “Violence, Identity, and Art”
• required plenary response form here

Thursday Oct 31 afternoon — Lilly Family Gallery 3:00pm-4:20pm
Professor Steve Kaliski, plenary session and theater workshop (see beforehand Kaliski, The Refugees
draft text in the Tamura dropbox folder; do not copy or distribute ) 
Public event

• required plenary response form here

Friday November 1, 5:00pm paper 2 draft 1 due
(corrected here to fix the date to match the assignment page)

Tuesday Nov 5 morning in Hance
Prof. Tamura, public lecture and discussion
read beforehand
Gourevitch 340-353
Suheir Hammad 2 poems: “exotic” (in the Tamura dropbox folder) and her performance of “first writing since” here.
Sontag chapter 7

Thursday Nov 7 morning in Hance
Visiting artist Nicolaus Renaud
public lecture on indigeneity;  Q&A moderated by Prof. Tamura
Read beforehand: Sarita See “An Open Wound: Angel Shaw and Manuel Ocampo” in The Decolonized Eye: Filipino American Art and Performance. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 1-9 (in the Tamura dropbox folder).

Thursday Nov 7 afternoon in Hance
Public Lecture
Professor Yurika Tamura, “Suffering, Spectacle, and Ethics of Sensations.”
Vibration of Others: Ethics of Body Matters
Read beforehand: Alphonso Lingis, “The Other Community,” excerpts from “The Intruder,” and excerpts from “Community in Death” in The Community of Those Who Have Nothing In Common, 1-13, 31-37, 155-159 (in the Tamura dropbox folder).
• required plenary response form here

Unit 4 • Prof. Anne Blue Willsback to the top

Is revolution fundamentally a project of redefining who is human? How do racial definitions determine who can take revolutionary action, under what circumstances, and using what means? By discussing different kinds of writing – primary and secondary documents including speeches and manifestoes, legal argument, graphic history – we will reflect on Black uses of political violence and non-violence.

artifacts for this unit:

All readings for this unit here in the Wills dropbox folder.

Tuesday Nov 12 morning in Hance
Public Lecture
Professor Anne Blue Wills
Daniel Lee
, “A Great Racial Commission: Religion & the Construction of White America” in Race, Nation, and Religion in the AmericasAll readings here in the Wills dropbox folder.• required plenary response form here

Thursday Nov 14 morning in sections
Cheryl Harris
, “Whiteness as Property” (excerpt), in Harvard Law Review 1993

Thursday Nov 14 afternoon in sections
M-R Trouillot, “An Unthinkable History: The Haitian Revolution as a Non-event” in Silencing the Past. ( here in the Wills dropbox folder)1792, St. Domingue. Lapham’s Quarterly, 53 – 54.
1792 Paris: Lapham’s Quarterly, 110 – 112 
(Lapham also in an e-version here.)

Sunday Nov 17 post due 5:00pm

Tuesday Nov 19 morning in sections
Ida B. Wells, Southern Horrors (1892; excerpts)
Mary Church Terrell, “What It Means to be Colored in the Capital of the United States” (1906)

Thursday Nov 21 morning in Hance
Public Lecture
Prof. Anne Blue Wills
Robert Williams, Negroes with Guns (1962) • required plenary response form here

Thursday Nov 21 afternoon in sections
Robert Williams, Negroes with Guns (1962)

Nov 23 – 30 holiday break—no class or AT meetings this week, but readings and portfolio work

Sunday Dec 1, 5:00pm post due

Tuesday Dec 3 morning in Hance
Public Lecture
Prof. Anne Blue Wills
Lewis, Aydin, Powell, March 2 and Malcolm X, “The Ballot or the Bullet”• required plenary response form here

Wednesday Dec 4 post due 5pm

Thursday Dec 5 morning in sections

your post

Lewis, Aydin, Powell, March 2


Malcolm X, “The Ballot or the Bullet” (1964)

Thursday Dec 5 afternoon final Unit 4 plenary session in Hance

Tuesday Dec 10 morning — last class session
Prof. Denham — introduction to the winter break trip to Montgomery (15 mins)
Prof. Alison Bory — introduction to the winter break assignments and Unit 5 (30 mins)
• required plenary response form here

draft practice portfolios due — If you want feedback on your portfolio at this point from Prof. Denham, last chance for that is work posted by Dec. 10. Not required.

student feedback instrument — in class (20 mins)

self assessment — in class or later

no ATs this week

Thursday Dec 12 — reading day, no class

Thursday Dec 19
• final version of the December practice portfolio is due at 5:00 pm
• self-assessment due at 5:00 pm

Over break — portfolio response from an outside reader. Required. Details here and under the assignments tab.