CZ

Turkey: Muslim and Modern

Turkish history from the 18th century to the present. Turkey as strategic ally of the US; candidate for membership in European Union; first Muslim country to adopt democracy, secularism, and Westernization, and as political, cultural, and economic model for other Muslim countries. Focus on

Turkish people’s encounter with modernity as Muslims; questions about contradictions and promises of Muslim and modern experience; informed consideration of Islam’s encounter with the West. No prerequisites. No knowledge of Turkish required. One course.

Around the Bloc: Cold War Culture in the USSR and Eastern Europe

Drawing on oral and written history, memoirs, film, fiction, and essays in anthropology and sociology, we’ll resist the black/white readings imposed by the Iron Curtain and explore the dreams, fears, ethical concerns, cultural trends, and lifestyles of Cold War baby boomers in the USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Romania. Highlighted topics include: the privileges and discontents of postwar youth, the atomic age and its mutations, adventures in socialist consumer culture, gender politics and real life, making art about the socialist state of the absurd.

Geopolitics and Globalization: From Bosnia to Afghanistan

Study of countries on the geographical periphery of the commonly defined Middle East: Bosnia, Turkey, Armenia, Chechnya, Iran, and Afghanistan. All of these countries have deep Middle Eastern ties and traditions, sizeable communities with Middle Eastern origins and connections, and recent histories of cultural and ethnic conflict and violence. Exploration of how the Middle Eastern components and histories in these conflicts have been distorted and obscured as the conflicts have been depicted through the lenses of U.S. or Soviet/Russian geopolitical interests. One course.

Geopolitics & Globalization: From Bosnia to Afghanistan

Study of countries on the geographical periphery of the commonly defined Middle East: Bosnia, Turkey, Armenia, Chechnya, Iran, and Afghanistan. All of these countries have deep Middle Eastern ties and traditions, sizeable communities with Middle Eastern origins and connections, and recent histories of cultural and ethnic conflict and violence. Exploration of how the Middle Eastern components and histories in these conflicts have been distorted and obscured as the conflicts have been depicted through the lenses of U.S. or Soviet/Russian geopolitical interests. One course.

Language and the Law

Ways in which law regulates language and speech, with particular emphasis on offensive speech. Theory and practice of freedom of speech and its limitations; how the legal system treats obscenity, profanity and “indecent” speech, defamation, and hate speech. Emphasis on why these forms of speech are considered offensive, with reference to sociological, anthropological, and political explanations for restrictions on offensive speech. Studies language as property in form of copyright, trademark, and trade secrets law.

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