Racial Justice in the 20th Century United States and South Africa – Fall 2017

Course numbers: AAAS 346S, HISTORY 396S, ICS 351S, POLSCI 336S, PUBPOL 326S

Course attributes: CCI, R, W, CZ, SS

Course description:

In 1966, Robert Kennedy gave a speech to thousands of University of Cape Town students.  He began with something of a history lesson.  “I came here because of my deep interest and affection for a land settled by the Dutch in the mid-seventeenth century, then taken over by the British, and at last independent; a land in which the native inhabitants were at first subdued, but relations with whom remain a problem to this day; a land which defined itself on hostile frontier; a land which has tamed rich natural resources through the energetic application of modern technology; a land which once imported slaves, and now must struggle to wipe out the last traces of that former bondage.”  Kennedy paused before delivering the punch-line – a punch-line that drew laughter of self-recognition.  “I refer, of course, to the United States of America,” Kennedy concluded.

Scholars, pundits, and historical actors have long drawn parallels between the United States and South Africa – two countries founded on the premises of racial inequality.  In this course, we will explore the machinations of race from the quickening of industrial development to the present.  We will consider the benefits and pitfalls of thinking comparatively, as well as cover such topics as segregation, transatlantic religious and cultural exchanges, living apartheid and Jim Crow, struggles for liberation, the American anti-apartheid movement, memory and the struggles for social change, and the notion of “post-racial societies.”

Professor biography:

Professor Shapiro studies American social and southern history, as well as South African history. She is now engaged in three distinct projects. The first consists of a biography of Archbishop Walter Khotso Makhulu, archbishop of Central Africa between 1980 and 2000.  A graduate of the same seminary and a direct contemporary of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu who served as Archbishop of Cape Town,

Second, explores South Africa’s apartheid-era emigration policy and its relationship to notions of citizenship and state formation, as well as the ways in which passports and other kinds of travel documents formed part of the oppressive apparatus of the successive National Party governments.

Third, Professor Shapiro is researching the transnational careers of seven influential South African medics who came to North Carolina in the 1950s and ‘60s to work at Duke and UNC, Chapel Hill. Primarily epidemiologists and family and community medicine doctors, this cohort adopted a “social medicine” approach. These pioneering doctors generally left South Africa when the National Party introduced apartheid in the late 1940s/1950s. Several ended up in North Carolina, where they had long and illustrious careers.

Iraq & Syria: Arts and Revolutions – Fall 2017

Course number: AMES 222S

Course attributes: CCI, ALP, CZ

Course description:

The course introduces the political and cultural background of the conflict and uprising in Iraq and Syria. Focusing on culture, arts, and literature especially after the Arab Spring 2011 this course uses movies, books, and guest speakers to broaden the understanding of the current war against terrorism and dictatorships.

Professor biography:

Abdul Sattar Jawad (known also as ‘Al-Mamouri’) is an Iraqi-born Professor of Comparative Literature and Middle Eastern Studies at Duke University. He received a Ph.D in English Literature and Journalism, London’s City University (UK). He has been a Barksdale Fellow at the University of Mississippi Honors College; a Visiting Professor at the Department of English and American Language and Literature, Harvard University; and a scholar at the John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies at Duke University. Before coming to Duke, he was Dean of College of Arts Mustansiriya University in Baghdad and edited the Baghdad Mirror. Apart from teaching Arabic and English Literature, he is an expert on the works of T. S. Eliot and those of William Shakespeare. He has translated Eliot’s “Waste Land” into Arabic. He is also an expert on Iraqi media and academia. Jawad has written 14 books on literature and media, and has edited several literary magazines and newspapers in English and Arabic.

 

 

Chinese Media and Pop Culture – Fall 2017

Course numbers: AMES 435S, ISS 435, POLSCI 435

Course attribution: ALP, SS, CCI

Course Description:

The course examines contemporary Chinese media and popular culture within the context of globalization. The primary modes of inquiry are cross-cultural, interdisciplinary, and comparative, focusing on how China views itself and constructs its global images, and how the world views China through media and popular culture. The primary objective is to understand political, ideological and social changes since the Reform Era that began in 1978. It explores different aspects of Chinese media (traditional news press, radio and TV, and the internet and social media), and popular culture such as cinema, popular music and fashions, and global perception and media coverage of China.

Professor biography:

Professor Kang Liu has taught Chinese Studies at Duke University since 2003. His current research project covers global public opinion surveys of China’s image, Chinese soft power and public diplomacy, Chinese media and popular culture, political and ideological changes in China.

 

 

 

Introduction to African Studies – Fall 2017

Course numbers: AAAS 103, CULANTH 105, HISTORY 129, POLISCI 108, ICS 110

Course attributes: CCI, ALP, CZ

Course Description:

A range of disciplinary perspectives on key topics in contemporary African Studies: nationalism and pan-Africanism, imperialism and colonialism, genocide and famine, development and democratization, art and music, age and gender.

Professor biography:

Charlie Piot is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University, where he has a joint appointment in African and African American Studies.  His area of specialization is the political economy and cultural history of rural West Africa.  His first book, Remotely Global: Village Modernity in West Africa (1999) attempted to re-theorize a classic out-of-the-way place as within the modern and global.  His recent book, Nostalgia for the Future: West Africa after the Cold War (2010), explores shifts in Togolese political culture during the 1990s, a time when the NGOs and charismatic churches take over biopolitics, organizing social and political life in the absence of the state.  His current project is on Togolese who apply for and attempt to game the US Diversity Visa lottery.

 

 

Islamic Mysticism – Fall 2017

Course numbers: AMES 373S, ETHICS 373S, ICS 380S, RELIGION 373S

Course attributions: CCI, EI, CZ

Course Description:

This course explores the mystical dimension of Islam, with a bold, poetic, and mystical emphasis on the legacy of human and Divine love.   No background is needed.

Themes explored in this class include the tradition of love poetry of Rumi and Hafez, the various meditative techniques, Sufi poetry and music. We will also explore the controversies surrounding Sufism in the contemporary scene ranging from attacks on Sufism from Muslim fundamentalists to the destruction of Sufi shrines by ISIS and Wahhabis.

Professor biography:

Professor Omid Safi is an award-winning professor in the department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, and the director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center.

 

 

 

Apartheid South Africa and the Struggles for Democracy – Fall 2017

Course number: AAAS 316S, POLSCI 336S, PUBPOL 326S, HISTORY 396S

Course attributes: CCI, EI, R, CZ, SS

Course description: 

Working through an array of diverse organizations – including the African National Congress, the Pan African Congress, the Black Consciousness Movement, a host of liberal organizations, the churches, the trade union federations, and countless more – black and some white South Africans fought against apartheid from its inception.  In 1994 they achieved a multi-racial democracy led by President Nelson Mandela.  This seminar explores key themes in post-World War II South African history, paying special attention to the plethora of anti-apartheid struggles, while giving voice to some pro-apartheid proponents.

The readings are arranged both chronologically and thematically.  Over the course of the term, we will discuss how apartheid affected people’s daily lives, the ideological and programmatic opposition to apartheid, and the internecine struggles between and within the anti-apartheid organizations and movements.  We will conclude the course with contemporary reflections on life during apartheid.

Professor biography:

Professor Shapiro studies American social and southern history, as well as South African history. She is now engaged in three distinct projects. The first consists of a biography of Archbishop Walter Khotso Makhulu, archbishop of Central Africa between 1980 and 2000.  A graduate of the same seminary and a direct contemporary of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu who served as Archbishop of Cape Town,

Second, explores South Africa’s apartheid-era emigration policy and its relationship to notions of citizenship and state formation, as well as the ways in which passports and other kinds of travel documents formed part of the oppressive apparatus of the successive National Party governments.

Third, Professor Shapiro is researching the transnational careers of seven influential South African medics who came to North Carolina in the 1950s and ‘60s to work at Duke and UNC, Chapel Hill. Primarily epidemiologists and family and community medicine doctors, this cohort adopted a “social medicine” approach. These pioneering doctors generally left South Africa when the National Party introduced apartheid in the late 1940s/1950s. Several ended up in North Carolina, where they had long and illustrious careers.

 

Postwar Europe, 1945-1968: Politics, Society & Culture – Fall 2017

Course numbers: HISTORY 537S, POLISCI 515S, ICS 537S

Course attributions: CCI, EI, STS, CZ, SS

Course description: 

Politics, society, and culture in Western Europe during the postwar years focusing on Cold War culture, liberalism and intellectual life. “East” and “West” during the Cold War: A comparative examination of Western European societies’ and movements’ responses to communism, highlighting debates on the morality of socialism and capitalism and on liberty, historical determinism, and individual responsibility. Examination of the anxieties and hopes evoked by postwar technological and economic progress – by “Americanization” and the “Economic Miracle.”

Professor biography:

Malachi Haim Hacohen (PhD, Columbia) is Bass Fellow and Associate Professor of History and Jewish Studies at Duke University, and Director of the Council for European Studies and of the Religions and Public Life Initiative at the Kenan Institute for Ethics.  His research focuses on Jewish European history, and he has published on the Central European Jewish intelligentsia, Cold War liberalism, nation and empire in Austrian history, and cosmopolitanism and Jewish Identity. His Karl Popper – The Formative Years: Politics and Philosophy in Interwar Vienna won the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the AHA and the Victor Adler State Prize. He had Fellowships from the ACLS, Fulbright, Mellon, and Whiting Foundation. He was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, the National Humanities Center, and the IFK in Vienna.  He presently leads an international project on “Empire, Socialism and Jews“.  His Jacob  & Esau: Jewish European History Between Nation and Empire is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press.

 

Indian Cinema – Fall 2017

Course numbers: AMES 251, AMI 253, LIT 211, VMS 231

Course attributes: CCI, R, ALP, CZ

Course description:

Traditional Indian aesthetics emphasizes the experience of the viewer.  Less attention is paid to how the “external” world is represented; far greater attention is paid to how the “internal” world is stirred by a work of art.   In this introduction to Indian cinema, we will extend our usual way of analyzing the latent ideology of art by practicing traditional Indian sensitivity.  We will ask ourselves the following questions:  What kind of participation does a film invite? Who does it encourage us to become as we watch the film—how alert, how sensitive, how informed, how speculative?  What emotional effect does the film have upon us?  Could that effect be described as catharsis? What might traditional Indian theoreticians mean when they describe the “tasting” of basic emotions induced by a work of art as the height of aesthetic experience?

Professor biography: 

Professor Khanna’s teaching and research interests lie in the application of Indian aesthetics to film and modern Hindi literature.  He pays particular attention to the design of dhvani (resonance) in imaginative works.  Professor Khanna’s recent translations from Hindi literature have been the poet Nirala’s fictional autobiography (A Life Misspent, 2016), the novelist Mohan Rakesh’s India travelogue (Out to the Farthest Rock, 2015), and the poet Vinod Kumar Shukla’s novel (Once it Flowers, 2014).

He also interprets the lives and works of contemporary Indian writers to an international audience through a series of documentary films and translations. Professor Khanna’s recent work includes a translation of Vinod Kumar Shukla’s Naukar ki Kameez (The Servant’s Shirt, Penguin India, 1999), an anthology of short fiction, His Daily Bread (Har Anand, 2000) and the series Literary Postcard on the Doordarshan national network in India.

 

Trump in the Age of Captain America

As part of the Wednesday at the Center series, the John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies welcomed Professor Jason Dittmer to speak about President Trump’s populism in the context of Captain America.

 

Duke welcomed Professor Jason Dittmer to discuss the unexpected relationship between Captain America and President Trump on February 15, 2017. Dittmer is a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University College London.

 

Dittmer speaks at Duke

The John Hope Franklin Center and the Duke University Center for International and Global Studies hosted the packed event which focused on Trump’s populism, power, and sforeign policy in relation to the wildly popular Captain America comics and movies. Professor Dittmer discussed the theory that President Trump is the embodiment of American New Populism and masculinity, similarly to how Captain America is portrayed.

 

Dittmer compared the politics of Captain America with the politics of President Trump, noting that citizens of both the right and left have used Captain America to advance and undermine President Trump’s rhetoric and policies.  Dittmer went on to say, “We have this notion of [Trump] as a superhero or as someone who needs to be fought by super heroic action.”

 

During his visit, Dittmer also gave a lecture entitled “The UK in the World/the World in the UK” which featured research from his forthcoming book, “Diplomatic Material: Affect, Assemblage, and Foreign Policy” (Duke University Press, 2017).