The Humanities in Place: Academic Space in Theory and in Practice
Instructors: Bill Sherman and Michael Levenson
This seminar involves the design, fabrication and erection of a portable fabric structure to provide a venue for readings, conversations and performances sponsored by the Institute of the Humanities and Global Culture. Alongside the work of planning and construction, the seminar will address questions of sustainable ethics, the theory of shelter, and the symbolic spaces of humanistic learning. for more information >
The Global Short Story
Instructor: Ann Mazur
The short story as literary form presents distinctive interpretative possibilities. This similarly "short" course will capitalize upon the short story's conciseness, wit, moment of impact, and playfulness to investigate our increasingly global community of writers. Beginning with the University of Virginia's own Edgar Allen Poe's short stories (and his famous definition of the genre), our course will then emphasize the contemporary short story's multiplicity of forms, effects, and manipulations from around the globe. Course readings will include modern fairy tales, other retellings, horror, detective stories, but also include stories adapted into films -- in effect, we will cover a broad literary and analytical geography across language and form barriers though contained to the (deceptively) short story.
Teaching Woolf in Delhi
In the fall of 2012, Michael Levenson and Brinda Bose (Delhi University) will jointly offer a post-graduate seminar on Virginia Woolf and Bloomsbury. The central subject will be the full reach of Woolf's literary career, including all of her novels, which will be placed alongside readings from her Bloomsbury associates and her own letters and diaries. Twelve students in Charlottesville and twelve in Delhi will follow the same course of readings; they will form research pairs to make presentations to their respective seminar groups; and on three occasions they will meet in joint seminar discussion through the resources of teleconferencing. The cross-national conversation will let us explore both convergence and divergence in our interpretive perspectives, our terms of critical discourse, and our methodological assumptions. The hope is to use this teaching experiment as a basis for further projects in global pedagogy.
This course, taught by Walt Hunter (English), is an introduction to the study of culture, commerce, and travel within a global frame. We’ll start by looking at the long history of globalization, and we’ll examine the relationship between traveling cultures and traveling commodities. In the process, we’ll follow a burnt-out detective to Sweden; a group of anthropologists to Madagascar; a historian to pre-modern China; filmmakers to Senegal and France; poets to Pakistan and the Pacific. Novels, stories, films, and poems will share space with case studies, fieldwork, and theories of economic development. As scholars of globalization, we’ll adopt a critical and transnational point of view, crossing disciplines as frequently as borders, genres as often as time periods. And in doing so, we’ll be forced to consider the different kinds of evidence used in the arguments we read, the relationship between theories and practices of global development, and the various styles of writing on display.