Course TitleDescription



Politics and Culture
First 7 Weeks –Hybrid
W 7:20 – 10:00 PM
Professor Michael Rossi

 This course will discuss how various aspects of culture affect social relations and political decision-making.  The course will center around three central questions:

  • How is political activity and behavior shaped by culturally specific symbolic meanings and social codes?
  • How and under what conditions do cultural identities (such as ethnicity and religion) become politicized in different political systems?
  • How does the relationship between culture and politics shape our understanding of different areas of analysis in political science, such as political economy, state formation, political participation and social movements?

We will address both theoretical and empirical studies of these themes and will draw on cases in both advanced industrialized as well as industrializing nation-states.




Ethnic Fiction
Second 7 weeks –Hybrid
W 6:00-8:40 PM 
Professor Richard Drucker

This course examines the representation of ethnicity in contemporary American literature. We will analyze critical essays, short stories, and novels, covering topics which include the relationship between literature, culture, and ethnicity. We will discuss the experiences of gender, race, and class within the dynamic of ethnicity as presented in contemporary (after 1960) ethnic American writing, and analyze and critique the relationship between narrative technique and representations of ethnicity in African American, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American writing. Contemporary literature is extremely broad and varied; however, we will become acquainted with several major trends in, and with a representative group of contemporary novelists who have written works that engage their readers in constructions of ethnicity: Louise Erdrich, Sherman Alexie, Amy Bloom, Charles Johnson, Fae Ng, Julia Alvarez, and Gloria Naylor. Students will develop close reading skills, and analytical research and response strategies throughout the course.