Summer Fellowship for Curricular Diversification
Dr. Marcela Garcés, Assistant Professor of Spanish
Course Title: Visual Culture of the Spanish-Speaking World
Visual Culture of the Spanish-Speaking World, a new course in English, will address the history of art produced by subaltern groups in Latin America, Spain, the Caribbean, and Latino/as in the United States. Through the study of multiple works of visual culture, students will gain an appreciation for the vast diversity amongst Hispanic cultures via the study of gender inequality, immigrant rights, class disparities and ethnic and religious minorities framed within social justice narratives. Many of these groups have been denied equal social, economic and political rights. Therefore, analyzing their cultural production brings these disparities to light and incites debate about them, ultimately reaching an understanding of their shared marginalization.
A sample of possible topics includes: a) The way in which Spain conceives of its Islamic past in the present by examining narratives about architectural and literary works and Orientalist fantasies based on the work of Edward Said; b) Expressions of queer identity in late 20th century Spain via fashion (Fabio McNamara), painting (Las Costus) and film (Pedro Almodóvar); c) How the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina perform cultural memory through protests for their disappeared children accused of being political dissidents; d) Examining the art of Mel Casas, a Chicano artist based in the U.S. whose work examines class disparities and systems of privilege and demonstrates an opposition to the dominant narratives of consumerist culture; and e) The work of Cuban graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado “El Sexto” as a symbol of political dissidence against the Castro regime.
Dr. Catherine Homan, Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy
In teaching PHIL 240 Philosophy of Art, my goal is to present students with a variety of perspectives on aesthetics. My specific aim in restructuring this course is to make primary how the intersections of gender, class, race, religion, and nationality inform philosophy of art both historically and contemporarily. The course will focus on four primary questions: a) What counts as art? – Is there a canon? How has the canon been established? How have certain groups been marginalized? What does it mean to be marginalized or “other”? b) Who counts as an artist? – Are there gender, race, and socio-economic presuppositions to questions regarding artistic genius? Could nonhuman animals be considered artists? c) How is and ought art or the artist to be evaluated? – Is taste related to class? Are standards of beauty universal? d) What role does art have in society, ethics, or education? – Are there economic presuppositions that determine art’s purpose? How do different communities understand the role of art
Students will be presented not only with a variety of perspectives in answering these questions, but also a variety of methodological perspectives examining how these questions are framed and answered. Students will consider how ideas about art are rooted in cultural practices, theories and traditions. By also exploring a variety of different artistic media including music, literature, drama, sculpture, installations, photography, film, handwork, crafts, graffiti, conceptual art, found art, earthworks, and ceremonies, students will examine the relationship between aesthetic theory and practice. The course will culminate in students developing and presenting their own accounts of the nature and significance of art.
Dr. Laurie Naranch, Associate Professor of Political Science
Founded as part of an initiative to develop programs of “academic excellence” at Siena College, the Symposium on Living Philosophers emphasizes advanced collaborative learning and independent research. In 2015-2016, we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Symposium. If most people associate philosophy with dead, white men, the Symposium on Living Philosophers fundamentally challenges this view, and offers students the experience to engage directly with a living philosopher, and to experience philosophy as a living, diverse, and vibrant discipline. Our featured thinker will be our first from outside the United States: Adriana Cavarero, who teaches political philosophy at the University of Verona in Italy, is a renowned interlocutor of philosophers such as Plato and Kant, playwrights such as Sophocles and Shakespeare, political thinkers such as Hobbes and Arendt, and a strong voice in contemporary debates about the nature of birth, narration, violence, and embodiment.
The goal of the Symposium has been to establish a dynamic learning community in which students and faculty work together on a research project. Faculty work closely with students to help them explore difficult philosophical positions and arguments, to think critically about these issues, to express and defend their own positions with clarity and reason, and to connect ideas creatively. This particular Symposium is co-taught by Dr. Fanny Söderbäck (Assistant Professor of Philosophy) and Dr. Laurie Naranch (Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science and Director of Women’s Studies). The collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of the program makes for a unique experience for students and faculty in and beyond the classroom.
Dr. Adam Nguyen, Associate Professor of Marketing
Preferential pricing - the seller’s practice of offering special prices to selected customers - is an important marketing practice that aims to enhance customer relationship. This project examines whether men and women differ in their normative expectations of preferential pricing and whether this gender difference extends across two national cultures that nurture gender roles to different extents (US and China). The preferential pricing practice being examined is price discount offered to frequent customer (merit-based) versus friend (personal-based). Merit-based preferential treatment is based on an ethic of justice that emphasizes fairness and reciprocity, for example, relative to a non-frequent customer; a frequent customer has contributed more to the seller’s profit and thus deserves a lower price in return. Personal-based preferential treatment is based on an ethics of care that emphasizes sensitivity and empathy in creating and maintaining relationships; for example, a seller may offer a price discount to a friend-customer out of perceived duty to care for a friend. It is hypothesized that: 1/ men have higher normative expectations for merit-based preferential pricing while women have higher normative expectations for personal-based preferential pricing; 2/ this gender difference is more profound in China, where gender roles are nurtured to a higher extent than in the US. The hypotheses will be tested in a vignette experiment to be conducted in the US and China. The intended contribution to diversity research is to conceptualize and test a gender difference that hereto has not been examined and to advance understanding of how gender and culture interact.
Dr. Ausra Park, Assistant Professor of Political Science
In the last few decades, the focus in security studies has shifted from national interest and national security to the safety and needs of ordinary human beings. The term “human security” began to appear in domestic and international policy debates during the 1990s and has since become a major topic in both academic research and policymaking circles. This course will provide an overview of the field of human security studies and will consider diverse issues of human security, including, but not limited to, human trafficking; global poor and ineffective foreign aid; resource curse conflicts (i.e., blood diamonds; oil power; water scarcity); “globalized” inequalities and the marginalized (along economic, gender, class, ethnic, religious, regional and/or societal strata); food insecurities; transnational crimes (i.e., drugs, guns, and organs); traumatizing effects of protracted civil wars on disenfranchised societies and communities resulting in failed states; and impacts of climate change and ecological degradation worldwide.
This course will begin by examining the contested definitions and conceptions of what “human” and “security” mean in the 20th-21st Centuries, how both of these terms evolved over time, and what were the reasons behind such a conceptual change. During this examination we will also consider the development of human security measurements, and how they begin to address (albeit not resolve) gender, class, ethnicity, and regional biases that continue to prevail in politics, academic circles, and broader developed-underdeveloped worldview divides. The course will review recent global-scale initiatives, which seek to address human security concerns: humanitarian interventions, newly created international institutions, emerging coalitions of state and non-state actors, and the role of global civil society as it seeks global social justice.
Lisette Balabarca, Assistant Professor of Spanish
Abstract: SPAN400 is a Special Topics in Spanish course that explores issues not normally treated in regular Spanish courses. It may be taken more than once with different content and it is intended for advanced students in Spanish. It is also a requirement for all Spanish Majors. Next Fall, I will be teaching this course and the Special Topic I have chosen is one that is closely related to my research area and academic interests: Early Modern Hispanic Literature. This means that it will be focused on, basically, Spanish texts written during the 16th and 17th centuries in both Peninsular Spain and its Spanish American colonies (the Viceroyalties of Mexico and Peru).
The goal of this class is to confront students with non-canonical texts. That is, rather than studying mainstream authors of 16th and 17th centuries (such as Cervantes or Lope de Vega, the most productive comedy writer of his time), we will be dealing with the literary and cultural production of subaltern subjects and minority communities that were not included in Imperial Spain’s plans of a homogeneous Christian state. Therefore, the course will look at women, gays, Spanish Muslims and colonial subjects in an attempt to make them visible through their texts. Ultimately, what brings them together is their marginality based on gender, sexual orientation, religious identity, race or ethnicity. It is my intention, then, to expose Siena students to this diverse population and to what it meant to be “the other” in 16th and 17th Spain.
Paul Konye, Associate Professor of Music
Abstract: African art music is defined as a genre of African music that is dependent on music notation for its synthesis and dissemination. Its evolution and practice in the 19th century Africa was significantly impacted by major historical, cultural, and political factors and other issues of the time. African art music is in essence, a representation of the multi-faceted cultural pluralism that characterizes the fabric of African cultural landscape. The genre is a direct reflection of Africa today—acculturation of diverse elements from various sources.
As a musicologist who has studied, taught, and conducted research in art music of various types for over 15 years, I am proposing to introduce a new course titled “African Art Music: Its Evolution and Practice,” as a Franciscan Core course based on diversity. The nature of the course is such that it will expose students to extensive exploration of the historical, political, and cultural landscape as well as overview of Africa as a continent, thus giving students a much needed insight into African culture.
Given that the nature, evolution, and practice of African art music on the continent evolved differently and is practiced differently as well, the course will be taught in four sequences:
· (a)West Africa
· (b)East Africa
· (c)North Africa
· (d)South Africa
This initial proposal is limited to facilitating research on the evolution and practice of African art music in English speaking West African countries, namely:
Although the course will be titled African Art Music: Its Evolution and Practice, it will however, require that students first gain a thorough understanding of the African culture and its indigenous music characteristics that are the basis of the art music. Thus, a summer research opportunity will make it possible to gather materials for teaching the class possibly in the fall of 2014. Given that the author of this proposal has a published text book on the subject, further research on the indigenous and the art music traditions of the named countries would allow for a much needed update of class materials and text.
Carolyn Malloy, Professor of Spanish
Abstract: This new course taught in Spanish will incorporate contemporary literary (high culture) and popular cultural production from Latin America and Spain (latter part of 20th century to the present) and deal with questions of diversity and identity. In the course, students will analyze recent literature in Spanish using various methodologies and they will also critically approach popular representations that reflect similar themes and issues, such as gender, race, sexuality, social class, religion, immigration, and hybrid identities. In this fashion, students will reflect upon and compare these issues to realities of their own, thus becoming more cross-culturally aware. Contemporary Latin American and Spanish literature will include short stories, novels, poetry and theatre; popular cultural material or media and genres may include magazines, newspapers, television, radio, commercials, blogs, comics, graphic novels, political cartoons, film, etc. Students will become aware of the historical and social contexts in which popular culture has manifested itself. In addition, they will incorporate some of the ideas of an important Latin American critical thinker, Néstor García-Canclini who has written widely on how popular culture can be a strong tool for development, but it can also be a pretext to identify differences and often be used to discriminate.
Smita Ramnarain, Assistant Professor of Economics
Abstract: This course – the Political Economy of Gender, Race and Class – emerges from the rationale that economic life has material, cultural and political facets and that aspects of an individual’s (or group’s) identity – gender representation and/or sexuality, race, class – may constrain or empower agents in their participation in economic life. The political economy approach used in this class will critically interrogate:
The methods used in the course are diverse, ranging from statistical summaries of economic and social indicators, ethnographic descriptions of work in offices, factories, and households, and historical accounts of the evolution of social policy in the US. An intersectional approach to the topic is emphasized, examining gender, race and class as interdependent and co-constituted axes along which oppression and agency might be experienced.
Assistant Professor of Modern Languages (Spanish)
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Assistant Professor of English