Current Electives

Fall 2016

PUBSCH 595A (SLN# 23151)

Cultural Studies and Postcapitalist Futures

Instructor: S. Charusheela (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell)

Meeting Dates: Mondays 5:45-10 pm

UWBB 107G (Bothell campus)

Crosslisted with BCULST 593 (SLN#11244)

How do we imagine a world beyond capitalism? This course aims to experiment creatively with answers to this question.

To the extent that we see capitalism as all-encompassing, as having no "outside," it becomes difficult to imagine that another world is possible. In such a world, only two models are possible – to give up hope entirely, or else imagine that the only way to enable another world is through a singular, world-straddling, ruptural revolutionary moment. Does the recognition of the multiple ways capitalism shapes our lives necessarily lead to just these two options? Another way of thinking about our relation to capitalism as structure is to think of its structuring capacities as akin to the modes by which heteronormativity and patriarchy shape our lives. In this understanding of structure, we can take a page from queer and feminist theorists and look for the spaces of dissident subjectivity and sociality that let us constitute our possibilities for alternatives in the here and now.

This course draws on the work of J. K Gibson-Graham and the Community Economies Research Network to provide a postmodern Marxist reading of economic subjectivity. We will work on projects for change with students from Ambedkar University, Delhi. Sample project themes include: anti-racist movements (Dalit movement in India/Black Lives Matter in US); movements for sustainable food pathways; households, care, and provisioning; urban poverty and homelessness (Delhi and Seattle); media interventions and the politics of popular culture; the university in neoliberal times in India and the US.


PUBSCH 595B (SLN# 23527)

Gender, Justice, and Prison Reform: A Microseminar with the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls

1 CR (C/NC)

Instructor: Dan Berger (Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, UW Bothell)

Meeting dates:

  • Wednesday, November 16, 6-7:30 pm (CMU 202)
  • Wednesday, November 30, 6-7:30 pm (CMU 202)
  • Friday, December 2, 5-8 pm: Symposium by the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. Location TBD.
  • Wednesday, December 7, 6-9 pm (CMU 202)

This microseminar frames the December 2016 symposium with the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls. The seminar will cover: 1) how gender shapes mass incarceration and contemporary debates about prison reform, 2) how antiracist feminism has engaged the criminal justice system since the 1960s, 3) how the struggles of incarcerated women advance a social justice agenda beyond the parameters of what is often considered “prison reform,” and (4) how scholars and institutions of higher education might participate in shaping new justice paradigms.

Framed under the slogan “Nothing about us, without us,” the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls advances the role of incarcerated women and girls in shaping criminal justice policy. It also serves as a clearinghouse, think tank, and support network for people organizing against the carceral state.

Participants will attend the council symposium on December 2; read and discuss issues related to the symposium with members of the Prisons, Politics, and Activism class (BCULST 570) that meets this fall; and complete a short paper that reflects on these issues in relation to the students own scholarly and political commitments.

Dan Berger is Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, University of Washington Bothell and adjunct faculty in the Departments of American Ethnic Studies and History. He is author, most recently, of Captive Nation: Black Prison Organizing in the Civil Rights Era (2014) and The Struggle Within: Prisons, Political Prisoners, and Mass Movements in the United States (2014). 


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