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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Spring 2011

Spring 2011

HUM 595A/L ARCH 598B 
Now Urbanism
3 credits
Fridays, 9:00 am-12:00 noon
Communication 202
Instructor: Michael Powe (Landscape Architecture)
In conjunction with the year-long University of Washington’s John E. Sawyer Seminar, “Now Urbanism,” (funded by the Andrew J. Mellon Foundation) , this quarterly graduate seminar will investigate multiple approaches—social, environmental, and cultural—to the study of cities in the global context.  Examining the historical contexts, existing realities, and future potentials of contemporary urbanism, Now Urbanism aims to connect and critically assess the diverse territories of sustainability theory and practice evidenced in multidisciplinary urban scholarship, activism, and policy. As the Sawyer Seminar seeks to engage a broad range of scholars, practitioners, and publics in the complex questions and challenges posed by urbanism, graduate students from disciplines across the academic community are encouraged to participate. In addition to the regularly scheduled seminar meetings, students will attend three public panel presentations hosted by the Sawyer Seminar during the quarter (schedule to be announced).

Michael Powe is the John E. Sawyer Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he holds an appointment in the College of Built Environments. He recently received his Ph.D in Planning, Policy, and Design at the University of California, Irvine. Mike's research focuses on the intersections of downtown loft redevelopment, processes of community formation, and issues of social inequality and exclusion. His teaching and professional experiences include organizing regional conferences on civic engagement, an urban planning practitioner seminar series, a graduate student seminar on community-based research and a course on Critical Urbanism. He has published work addressing issues of class, immigration, and urban revitalization.

AIS 590/HUM 595B
Community Based Participatory Media
5 credits
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Communication 306
  • Daniel Hart (American Indian Studies)
  • Carrie Lanza (Social Work)

This course introduces students to the theories and practices of community-based participatory digital media production with a particular focus upon how indigenous theories and methodologies have informed the practice.

We will be exploring these practices within an array of disciplinary contexts, including the digital humanities; social sciences; education; communication; cultural, performance, and media studies; and health and welfare research. Employed to reach a variety of different outcomes, ranging from therapeutic intervention and research to consciousness-raising, auto-ethnography, reclamation of subjugated histories, and documentary filmmaking, these processes and products are raising new issues in the academy regarding the ethics, administration, and assessment of collaborative scholarship, community partnership, and institutional review.

This course will:

  1. Orient students to the many contexts in which community-based participatory media are being produced and the different forms and practices that are emerging;
  2. Provide the intellectual and historical foundations for understanding of the tensions and contradictions within these practices, particularly in an indigenous context; and
  3. Provide practical opportunities to design, develop, and reflect on community-based digital media projects.

Daniel Hart is Professor of American Indian Studies and the Director of Native Voices.
Caroline (Carrie) Lanza, MSW, is a doctoral student in the Social Welfare program and Project Director in the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute.

Rebuilding Culture, Reclaiming Identity through Performance
5 credits
Wednesdays, 2:00 pm - 5:00 noon
Hutchison 154
  • Shannon Dudley (Ethnomusicology)
  • Jürg Koch (Dance)
  • Odai Johnson (Drama)
  • Theresa Ronquillo (Social Work)
  • Tikka Sears (Southeast Asia Center)

This interdisciplinary graduate seminar will explore how performance functions to recover or rebuild identity in threatened populations, past and present. It considers the sensitive, enduring, and courageous problem of how culture and memory survive through performance, and how performance resists erasure and allows preservation in ways no other text can. The course will introduce students to the methodologies disparate disciplines use to approach common and contextual issues of documenting, archiving, and accessing  performance and the cultural memory behind it, including strategies for storying individual and collective experiences, for recording performance practices, and for reconstructing or reanimating performance texts as a form of cultural remembering.  

Faculty from Ethnomusicology, Social Work, Dance, Drama, and the Southeast Asia Center will provide multiple frameworks for considering the social and cultural efficacy of performance in different community and historical settings.  Case studies for these practices may include:

  • Fandango Sin Fronteras, a transnational movement propagated through the four-hundred-year-old mestizaje music, dance, and verse traditions of Veracruz, Mexico;
  • Seattle-based collaborations collecting and performing oral histories from Southeast Asian immigrants and descendants, and
  • Dance and disability processes that use participants’ embodied differences to reinscribe, challenge and reclaim identity through performance.

Sponsored by the Center for Performance Studies and the Simpson Center for the Humanities.

HUM 597A
Ethics for a Good Life: The Role of Cosmopolitanism and Honor in Kwame Anthony Appiah's Writings
Anand Yang (International Studies)
1 credit (C/NC)
  • Thursday, May 12, 12-2 pm, CMU 202
  • Thursday, May 19, 12-2 pm, CMU 202
  • Tuesday, May 24, 10-11:50 am, CMU 202 (Katz colloquium)
  • Tuesday, May 24, 7-8:30 pm, KNE 120 (Katz lecture)
  • Thursday, June 2, 12-2 pm, CMU 202
More so than most contemporary thinkers, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University and the Spring 2011 Katz Distinguished Lecturer in the Humanities, has made a virtue of recognizing the importance of social identities defined by difference—race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, nationality and religion—but also of the moral values that bind us together. This seminar will explore the theoretical and practical lessons offered by Appiah's recent writings on cosmopolitanism  (Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a Changing World, 2006) and honor (The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen, 2010).