Fall 2019


HUM 596B

Neoliberalism and the (Dis)integration of the Political

(1 credit, C/NC)

Time Schedule

Instructors: Eva Cherniavsky (UW English) and Lee Medovoi (University of Arizona) 

Course Meetings: Meets in CMU 226 Monday-Wednesday, October 21-23 and Tuesday, October 29, 3:30-5:30 pm. Participants are also required to attend the colloquium session on October 24 and are invited to attend the sessions on October 25 and 26.

This microseminar focuses on the relationship of neoliberalism to rapidly changing permutations of governmental power. Our readings and discussion will consider how the escalating political turbulence of the present moment changes the way we should view neoliberalism as a political project. For a long time, neoliberalism was viewed primarily as a force for depoliticization and the unambiguous subordination of the state and its democratic subjects to the market. New questions are now being raised, however, by the global, hard-right turn and the potent fusions of neoliberalism with resurgent nationalisms. How should we understand the relation between ever more deregulated markets and the increasingly authoritarian political climate? How might we press beyond the now familiar invocations of neoliberalism’s “entrepreneurial” subject to understand the structures of feeling that animate the rise of neopopulisms and neoracisms? And finally, should we interpret our moment as one of unprecedented consolidation (in which capital has subsumed the state), or just the reverse, as a moment where the unsustainability of capitalism is finally on full display? In exploring these questions, we will pay particular attention to agency, opposition, and culture. How does opposition to neoliberalism look different today than it did in the heyday of globalization twenty years ago? What are the functions of today’s media (old and new) and of cultural practices in cultivating (or extinguishing) alternative political imaginaries?

Eva Cherniavsky is the Andrew R. Hilen Professor of American Literature and Culture at UW. She is the author of Neocitizenship: Political Culture after Democracy (2017), Incorporations, Race, Nation and the Body Politics of Capital (2006) and That Pale Mother Rising: Sentimental Discourses and the Imitation of Motherhood in 19th-C. America (1995).

Lee Medovoi is a Professor of English at the University of Arizona. He is the author of Rebels: Youth and the Cold War Origins of Identity (2005). He was the founding director of the Portland Center for Public Humanities, a founding board member for the Cultural Studies Association, and a former member of the PMLA editorial board.

Questions? Please contact Cherniavsky at ec22@uw.edu


COM 597

Community-Based Research Methods 

(5 credits)

Time Schedule

Instructor: Carmen Gonzalez (Communication) 

Course Meetings: Meets Thursdays 1:30-4:20 pm in Communications 242. 

The development of community-based research, action research, participatory action research, and community-engaged research emerged from different disciplines, with slightly different approaches but generally aligned goals. These aligned research approaches draw on a diverse array of thinkers inside and outside the academy. This course examines various models of community-based research with an explicit focus on the methodological approaches that guide such work. Students will review and critically analyze empirical research projects that involve partnerships with non-profits, foundations, and other community organizations. Each student will also be expected to partner with an organization and conduct fieldwork throughout the quarter. The scope of the project will depend on the needs of the community partner and the expertise of the student researcher. A mandatory virtual orientation will be held in the summer to help students identify community partnerships and brainstorm research questions so that fieldwork can begin the second week of the quarter. This course was developed with the support of a Mellon Summer Fellowship for New Graduate Seminars in the Humanities, part of the Reimagining the Humanities PhD and Reaching New Publics initiative at the Simpson Center for the Humanities.

Carmen Gonzalez is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication. Her community-based research has focused on the intersection of digital and health equity, addressing both the information and health needs of underserved communities. Dr. Gonzalez’ work has been supported by funders such as Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, Google, and the National Institutes of Health.

Questions? Please contact Gonzalez at cmgonzal@uw.edu.

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