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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Winter 2019

HUM 596B

The Politics of Fifth Columns

(2 credits, C/NC)

Time Schedule

Instructor: Scott Radnitz (Jackson School of International Studies)

Course Meetings: Meets 3:30-5:20 pm on Wednesdays, January 9, January 23, February 6, February 20, March 6, and March 20, in Communications 218D. Students should also plan to attend the workshop on Friday, March 1.

This course provides students with an understanding of the politics surrounding fifth columns in the contemporary world. It culminates in the workshop The Politics and Discourse of Fifth Columns in Eurasia on March 1, 2019. It exposes students to debates about the ways that suspect minorities or ideological opponents are implicated in activities that undermine the state. Readings and discussions explore the ways political actors have historically used claims about fifth columns and the dilemmas faced by those accused of fifth column activities.

Scott Radnitz is Associate Professor in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and Graduate Program Coordinator and Director of the Ellison Center for Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies. He is the author of Weapons of the Wealthy: Predatory Regimes and Elite-Led Protests in Central Asia (2010). His articles have appeared in Comparative Politics, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of Democracy, and Europe-Asia Studies, and his policy commentary has appeared in Foreign Policy, The National Interest, Slate, and the Washington Post.

Questions? Please contact Radnitz at

HUM 597A

Humanities Career Exploration

(1 credit C/NC)

Time Schedule

Instructor: Juliet Shields (English)

Course Meetings: Meets 3:30-5:20 pm on Tuesdays, January 8, January 15, January 22, and on Thursday, February 28. All session meet at the Simpson Center in Communications 202 or 218D.

This microseminar introduces graduate students to a range of humanities careers and explores how the skills we acquire in earning a PhD can be used beyond the college classroom. We will draw on local resources (humanities PhDs working in various career contexts in the Puget Sound region) to mentor current graduate students. Students will consider what skills and values they want to cultivate in their work and what forms of employment might allow them to do so. They will participate in panel presentations and two half-day career shadowing sessions with their assigned mentors. The short-term goal is to encourage doctoral students to begin exploring a broad range of humanities careers beyond faculty positions.

Juliet Shields is Professor of English, Director of Graduate Programs for the English Department, and the organizer of a Next Generation Humanities PhD project of the Simpson Center for the Humanities. She is the author of Nation and Migration: The Making of British Atlantic Literature, 1765-1835 (2016) and Sentimental Literature and Anglo-Scottish Identity, 1745-1820 (2010).

Questions? Please contact Shields at

HUM 596

The Black Embodiments Studio

(2 credits, C/NC)

Time Schedule

Instructor: Kemi Adeyemi (Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies)

Course Meetings: Sessions meet 2-4 pm in Communications 202

Friday, January 11

Friday, January 25

Friday, February 8

Friday, February 22

This microseminar is for graduate student “residents” of The Black Embodiments Studio, a critical arts writing incubator that explores enactments and criticism of black embodiments in contemporary art. Residents are immersed in models of writing on black embodiments that bridge academic and non-academic audiences, paying particular attention to the genre of exhibition catalogs and reviews. Residents practice their own writing voices, developing and workshopping one piece of their own short-form (600-2,000 words) arts criticism, meant to be published in outlets such as Art Practical, Performa Magazine, Art Lies, or the Jacob Lawrence Gallery publication Monday.

Residents are expected to visit Seattle museums and galleries exhibiting black art throughout the quarter. Residents also gain critical, intimate contact with artists, curators, and scholars whose work on black embodiments models the innovation, accessibility, and criticality that residents strive for in their own writing. One of the Winter Quarter guest residents is Chicago-based artist Danny Giles, whose performance, video, and sculptural practice addresses the dilemmas of representing and performing identity while interrogating histories of oppression and creative resistance.

Interested students should submit a two-page letter of inquiry as a PDF to Kemi Adeyemi ( by December 15, 2018. This letter should detail the applicant’s critical practice, how thinking through black embodiments may be generative to it, and what they hope to gain through the studio. Ten residents will be notified of their acceptance by December 22.

Kemi Adeyemi (Assistant Professor of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies) is working on a book manuscript, New Grounds: Black Queer Women’s Geographies of Neoliberalism, that explores the sonic, affective, and embodied methods black queer women have for taking pleasure in the neoliberal city. She is co-editing Queer Nightlife, a collection that documents the diverse expressions of queer nightlife worldwide. Her recent publications span academic and arts audiences and include an essay in QED: A Journal of GLBTQ Worldmaking and exhibition catalog essays for black is a color (Los Angeles), Impractical Weaving Suggestions (Madison), and Endless Flight (Chicago). She earned a PhD in Performance Studies from Northwestern University in 2016.


Microseminar: Teaching Racial Capitalism across Classroom and Community Spaces

(2 credits, C/NC)

Time Schedule

Instructor: Soya Jung (ChangeLab) Chandan Reddy (Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies)

Course Meetings: Saturdays, January 12; February 9; Sunday, March 10, 1-4 pm

An online resource developed by community-based organizers and educators in collaboration with university-based researchers and educators, A Different Asian American Timeline ( places Asian American history in the context of racial capitalism. At a time of rising forms of nationalism and rightwing authoritarianism, the timeline seeks to teach history not through the lens of a discrete ethnic and racial group, but through the relationships of various groups within struggles over land, labor, and empire. It periodizes history by major crises in the development of U.S. power: from the Doctrine of Discovery to the Civil War, to the Spanish American War, to World War II, to the rise of neoliberalism, and to the current moment. For each period it encourages users to think critically about events and developments in the context of the material and hegemonic conditions of the time. It also addresses competing notions of freedom, both liberatory and reactionary. In these ways the timeline approaches racial history conjuncturally and relationally.

Drawing from and contributing to the timeline, this microseminar has three goals related to movement building and education to:

  • Map the current conjuncture in the Pacific Northwest region as a basis for political strategy development
  • Develop curriculum for racial capitalism scholarship for this region
  • Model a process that could be adjusted and replicated for different geographic contexts.

This seminar seeks to recruit interested participants among (1) publicly-engaged UW graduate students, (2) recent UW graduate alum working in and across university and community spaces, and (3) community-based organizers and educators.  The seminar will challenge participants to discern between and share strategies across classroom-based curriculum and community-based curriculum designed to advance pluralistic and multiracial power and base-building projects during a time of deepening divisions over race, gender, class, and nation. 

Session 1, Saturday, January 12. Introduction to Framework: Racial Capitalism, the timeline, and Conjunctural Analysis here and now.  Set up research inquiries and groups.

January: by arrangement, research group consultations

Session 2, Saturday, February 9. Creating Curriculum from Research across Community and Classroom Spaces

Session 3, Sunday, March 10. Public Presentation/Teach-in of Projects, Harvest of Learning, and Next Steps.

Questions? Contact Chandan Reddy,


World Art Studies and Global Art Histories

(5 credits)

Time Schedule

Instructor: Sonal Khullar (Art History)

Course Meetings: Thursday 3:30pm-6:20pm in Art 312

Critics and scholars have identified the global turn as the most significant intellectual development in art history over the past decade. This turn has entailed the study of nonwestern and postcolonial cultures in addition to Euro-American canons and centers that have been the focus of the discipline. It has generated new methods and approaches to analyze previously overlooked forms of connection and exchange. However, these narratives are often routed through and across nation-states and focus on conventional geographic areas (Asia, for example); anthropocentric frameworks; and modernist notions of space, time, and matter.

In this course, we will probe the genealogies, claims, and stakes of world art studies and global art history. We will examine new art historical paradigms that build on and depart from these models, specifically the oceanic, geological, and digital. We will consider how these paradigms relate to the scholarship of figures such as Alois Riegl, Aby Warburg, E.H. Gombrich, George Kubler, Michael Baxandall, and Richard Wollheim.

This course is organized in conjunction with the Katz Distinguished Lecture of Whitney M. Davis (University of California, Berkeley). Students should attend the Feb. 19 lecture and a related colloquium with Davis that week.

Sonal Khullar is Associate Professor of Art History. Her research and teaching interests include the art of South Asia (with a focus on the period from the eighteenth century until the present), transnational histories of modern and contemporary art, the anthropology of art, feminist theory, and postcolonial studies. She is the author of Worldly Affiliations: Artistic Practice, National Identity, and Modernism in India, 1930-1990 (2015).

Questions? Please contact Khullar at