Course Catalog

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Course #
Course Title
Course Level
Units
HISC 1
Introduction to History of Consciousness
Lower Division
5 units
Investigates the politics of identity and recognition as the basis for claims about institutional legitimacy and social struggle. Examines such diverse figures as Sartre, Fanon, Bataille, Foucault, Lacan, Levinas, Derrida, Deleuze, Zizek, and Badiou.
HISC 12
Historical Introduction to Philosophy
Lower Division
5 units
Focuses on moral, metaphysical, and epistemological issues using classical texts along with some contemporary readings on related philosophical problems. Plato, Kant, and Sartre provide the central readings on ethics, while Descartes, Hume, Kant (again), and Wittgenstein provide the central metaphysical and epistemological discussions. Issues of philosophy of language and method are highlighted throughout. (General Education Code(s): TA, IH.)
HISC 80N
Prophecy Against Empire
Lower Division
5 units
In the core of a London slum, with wars raging all around him, the printer William Blake sounded the trumpet of prophecy. This course channels Blake's war-time revelations, laying bare the antimonies of imperial violence and the prophetic tradition. (General Education Code(s): IM.)
HISC 80U
Modernity and Its Discontents
Lower Division
5 units
Offers an introduction to the idea of modernity from Kant to Freud, Niezsche to Fanon. (General Education Code(s): T4-Humanities and Arts.)
HISC 85
Politics and Religion
Lower Division
5 units
Considers both the religious sources of political ideas and the political sources of religious ideas, addressing topics, such as sovereignty, justice, love, reason, revelation, sacrifice, victimhood, evil, racism, rebellion, reconciliation, and human rights. (General Education Code(s): TA.)
HISC 102
Philosophy and Poetics
Upper Division
5 units
Introduction to the relationship between philosophy and poetics in some major 19th- and 20th-century poets and thinkers. Enrollment restricted to juniors and seniors. Enrollment limited to 30.
HISC 111
States, War, Capitalism
Upper Division
5 units
Survey of seminal work on ancient origins of the state, diverse geo-political systems of war and diplomacy, and consequences of the formation of the world market on the evolution of geo-political systems up to and beyond the wars of today. Enrollment restricted to juniors and seniors. Enrollment limited to 35.
HISC 112
Foundations in Critical Theory
Upper Division
5 units
Concentrates on the Marxist tradition of critical theory, centering on classical texts by Marx and by writers in the Marxist tradition up to the present. Enrollment limited to 150. (General Education Code(s): TA.)
HISC 115
Comedy and the Question of the Comic
Upper Division
5 units
Introduces the concept of the comic; how the concept of the comic has been theorized at times, from antiquity to the 20th century; forms the comic has taken and how it structures our experiences; and theories of the comic. (General Education Code(s): TA.)
HISC 118
Jewish Social Movements
Upper Division
5 units
Jewish social movements of the late 19th and 20th centuries, in Europe (Eastern and Western) and the U.S.: the confrontation between Hasidism and Haskahah, tensions between socialism and Zionism, between religiosity and secularism, the mutual influences among these tendencies. (Also offered as History 185D. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.) Enrollment restricted to juniors and seniors. Enrollment limited to 20. (General Education Code(s): E.)
HISC 119
Politics of Recognition
Upper Division
5 units
Course touches on the philosophical roots of Hegel's text, starting from the pre-World War II rereading of Hegel's master/slave dialectic that became the kernel of postwar thought arising from struggles over capitalism, communism, fascism, racism, colonialism, and feminism.
HISC 125
Queerness and Race
Upper Division
5 units
Gives students a grasp of different definitions and uses of the concept queerness in its relationship to race and how it's tied to the politics of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) identity. Enrollment limited to 25.
HISC 136
On Insults
Upper Division
5 units
What is the role of insult in social and legal life (from play to jokes to ritual to war and from blasphemy to defamation to hate speech)? Emphasizes philosophical, anthropological, psychoanalytic, and legal approaches to the issues.
HISC 139A
Market Crises and the Future of Capitalism
Upper Division
5 units
Examines the development and role of late 20th- and early 21st-century financial technologies in modern market crises. Enrollment limited to 40.
HISC 139B
Materialism and Financial Markets
Upper Division
5 units
Continuation of course 139A. Examines the development and role of late 20th- and early 21st-century financial technologies in modern market crises. Enrollment limited to 40.
HISC 141
The Camera and the Body
Upper Division
5 units
Through the study of historical and contemporary visual texts (from ethnography and portraiture to advertising and erotica), this course explores how photographic images of the body, while masquerading as "natural," "self-evident," or "scientific," participate in highly coded sign systems that influence who looks at whom, how, when, and why. (Also offered as History of Art&Visual Culture 141F. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.) (General Education Code(s): IM, A.)
HISC 146
Philosophy of Law
Upper Division
5 units
Exploration of selected problems in jurisprudence: "legal reasoning" and social policy, rules and individual cases, the mental element in the law, punishment and responsibility, causation and fault, liberty and paternalism, etc. (Formerly Philosophy 146.) (Also offered as Legal Studies 146. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.)
HISC 150
Radical Political Theory
Upper Division
5 units
Provides an introduction to classical and contemporary texts of radical political theory, a body of work that critically examines fundamental premises of politics. Addresses the question "What is the 'political?'"
HISC 160
Advanced Topics in History of Consciousness
Upper Division
5 units
Provides students an opportunity for in-depth analysis of advanced topics within the history of consciousness arena. Course topic changes; see the Class Search for current topic. May be repeated for credit.
HISC 163
Freud
Upper Division
5 units
The development of Freud's concept of mind. Extensive reading tracing the origins and development of Freud's theories and concepts (e.g., abreaction, psychic energy, defense, wish-fulfillment, unconscious fantasy, dreams, symptoms, transference, cure, sexuality) and emphasizing the underlying model of the mind and mental functioning. (Formerly Psychology 163 and Philosophy 139.) Offered in alternate academic years.
HISC 180
The Emotions
Upper Division
5 units
Analysis of particular emotions (e.g., jealousy, boredom, regret) and exploration of general theoretical issues (e.g., expression, control) with emphasis on moral psychology. Admission by interview with instructor. Enrollment restricted to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Enrollment limited to 23.
HISC 185C
Comparative Religion: A Critical Introduction
Upper Division
5 units
Introduces the comparative study of world religions and provides critical entry points toward the understanding of its history as a discipline. Special emphasis on the troubled history of imperialism, orientalism, and facile generalizations that have always accompanied the attempt to understand foreign or dead cultures. Enrollment is restricted to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. (General Education Code(s): CC.)
HISC 185T
Marxism and Feminism
Upper Division
5 units
Critically engages with feminist-Marxist perspectives on social-reproduction. Introduces the foundation of Marxism and feminist-Marxist critique while examining the international feminist struggle historically from the origins of capitalism to the present moment.
HISC 187
The Emergence of the Avant-garde from Disenchantment to Dada
Upper Division
5 units
Examines the socio-political and cultural origins of early 20th-century avant-garde movements focusing on the vanguard movement of futurism, the roles played by the disenchantment of the world, and technological rationalization as it relates to warfare and aesthetic production. (General Education Code(s): TA.)
HISC 190A
Jewish Socialism in Eastern Europe, 1880-1953
Upper Division
5 units
Looks at the ongoing debate in Jewish resistance during the Second World War and ends by addressing the status of Jews and Jewish movements in the Soviet Union and Poland after the war. (Also offered as Jewish Studies 190A. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.) Prerequisite(s): satisfaction of the Entry Level Writing and Composition requirements. Enrollment limited to 25.
HISC 203A
Approaches to History of Consciousness
Graduate
5 units
An introduction to history of consciousness required of all incoming students. The seminar concentrates on theory, methods, and research techniques. Major interpretive approaches drawn from cultural and political analysis are discussed in their application to specific problems in the history of consciousness. Prerequisite(s): first-year standing in the program. See the department office for more information. (Formerly course 203.)
HISC 203B
Approaches to History of Consciousness
Graduate
5 units
Writing-intensive course based on readings in course 203A. Prerequisite(s): course 203A. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 9.
HISC 210A
Cultural and Historical Studies of Race and Ethnicity
Graduate
5 units
Explores the historical construction of racial and ethnic categories in the Americas, especially the U.S., in interaction with gender, sexuality, class, and nationality. Intended to introduce current work by UCSC faculty and Bay Area scholars and to stimulate graduate student research projects, the course is organized by intensive reading around key questions, followed by presentations by invited scholars. Emphasizes research resources and methodologies. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 210B
Cultural and Historical Studies of Race and Ethnicity
Graduate
5 units
Writing intensive course based on readings in course 210A. Prerequisite(s): course 210A. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 211A
French Hegel
Graduate
5 units
Introduces the "return to Hegel" in the work of some major 20th-century French thinkers. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 212
Feminist Theory and the Law
Graduate
5 units
Interrogation of the relationship between law and its instantiating gendered categories, supported by feminist, queer, Marxist, critical race, and postcolonial theories. Topics include hypostasization of legal categories, the contest between domestic and international human rights frameworks, overlapping civil and communal codes, cultural explanations in the law, the law as text and archive, testimony and legal subjectivity. (Also offered as Feminist Studies 212. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.) Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 216
Critical Race/Ethnic Studies
Graduate
5 units
Explores foundational and emergent theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of race. Issues examined include the production of race within and across various spheres of human activity and how race has shaped notions of difference and commonality in the past and present. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 217
Critical Human Rights Theory
Graduate
5 units
Addresses about 10 of the significant critiques of human rights discourse published in the past decade by authors, such as Moyn, Douzinas, Fassin, Ticktin, J. Slaughter, D. Chandler, Mamdani, Weitzman, Badiou, and Meister. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15. May be repeated for credit.
HISC 222B
Theories of Late Capitalism
Graduate
5 units
Writing intensive course based on readings in course 222A. (Formerly Theories of Late Capitalism, Nationalism, and the Politics of Identity.) Prerequisite(s): course 222A. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 230A
Poetry, Language, Thought
Graduate
5 units
Introduces the relation between philosophy and poetics in some major 20th-century poets and thinkers. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 230B
Poetry, Language, Thought
Graduate
5 units
Writing-intensive course based on readings in course 230A. Prerequisite(s): course 230A, or permission of instructor. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 236
On Insults
Graduate
5 units
What is the role of insult in social and legal life (from play to jokes to ritual to war and from blasphemy to defamation to hate speech)? Emphasizes philosophical, anthropological, psychoanalytic, and legal approaches to the issues. Enrollment restricted to graduate students and by permission of instructor. (Formerly Philosophy 290Y.) (Also offered as Anthropology 236. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.) Enrollment restricted to graduate students.
HISC 237A
Historical Materialism
Graduate
5 units
Students read landmark works of classical and contemporary Marxism. Writings from Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Lukacs, Gramsci, Adorno, Benjamin, Sartre, Althusser, Anderson, Jameson, and Zizek are addressed. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15. May be repeated for credit.
HISC 237B
Historical Materialism
Graduate
5 units
Writing-intensive seminar based on course 237A. Students read landmark works of classical and contemporary Marxism. Writings from Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, Lukacs, Gramsci, Adorno, Benjamin, Sartre, Althusser, Anderson, Jameson, and Zizek are discussed. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 10. May be repeated for credit.
HISC 240
Basic Principles of University-Level Pedagogy
Graduate
1 units
Provides training for graduate students in university-level pedagogy in general. Under the supervision of the department chair, coordinated by a graduate student with substantial experience as a teaching assistant. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. May be repeated for credit.
HISC 242A
Violence and Phenomenology: Fanon/Hegel/Sartre
Graduate
5 units
Study of the work and influence of Frantz Fanon from a range of viewpoints: existential, phenomenological, psychoanalytic, and political; a variety of genres: film, literature, case history, and critique; and a set of institutional histories: clinical, cultural, and intellectual. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 242B
Violence and Phenomenology: Fanon/Hegel/Sartre
Graduate
5 units
Writing intensive course based on readings in course 242A. Prerequisite: course 242A. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 243A
Nationalism, Anti-Semitism, and Jewish Resistance in World War II
Graduate
5 units
Jewish resistance to Nazism during World War II, in Eastern Europe, and its historical context. Includes the pre-war rise in nationalism and anti-Semitism in Poland and Lithuania, Jewish integration in the Soviet Union, and the consequences for wartime resistance. (Also offered as History 256. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.) Enrollment restricted to seniors and graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 245
Race and Representation
Graduate
5 units
Explores how human subjects come to be visually defined and marked by "race" discourse. Covers diverse theoretical literatures on the topic, primarily in visual studies, but also in cultural studies, post-colonial studies, and psychoanalysis. (Also offered as History of Art&Visual Culture 245 and Feminist Studies 245. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.) Enrollment restricted to graduate students.
HISC 246
Black Radicalism
Graduate
5 units
Examines the history of black radical intellectual, cultural, political, and/or social movements. May take the form of a survey of different aspects of black radicalism or may focus on a particular individual, groups, period, etc. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students.
HISC 252
Poststructuralism
Graduate
5 units
French poststructuralism, with particular attention to the main philosophical texts of Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault. Other representative theorists as well as critics of poststructuralism are studied as time permits. (Also offered as Philosophy 252. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.) Enrollment restricted to graduate students. May be repeated for credit.
HISC 256A
Theories of the Visual
Graduate
5 units
Study of psychoanalytic theories of the visual including the emergence of psychoanalysis and cinema as parallel discourses and the mobilization of key psychoanalytic concepts—scopophilia, voyeurism, fetishism—in Freudian and Lacanian understandings of the gaze so central to film and photographic theory. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 256B
Theories of the Visual
Graduate
5 units
Writing intensive course based on readings in course 256A. Prerequisite: course 256A. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 259A
Kant, Lacan, and the Ethics of Psychoanalysis
Graduate
5 units
Offers an introduction to Jacques Lacan's "Return to Kant" and the response it provokes as a reading of sadism, politics, and ethics. Specific point of entry adopted for course is Lacan's seminar on "The Ethics of Psychoanalysis." Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 259B
Kant, Lacan, and the Ethics of Psychoanalysis
Graduate
5 units
Writing-intensive course based on readings in course 259A. Prerequisite(s): course 259A. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 261
Modern Intellectural History
Graduate
5 units
Survey of 19th- and 20th-century intellectual history that focuses on a cross-section of major works from Hegel to Levi-Strauss. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 262
Critical Theory After Habermas
Graduate
5 units
Examines key works of Frankfurt School theorist Jurgen Habermas, his followers, and critics, on topics such as the public sphere, the theory of communicative action, power and domination, and religion and secularism. Prerequisite(s): Enrollment restricted to graduate students.
HISC 263
European Philosophies of Difference
Graduate
5 units
Survey of European philosophies of difference, tracing the evolution of philosophical concepts and frameworks from Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Bergson, and Heidegger through later 20th-century French post-structuralist, feminist, and Frankfurt School theory. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students.
HISC 264
The Idea of Africa
Graduate
5 units
Examines the position of Africa in cultural studies and the simultaneous processes of over- and under-representation of the continent that mark enunciations of the global and the local. Themes include defining diaspora, the West as philosophy, and Africa in the global economy. (Also offered as Feminist Studies 264. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.) Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 268A
Rethinking Capitalism
Graduate
5 units
Readings include works by speakers at UCSC's "Rethinking Capitalism Initiative." Topics are: (1) financialization versus commodification (how options-theory has changed capitalism); (2) material markets (how this theory performs); and (3) valuation and contingency (how economies make worlds). (Also offered as Anthropology 268A. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.) Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 268B
Rethinking Capitalism
Graduate
5 units
Course 268A addressed changes in the theory and practice of capitalism as derivatives markets have become increasingly central to it. This course, which can be regarded as either background or sequel, concerns questions that surround recent debates about derivatives from the standpoint of broader developments in law, culture, politics, ethics, ontology, and theology. What would it mean to see questions of contingency and value as a challenge to late-modern understandings of these modes of thought? (Also offered as Anthropology 268B. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.) Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 275
Sovereignties
Graduate
5 units
The guiding thought of this seminar is the question of what is, and is not, "sovereign." Exploring a wide range of authors (such as Bodin, Hobbes, Spinoza, Rousseau, Kant, Schmitt, Bataille, and Fanon), this seminar addresses the most salient problems in recent discussions of sovereignty. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students.
HISC 280
The Emotions
Graduate
5 units
Analysis of particular emotions (e.g., jealousy, boredom, regret) and exploration of general theoretical issues (e.g., expression, control) emphasizing philosophical and psychoanalytical approaches to understanding moral psychology. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students.
HISC 285
Topics in Political Theology
Graduate
5 units
Readings focus on the early 20th-century rediscovery of political theology; its use in theorizations of the Holocaust; and its return in 21st-centurty debates on empires, war, terror, enmity, reconciliation, fanaticism, human rights, political economy, and global catastrophe. Students cannot receive credit for this course and course 85. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15. May be repeated for credit.
HISC 292
Practicum in Composition
Graduate
5 units
A practicum in the genres of scholarly writing, for graduate students working on the composition of their qualifying essay or doctoral dissertation. Enrollment restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 298
Doctoral Colloquium
Graduate
5 units
Under the supervision of a History of Consciousness faculty member, students finishing their dissertation meet weekly or bi-weekly to read and discuss selected draft chapters, design difficulties and composition problems. May be repeated for credit.