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.)
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 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 113
History of Capitalism
Upper Division
5 units
Surveys major developments in the capitalist world economy from the 13th century to today. Topics include: the "transition to capitalism" in Europe; the emergence of banking; colonization, slavery, and uneven development; industrialization; and globalization. (General Education Code(s): CC.)
HISC 117
Making the Refugee Century: Non-Citizens and Modernity
Upper Division
5 units
Examines the material, discursive, and racialized conditions that have produced refugees in the last century. Also examines the social claims made by refugees, institutional responses to them, and political alternatives to state belonging. (General Education Code(s): CC.)
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 120
What is a State?
Upper Division
5 units
Examines the modern concept of state, its anthropological assumptions, categories, its critique, and its crisis. Inquires into the concept of representation, borders, security and control in thinkers, such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Karl Marx, Carl Schmitt, and Lenin. (General Education Code(s): TA.)
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 129
Politics of Violence
Upper Division
5 units
Inquires into the relationship between politics and violence as articulated by early modern, modern, and contemporary political theorists. Investigates the role of violence in the constitution and maintenance of sovereign power and the construction of the modern subject of politics. (General Education Code(s): TA.)
HISC 131
Postcolonial Paths
Upper Division
5 units
How postcolonial thought occasions the reconsideration of the Western tradition of political philosophy and the discovery of alternative pathways of modernization within it. (General Education Code(s): CC.)
HISC 140A
Africa: How to Make a Continent
Upper Division
5 units
Introduces the histories of exploration, museum collection, and photography that shape historical and contemporary ideas about race, culture, and place in Africa. (Also offered as Critical Race & Ethnic Studies 140A. Students cannot receive credit for both courses.) (General Education Code(s): CC.)
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.
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 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 is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 9.
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 is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 214
What is a Subject?
Graduate
5 units
Examines major streams of theorization about the subject in postwar and contemporary continental and critical theory. Thinkers include Althusser, Badiou, Balibar, Butler, Fanon, Foucault, Honneth, Laclau and Mouffe, Mbembe, Ranciere, and Sartre. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 215
History of Unconsciousness
Graduate
5 units
There is a history of political consciousness that culminated in the project of enlightenment. There is a history of individual, collective, and political unconscious, which culminated in fascism. These two histories are intertwined, but their outcome is not preconceived. On the contrary, their relationship and integration constitute a field of possibilities for social, political, and human experimentation. This course inquires into the concept of political unconscious by exploring thinkers, such as Kant, Foucault, Adorno, Horkheimer, Freud, Jung, Reich, Fromm, Marcuse, and Klein. Enrollment is 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 is 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 is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 223
Althusser
Graduate
5 units
Through close readings of Althusser's major texts, this course systematically examines the political and philosophical thought of Louis Althusser and analyzes why he is one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 224
Marx's Capital Vol. 1
Graduate
5 units
Investigates the many layers of Marx's "Capital." Enrollment is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 226
Liberty and Resistance
Graduate
5 units
Examines modern conceptions of liberty from a non-liberal perspective. Proposes to inquire into the concept of liberty as an individual and collective right by exploring its philosophical justifications and criticism in thinkers, such as Kant, Hegel, and Marx. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 227
Carl Schmitt
Graduate
5 units
Provides a careful contextualization and a critically informed interrogation of the major works of Carl Schmitt, a figure at the center of many contemporary debates in political and legal thought. Enrollment is 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 is 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 232
Music, Social, Thought
Graduate
5 units
Examines the various modes through which intellectuals, artists, and other commentators have written about music as a socially situated art as well as the ways they have theorized "the social" through examinations of musical phenomena. Focus changes with course offering. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
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 is 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 is 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 is 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 is 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 is restricted to 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 is 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 248
Black Critical Theory
Graduate
5 units
Offers a critical introduction and overview of black critical theory across multiple fields and genres. Beginning with the question of race and ontology, students go on to consider questions of sovereignty and domination, freedom and liberation, identity and difference, and conclude with a study of race and the post-human. Major thinkers studied include: Sylvia Wynter, Achille Mbembe, Frantz Fanon, and W.E.B. DuBois, as well as contemporary figures, such as Frank Wilderson, Fred Moten, and Hortense Spillers. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
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 is restricted to graduate students. May be repeated for credit.
HISC 261
Modern Intellectual 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 is 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 is 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 is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 265A
Biopolitics l: Problematics
Graduate
5 units
Focuses on the theorization of life and death in relation to power as proposed by 20th-century thinkers. Investigates how a biopolitical problematic has emerged and what insights into politics it offers. Explores the different ways in which thinkers have conceptualized biopolitics and its broader implications. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 265B
Biopolitics II: Corporealities
Graduate
5 units
Focuses on the exploration of biopolitics and necropolitics on the body. Examines how the body has become deeply integrated into power relations in modern society. Also explores different forms of corporeality that are conduits of political struggle and sites of transgression, resistance, and refusal. Enrollment is 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 is 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 is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 269
Property and Possession
Graduate
5 units
Covers modern conceptions of property and their critique. Inquires into the concept of property as an individual right by exploring its philosophical justifications and criticism in thinkers, such as John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Immanuel Kant, G.W. F. Hegel, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, and Karl Marx. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students.
HISC 271
Historical Temporalities
Graduate
5 units
Explores the critique of the unilinear historical time through the prism of Reinhart Koselleck, Walter Benjamin, and Ernst Bloch's attempts to reconfigure the concepts of time and history. During the course, students investigate how time affects both representation of reality and political praxis. Enrollment is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.
HISC 272
Deprovincializing Marx
Graduate
5 units
Course aims to rethink Marx against the grain, from the debate with Russian populists to Capital and the Grundrisse. Investigates formal subsumption not as a historical stage, but as a form that denotes how capitalism encounters, incorporates, and combines existing modes of production without creating a homogeneous world. Enrollment is 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 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 is restricted to graduate students. Enrollment limited to 15.