ASPP-GT 2026 Graduate Section
Tuesdays, 11am– 1:45pm
4 points – Graduate Students Only
Many fields have taken a transnational turn to examine locations outside of their normative purview. Although this shift could be imagined as a multicultural expansion towards the inclusion of others across the globe, this course aims to historicize this shift in relation to power, particularly formations like race, sexuality, class, gender, and ability and legacies surrounding settler colonialism, Eurocentrism, colonization, US empire, and the Cold War. Put differently, instead of imagining the world as “a small world after all,” how might we attend to the fractures and differences that continue to maintain a world order involving the biopolitical death, debilitization, and militarized policing of racialized, gendered, and sexualized populations?
This course thus historicizes, questions the ethics, and tracks the methods and fields available for the emergence and future of transnational analysis. Rather than accepting the liberal consideration of other spaces as simply better for intellectual fields and artistic practice, the main goal is to more critically understand how turns to the non-West are informed by the lingering problematics yet possibilities provided by anthropology, philosophy, area studies, and cultural studies as they can be contextualized in relation to the Cold War, neoliberalism, post-socialism, and culture wars, amongst other contexts. Further, the transnational must also be situated in relation to the medial forms available for tracking and considering the non-West, such as world cinema, literature, and performance. This course ultimately situates the historical alongside medial forms to help us consider the available methods (representation, cognitive mapping, and affect) for imagining nation states and the world. Rather than focusing on a single region, this course takes the admittedly difficult task of pondering the transnational turn as a broader concern across fields and analytics. This course will examine theorists like Frantz Fanon, Jasbir Puar, Edouard Glissant, Sylvia Wynter, Ella Shohat, Pheng Cheah, Trinh Minh-ha, Mel Chen, Fredric Jameson, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Andrea Smith, Naoki Sakai, and David Harvey. We will also situate theoretical discourse in relation to cultural production by artists like Jacolby Satterwhite, Cao Fei, Kapwani Kiwanga, Tao Dance Theater, Bert Bernally, Isaac Julien, Xandra Ibarra, and Shirin Neshat.