Culture (CLTR)

CLTR 1000. Cultures, Societies, and Global Studies at Northeastern. 1 Hour.

Introduces first-year students in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities to the liberal arts in general. Seeks to familiarize them with their major, to help them develop the academic skills necessary to succeed (analytical ability and critical thinking), to provide grounding in the culture and values of the university community, to help them develop interpersonal skills, and to familiarize them with all skills needed to become a successful university student.

CLTR 1120. Introduction to Languages, Literature, and Culture. 4 Hours.

Examines the rich interconnections between literature and language and the culture that supports them. Discusses the relationship of language to literature and investigates how language and literatures are embedded in culture. Addresses several very broad and important questions, such as the relationship between language and culture; the relationship between language and thought; the definition of cultural relativism; and how ethical dilemmas are expressed in different cultures. Explores the relationship of esthetic and rhetorical traditions in given languages to the culture from which they sprang. In this context, examines the extremely interesting case of American Sign Language and how a gestural language sheds light on these issues.

CLTR 1140. Italian Society through Film. 4 Hours.

Explores the past three decades of Italian society through film using screenings, lectures, and discussions. Topics covered include the European immigration crisis; complex Italian politics; the modern-day Mafia; and Italian societal constructs, including gender norms, the family, and workplace dynamics. Examines the relationship of filmmaking and society. Explores positionality from multiple lenses. Seeks to foster student reflection and critical thinking through guided discussions and writing assignments and to broaden students’ awareness of Italian culture and society by considering social and ethical concerns presented in films. Students examine human nature and social behavior in the face of globalization and social change in contemporary Italian society. Includes the works of influential Italian filmmakers, such as Comencini, Virzì, Ozpetek, Muccino, and Moretti.

CLTR 1240. Latin American Film. 4 Hours.

Examines contemporary works of cinematography in Latin America, focusing on the culture and imagery of the Spanish-, French-, and Portuguese-speaking peoples of the Western hemisphere, including the United States. Critically engages—from a technical (cinematographic), genre, and sociohistorical perspective—topics of history, memory, and cultural resiliency; colonialism, racism, and patriarchy; dictatorship, revolution, and democratization; and nationalism, dependency, and globalization. Conducted in English; most films are in French, Portuguese, or Spanish with English subtitles.

CLTR 1260. Japanese Film. 4 Hours.

Provides an introduction to Japanese film through works by such great masters as Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, and Ozu, as well as works by new directors from the 1980s and 1990s such as Tami, Morita, and Suo. Studies both form and content; relates major works to Japanese culture. Conducted in English.

CLTR 1280. French Film and Culture. 4 Hours.

Provides an introduction to some of the qualities that have made French film one of the great national cinemas. Focuses on both form and content; relates outstanding directors’ major works to the French culture and society of their period. Conducted in English.

CLTR 1500. Modern Chinese History and Culture. 4 Hours.

Introduces modern Chinese history and culture through literary works, films, and historical texts. Examines political, social, and cultural changes in China since 1800: the decline of empire; the New Culture Movement of the 1920s; the rise of nationalism and rural revolution; the changing roles of women; the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s; and China’s cinematic, literary, and economic engagement with the world since 1978. Taught in English and open to all undergraduates. CLTR 1500 and HIST 1500 are cross-listed.

CLTR 1501. Introduction to French Culture. 4 Hours.

Explores contemporary France and French mentality through lectures, screenings, readings, and discussions. Topics covered include the modern vs. the traditional family, social reproduction, gender norms, culture and social distinction, the concept of “grandeur,” identity, and immigration. Offers students an opportunity to evaluate historical and sociological readings, films, documentaries, and TV commercials; to compare French and American systems; and to consider contemporary human and social behaviors in the face of globalization.

CLTR 1502. Introduction to Arabic Culture. 4 Hours.

Designed to provide students with an in-depth survey of Arabic culture. Familiarizes students with the roots of one of the richest and oldest cultures but also seeks to satisfy their curiosity concerning certain social norms, patterns, and cultural traits in contemporary Arabic societies. Examines cultural manifestations ranging from the hijab (head covering), Jihad (holy struggle), human rights, polygamy, gender relations, public behavior, and many others by providing the historical backgrounds for these customs and traditions as well as exploring how they are now perceived in various Arab societies as well as in the West. Seeks to provide students with an appreciation for this multifaceted culture but most importantly a broad perspective on Arabic culture within the context of the universal human experience.

CLTR 1503. Introduction to Italian Culture. 4 Hours.

Examines chronologically the main aspects of Italian culture, concentrating on the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the modern, postunification period. Topics include art, philosophy, literature, architecture, film, and historical background. Other topics address significant personages in Italian culture, such as Dante, Boccaccio, Piero della Francesca, Leonardo da Vinci, Alberti, Pico della Mirandola, Michelangelo, and Machiavelli; the differences between northern and southern Italy; and the nature of Italy’s cultural heritage and its influence and status today. Conducted in English.

CLTR 1504. Introduction to Spanish Culture. 4 Hours.

Examines chronologically the forces that have forged Spanish culture and have made Spain the nation it is today. Traces the development of Spain from the prehistoric caves of Altamira to the present. Observes past and present concerns such as divorce and abortion in a Catholic country, education, the role of women, linguistic diversity, separatism and terrorism, and the incorporation of Spain into the European Community. Incorporates history, sociology, anthropology, geography, economics, and politics. Conducted in English.

CLTR 1505. Introduction to Latin American Culture. 4 Hours.

Introduces students to Latin American culture through the study of a broad array of literary and critical writings by Latin American authors and selected films from Latin America. Authors include Sor Juana, Garcia Marquez, and Jorge Amado. Conducted in English.

CLTR 1506. Introduction to Chinese Popular Culture. 4 Hours.

Provides a comprehensive examination of modern Chinese popular culture in the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. From film to literature, from music to theatre, this course probes popular culture as it has manifested itself and traces its sociopolitical, aesthetic, and affective impact on modern China, with special attention to negotiations between the elite and the popular discourses.

CLTR 1510. French Gastronomy and Culture. 4 Hours.

Analyzes the relationship between gastronomy, good manners, and French society since the Middle Ages, which is deeply ingrained in French cultural fabric and celebrated around the world as French savoir-faire and savoir-vivre Explores cultural practices and the role of religious, political, social, and economic forces in shaping the formation of self, class distinction and cultural capital, gender roles and identity construction, permanence and change, and myth and reality in times of transition. When relevant, the course compares the French experience with other countries’ modus operandi. Includes films; documentaries; an interview with a French chef; popular culture texts (cookbooks, menus, satirical food critic columns); and philosophical, historical, sociological, and literary texts from Stephen Mennell, Norbert Elias, Pierre Bourdieu, Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, Molière, Alexandre Dumas, and Emile Zola.

CLTR 1700. Introduction to Japanese Pop Culture. 4 Hours.

Provides an introduction to Japanese popular culture through critical analysis of mass media such as film, television, comics, and animation. Investigates various social and cultural issues, such as gender, family, and education. Films and videos supplement readings. Conducted in English.

CLTR 1990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

CLTR 2001. World Cultures through Film. 4 Hours.

Introduces the study of world cinema from the past several decades as a form of artistic and cultural expression. Emphasizes the way that different ethnicities and cultures mix and even clash within national boundaries. Readings cover such topics as the postcolonial inheritance, immigration, the boundaries of class, the pressures of modernization, ethnic identities, and historical memory. Examines storytelling in its multicultural aspects and deals with the diverse influences of entertainment cinema and art cinema, as well as measures taken by countries to limit the influx of foreign films in order to protect their own cultural productivity. One overall concern of the course is the place of film in contemporary global culture.

CLTR 2450. Postcolonial Literature. 4 Hours.

Examines the literature and cultures of postcolonial nations in the Caribbean, Africa, and Asia. Designed to familiarize students with the cultural paradigms and transnational experiences of colonialism. Focuses on the variety of artistic strategies employed by writers to communicate contemporary postcolonial themes such as neocolonialism, nationalism, Third-World feminism, and diaspora. CLTR 2450 and ENGL 2450 are cross-listed.

CLTR 2715. New Media Narratives in Latin America: Local and Global Dimensions. 4 Hours.

Focuses on Latin America as a region of rich technological creativity in the digital media landscape of the 21st century. Explores how social networks, computational technologies, and digital devices are subject to creative hacks that incorporate alternative economies and knowledge models and enact social and artistic movements. Examines how hacks or adaptations of new media traverse the local dimensions of the current global technocultural landscape and invite reflection on the multiplex relationships fostered by digital media around the world. Offers students an opportunity to analyze cultural artifacts and phenomena in Latin America in a comparative global setting and engage in innovative expression by creating reflexive multimedia artifacts of their own, replicating the creative and adaptive uses studied in the class. Taught in English.

CLTR 2990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

CLTR 3418. Nationalism. 4 Hours.

Explores contending theories of identity and nationalism—a powerful force in international and domestic politics. Examines topics such as the process of identity creation, the choice of national symbols, how group boundaries are established, the role of identity in conflict and state building, and the debate over nationalism’s constructed or primordial nature. POLS 3418 and CLTR 3418 are cross-listed.

CLTR 3450. Israeli and Palestinian Film. 4 Hours.

Seeks to open up a dialogue between two cultures that coexist in the same geographical space: the Israeli and the Palestinian. Explores questions of history, identity, conflict, and coexistence through documentary and fiction films. Films are contextualized through extensive readings in secondary sources, poetry, and works of fiction. Requires students to complete several short papers and a final research paper.

CLTR 3500. French Culture and the Arts. 4 Hours.

Designed to provide students with an overview of French culture with a particular focus on its rich artistic heritage as manifested down through history and in popular culture today. Includes such areas as language, art, architecture, cinema, music, literature, urban and landscape design, fashion, folklore, rites, rituals, and customs. Studies the distinctive characteristics of France’s many regions in light of their contributions to the vast tapestry that comprises French culture. Conducted in French.

CLTR 3715. New Narratives: Latin America after 1989. 4 Hours.

Focuses on film, literature, and new media. This course offers a panoramic view of the Latin American cultural production after 1989, attempting to characterize the variety of styles and trends. Relates the texts and movies to the socio, political, and economic issues of the moment, i.e., implementation of neoliberal democracies, globalization, neocolonialism, resistance, new social movements, etc. Also studies links between Latin America and the United States and between Latin America and Spain. Focuses on texts written by relatively young authors. Taught in Spanish.

CLTR 3725. Representing Violence and Human Rights in Latin America. 4 Hours.

Studies the idea of violence and how it relates to the social, economic, and political situation in Latin America. Students watch films and documentaries and read novels, testimonies, short stories, and poems of several artistic movements to study how violence is represented/visualized in these texts. Also addresses the topics of historical memory and human rights by using basic theoretical texts about the concept of violence, memory, and human rights. Studies four moments in recent Latin American history: Mexico 1968, Shining Path and Peru in the 1980s and 1990s, the genocide in Guatemala, and the dictatorships in the Southern Cone. Taught in Spanish.

CLTR 3990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

CLTR 4944. Cultural Engagement Abroad. 4 Hours.

Designed for a language-based Dialogue of Civilizations. Complements the intensive language course that students take while on a language-based Dialogue. Offers students an opportunity to obtain an in-depth knowledge of the contemporary culture(s) of the country of the Dialogue and how that culture differs from or is similar to contemporary American cultural values and practices. In addition to regular in-class lectures and activities, offers structured opportunities to engage in dialogue with businesspeople, scholars, educators, artists, government officials, journalists, students, senior citizens, and/or local residents about their perspectives on various topics and issues. May be repeated up to three times.

CLTR 4990. Elective. 1-4 Hours.

Offers elective credit for courses taken at other academic institutions. May be repeated without limit.

CLTR 4992. Directed Study. 1-4 Hours.

Offers students a way of going beyond work given in the regular curriculum; may also enable students to complete major or minor requirements in certain situations. Priority is given to language majors and to juniors and seniors. May be repeated without limit.