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The Soviet Avant-Garde: Culture, Politics, Aesthetics

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Explore Russian and Soviet avant-gardes during the first three decades of the 20th century. Discover how artists grappled with finding "communistic expression of material structures" and the shifting status of the arts in the early Soviet state. Dive into the works of Kazimir Malevich, El Lissitzky, Sergei Eisenstein, and more.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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Saidiya Hartman: Scenes of Subjection

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Delve into the transformative insights of Saidiya Hartman's groundbreaking works on Black life and history. Join us at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research as we explore Hartman's profound reimagining of freedom, agency, and the legacy of the Atlantic slave trade. Engage with critical questions on power, labor, and race in the postmodern era through an examination of Hartman's influential texts alongside other prominent scholars in the field.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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Herman Melville’s The Confidence-Man

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Embark on a riveting exploration of trust, deceit, and existential uncertainty in Herman Melville’s masterpiece. Join us at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research as we dissect The Confidence-Man, delving into its satire of capitalist modernity and probing questions of faith, knowledge, and societal norms. Unravel the complexities of Melville’s characters and their morally ambiguous world through close readings and insightful discussions led by expert scholars.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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Racial Capitalism: Race, Class, and the Black Radical Tradition

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Delve into the profound intersections of race, class, and capitalism in a thought-provoking exploration of contemporary radical movements. Join us for an in-depth examination of Cedric Robinson’s concept of racial capitalism and its implications for understanding modernity, nationalism, and Black Radicalism. Uncover the complexities of these interwoven systems through close readings and discussions led by expert scholars at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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Mesopotamia: Civilization, Archaeology, and Material Culture

Brooklyn Institute for Social Research @ Online Classroom

Embark on a captivating exploration of Mesopotamian civilization through archaeology and material culture. Join us at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research as we delve into the origins, structures, and legacy of this ancient society, unraveling its significance amidst historical interpretations and contemporary geopolitical contexts. Uncover the complexities of Mesopotamia's urbanization, social structures, and technological advancements, and discover how its material remains offer insights into our understanding of the past and present.

(29) All levels 21 and older
$335

4 sessions

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The Politics of Climate Change

Explore climate change politics and its implications for the 21st century in this thought-provoking course. Explore the intersections between climate science, political theory, and historical context, as you delve into the limitations of current policies and radical approaches. Uncover the landscape of desires and the emergence of mass political ecological movements in the Global South.

  • All levels
  • 21 and older
  • $335
  • Online Classroom
  • 12 hours over 4 sessions

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  • $335
  • 12 hours over 4 sessions
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Class Description

Description

What you'll learn in this lecture class:

The last six years have been the hottest in recorded human history. From atmospheric carbon concentration and ocean acidification to increased frequency of extreme weather events and, yes, pandemics, it is not only that every measure of climate change has become more pronounced but that the intensity of this already existing socioecological phenomenon is ever more palpable to the vast majority of people across the world.  Climate has moved from a so-called “special interest” to an everyday concern—with the mainstream, cautious IPCC calling for nothing less than unprecedented, radical socio-economic transformation. However, across the political spectrum, climate change is often still treated as an addendum to existing political programs, assumed as a point where divergent interests universally converge, or addressed as a principally technical question. Debates rage about specific climate mitigation and adaptation policies,  epistemologies, ethics, and visions. But a specific climate politics—especially as a contest of powers over fundamentally irreconcilable programs and desires—is shockingly elusive. How does the knowledge provided by climate science radically alter the material basis for politics in the 21st century? How can we build a politics and a political theory of climate change? How might such a theory work with, alter, or challenge existing political projects?

In this course, students will review natural and social scientific analyses of climate change and ecology alongside policy proposals and works of political theory and history. Just as we examine the failures of existing liberal policy, we will ask about limitations to some of the strategies and proposals advocated by socialists, eco-Marxists, and other radical approaches. Even if capitalism is accepted as causally central, does this necessarily mean that socialism or communism provide easy and obvious remedies? How should we understand the debates around growth and development, “degrowth” and “green growth,” particularly alongside long-term trends towards a post-growth world and a global majority of surplus populations?  What is lost or missed in these debates? What are the attractions and limitations of techno-utopian programs—whether expressed by Jeff Bezos or by self-described “socialists”? How can we understand the changing landscape of desires in this increasingly intense, extractive ecological niche? When are “equity” issues from race and decolonization to gender and social reproduction unavoidable in even technical terms? What kind of politics are already expressed in mass political ecological movements in the Global South? And what do these mean for an emancipatory climate politics in the North? What are the new political possibilities that the current catastrophic conditions enable? Adapting Walter Benjamin’s proposition that revolutions are not “the locomotive of world history,” we will ask in the face of an overheating and exhausting reality, what it means, and if it is still possible for “the passengers on this train—namely, the human race—to activate the emergency break”? How is such daunting, immediate political power possible? Readings will include selections and excerpts from climate science literatures, official documents like IPCC reports, technical studies concerning technology, agriculture, and other areas of climate policy debate, alongside more radical analyses as well as contemporary and canonical political thought. 

Remote Learning

This course is available for "remote" learning and will be available to anyone with access to an internet device with a microphone (this includes most models of computers, tablets). Classes will take place with a "Live" instructor at the date/times listed below.

Upon registration, the instructor will send along additional information about how to log-on and participate in the class.

Refund Policy

  • Upon request, we will refund less 5% cancellation fee of a course up until 6 business days before its start date.
  • Students who withdraw after that point but before the first class are entitled to 75% refund or full course credit.
  • After the first class: 50% refund or 75% course credit.
  • No refunds or credits will be given after the second class.

In any event where a customer wants to cancel their enrollment and is eligible for a full refund, a 5% processing fee will be deducted from the refund amount.

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Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research was established in 2011 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. Its mission is to extend liberal arts education and research far beyond the borders of the traditional university, supporting community education needs and opening up new possibilities for scholarship in the...

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Brooklyn Institute for Social Research

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