Autumn 2018 Graduate Courses

Comparative Studies 5957.01 Comparative Folklore: Folklore in Circulation, as Cultures of Waste and Recycling

Waste and Recyclin

Th 2:15PM-5:00PM | Journalism Building 291 | Dorothy Noyes

This   course   explores   the   notion   of   the   residual:   what   is   left   over,   useless, unclassifiable.  We'll  consider  processes  of  symbolic  classification  through  which phenomena  can  be  labelled  as  out  of  place  or  out  of  phase.  We  will  explore  the customary  management  of  communal  resources,  both  human  and  material,  in scarce-resource societies. We'll  examine  the  creation  of  waste  (and  its  converse,  deprivation)  with  the codification  of  custom  in  modernity,  and  look  at  strategies  by  which  waste  is recuperated  as  a  matter  of  necessity,  aesthetics,  or  ideology.  We'll  look  at  how different  kinds  of  leftover  move  in  and  out  of  systems  of  value:  for  example,  the labelling of things as "junk" or "antiques," people as "trash," or ideas as "folklore." Throughout, we'll thinkabout the status of residues in social and cultural theory.

Comparative Studies 6390 Approaches to Comparative Cultural Studies I

W 2:15-5:00PM | TBA | Ashley Perez

A graduate introduction to social thought and critical theory, this course offers a survey of key interpretive theories that have guided social and cultural analysis of modernity in all its diverse colonial and postcolonial locations.  We will read core sociological, anthropological, and philosophical works including writings by Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Roland Barthes, and Ruth Benedict, in order to explore the workings of culture, history, and difference in the present. In addition to introducing social thought and social-science methodologies of comparative cultural and civilizational analysis, we will study critical epistemologies including psychoanalysis, ethnography, and feminism. The course concludes with the post-structuralist turn to the cultural analysis of power. This is the first course in a two-semester introduction to critical and cultural theory, while also offering a stand-alone introduction to key concepts for formulating interdisciplinary and critical research projects, with a particular emphasis on anthropological approaches to culture. Primarily designed for graduate students in the Department of Comparative Studies, this course is also open to graduate students from across the university

Comparative Studies 7350.02 Theorizing Folklore II: Ethnography of Performance

T 2:15PM-5:00PM | Hagerty 451| Amy Shuman

Performance as a heightened mode of communication characteristic of vernacular cultural process, studied in the context of ongoing social interaction.

Comparative Studies 7360 Theorizing Culture

Fr 9:10AM-12:00PM | Hagerty 451 | Morgan Liu

What is “culture” and is the concept useful to understanding what people do, say, and think? Is it  to  be  located  in  ideas, in  materiality,  in  discourse,  or in practice/performance? We  will  think about  how  the  cultural  dimensions  of  human  existence  are  variously  involved  with  tactics  of power;  with  conflations  of  race,  nation,  and  territoriality;  with  shaping  agency  and  articulating voice; with universalistic claims and particular politics.

Readings are centered on ethnographies that plumb specific cases and simultaneously theorize subjectivity, knowledge, representation, gender,  identity,  embodiment,  space,  networks,  colonialism,  complexity,  the  state,  the  global, etc. We will consider these case studies with respect to perspectives from cultural anthropology, human  geography,  linguistic  anthropology,  urban  studies,  cultural  studies,  science  studies, history, political science, and sociology. Students from all disciplines are very welcome in this course. The central position of the class is your semester-long essay on a topic of your choice (perhaps a piece for your future thesis) in light of perspectives of the course.

The course’s seminar/lecture format involves close engagement among students and with me. There will be a mini-conference where students present their own work to the class for feedback.Prereq: Grad standing or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 716.

Comparative Studies 8890 Colloquium, Workshops, and Departmental Seminars

Th 12:00-2:00PM | Hagerty 451| Theresa Delgadillo

Performance as a heightened mode of communication characteristic of vernacular cultural process, studied in the context of ongoing social interaction.