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
W 2:15PM-5:00PM | Hagerty 451 | Ashley Perez
This course introduces students to a range of theories and methods of cultural analysis to highlight conceptual tools used in the construction of comparative studies scholarship. The course will also offer a space for critical reflection on how we engage the ideas of others, both in terms of our research and in the unfolding intellectual community we will create in the seminar. We will read texts by authors from diverse historical and geopolitical contexts to learn from the interpretative theories they havedeveloped. We will also trace the trajectories of exchange and the points of intersection between varied approaches and with our own most pressing concerns.
We will engage conceptual clusters such as disciplinarity, anti-disciplinarity and inter-disciplinarity; citizenship and community; modernity and post-modernity; religion, language, race, and ethnicity; technology and science; and colonialism, neocolonialism, and post colonialism; migration, global cosmopolitanism, and translation. These and other concepts will be assessed for their potential use in the critical analysis and comparative study of existing discourses, social practices, and cultural texts in varying socio-historical contexts. Primarily designed for graduate students in the Department of Comparative Studies, this course is also open to interested graduate students from across the university.
As a learning community, we will examine and create knowledge by engaging in a range of scholarly and pedagogical practices, from familiar seminar discussions and academic writing to more experimental interactive structures and forms of theorizing. Students should anticipate some deliberate departures from the set of habits that tends to find articulation in seminar settings.
Comparative Studies 7350.02 Theorizing Folklore II: Ethnography of Performance
T 2:15PM-5:00PM | TBA | Katherine Borland
Performance as a heightened mode of communication characteristic of vernacular cultural process, studied in the context of ongoing social interaction.
Comparative Studies 7350.03 Theorizing Folklore III: Differentiation, Identification, and the Folk
Th 9:10AM-12:10AM | Denney Hall 419 | Amy Shuman
Cultural form as social marker. "Folklore" and other metacultural concepts in the history of modernity. Cross-listed in English.
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.