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

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.