Autumn Semester 15


CS 5668 - Studies in Orality and Literacy
Professor Sabra Weber | Th 4:00PM - 6:45PM  | Hagerty Hall 451 | #32647 /  #32646  

CS 5688
Examination of major theories of writing and of oral composition and transmission, in juxtaposition to case material deriving from a variety of Middle Eastern and Western studies.
Sample Texts:  Joyce Coleman, “Orality and Literacy,” Walter Ong “Digitization Ancient and Modern,” Denise Schmandt-Besserat, “The Origins of Writing,” David Carr, “Torah on the Heart,” Anna Davies, “Forms of Writing in the Ancient Mediterranean World,” Konrad Hirschler, “Literacy, Orality, Aurality,” and “The Written Word in the Medieval Arabic Lands,” Roman Jakobson "Roman Grammatical Parallelism & Its Russian Facet," Susan Niditch “New Ways of Thinking About Orality and Literacy,” Sabra Webber “Canonicity and Middle Eastern Folk Literature,” James C. Scott, Ch. 6 ½ “ Orality, Writing and Texts” In The Art of Not Being Governed, Salem/Pax,  Elaine Richardson and Sean Lewis "'Flippin’ the Script' / 'Blowin’ Up the Spot': Puttin’ Hip-Hop Online in (African) America and South Africa"
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 648, or NELC 5568 (648).  

CS 6390 - Approaches to Comparative Cultural Studies I
Professor Eugene Holland | Monday 9:10-11:55AM | Hagerty Hall 451 | #14048

CS 6390

The aim of this course is to introduce you to a range of theories and methods of cultural analysis and comparison, and acquaint you with some of the conceptual tools used in the construction of comparative studies scholarship. We will read texts by authors from diverse historical and geopolitical contexts and engage with their commentary upon the interpretation of culture. The central keyword serving as the focal point for the various theories and approaches under consideration is exchange, but we will also be addressing questions of disciplinarity, anti- disciplinarity and inter-disciplinarity; citizenship; modernity and post-modernity; global  cosmopolitanism;  religion;  ethnicity;  science;   and postcolonialism. The concepts will be explored through three kinds of comparative conversation: historical, geo-political, and inter/disciplinary. The concepts will also be assessed for their use in the critical analysis and comparative study of authoritative discourses and social practices in varying socio-historical contexts.

CS 6425 / Spanish 6705 - Introduction to Latino Studies
Professor Theresa Delgadillo | Tuesday 2:15-5:00PM | Hagerty Hall 451 | #32627

CS 6425
As the gateway course into the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Latina/o Studies, CompStd 6425 / SPAN 6705 explores Latina/o Studies research in multiple disciplinary fields while providing an overview of the history and current state of field to offer students a comprehensive grounding in this interdisciplinary field. Latina/o Studies offers a unique education in the critical analysis of the experiences, histories, literatures, arts, and cultures of the multiethnic, multiracial, and multilingual population of Latinas/os in the U.S. In this course students will examine the educational, cultural, social, political, geographic, economic, artistic, and literary phenomena created and influenced by Latinas/os, as well as the impact of trends in these areas on Latina/o populations.
•      Students gain knowledge of key Latina/o Studies research in multiple fields
•      Students gain understanding of interdisciplinary methods and approaches
•      Students gain understanding of history and current state of field
•      Students are prepared to teach an undergraduate Latina/o Studies course
 Prereq: Grad standing, or permission of instructor and approved petition to the Graduate School. Not open to students with credit for 705, ArtsSci 705, or Spanish 6705 (705). Cross-listed in Spanish 6705.

CS 7301 - Theorizing Literature
Professor Ashley Pérez | Thursday 10:00AM-12:45PM | Hagerty Hall 451 | #32635

CS 7301
This graduate course will provide an accelerated yet accessible introduction to literary theory and criticism, including a survey of significant developments in modern and contemporary literary and cultural studies. We will examine a wide range of critical and theoretical texts as well as literature and other texts from a variety of languages and time periods. We will consider the formal elements of literature like genre as well as theories such as deconstruction, reader response theory, and post-colonial theory. Our approach to the material in seminar discussions and written assignments will center on the following questions: How does a particular critical or theoretical text change how we read literature and cultural texts? How do these texts change how we read theory? What does it mean to think with theory?
In addition to helping students engage effectively with major theoretical concepts for graduate studies in literature and related areas, this course provides students with the opportunity to analyze texts from their own area of interest through a variety of critical and theoretical perspectives. Assignments include written responses to weekly readings, various discussion and analysis structures, a “work-in-progress” presentation, and a final seminar paper. 

CS 7350.02/ English 7350.02/ English 7350.22- Theorizing Folklore II: The Ethnography of Performance
Professor Dorothy Noyes | Thursday 9:10AM - 12:10PM  | Denney Hall 419 | #32879/ #32880/ #32884

CS 7350.02

Since the 1970s, the performance turn in folklore, anthropology, and related disciplines has illuminated our understanding of agency and efficacy in everyday life as well as specialized cultural production. In a major revision of the modern culture concept, the performance approach focuses on cultural forms as process and practice: not texts instantiating a static shared worldview but historically situated, conventional transactions among persons. As part of the reaction to a linguistic ideology privileging reference, the performance approach looks at how language is used to construct reality; reacting to the focus on deep structure in most grand theory, it insists on the significance of material and interactional surfaces. With its attention to bodies in motion, it remains relevant as a corrective to the reification of values and identities in contemporary cultural politics.
This seminar will examine both programmatic texts and selected case studies in the ethnography of performance: that is, an approach based in "thick description" of instances. While theory in the field has tended to develop within genre specializations, we will examine verbal art, cultural performance (ritual, festival, spectacle) and the performance of selfhood together in the attempt to illustrate common issues and a general paradigm. Students will share in preparing for discussion and write a research paper. This course fulfills the core theory requirement of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Folklore. (For more information, see
Prereq: Grad standing, or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for English 870.

CS 7360 - Theorizing Culture
Professor Morgan Liu | Friday 12:30-3:15PM | Hagerty Hall 451 | #23974

CS 7360
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.

CS 8791 - Seminar in Interdisciplinary Theory: 
“Entanglements: Theorizing Social Relations”

Professor Philip Armstrong | Wednesday 2:15-5:00PM | Hagerty Hall 451 |  #32621

CS 8971
Situated in light of a proliferation of recent works in both the humanities and social sciences that foregound the motif of “entanglement,” the seminar addresses the concept of “social relations.” It asks how the concept has been formed, how it is distinguished from other forms of relation (political, cultural, economic), how it enables different disciplinary or analytic work, and how it relates to discourses of modernity. In addressing what concept of relation or relationality is implied or presupposed when referring to social relations, the seminar will also address different ways in which “the social” is constituted or assembled, and how it is articulated in relation to terms like identity, plurality, collectivity, and community. Finally, readings and discussions will engage discourses of kinship and contract, addressing readings that have questioned their continued critical pertinence.
Readings will be taken from a broad range of fields, including social theory, cultural anthropology, political theory, cultural theory, the “new materialism,” and political philosophy. In addition to the weekly readings, the course will be organized around several debates and exchanges, including guest speakers from several different departments.