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Autumn Semester 2022 Graduate Courses

Comparative Studies 


COMPSTD 5240 / PUBAFRS 5240 / AFAMAST 5240 Race and Public Policy in the United States

Page 60 | WF 9:35-10:55 | Miranda Martinez

This course explores Race and Public Policy in the United States from Reconstruction to the present. In particular, the class is designed to look at the long list of "hot topics" in the current policy landscape, including policing, housing, wealth gap, immigration, voting, political representation, and others. Cross-listed in AAAS and PUBAFFAIRS.

COMPSTD 6300 Critical Foundations: Culture & Social Theory

Hagerty 451 | TR 9:35-10:55 | Hugh Urban

This course is intended to provide an overview and close analysis of foundational approaches to critical and cultural studies theory. The materials discussed will range from early theorists such as Marx, Freud, and Durhkeim to more recent approaches such as post-structuralism, subaltern studies, post-colonial theory, science and technology studies, and critical animal studies. Rather than reading theory in isolation, however, this course will be very much a “theory-in-practice” approach, in which classic texts are each paired with one or more examples of an application of that theory to a particular interesting case. For example, when reading Marx, we will also examine an anthropological application of Marx to the case of tin miners in Bolivia, as well as contemporary use of Marx in American film. When reading Foucault, we will also examine uses of Foucault in the analysis of scientific discourse about homosexuality in the United States and fascist views of sexuality in 20th century Italy.  When reading Said’s work on Orientalism, we will also discuss texts that critique the role of Orientalist tropes in modern film and television; and so on. We will conclude with more recent critical work that brings together many of these approaches in the study of 21st century capitalism, globalization, and environmentalism. As a class, we will discuss not only the theoretical approach itself but also the ways in which it can and has been used, interrogating the limits and possibilities of each model in different historical and cultural contexts.

Each week, students will be required to generate a set of discussion questions to help guide our conversations in class. Students will also develop an original research project related to their own work that will be presented to the class in the last weeks of the semester; this will be completed in stages over the course of the semester, beginning with topic idea, bibliography, thesis statement, outline, rough and final draft. Students will each work with one or more partners who will be responsible for giving feedback on one another’s projects at each stage.  

COMPSTD 7320 Theorizing Race and Ethnicity

Hagerty 451 | Thursdays 2:15-5 | Franco Barchiesi

The main goal of this graduate seminar is to critically analyze and discuss the role of racial thinking and institutionally racialized practices in the making of the modern world. "Race" is here primarily understood not so much in terms of cultural identity but as a strategy and structure of power operating on a global scale. Western modernity has, in particular, deployed racial difference as a mode of knowledge to define humanity through often violent hierarchical and excluding modalities. Central to critical reflections on racialized power are Black studies' ethical and theoretical confrontations with anti-blackness. The course will provide critical tools for addressing the problematic place of race in modernity by focusing on topics that include: modern philosophies of race; the role of racial thinking and institutions in shaping global capitalism and the nation-state; intersections of race and gender; how modern ideas of race are defined in relation to enslavement, genocide, and settler colonialism; racial imaginaries in anti-colonial movements, Black radicalism, and Black feminism; connections between the critique of race and abolitionist movements opposed to policing and incarceration; the significance of race and blackness in current debates on posthumanism and the Anthropocene.

COMPSTD 8100 / Interdisciplinary Learning Lab 1

Hagerty 451 | Wednesdays 2:15-5 | Miranda Martinez + Katherine Borland

The first in a two-course sequence, we will explore the debate about the causes and consequences of gentrification, using Columbus as our laboratory. We will review the literature in sociology and heritage studies on neighborhood change, consult with OSU colleagues currently conducting research on Columbus neighborhoods, and we will conduct several site visits to areas experiencing change in Columbus, in order to identify potential projects for ethnographic documentation during spring term 2023.  An ideal opportunity for students interested in gaining ethnographic experience and learning more about Columbus’ diverse communities. Enrollment in Spring 2023 8200 is encouraged but not required for students outside Comparative Studies.

COMPSTD 8858.01 / Seminar in Folklore: Play

Denney Hall 419 | Tuesdays 1:50-4:50 | Amy Shuman

Description forthcoming.

COMPSTD 8890 / Dissertation Writing Workshop

Hagerty 451 | Mondays 10-12 | Melissa Curley

Since the dissertation is often your first effort to construct a complex, original, and extended argument, interpretation and/or analysis, this writing workshop will assist you in developing concrete strategies for tackling this major task, hold you accountable for making progress on the dissertation, and contribute to the creation of an intellectual community among Comp Studies graduate students. Repeatable to a maximum of 9 cr hrs or 9 completions. This course is graded S/U.