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Autumn Semester 2023 Graduate Courses

Comparative Studies 

This list is current as of June 13, 2023. Course schedule and descriptions are subject to change; we are adding here course-specific descriptions, as well, as they become available. Please refer to SIS for the most up-to-date information. Contact arceno.1@osu.edu if you notice any discrepancies or have any questions.


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

Wednesdays and Fridays 9:35-10:55 | (Damian) Akil Houston | Page 60

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 African American and African Studies and Public Affairs. Not open to students with credit for AFAMAST 5240 or PUBAFFAIRS 5240.

COMPSTD 5668 / NELC 5568 Studies in Orality and Literacy 

Wednesdays 3:55-6:30 | Michael Swartz | Hagerty 42

Examination of major theories of writing and of oral composition and transmission, in juxtaposition to case material deriving from a variety of Middle Eastern cultures. Prereq: Permission of instructor. Cross-listed in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures. Not open to students with credit for NELC 5568.

COMPSTD 6200 Critical Foundations: Interdisciplinarity & Methods

Wednesdays 2:15-5 | Philip Armstrong | Hagerty 451

This course introduces interdisciplinarity as an approach to knowledge production that is problem and question-driven and that therefore draws from varied approaches and methodologies. It considers a range of tools that scholars across humanities and social sciences disciplines use to critically analyze the pressing global issues. 

COMPSTD 6500 Teaching Seminar in Interdisciplinary Studies

Tuesdays 2:15-5 | Ashley Pérez | Derby Hall 24

This course introduces graduate students in the Humanities to a range of approaches to teaching in interdisciplinary settings. This course addresses practical concerns, such as creating an effective syllabus, selecting material, pacing, and facilitating in-course experiences. It also engages the class community in reflection on our roles as teachers and learners in the classroom, the power dynamics that are part of institutionalized learning, and our opportunities to employ our human and material resources to create transformative learning experiences.  

COMPSTD 6750.01 / ENGLISH 6751.01/.11 Philology of the Vernacular

Thursdays 12:40-3:40 | Merrill Kaplan | Denney Hall 447

Introduction to the canonical folklore genres and the history of folklore as a discipline. Why and how do we examine the vernacular?

COMPSTD 7320 Theorizing Race and Ethnicity

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

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 7360 Theorizing Culture

Fridays 9:15-12 | Morgan Liu | Hagerty 451

Is “culture” a useful concept to understanding what people do, say, and think?  Is it to be located in ideas, in materiality, in discourse, or in practice/performance?  Readings are from cultural anthropology, human geography, linguistic anthropology, urban studies, cultural studies, science & technology studies, history, political science, and sociology.  Students from all disciplines are very welcome in this course.  The central portion of the class is your semester-long essay on a topic of your choice (perhaps a piece of your future thesis or dissertation) in light of the perspectives of the course.  Students present their own work to the class for feedback in a mini-conference.

COMPSTD 8100 / Interdisciplinary Learning Lab 1

Mondays 9:15-12 | Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth + Katherine Borland | Hagerty 451

The Comparative Studies Interdisciplinary Learning Laboratories are two-part courses that seek to give participants opportunities to engage in sustained interdisciplinary research, to workshop their research projects in conversation with one another, and to share their projects with broader publics. 

The AU 23 Interdisciplinary Learning Lab is structured around the Center for Folklore Studies Folklore Archive to give students the opportunity to conduct archival research, gain practical experience describing and maintaining collections, and create publicly-facing, collaborative work all with a collection located within the department. Through readings, discussion, reflection, and weekly work with archival materials, we will explore how questions of representation, narrative, inequality, materiality, and institutional/community dynamics play out in the management of a "bottom-up" archive. Students will gain skills in archival research, textual analysis, ethnography, archival and museum practices, and public engagement by collaborating with a class partner on developing an existing collection in the Folklore Archive.  

In the fall we will do readings on archives (both as metaphor and actual collection); and we’ll conduct biweekly exercises designed to familiarize students with the folklore archives and to introduce various practical skills they will need for their work during spring term: and we’ll visit with and talk to archivists working in other OSU collections.  By the end of term, students will have selected a research partner and a particular collection to focus on. They will have developed in conversation with faculty, a comprehensive plan for developing their collection during spring term, which might include (in addition to organizing and describing the collection and creating a digital gallery), publicity, curricular materials, research/publication, or humanities programming directed toward a nonacademic public. 

Enrollment in Spring 2024's COMPSTD 8200 is encouraged but not required for students outside Comparative Studies.

COMPSTD 8890 / Dissertation Writing Workshop

Wednesdays 12-2 | Miranda Martinez | Hagerty 451

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.