Graduate Courses for Autumn 2016

CS 5668 - Studies in Orality and Literacy
Professor Sabra Weber | We 2:15PM - 5:00PM  | Hagerty Hall 451 | #24753 /  #24752  

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 5957.02 - Folklore in Circulation: Cultures of Waste and Recycling
Professor Dorothy Noyes | T/Th 12:45PM-2:05PM | Mendenhall Lab 129 | #32785


The Trash Class is back! This course explores the notion of the residual: what is left over, useless, unclassifiable. We will explore the customary management of communal resources, both human and material, in scarce-resource societies. We’ll consider processes of symbolic classification through which phenomena can be labelled as out of place or out of phase. 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." Finally, we'll think about the status of residues in social and cultural theory. Course requirements include regular Carmen discussion of readings and a research project that traces the social life of a cultural object.

Prereq: 2350, 2350H, English 2270 (270), or 2270H. Not open to students with maximum qtr cr hrs for 677.03 and 677.04. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.


CS 5980 - Ancient and Modern Narrative: Cognition, Affect, Ethics, Belief
Professors Sarah Johnston and James Phelan | Th 2:15PM-5:00PM | Page Hall 060 | #34294 / #34293


This interdisciplinary, team-taught course will juxtapose narratives from ancient Greece with ones from modern and contemporary United States and Great Britain as it explores the hypothesis that the power of narrative arises from its capacity to affect the lives of audiences by engaging their cognition, affect, ethics, and beliefs. By juxtaposing narratives from two different eras, we will consider what has changed and what has remained constant in the techniques, effects, and purposes of storytelling across the centuries.  By studying research drawn from multiple disciplines on cognition, affect, ethics, and beliefs, we will set up a dialogue between the primary narratives and theoretical claims about engaging with narrative. 

Prereq: Not open to students with credit for English 5980. Cross-listed in English.


CS 6390 - Approaches to Comparative Cultural Studies I
Professor Eugene Holland | Monday 9:10AM-11:55AM | Hagerty Hall 451 | #14225

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.

Prereq: Grad standing or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 710.


CS 7256 - Complex Ethnography

Professor Noah Tamarkin | Tuesday 2:15PM-5:00PM | Hagerty Hall 451 | #32786

Ethnography has long been a defining feature of cultural anthropology, and in recent decades it has become ubiquitous in humanities and social science fields as a valuable form of research. This graduate seminar considers theory, method, and writing as interwoven components of producing ethnography. It will provide a critical foundation in how and why to use ethnographic methodologies, how ethnography has been theorized and critiqued, how theoretical contributions can be produced from ethnographic research, and how ethnographers craft their writing. While this course will be useful as a methods course, it is also a space through which we will examine the politics and practices of knowledge production that shape humanities and social sciences disciplines and interdisciplinary fields that are constituted through, utilize, or are theoretically informed by ethnographic research. In this course, we will read select ethnographies, supplemented by readings that address ethnography from a methodological perspective and others that analyze ethnographic writing as a particular kind of textual production. Students who plan to incorporate ethnography in their graduate research will have the opportunity to develop ethnographic research proposals. Possible texts include Clifford and Marcus’s Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, Anna Tsing’s In the Realm of the Diamond Queen: Marginality in an Out-of-the-Way Place, John L. Jackson’s Thin Description: Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, Laurence Ralph’s Renegade Dreams: Living Through Injury in Gangland Chicago, and Audra Simpson’s Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States.

Prereq: Grad standing or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 706.


CS 7360 - Theorizing Culture
Professor Morgan Liu | Friday 9:00AM - 11:45AM | Hagerty Hall 451 | #23393

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 7370 - Theorizing Religion
Professor Hugh Urban | T/Th 12:45PM-2:05PM | Hagerty Hall 451 |  #32787

Far from waning in significance in our increasingly globalized, technological and interconnected modern world, religion has re-emerged as a powerful force with tremendous social, economic and political implications. This course is an intensive seminar devoted to the close critical reading of a series of key theories in the contemporary study of religion. The approaches covered in this course will include: history of religions, sociology, psychology, critical theory, feminism and gender-theory, evolutionary theory and cognitive science. The authors we read will include:  Jonathan Z. Smith, Bruce Lincoln, Robert Orsi, Pierre Bourdieu, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler,  Grace Jantzen, Talal Asad,  Pascal Boyer, and others. Students will be expected to lead class discussions, write one original research paper, and give an oral presentation based on their final project.

Prereq: Grad standing or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 725.


CS 8805 - Seminar in Literature in Global Context
Professor Kwaku Korang | Wednesday 2:15PM-5:00PM | University Hall 024 |  #25734

 Discussion of literary texts, cultural-political documents, and theoretical discourses in global contexts.

Repeatable to a maximum of 15 cr hrs.


CS 8890 - Colloquia, Workshops, and Departmental Seminars
Professor Theresa Delgadillo | Friday 12:00PM-3:00PM | TBA |  #25734

 Departmental workshop, colloquium, or seminar.  Topics vary.

Repeatable to a maximum of 9 cr hrs or 9 completions. This course is graded S/U.