Spring Semester 2021 Graduate Courses


Comparative Studies


Comparative Studies 5189S Comparative Studies Field School

Hybrid | Tu 10:00-12:45 | Mendenhall 185 | Cassie Patterson and Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth

The course introduces students to different forms of collaborative practice and participatory research in the humanities, recognizing the opportunities and possibilities they afford, as well as the challenges and limitations they entail. What insights or achievements does collaborative work make possible that cannot be accomplished through individual endeavor? What are the ethics of collaboration? What are effective models for collaboration? What are the value of collaboration in different settings and situations? What are the special obstacles to collaboration across various forms of difference, and how to we address them? What are the various social and institutional forces that constrain or enable collaboration in any given context. The course also asks students to develop and pursue collaborations in practice—focused on research, pedagogy, or service—across campus and beyond campus.  Through these practices students will demonstrate their capacity to negotiate intercultural learning spaces. They may bring collaborators together in a new formation or orient an existing group in a new direction. Finally, the course will review ways to measure, track and describe individual contributions to collaborative projects in quantitative and qualitative terms. The course offers a space for critical reflection on how we engage other people’s ideas, both in our research and in the unfolding intellectual community we will create in the seminar. As a learning community, we will engage in a range of scholarly and pedagogical practices, from discussions and academic writing to experimental interactive processes and forms of theorizing. Students should anticipate some deliberate departures from the typical  habits and practices of the graduate seminar. There is an application process for this class. Information sessions that go over what the class entails and the application process are occurring on October 28th and November 10th. More information about the information session can be found here


Comparative Studies 5240 Race and Public Policy in the United States

Online | WF 11:10-12:30 | Dimple Bhaskaran

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. Crosslisted in AAAS and PUBAFFAIRS.


5691 Topics in Comparative Studies Common Sense: Knowledge, Experience, and Social Life

Hybrid | WF 12:45-2:05 | Pomerene 160 | Dorry Noyes

What does it mean when you're told to "use your common sense"? This new course examines the rhetoric of common sense in relation to debates over the authority of knowledge, the value of practical experience, and what should be shared or shareable in social life. Our interdisciplinary exploration will start with folklore: how children (and artists) play at the border of sense and nonsense, how proverbs and other kinds of pedagogic discourse produce everyday "good sense," and how leftover formulations continue to circulate as clichés or "commonplaces," often with disruptive social consequences. Then we'll look at debates on the relation of the senses to knowledge and the communicability of experience across sociocultural divides, thinking about consensus and dissensus as socially accomplished. We'll read about the history of common sense as a democratic, sometimes populist, political ideal that interacts with the rise of secular modernity, scientific expertise, and technocratic politics. This will bring us to the present: division and mistrust in the age of social media and "fake news," questions about the possibility of shared understandings when interests diverge and structures discriminate, and new imaginings of commonality (or separation) in social justice projects. This course is the first run of a new course to be created at Gen-Ed level. I'm hoping for a good mix of students from different departments and at different levels of their undergraduate and graduate programs: your insights and interests will help to shape the new syllabus. We'll do group research projects on the "common sense" of different social issues, and individual final papers on current stances toward the common. No exams, but active participation is expected in discussion and short writings.Hybrid delivery (pending events): Wednesday in person, Friday on Zoom. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 651. Repeatable to a maximum of 12 cr hrs.


Comparative Studies 6400 Critical Foundations: Collaborative Practices

Hybrid | W 2:15-5:00 | Mendenhall 115 | Katherine Borland


Comparative Studies 6425 Introduction to Latino Studies

Online | Tu 2:30-5:15 | Ignacio Corona

Introduces graduate students to the broad themes, concepts, and questions raised in the interdisciplinary field of Latino studies. Not open to students with credit for 705, ArtsSci 705, or Spanish 6705 or 7705. Cross-listed in Spanish.


Comparative Studies 7360 Theorizing Culture

Online | F 9:10-12:00 | Morgan Lui

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.


Comparative Studies 8200 Interdisciplinary Lab 2

Hybrid | Thu 9:10-12:00 | Hagerty 451 | Maurice Stevens


Comparative Studies 8872 Seminar in Religious Studies

Hybrid | Tu 2:15-5:00 | Mendenhall 191 | Melissa Curley

This seminar will examine the intersections between religion and sexuality in a variety of historical examples and from a range of critical theoretical perspectives. Topics will include: marriage and gender in 19thcentury American movements such as the Mormons, Shakers and the Oneida community; the contemporary Christian ex-gay movement; sexuality and gender in contemporary Islam; transformations of sexuality in Hindu and Buddhist Tantra; the role of sexuality and feminism in modern new religious movements such as the Raelians and Neopagan witchcraft; and other topics to be decided by class interest. Each of these topics will be accompanied by discussions of contemporary theoretical approaches to religion and sexuality, including the work of Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Gilles Deleuze, Sudhir Kakar, and others. The seminar will be a collaborative effort based on close reading of texts and student-led discussions. Students willbe expected to pursue an original research project on a topic of their own choosing which will be presented to the class for constructive feedback from the group. Each student will also be partnered with one or two others in order to read and comment on one another’s projects as they develop over the course of the semester. Repeatable to a maximum of 15 cr hrs.


Comparative Studies 8890 Colloquia, Workshops, and Departmental Seminars

Hybrid | Thu 10:15-12:15 | Hagerty 451 | Maurice Stevens

Departmental workshop, colloquium, or seminar.  Topics vary.  Repeatable to a maximum of 9 cr hrs or 9 completions. This course is graded S/U.