Autumn Semester 2020 Undergraduate Courses

Comparative Studies

Comparative Studies 1100 Introduction to the Humanities: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Multiple Sections + Online

Explores the role of literature and the arts in constructing, maintaining, and questioning the values and beliefs of diverse cultures and historical periods; topics vary.  GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies. Honors version.

*Other sections of 1100 can be found on buckeye link

Comparative Studies 2099 Question of Comparative Studies

Online | Mo 5:20PM – 6:15PM | Isaac Weiner

This course offers an introduction to the Comparative Studies major. It is designed to help students to take advantage of curricular, research, and advising opportunities; to manage the particular challenges of independent and interdisciplinary work; to link classroom work to social and political engagement with relevant communities; and to prepare for life after graduation.  This course is graded S/U.

Comparative Studies 2101 Literature and Society

Hybrid | TuTh 9:35-10:55AM | Pomerene Hall 350 | Rhiar Kanouse 

This course explores the relationship between literature and society by studying texts that either address social and political themes or imagine individuals defined, constrained or enmeshed in social and political systems. We will read literature (novel, poetry, memoir) and view films that center characters who face difficult situations and choices such as: undocumented status; economic hardship; discrimination based on race, gender, sexuality or ability; police/state surveillance or brutality; social exclusion; second-class citizenship; or lack of access to opportunity. Of course, we will also see characters showing strength, resilience, strategic planning, hope and defiance as they struggle to overcome these situations. Much of our literature will touch on varied socio-political contexts, including in the U.S., the hemisphere, and the globe. In our study of literature and film, we will pay attention, in equal measure, to, on the one hand, form, shape, language, structure; and, on the other hand, context and content, because both are relevant to deciphering the social engagements of a text. Questions we might pursue include: How do we weigh individual interests, desires and needs against those of social groups or society generally? Is writing a social or political act? Does society grant the same privileges and opportunities to all? What is social? What is political? What is literary? GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies. 

Comparative Studies 2105 Literature and Ethnicity

Hybrid | TuTh 9:35-10:55AM | Denney Hall 253 | Kwaku Korang

Study of relationships between literature and ethnicity; analysis of concepts of ethnicity as represented in literature and film of diverse cultures and historical periods. GE Literature and Diversity: Social Diversity in the U.S.

Comparative Studies 2264 Intro to Popular Culture Studies

Hybrid | WF 12:45-2:05PM | Jennings Hall 050 | Robert Barry

Introduction to the analysis of popular culture texts, with special emphasis on the relationship between popular culture studies and literary studies. Cross-listed in English. GE Cultures and Ideas.

Comparative Studies 2281 American Icons

Hybrid | TuTh 3:55-5:15PM | Mendenhall 185 | Sarah Dove

Interdisciplinary methods in American studies; emphasis on the plurality of identities in American culture. GE Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Social Diversity in the US.

Comparative Studies 2301 Intro to World Literature

Online | TuTh 12:45-2:05PM | Ashley Perez

Have you ever thought about the fact that the idea of north as “up” is arbitrary? Even though north is no more “up” than south is “down,” these and other received ideas affect the way we see the world and the literatures in the world. This class focuses on learning to see culture, space, and literature in new ways. We will closely examine the idea of “world literature” itself, and we will consider the linguistic, cultural, technological, and economic networks that make texts from around the globe available to us. For example, how is the world of literature shaped by the fact that writers in many places can only access a significant audience by writing in English or producing works that “travel well” via translation? How do we imagine relationships between the works we read (a tiny fraction) and the many we do not? These topics will be explored through discussion of 20th- and 21st-century texts from five geopolitical areas: the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin and Central America/the Caribbean, and Europe/North America. In addition to engaged in-class and online discussion, course assignments include short papers and a presentation. All assignments will help you pursue the course goals and participate deeply in a community of learners. This course meets GE requirements in Literature and Diversity (Global Studies).

Comparative Studies 2322 Intro to Latino Studies

Hybrid | WF 9:35-10:55AM | Hughes Hall 100 | TBA

Introduction to Latino studies; history, politics, and cultural production of Latino/a communities in the U.S. and its borderlands. GE Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Social Diversity in the US. Cross-listed in Spanish 2242.

Comparative Studies 2340 Intro to Cultures of Science and Technology

Hybrid | TuTh 2:20-3:40PM | Denney Hall 238 | Seth Josephson

This class provides an introduction to the field of Science & Technology Studies. Science & Technology Studies, often referred to as STS, is an interdisciplinary field that examines how science and technology are shaped by and shape culture and society. STS brings the sciences, social sciences, and humanities together by asking questions such as: How do we know what we know? What do we mean when we talk about things like facts, objectivity, and scientific methods? How do historical and social contexts shape the production of science, and how does science in turn shape our world, our experiences, and our relationships? As we address these questions, we will familiarize ourselves with critical thought about science and technology, including key historical, sociological, and anthropological theories and case studies. We will learn to think critically about how scientific practice claims access to truth, reason, and universality, while also developing literacy in reading, understanding, and evaluating both scientific claims and claims about science and scientific knowledge, practices, and products. Together, we will hone our analytical skills by discussing a broad range of contemporary issues in which scientific knowledge and technological capacity are entwined with the power relations of race, sex, global capitalism, and politics. This course is an experiment in collective knowledge production in which we will all participate, and throughout the course, we will follow the ideas of knowledge, culture, politics, and power as they relate to science and technology. These themes organize the course into two units: 1. ways of knowing: science as culture and cultures of science and technology; 2. Science, Society, Politics, and Power. GE Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Global Studies.

Comparative Studies 2341 Technology, Science, and Society

Multiple Sections (In person + Online)

Critical analysis of the relations among science, technology, and culture, with particular emphasis on ethical issues in technology and engineering. GE Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Global Studies.

*Other sections of 2341 can be found on buckeye link

Comparative Studies 2350 Intro to Folklore

TuTh 11:10-12:30PM | Campbell Hall 200 | Mariah Marsden

A general study of the field of folklore including basic approaches and a survey of primary folk materials: folktales, legends, folksongs, ballads, and folk beliefs. GE Cultures and Ideas. Cross-listed in English.

Comparative Studies 2350H Intro to Folklore

Hybrid | WF 12:45-2:05PM | Derby Hall 029 and Browning Amphitheater | Katherine Borland

This class explores forms of traditional, vernacular culture—including verbal art, custom, and material culture—shared by people from a number of regional, ethnic, religious, and occupational groups. We will consider various interpretive, theoretical approaches to examples of folklore and folklife, and we will investigate the history of folklore studies. Recurring central issues will include the dynamics of tradition, the nature of creativity and artistic expression, and the construction of group identities. Folklore theory and methods will be explored through readings and an independent collecting project, where students will gather folklore from their home town or the college campus. Students will interview people for stories and other oral forms, and will document cultural practices through photographs, drawings and fieldnotes. Final collecting projects will be accessioned in the Student Ethnographic Collection at the Center for Folklore Studies Archives. Make your mark documenting the expressive culture you know most intimately and that you value most, and expand the consultable record of human experience. GE Cultures and Ideas. Honors version. Cross-listed in English

Comparative Studies 2360 Intro to Comparative Cultural Studies

Hybrid | WF 11:10-12:30PM | Hughes Hall 100 | Franco Barchiesi

This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of cultural studies, and it is the introductory course to the Cultural Studies track in the Department of Comparative Studies. Rather than a specific field, cultural studies is better thought of as an intellectual project that aims to examine cultural practices and their relationship to power, knowledge and identities, within particular political and social contexts. In addition to studying the genealogy, foundational themes, main theories, and methods of cultural studies, we have an extended section with a thematic emphasis on cultural critiques outside the Western canon or post-Enlightenment humanism, such as postcolonial theory, Black cultural theory, and people-of-color feminism in their questioning of financial capitalism, performance, and consumer culture. A good deal of this course is about applying concepts to contemporary cultural texts, including films and written texts. GE Cultures and Ideas.

Comparative Studies 2367.04 Science and Technology in US Culture

Hybrid | WF 2:20-3:40 | Hagerty Hall 186 | Nancy Jesser

Role of science and technology in contemporary American society; their relationship to human values; sources of concern about their impact; evaluation of selected issues. GE Writing and Communication: Level 2 and Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Social Diversity in the US. 

Comparative Studies 2367.07 Religious Diversity in America

Hybrid | MWF 9:10-10:05AM | Hagerty Hall 071 | Seth Josephson

Exploration of the concept of religious freedom and the position of minority religious groups in American society. GE Writing and Communication: Level 2 and Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Social Diversity in the US.

Comparative Studies 2367.08 American Identity in the World

Online | TuTh 3:55-5:15PM | Ryann Patrus

American culture viewed from inside and from the perspective of foreign cultures, as seen in literature, film, art, music, journalism, folklore, and popular culture. GE Writing and Communication: Level 2 and Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Social Diversity in the US. 

Comparative Studies 2420 American Food Cultures

Hybrid | TuTh 3:55-5:15PM | Pomerene Hall 350 | Robert Livingston

Historical perspective on the development of the American food system, including associated discourses and cultures, leading to exploration of contemporary concerns about industrial food, the American diet, and the politics surrounding these issues. GE cultures and ideas and diversity soc div in the US course.

Comparative Studies 3302/3302E Translating Literature and Cultures

Online | TuTh 9:35-10:55AM | Gregory Jusdanis

Introduction to issues and problems inherent to translating literatures and cultures. GE Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Global Studies. Embedded honors version.

Comparative Studies 3603 Love in World Literature

Hybrid | TuTh 3:55-5:15PM | Campbell Hall 200 | Lucia Bortoli

Selected representations of love in different cultures and time periods. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies. 

Comparative Studies 3606 Quest in World Literature

Hybrid | TuTh 9:35-10:55AM | Hughes Hall 100 | Lucia Bortoli

Motif of the quest in world literature; physical and mental journeys as metaphors of personal transformation and salvation. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies.

Comparative Studies 3607 Film and Literature as Narrative Art

Hybrid | M 12:10-2PM WF 12:40-1:35PM | Mendenhall 100 and University Hall 014 | Susan Hanson

Relationships between film and literature; emergence of cinematic art as a form of representation with emphasis on diverse cultural traditions. GE Visual and Performing Arts and Diversity: Global Studies.

Comparative Studies 3608 Representations of the Experience of War

Hybrid | MWF 3:00-3:55PM | Mendenhall 185 | Jason Payne

Representations of war in works of literature, religious texts, and film from diverse cultures and time periods. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies

Comparative Studies 3645 Cultures of Medicine

Hybrid | TuTh 2:20-3:40PM | Evans Lab 2004 | Nancy Jesser

Humanistic, scientific, and clinical perspectives on medical issues; literary uses of medical themes; medicine as art and science. GE Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Global Studies. 

Comparative Studies 3686 Cultural Studies of American Popular Music

Online | TuTh 12:45-2:05PM | Barry Shank

Investigation of the social, political, and cultural contexts of the development of popular musics in the U.S. GE Visual and Performing Arts and Diversity: Social Diversity in the US.

Comparative Studies 3990 Approaches to Comparative Studies

Hybrid | TuTh 3:55-5:15 | Page Hall 060 | Barry Shank

Introduces comparative studies majors to theoretical tools, methods of investigation, and key concepts in comparative studies research and scholarship. CompStd major, or permission of instructor.

Comparative Studies 4191 Comparative Studies Research

In Person | Cassie Patterson

Intensive research experience in Comparative Studies; individualized research training; students collaborate closely with faculty member on research project; projects either student-initiated or faculty research. Permission of instructor required. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs or 6 completions. This course is graded S/U.

Comparative Studies 4597.02 Global Culture

Hybrid | TuTh 12:45-2:05PM | Hagerty Hall 159 | Kevin Pementel

Examines contemporary global cultural flows, the concepts useful in analyzing them, and the questions they raise about power and cultural change.
Prereq: Completion of Second Writing course. Not open to students with credit for 597.02. GE Diversity: Global Studies and Cross-Disciplinary Seminar.

Comparative Studies 4921 Intersections: Approaches to Race, Gender, Class, and Sexuality

Hybrid | WF 9:35-10:55AM | Hale Hall 101 | Maurice Stevens

Examines intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality in various sites within American culture (e.g., legal system, civil rights discourse, social justice movements). Not open to students with credit for 545, or AfAmAst 4921 (545), or WGSSt 4921 (545). Cross-listed in AfAmASt 4921 and WGSSt 4921.


Religious Studies

Religious Studies 2102.01 Literature and Religion

Hybrid | WF 11:10-12:30PM | Drinko Hall 130 | Spencer Dew

Study of relationships between religion and secular literature; analysis of religious and spiritual elements of literature and film of diverse cultures and historical periods. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies.


Religious Studies 2370 Intro to Comparative Religion

Hybrid | TuTh 9:35-10:55AM | Sullivant Hall 220 | Ana Velasco, Hugh Urban

This course is intended to provide a general introduction to the comparative study of religions. It is structured around three fundamental questions: (1) what is (and isn’t) a religion?  (2) what are the major similarities and differences among the world’s religions?  (3) what is religious pluralism, and what are some of the challenges that pluralism poses for thinking about religion’s place in the world today? We will begin by orienting ourselves to the academic study of religions. We will continue by surveying  a  range  of  religious  traditions,  including  Native  American  religions,  Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Finally, we will try to make sense of the contemporary religious landscape by examining some new religious movements, as well as the rise of religious “nones” and the “spiritual but not religious.” The class is open to all students; no prior knowledge is assumed. It fulfills GE requirements in Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Global Studies.

Religious Studies 2370H Variety in Christianity

Hybrid | WF 2:20-3:40PM | Psychology Building 035 | Spencer Dew

Introduction to the academic study of religion through comparison among major traditions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc.) and smaller communities. GE Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Global Studies. 

Religious Studies 3210 Jewish Mystical Tradition

Online | TuTh 2:20-3:40PM | Michael Swartz

The history of Jewish mysticism from antiquity to the present, with emphasis on its implications for the comparative study of religious experience. GE Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Global Studies. Cross-listed in Hebrew.  

Religious Studies 3673 The Buddhist Tradition

Hybrid | TuTh 12:45-2:05PM | Pomerene Hall 160 | Melissa Curley

History and structure of Buddhism from founding to present in South, Southeast, and East Asia; emphasis on rituals, beliefs, and local and regional variations. Cross-listed in EALL.

Religious Studies 3679 Popular Culture and World Religion

Hybrid | WF 12:45-2:05PM | Campbell Hall 200 | Spencer Dew

The representation of religion in visual culture, in the United States and around the world; the ways that religious traditions are represented or misrepresented; the ways religious traditions appropriate popular culture for their own purposes; new forms of religious practice and community that grow directly out of popular culture.

Religious Studies 3680 Religion and Law in Comparative Perspective

Online | TuTh 2:20-3:40PM | Isaac Weiner

These days, it is almost impossible to go online or watch TV without learning about a conflict at the intersection of religion and law: Should prayer be allowed in public schools? Should religious symbols be displayed in public? Should religious business owners be allowed to refuse to provide insurance coverage for contraception or services for a same-sex marriage? These conflicts raise critical questions about the meaning of secularism and religious freedom; about religion’s proper place in American life; and about how we understand what it means to be an American.Yet as contentious as these questions are in the contemporary United States, they have been addressed in different ways in other times and places. In this course, we will develop tools for thinking critically about these issues by adopting a comparative, interdisciplinary approach. Drawing on concrete cases, historical studies, and theoretical literature, we will explore how the relationship between religion and law has been configured differently in different liberal democracies and what this might mean for contemporary debates. GE Historical Study and Diversity: Global Studies. Cross-listed in History.