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Spring Semester 2021 Undergraduate Courses

Comparative Studies

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

Multiple Sections | Online, Hybrid, and In-Person options

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.


Comparative Studies 2101 Literature and Society

Hybrid | TuThu 9:35-10:55 | Pomerene 160 | Rhiar Kanouse

Study of relationships among politics, society, and literature; analysis of social and political elements of literature and film from diverse cultures and historical periods. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies. Honors version.


Comparative Studies 2103 Literature and the Self

Hybrid | WF 11:10-12:30 | Sullivant 141 | Frank Dipiero

Study of relationships between psychology and literature; analysis of psychological concepts and processes as represented in literature and film of diverse cultures and historical periods. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies. Honors version.


Comparative Studies 2104 Literature, Science, and Technology

Hybrid | WF 2:20-3:40 | Pomerene 160 | Nancy Jesser

Study of relationships among literature, science, and technology; analysis of representations of science and technology in literature and film of diverse cultures and historical periods. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies. Honors version.


Comparative Studies 2264 Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

Multiple Sections | Hybrid

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

In Person | MWF | Sullivant 141 | Jason Payne

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 2321 Introduction to Asian American Studies

Online | TuThu 3:55-5:15 | Eunice Uhm

This course provides an introduction to Asian American Studies by examining some of the main themes and historical events that the field has focused on since it emerged in the late 1960s. By reading academic texts (history, social science, cultural criticism) and examining cultural production of Asian Americans, we will consider a variety of topics that extend from the 19th century to the present. This course will help students consider and analyze the ways that race and ethnicity intersect with class, gender, sexuality, dis/ability, location, and other social differences to produce the heterogeneous imaginary known as “Asian America.” GE Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Social Diversity in the US.


Comparative Studies 2340 Introduction to Cultures of Science and Technology

Online | MWF 10:20-11:15 | Seth Josephson

Critical analysis of the multiple relations of science to society, with emphasis on knowledge, power, authority, values, and ethics.  GE Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Global Studies.


Comparative Studies 2341 Technology, Science, and Society

Online | MWF 1:50-2:45 | Jess Holler

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.


Comparative Studies 2350 Introduction to Folklore

Hybrid | TuThu 12:45-2:05 | Baker Systems 188 | Sarah Craycraft

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. Honors version. Cross-listed in English.


Comparative Studies 2350H Honors Introduction to Folklore

Online | TuThu 9:35-10:55 | Merrill Kaplan

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. Honors version. Cross-listed in English.



Comparative Studies 2367.04 Science and Technology in American Culture

Hybrid | MWF 12:40-1:35 | Caldwell Lab 277 | Parisa Ahmadi

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. Honors version.


Comparative Studies 2367.08 American Identity in the World

Multiple Sections | Hybrid + Online

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 | TuThu 3:55-5:15 | Pomerene 260 | 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 2864H Modernity and Postmodernity: Issues and Ideas

Hybrid | TuThu 2:20-3:40 | Hagerty 050 | Franco Barchiesi 

The course will address these important questions by introducing theories and debates defining discourses of modernity and postmodernity. Through weekly class discussions based on lectures, readings, and films, we will analyze the meaning of the (post)modern global reality in relation to how it differently manifests itself across societies and cultures. We will also look at that difference problematically, as it is not necessarily geared at inclusion within an embracing humanity but is underpinned by forms of exclusion and domination with deep structural roots. In our discussions we will address key aspects and concepts in debates about modernity and its critique, including the ways in which modernity is haunted by the “afterlife of slavery” and its manifestations in contemporary anti-blackness; race, class, and gender in relation to contemporary capitalism; how ideas of sovereignty are enmeshed in theories of the modern subject; in what ways migration and mobility are the results of colonialism; the possibilities and limitations of performance and media as forms of agency; the meaning of “resistance” in the context of the “Anthropocene” and threatened global extinction. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies.


Comparative Studies 3360 Introduction to Globalization and Culture

Hybrid | TuThu 2:20-3:40 | Macquigg Lab 160 | Philip Armstrong

The course introduces students to the histories and principle themes defining the discourses and practices of globalization. Through weekly readings, lectures, documentary film extracts, and class discussions, the course will cover a range of debates concerning both the historical and contemporary meanings of globalization and its intersection with a number of related fields of research, We will be asking not only “what is globalization?” (Its meanings and thematic concerns. How is it represented historically?) but “when is globalization?” (What are its origins? How do we begin to write its history?), “where is globalization? (How do we think the relation between the local, regional, and global? What are the geopolitical spaces of the global?), and “globalization for whom?” (Who experiences globalization and in what ways? Which voices speak for and against globalization?). The class will be online until the last three weeks of the semester, the class will then meet in person. 


Comparative Studies 3603 Love in World Literature

Multiple Sections | Hybrid + Online

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


Comparative Studies 3607 Film and Literature as Narrative Art

Hybrid | MW 11:30-1:35 and F 11:30-12:25 | Denney 250 | 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. Honors version.


Comparative Studies 3608 Representations of the Experience of War

In Person | MWF 10:20-11:15 | Campbell 200 | 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 3686 Cultural Studies of American Music

Hybrid | TuThu 2:20-3:40 | Campbell 200 | Frank Dipiero

This course focuses on the critical analysis of 20th and 21st century popular music in the US. Students should come away from this class with skills of critical listening and thinking that allow them to trace musical influences across historical periods and musical genres, to understand the impact of commodification and commercialization on the development of popular music, to analyze the relationship of musical performance with embodied identities (especially gender, sexuality and race), and to discuss the social and political grounds of musical pleasure. We will begin by developing an interpretive model that will provide the tools for understanding popular music in its historical and cultural context. We will then read a set of case studies about topics in popular music. The main goal of the case studies is to provoke insight and dialogue about the connections between musical pleasure and social life. An important secondary goal is to provide you with examples of high quality scholarship about popular music. GE Visual and Performing Arts and Diversity: Social Diversity in the US.


Comparative Studies 3903 World Literature

Hybrid | TuThu 9:35-10:55 | Knowlton 195 | Ashley Perez

What does it mean to study literature in a global context? Is it simply a matter of reading more diversely, opening ourselves to what lies beyond our own national literary tradition? Or does it necessarily entail different priorities and approaches? Does world literature enrich our lives through cultural exchange? And what about the realities of “world” writers who can only access a significant audience by writing in English or producing works that “travel well” via translation? We will tackle these questions by examining theories of world literature and through the practice of reading a variety of literary works. We will also consider topics such as the rise of postcolonial literatures, the influence of prizes (like the Booker and the Nobel Prize for Literature), the impact of globalization, and the role of translation. Class assignments include reflective writing, in-class and online discussion, and one longer paper. Assignments will help you pursue the course goals and participate deeply in a community of learners. This section offers the option of embedded honors. Prerequisites: CS 2301 or CS 3302 or permission from the professor, who enthusiastically welcomes all students interested in a thoughtful exploration of the course topic. Please email perez.390@osu.edu with any questions.


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

In Person | M 9:35-12:20 | TBD | Kelly Fulkerson-Dikuua

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.


Comparative Studies 4990 Senior Seminar in Comparative Studies

Hybrid | WF 12:45-2:05 | Hagerty 451 | Maurice Stevens

Writing seminar based on students' independent research.  Prereq: 3990 (398), and 500 or 4000-level course in CompStd, and Senior standing, or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 598.


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 on this webpage.


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.


Comparative Studies 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


Religious Studies

Religious Studies 2102.01 Literature and Religion

Hybrid | WF 12:45-2:05 | Campbell 200 | 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. Honors version.


Religious Studies 2102.02 Comparative Sacred Texts

Online | TuThu 12:45-2:05 | Michael Swartz and Ana Velasco

This course offers an introduction to religious views of the universe, the supernatural, social organization, ethics, etc., through sacred texts (oral and written) of diverse cultures and historical periods. In spring 2020, the course will focus on sacred stories. Exploring narratives drawn from the repertoires of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Christianity, and the Rastafari movement, we'll look at stories people tell about gods and goddesses; life and the afterlife; suffering and healing; magicians, madness, and monsters. We'll examine how these stories circulate across space and time, what kinds of deep questions they seek to answer, and how they have been reinterpreted in contemporary popular culture. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies.


Religious Studies 3666 Magic in the Modern World

In Person | TuThu 2:20-3:40 | CBEC 110 | Hugh Urban

Since the end of the nineteenth century, there has been a tremendous revival of interest in magic, witchcraft, and paganism throughout the United States, England and Europe.  This course will trace the modern revival of magic and neo-paganism, both in new religious movements and in popular culture, novels, music and film, from roughly the 1870s to the present.  The course is designed as the sequel to the popular course, “Magic and Witchcraft in the Middle Ages and Renaissance” (MEDREN 2666). However, students are also encouraged to take this course either before or without MEDREN 2666.

The course will explore the roots of modern magic in late medieval and early modern sources, and then trace the development of modern magical movements such as the Golden Dawn, Wicca, and modern Druidism. Along the way, it will also examine the intersections between these magical groups and various social and political movements, such as second wave and radical feminism and various forms of environmentalism from the 1960s onward. We will also discuss the backlash against modern magic among Evangelical Christians, as well as the “Satanic Panic” that spread across the U.S. in the 1980s. Finally, in the last section of the course, we will also examine the role of magic in popular culture, fiction, film and television, through heavy metal music and works such as The Lord of the Rings, the Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, The Magicians, and others.

In addition to close readings of primary and secondary texts, the course will also include guest speakers and several field trips to local neo-pagan events. Students will develop a final group project on a topic of their own choosing to be presented to the class during the last two weeks of the semester.


Religious Studies 3972 Theory and Method in the Study of Religion

Hybrid | WF 2:20-3:40 | Hagerty 180 | Spencer Drew

Survey of contemporary theories and methods used in the academic study of religion. Prereq: 2370 (270) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 520.


Religious Studies 4873 Global Religious Movements

In Person | TuThu 11:10-12:30 | Jennings 001 | Hugh Urban

Examination of contemporary religious movements within the context of larger political, cultural, and economic processes, including post-colonialism, modernization, and globalization.  Not open to students with credit for 525, or IntStds 4873 (525). Cross-listed in IntStds 4873.