Spring Semester 2016


Religious Studies


Religious Studies 2102.02 Comparative Sacred Texts

TuTh 3:00PM - 3:55PM | CBEC 130 | Isaac Weiner

This course will cover the sacred texts of a variety of religious traditions and the basic theories and methods for reading religious literature. We will examine texts not only from "mainstream" traditions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, but also materials from Native American traditions and  from new religious movements such as Scientology and Wicca. Students will also be introduced to basic theoretical tools for reading and interpreting sacred texts from multiple perspectives. In addition to lectures, films, and in-class discussions, the class will include field trips to a variety of religious sites in central Ohio. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies.
*Students will also need to pick a recitation.


Religious Studies 2370 Introduction to Comparative Religion

WeFr 11:10AM - 12:30PM | Hayes Hall 006 | Sarah Johnston

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. Honors version.


                Religious Studies 2370H Introduction to Comparative Religion

TuTh 9:35AM - 10:55AM | Campbell Hall 119 | Lindsay Jones

This course is designed as an introduction to the academic study of religion.  The class provides an occasion to give serious consideration to several alternative religious orientations; the course does not provide an occasion for either students or instructors to advance (or attack) personal religious beliefs and commitments.  We are interested in studying religions in their historical contexts, not in promoting (or denying) universalistic claims to Truth.

Students can expect to be introduced to: 

(1) Several ways of defining and addressing the general phenomenon of ‘religion’;

(2) Basis information about several specific religious traditions—i.e., Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist;

(3) Some of the major theoretical and methodological problems that are at issue in the comparative study of religion(s).

Prereq: Honors standing, and English 1110 (110) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 2370, CompStd 2370 (270), or 2370H (270H). GE cultures and ideas and diversity global studies course.


Religious Studies 2670 Science and Religion

TuTh 11:10AM - 12:30PM | Hagerty 046 | Nancy Jesser

Do religion and science answer different questions?  Does one rely on faith and the other evidence?  Are they competing frameworks or do they have more in common than is acknowledged by either?

 In this course we will examine the historical connections and disconnections between science and religion through controversies, explicit philosophies, and historical accounts of the development of scientific institutions and values from secular and religious sources.

We will then examine practices (from various cultures) that claim to be or are seen as both "religious" and "scientific."

Lastly, we look at contemporary attempts to reconcile science and religion, re-enchant nature, and bring non-western religious and cultural perspectives to bear on the global practices of science.

GE Cultures and Ideas course. Cross-listed in Philosophy.


Religious Studies 3671 Religions of India

TuTh 11:10AM - 12:30PM | Watts Hall 379 | Hugh Urban

Since end of the 19th century, the religions of India have had a major influence on American culture, philosophy and spirituality; and in the last twenty years, Indian religions have also begun to capture the American popular imagination, with musicians and entertainers from the Beatles to the Beastie Boys practicing various forms of Hinduism and Buddhism. This course is intended to provide a basic introduction to the major religions of India (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, as well as Indian forms of Christianity and Islam), and to grapple with the complex relationship between religion, culture and politics in Indian history. In the main body of the course, we will trace the complex history of the major religions of India, exploring their various interactions and transformations over the last 4000 years. Finally, in the last portion of the class, we will look at contemporary religious movements, both in Indian and in the West, where Indian religions have become a key element in contemporary New Age and New Religious Movements.

In addition to films and guest lectures, this course will also include several optional field trips. Students will be required to write a field observation paper based on a visit to an Indian religious community in the Columbus area.


Religious Studies 3680 Religion and Law in Comparative Perspective

TuTh 9:35AM - 10:55AM | McPherson Lab 1046 | Alexander Kaye, 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 yoga or creationism be taught in public schools? Should religious symbols be displayed in public? Should same sex marriage be legal? Should corporations be required to provide their employees with access to contraception? 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.

Team-taught w/ faculty in History. Prereq: Not open to students with credit for History 3680. GE historical study and diversity global studies course. Cross-listed in History.


Religious Studies 4878 Rites, Ritual, and Ceremony: 

Making Meaning Architecture

TuTh 12:45PM - 2:05PM | Jennings Hall 160 | Lindsay Jones

This special version of this course presents students two quite different possibilities:

The first option is linked to a unique initiative entitled “Cultural Landmarking: The Physical Expression of Diversity,” which will enable students to participate in the design and construction of several small-scaled, semi-permanent structures on the Ohio State campus.  Each of these structures, which will be in the range of 6’x6’x10’, is intended as a place to sit, reflect, converse, meet or simply orient oneself while navigating across this large university.  These strategically placed installations, some of which should be built during the spring and summer of 2016, will represent the “One University” idea while also acknowledging and celebrating the wide cultural and religious diversity of Ohio State students.  This is indeed a very rare and special opportunity for students to make a lasting impact on the physical, and thus cultural, landscape of the campus!

The second option will allow students interested in architecture, ritual and religious studies to develop a project in which they compare the sacred architectures of two (or perhaps three) different cultural contexts.  That project could be, for instance a comparison between an Amazonian tribe’s longhouse and a Gothic cathedral, between two pilgrimage centers such as Banaras and Jerusalem, between two sorts of urban layouts such as the Chinese city and the Aztec city, between two sorts of celestially aligned architectures such as Stonehenge and a Maya temple, etc.  This is an opportunity for students to pursue an extended study of a couple of religio-cultural contexts in which they are especially interested. 


Religious Studies 4972 Theory and Method in the Study of Religion

TuTh 9:35AM - 10:55AM | Hagerty Hall 050 | Melissa Curley

This course offers a survey of theories and methods in the study of religion, from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first century. A variety of approaches will be introduced, applied, analyzed, broken down, and reassembled, drawing on such diverse disciplines as anthropology, continental philosophy, feminist philosophy, historiography, Native studies, neuroscience, postcolonial studies, psychology, ritual studies, and robot studies. Students will have the opportunity to think about both religion and the study of religion critically and creatively. Prereq: 2370 (270) or equiv. Not open students with credit for 597.02. GE Diversity: Global Studies.



Comparative Studies


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

Multiple Sections | University Hall 051

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 2101 Literature and Society

WeFr 11:10AM - 12:30PM | Macquigg Lab 159 | Kwaku Korang

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 2101H Literature and Society

TuTh 11:10AM - 12:30PM | Cockins Hall 228 | Philip Armstrong   

Through readings, films, and extensive class discussion, the course explores the relationship between literature and society. Organized around five novels and five accompanying films, students will read texts from different regions of the world and cultural contexts, addressing their social implications and political conditions. Class discussions will turn on questions of social critique, representations of culture and community, and discourses of social relation and justice. Prereq: Honors standing, and English 1110 (110) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 2101 (201, 201H). GE lit and diversity global studies.


Comparative Studies 2103 Literature and the Self

TuTh 9:35AM - 10:55AM | Baker Systems 198 | Lucia Bortoli

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 2105 Literature and Ethnicity

TuTh 11:10AM - 12:30PM | Smith Lab 3082 | Staff

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 2214 Introduction to Sexuality Studies

TuTh 11:10AM - 12:30PM | University Hall 056 | Noah Tamarkin

This course provides an introduction to sexuality studies through an interdisciplinary approach, examining a range of sexual and gender diversity, primarily in the U.S. We will discuss a variety of ways in which gender and sexuality are constructed, performed, experienced and written about. This course serves as the introductory course to the Sexuality Studies Major, and is highly recommended for the Sexuality Studies Minor. Cross-listed in EduPAES.


Comparative Studies 2220 Introduction to South Asian Studies

Mo 2:15PM - 5:00PM | Hagerty Hall 351| Ila Nagar

A multi-disciplinary introduction to South Asia's geographical, political, cultural, and religious contexts and connections.  Cross-listed in NELC. GE Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Global Studies.


Comparative Studies 2264 Introduction to Popular Culture Studies

TuTh 11:10AM - 12:30PM | University Hall 056 | TBD

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.

*Other sections of 2264 can be found on buckeye link


Comparative Studies 2281 American Icons

TuTh 2:20PM - 3:40PM | Mendenhall Lab 175 | 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 2301 Introduction to World Literature

TuTh 9:35AM - 10:55AM | Mendenhall Lab 185 | Rick Livingston

Analysis of oral and written literatures of diverse cultures and historical periods. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies.


Comparative Studies 2322 Introduction to Latino Studies

TuTh 9:35AM - 10:55AM | Gateway Film Center House 3 | Staff

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 Introduction to Cultures of Science and Technology

TuTh 2:20PM - 3:40PM | Campbell Hall 335 | Noah Tamarkin

This class provides an introduction to the field of Science & Technology Studies, an interdisciplinary area of academic investigation in which we examine the cultural meaning, social impact, and historical construction of science and technology. This course brings the 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? This course is an experiment in collective knowledge production in which we will all participate, and throughout the course, we will follow the idea of experimental worlds. We will familiarize ourselves with the main traditions of critical thought about science and technology, including key historical, sociological, and anthropological theories and case studies. Overall, we will aim to think critically about how scientific practice claims access to truth, reason, and universality. GE Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Global Studies.


Comparative Studies 2341 Technology, Science, and Society

T/Th 9:35AM - 10:55AM | Mendenhall Lab 115 | David Horn

This course explores, from a variety of perspectives, the multiple relations among social and cultural formations, scientific and technical work, and the production and circulation of knowledge.  Topics include the everyday life of the laboratory, the shifting boundaries of science and other ways of knowing, the political and ethical contours of scientific and technical work, and the social effects of scientific discourses and technological systems. This class fulfills the GE Cultures and Ideas and Diversity (Global Studies) requirements and the Professional Ethics requirement for the College of Engineering.

Comparative Studies 2350/Eng 2270 Introduction to Folklore

WeFr 3:55PM - 5:15PM | Denney Hall 250 | TBA

This class explores forms of traditional, vernacular culture—including verbal art, custom, and material culture—shared by men and women from a number of regional, ethnic, religious, and occupational groups.  We will consider various interpretive, theoretical approaches to examples of folklore and folklife discussed, and we will investigate the history of folklore studies and the cultural context in which this field has flourished.  Recurring central issues will include the dynamics of tradition, the nature of creativity and artistic expression, and the construction of personal and group identities. GE Cultures and Ideas GE Cultures and Ideas. Folklore Minor and Concentration required course. Cross-listed in English.


Comparative Studies 2350H/Eng 2270H Introduction to Folklore

WeFr 11:10AM - 12:30PM | Denney Hall 209 | Sabra Webber      

Folkloristics studies dynamic and artistic communal practices that emerge and play out in the midst of everyday life. This course will study central issues in and approaches to lore: verbal art (personal experience narratives, legends, folktales, riddles), folk music, customary behavior, material culture (tattoos to quilts to folk housing) and folk art (graffiti, hajj paintings) from local and distant regions and ethnic groups as they are performed.  Folklore in literature is also a focus.  Class periods will alternate between discussion of readings and reviewing together and critiquing students’ fieldwork documentation and written reflections.  No prior knowledge of folklore is expected.  
Prereq: Honors standing, and English 1110 (110) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 2350, English 2270 (270), or 2270H. GE cultures and ideas course. Cross-listed in English 2270H.


Comparative Studies 2360 Introduction to Comparative Cultural Studies

WeFr 2:20PM - 3:40PM | Mendenhall Lab 173 | Barry Shank

The course offers an introduction to the interdisciplinary and comparative field of cultural studies, emphasizing the process of “reading” cultural production in order to investigate relationships among power, knowledge, and authority—globally as well as locally. Cultural studies research and teaching seeks to be self-critical, self-reflexive, and engaged. It challenges dominant or “normal” assumptions about who we are, in relation to others, and how.  This course provides an overview of the field’s development and of current theory and methodology. Students will explore and critique various traditions of knowledge production and will learn to contextualize them historically, culturally, and politically. GE: Cultures and Ideas.


Comparative Studies 2367.02 US Latino/a Identity

TuTh 2:20PM - 3:40PM | Enarson Classroom Bldg 202 |Miranda Martinez

This is a writing intensive course that examines the formation and expression of Latino/a identity in the U.S. We will look at the impact of historical experiences, including patterns of (im)migration, socioeconomic and political incorporation on identity formation of major Latino/a groups: Chicano, Puerto Rican, Cuban and Dominican. We will use social science, as well as visual media, fiction and essays to examine the role of race, class and sexuality in identity construction and cultural expression.  We also discuss questions related to the ambiguities and uncertainties related to U.S. Latinos/as: how do different Latino ethnicities at different times make sense of being “ni de aquí, ni de allá” (neither from here nor there)? How has urbanization and changing migrations patterns changed the expression and cultural impact of Latino/a identities? To what degree is there a corporate Latino/a identity? What is the cultural significance of racial and cultural hybridization on these identities, and is there such a thing as an “authentic” Latino/a identity?  The course assignments will include an interview/observation exercise looking at Latino/a cultural incorporation in the central Ohio, Columbus area. GE Diversity: Social Diversity in the US; GE Writing and Communication, Level 2.


Comparative Studies 2367.04 Science and Technology in American Culture

WeFr 9:35AM - 10:55AM | Biological Sciences Bldg 676 | Seth Josephson

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.
*Other sections of 2367.04 can be found on buckeye link


Comparative Studies 2367.07 Religious Diversity in the U.S.

MoWeFr 8:00AM - 8:55AM | Enarson Classroom Bldg 214 | Amanda Randhawa

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.
*Other sections of 2367.07 can be found on buckeye link


Comparative Studies 2367.08 American Identity in the World

TuTh 8:00AM - 9:20AM  | Enarson Classroom Bldg 202 | Jason Payne

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. Honors version.
*Other sections of 2367.08 can be found on buckeye link


Comparative Studies 3360 Introduction to Globalization and Culture

TuTh 2:20PM - 3:40PM | Caldwell Lab 133 | Philip Armstrong

The course introduces students to the histories and principle concepts and themes defining the discourses and practices of globalization. Through weekly readings, lectures, documentaries, and extensive class discussions, the course will cover a range of debates concerning the historical and contemporary meanings of globalization and its intersection with a number of related fields of research, including patterns of migration and trade routes; economics; political sovereignty, the nation-state, and global governance; NGOs and international organizations; cultural exchange, media, and telecommunications; religion; the environment; and global justice movements. We will also situate the weekly readings in relation to a range of material addressing global issues, as well as research sites that offer different ways of situating globalization in both historical and contemporary contexts. In this sense, we will be asking not only “what is globalization?” (Its meanings and thematic concerns. How is it represented historically?) but also “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?).

Course textbook: Jürgen Osterhammel and Niels P. Petersson, Globalization: A Short History (ISBN-10: 0691133956). Other readings for the course will be available on Carmen

Comparative Studies 3603H Love in World Literature

TuTh 3:55PM - 5:15PM | Bolz Hall 412 | Ashley Perez

This course explores diverse formulations, presentations, and engagements with love in fiction, poetry, and visual forms. Underlying nearly every story of human relationships is a particular concept of what love is, and we will seek to articulate this idea, understand its complexity, and compare it to other conceptions in other texts. Through our explorations of literature, we will consider what makes love particular or universal to people and cultures, the extent to which love is described as spiritual as compared to animal, and the extent to which love reflects individual needs and drives or, alternatively, how it develops in response to community and tradition. We will also consider the influence of various notions (e.g., affection, friendship, attraction, sexuality, duty, kinship, community, religion, patriotism, power, and commodities) on how we—and the texts we read—construct love. This course requires engaged participation and demonstrated preparation and will engage students in a range of structures for discussion and collaboration. Assignments include several short response papers, an in-class analysis presentation, and a final course portfolio. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies. Honors version.
*Other sections of 3603 can be found on buckeye link


Comparative Studies 3606 The Quest in World Literature

WeFr 11:10AM - 12:30PM | Campbell Hall 309 | Daniel Reff

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

MoWeFr 11:30AM - 12:25PM | University Hall 056 | Staff

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

Multiple Sections | Susan Hanson & Staff

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

TuTh 12:40PM - 1:35PM | CBEC 130 | David Horn

This interdisciplinary course explores medical arts and sciences, concepts of illness and disease, and representations of the human body in a range of cultural and historical contexts.  Topics include metaphors and images of the body, the meanings and symbolism constructed around pathology (cancer, depression, eating disorders, AIDS), the cultural construction of death, the social consequences of “medicalizing” racial and sexual differences, and the concerns raised by recent medical technologies.  

This class fulfills the GE Cultures and Ideas and Diversity (Global Studies) requirements, and satisfies the foundation course requirement for the new Minor in Medical Humanities
*Students will also need to pick a recitation.


Comparative Studies 3646 Cultures, Natures, and Technologies

TuTh 9:35AM - 10:55AM | Pomerene Hall 208 | Katherine Hendy

This course will investigate how seemingly singular and stable concepts like nature, culture and technology have had multiple and historically contingent definitions. How do new technologies shift the way we think about natural and cultural categories, as well as the boundary between them?  For example, new in vitro fertilization therapies are being developed which may allow children to be born with genetic material from three parents.  How do technological developments like these shift supposedly “natural” relationships?  When we have the possibility of manipulating the “natural” world, and even patenting it, is there a clear boundary between the technological and the natural?  Through engagement with a range of academic, pop culture and literary materials, we will be discussing the historical and social milieus in which these terms are defined, and the ways that they are used to co-constitute one and other. Most importantly, we will be thinking about how new definitions of the “human” emerge from the entanglements of these three terms. Prereq: English 1110 (110) or equiv.  GE Cultures and Ideas.


Comparative Studies 3689 Transnationalism and Culture in the Americas

TuTh 11:10AM - 12:30PM | Mendenhall Lab 185 | Miranda Martinez

This interdisciplinary course will examine theories of transnational cultural politics using ethnographic, textual, visual, and social science sources. We will examine the historical and cultural experiences such as colonialism, slavery, anticolonial struggles, and the richly layered literary traditions that form the basis of a common American civilization. We will also examine contemporary globalization and transnationalism by looking at patterns of migration, as well as the artistic practices, social movements, and other expressions that immigrant communities in the US use to create and sustain transnational cultural practices and identities. The course assignments will include an interview/ observation exercise looking at transnational practices of immigrant communities in Columbus, to examine the immigrant communities of Africans, Europeans, Latinos and Asians that make their presence felt in the city. GE Culture and Ideas; GE Diversity: Global Studies. Prereq: English 1110 (110) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 339. 

Comparative Studies 4597.02 Global Culture

TuTh 3:55PM - 5:15PM | University Hall 038 | Oded Nir

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 4597.03 Global Folklore

TuTh 9:35AM - 10:55AM | Hagerty Hall 145 | Katherine Borland

This course provides an introduction to contemporary folklore from around the world.  How do ordinary people create meaning and beauty in their everyday lives?  How do communities and groups mark themselves and maintain a collective sense of themselves as distinct from other communities/groups, particularly in a period of aggressive globalization?  What does it mean to respect and conserve cultural as well as biological diversity?  Students will begin by learning key concepts of folklore scholarship:  culture, tradition, performance, genre, the local/global distinction, the folk/popular divide, the dynamics of tradition and innovation in folklore production.  Through an exploration of these concepts students will develop an expansive definition of folklore in the modern world.  In the second half of the course, we will explore a set of special topics through readings and films from varied world regions, and we will connect via videoconference with student groups in Egypt, India and Croatia to exchange knowledge and perspectives.  We will focus on the transmission and transformation of cultural knowledge and practice in situations of want, conflict, and upheaval.  Please note:  all classes will be conducted as student-led discussions of course readings.  As an upper-level GE, this course provides practice in reading scholarly articles, discussion and written syntheses. Class participation is required. 
Prereq: Completion of a Second Writing course. Not open to students with credit for 597.02. GE Diversity: Global Studies.


Comparative Studies 4655 Studies in Ethnography: The Anthropology of Islam

TuTh 9:35AM - 10:55AM | Smith Lab 3082 | Nada Moumtaz

With ISIS and Boko Haram in the news almost daily, it is difficult to imagine what Islam could be otherwise. This course introduces students to the many different facets of Islam that the anthropology of Islam depicts. Anthropologists take pride in learning the languages of the communities they study and spending extensive periods of research with them, and have therefore a very different perspective to give than mainstream media. This course answers the questions: How do anthropologists study Islam and what have they taught us about Islam and the ways Muslims live as Muslims? We will first explore the different approaches anthropologists have used to study Islam and place these approaches within the larger trends in the discipline and the ways they have analyzed religion. In the second part, we will turn to contemporary ethnographies of Islam around key themes like gender, economy, medicine and science, and secularism. We will read examples from the variety of places where Muslims live: from the Arab world, Turkey, Iran, and central Asia, to South and South East Asia, to West and East Africa, to Europe and the US. We will read mostly articles and book chapters, in addition to one ethnography. Students will also engage in an ethnographic project in a Muslim community in Columbus.. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.


Comparative Studies 4803 Studies in Asian American Literature and Culture

WeFr 11:10AM - 12:30PM | Mendenhall Lab 173 | Martin Ponce

 "Diaspora, Empire, Sexuality"

This course exposes students to a wide array of Asian American literary texts by focusing on the connections among three analytical frameworks: diaspora, empire, and sexuality. To what extent have imperialist incursions and military interventions in Asia spurred migration to the U.S.? In what ways have Asians in the United States maintained material and imaginative links to their homelands and to co-ethnics around the world? How are processes of Asian racialization, gendering, and sexualization intertwined? How have gender and sexuality been mobilized in anti-racist and anti-imperialist projects? Broadly speaking, we will consider the interactions among literary form, cultural representation, and historical context as a way to explore the kinds of knowledges generated by Asian American literature.

Possible authors: Jessica Hagedorn, Mohsin Hamid, Maxine Hong Kingston, Chang-rae Lee, Shani Mootoo, Ruth Ozeki, Monique Truong.

Requirements: attendance, participation, 2 brief presentations, 1 shorter essay, 1 longer research project. Not open to students with credit for 587 or English 4587 (587). Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs. Cross-listed in English 4587.


Comparative Studies 4845 Gender, Sexuality, and Science

TuTh 2:20PM - 3:40PM | Hagerty 042 | Nancy Jesser

Throughout this course we will analyze the discourses and practices of technoscience in both popular and professional locations as they encounter difference, gender and sexuality. Through articles dealing with scientific knowledge, technical expertise, power, and authority, we will interrogate the gendering/sexing/sexualizing of bodies, scientific discourses, practices and technologies. In addition, we will read and explore the history and role of gender and sexuality in the development of technology and science.  We will read feminist and queer accounts of science, technology and engineering in the world around and within us.  Topics and foci will be flexible depending on student interest and student discussion leaders will guide class discussions for a significant portion of the time.  There is some flexibility within the course structure to cover areas of particular interest to members of the class.

I will leave significant time at the end of the term for each of us present individual/group research projects on Gender, Sexuality and Scientific and technical fields. For questions and inquiries, please contact Dr. Nancy Jesser, jesser.2@osu.edu.

Not open to students with credit for 535 or WGSSt 4845 or 535. Cross-listed in WGSSt.


Comparative Studies 4903 World Literature: Theory and Practice

TuTh 12:45PM - 2:05PM | Biological Sciences Bldg 676 | 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? And what is world literature anyway? Is it the “best of the best” of all the national literatures in the world? Works that people everywhere claim as their cultural inheritance? Is it what we call literature once it travels beyond the context in which it was originally written? 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 wide range 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 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, CS 3302, or permission of 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

TuTh 2:20PM - 3:40PM | Campbell Hall 309 | Rita Trimble

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

WeFr 12:45PM - 2:05PM | Hagerty Hall 451 | Nina Berman

This course is the capstone course for majors in Comparative Studies, and its main goal is to develop and refine research and writing skills. We will consider what it means to conduct research, how to go about it, the role of the researcher or research team, and the writing process. 

The course is organized as a research and writing workshop. The main task of this course will be to revise and expand an essay that you have previously written (such as a paper that you wrote for a course or a chapter of an honors thesis). This essay will be your starting point for developing an extended research project. You will receive feed-back from your peers and myself throughout the quarter. Materials with guidelines concerning the writing and research process will be posted on Carmen..  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 5957.01 Comparative Folklore: Traveler as Trickster

Th 3:15PM - 6:00PM | Hagerty Hall 451 | Sabra Webber

This seminar takes a critical look at different sorts of travel and travelers—explorers, ethnomusicologists, migrant workers, anthropologists, folklorists, NGO and government officials and workers, missionaries, and tourists. We look at a wide range of travel narratives and their relation to “tricksters” and to trickiness in various cultural and historical contexts.  It is to be hoped that students will produce papers that circle around these themes and that their projects will intersect in ways that will enhance the work of fellow students in the seminar and in turn will be enhanced by theirs. Folklore Minor and GIS Course. Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.


Comparative Studies 5957.02 Folklore in Circulation


Study of transmission of culture.  Topics vary, e.g., tourists, travelers, tricksters; cultures of waste and recycling; orality and literacy.  Prereq: English 2270 (270). Repeatable to a maximum of 6 cr hrs.


Comparative Studies 6391 Approaches to Comparative Cultural Studies II

We 3:15PM - 6:00PM | Hagerty Hall 451 | Nina Berman

In this course we will engage with a range of theories and methods of cultural analysis and comparison, and explore 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. Keywords that will structure our discussion include questions of power and ideology; empire, race, and nation; modernity and modernities; gender and sexuality; globalization; and humanitarianism.

Among the critics we will read are Al-Biruni, Ibn Khaldun, Clifford Geertz, Tom Kasulis, Bartolomé de Las Casas, Rabindranath Tagore, E.W. Blyden, Rosa Luxemburg, Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Johannes Fabian, writers of the Harlem Renaissance, Takeuchi Yoshimi, Enrique Dussel, Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Andrea Muehlebach, and Didier Fassin.

This is the second course in a two-semester introduction to critical and cultural theory, while also offering a stand-alone introduction to key concepts for formulating interdisciplinary and critical research projects in cultural studies. Primarily designed for graduate students in the Department of Comparative Studies, this course is also open to graduate students from across the university. Requirements: Participation (20%); bi-weekly response papers (30%); class presentation / preparation of one reading (20%); course proposal (as final project; 30%). Not open to students with credit for 711.


Comparative Studies 6750.02 Introduction to Graduate Study in Folklore II: Fieldwork and Ethnography of Communication

Tu 1:50PM - 4:50PM | Denney Hall 435 | Gabriella Modan

Introduction to fieldwork and ethnographic writing in the humanities - interviewing, participant observation, and research ethics. Focus on the ethnography of communication and community representations.
Not open to students with credit for 770.02 or English 6751.02 (770.02). Cross-listed in English 6751.02.


Comparative Studies 7340 Theorizing Science and Technology

Tu 2:15PM - 5:00PM | Hagerty Hall 451 | Katherine Hendy

This course will explore how key theoretical moments in science and technology studies have pushed forward conversations in critical theory around the body, nature, the social, modernity, nature, materiality and ontology—to name a few. However, the course will also attempt to begin a dialog with other lines of critical inquiry—such as postcolonial scholarship and psychoanalysis. How might conversations around traumatic becoming and memory shift discussions in STS around the agency of the non-human or the limits of the knowing subject?  What would happen if theorizations of the gaze from within post-colonial scholarship were applied to an analytics of objectivity? While this course will provide a rough overview of the key conversations in STS, it could also be framed as a social or critical theory course taught through the lens of STS.  Students will be asked to provide weekly responses to the reading and to construct a final paper that explores the course material in a way that furthers their own individualized line of study. Not open to students with credit for 730.


Comparative Studies 7350.03 Theorizing Folklore III: Differentiation, Identification, and The Folk

We 12:40PM - 3:40PM | Denney Hall 245 | Merrill Kaplan

Performance as a heightened mode of communication characteristic of vernacular cultural process, studied in the context of ongoing social interaction. Not open to students with credit for 770.03 or English 770.03 or 7351.03 or 7351.13. Cross-listed in English 7351.03.


Comparative Studies 7888.01 Interdepartmental Studies in the Humanities

We 1:50PM - 4:50PM | Denney Hall 419 | Francis Donoghue

Current Developments in Academic Labor

I invite interested students to think of this seminar as "Introduction to Graduate Studies 2.0."  The first third of the course will focus on the genre of academic self-help, broadly defined.  We'll read several practical texts:  excerpts from Gregory Semenza's Graduate Study for the Twenty-First Century, the second edition of Emily Toth's book, now titled Ms. Mentor's New and Even More Impeccable Advice for Women in Academia and Karen Kelsky's extensive website, "The Professor is In."  Her book, which shares the website's title, is currently very successful, but duplicates much of the information available on the site.  We'll conclude this segment of the course with Jeffrey Williams' somewhat more theoretical, How to Be an Intellectual.  Ideally, parts of two class meetings will include Skype chats with Professors Toth and Williams.

The second third of the course will be devoted to critiques and defenses of the humanities and of higher education in general.  We'll read Russell Jacoby's classic work, The Last Intellectuals, then two critiques of the university which focus on the growing imbalance between faculty and administration in the contemporary university, Benjamin Ginsberg's The Fall of the Faculty and Rise of the All Administrative University and The Rise and Decline of Faculty Governance.  We'll counterbalance that assignment by reading Fareed Zakaria's In Defense of a Liberal Education and Geoff Colvin's Humans are Underrated: What High Achievers Know that Brilliant Machines Never Will.   Ideally, part of one class meeting will include a Skype chat with Professor Jacoby.

After such a heavy reading load, which may well spill over past week ten of the semester, we will wrap up the course with very light reading assignments devoted to whatever events are current in academia in April and May of 2016.  An informal course requirement is that all students will be expected to become regular readers of The Chronicle of Higher Education and InsideHigherEd for the duration of the term.  Both daily periodicals have easily searchable archives and are sources of academic news.  Students will be asked to do a brief, informal presentation on one article or op-ed piece of their choice each week, and our discussions will be devoted to the issue the piece and the report raises.  The final assignment, for those taking the course for full credit, will be a research paper.

My hope is that this course will give students some exposure to the kinds of broader conversations that go on among professional academics all the time.  Those conversations cross all disciplinary and period boundaries, but understanding them is critical to what we do.

Repeatable to a maximum of 15 cr hrs.

Comparative Studies 8890 Colloquia, Workshops, and Departmental Seminars

TBA | TBA | Theresa Delgadillo

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


Comparative Studies 8896 Seminar in East Asian Philosophy

Th 12:15PM - 3:00PM | Hagerty Hall 451 | Melissa Curley

This year’s seminar will examine both classic texts and current interpretations, looking at great works from China, Korea, and Japan, and the ways in which these texts have been read by modern and contemporary philosophers in Asia and elsewhere. The course begins with the Zhuangzi, the classic of philosophical Daoism, composed amidst the tumult of China’s Warring States period, and ends with German philosopher Byung Chul Han’s Burnout Society, composed against the exhaustion of the twenty-first century. In between, we’ll consider multiple thought traditions (including Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism), focusing on six interlocking themes that concern classical and contemporary thinkers alike—selfhood, sociality, freedom, equality, environment, and technology. Students will share in the work of designing the course such that it aligns with their own research questions; the chief assignment for the term will be the creation of a public-facing document that makes the case for the significance of these questions, with the document serving as a master class for other students of philosophy interested in learning more about East Asian thought and the possibilities afforded by taking a comparative approach. .  Repeatable to a maximum of 9 cr hrs. Cross-listed in EALL and Philos 8102.