Comparative Studies Courses
Comparative Studies 1100 Introduction to the Humanities: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
Online (asynchronous) and In-person | Multiple sections
COMPSTD 1100 is an introductory course designed to survey some of the current preoccupations in the Humanities, especially as they relate to culture, power, and identity. Across several sections with varied content, instructors of 1100 seek to present relevant issues in comparative cultural study, employing a mix of cultural theory, current events, and literature, visual, and performing arts with a focus on race, ethnicity, and gender. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies.
Comparative Studies 1100H Introduction to the Humanities: Cross-Cultural Perspectives Honors
Hybrid | MW 9:35-10:55 | Dan DiPiero | Enarson Classroom 206
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.
COMPSTD 2099 Question of Comparative Studies
In-person | M 5:20-6:15 | Philip Armstrong | Hagerty Hall 451
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.
COMPSTD 2101 Literature and Society
In-person | MWF 1:50-2:45 | Jason Payne | Cockins 218
Study of relationships among politics, society, and literature; analysis of social and political elements of literature and film from diverse cultures and historical periods. Prereq: English 1110 (110) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 2101H (201H, 201). GE lit and diversity global studies course
COMPSTD 2104H Literature, Science, and Technology Honors
In-person | TR 9:35-10:55 | Nancy Jesser | Enarson Classroom 214
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. Prereq: Honors standing, and English 1110 or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 2104. GE lit and diversity global studies course.
COMPSTD 2105 Literature and Ethnicity
In-person | MW 9:35-10:55 | Kwaku Korang | Hayes Hall 005
Study of relationships between literature and ethnicity; analysis of concepts of ethnicity as represented in literature and film of diverse cultures and historical periods. Prereq: English 1110 (110) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 205. GE lit and diversity soc div in the US course.
COMPSTD/ENGLISH 2264 Intro to Popular Culture Studies
In-person | TR 12:45-2:05 | Parisa Ahmadi | Mendenhall 131
Far from a trivial or superficial matter, critical engagement with popular culture is essential because it provides unique insights into how we construct and understand the human experience. This course introduces students to the major arguments, concerns, and theories involved in the critical study of popular culture. In addition to understanding the parameters and arguments involved in the field, students will learn some of the methods used by pop culture theorists so that students may demonstrate their own interpretations of current events and cultural productions. To this end, historical, social, and political contexts will be discussed in addition to theoretical and methodological texts. We will also be discussing a wide range of pop-culture phenomena, including television, film, music, social media, and current events. Finally, critical readings of pop culture objects will provide students with a variety of opportunities to engage with diverse issues that popular culture both reflects and constructs. Prereq: English 1110 (110) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 264, or English 2264 (264). Cross-listed in English. GE cultures and ideas course.
COMPSTD/ENGLISH 2264 Intro to Popular Culture Studies
In-person/Hybrid | TR 3:55-5:15 | Morgan Podraza | Journalism 239
Introduction to the analysis of popular culture texts. Prereq: English 1110 (110) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 264, or English 2264 (264). Cross-listed in English. GE cultures and ideas course.
COMPSTD 2281 American Icons
Hybrid | MW 3:55-5:15 | Dan DiPiero | Denney Hall 238
Interdisciplinary methods in American studies; emphasis on the plurality of identities in American culture. Prereq: English 1110 (110) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 234. GE cultures and ideas and diversity soc div in the US course.
COMPSTD 2301 Intro to World Literature
In-Person | TR 9:35-10:55 | Rhiar Kanouse | Jennings Hall 140
Analysis of oral and written literatures of diverse cultures and historical periods. Prereq: English 1110, or equiv. GE lit and diversity global studies course.
COMPSTD 2321 Intro Asian American Stds
In-Person | TR 9:35-10:55 | Joe Ponce | Mendenhall 185
This course provides an introduction to Asian American Studies by examining some of the main themes, historical events, and critical frameworks that the field has focused on and developed since it emerged in the late 1960s. We will begin with the Asian American movement and its role in creating Asian American Studies as a field of study during the late 1960s and 70s. We will then consider, through readings and viewings of academic texts (history, social science, cultural criticism), literature, graphic narratives, films, and other visual artifacts, a variety of topics that extend from the 19th century to the present. These may include Chinese immigration and exclusion, Japanese American incarceration and redress, U.S. colonialism in the Philippines and Filipinx labor migrations, the complex aftermaths of the Korean and Viet Nam/American wars, post-1965 immigration and the “model minority” myth, Southeast Asian refugees and deportation, undocumented immigrants, LGBTQ+ and multiracial identities, interracial relationships, and Asian Americans in popular culture. Throughout the course, we will remain attentive to 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.” Prereq: English 1110 (110), or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 241. GE cultures and ideas course and diversity soc div in the US course.
COMPSTD 2340 Intro to Cultures of Sci and Tech
Online | asynchronous | Jess Holler
Critical analysis of the multiple relations of science to society, with emphasis on knowledge, power, authority, values, and ethics. Prereq: English 1110 (110), or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 2341 (272). GE cultures and ideas and diversity global studies course.
COMPSTD 2341 Technology, Science, and Society
Online | TR 11:10-12:30 | Seth Josephson
Critical analysis of the relations among science, technology, and culture, with particular emphasis on ethical issues in technology and engineering. Prereq: English 1110.01 (110.01) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for 2340 (272). GE cultures and ideas and diversity global studies course.
COMPSTD 2350 / ENGLISH 2270 Intro to Folklore
In-Person | TR 11:10-12:30 | Emma Cobb | Ramseyer 115
This class explores forms of traditional, vernacular culture: memes, calendar customs, material culture, urban legends, and more! We will discuss the aesthetics of everyday culture used by folk groups (regional, ethnic, occupational, interest based, etc) to construct identity, communicate with others, and create (or tear apart) communities. Students will be introduced to various interpretive, theoretical approaches to examples of folklore and folklife. Throughout the class, we will examine the intellectual underpinnings of collection processes and category creation, asking ourselves how genres affect our interpretations of the world. Students will use these foundations to conduct their own folklore collecting project. Students will interview people from campus or their hometown 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. Prereq: English 1110 (110) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for English 2270 (270), or 2350H. GE cultures and ideas course. Cross-listed in English 2270.
COMPSTD 2350H / ENGLISH 2270H Intro to Folklore Honors
In-Person | MW 2:20-3:40 | Rachel Hopkin | Scott Lab E241
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. Prereq: English 1110 (110) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for English 2270 (270), or 2350H. GE cultures and ideas course. Cross-listed in English 2270.
COMPSTD 2367.04 Science and Tech in American Culture
In-Person | TR 12:45-2:05 | Nancy Jesser | Enarson Classroom 218
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.
COMPSTD 2367.08 American Identities
Hybrid | MW 2:20-3:40 | Dan DiPiero | Cunz Hall 180
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.
COMPSTD 2420 American Food Cultures
In-Person | TR 9:35-10:55 | Rick Livingston | Knowlton 195
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.
COMPSTD 2864H Mod/Postmod Issues Honors
In-Person | TR 2:20-3:40 | Franco Barchiesi | Enarson Classroom 206
How have ideas of human sovereignty and freedom shaped modern thought and global realities?
How do modern ideas relate to the structures of capitalism and the power of nation-states?
How is modern humanity defined by the violence of racial enslavement, settler colonialism, and indigenous genocide?
How effective are theories of postcolonialism and postmodernity as critiques of the violence of modernity?
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; Diversity: Global Studies
COMPSTD 3501 Humanitarianism: Ideals and Realities in the Contemporary World
In-Person | TR 3:55-5:15 | Katherine Borland | Lazenby 34
What does it mean to be a cosmopolitan citizen? Can we solve enduring human problems like inequality? We will explore the history, dominant discourses, and practices of aid (governmental and grassroots) to Central America and examine why some humanitarian projects flourish whereas other, equally well-intended ones do not. Bring your own experiences of and questions about international voluntary service to this course. Our goal will be to think creatively about a better future for all. GE Cultures and Ideas
COMPSTD 3603 Love in World Literature
In-Person | TR 12:45-2:05 | Lucia Borotoli | Page 60
Selected representations of love in different cultures and time periods. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies.
COMPSTD 3607 Film and Lit as Narrative Art
In-Person | M 12:10-2:00 WF 12:40-1:35 | Susan Hanson | Mendenhall 185
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.
COMPSTD 3608 Representations of the Experience of War
In-Person | MWF 10:20-11:15 | Jason Payne | McPherson 1041
Representations of war in works of literature, music, and film from diverse cultures and time periods. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies
COMPSTD 3686 Cultural Studies of American Musics
Hybrid | MW 12:45-2:05 | Dan DiPiero | Hayes Hall 025
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.
COMPSTD 3903 World Lit: Theory & Practice
Hybrid | WF 9:35-10:55 | Joshua Williams | Campbell 209
Discussion of world literatures in theoretical, historical, and cultural contexts, with particular attention to translation, language, nationalism, globalization, and internationalism.
COMPSTD 4193 Border Issues and Activism in Ohio (1-credit course)
In-Person | Katherine Borland and Stephanie Aubry
Many Midwesterners remain unaware of the dangers that their own environment poses for those without documents. The Discovery Field School on Border Issues and Activism in Ohio will introduce students to sites of immigration enforcement and immigrant rights activism and encourage them to think critically about how the border is present not only in the Southwestern United States, but also here in Ohio. Visits to learning sites and discussions with community partners working in immigrant support and defense, coupled with presentations about Ohio’s history of solidarity and sanctuary activism will offer a picture of the Central American immigration crisis over the last half century. By documenting learning site visits through photographs and daily journaling, students will maintain a record of their field school activities. Together, we will think critically about the landscape of immigration enforcement and activism in Ohio. We will ask students to share their new knowledge with a broader public either by participating in an Ohio Habla podcast with Dr. Elena Foulis, by publishing an article for Qué Pasa OSU, or by constructing a digital gallery for the Center for Folklore Studies archive. Spanish language ability is suggested but not required. Transportation, food and lodging are covered by a Global Arts and Discovery Field School Grant.
If you are interested in being selected as part of our delegation, please contact Dr. Borland (.19) or Dr. Aubry (.9) for an application. Admission is rolling, so act quickly. We have 12 spaces only.
Introductory meeting (January 12) 5:30-7:30 Barnett Center Collaboratory
Weekend Trip to Cincinnati area partners January 22-23 (all weekend)
Weekend Trip to Cleveland area partners TBA (all weekend)
COMPSTD 4822 Native American Identities
In-Person | TR 11:10-12:30 | Gregorio Gonzales | Jennings Hall 136
Historical and contemporary issues of American Indian identity, primarily in U.S.; focus on American Indian authors, artists, and scholars. Not open to students with credit for 542. GE: Cultures and Ideas and Diversity: Social Diversity in the US.
COMPSTD 4921 / WGSST 4921 / AFAMAST 4921 Intersections: Approaches to Race, Gender, Class, and Sexuality
In-Person | MW 9:35-10:55 | Mercedes Chavez | Baker Systems 140
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.
COMPSTD 4990 Senior Seminar
In-Person | TR 12:45-2:05 | Philip Armstrong | Derby 49
Writing seminar based on students' independent research. Prereq: 3990 (398), and 500 or a 4000-level course in CompStd, and Sr standing; or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 598.
COMPSTD 5240 / PUBAFRS 5240 / AFAMAST 5240 Race and Public Policy in the US
In-Person | WF 2:20-3:40 | Suparna Bhaskaran | Hagerty Hall 259
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. Cross-listed in AAAS and PUBAFFAIRS.
COMPSTD 5691 Material Culture, Materiality, and Agency
In-Person | MW 11:10-12:30 | Jasper Waugh-Quasebarth | Hagerty Hall 50
What do things do? How do they influence our actions and social lives we assemble around us? How does their circulation and movement influence global flows and processes? This course explores how the world of things and materials surrounding us impact our lives, our environments, our economies, and ourselves by surveying social theory related to material culture and materiality. From Marx and Mauss to Tsing and Tallbear, we will draw upon an inter-disciplinary framework to explore how thinkers in Anthropology, Folklore Studies, Geography, Archaeology, Economics, Science and Technology Studies, Museum Studies and beyond have thought through things in time and space. Students will take on a semester-long study of material culture of their choice through the lenses of various theories of material culture, materiality, and agency. They will also experiment with museum exhibition, accession, and repatriation practices and gain skills in building global commodity chains through ARC GIS Storymapping.
Religious Studies Courses
RELSTDS 2102.01 Literature and Religion
In-Person | TR 11:10-12:30 | Spencer Dew | Denney 238
How is “religion” like “literature”? What might reading novels and poems reveal about “the religious”? This course, through close reading and discussion, explores those questions. GE Literature and Diversity: Global Studies. Honors version.
RELSTDS 2102.02 Comparative Sacred Texts
In-Person | TR 11:10-12:30 | Savannah Finver | Hagerty 50
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. Prereq: English 1110 (110), or equiv. Not open to students with credit CompStd 2102.02 (202.02). GE lit and diversity global studies course.
RELSTDS 2370H Intro to Comparative Religion Honors
In-Person | MWF 1:50-2:45 | Sarah Johnston | Enarson 340
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.
RELSTDS 3673 / EALL 3223 Buddhist Tradition
In-Person | TR 12:45-2:05 | Melissa Curley | Hopkins 246
History and structure of Buddhism from founding to present in South, Southeast, and East Asia. Emphasis on rituals, beliefs, and local and regional variations. RelStds 2370 recommended.
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 323, CompStd 3673 (323), or RelStds 3673 (323). Cross-listed in RelStds 3673.
RELSTDS 3679 Popular Culture and World Religion
In-Person | WF 11:10-12:30 | Spencer Dew | Campbell 309
This class explores the religion is and as popular culture, with particular emphasis on beliefs and practices in Mexico and the US/Mexico borderlands, from folk saints to healing ceremonies, festivals to the use of religious symbols as political rhetoric. Students will pursue independent research as part of our work together. Prereq: English 1110. GE VPA course.
RELSTDS 3972 Theory and Method in the Study of Religion
In-Person | TR 2:20-3:40 | David Brakke | Denney 206
What is religion? And how might we go about studying it? These are the questions that animate this course, which is required of all religious studies majors and minors, but which can engage anyone interested in studying religion and culture, no matter one’s major. There are two components to the course. We will first study the “classic” theories of religion, which range from anthropological to sociological to psychological and beyond. What questions and perspectives do these theories bring to religious evidence? Do they “explain” what religion is and does? We will study these in roughly chronological order from the 1870s, when anthropologists began to develop theories of religion, to the 1970s, when departments and programs of “religious studies” had become common in U.S. colleges and universities. The writings in this section form a kind of “canon” with which all scholars of religion are familiar. We will then consider some more recent approaches to religion that draw on critical theory about culture (e.g., feminism, womanism, performance theory, queer theory, cognitive science). How do these perspectives build on, revise, and/or reject the classic theories? What new questions do they enable us to ask about religious phenomena? Students will consider these approaches not merely in the abstract, but in relation to specific religious texts, objects, and activities. Prereq: 2370 (270) or 2370H (270H) or equiv. Not open to students with credit for RelStds 4972 or CompStd 4972 (520).