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Spring Semester 2023 Graduate Courses

Comparative Studies 


COMPSTD 6400 Critical Foundations: The Humanities and Collaborative Practices

Hagerty 451 | R 9:15-12 | Isaac Weiner

The course introduces students to different forms of collaborative practices and participatory research in the humanities, recognizing the opportunities and possibilities it affords, as well as the challenges and limitations it entails. The course will also offer a space for critical reflection on how we engage other people's ideas, both in terms of our research and within the seminar community.

COMPSTD 6425 / SPANISH 6705 Introduction to Latino Studies

Hagerty 45 | TR 11:10-12:30 | Ana Puga

Introduces graduate students to the broad themes, concepts, and questions raised in the interdisciplinary field of Latina/Latino studies. Cross-listed in SPANISH.

COMPSTD 7340 Theorizing Science and Technology

Hagerty 451 | W 9:15-12 | Brett Zehner

This graduate-level seminar will introduce theories of science and technology studies while exploring the recent rise of data mining and artificial intelligence. Cultural Studies and STS are ideally situated to study data collection and algorithms, not as mathematical abstractions, but as material, social practices. As such, our approach will be both historical and theoretical, drawing from many fields to understand the extension of racial capitalism into the sphere of digital economies and artificial intelligence. Part 1 of the seminar will begin by linking the history of whiteness (as property) and white supremacy in the U.S. to our understanding of digitality and data. Key thinkers will include Saidiya Hartman and Hortense Spillers. Part 2 of the seminar will then examine the history of behavioral data from the mid-20th century to the present with a focus on white institutional epistemologies and statistical racialization. Part 3 will then examine the ubiquity of so-called data mining, data selfhood, and the politics of predictive modeling. Part 4 will culminate in theories of abolition expanded to include data politics. Graduate students interested in science and technology studies, comparative studies, critical race theory, political theory, American studies, cultural geography, literature film and media studies are encouraged to enroll.

COMPSTD / ENGLISH 7350.01 Theorizing Folklore 1: Tradition and Transmission

Denney 435 | W 12:40-3:40 | Dorry Noyes

This course examines the transmission of cultural forms through time and space across social networks. Reviewing some of the principal approaches in folklore and related disciplines, we pay special attention to the tensions between conservation and innovation, fixity and process, property and mobility. We look also at the interplay of conscious intentions and valuations with more inattentive or habitual forms of practice. As an extension of this dynamic, we look at the concept of tradition itself as a keyword of Western modernity, which circulates between general and scholarly usage and picks up ever more ideological baggage in the process. (We will do this first in order to clarify the stakes involved in speaking of tradition at all.) Finally, we'll run through a quick history of the "traditional" in modernity: its proliferations, codifications, reifications, revitalizations, and appropriations. 

Readings include theoretical texts as well as ethnographic case studies from a variety of cultural and social settings. They are intended to open up avenues of inquiry for you rather than to give you mastery of a particular theoretical tradition. Students will share in sustaining discussion and write a research paper on a topic relevant to their own interests. This course fulfills the core theory requirement of the Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Folklore

COMPSTD 8200 Interdisciplinary Learning Lab 2

Hagerty 451 | Wednesdays 2:15-5 | Miranda Martinez + Katherine Borland

The Interdisciplinary Learning Lab is a deep dive into experiential, team-based humanities research. Please bring your skills to our community-facing project, tentatively entitled Narratives of Displacement. Working with partners at the AAAS Extension Center, CURA, and the Poindexter Village Museum and Cultural Center, we will work to gather and display the voices of those removed through forms of gentrification—including mid-century urban renewal and the demise of public housing more recently—and to document the impact on Eastside residents, communities and artistic life. We will explore various possibilities for designing interactive museum exhibits that use history to spark discussions about contemporary issues, challenging the notion that development “just happens.”  Along the way we will reflect on what it means to collaborate ethically, responsibly, and dialogically with community partners to advance their vision. Please note that COMPSTD 8200 is open to new students. That is, having been enrolled in AU 22's COMPSTD 8100 is NOT a requirement for taking this course.

COMPSTD 8890 Dissertation Writing Workshop

Hagerty 451 | Mondays 10-12 | Melissa Curley

Since the dissertation is often your first effort to construct a complex, original, and extended argument, interpretation and/or analysis, this writing workshop will assist you in developing concrete strategies for tackling this major task, hold you accountable for making progress on the dissertation, and contribute to the creation of an intellectual community among Comp Studies graduate students. Repeatable to a maximum of 9 cr hrs or 9 completions. This course is graded S/U.