COR 330 Class Descriptions

During your third year in the Core Curriculum, students have the choice to take any two cultural studies courses. These courses change each semester.

Take a look at what is offered for the Fall 2014 Semester:

COR 330-01: FRONTERA: Culture and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Adam Rosenblatt — T/TH 12:30-1:45 pm

In this course, we explore the vibrant cultural life of the U.S.-Mexico Border region, which is influenced by both Mexico and the U.S., but is also, in Gloria Anzaldúa's words, "a third country," with its own distinct reality. We study the global trends and forces that shape life on the Border today, including colonialism, NAFTA, immigration, sweatshops, and drug trafficking, but also lesser-known facets of daily life in the region: education, religion, gender, and sexuality, among others. Texts may include social theory and anthropology, investigative journalism, songs, folk tales, literature and film.

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COR 330-02: CROSSROADS

Gary Scudder — M/TH 8:00-9:15 am

This class will focus on central Asia as a crossroads of innumerable peoples and cultures and its role in facilitating social, historical, cultural and religious transformation through trade, travel and conquest.  Conquerors such as Alexander the Great and Tamerlane and travelers such as Xuangzang and Marco Polo have passed through a region which also produced the artistic brilliance of Gandhara and the poetry of the Sufi mystic Rumi.  There will be background readings and films, but also a special focus on cultural artifacts (from statues and cities to poems and epics) that speak to the history and culture of this unique area.

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COR 330-03: ARAB WOMEN WRITERS

Rula Quawas — T/F 11:00-12:15 pm

In this course, we explore a range of texts by contemporary Arab women writers from across the Arab world,  Arabophone, in English translation, and Anglophone, within a transcultural framework, understood in their literary, cultural, socio-economic, and historical contexts. Attention will be primarily paid to women's writing in specific geographic/national locations and their diasporas. Central to this course will be the unveiling of a number of important issues: Women's voices and their agencies, transcultural theorizing on identity formation, the socio-cultural construction of femininity and masculinity, the meanings and practices of hegemonic masculinity, sexual objectification and commodification, and the politics and social/economic dynamics of gender relations and gendering in the vast Arab world.

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COR 330-04: TBA

T/F 8:00-9:15 am

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COR 330-05: ARAB WOMEN WRITERS

Rula Quawas — T/F 9:30-10:45 am

In this course, we explore a range of texts by contemporary Arab women writers from across the Arab world,  Arabophone, in English translation, and Anglophone, within a transcultural framework, understood in their literary, cultural, socio-economic, and historical contexts. Attention will be primarily paid to women's writing in specific geographic/national locations and their diasporas. Central to this course will be the unveiling of a number of important issues: Women's voices and their agencies, transcultural theorizing on identity formation, the socio-cultural construction of femininity and masculinity, the meanings and practices of hegemonic masculinity, sexual objectification and commodification, and the politics and social/economic dynamics of gender relations and gendering in the vast Arab world.

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COR 330-06: GODS, GHOSTS AND ANCESTORS

Kerry Noonan — W/F 2:00-3:15 pm

Hungry ghosts, ancestor worship, the Kitchen God, Guanyin, Buddhism, feng shui, all are components of the folk religions of China. This course will examine the supernatural in China, looking at religions like Buddhism and Daoism as well as new religions such as Falung Gong.  We will also consider supernatural beliefs, such as ghost tales, and ideas about the dead.  How have these beliefs survived under half a century of official atheism? Now that religion is somewhat tolerated in China, what directions is it taking today?

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COR 330-07: SHAKING THE SPIRIT: Sacred Arts of the Afro-Caribbean World

Steve Wehmeyer — T/TH 2:00-3:15 pm

Through an extensive examination of the material, ritual, and performative arts associated with the cultures of Haiti, Cuba, Brazil, and other Caribbean "hot-zones," students will explore the ways these arts embody and communicate sophisticated ideologies at the core of Caribbean cultural identities. Students will explore such diverse phenomena as the flamboyant costume arts and ritual dance-dramas of Haitian Rara, the elaborate altar assemblage and musical traditions associated with Cuban Santeria, and the transgressive sexual and gender performance of Pomba Gira's mediums in Brazil.  In doing so they will confront the fact that the Caribbean has been a locus of active globalization for over 500 years, and that its visual, ritual, and performative arts provide a record of the profound economic, religious, linguistic, and cultural impact this region has had on the world at large.

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COR 330-08:THE ARAB SPRING: Exploring Pro-Democracy Movements in the Middle East

Rob Williams — M/TH  8:00-9:15 am

The Arab Spring class is a wonderful comparative opportunity to challenge stereotypes of a monolithic "Arab World" by exploring how the Arab Spring emerged in different Arab countries in different ways at the grassroots level, and in what ways these Arab Spring democratic movements have succeeded and failed in challenging the status quo in the modern Middle East. A comparison of countries, involving student research and presentation, as well as research into underreported topics in the emerging literature of Arab Spring studies (the role of women in democratic movements, for example) presents a host of fantastic learning possibilities.

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COR 330-09: GODS, GHOSTS AND ANCESTORS

Kerry Noonan — W/F 3:30-4:45 pm

Hungry ghosts, ancestor worship, the Kitchen God, Guanyin, Buddhism, feng shui, all are components of the folk religions of China. This course will examine the supernatural in China, looking at religions like Buddhism and Daoism as well as new religions such as Falung Gong.  We will also consider supernatural beliefs, such as ghost tales, and ideas about the dead.  How have these beliefs survived under half a century of official atheism? Now that religion is somewhat tolerated in China, what directions is it taking today?

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COR 330-10: THE ARAB SPRING: Exploring Pro-Democracy Movements in the Middle East

Rob Williams — M/TH 9:30-10:45 am

The Arab Spring class is a wonderful comparative opportunity to challenge stereotypes of a monolithic "Arab World" by exploring how the Arab Spring emerged in different Arab countries in different ways at the grassroots level, and in what ways these Arab Spring democratic movements have succeeded and failed in challenging the status quo in the modern Middle East. A comparison of countries, involving student research and presentation, as well as research into underreported topics in the emerging literature of Arab Spring studies (the role of women in democratic movements, for example) presents a host of fantastic learning possibilities.

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