COR 330 Class Descriptions

In the third year of the Core, students who are not studying abroad enroll in any two COR 330 courses.  These two courses must be taken in the same semester.  The 330 courses, which vary from semester to semester, offer a "deep dive" into various regions of the world and give students the opportunity to choose topics of interest to them.

Take a look at what is offered for the Spring 2015 Semester:


COR 330-01: Life in the Amazon: Human and Ecological Communities of the Amazon River Basin

Kristin Wolf— M/TH 9:30-10:45 am

The Amazon River Basin (ARB) is the most biodiverse place on Earth; it is also home to hundreds of human communities, making it a unique and appropriate setting to study the intersection of humanity and ecology. In this course we will explore, compare, and contrast various lifeways of human communities of the Peruvian Amazon along a gradient of the contested concept of "development". With special interest topics in tropical forest ecology, beekeeping with stingless bees, ecotourism, and community-driven development, this interdisciplinary course will explore how various communities perceive and interact with their respective environments, highlight the exceptional characteristics of the larger Amazon ecosystem, and investigate the effects of globalization, both past and present, on the landscape and peoples of the Amazon. This course can be taken with or without a two-week travel component to Iquitos, Peru and surrounds in July.

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COR 330-02: Tourism and Ethnicity in China

Kerry Noonan — T/TH 3:30-4:45 pm

Did you know that China has 55 officially recognized minority ethnic groups? Today these groups are feeling the pressure to assimilate into the majority Han culture and become "modern," while also being encouraged to retain an idealized version of their ethnic culture in order to attract tourism, for economic benefits. Traveling to see "backward" and "primitive" ethnic groups has appeal for both Han Chinese and non-Chinese tourists, but what are the costs? These "performances" of ethnic identity for tourists raise the questions of what authentic culture is, and who gets to decide. Similar issues are faced by other ethnic minority cultures around the globe, who are impacted by global tourism and an increasingly homogenized globalized world. Tourism - is it good or bad? Traditional languages - should they be learned or forgotten? Is being different an asset or liability?

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COR 330-03: Frontera: Culture and Politics at the U.S.- Mexico Border

Adam Rosenblatt — M 12:30-1:45 pm / W 9:30-10:45am

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 330-04: European Union: A House Divided?

Ciaran Buckley— M 12:30-1:45 pm / W 9:30-10:45 am

This course will investigate the emergence of global interdependence and interconnectedness and its influence on people, business and governments. Throughout we will examine the experience made in the European Union where countries established institutions and coordinated policies to enable travel, cultural exchange and close cooperation under the motto 'Unity in Diversity." We will analyze and understand also the challenges of unifying people from diverse European as well as non- European cultures. This course will raise the awareness of how people work closely and have begun establishing structures as well as international and cultural decision making processes to be able to deal effectively with the issues of increased interdependence and interconnectedness among diverse peoples and groups. We will look at the European Union in its current form, ascertain its needs to succeed, research the cultural, political and institutional responses in order to make interdependence structures visible.

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COR 330-05: European Union: A House Divided?

Ciaran Buckley—W/F 12:30-1:45 pm

This course will investigate the emergence of global interdependence and interconnectedness and its influence on people, business and governments. Throughout we will examine the experience made in the European Union where countries established institutions and coordinated policies to enable travel, cultural exchange and close cooperation under the motto 'Unity in Diversity." We will analyze and understand also the challenges of unifying people from diverse European as well as non- European cultures. This course will raise the awareness of how people work closely and have begun establishing structures as well as international and cultural decision making processes to be able to deal effectively with the issues of increased interdependence and interconnectedness among diverse peoples and groups. We will look at the European Union in its current form, ascertain its needs to succeed, research the cultural, political and institutional responses in order to make interdependence structures visible.

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COR 330-06: Frontera: Culture and Politics at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Adam Rosenblatt— M 2:00-3:15 pm / W 11:00-12:15 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 330-07: Istanbul

David Kite — W/F 2:00-3:15 pm

Our section of COR 330 will examine the city first known as Byzantium, later Constantinople and now Istanbul - a city that has always been at the crossroads of major world cultures. Few other cities have been so routinely destroyed, remade and elevated by such a wide array of peoples and empires. This course is an interdisciplinary tour of this city. Texts will include items such as the mosaics and domes of Hagia Sophia, Sinan's Suleymaniye Mosque, and the expansive street life of the modern city.

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COR 330-08: Shaking the Spirit: Sacred Arts of the Afro-Caribbean World

Steve Wehmeyer— W/F 3:30-4:45 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 330-09: Tourism and Ethnicity in China

Kerry Noonan — T/TH 2:00-3:15 pm

Did you know that China has 55 officially recognized minority ethnic groups? Today these groups are feeling the pressure to assimilate into the majority Han culture and become "modern," while also being encouraged to retain an idealized version of their ethnic culture in order to attract tourism, for economic benefits. Traveling to see "backward" and "primitive" ethnic groups has appeal for both Han Chinese and non-Chinese tourists, but what are the costs? These "performances" of ethnic identity for tourists raise the questions of what authentic culture is, and who gets to decide. Similar issues are faced by other ethnic minority cultures around the globe, who are impacted by global tourism and an increasingly homogenized globalized world. Tourism - is it good or bad? Traditional languages - should they be learned or forgotten? Is being different an asset or liability?

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COR 330-10: Learning Without Borders: Jordan's Cultural Mosaic

Miriam Horne — M/TH 9:30-10:45 am

Drawing on the legacies of intersecting, overlapping, and dynamic cultures of the geographic region called Jordan, this course seeks to understand the meaning of citizenship both for ethnic and cultural groups within Jordan and for students engaging in the world. The course will do this by focusing through the lens of co-existing cultural groups to understand the complex fabric that is modern-day Jordan. By examining the historical migration as well as the cultural values represented through art and media, the course will help students to understand the complexities of citizenship. Jordan, with its complex and myriad cultures, serves as a microcosm of the world. As students come to understand how disparate cultures may not only co-exist but also interact, they will have the opportunity to examine their own intersections and roles as they negotiate global engagement.

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COR 330-11: Learning Without Borders: Jordan's Cultural Mosaic

Miriam Horne— M/TH 11:00-12:15 pm

Drawing on the legacies of intersecting, overlapping, and dynamic cultures of the geographic region called Jordan, this course seeks to understand the meaning of citizenship both for ethnic and cultural groups within Jordan and for students engaging in the world. The course will do this by focusing through the lens of co-existing cultural groups to understand the complex fabric that is modern-day Jordan. By examining the historical migration as well as the cultural values represented through art and media, the course will help students to understand the complexities of citizenship. Jordan, with its complex and myriad cultures, serves as a microcosm of the world. As students come to understand how disparate cultures may not only co-exist but also interact, they will have the opportunity to examine their own intersections and roles as they negotiate global engagement.

Back to Top


COR 330-12: Istanbul

David Kite— T/TH 3:30-4:45 pm

Our section of COR 330 will examine the city first known as Byzantium, later Constantinople and now Istanbul - a city that has always been at the crossroads of major world cultures. Few other cities have been so routinely destroyed, remade and elevated by such a wide array of peoples and empires. This course is an interdisciplinary tour of this city. Texts will include items such as the mosaics and domes of Hagia Sophia, Sinan's Suleymaniye Mosque, and the expansive street life of the modern city.

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COR 330-13: On the Periphery of Islam: The Travels of Ibn Battuta

Gary Scudder— T/F 8:00-9:15 am

In the 14th century an obscure Arabic traveler by the name of Ibn Battuta embarked on a journey lasting years and which led him across several continents. While not nearly as famous as his contemporary Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta actually covered much more of the world and encountered many more diverse areas. Along the way he traveled through, and commented upon, the borderlands where the Islamic world came into contact with many different peoples and cultures. In On the Periphery of Islam students will study the journey of Ibn Battuta through his own words as well as those of modern commentators, including travel writers who recreated his travels. Students will focus on the ways in which societies interact and change, both then and now, and in the process study a vibrant and evolving Islamic world.

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COR 330-14: China 2020

Craig Pepin — T/F 9:30-10:45 am

In rising to become the second largest national economy, China has presented the world with a new model for modernization: accelerated capitalism combined with political authoritarianism. What cultural traditions, political ideologies and geographic realities have shaped the "China Model"? Yet despite outward success, there are many barriers to that return to world preeminence, from resource scarcity to population pressures to political control, censorship and economic dislocation. How will Chinese leaders and the Chinese people negotiate the challenges accompanying their continued economic ascent and political stability? Students will examine the cultural, political and economic forces shaping China today, and use that background to explore the future of China in an area of their own choice.

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COR 330-15: Shaking the Spirit: Sacred Arts of the Afro-Caribbean World

Steve Wehmeyer— M/TH 11:00-12:15 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.

Back to Top


COR 330-16: Life in the Amazon: Human and Ecological Communities of the Amazon River Basin

Kristin Wolf— M/TH 8:00-9:15 am

The Amazon River Basin (ARB) is the most biodiverse place on Earth; it is also home to hundreds of human communities, making it a unique and appropriate setting to study the intersection of humanity and ecology. In this course we will explore, compare, and contrast various lifeways of human communities of the Peruvian Amazon along a gradient of the contested concept of “development”. With special interest topics in tropical forest ecology, beekeeping with stingless bees, ecotourism, and community-driven development, this interdisciplinary course will explore how various communities perceive and interact with their respective environments, highlight the exceptional characteristics of the larger Amazon ecosystem, and investigate the effects of globalization, both past and present, on the landscape and peoples of the Amazon. This course can be taken with or without a two-week travel component to Iquitos, Peru and surrounds in July.

Back to Top


COR 330-17: Minority Report: Assimiliation, Adaptation or Isolation

Ken Wade;— M 12:30-1:45 pm / W 9:30-10:45 am

How do small, diverse religious, political and cultural groups in Turkey and adjacent locations in the Middle East co-exist with the cultures that surround, and often overshadow, them? This class is designed to deepen the students' understanding of the inner lives of displaced individuals and the strategies they need to survive. Students will examine a variety of media (e.g., original documents, graphic novels, films, audio, art, etc.) setting the socio-cultural context of the region.

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COR 330-18: Minority Report: Assimiliation, Adaptation or Isolation

Ken Wade— T/TH 3:30-4:45 pm

How do small, diverse religious, political and cultural groups in Turkey and adjacent locations in the Middle East co-exist with the cultures that surround, and often overshadow, them? This class is designed to deepen the students' understanding of the inner lives of displaced individuals and the strategies they need to survive. Students will examine a variety of media (e.g., original documents, graphic novels, films, audio, art, etc.) setting the socio-cultural context of the region.

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COR 330-19: Crossing Borders: Experiencing the Other in Morocco

Joanne Farrell— W/F 2:00-3:15 pm

Crossing Borders includes a travel to Morocco over spring break. The focus is to experience how learning about "others" can empower us. Reading various texts, watching films, posing questions about what it means to live and honor Islam in the modern world, and seeking answers will provide a brief historical and cultural background of the Arab world and Islam in preparation for spending time with Moroccan students, visiting families, sharing stories, exploring the Medina, and hiking in the Atlas Mountains. Crossing borders intellectually, emotionally and physically will force us to question and reevaluate cultural perceptions including stereotypes of Muslim men and women and, hopefully, open our eyes and our minds to the experiences and cultures of others. There will be a travel fee associated with this course.

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COR 330-20: China's Wild West: Exploring The Frontiers of 21st Century China Along the Karakorum Highway

Rob Williams — M/TH 9:30-10:45 am

China is the largest contiguous land empire in the world today. Five "semi-autonomous" provinces comprise China's "Wild West," a frontier full of diverse racial, ethnic, religious and cultural groups. Our course will explore China's "Wild West," focusing on the geographic distinctness of the region, and the interplay between the dominant Han majority in China, and ethnic minorities such as the Hui and Uighur people. We'll maintain a specific geographic focus on sites along the Karakorum Highway, the world's highest intercontinental road system.

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