Yesterday we visited the course catalog for Macalester, in the upper Midwest (St. Paul, Minnesota, to be precise). Today, we head West to Oberlin, in Ohio, yet another college that doesn’t offer either American History or American Studies classes. Instead, for those interested in studying their own country, Oberlin offers “Comparative American Studies.” It does not say compared to whom or to what.
Should you be perusing the Comparative American Studies classes at Oberlin, you will find that the department is very LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ oriented. Here are all of the Comparative American Studies classes on tap this fall:
• CAST 100 – Introduction to Comparative American Studies
• CAST 200 – Theories and Methods in American Studies
• CAST 201 – Latinas/os in Comparative Perspective
• CAST 202 – Visible Bodies and the Politics of Sexuality
• CAST 211 – Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Identities
• CAST 217 – Introduction to Feminist Science Studies
• CAST 235 – Debating Citizenships
• CAST 243 – Promise and Peril: Race and Multicultural America
• CAST 256 – Immigration in U.S. History
• CAST 267 – The Nature of Sexualized Identities: Gender, Race, Queerness, and Environmental Justice
• CAST 300 – Field Based Research
• CAST 301 – Practicum for Field Based Research
• CAST 333 – Trans*Gender Studies
• CAST 382 – Afro-Asian America: Intraminority Connections in Historical Perspective
• CAST 443 – Colloquium: Crisis of Confidence: American History and Culture in the 1970s
• CAST 447 – Queer Positions
I was a little worried that “Queer Positions” would be a sort of Kama Sutra class, but it’s not. Honestly, after reading the description, I think that the Kama Sutra would be better. Have you ever seen a greater college of academic gobbledygook jargon in a mere three sentences?
When queer is a verb, what does it mean? This course explores key issues in the field of queer theory, including the relationship of sex, gender, race, class, and ability; critiques of liberalism and multiculturalism; normativity and resistance; representation and cultural production; and the politics of time and space. We will pay particular attention to the relationship between theory and practice in order to explore different approaches to social change. Prerequisite & Notes: Prior coursework in CAST or a related field strongly recommended.
If you take this Comparative American Studies class, you will earn four units. A year at Oberlin costs $50,586.