Spring 2011 Courses

This schedule is subject to change.  For the most accurate information concerning other programs and departments, consult the University Class Schedule online: www.bu.edu/studentlink, as well as each department’s own website.  Graduate students may not take courses below the 500 level for credit.

American Studies

CAS AM 502 – Special Topics in American Studies: American Landscapes: This course uses the idea of landscape as an interdisciplinary lens to survey American culture. We will examine the physical and metaphorical landscape of America across time. In this course, we will explore how we have shared the landscape, used it to define ourselves as a nation, and asked it to serve as a resource, a religion, a symbol, and setting. Sewell. W 1:00-4:00pm

CAS AM 502 – Special Topics in American Studies: Building Archaeology: New Approaches to the Study of Early American Architecture. New research and rigorous methods challenge long-held assumptions and uncover intriguing histories and meanings of early American buildings and landscapes. Dempsey. R 1:00-4:00pm

GRS AM 735 – Studies in American Culture: Introduction to the handling of primary materials from a number of disciplines in order to develop an American Studies perspective. Required of AMNESP first year grad students. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Sichel. W 1:00-4:00

African American Studies

GRS AA 808 – Seminar: Ethnic, Race, and Minority Relations. Formation and position of ethnic minorities in the United States, including cross-group comparisons from England, Africa, and other parts of the world. Readings and field experience. Prereq: (CASAA207 OR CASSO207) or consent of instructor. Benjamin. TR 9:30-11.

GRS AA 885 – Atlantic History. Examines the various interactions that shaped the Atlantic World, connecting Europe, Africa, and the Americas between 1400 and 1800. Begins by defining the political interaction, then emphasizes cultural exchange, religious conversion, and the revolutionary era. Thornton. MWF 9-10.


GRS AN 704 – Proseminar: Contemporary Anthropological Theory. Examination of major theoretical trends and debates in anthropological theory from the 1960s to present.  Hefner. T 4-7.

GRS AN 782 – Wealth, Poverty, and Culture. Explores vital cultural dimensions of production, exchange, and consumption in varied settings. Asks how social ties relate to property, wealth, and poverty. Examines how people classify, control, and allocate resources, and how resources in turn influence people. Shipton. MWF 9-10.

GRS AN 797 – Anthropological Film and Photography. Considers the history and development of anthropological, ethnographic, and transcultural filmmaking. In-depth examination of important anthropological films in terms of methodologies, techniques, and strategies of expression; story, editing, narration, themes, style, content, art, and aesthetics.  Safizadeh. W 4-7.

History of Art and Architecture

CAS AH 580 – Architectural Technology and Materials. An introduction to the history of architectural construction, technologies, and materials, and their consequences in the built environment. Students receive a practical understanding of the building process and of its social and cultural contexts. Brown. F 9-12.

CAS AH 571 – African American Art. Studies African American art and craft production from the early nineteenth century to the present against the background of the diaspora, reconstruction, and the modernist movements of the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Hills. M 1-4.

GRS AH 892 – Approaches to Architectural History. Introduction to the theory and practice of architectural history. Readings explore varied approaches to interpreting architecture; assignments develop skills of informed and careful architectural analysis. Scrivano. T 10-12.

GRS AH 895 – Seminar: Twentieth-Century Art. Special topics in Twentieth-Century Art. Williams. W 9-11.


CAS EN 533 – American Literature: Beginnings to 1855. An introduction to the multiple literary traditions of North America from the close of the fifteenth century through 1855.  Authors would include John Winthrop, Anne Bradstreet, Mary Rowlandson, Benjamin Franklin, Phyllis Wheatley, Willam Apess, Washington Irving, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Frederick Douglass, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman.  Korobkin TR 2-3:30.

CAS EN 534 American Literature: 1855-1918. American literature from the Civil War to World War I.  Topics include literary realism and naturalism; problems of race, class, and increasing urbanization; changing notions of marriage and the new woman.  Authors may include Emily Dickinson, Horatio Alger, Mark Twain, Henry James, William Dean Howells, Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, Robert Frost.  Korobkin TR 11-12:30.

CAS EN 536 – Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Study of five of six poets from the following: Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, William Carlos Williams, Marianne Moore, RObert Frost, RObert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, John Berryman, A.R. Ammons, John Ashbery, Sylvia PLath, Allen Ginsberg, James Merrill.  Costello MWF 11-12.

CAS EN 545 – The Nineteenth-Century American Novel. This course will provide an overview of the art of the novel as it was imagined and practiced in the nascent United States.  Although we will supplement our wok with examinations of the material culture of reading and theoretical essays from nineteenth-century periodicals, most of our attentions will fall from the novels themselves.  Candidates for inclusion on the syllabus include: William Hill Brown’s The Power of Sympathy, P.D. Manvil’s Lucinda; or, The Mountain Mourner, James Fenimore Cooper’s The Pioneers, Catharine Maria Sedgwick’s A New England Tale, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lowly, William Brown’s Clotel; or The President’s Daughter, Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, Mark Twains’ Pudd’nhead Wilson, Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie, Charles Chesnutt’s The Marrow of TraditionHowell TR 9:30-11:00 or Lee TR 12:30-2.

CAS EN 546 – The Modern American Novel. American fiction from 1900 to 1950.  Works by Theodore Dreiser, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, and others. Van Anglen TR 3:30-5.

CAS EN 547 – Contemporary American Fiction. Study of major American novels since 1984, by Don LeLillo, Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth, and others.  Course topics include risk, multiculturalism, trauma and memory, postmodern spiritualities.

CAS EN 594- Studies in Literature and the Arts: The Hollywood Genre Film. Possible candidates include film noir, musicals, gangster films, the horror film, pornography, road movies, the buddy picture.  We will examine the history, conventions, and development of each genre and consider what these films say about the culture that made and watched them.  Literary worls include Conrad’s Heart of Darkness with the western; Austen’s Pride and Prejudice with screwball comedies; Pychon’s The Crying of Lot 49 with the cult film; and, throughout the semester, the multi-genre novel Cloud Atlas by David Mitchel.  We will also read selected film criticism and genre theory.  Weekly screenings.  Monk. MW 2-4:30

GRS EN 674 Critical Studies in Literary Genres: Transatlantic Crossings. Examining nineteenth-century travel narratives, this course will consider the conversation regarding the America experiment among both Americans and Europeans.  Themes will include dislocation, discovery, mobility, identity, natioanlism, and imperialism.  Authors include Thomas Jefferson, Alexis do Tocqueville, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Fanny Kemble, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Henry James.  Stebbins-McCaffrey. MWF 11-12

GRS EN 776 – Later Modernism. Changes in modernist poetics in response to social and historical pressures. Focus on work of the 1930s by Stevens, Williams, Moore, Bishop, Auden and Oppen. Costello. F 12:30-3.

GRS EN 833 – Irony & Post-War. An examination of irony and its detractors, concentrating on post-1945 American fiction and theory. Focus on fiction by Bellow, Heller, DeLillo, Powers, and Wallace, and philosophical work by Kierkegaard, Cavell, Rorty, Derrida, de Man, Sperber and Wilson. Chodat. R 1-3:30.


GRS HI 745 – Readings in Early American History. Brendan McConville. M 12-3.

GRS HI 750 – American Historiography. Examines the methodological and professional development of American historians since the 1880s, changes in the field since the founding period, and new directions in U.S. history. Brooke Blower. T 9-12.

GRS HI 754 – American Economic History. Louis Ferleger. R 4-7.

GRS HI 755 – American Immigration History. The experience of immigrants to the United States during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Topics include premigration cultures, theories of adaptation, perspectives on race ethnicity, sojourner migrants, and the persistence of ethnic enclaves in the urban environment. Marilyn Halter. T 12:30-3:30.

GRS HI 759 – United States Foreign Policy. The intellectual foundations of U.S. foreign policy since Roosevelt’s coming to office in 1933. David Mayers. M 3-6.

GRS HI 869 – Science and Christianity in Europe and North America Since 1500. Examines the relationship between science and the Christian tradition in Europe and North America since 1500. Considers the epistemological and metaphysical foundations of both science and Christian thought as they have evolved over time. Jon Roberts. MWF 11-12.

GRS HI 874 – Intellectual History of the United States, 1900 to the Present. Major thinkers and movements in intellectual and cultural history since 1900. Topics include pragmatism and progressivism; ethnic and cultural pluralism; Marxism and liberalism; Cold War ideology and neoconservatism; artistic modernism; psychoanalysis and modernization theory; the New Left, multiculturalism, and postmodernism. Charles Capper. MWF 10-11.

GRS HI 885 – History of the Atlantic World, 1500-1825. Examines the various interactions that shaped the Atlantic World, connecting Europe, Africa, and the Americas between 1500 and 1800. After defining the political interaction, there is special emphasis on cultural exchange, religious conversion, and the revolutionary era. John Thornton. MWF 9-10.

Political Science

GRS PO 711 – Approaches to the Study of American Politics. Introduces students to major theoretical, substantive, and methodological problems in the study of American politics by examining two sets of literature: scholarly debates and discussion of theory and research, and the concrete research of leading Americanists. Kriner. W 3-6.


GRS RN 612 – Buddhism in America. The transplantation and transformation of Buddhism in the United States. Time period ranges from the 18th century to the present, but the emphasis is on contemporary developments, including the new Asian immigration, Jewish Buddhism, feminization, and engaged Buddhism. Cogan. MWF 2-3.


GRS SO 848 – Culture, Markets, and Inequality. This seminar examines commerce as a cultural process, focusing on cultural production and consumption practices in fields like fashion, music, and bodily goods and services. Traces the cultural construction and maintenance of gender, race, and class inequalities in markets.  Mears. R 2-5.

GRS SO 862 – Seminar: Great Theorists. Explores works of major theorists and addresses central issues in sociological theory. Works of Bourdieu are compared with those of Weber, Durkheim, and contemporary theorists. Issues of power, stratification, structure, agency, and modes of research are considered. Kalberg. W 9-12.