Spring 2012 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 American Landscapes. An interdiciplinary exploration of the meanings of landscapes in American culture.  Uses art history, literature, history, archaeology, and cultural landscape studies to examine how we shape the land and use it to define ourselves.  Moore. W 1:00-4:00

GRS AM 735 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

CAS AA 580 History of Racial Thought. Study of racial thinking and feeling in Europe and the United States since the fifteenth century.  Racial thinking in the context of Western encounters with non-European people and Jews; its relation to social, economic, cultural, and political trends.  Blakely. R 3:00-6:00


GRS AR/IR 396/796 Cultural Heritage and Diplomacy. This course considers the place of heritage studies in archaeology and cultural diplomacy.  We will explore the roles of art and architecture as cultural ambassadors; the place of art and culture in constructing national identity and its representation in museums and other cultural landscapes; the role of international law in the development and management of the arts; the role of cultural affairs in U.S. embassies; the underlying principles of funding opportunities for international heritage projects from the State Department; and the strategic impact of heritage programming in promoting U.S. foreign policy aimed at winning the “hearts and minds” of foreign communities and building mutual understanding through people-to-people exchanges.  Case studies explore the history of cultural diplomacy and contemporary debates that implicate heritage in trade regulations in Latin American (CAFTA, NAFTA) as well as the intersection with the European  Union, the Balkans, Turkey and the Middle East.  Luke TR 3:30 – 5:00

GRS AR 815 Plunder & Preservation: Cultural Heritage in Wartime. Topics include safeguarding of cultural sites, monuments, and objects during armed conflict; history of cultural seizures as spoils of war; destruction of cultural heritage in war; development of legal protections; contemporary approached to preservation of heritage at risk from war.  Elia. F 11:00 – 2:00


CAS EN 534 American Literature: 1855 to 1918. American literature from the Civil War to WWI.  Realism and naturalism, race, class and urbanization, marriage, and the new woman.  Alger, Twain, James, Harper,  Howells, Crane, Norris, Dreiser, Wharton, Dickinson, Frost.  Otten. MWF 11:00-12:00

CAS EN 545 The Nineteenth-Century American Novel. From it’s beginnings through the nineteenth century.  Works by Brown, Cooper, Hawthorne, Melville, Twain, James, Howells, and others.  Korobkin. TR 2:00-3:30

CAS EN 584 Studies in Literature and Ethnicity: Ethnic American Women Writers. How have immigrant and ethnic women writers engaged American literary traditions, American culture, and American experience?  Authors included Sui Sin Far, Maxine Hong Kingston, Zitkala Sa, Louise Erdich, Anzia Yezierska, Grace Paley, Sandra Cisneros, and others.  Korobkin. TR 11:00-12:30

CAS EN 587 Studies in African American Literature: Political Aesthetics of African-American Literature. Formal and thematic expressions of beauty among African-Americas who were equally concerned with social justice.  Spanning the past two centuries, from Frederick Douglass and Anna Julia Cooper to Richard Wright, Raplh Ellison, and Alice Walker.  Meets with AA 502.  Jarrett. TR 12:30-2:00

CAS EN 594 Studies in Literature and the Arts: Psycho Paths. Depictions of psychotic minds, taking Hitchcock’s Psycho as the centerpiece.  Works include Psycho’s cinematic precursors (Dr. Caligari) and progeny (serial killer movies), as well as fiction (Poe, Melville) and psychoanalysis (Freud, Lucan, Zizek).  Weekly screenings.  Monk. MW 2:00-4:30

GRS EN 680 Critical Studies of American Writers. Major American authors (including Emerson, Dickinson, Henry James, Crane, Du Bois, and Frost) read in relation to classical pragmatist philosophers such as Williams James, Peirce, Dewey, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.  Lee. TR 12:30-2:00

GRS EN 733 American Enlightenment. Literary introduction to some varieties of Enlightenment in the Americas, covering Salem witch trails, American and Haitian Revolutions, the Great Awakening, slave narratives, Gothic fictions.  Works by Franklin, Equiano, Wheatley, Rush, Paine, Freneau, Copley, Jefferson, Sansay, Emerson, Poe.  Howell. F 12:00-2:30

GRS EN 746 The Problem of the South in US Literature (South in US Lit). Representations of the South structuring fantasies of a nation in US literature.  Fiction by Melville, Twain, Faulkner, Hurston, O’Connor, others.  Topics include national “innocence,” transatlantic slavery, racism, revolution, colonial reconstruction.  Theories of world system capitalism, national identity, psychoanalytic and ideological disavowal.  Matthews. M 3:00-5:30


CAS HI 560 The American Transcendentalists. Led by Emerson, Thoreau, Bronson, Alcott, Margaret Fuller, and others, the Transcendentalists constituted the first “counter-cultural” movement in American history.  Seminar focuses on how and why they did so within the philosophical, religious, literary, antislavery, communitarian, and ecological currents they inhabited.  Capper. T 3:30-6:30

GRS HI 708 Religious Thought in America. Surveys many of the strategies that American religious thinkers have adopted for interpreting the cosmos, the social order, and human experience and examines the interaction of those strategies with broader currents of American culture.  This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered GRS HI 854.  Roberts. MWF 11:00-12:00

GRS HI 850 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.  This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered GRS HI 750.  Blower. T 12:30-3:30

GRS HI 851 Recent American History: Politics & popular Culture in 20th Century America. Advanced graduate seminar that investigates significant problems in the history of the United States since 1900.  The specific focus of the seminar changes from year-to-year.  Recent topics include “Politics and Popular Culture in Twentieth Century America” and “State and Society.” This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course by the same title that was previously numbered GRS HI 751.  Schulman. T 3:30-6:30

GRS HI 859 United States Foreign Policy. Examination of the intellectual foundations of U.S. foreign policy since FDR’s coming to office in 1933.  This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered GRS HI 759.  Mayers. M 3:00-6:00

GRS HI 862 The Gilded Age, 1877-1914. Known for its obscene ostentation, this period also reveals considerable tension between a society seething with social conflict and a culture creeping toward nationalization.  Emphasis is on social conflict, regional differences, and new cultural pursuits.  Ferleger. M 3:30-6:30

History of Art & Architecture

CAS AH 521 Curatorship: Jose Luis Sert at Boston University. The George Sherman Union, the Mugar Memorial Library, and the School of Law are an imposing (and sometimes unwelcomed) presence on Boston University’s campus.  Designed and realized during the 1960s by a team led by Spanish architect Jose Luis Sert (the Dean of Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design between 1953 and 1969), these buildings are no doubt distinctive of the design culture of mid-century Boston, a moment of architectural history of our city that needs a serious reappraisal.  This course will research and prepare for exhibition dedicated to Sert’s work at Boston University Gallery in 2014.  Students will analyze the projects that will be displayed in the show and study the architects’ biographies, the general context of the history of architecture of the 1950s and 1960s, and comparable examples of designs for university campuses.  Working in teams, students will also learn the practical elements of exhibition organization, consisting in the preparation of layouts, checklists, wall and object labels, sample catalogue entries, and press releases.  They will also be introduced to the basics of museum techniques for gallery design, such as planning, budgeting, design, evaluation of shipping costs, preparation and installation, catalogue publication, and public relations.  The course will consist of lectures, student discussions, and visits to buildings, archives and exhibitions.  Scrivano. R 3:00-6:00

CAS AH 580 Architectural Technology & Materials. An introduction to the history of architectural construction, technologies, and materials, and their consequences in the built environment.  Students will receive a practical understanding of the building process and of its social and cultural contexts.  Brown. R 9:30-12:30

GRS AH 782 Colloquium on Nineteenth-Century Architecture. Dilemma of style in nineteenth-century architecture; study of the relationship of architectural theory to the changing philosophy and aesthetic theory of the period.  Development of functionalist theory.  Students must also attend CAS AH 382.  Morgan. T 4:00-6:00

GRS AH 886 Visual Culture of the Civil War Era (1840-1870). The seminar focuses on American visual culture of the Civil War era: Slavery, the Mexican War, Sectionalism, Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction (1865 to 1870), including paintings, sculpture, book illustration, graphics in the illustrated weeklies, photography, exhibitions, and organized urban spectacles.  Topics will include but not limited to: images of the conquest of Mexico, slavery and the slave auction in sculpture and paintings; illustrations for such books as “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”; images from the presidential campaigns of 1860 and 1864; the visual record of the Civil War in the illustrated press; the carnage of battle in the photographs of Matthew Brady and others; images of notorious prisons, such as Andersonville; picturing wartime activities of women including nurses, women soldiers, and women on the home front; the “Emancipation Proclamation” in popular imagery; images of the death and mourning of Lincoln, John Brown in graphics and text; visual conceptions of the Freedmen’s Bureau; and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in popular imagery.  Hills. T 9:00-11:00


GRS RN 727 The Culture Wars in America: Jefferson to Obama. Examination of culture wars in the United States from the election of 1800 to the “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy.  Possible topics include: anti-Catholicism in the Age of Jackson, the slavery debate, and anti-Mormonism.  Prothero. T 3:30-6:30

Courses Offered by Affiliated Departments at Boston University

Please consult the current semester’s listing above and/or each department’s respective website.