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 200 Introduction to American Studies. This course introduces students to a range of methodologies and approaches to the study of American culture.  Drawing on important scholarship in American Studies, as well as literature, history, art, photography, and film, we will examine how perceptions of the American frontier developed, from wilderness, to Garden utopia, to  Virgin land, to a contested “contact zone” marked by cross-cultural exchange and regenerative violence. Required of concentrators.  Patterson. TR 11:00 – 12:30

CAS AM 250 Arts & American Society. In response to the 1960s and 1970s U.S. and global social movements’ demands for revolutionary economic and cultural change, powerful corporations and officials learned how to incorporate the rhetoric and symbols of those movements into a project of upward redistribution of wealth: a economic and cultural project that scholars have come to call neoliberalism.  This course explores the complicated politics of identity and cultural representation under this new economic regime.  Through an examination of literary and popular fiction, rap, neo-soul music, and reality television, we will trace the history of the global epistemic shift to neoliberalism capitalism from the 1970s to the present, and investigate how neoliberal economies and culture have come to organize the racial, sexual, and gendered lives of citizens in the Americas.  We will pay particular attention to neoliberal capitalism’s attempts to incorporate and co-opt many of the demands of 1960s and 1970s social movements, and the ways in which people throughout the Americas have staged resistance to the ideological and economic imperatives of neoloberal culture.  Stuelke. TR 9:30 – 11:00

CAS AM 502 Special Topics in American Studies. An Interdisciplinary 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

African American Studies

CAS AA 395 Power, Leadership, and Governance in Africa and the Caribbean. Haitian Revolution; British Caribbean, leadership, governance and power in Africa during the period of legitimate trade; visionaries, dictators, and national politics in the Caribbean; chiefs, western elites, and nationalism in colonial Africa; road to governance in post-colonial Caribbean and Africa.  Heywood. TR 11:00-12:30

CAS AA 490 Blacks and Asians: Encounters Through Time and Space. Explorations of historical encounters between Africans and people of Africans descent, and Asians and people of Asian decent.  How such people imagined themselves, interacted with each other, viewed each other, influenced each other, and borrowed from each other.  Richardson. T 1:00-4:00

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 int he 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


CAS 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


CAS EN 373 Detective Fiction. A study of the major writers in the history of literary crime and detection, mainly British and American, with attention to the genre’s cultural contexts and development from eighteenth century to the present.  Rzepka. TR 9:30-11:00

CAS EN 379 American Poetry. A survey of American poetry, from the Revolutionary eras up through the 1930s, that introduces the fundamentals of poetic form and lyric practice, as well as the historical, regional, and cultural contexts surrounding the development of Romanticism and Modernism in the works by Freneau, Emerson, Sigourney, Longfellow, Whitman, Frost, Eliot, Hughes, and others.  Patterson. TR 2:00-3:30

CAS EN 480 Critical Studies in American Writers: Pragmatism and Literature. Major American authors (including Emerson, Dickinson, Henry James, Crane, Du Bois, and Frost) read in relation to classical pragmatist philosophers such as William James, Peirce, Dewey, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.  Lee. 12:30-2:00

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


CAS HI 152 The United States since 1865. Reconstruction, industrialism, and recent social movements; labor and populism, imperial expansion, progressive politics, World War I, 1920s prosperity and the Great Depression, the New Deal, World War II, and the Cold War.  Phiilips. TR 3:30-5:00

CAS HI 286 The American Military Experience. Introduction to American military history from the colonial period to the role of military force in contemporary U.S. statecraft.  Examines the character of the armed services, the American style of waging war, and the relationship between the military and society.  This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS HI 370.  Bacevich. MWF 9:00-10:00

CAS HI 308 Religious Thought in America. Surveys many of the strategies that American religious thinks have adopted for interpreting the cosmos, the social order, and human experience and 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 CAS HI 354.  Roberts. MWF 11:00-12:00

CAS HI 309 Americans in the World: United States History in Transitional Perspective. Examines how political, cultural, and social movements in the United States have connected with people and developments around the world.  Topics include views of American society by outside observers, American’s activities abroad, and their part in shaping global integration.  This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with title that was previously numbered CAS HI 367.  Blower. 9:30-11:00

CAS HI 321 The American Revolution, 1750-1800. The political, economic, and ideological causes of the American War for Independence; the construction of a new political system amid the passions of a revolutionary upheaval; and the gradual emergence of a new economic and cultural order in the United States.  This course cannot be take for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously number CAS HI 356.  McConville. MWF 11:00-12:00

CAS HI 337 The United States, 1900-1945. Industrialization; Progressivism; science; religion; expansion and World War I; immigration; the women’s movement; Jim Crow; the Great Depression and New Deal; World War II; politics, culture, and diplomacy.  This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously number CAS HI 363.  Phillips. TR 11:00-12:30

CAS HI 339 The United States since 1968. Recent political, economic, social, and cultural history.  Includes Nixon, Carter, and Reagan presidencies; stagflation; Watergate; “Me Decade”; end of the of Cold War.  This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS HI 365.  Schulman. TR 12:30-2:00

CAS HI 360 Blacks in Modern Europe. See description for CAS AA 380.

CAS HI 453 Three Revolutions. Examines the rise of a distinctive Anglo-American political culture in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  Focus on the effects of the English civil wars, the Glorious Revolution, and the American Revolution on political thought, institutions, and behavior in American and Britain.  McConville. M12:00-3:00

CAS HI 475 American Consumer History. The history of consumerism in modern America.  Topics include origins and critiques of the culture of consumption; the development of national markets; advertising and commercial amusements; and the relationship of consumer society to religion, gender, ethnicity, and class.  Halter. R12:30-3:30

CAS 490 Blacks and Asians. See description for CAS AA 490.

CAS HI 580 The History of Racial Thought. See description for CAS AA 580.

History of Art & Architecture

CAS AH 205 Architecture: An Introduction. Examination of the factors involved in architectural design including program, spatial composition, structure, technology, iconography, and the role of architecture in society.  Discussion of major monuments of Western architecture and urbanism from ancient Egypt to the twenty-first century.  Scrivano. TR 12:30-2:00

CAS AH 295 History of Photography. An introduction to the study of photographs.  The history of the medium in Europe and America from its invention in 1839 to the present.  After lectures on photographic theory and methodology, photographs are studies both as art objects and as historical artifacts.  Sichel. TR 11:00-12:30

CAS AH 382 Nineteenth-Century Architecture in Europe and America. Survey of European and American architecture from 1750 to 1910.  Explores issues in architecture, landscape architecture, and city planning, and examines style, technology, and architectural theory.  Morgan. TR 2:00-3:30

CAS AH 392 Twentieth-Century Arts From 1940 to 1980. Explores major currents in European and American art between 1940 and 1980.  Examines the followings movements and media in relation to key issues in postwar culture, politics and art criticism: Abstract Expressionism, Pop art, Minimalism, Conceptual art, Earthworks, body art, performance and video.  Williams. MWF 1:00-2:00

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


CAS RN 427 The Culture Wars in America: Jefferson to Obama, Topics in American Religion. 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


CAS SO 205 American Family. So families aren’t just random results of Cupid’s arrow? Professor Nazli Kibria introduces sociological ways to think about families.  Kibria. 11:00-12:00

Courses Offered by Affiliated Departments at Boston University

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