Comparative American Studies
Contact
Department Chair:
Wendy Kozol, Chair

Administrative Assistant:
Linda Pardee

Department Email:


Phone: (440) 775-8390
Fax: (440) 775-8644

Location:
King 105
10 N. Professor Street
Oberlin, OH, 44074-1095

Goals

Goals

The Comparative American Studies Program has developed the following goals:



COMPARATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES MAJOR GOALS:

1. CAS majors will be able to apply intersectional and comparative frameworks to issues of power, identity formation, and nation

  • majors will gain historical and theoretical perspectives with which to engage in comparative and intersectional analysis of power and inequality in relation to race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, ability, and nation
  • majors will gain an understanding of the relationship between identities, communities, and institutional structures of power through the lens of identity-based fields of study, including Latina/Latino Studies, Asian American Studies, and/or LGBTQ Studies
  • majors will be able to locate concepts of “American” and “American-ness” in historical context with particular attention to local, transnational, and global processes

2. CAS majors will develop skills in interdisciplinary analysis through careful attention to issues of methodology, method, and histories of knowledge production

  • students will plan a major that combines core CAS courses with program courses to form a coherent program of study
  • majors will be able to apply a range of research methods to achieve an interdisciplinary understanding of American cultures
  • majors will engage in the critical analysis of both primary and secondary sources for original academic research or creative projects
  • majors will develop skills in critical thinking, writing, discussion and public speaking

3. CAS majors will learn to make connections between theory and practice through exploring the interconnections of academic research and social change

  • majors will develop critical analytic and communication skills
  • majors will develop an awareness of the complexities of working in non-classroom settings and/or community organizations

SKILLS THAT CAS MAJORS WILL HAVE BY GRADUATING:

1.  Conceptual/Theoretical:

  • CAS majors will have a working understanding of intersectionality, structure and agency, and comparative approaches, including the ability to use these tools to participate in conversations or projects addressing diversity
  • CAS majors will have an understanding of the relationship between identities, communities, and institutional structures of power through the lens of identity-based fields of study, especially Latina/Latino Studies, Asian American Studies, and/or LGBTQ Studies
  • CAS majors will be able to locate concepts of “American” and “American-ness” in historical and transnational contexts

2.  Methodological:

  • CAS majors will have an understanding of the concept of interdisciplinarity and the ability to situate scholarly works in a range of disciplinary methodologies and approaches
  • CAS majors will have competency in both primary research (such as ethnography, archival research, or cultural analysis) and secondary source analysis (previously published research and theory)
  • CAS majors will have engaged with the ethical responsibilities of primary research
  • CAS majors will have the intellectual flexibility to address issues from a variety of disciplines

3.  Communicative:

  • CAS majors will have clear writing and critical thinking skills, including the ability to read and process information and convey it in an effective manner
  • CAS majors will gain an awareness of the complexity of working in non-classroom settings and/or community organizations
  • CAS majors will develop critical analytic and communication skills, including oral skills
  • CAS majors will gain collaborative skills developed through group projects, peer editing, and classroom discussions
  • CAS majors will have the ability to understand the complex social issues and engage in nuanced conversations about them

CAS PROGRAM GOALS FOR NON-MAJORS:

1. CAS non-majors will be able to apply intersectional and comparative frameworks to issues of power, identity formation, and nation

  • non-majors will gain an introduction to comparative and intersectional analysis of identity-based categories, including race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, ability and nation
  • non-majors will develop an understanding of the relationship between identities, communities, and institutional structures of power through the lens of identity-based fields of study, including Latina/Latino Studies, Asian American Studies, and/or LGBTQ Studies
  • non-majors will be able to locate concepts of “American” and “American-ness” in historical context with particular attention to local, transnational, and global processes

2. CAS non-majors will explore interdisciplinary analysis through careful attention to issues of methodology, method, and histories of knowledge production

  • non-majors will develop critical thinking, reading, writing, and research skills
  • non-majors will develop critical analytic and communication skills, including oral skills

3. The CAS Program supports the college-wide cultural diversity requirement by exposing non-majors to histories and contemporary experiences of marginalized groups in the USA

  • non-majors will encounter theories, histories, and methodologies that enable productive engagements with difference
  • non-majors will gain an introduction to the curricular contributions offered by identity-based fields of study, especially Asian American Studies, Latina/o Studies, and LGBTQ Studies
  • non-majors will be able to reframe exceptionalist histories of the nation by situating the United States in a comparative and transnational context

COMPARATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM LONG-TERM GOALS

1. CAS is committed to expanding the institutional representation of marginalized areas of study that offer clear contributions to the program’s mission

  • CAS will continue to seek means to institutionalize course offerings in Native/Indigenous Studies
  • CAS will continue to explore the relationship of Disability Studies to the CAST curriculum by incorporating material from Disability Studies into relevant courses, inviting speakers, planning mini-courses, and other events
  • CAS will continue to collaborate on projects to increase the diversity of Oberlin College faculty, staff, and students

2. CAS will continue to enrich its curricular offerings and programming that explore the relationship between academics and activism

  • CAS will seek opportunities to expand course offerings and programming about the histories and practices of social movements
  • CAS will continue to explore opportunities for collaboration with the Multicultural Resource Center and the Center for Service and Learning in order to enhance the connections students make between the curricular and co-curricular

3. CAS is committed to providing a structure for interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship that makes connections within and across College departments and programs

  • CAS aims to ensure a balance of courses and methods drawn from the humanities and social sciences as well as encourage interdisciplinary teaching within and across these divisions
  • CAS will continue to explore opportunities for more sustained cross-divisional collaborations, especially in fields which students identify as key areas of interest, such as environmental justice and medicine/health