Wendy Kozol, Professor of Comparative American Studies and Program Director
Yveline Alexis, Assistant Professor, Africana Studies
Rick Baldoz, Associate Professor of Sociology and Comparative American Studies
Eric Estes, Vice President, Dean of Students and Associate Professor of Comparative American Studies
Janet Fiskio, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Comparative American Studies
Meredith Gadsby, Associate Professor and Chair, Africana Studies
Evangeline Heiliger, Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative American Studies
Daphne John, Associate Professor of Sociology and Comparative American Studies
Shelley Lee, Associate Professor of Comparative American Studies and History
Pablo Mitchell, Professor of History and Comparative American Studies
Gina Pérez, Associate Professor of Comparative American Studies
Meredith Raimondo, Associate Professor of Comparative American Studies (on administrative leave)
Renee Romano, Professor of History Comparative American Studies
Harrod Suarez, Assistant Professor of English and Comparative American Studies
Steven Williams, Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow of Native Studies and Visiting Assistant Professor of Comparative American Studies
Comparative American Studies examines the range and diversity of American experiences, identities and communities. From interdisciplinary perspectives, students study social, political, economic and cultural processes within the United States as well as explore the role of the nation in a global context. By placing the United States in a transnational and comparative framework, the program invites students to consider the relationship of different communities to the nation-state, ranging from issues of colonialism and empire building to social justice movements. Courses investigate power, inequality and agency through the analysis of intersecting structures of race, gender, class, sexuality and citizenship. Central to these studies are examinations of the relationship of theory and practice in a range of historical and contemporary contexts.
Comparative American Studies faculty approach the study of the United States with expertise drawn from a range of interdisciplinary fields, including American Studies, Ethnic Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Media Studies. The program has particular strengths in transnational approaches to Asian American Studies, Feminist Studies, Latina/o Studies, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Studies.
Students wishing to declare a Comparative American Studies major should select a faculty advisor who is a member of the Comparative American Studies Program Committee or consult with the Program Director. In consultation with the advisor, students should propose a program of study for review by the Program Director.
The Comparative American Studies major consists of a minimum of 9 ½ courses (nine full courses and one half course) that include required program courses (3.5), the concentration area requirement (4) and electives (2).
In addition to program courses, students majoring and minoring in Comparative American Studies may count certain courses in other departments and programs toward their Concentration Area Requirement and Electives. A list of cross-referenced courses that qualify is posted on the program’s website under the rubric “Courses (Cross-Referenced).”
Required Courses: 3 ½ courses
- CAST 100: Introduction to Comparative American Studies
- CAST 300: Situated Research, recommended to be taken by the end of the junior year
- CAST 301: Situated Research Practicum (1/2 course) taken simultaneously with 300
- CAST 400: Research Seminar: Expanding the Archive ·
Concentration: 4 courses (minimum)
The Comparative American Studies program encourages students to personalize the major by choosing an individual focus within one of three concentrations. Students select classes that address their interests within a framework of course offerings designed to build conceptual and practical skills. The program particularly emphasizes critical thinking, writing and communication as aspects of civic engagement.Courses must be taken in at least two different departments/programs.
Concentrations in the Comparative American Studies program include:
- Identity and diversity
- Globalization, transnationalism and nation
- Histories and practices of social change
Electives: 2 courses (minimum)
Students may fulfill the remaining course requirements for the major by taking elective courses in either program courses or approved cross-referenced courses.
- Program and cross-referenced courses may count toward the Concentration Area and Elective requirements for the major and the minor.
- No more than 3 full courses can be at the introductory level.
- Students may transfer up to 3 full courses taken at other institutions towards the major.
- Courses in which a student has earned a letter grade lower than a C- or P cannot be used to fulfill the requirements of the major.
Course Sequencing Suggestions:
The program offers a variety of introductory and intermediate level courses for potential majors and non-majors. These 100 and 200 level courses provide an introduction to American Studies scholarship. While courses at the 300 and 400 level typically do not have prerequisites, prior coursework in CAST or a related field is strongly recommended before enrolling in these courses.
All forms for the major and minor (Petition, Advising, Concentration) can be found on the CAS website (http://new.oberlin.edu/comparative_american) under the link: ”Declaring a Major”.
Students wishing to minor in Comparative American Studies must have their proposals approved by the Program Director. The Comparative American Studies minor consists of:
- 5 full courses, including CAST 100: Introductions to Comparative American Studies.
- At least one of the courses in the Concentration Area must be a program course (course with a CAST Prefix and CRN).
- No more than 2 full courses may be taken at the introductory level, including CAST 100.
- No more than one full course may be transferred from another institution toward the minor.
Senior Comparative American Studies majors may conduct independent, original research or a creative project through the Honors Program. Consideration for admission to the Honors Program takes place during the second semester of the junior year, by invitation of the Comparative American Studies faculty or by self-nomination. Faculty are encouraged to urge qualified students to consider applying for the Honors Program. Honors students must enroll in CAST 501/502: Honors Seminar (both semesters) and are exempt from the CAST 400 requirement.
When on duty, faculty members with appointments in Comparative American
Studies sponsor Winter Term projects.
Off-Campus Programs for Credit
Students are encouraged to broaden their educational experience by taking advantage of off-campus programs, preferably sometime during their junior year. A maximum 3 courses may be applied toward the major (1 course for the minor).
- FYSP 180 Exploring Chicago
Comparative American Studies Courses
In addition to program courses, students majoring or minoring in Comparative American Studies may count certain courses in other departments and programs toward their Concentration Area Requirement. A list of courses that qualify is posted on the program’s web site (http://new.oberlin.edu/comparative_american) under the rubric “Comparative American Studies Courses in Various Disciplines.”