CSP 618: Cultural Sustainability Theory Seminar This course engages with texts across a number of disciplines and discourses to critically consider and develop the foundations of cultural sustainability as an emerging academic field, a theoretical framework and a mode of practice. We will read scholars such as Sen, Nussbaum, Titon, Latour, Graeber, Deleuze and Guatteri, Etzioni, Putnam, Thomas Berry, Wendell Berry, Kunstler, Hardt and Negri, Zizek, Bennett, Yellow Bird, Reid and Taylor, and others. The seminar will help students deepen their understanding of cultural sustainability as a concept, better articulate the value of their own practice, and serve as a platform for the intellectual development of the field.
CSP 620: Food and Foodways. Food and foodways are integral to many aspects of cultural identity and activity, and important to consider in the development of projects in cultural and economic sustainability. In order to comprehend a community, it is important to understand how and why that community uses food to construct and maintain identity and tradition, express values and beliefs, perform identity, present itself to the public, manage health systems, use environmental resources, and support indigenous and local economies.
CSP 622 Environmental Justice. This course examines environmental inequity, in particular how race and socio-economic status are related to environmental problems faced by communities. We will investigate patterns of environmental inequity, injustice and racism as well as grassroots and community-based efforts to deal with environmental threats.
CSP 623: Environment, Culture, and Community. This course explores the interrelations and interdependencies of environment, culture and community. Beginning with the current state of the world and its sustainability crisis, we will map out a broad canvas of global environmental issues and topics, focusing on cultural and community impacts. Students will be exposed to a range of domestic, international, rural, and urban theaters of conflict and change, as well as the complex political, social, scientific, and methodological challenges of working at the intersection of environment, culture and community.
CSP 624 Environment, Development and Economics. This course examines how natural resources intersect with social and economic development initiatives. We will review the different kinds of natural resources and review case studies of both successes and failures in regard to sustainable use and community benefits. Special attention will be paid to community-based initiatives and examples of inclusive decision making and policy design.
CSP 625: Festivals, Events, and Performances. Culture is enacted and reenacted through the creation and experience of events large and small. By understanding what makes events meaningful to their participants, students are better able to work with communities to enhance existing events or to develop new events that help communities to thrive. Students will learn how to manage performances, festivals, and other events.
CSP 627 Environmental Change: Causes and Impacts. This course examines the driving forces and impacts of a variety of environmental problems. Students will better understand the social, economic, and biological landscape that we face globally today. They will also understand how these forces of environmental change also fuel conflicts, public health issues, poverty, and vulnerability in communities. Case studies of successful mitigation and resilience will be provided and discussed to provide students with an awareness and appreciation for what is being done in response to these issues.
CSP 628: Principles of Cultural Mediation Cultural workers and other stakeholders in the art and cultural sustainability sector may find themselves in the position to serve as mediator/facilitator in a variety of communities and/or organizations. Without the recognition of difference of opinion, viewpoints, and individual value systems, conversations around divisive issues can often be dominated by polarized and destructive debate. Creating a space for dialogue can allow for these multiple viewpoints to be shared, with a desire to understand and learn from those that view the world differently. This course will present a framework for understanding what dialogue is and the mediator/facilitator role in bridging cultural differences to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome.
CSP 630: Community and Economic Development. A critical feature of cultural sustainability is the development of strategies that align with economic vitality and benefit cultural practitioners. This course surveys, analyzes, and evaluates efforts of this nature: cultural tourism, schools, marketing initiatives for cultural products, and other forms of entrepreneurship.
CSP 635: Interpretive Planning and Project Management. This class provides insight and guidance into the planning and implementation of cultural programming at museums and similar organizations. Students will explore best practices and current issues pertaining to the development of interpretive approaches and their concrete implementation in these settings.
CSP 638: Language Preservation Language is one of the most salient and identifiable aspects of human culture. Human languages provide rich material for anthropological study and are often important aspects of a culture's identity and sovereignty. Throughout the world language communities are facing unprecedented language endangerment and half of the world's languages may become extinct in the next 100 years. This course provides an introduction to the practical and theoretical causes of language shift and what this shift means for impacted communities. Selected case studies provide a global perspective on the discourse. The role of language in constructing and maintaining cultural identity and historical continuity is a common theme. To provide tangible application, students will be introduced to specific strategies for language preservation and education.
CSP 640: Exhibits, Real and Virtual. Museum exhibitions, publications, websites, and other media provide powerful tools for sustaining, strengthening, and showcasing the cultural assets and practices of communities for purposes of education, advocacy, and preservation. Students explore the use of text, image, video, and sound in effectively telling the story of themes and issues that matter to communities.
CSP642: Culture and Calamity There are physical, psychological, social, and cultural dimensions to upheavals in community life, whether those are caused by war or other violent conflict, economic or environmental devastation, forced displacement, or even policy. Human expression, even in the most authoritarian states and in the direst hours of crisis, cannot be silent. This course will examine the cultural and artistic aspects of upheaval and conflict around the world, including the destruction of traditional culture and emergence of new forms and voices. Case studies and readings will examine culture as a reflection and record of upheaval and as a creative response to it. The course will inquire how we sustain and preserve culture during times of sudden change, how human creativity survives under subordination, and the humanizing role of the arts in the often desperate moments of rapid liberation (both successful and thwarted).
CSP 645: Advanced Cultural Documentation and Archival Management. This course explores issues pertaining to cultural documentation and archival management at an advanced level. Ethical, legal, and theoretical issues surround cultural documentation; especially when the work becomes part of a community-based public archive. This course addresses the question, "How do I organize and manage a cultural documentation archive to ensure its relevancy to the community?" Students will explore a local repository of their choosing to understand contemporary curatorial and archival methods. Additionally, students will learn how to manage community documentation projects within an archival setting.
CSP 648: Making Museums Relevant Today's museums are re-considering their civic missions and practices, the ways they engage new partners and audiences, and, therefore, their priorities. Many believe that the health of museums depends on becoming more civically engaged with a range of communities. Successful museums engage in dialogue about civic empowerment and often center on issues of how and where citizens seek and engage each other, about their senses of power, trust, and agency. This cornerstone course encompasses the unique and critical issues of working in today's museums, and offers strategies for connecting museums with communities in ways that position them as principal players in cultural sustainability.
CSP 650: Organizing Communities: Advocacy, Activism, and Social Justice. This course introduces students to the methods and perspectives of community organizing. Cultural sustainability is often a matter of social justice and self determination, and knowledge of community organizing strategies provides a critical tool for Cultural Sustainability practitioners. Organizing, advocacy, and action strategies will be shared and assessed particularly as they pertain to matters of cultural democracy.
CSP 653: Topics and Issues in Cultural Sustainability Cutting across much of the curriculum content in the MACS program is a landscape of familiar but under-examined concepts that require focused study and analysis. Social concepts and issues such as power, identity, and spirituality have generated a body of literature and discussion relevant to cultural sustainability, and this course enables MACS students to have the opportunity to explore them in depth and achieve a degree of mastery. In Spring 2014, this course will examine the concept of identity so that we may better understand how it influences the individuals and communities with which we work, as well as how we work with them. We will review the intellectual history of the idea of identity, the varied meanings it has in different disciplines, and the constellation of concepts and theories to which it is key (self, group, community, etc.) We will then consider the influences (including sustainability projects) on the construction -- and reconstruction -- of identity and the ways in which it is performed and interpreted.
CSP 660: Oral History. This course provides training in best practices in oral history documentation. Through hands on instruction and mentorship with oral history practice, students will develop the knowledge and skills to professionally conduct oral history research.
CSP 665 Arts of Social Change. When faced with social injustices, including threats to survival, sustenance, or culture, humans often respond creatively by making art, whether musical, verbal, or visual as a form of empowerment, education, protest, a cri de coeur, or simply the dogged resistance of steadfast practice. Sometimes these arts draw on traditional cultural aesthetics and may represent the continued survival of defiant cultural art forms that will not be extinguished. Other times they take on a more innovative or even radical nature, emerging as new practices, narratives, or popular expressions. This course examines the vibrant use of arts to address social justice concerns and explores art in the context of the famous metaphoric view of art as either a mirror that reflects social reality or the hammer that shapes it.