Elective Course Descriptions
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 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 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 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 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.
CSP 645: Advanced Cultural Documentation and Archival Management. This course explores issues pertaining to cultural documentation at an advanced level. Ethical, legal, and theoretical issues surround cultural documentation; this course provides further insight and guidance on these matters. Students will receive advanced training in understanding and working with contemporary digital archival methods, and the use of advanced equipment. Additionally, training in the management of community documentation projects will be offered.
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 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.