Core Course Descriptions

21 required core course credits

CSP 600: Cultural Sustainability (3 credits) This course introduces cultural sustainability both through its interdisciplinary theoretical foundations in cultural policy, public folklore, anthropology, and community arts, and through reflection on cultural activism and inquiry.

Sample Syllabus

CSP 605: Cultural Policy (3 credits) Culture matters to people, and is threatened by globalization and modernity in troubling ways. As a matter of public policy, culture has been defined and addressed in different ways. This course looks at the history of these formulations and the practices they have engendered, and suggests ways that the value of culture is of critical importance to policy makers seeking a sustainable and livable future.

Sample Syllabus

CSP 612: Research Design and Methodologies (3 credits) This course offers practical applications for students.  Processes include ethnographic research conducted in collaboration with communities, principles of ethical research design, navigating community participation and approvals, as well as considerations for sharing and distribution of the work itself.  In this course, students identify an appropriate methodology and design a research project in a community in consultation with the instructor.  They are expected to submit a professional quality research proposal that demonstrates best practices in ethical research design and articulates a selected methodology.  The proposal includes a site description, initial documentation, resource listings, next steps, and a reflection on the principles of practice that inform the research design.  Students may use this class to articulate key research questions they wish to explore in their Capstone.  Prerequisites: CSP600 and CSP671. 

CSP 615: Cultural Partnership (3 credits) What are effective strategies for scholars and organizations to work with communities to help develop the capacity for those communities to make choices about what matters to them? This course explores ways that effective enduring partnerships and programs can be developed to reflect the voices and aspirations of communities, their stakeholders, and the cultural organizations that serve them.

Sample Syllabus

CSP 671 Critical Perspectives in Community-Based Research (3 credits) Students in this course analyze the historical, conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of ethnography to articulate a unique perspective on research methodologies grounded in the principles of cultural sustainability and embracing of the power of collaboration within and across communities to co-create representations of culture.  This course explores multiple research approaches and modalities to understand the implications of fieldwork and the critical role of research in working with communities.  Students examine issues of subject position, representation, mediation, collaboration, and action.  Finally, students analyze extractive and colonizing histories in ethnography to shape alternative approaches that are community-based and community-driven.  Prerequisite or Concurrent with: CSP600

CSP 675: Capstone (6 credits) The Capstone is undertaken over two semesters.  Students work with a committee of three advisors and choose either an immersion fieldwork project, a public program in a cultural institution or community, or an academic thesis. Under the mentorship of a faculty advisor, students develop their proposal in the semester prior to beginning their Capstone. Students are expected to present and defend a final document which demonstrates mastery of the core concepts of cultural sustainability.  Students must submit a Letter of Intent to be approved by the Program Director on order to be enrolled in their Capstone.

Capstone Letter of Intent

Capstone Proposal Application

Capstone Proposal Guidelines

Committee Contact Sheet

View Capstone Projects