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.
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.
CSP 610: Introduction to Cultural Documentation (3 credits) Cultural documentation provides an orientation and foundation in the methodologies used to understand and engage with the cultural processes and assets of value to communities. This course introduces best practices in cultural documentation, the use of ethnographic fieldwork and digital media to record and understand culture, and the ethical and practical issues involved in appropriately and effectively engaging with people in a variety of community contexts.
CSP 610F: Introduction to Cultural Documentation-Field Lab (1.5 credits) The Cultural Documentation Field Lab provides the opportunity for students to apply the skills, tools, and perspectives they have explored in Introduction to Cultural Documentation to their own work. In this course students will undertake a cultural documentation project in a community selected in consultation with the instructor and will be expected to submit a professional quality body of fieldwork material including notes, resource listings, and media along with a report detailing and reflecting on their findings. Prerequisite: CSP610.
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.
CSP 670 Ethnographic Methodologies (1.5 credits) At the heart of cultural sustainability is the ability to appropriately perceive need, value, cultural knowledge, meaning, and voice from the emic (insider's) perspective. Ethnography is a qualitative research strategy that engages cultural workers with community members to explore and represent cultural phenomena. This is community-action research. Literally, ethnography is a means to represent graphically (in writing, photography, film) the culture (ethno) of a people. This course will be offered in three sections, each of which focuses on specific methodologies including: research, visual ethnography and writing. Students are allowed to take more than one of these offerings.
CSP 675: Capstone (6 credits) The Capstone is undertaken with a committee of three advisors. Students 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.