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Courses for Spring 2015


Each student will enroll in the interdisciplinary team-taught course:

CAST 976/ANTH 976. London: The Global City.
(Counts as the equivalent of 1.5 full courses.)

This course will use London as a social laboratory through which to study the interaction of global forces and local places. As the first global city, London provides a distinctive opportunity for students to reflect on its significance, the factors that gave rise to its preeminence, and its embeddedness in world systems. We will study different patterns of immigration, international financial flows, Empire, national identity, sexuality, land use, and technological innovation.

The class will include visits to the actual places where global flows occur in London, such as the Houses of Parliament, the European Commission Office, the Bank of England, the London Stock Exchange, London Fashion Week, and the BBC. Students will also study the infrastructure projects necessary to support its global reach, including sewers, roadways, and rail, prompting a visit to the London Transport Museum. Students will assemble a portfolio analyzing their choice of a specific transnational process (for example, a specific immigrant community, commodity, literary review, policy proposal, commodity, fashion, insurance, shipping, media, manufactured good, service, transnational social movement, etc.), tracking where it comes from, where it manifests in London, and its relationship to other global cities.

Counts toward the major in Comparative American Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, and Law & Society. Gina Perez and Baron Pineda.

Each student will elect ONE of the following two courses taught by the Oberlin faculty:

CAST 977. Immigrant London.
(Counts as the equivalent of 1.5 full courses.)

A recent report by the London School of Economics notes that the past two decades have witnessed significant increases in immigration and the diversification of London’s immigrant communities. Why do people migrate to London? What are the sending communities for recent migration to the city? What kinds of employment do immigrants find in the city and what is the response by non-migrant communities? Is transnationalism an appropriate frame for understanding migrant life in London? And what are the experiences of second-generation immigrants in the city?  This seminar provides an historicized account of immigrant London that explores the ways race, class, gender, ethnicity, religion, and politics shape immigrant experiences. Readings and discussions will be complemented with visits to museums, neighborhood tours, and public performances to provide students with a complex understanding of immigrant experiences. Students will keep weekly journals, write response papers, and be required to focus on the history and/or contemporary experiences of one immigrant group in London for a final project.

Counts toward the major in Comparative American Studies and Sociology. Gina Perez.

ANTH 970. Culture Clash: Ethnographic Case Studies in Race, Class, Gender, and Religion in Contemporary Great Britain.
(Counts as the equivalent of 1.5 full courses.)

Today’s Great Britain, and Europe more broadly, is becoming increasingly diverse in terms of race, culture, religion, and national origin. Defining what it means to be English or European is an exercise that faces particular challenges in the present multicultural moment. Is England Christian? Is it White? Is it accepting? What is British culture and what is foreign? What are English common values? Is there class mobility? Should there be? The debates around these questions are intensified by the widespread fear among the British that Great Britain is receding in wealth, power, and prestige globally. Is Great Britain still great? What will a resurgent Great Britain look like in the 21st century? Through ethnographic case studies grounded in people’s lived experiences and their particular constructions of identity in Great Britain, we will examine these issues in this course, focusing on themes such as multiculturalism, citizenship, class mobility, dress, race/whiteness, religious pluralism, historical memory, colonialism/legacies of slavery and empire, language, education, media, nativism, and human rights/legal pluralism. We will also choose some cases from “the continent” for comparison. Students will practice qualitative research skills including participant/observation, focus groups, and interviewing techniques focused on investigating these particular issues.

Counts toward the major in Anthropology, Sociology, and Law & Society. Baron Pineda.

Each student will also elect ONE of the following two courses taught by the resident faculty in London:

LOND 907. The History of London. Full course. SS credit.

This course explores the history of London from its Roman origins to the present day and examines how royalty, trade, religion, and transport have shaped the city’s pattern of growth over 2000 years. Counts toward the History major. Katy Layton-Jones.

LOND 908. The London Stage. Full course. HU credit.

This course aims to expose students to contemporary British theatre in all its variety. At its heart will be discussion of productions in the current London repertory, with plays ranging from classical to contemporary, and venues including subsidized, commercial, and fringe theatres. Counts toward the English major. Donna Vinter.