General Education Diversity Courses

Aside from exposing you to the research topics and methods of the various disciplines, your General Education courses will engage you in conversations and concepts that are important to responsible citizens of contemporary society. Every course will approach these big ideas differently, in ways appropriate to that discipline and the course context.

Engaging the idea of diversity

The following General Education courses being taught in Fall 2020Spring 2020, and Fall 2019 all intentionally engage with the idea of diversity. The definition, context, and relevant content will change from course to course, but in each one students will discuss diversity as it is understood in that discipline and consider how those ideas can be applied outside the classroom. 

See the college catalog for the official course descriptions and for the General Education requirement they fulfill.


Fall 2020 Offerings

ARTH101 History of Art: Prehistoric Through Medieval.

This course explores diversity through the study of the visual arts and architecture from the civilizations of the geographical and cultural areas today we know as Europe, Anatolia, the Middle East, and North Africa from the Prehistoric period to the Middle Ages. In this course, students discuss all related aspects which “affect” the art or are affected by art such as religion and religious rituals, politics, daily life requirements, ethnicity, cultural differences, geographical conditions etc. This course will enable the student to identify, analyze and interpret works of art/architecture in a diverse array of traditions.

ARTH 290-04: Special Topics: The Art and Architecture of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East

This course investigates the material culture of the civilizations who lived throughout the Eastern Mediterranean and Mesopotamia from the Neolithic period to the Achaemenid Persian Empire.  We will investigate how these different peoples interacted with one another over time and in doing so consider questions of identity.  How did ancient Near Easterners understand their cultural and ethnic differences?  How did these differences influence ancient society and manifest in art and architecture?  

CLAS 303/HIST 370

The Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians who inhabited ancient Alexandria followed radically different religious, social, cultural, and economic practices, yet were bound together by their identification as “Alexandrians.” Was this just a geographical description, or did it mean something special to be “Alexandrian”? This course examines relationships and intersections of Alexandria’s communities, whose interactions varied from peaceful to tense to openly violent, and explores the ways in which this diverse community forged a sense of shared identity.

DANC 331: History of Western Dance

This course focuses not just on dance history, but prompts larger conversations about gender disparity in the dance world, sexual harassment and systemic abuses of power, issues of racial and class inequality in opportunities for dance training and performances, and how certain dances reinforces these ideas. These issues have existed since the beginnings of western dance and unfortunately still continue to this day.  

 

ENGL 290: Illness Narratives

Illness does not exist in a vacuum, so factors like neurodiversity, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender are important to consider when we read stories about mental or physical dis-ease. Some important readings include Jenny Lawson's Furiously Happy (a book about depression and anxiety), Susan Nussbaum's Good Kings, Bad Kings, (about disability and also sexuality), and The Sprit Catches You and You Fall Down, about ethnicity and cultural competence.  We also will be working with diverse members of our community as we hear the stories of hospice patients.

HONS 175 – 01 Approaches to Religion: Making Believe and Making Belief in the Study of Religion

This honors course introduces students to the academic study of religion as a social-cultural phenomenon. Focusing primarily on analytical and methodological approaches drawn from the discipline of Performance Studies, we examine the central importance of embodied practices (rituals, microrituals, habits, comportments) for the development of “religious” consciousness. We examine historical and ethnographic accounts drawn from diverse cultural contexts including: Southeast Asian Buddhism, Euro-American Protestantism, and Haitian Vodou in order to illuminate the various ways that humans make sense of the cosmos.

 

LACS 101: Introduction to Latin American and Caribbean Studies

The main student learning outcome for this course is for students to demonstrate an understanding of the diversity and complexity of the Latin American and/or Caribbean experiences as well as look at the Latino experience in the United States. The course debunks the myths about the region perpetuated by the United States and students ideally come to understand the region as a diverse, complex, rich, and fascinating region of study.

 

LTPO 270: Cultural Studies Through Film

All films watched in this class require a cultural component. Students read and learn about the geographic, historic, social, and political contextual background of each film, plus beliefs, knowledge, rituals, morals, habits, traditions, manners, customs. We discuss these issues and how the film director examines a subject through their films. Students discuss and also compare with the same themes/topics in the US. We examine diversity in the sense of social inequality, internal migration, race, and gender.

MEDH 200:  Introduction to Medical Humanities

The culture of medicine (and of most healthcare) has grown to be white and patriarchal; we question this construction through our unit in philosophy (what do people define as illness?  How do race, culture, and gender determine this?), Culture, Race, Gender, and Sexuality.  We also write illness narratives that are framed around issues of race, SES, culture, or gender, and we write an EHRAF paper asking students to use a cultural anthropology database. 

PHIL 206: Topics in Law & Morality: Lesbian, Gay, & Transgender Rights

Examines the gap between cultural aspirations some of us have concerning civil and human rights in two closely intertwined (but distinct) areas—gender identity & sexual identity—and the history and current cultural reality of existing legal institutions and practices in this area.

 

PSYC 103: Introduction to Psychological Science

How do human beings differ from each other, and from other animals?  Do people from different cultures perceive the world in different ways?  How do different social and cultural groups form?  How do humans develop prejudices against these groups?  What is neurodiversity?  Questions like these are at the heart of psychological science, and each PSYC 103 section will touch on a subset of them.

RELS 101-01: Approaches to Religion: Making Believe and Making Belief in the Study of Religion

This course introduces students to the academic study of religion as a social-cultural phenomenon. Focusing primarily on analytical and methodological approaches drawn from the discipline of Performance Studies, we examine the central importance of embodied practices (rituals, microrituals, habits, comportments) for the development of “religious” consciousness. We examine historical and ethnographic accounts drawn from diverse cultural contexts including: Southeast Asian Buddhism, Euro-American Protestantism, and Haitian Vodou in order to illuminate the various ways that humans make sense of the cosmos.

RELS 105: Introduction to World Religions

is an introduction to the study of religion and of the world's major religious traditions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Our study will include historical development, sacred text, ritual, and concepts of the divine. Students will, 1) learn a critical approach to the study of religion, 2) gain a general knowledge of each of the world’s major religions, 3) ‘cross over’ to the cultural worldview of others, 4) develop greater empathy and appreciation for these cultures.

RELS 120.01/02: Religion, Art, and Culture

"Religion, Art, and Culture," which has as its subtitle: "Searching for the Sacred, the Strange, and the Substance of Faith in the South." This course is cross-listed as SOST 175 "Religions in the US South." The main theme of "searching for the sacred and the strange" takes us away from mainstream Christianity to explore the religiosity and aesthetic expression of socially marginalized individuals, whose visionary experiences inspire their creation of religious art, music, and food. The course features three different social sites and social groups: white rural Southern Evangelical Christian "outsider" artists; then we move to New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, where we examine the relationship between African religions, voodoo, jazz funerals, and Mardi Gras Indians; and finally, we return to Charleston to examine the African American Gullah-Geechee tradition of communicating with the dead and African ancestors through visions, dreams, stories, sweetgrass basketry, and spirituals. One of the course goals is to gain appreciation for the diversity of Southern subcultures and peoples, their shared humanity and creativity, especially among eccentric "outsiders": artists, storytellers, musicians and performers.

SPAN 320: Introduction to Textual Analysis

In this course, which is an introduction to literature from Spain and Latin America, students engage with and explore diversity through their study of a variety of literary texts which showcase different cultural norms and practices, linguistic varieties, gender and sexual diversities, as well as raise awareness of issues faced by marginalized communities and disadvantaged groups.

Span 333.01: Topics in Hispanic Cultures: Exploring Iberian Cultures: The Foundations of Spain

Multicultural awareness, religious tolerance, and the ability to see the world through diverse viewpoints are of critical importance for citizens of the 21st century. Spain provides a unique test case for examining these issues due to its regional diversity and the religious pluralism that came about as Christians, Jews, and Muslims coexisted in the Iberian Peninsula for more than seven centuries. How can the legacy of convivencia (or living together) and the cultural hybridity among Iberia’s diverse groups help us understand current discourses in multiculturalism, political fragmentation, and religious tolerance in 21st-century America and Spain? This course will allow you a better understanding of Iberian art, geographical and regional diversity, discourses of inclusion and some of the ways that certain citizens get excluded or marginalized by official discourses.  

 

THTR 310: Theatre History Origins to 1750

covers theatrical history and dramatic literature from theatre's origins in African storytelling traditions through Age of Enlightenment and its accompanying spread of colonialism during the early seventeenth century. Over 1/3 of the theatre and performance examples are drawn from either works by women or non-European traditions (or both!). Throughout the course, students are encouraged to interrogate the canon and propose alternative historiographical questions through a culminating research project.

THTR 321: Children’s Theatre 

This course opens up the world of theatre written for children onstage and in the audience. The plays and musicals studied include stories from Native American, African American, and Cajun Black Magic culture along with strong female protagonists. We will discuss how these plays reflect the culture of their origin and introduce children to diverse voices. Playwriting, acting, directing, design and technical  theatre is explored throughout the course through practical learning experiences that are ”non-theatre major friendly,” but are still very useful for theatre majors. 

WGST200: Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies

Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies engages with issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice through readings, course activities, and assignments. Students can expect to develop a deeper understanding of how historical and current societies are organized by gender as well as by race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, social class, (dis)ability and other social categories. Students also will explore how individual identities and experiences are shaped by these categories and the various hierarchies associated with them. As an interdisciplinary course, students can expect to also engage with a diversity of approaches, perspectives, and disciplinary conventions as they explore a wide range of topics.

HONS 226 Honors Colloquium: Foundations of Western Civilization Pre-Modern History

All honors colloquia are required to focus on a central and enduring question.  For this course, that question is: what are the ideas that shaped Western identity in the pre-modern world?  This course-wide theme also envelopes a history specific one.  The vital reason that a knowledge of history is key to all educated voters in a democracy is that people utilize the past:  they use it to describe themselves and people like them as good, and individuals different from them as bad.  The class will provide specific examples of this process.

 

Spring 2020 Offerings 

AAST 290/LTGR 270 We are Germans: The African Diaspora in German-speaking Europe

In this course, we will examine the lives of Germans of African descent and their perspectives on nationality, ethnicity, and identity. Readings and films focus on autobiographical encounters of African Americans (sociologist and activist W.E.B. DuBois, poet-feminist activist Audre Lorde), Black Germans (journalist Hans-Jürgen Massaquoi, poet-activist May Ayim, filmmaker Mo Asumang), and African migrants with German and European culture. Themes of the course include: “How We Got Here,” “Growing up Black and German,” and “Speaking our Truths.”

ARTH 290 ST: African American Art

This course explores the history of African American art from the colonial period to today.  Special focus will be given to craft traditions and to the visual expression of racial identity along with gender, class, political, and national identities.  We will explore a range of art made in different media including the domestic arts, architecture, photography, painting, sculpture and mixed media.

ENGL234: Survey of Third-World Masterpieces

In this class we discuss race, the history of race, the construction of race through language, and the diffusion of racial and other stereotyping by way of literature (and culture more broadly). We look at the complexity and multiplicity of differences within "racial," cultural, ethnic, and national groups that from an outsider's US-centric perspective might look or be represented as homogeneous. We look at movement and migration over time and place, looking at the impact of cultural exchange.

ENGL 361: Medieval Feminism

In this course focused on the literature of Britain prior to 1500, we investigate conceptions of gender specific to medieval England and analyze affinities with and divergences from 21st-century North American gender constructs. This course focuses directly on ways gender is used to structure society then and now, the powerful effects of patriarchal culture, and medieval and modern strategies for counteracting it.

JWST 210: Jewish History I: Ancient to Modern: Ancient to Medieval Jewish History

This course surveys the diverse social, economic, religious and political experiences of Jews in the pre-modern world, and particularly their interaction with majority cultures. We focus first on the Greco-Roman period, when the foundations of both Judaism and Christianity were laid, and then continue through the Middle Ages, comparing the Jewish experience in the Christian and Islamic worlds. We end in the seventeenth century, where in many ways the transformations of Jewish (and Western) life in the modern era were already poised to begin. No background needed. Fills general education history requirement. 

MUSC 234: Music in Latin America 

This course is intended as an introduction to some of the wide range of traditional and popular musics of Latin America seen through the disciplinary lens of ethnomusicology. . We will explore the connections between music and race, ethnicity, religion, gender, politics, history, and other topics, drawing on case studies from Mexico, the Hispanic Caribbean, and South America. No prerequisites; no prior background in music necessary.

RELS 101.02 Approaches to Religion: "Pilgrimage to Sacred Places in N. America, India, and Tibet"

This course introduces students to American Christianity, to Indian Hinduism and to Tibetan Buddhism by focusing on their distinctive understandings of sacred place and pilgrimage. We first explore Christianity in the South by visiting many odd and fascinating roadside religious attractions. Then we travel to the ancient sacred city of Varanasi, which will serve as a lens through which the worldview on Hindu pilgrims comes into focus. Finally we journey to Mt. Kailash in the Himalayas, regarded by Tibetan Buddhists as the central axis of the universe and a very powerful pilgrimage site.

RELS 105: Introduction to World Religions

This course explores diversity through the study of beliefs, practices and cultures of the world's major religions. The course is comparative in method and global in scope. Students analyze how religious beliefs are represented, interpreted and valued in a diverse array of traditions. The sacred texts of these traditions serve as primary texts under examination.

RELS 115: Religion and Society: Black Religion and Black Nationalism From Slave Rebellions to Black Lives Matter

This course introduces students to the religious ideas and practices from across the African diaspora that gave rise to the political tradition now known as “Black nationalism.” While the tradition is often imagined to be secular (even anti-religious), this course explores the deep religious roots of Black struggles to create a new nation—from slave rebellions to the Black Power revolution to our contemporary Black Lives Matter movement. Students will survey Black religion and Black nationalism as well as examine the emergence of “religion” and “nationalism” as modern categories.

RELS 205.01 Sacred Texts of the East and Their Modern Meanings in the West

This course will examine three religious classics in depth from India: the most famous Hindu text named the Bhagavad Gita; The Yoga Sutra that is today considered a perennial classic and guide to yoga practice; and the first biography to tell the Buddha's story from his conception to his enlightenment. First, we will place these texts in their Hindu and Buddhist contexts and consider how they were used and understood differently within India, before we examine how new meanings and values were discovered when these texts were translated in Europe and consumed in modern America.

RELS 250: Religion in America

Some people call the United States of America a “Christian nation” while others consider it the most religiously diverse nation in the world. What is the history of religion in America? What does American religious life look like today? And what does it mean to call something an “American religion” in the first place? Students will engage each of these questions as they are introduced to religion in the American past and present. Students will explore topics ranging from encounters between Native Americans, Europeans, and Africans in the colonial Americas to the rise of American evangelicalism to Islam and Atheism in the post-9/11 United States. Special attention will be paid religion in

THTR 288-03 Selected Topics: Reading Hamilton - Representation & History in the American Musical

This course will examine Lin-Manuel Miranda’s blockbuster musical Hamilton for how it has changed the ways we look at both American musical theatre and American history. We will look at the celebrations and controversies that have surrounded the play and examine how it has (and hasn’t) impacted public participation in history and theatre. Issues of diversity will be central to discussions of many aspects of the play, from its casting to its historiography. Secondary texts for the class will directly engage with concepts of diversity and representation on the stage.

THTR 321 Children’s Theatre 

This course opens up the world of theatre written for children onstage and in the audience. The plays and musicals studied include stories from Native American, African American, and Cajun Black Magic culture along with strong female protagonists. We will discuss how these plays reflect the culture of their origin and introduce children to diverse voices. Playwriting, acting, directing, design and technical  theatre is explored throughout the course through practical learning experiences that are ”non-theatre major friendly”, but are still very useful for theatre majors. 


Fall 2019 Offerings 

ANTH 101: Introduction to Anthropology

Introduction to Anthropology allows students to confront the challenges of understanding biological and cultural similarities and differences in time and space. It does this via a comparative, holistic approach that takes the entire range of human diversity as its field of study. Thus students will explore human diversity within the four fields of anthropology: archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and sociocultural anthropology. In doing so, students gain an understanding of the full range of human diversity as influenced by culture, race/ethnicity, gender, age, and many other dimensions. It also examines how assumptions about human identity relate to historical and contemporary issues of power and prejudice.

ANTH 201: Cultural Anthropology

Cultural Anthropology addresses the lived experience of diverse people around the world. It provides a comparative perspective to highlight similarities and differences in how people make sense of their world. Understanding diversity is central to key anthropological concepts such as culture, holism, and relativity. The course provides an opportunity for students to examine aspects of social interaction that we consider “normal” by making the strange familiar and the familiar strange.

ANTH 202: Introduction to Archaeology

Archaeology is part of the broader field of anthropology, the study of human beings in all times and in all places.  Archaeologists interpret the diverse material record of patterned human behavior that occurred in the past.  Pottery, projectile points, burials, walls, ancient agricultural fields, plant parts, soil cores, and ancient pollen are some examples of materials collected.  It is the vertical and horizontal relationships among all material remains found in an archaeological site that yield the vital information which takes us beyond the artifacts themselves. Because scientific archaeology is practiced throughout the world, it contributes to our understanding of past cultural diversity everywhere.

ANTH 203: Introduction to Biological Anthropology

Biological Anthropology examines the biological and biocultural exploration of human diversity. Topics include anthropological methods, evolutionary theory and mechanisms, genetics, primatology, human evolution and human variation, as well as race, health, and life history. Additionally this course encourages and strengthens critical thinking and analytical skills in relation to these topics so that students are able to discuss them in both academic and non-academic settings. 

ANTH 205: Language and Culture

This course involves a study of language in its diverse social and cultural contexts. It stresses the relationships between the diversity of languages and their impact on how we transmit meaning and worldview, and create social identities. The course examines the dilemmas surrounding the place for linguistic diversity in a rapidly globalizing world.

EDFS 201: Foundations of Education

Education has been central to capitalizing on the human diversity found in America and striving towards making ‘E pluribus unum’ a reality. Understanding this diversity is fundamental to the examination of the American public school system. Throughout our history as waves of diverse people and ideas washed up on our shores, education has been a central venue for debating and enacting America’s social, political, and economic goals. This course will chronicle this history with an eye towards understanding our contemporary diversity and how America can capitalize on this diversity and create a more equitable education system.

HIST 116.18: Gender, Race, and Sexualities in the West 

The course focuses on the application or failures of the Enlightenment on the nineteenth and 20th centuries in Europe and America, discussing themes of feminism, civil rights, queer liberation, and issues related to the construction and anxieties around social hierarchies.

HIST 361: Mexico's Recent Past

We often receive a distorted, one-dimensional view of Mexico and its people in the U.S. media. This course will focus on developing a more nuanced understanding of Mexico through an exploration of its recent history. We will explore a variety of topics related to diversity including immigration, indigenous rights movements, armed resistance movements, and the effects of economic policies on rural communities.

JWST 215: Modern Jewish History 

This course surveys modern history through the lens of the Jewish minority, and thereby come to better understanding of society as a whole. We consider fundamental issues of contemporary life such as the meaning of nationhood and who it includes, majority/minority relations, modern politics, immigration, economic change, continuity and change in religion and more. No background needed. Fills general education history requirement. 

LACS 101-01: Introduction to Latin America and the Caribbean

The main student learning outcome for this course is for students to demonstrate an understanding of the diversity and complexity of the Latin American and/or Caribbean experiences as well as look at the Latino experience in the United States. The course debunks the myths about the region perpetuated by the United States and students ideally come to understand the region as a diverse, complex, rich, and fascinating region of study.

LING 101: Introduction to Language

Have you thought about language diversity? Did you know that language is a part of our identity? Come learn about how languages from around the world differ within their linguistic systems; discuss the attitudes toward how we “should” speak versus how we “do” speak; find out about how we acquire a language; and learn about how our ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic or location forms our dialects.

LING 125: Introduction to Linguistics

Did you know that we all speak a dialect of a language? Did you know that every dialect has a linguistic system, a system of sounds, word formation, sentence formation and meaning? Did you know that there is no incorrect or inferior dialect or language? Come learn about linguistics and the doors it opens to all languages and disciplines.

LTPO 270: Cultural Studies Through Film

All films watched in this class require a cultural component. Students read and learn about the geographic, historic, social, and political contextual background of each film, plus beliefs, knowledge, rituals, morals, habits, traditions, manners, customs. We discuss these issues and how the film director examines a subject through their films. Students discuss and also compare with the same themes/topics in the US. We examine diversity in the sense of social inequality, internal migration, race, and gender.

MUSC 222-07 Special Topics:  Music, Gender, and Sexuality 

Music, gender, and sexuality have a lot in common. They are “cultural universals,” (every culture has them), yet there is remarkable difference between how each one is expressed in any given culture. In this course we will examine a wide variety of case studies drawn from the world’s musics, seeking to understand how these three concepts are interrelated. Case studies will include U.S. popular music (Rihanna, Beyoncé), Latin American popular music (cumbia, bachata, reggaetón), Balinese gamelan, folk music of India and Ghana, and Western classical music.

MUSC 233: World Music Cultures

This course explores the breadth of sounds and meanings that the concept ‘music’ entails around the world. We will seek to understand not only what makes individual music cultures unique, but also how common human experiences (migration, ritual, globalization) can allow us to ask meaningful comparative questions about global music cultures. Case studies will include Afro-Cuban Santería, Algerian raï, global hip hop, Bollywood music, zydeco, South African house (kwaito), and more.

PHIL298:  Queer Looks: Lesbian, Gay, & Transgender Portrayals in Film. 

Films both reflect and create cultural perceptions, about human sexuality and gender identity no less than other matters. This course will examine some aspects of the history of that cinematic treatment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people in films, starting in the silent era & working up to the 21st  century. In addition to viewing films and reading film criticism, we will also discuss a variety of historical, sociological, and philosophical writings pertaining to cultural study of gender queer portrayals in film.

PORT 202 is a language course, with a cultural component. We examine the Lusophone countries, their historical and cultural differences, customs, traditions, and how the Portuguese -speaking world is diverse. Portuguese is spoken in South America, Europe, and Africa. These continents have strong diversity in terms of race, gender, etc. Students who never heard about Portuguese in Africa become aware of the diversity of these countries.

PSYC103: Introduction to Psychological Science

How do human beings differ from each other, and from other animals?  Do people from different cultures perceive the world in different ways?  How do different social and cultural groups form?  How do humans develop prejudices against these groups?  What is neurodiversity?  Questions like these are at the heart of psychological science, and each PSYC 103 section will touch on a subset of them.

RELS 101.01 & 101.02: Approaches to Religion

“Sacred and Special Stuff.” When we hear the word “religion,” the first thing that probably comes to mind is belief. But when we actually encounter religion in the world, we soon find ourselves face to face with lots of stuff: rosary beads and hijabs, gongs and incense, prayer shawls and peace pipes, amulets and daggers and dolls. This course will introduce students to the academic study of religion through an exploration of some of the stuff – meaning, physical objects and material culture – that is significant for Christians in America, Muslims in Africa, and Buddhists in Asia. And, in the process, we will consider one of the most central questions for religious studies: what makes some stuff special or “sacred,” in the first place?

RELS 101_05: Approaches to Religion

“Ritual and Performance in the Study of Religion.” This course examines multiple theories of what we mean by “religion” and explores various approaches to the study of religion. In particular, our course focuses on diverse ritual practices among Southeast Asian Buddhists, contemporary Western Protestants, and African-inspired traditions in the Caribbean drawing on the resources of Performance Studies to help make familiar things seem strange and strange things seem familiar.

RELS 105: Introduction to World Religions

This class explores diversity through the study of beliefs, practices and cultures of the world's major religions. The course is comparative in method and global in scope. Students analyze how religious beliefs are represented, interpreted and valued in a diverse array of traditions. The sacred texts of these traditions serve as primary texts under examination.

RELS 120: Religion, Art, and Culture

“Searching for the Sacred, the Strange, and the Substance of Faith in the South." The main theme of "searching for the sacred and the strange" takes us away from mainstream Christianity to explore the religiosity and aesthetic expression of socially marginalized individuals, whose visionary experiences inspire their creation of religious art, music, and food. The course features three different social sites and social groups: white rural Southern Evangelical Christian "outsider" artists; then we move to New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, where we examine the relationship between African religions, voodoo, jazz funerals, and Mardi Gras Indians; and finally, we return to Charleston to examine the African American Gullah-Geechee tradition of communicating with the dead and African ancestors through visions, dreams, stories, sweetgrass basketry, and spirituals. One of the course goals is to gain appreciation for the diversity of Southern subcultures and peoples, their shared humanity and creativity, especially among eccentric "outsiders": artists, storytellers, musicians and performers.

RELS 270: African American Religions

This course will introduce students to African American religions in all their complexity and creativity. Students will explore the varieties of African American religion from the seventeenth century to the present, with special attention to the religious histories of Charleston and the Lowcountry. While much of our time will be devoted to African American Christianities, we will also explore African religions across the Atlantic as well as Islam, Catholicism, Judaism, and humanism. Throughout the semester we will discuss and debate key questions in the study of African American religion. What does Africa have to do with African American religions? Why would African American slaves become Christian and how did they transform Christianity? Were black churches catalysts or obstacles for black liberation? What is the relationship between religious and racial identity?

SOCY 101: Introduction to Sociology

This course examines racial, gender, income and other kinds of diversity.  We look at how diverse identities are constructed and also how they can become normalized in institutions. The focus of these explorations is on utilizing the concepts of power, privilege, and inequality to create a full understanding of diversity. 

SOCY 102: Contemporary Social Issues

What are the major social issues of our times? How can we solve these issues? This course familiarizes students with crucial social issues of our time and encourages students to think about these issues in a critical and scientific way. Focusing on social problems of the United States in a globalized era, we examine the ways that race, class, gender, age and ethnicity influence perceptions, experiences, and opportunities. 

SOCY 103: Sociology of the Family

This course examines how contemporary systems of marriage and family operate.  Different systems and variations of family will be critically examined and compared. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to identify and describe different forms of family organization. The history of the family and cross-cultural variations in family will be compared to contemporary American families.  Students will be able to understand how recent changes in family are related to economic, political, religious and cultural changes. Students should be able to describe and understand social class, ethnic  and racial variations in contemporary family.   Finally, students will be able to identify stages in the family life cycle and examine the problems caused by family violence, divorce and remarriage.

SOCY 109: Special Topics: Sociology of Food

This course asks the question: why do we eat what we do, the way we do? We address this by examining the ways food is a social marker that tells both ourselves and other people who we are as well as how access to food and the choice of what to eat is often a matter of social class, race/ethnicity, and gender. To make sense of inequalities in access to food by we look at where our food comes from, how social programs designed to provide access to food often make us fat and sick, and what it takes to create a food system that sustains diverse people, communities, and the environment.

SOCY 109: Special Topics: Sociology of Sport

Estimated at a value of over $400 billion, the sports industry has become one of the largest industries in the United States. As an inherently social phenomenon involving a diversity of groups and individuals, organized athletics is one of the most pervasive social institutions in the world, a fact that has contributed to its increasing popularity in sociological research. This course will introduce students to Sociology through Sport. Using a number of sociological concepts and theoretical approaches, we will explore the relationship between sports and society, paying specific attention to diversity and inequality on the basis of race, class, gender, and sexuality.  We will also examine organized athletics as a socialization agent and an economic enterprise.  Finally, we will adopt a social problems perspective in order to assess the extent to which the structure of organized athletics might produce some social problems despite seeming to help solve others.

SOCY 109: Special Topics: Sociology of Peace

Sociology of Peace is an interdisciplinary course with a sociological lens looking at the integration of tangible peaceful values and steps that lead to a culture of peace.  Within this paradigm lies a deep-seated need for diversity, interconnectedness & social justice.  This course touches on topics of non-violence communication, strategic non-violent actions, gender & racial, religious, ethnic equality as well as international goals and steps leading to the unity of all people & the planet.

SPAN101-202:

The Basic Spanish Language Program at the College of Charleston aims to introduce students not only to the Spanish language, but also to the diverse cultures that embody the Hispanic world, both in Europe and the Americas. Students also learn about the ever increasing Spanish-speaking population in the United States and how their study of Spanish can be useful here and now in their lives. 

SPAN 320: Introduction to Textual Analysis

In this course, which is an introduction to literature from Spain and Latin America, students engage with and explore diversity through their study of a variety of literary texts which showcase different cultural norms and practices, linguistic varieties, gender and sexual diversities, as well as raise awareness of issues faced by marginalized communities and disadvantaged groups.

Span 333.01: Topics in Hispanic Cultures: Exploring Iberian Cultures: The Foundations of Spain

Multicultural awareness, religious tolerance, and the ability to see the world through diverse viewpoints are of critical importance for citizens of the 21st century. Spain provides a unique test case for examining these issues due to its regional diversity and the religious pluralism that came about as Christians, Jews, and Muslims coexisted in the Iberian Peninsula for more than seven centuries. How can the legacy of convivencia (or living together) and the cultural hybridity among Iberia’s diverse groups help us understand current discourses in multiculturalism, political fragmentation, and religious tolerance in 21st-century America and Spain? This course will allow you a better understanding of Iberian art, geographical and regional diversity, discourses of inclusion and some of the ways that certain citizens get excluded or marginalized by official discourses.  

WGST 200: Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies

Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies engages with issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice through readings, course activities, and assignments. Students can expect to develop a deeper understanding of how historical and current societies are organized by gender as well as by race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, social class, (dis)ability and other social categories. Students also will explore how individual identities and experiences are shaped by these categories and the various hierarchies associated with them. As an interdisciplinary course, students can expect to also engage with a diversity of approaches, perspectives, and disciplinary conventions as they explore a wide range of topics.