College of Arts and Letters2021-2022

Department of Comparative Cultural Studies

Comparative Cultural Studies, Bachelor of Arts

Learning Outcomes

Purpose Statement

The B.A. in Comparative Cultural Studies is a 49-58 credit degree whose aim is to provide students with
a comparative, integrative and global approach to the study of human culture in its diversity and interconnections. The different emphases in the CCS B.A. degree introduce students to the complexities of diverse human cultures, both past and present; in the process, they develop the skills of analysis, interpretation and communication crucial to both their academic and professional development. 

Student Learning Outcomes


All Comparative Cultural Studies Degrees

  • CRITICAL THINKING – CCS graduates will have learned to assess the validity of arguments, evidence and conclusions in scholarly proposals regarding global cultural expressions.
  • CRITICAL READING – CCS graduates will be skilled at identifying global perspectives, values, and claims made in original works and the scholarship regarding those works, and analyzing current issues using these approaches.
  • EFFECTIVE WRITING – CCS graduates will have demonstrated the ability to articulate a thesis, provide comprehensive analysis of evidence, and suggest well-grounded conclusions in a variety of professionally executed documents.
  • INTERDISCIPLINARITY – CCS graduates will have familiarized themselves with and applied interdisciplinary methods fundamental to global scholarly work in Art History, the Humanities, and Religious Studies.
  • COMPARATIVE CULTURAL AWARENESS – CCS graduates will leave the department with an awareness of, and respect for, differing cultural viewpoints. Graduates will be able to communicate, both orally and in written form, about how such global perspectives influence the creation and reception of works of art, literature, and religious expression.  They will also be able to work successfully with individuals with differing cultural and religious backgrounds in diverse settings.
Comparative Cultural Studies: Emphasis in Art History
  • CRITICAL THINKING – Graduates of the ARH Emphasis will know how to assess the validity of arguments, evidence, and conclusions in art historical scholarship on global art/visual culture.  They will have learned and have demonstrated visual acuity skills in analyzing and assessing the visual rhetoric employed in the objects of their study.
  • CRITICAL READING – Graduates of the Art History Emphasis will be skilled at identifying the global perspectives, methods of analysis, values and claims made in primary sources and the scholarship relative to those sources.  They will be able to employ these skills in analyzing current aspects of visual culture and/or new visual works they encounter.   Because visual acuity/visual literacy is foundational in the discipline of Art History, the concept of critical “reading” is here understood to apply both to the visual apprehension of works of art/architecture/visual culture and the verbal sources related to those visual artifacts.
  • EFFECTIVE WRITING – Graduates of the Art History Emphasis will know how to articulate a thesis, provide comprehensive analysis of evidence, employing a variety of art historical methods, and offer well-grounded conclusions in a variety of professionally-executed documents on global art historical topics.  Art History students will be able to apply these skills to fundamental types of art historical writing such as exhibition catalogue entries and scholarly essays.
  • INTERDISCIPLINARITY – Graduates of the Art History Emphasis will be able to verbally articulate aspects of visual rhetoric employed in a variety of global visual media (e.g. painting, sculpture, architecture, photography).  They will also be able to apply interdisciplinary methods fundamental to global scholarly work not only in Art History, but also in related disciplines such as the Humanities and Religious Studies.
  • COMPARATIVE CULTURAL AWARENESS – Art History graduates will leave the Emphasis with an awareness of, and respect for, differing cultural viewpoints.  Graduates will have learned that global perspectives influence the creation and reception of works of art, literature, and religious expression and will be able to articulate how differing perspectives are manifest in the diverse visual cultures.
Comparative Cultural Studies: Emphasis in Asian Studies
  • CRITICAL THINKING - Graduates of the ASN Emphasis will have learned to assess the validity of arguments, evidence, and conclusions in scholarly prublications regarding global knowledge of Asian Studies based on historical, cultural, linguistic, social scientific, and artistic analyses.
  • CRITICAL READING - Graduates of the ASN Emphasis will have acquired skills to identify and evaluate Asian studies perspectives, values, and claims made in original works and the scholarship regarding those works.
  • EFFECTIVE WRITING - Graduates of the ASN Emphasis will have demonstrated the ability to articulate a thesis, provide comprehensive analysis of evidence, and suggest well-grounded conclusions in a variety of professionally executed documents.
  • CIVIL DISCOURSE - Graduates of the ASN Emphasis will know how to conduct themselves among their peers in terms of offering and being receptive to constructive criticism in regard to a global understanding of cultural differences and social conditions. ASN graduates will have the ability to negotiate cultural differences in social and professional contexts.
  • INTERDISCIPLINARITY - Graduates of the ASN Emphasis will have amiliarized themselves with interdisciplinary methods fundamental to global scholarly work in Asian Studies pertaining to a minimum of three disciplines covered in the Asian Studies minor curriculum, such as Art History, Geography, History, Humanities, Languages, Comparative Literature, Musicology, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religious Studies.
  • GLOBAL ASIAN STUDIES AWARENESS - Students of the ASN Emphasis will graduate with an awareness of, and respect for, differing cultural viewpoints. Graduates will understand how expressions of human values and aspirations pertaining to various cultures are created and received, will evaluate conflicting claims, and will be able to apply this understanding to interpersonal and professional settings in their various post-graduate careers.
Comparative Cultural Studies: Emphasis in Asian and North African Studies - Interdisciplinary Global Program (ANS-IGP)
  • CRITICAL THINKING - Graduates of the ANS-IGP Emphasis will have learned to assess the validity of arguments, evidence, and conclusions in scholarly publications regarding global knowledge of Asian and North African Studies based on historical, cultural, linguistic, social scientific, and artistic analyses.
  • CRITICAL READING -  Graduates of the ANS-IGP Emphasis will have acquired skills to identify and evaluate Asian and North African perspectives, values, and claims made in original works and the scholarship regarding those works.
  • EFFECTIVE WRITING - Graduates of the ANS-IGP Emphasis will have demonstrated the ability to articulate a thesis, provide comprehensive analysis of evidence, and suggest well-grounded conclusions in a variety of professionally executed documents.
  • CIVIL DISCOURSE - Graduates of the ANS-IGP Emphasis will know how to conduct themselves among their peers in terms of offering and being receptive to constructive criticism in regard to a global understanding of cultural differences and social conditions. ANS graduates will have the ability to negotiate cultural differences in social and professional contexts.
  • INTERDISCIPLINARITY - Graduates of the ANS-IGP Emphasis will have familiarized themselves with interdisciplinary methods fundamental to global scholarly work in Asian and North African Studies, including coursework in the following disciplines: Art History, Geography, History, Humanities, Languages, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, Political Science, and Religious Studies.
  • GLOBAL ASIAN AND NORTH AFRICAN STUDIES AWARENESS - Students of the ANS-IGP Emphasis will graduate with an awareness of, and respect for, differing cultural viewpoints. Graduates will understand how expressions of human values and aspirations pertaining to various cultures are created and received, will evaluate conflicting claims, and will be able to apply this understanding to interpersonal and professional settings in their various post-graduate careers.
In addition to the above student learning outcomes, graduates of the ANS-IGP Emphasis will gain a practical experience concerning the professional culture of their chosen discipline within their country of focus based on an intensive 12-credit study-abroad ANS intership.

Comparative Cultural Studies: Emphasis in Comparative Study of Religions
  • CRITICAL THINKING – Graduates of the REL Emphasis will know and be able to apply a variety of modern academic approaches and methods to the analysis of global religious phenomena, including discourse, practices, values, and material culture. They will have demonstrated ability to apply historical-critical analysis, based upon publicly accessible reasoning, to diverse religious discourses and practices.
  • CRITICAL READING – Graduates of the REL Emphasis will have mastered the ability to produce culturally-contextual interpretations of religious texts by analyzing them as products of diverse human societies under specific conditions, and outlining their structure and logic within the intellectual tradition they represent.
  • EFFECTIVE WRITING – Graduates of the REL Emphasis will have demonstrated the ability to produce clear, coherent written presentations and analyses of information in a number of different lengths and levels of detail, for readers with varying degrees of prior familiarity with the field of religious studies.
  • CIVIL DISCOURSE – Graduates of the REL Emphasis will have learned to use neutral, comparative terminology in describing and analyzing religious phenomena. They will have demonstrated the ability to speak and write about religious subjects without prescription or prejudice, advocacy or polemics, and in this way to contribute to civil public dialogue regarding the diversity of global religious beliefs, practices, and values.
  • INTERDISCIPLINARITY – Graduates of the REL Emphasis will be able to explain the different kinds of human expression involved in written and oral literature, ritual, art, architecture, and codes of conduct, and what constitutes valid interpretation of each form. They will have demonstrated ability to employ approaches and methods from a variety of academic disciplines appropriately to the nature of the material or issue being investigated, such as history, art history, comparative literature, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and philosophy.
  • CULTURAL AWARENESS – Graduates of the REL Emphasis will be able to communicate the relation of religious phenomena to common conditions, concerns, and aspirations shared by human beings globally, and to explain the development of diverse religious traditions in contact and interaction with one another as constitutive elements of global human cultures.  Thus, they will be able to work successfully with others of differing cultural and religious backgrounds in settings as diverse as business enterprises, cultural preservation efforts, educational institutions, and hospice or social service organizations.
Comparative Cultural Studies: Emphasis in Public Humanities
  • INTERDISCIPLINARITY
    • Generate viewpoints integrating the history, nature, experiences, values, and expressions of diverse cultures and communities over multiple topics including borders and regions; ideas and values; and environment and technology.
    • Plan, organize, and implement a model or theory, informed by insights from multiple disciplines—including traditional humanities disciplines and the social and environmental sciences—that may be applied as problem-solving approaches for public art and cultural organization, management, activities, and expressions.
    • Develop practical, well-reasoned, historically aware, and culturally sensitive models or theories to initiate just and sustainable social and environmental change in the interest of public issues, concerns, and decisions.
  • CRITICAL READING
    • Recognize the plural methods in which texts reveal similarities and dissimilarities over issues and themes common to humankind, including those of birth rights, individual rights, community expectations, governance, freedom, war, gender, migrations and borders, environment, technology, and the pursuit of knowledge about self, community, and nature in terms including love, empathy, suffering, death, dying, and ethics.
    • Interpret texts across diverse ancient and modern cultures with an understanding of their socio-cultural, civic, historical, philosophical, aesthetic, environmental, theoretical, and biographical contexts.
    • Evaluate the insight, accuracy, clarity, aesthetic, usefulness, and persuasiveness of diverse modes of expression, including creative, speculative, personal, academic, professional, and public texts in the fields of philosophy, religion, visual art, environment, music, theatre, literature, film, technology, and media.
  • CRITICAL THINKING
    • Analyze how his/her own cultural, aesthetic, ideological, and disciplinary perspectives constrict or expand an awareness of textual, cultural, and disciplinary plurality. 
    • Synthesize differences across diverse ancient and modern cultures and disciplines, including traditional humanities disciplines and the social and environmental sciences, in order to contribute original definitions, evaluations, comparisons, causal analyses, problem-solution arguments, and applications that enable better participation in an increasingly international and interdisciplinary world.
  • EFFECTIVE WRITING
    • Compose clear, specific, well-organized, persuasive, and relevant prose in several rhetorical styles, genres, and conventions in response to the needs of varying audiences and purposes in business, non-profit, research, academic, public relations, and public situations.
    • Combine information to inquire into and create relevant arguments about the plurality of cultural observation, value, and expression, including the philosophical, religious, aesthetic, and technological frameworks wherein humans organize perceptions and interactions with their communities and environment.

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