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Spring 2024 Electives

To qualify as a GCPR elective, a course must have a significant participatory research component and/or significant content addressing the theory, method or practice of participatory research. In addition to the courses listed below, independent studies with a significant focus on participatory theory or methods may also qualify as electives. Please contact the Curriculum Chair (Sara Smith, and Advising Chair (Lauren Leve,, for formal approval of particular courses. Students are also encouraged to consult the list of past electives in planning their coursework, as departmental course offerings sometimes change after the website has been published and elective-qualified classes may be offered without being listed here.

GEOG 480: Liberation Geographies: The Place, Politics, and Practice of Resistance. 3 credits.

(Dr. Chérie Ndaliko Rivers)

  • If freedom is a place (as Ruth Wilson Gilmore maintains), then how do we build freedom? Liberation Geographies pursues this question—in theory and practice—from Black and indigenous perspectives. First, to contextualize principles of liberation, we will engage decolonial critiques of western modernity, which raise the question of how systems of oppression came to be as they are. Then, with working knowledge of the architecture of unfreedom, we will examine historic and ongoing examples of Black and indigenous liberation including practices of anticolonial place making, Mapping Decolonial Futures, and Decomposing the Colonial Gaze.

OCSC 890: Special Topics in Occupational Science: Methods for Studying Occupation. 3 credits.

(Dr. Nancy Bagatell)

  • Occupational scientists aim to advance our understanding of occupation, a complex, contextually situated phenomenon. The study of occupation therefore requires the use of a variety of methodologies and methods. This course is designed to provide an overview of a wide range of methodologies and methods that can be used to capture and deepen our understanding of occupation. By reading literature, dialoguing with scholars, and trying out various methods, the aim of this course is to prepare students to consider useful methods including geographic, arts-based, participatory, and decolonizing methods, to address occupation-focused research questions.

RELI 724: Ethnography of Religion and Religious Formations. 3 credits. (Dr. Lauren Leve)

  • This course engages the practices, politics, ethics, and epistemology of ethnography as a technique of data production, analysis, and representation. While we will privilege issues and themes related to the study of religion, the course offers a broad, multidisciplinary approach to the construction and execution of ethnographic research. The best ethnography is inherently participatory, although maximizing this requires particular forms or attention and practice. Throughout the course, we will focus on relational dynamic and how to maximize the rewards of ethnographic projects for both academically-oriented researchers and community members who participate in the work.

Past Elective Courses

Use the links below to view the course descriptions in the course catalog for each department.

ANTH 449: Anthropology and Marxism

ANTH 674: Issues in Cultural Heritage

ANTH 850: Engaging Ethnography

ANTH 898: Seminar in Selected Topics (Topic changes each semester)

ARTS 637 (COMM 637): Social Practice & Performance Art 

COMM 668: The Ethnographic Return to Performance and Community

COMM 798: Topics in Research Methods (Topic changes each semester)

COMM 841 (FOLK 841): Performance Ethnography

ENVR 784: Community-Driven Research and Environmental Justice 

EDUC 861: Special Education Seminar: Translational and Implementation Science Research

FOLK 860 (ANTH 860): Art of Ethnography

FOLK 790: Public Folklore

GEOG 543: Qualitative Methods in Geography

GEOG 555. Cartography of the Global South

GEOG 480. Liberation Geographies: The Place, Politics, and Practice of Resistance

GEOG 803: Feminist Political Ecology

GLBL 382: Latin American Migrant Perspectives: Ethnography and Action

HBEH 710: Community Capacity, Competence, and Power

HBEH 748: Design Thinking for the Public Good

HBEH 786: Essential Methods for Evaluating Worker & Workplace Health

HIST/FOLK 670: Introduction to Oral History

LTAM 690: Seminar in Latin American Issues (Topic changes each semester)

MHCH 780: Decolonizing MCH Research: Theory and Qualitative Methods

MUSC 970: Seminar in Ethnomusicology

OCSC 890: Seminar on Special Topics in Occupational Science (Topic changes each semester)

PLAN 764/PUBA 734: Community Development and Revitalization Techniques

RELI 524: Ethnographic Approaches to Contemporary Religion

RELI 688: Observation and Interpretation of Religious Action (Ethnographic Methods for the Study of Religion)

RELI 724: Ethnographic Research Methods: Ethnography of Religion and Religious Formations

SOWO 799: Special Topics in Macro-practice (Topic changes each semester)

SPHG 720: Leading for Racial Equity: Examining Structural Issues of Race and Class

SPHG 482: Public Health Entrepreneurship