Global Issues

""Courses in Global Issues

One of CSULB’s Institutional Learning Outcomes is that graduates will be critically and ethically engaged in global issues as well as knowledgeable about and respectful of a diversity of cultures. To this end, the courses featured below expose students to cultural and social topics and issues beyond the US.

Featured Courses – October 2019

Comparative World Literature

CWL 104: Literature and Culture of the Middle East International – Dr. Elizabeth Dahab
This course is an introduction to the culture and literature of the Middle East and North Africa. The emphasis is on understanding the basic facets of Middle Eastern Cultures through the study of representative works of fiction and non-fiction (novels, plays, short stories, poems, essays) and an array of texts. The term Global in the context of an introductory course on the Middle East and North Africa refers to the great number of populations, ethnicities, cultures, religions, colors, customs and traditions which have characterized this part of the world for hundreds of years. The Arab World stretches North to Iraq and Syria and West across North Africa to Morocco: Two different continents; two different geographical rubrics: this region, a crossroads of culture and commerce has given rise to diverse civilizations and cultures. The Arab world is not the same as the Middle East; the latter also encompasses a region which is not Arabic and which includes Turkey, Iran, Palestine, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. And again, the Arab World is not the same as the Muslim World, for although 90 per cent of Arabs are Muslim, many Arabs are Christian, belonging to a large array of denominations. And yet again, 80% of all Muslims are not Arabs. Arab and Middle Eastern countries differ along broad regional lines: they do not follow the same social customs nor do they eat the same food or speak the same language. To lump them all under the same convenient notions can lead to problems of differentiation and perception in the eyes of Western students, and this is precisely what should be avoided in our present times. For this reason, this course fits the rubric of global and that of exploration.

CWL 124: Introduction to World Theatre and Drama – Kelsey Devoe, Dr. Pravina Cooper, and Letitia Deon
Introduction to World Theatre and Drama presents students with the idea that theatre is a cross-cultural phenomenon that spans time and region. Students will evaluate the evolution of theatre as it has been written and performed, and as a result, students will begin to understand the perspectives of diverse authors, actors, and audiences. Students will involve themselves in the production, analysis, and comprehension of theatre and drama through scripts and stage directions. This course challenges students to pay close attention to details of texts and performances as well as historical contexts gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which the world is reflected in performance, and performance reflects the world.

CWL 132: World Mythology – Jessica Brooks, Dr. Katherine McLoone, Dr. Pravina Cooper
World Mythology is a course designed to introduce students to mythology in a global context through reading ancient and contemporary texts from around the world and examining various art, artifacts, and media. Students will demonstrate their mastery of the material through writing as well as discussion.

CWL 210: Erotica, Love, Romance: Literary and Cultural Representations – Dr. Vlatka Velcic
Explores interdisciplinary representations of eroticism, love, and romance across history and cultures, including diverse contemporary representations of love and sexuality.

CWL 213: Visual Studies: Comics and Graphic Novels – Amy Desuza-Riehm, Letitia Deon, Dr. Christopher Shaw
Comics and Graphic Novels is listed as an “introductory study of Comics and Graphic Novels across cultures and within global contexts by emphasizing visual narrative storytelling as well as the political, social and visual trends that have shaped the powerful creative industry of comics around the world.” What does this mean? We will be exploring a wide range of genres from all around the world to try to better understand where comics (as a medium) fit into various cultures. We will work to understand how text and image work together to create meaning by utilizing an interdisciplinary approach. Through our exploration of comics we will seek to better understand the value of the medium beyond “simple or childish entertainment” and recognize the complexities that make this medium just as worthy of study as literature, art, and film. By the end of this class, the student should have a better appreciation of the unique qualities that comics and graphic novels offer as a mode of storytelling.

CWL 215: From Cradle to Crypt: Representations of Lifespan – Cheryl Goldstein
This course explores representations of the lifespan, from birth to death, highlighting interdisciplinary approaches to understanding literary and cultural texts in comparative and global contexts.

CWL 300: Representing the World: Literature and Culture in Contact and Conflict – Dr. Katherine McLoone and Dr. Daniela Suarez
Representing the World: Literature and Culture in Contact and Conflict is an upper-division, writing intensive course that examines world literature in its global cultural context. In Dr. McLoone’s version of the course, students examine the specific theme of postcolonialism and transnationalism in world literature. In Dr. Suárez’s version of the course, students explore the profound intellectual, economic, political and cultural ties that intertwine the history of Latin America and the United States. With a special focus on Mexican perspectives on the U.S., students explore how traditional binomials (materialism /spirituality; individualism/ communality; utilitarianism/idealism; modernity/ tradition; progress/ stagnation, among others), born at the turn of the 19th century, have evolved and become insufficient to express the way Latin American writers view the United States at the end of the 20th and beginning of the 21st. In this class we compare and examine how these dichotomies are constructed, adopted, nuanced and/or challenged by intellectuals south of the border and, thus, how contemporary Latin American thinkers make sense of inter-American relations. This course offers a theoretical framework for the comparative analysis of other global communities that are re/defined through the symbolic –and real—incorporation of a myriad of linguistic, ideological and cultural fluxes.

CWL 305: Science Fiction and Global Technologies – Amy Desuza-Riehm, Dr. Christopher Shaw, Thomas Haeussler
Science Fiction and Global Technology is the comparative study of science fiction as a global discipline, across cultures and time periods, emphasizing technological advances, sociopolitical implications, and imaginative constructions. We examine the mode of science fiction from four perspectives: its history and global scope; its philosophical inquiries; its relevance for emergent technologies; and its engagement with fan cultures and the means of literary production. Throughout the course, we will explore both the major debates within science fiction (technophilia and technophobia; gender, race, and sexuality; the body; alterity; utopias and dystopias) as well as the debates about science fiction (the canon, identity politics, and the changing means of production in a digital age).

CWL 320: Comic Spirit – Amy Desuza-Riehm, Thomas Haeussler, Levon Parseghian, Lowry Sweney, and Dr. Pravina Cooper
Comic Spirit is an introduction to the history of comedy, the types of comedy, the character types of comedy, and major theories of comedy. We will cover a range of comic texts from diverse traditions around the globe, from classical antiquity to the day before yesterday—but we will do so thematically rather than chronologically, focusing on comparative readings of our “texts,” whether they be ancient drama, YouTube videos, or anything in between. It’s hilarious.


SOC 317: Problems in International Social Conflict – Dr. Yousef Baker and Luke Wagner
Interdisciplinary analysis of social conflict in the world. Topics may include ethnocentrism; nationalism; globalization; trade; aid; economic development; poverty; inequality; the environment; war; ideological, ethnic, gender, and religious conflict; democratization; social movements; new forms of civil society and social solidarity.

A full list of Fall 2019 Global Issues courses can be found at: