• Contact Info

Comstock, Cathy

Senior Instructor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Prof. Comstock's research has most recently focused on mindfulness theory and practice and contemplative pedagogy, especially in regard to student well-being and the cognitive practices most likely to enhance that. Special research interests are also the promotion of nonviolence and sustainability. As part of the latter, her research has increasing focused on regenerative agriculture and its health impacts for planet and person. Her published work uses the tools of literary critical theory to analyze the construction of meaning in texts, both literary and cultural, and the implications for the disruption and revision of influential hierarchies within a culture. An important emphasis of her work is the use of nonviolent theory both in communication and in analysis of cultural dynamics and possibilities.


  • Student well-being, mindfulness theory and practice, critical theory, cultural analysis, social entrepreneurship and innovation, contemplative pedagogy, nonviolence, nonviolent communication, literary criticism, the praxis of critical theory and service learning.


courses taught

  • FARR 1562 - Gandhi's Satyagraha: Love in Action for Humans and Other Creatures
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Spring 2019 / Fall 2019 / Spring 2020 / Fall 2020 / Spring 2021 / Spring 2022 / Spring 2023 / Fall 2023
    Class texts and films explore social justice and structural violence in regard to humans, animals, and the environment in the light of a Gandhian approach to these issues. Outreach work in the community is included.
  • FARR 2002 - Literature of Lifewriting
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Fall 2018 / Fall 2019
    Examines how diverse writers have created unique personal narratives that shape memory within historical and social contexts. Works will exemplify a wide range of literary structures, themes, and strategies that enhance an understanding of the genre and provide models for students' own life writing assignments.
  • FARR 2820 - Future of the Spaceship Earth
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019 / Spring 2020 / Spring 2021 / Fall 2021 / Spring 2022 / Fall 2022 / Spring 2023 / Fall 2023 / Spring 2024
    Examines major ecological, political, economic, cultural, legal, and ethical issues that will shape the future. Students consider how their decisions influence the future, and reflect on fundamental values and ideals underlying the search for solutions to these complex problems.
  • FYSM 1000 - First Year Seminar
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020 / Fall 2021 / Fall 2022
    Provide first year students with an immersive experience in an interdisciplinary topic that addresses current issues including social, technical and global topics. Taught by faculty from across campus, the course provides students with an opportunity to interact in small classes, have project based learning experiences and gain valuable communication skills. Seminar style classes focused on discussion and projects.
  • HUMN 3935 - Humanities Internship: Literature and Social Violence
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020 / Fall 2021 / Fall 2023
    See HUMN 4835.
  • HUMN 4835 - Literature and Social Violence
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2018 / Fall 2019 / Fall 2020 / Fall 2021 / Fall 2022 / Fall 2023
    Provides a theoretical understanding of heightened awareness arising from literary and sociological investigations of contemporary sources of social violence (gang culture, racism, domestic violence), combined with the concrete knowledge offered by an internship in a social service agency. Optional internship credit is available.
  • HUMN 4845 - Reading Culture: The Meanings We Make
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2024
    Analyzes a range of literary and cultural texts through the lens of critical theory in order to come to more understanding of how we are making meaning, how those meanings make us and how we might use that awareness to open new fields of possibility, both in our readings of texts and in our reactions to cultural contexts and conventions.