ESP Biography

SINAI CRUZ, Columbia University Senior studying Religion

Major: Religion

College/Employer: Columbia University

Year of Graduation: 2018

Picture of Sinai Cruz

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Sinai is currently a Senior studying Religion, Psychology, and East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University. She loves to learn about other cultures and religious traditions, and she is particularly interested in the intersection between pop culture (films, video games, comics) and religion. Sinai is also an avid reader of YA and classic novels, a ramen aficionado, and a die-hard Disney fan.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

H690: From 'Attack on Titan' to 'Spirited Away': Religion in Japanese Pop Culture in Splash Spring 18 (Mar. 31, 2018)
This course will first introduce students to the basics and history of Japanese religious traditions, focusing on Buddhism, Shintoism, and Christianity. Then, students will study how aspects of these religions pop up in Japanese animation, comics, and video games. By the end of the course, students will become more knowledgeable consumers of Japanese pop culture. Whether you're a long-time fan of Japanese anime or manga, or whether you're just starting out, this course is for you!

X344: From Pacman to Princess Peach: Diversity in Video Games in Splash Spring 2016 (Mar. 12, 2016)
With over 1 billion people worldwide playing video games, it is clear to see that video games have become a fundamental past time for our generation. We have come a long way from the days of 8-bit pixels and classic damsel in distress tropes...right? Maybe not as much as you might think. We'll be covering everything from Minecraft to Mario, so come and learn about the history of various dimensions of diversity (ethnic, gender, ability, etc.) in video games over the past 30+ years, as well as the very real consequences this lack of diversity poses to our society.