Fall 2017

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
AMST 101-01 Gender, Sport, and American Society
Instructor: Katherine Schweighofer
Course Description:
Cross-listed with WGSS 202-04. From children tossing a ball in the backyard, to middle-aged weekend warriors on tennis and basketball courts, to athletes in their prime battling for Olympic gold, sports and athletics affect our understandings of our bodies, relationships, and larger social groups. Gender, Sport & American Society involves the applications of the interdisciplinary study of gender - the social creation and cultural representation of femininity and masculinity to the field of sport cultures. Lectures, readings, and class discussions will consider how facets of gender, race, class, and sexuality are writ large on sports and sport cultures. Topics include gendered and sexed understandings of sports, sexuality and sports, athletic bodies, popular culture and media, raced and classed elements of athletics, the role of fans, nationality and citizenship, sport technologies, fitness, health, body image, and historical foundations. No WGSS experience needed.
1500:TF   DENNY 311
AMST 101-02 Introduction to Native American Studies
Instructor: Nicholle Dragone
Course Description:
Cross-listed with WGSS 101-02.This course is designed to introduce students to the major strands of the discipline of Native American Studies: contemporary issues, history and law, cultural regions and cultural self-representation, key terms and methodology. To accomplish these goals this course will be structured around Mary Kathryn Nagles Sliver of a Full Moon. While technically an example of dramatic cultural self-representation, Nagles Sliver also functions to introduce you to Native performance-based storytelling as both methodology and sites of grass-roots and national activism about the very current issue of violence against Native women on reservations. Sliver opens the door for us to study other forms of cultural self-representation including Native literary, visual and graphic arts, music and dance, film and social media. Designing the class this way will allow us to critically analyze some Native Studies key terms, like settler colonialism, peoplehood, and sovereignty, as they relate current issues, historical events, and federal Indian law. This course will prioritize class discussions in combination with lectures, and group work. There will be short collective research projects and one or two short critical analyses papers. We will incorporate relevant current news and social media into the required course materials, along with films, videos and audio materials, as appropriate.
0930:MWF   DENNY 212
AMST 101-03 War Narratives
Instructor: Eric Vazquez
Course Description:
Cross-listed with ENGL 101-09.Despite official troop withdrawals in both Iraq and Afghanistan the United States remains embroiled in seemingly endless conflicts through the War on Terror. Considering the difficulty of a public reckoning with war in the Middle East, this course will examine how Americans tell stories about foreign conflicts through various media. Looking at texts like Mohamedu Ould Slahi's Guatanamo Diary, and John Horne Burns' The Gallery; films like Apocalypse Now, Restrepo, and The Fog of War; 1960s protest music; photography; and new media visualizations of combat casualties we will ask: How to Americans in the 20th and 21st centuries incorporate the experience of violence, destruction, and inter-state hostilities into story form? How do storytellers cope with the difficulty of capturing pervasive destruction and annihilation, an enemy who is largely invisible, or experiences that do not match the national narrative about the war? How do the experiences non-normative sexuality and ethnic / racial disenfranchisement affect the mythology that surrounds American wars? This course will begin with World War II, proceeding to the Vietnam War, Low-Intensity Conflict in Central America, through to the War on Terror.
1330:TF   DENNY 110
AMST 101-04 #StayWoke: Activism in U.S. Popular Culture
Instructor: Stacey Moultry
Course Description:
What is activism? Can activism take place in the realm of popular culture or does popular culture merely reflect activism happening in U.S. culture? This course will explore these questions and more as we look at examples of protest movements in modern American history. Theoretical concepts and historical context will be examined at the outset of the course. The major focus, however, will be on selected protest movements from the 1960s to present day and their relationships with popular culture. Selected movements include, but are not limited to, the Civil Rights Movement, the Anti-War Movement, Environmental Movement, Disability Rights Movement, and more.
1330:MR   WESTC DURBIN
AMST 200-01 Health, Illness and Disabilities
Instructor: Sharon O'Brien
Course Description:
What is it like to experience illness or disability in America? This course will focus on narratives of illness and disability in contemporary American culture, exploring the ways in which both have been stigmatized as well as the ways in which writers and activists have challenged and changed attitudes and laws. How has the American cult of positive thinking and self-mastery affected the lives of people experiencing illness or disability? What role do forms of creative expressionfiction, memoir, graphic novel, poetry, essay, film play in resisting silence and stigma? How do the variables of race, class, gender, sexuality and age impact the experience of illness and disability? How can the phenomenon of passing be applied to people with disabilities? How is the experience of illness and disability narrated differently by patients and by medical professionals? By writers who publish and those who contribute to blogs and newsletters? By those who experience chronic conditions and those who face death? Our reading will include books such as Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals; Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors, Miriam Engelberg, Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person; Atul Gawande, Being Mortal; Nancy Mairs, Waist-High in the World; Simi Linton, My Body Politic; Lennard Davis, Enabling Acts. Films will include Wit and Murderball.
1330:MR   DENNY 303
AMST 200-02 Native American Activism & Resurgence: Red Power to #NoDAPL
Instructor: Nicholle Dragone
Course Description:
Cross-listed with SOCI 230-03 and WGSS 202-03.This course will explore the contemporary and historical, intellectual and cultural, political and spiritual foundations of Native American Activism, Survivance and Resurgence in the 20th and 21st centuries, from the Red Power Movement of the 1960s to the #NoDAPL grass-roots resurgence/protests in 2016-2017. While our main focus will be grass-roots movements/events happening in the United States including the Unity Caravans/Convents, the White Roots of Peace, the Fish-ins, Alcatraz, American Indian Movement, Wounded Knee II, the Trail of Broken Treaties -- we will also look at Idle No More Movement that began in Canada in December 2012 and continues to unite Native peoples across the US-Canadian in an ongoing struggle for self-determination, sovereignty, land/water rights and treaty rights. This course will prioritize class discussions in combination with lectures, group work, independent and collective research. We will incorporate relevant current news and social media into the course materials, along with texts, film, videos and audio materials, as appropriate.
1230:MWF   BOSLER 314
AMST 200-03 Bad Feelings: The Media and Literature of Negative Emotions
Instructor: Eric Vazquez
Course Description:
Cross-listed with ENGL 222-01 and WGSS 201-02.For some intellectuals and artists, the work of culture should be to generate unpleasant experiences in readers and audiences. These critics and cultural producers express the hope that making audiences uncomfortable would translate into a discomfort with the social status quo, engendering critical attitudes towards the complacency of bourgeois culture, economic inequality, the conduct of war, and the exploitation and dispossession of marginalized communities. This course will take up these questions exploring them in the context of 20th and 21st century American culture (primarily film, literature, and visual art). Organized in a rough chronology students will explore theories of alienation and estrangement through Hegel and Brecht, through to disgust in 1960s agitprop art, Cold War cultural paranoia, and into cynicism and unhappinessfeelings thought to define post-September 11th and post-financial crisis America. We will ask, in what ways do negative emotions generate critical attitudes toward the ruling state of affairs? How do histories of racism, maldistribution, and marginalization give shape to the culture of bad feelings? Are audiences and readers warranted in attributing a certain cruelty or sadism in cultural producers of negative sentiments? In what ways could bad feelings contribute to sustaining injustice and inequitable social relations?
0900:TR   KAUF 187
AMST 200-04 One-Drop, Two Drops: Cultural Understandings of Black Multiraciality
Instructor: Stacey Moultry
Course Description:
This course will explore notions of black multiraciality that have existed in the U.S. from the colonial era and continue to have traction in our present day. To facilitate this exploration, we will discuss the emergence of certain ideas and their historical contexts, such as the one-drop rule (rule of hypodescent) and the tragic mulatto trope. We will also discuss the Census Movement, which emerged in the 1990s to change how people can identify racially and ethnically on the U.S. Census. Throughout the course, we will examine the literature, art, and other cultural productions about and/or from mixed race people of African descent. This will allow us to compare and contrast ideas circulating in U.S. law and the social sciences to ideas that are in the register of cultural representation.
1030:MWF   DENNY 103
AMST 201-01 Introduction to American Studies
Instructor: J Cotten Seiler
Course Description:
Introduces students to basic theories and methods used for the interdisciplinary analysis of U.S. cultural materials and to the multiplicity of texts used for cultural analysis (mass media, music, film, fiction and memoir, sports, advertising, and popular rituals and practices). Particular attention is paid to the interplay between systems of representation and social, political, and economic institutions, and to the production, dissemination, and reception of cultural materials. Students will explore the shaping power of culture as well as the possibilities of human agency.
0900:TR   DENNY 204
AMST 202-01 Workshop in Cultural Analysis
Instructor: Amy Farrell
Course Description:
Intensive workshop focused on theoretical approaches to the interpretation of social and cultural materials. The course provides an early exposure to theories and methods that will be returned to in greater depth in the senior year. Intended to develop independent skills in analysis of primary texts and documents.
1030:TR   EASTC 102
AMST 303-01 Theories of Power and Resistance in the Americas
Instructor: Marisol LeBron
Course Description:
This course will introduce students to key theorists and central theoretical approaches that have shaped the way scholars in the field of American Studies think about power and resistance. Specifically, we will examine the work of Antonio Gramsci, Michel Foucault, Stuart Hall, and Judith Butler and consider how American Studies scholars have taken up the work of these thinkers in order to examine difference, inequality, culture, history, governance, and social movements in the Americas. In this way, we will work across the fields of gender and sexuality studies, cultural studies, race and ethnic studies, and postcolonial studies, to understand the influence of these theorists work in an American Studies context. Grounding our discussions also in students research interests, this course will give students a strong understanding of key theoretical approaches within American Studies while equipping them with necessary tools connect these theories to their own interests as they develop compelling research questions and prepare to embark upon their own projects.
1500:MR   DENNY 315
AMST 401-01 Research and Methods in American Studies
Instructor: J Cotten Seiler
Course Description:
An integrative seminar focusing on the theory and methods of cultural analysis and interdisciplinary study. Students examine the origins, history, and current state of American studies, discuss relevant questions, and, in research projects, apply techniques of interdisciplinary study to a subject related to thematic concentration. Prerequisite: 303, Senior American studies major, or permission of the instructor.
1330:T   DENNY 315