Fall 2014

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
AMST 101-01 The 1960s in the United States
Instructor: Zacharie Baque
Course Description:
As part of the Topics in US Diversity, this course is aimed at exploring the 1960s, a decade that is often said to have made this diversity more visible on the national stage. Following a chronological framework, we will study the various strategies used by racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual minorities to make their voices heard in what they thought was a repressive society. Part of the class will also be devoted to the various forms of artistic and media expressions, such as rocknroll and New Journalism, that helped define that decade, Based on the idea that the 1960s tried to answer social questions raised in the past, we will see that the decade also opened up new questions that are still debated today. After introducing the general historical context, we will analyze various primary sources (written texts, films, songs) so as to better grasp their arguments. We will be reading works by Martin Luther King, Betty Friedan, Mario Savio, Norman Mailer, and seeing films such as Easy Rider, American Revolution 2, and Gimme Shelter.
0930:MWF   DENNY 311
AMST 101-02 The 1960s in the United States
Instructor: Zacharie Baque
Course Description:
As part of the Topics in US Diversity, this course is aimed at exploring the 1960s, a decade that is often said to have made this diversity more visible on the national stage. Following a chronological framework, we will study the various strategies used by racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual minorities to make their voices heard in what they thought was a repressive society. Part of the class will also be devoted to the various forms of artistic and media expressions, such as rocknroll and New Journalism, that helped define that decade, Based on the idea that the 1960s tried to answer social questions raised in the past, we will see that the decade also opened up new questions that are still debated today. After introducing the general historical context, we will analyze various primary sources (written texts, films, songs) so as to better grasp their arguments. We will be reading works by Martin Luther King, Betty Friedan, Mario Savio, Norman Mailer, and seeing films such as Easy Rider, American Revolution 2, and Gimme Shelter.
1130:MWF   DENNY 104
AMST 200-01 Introduction to Latino Studies
Instructor: Marisol LeBron
Course Description:
Cross-listed with LALC 123-01. Using an interdisciplinary approach, this course will examine historical and contemporary examples of Latina/o political, social, and cultural practices in the United States. We will explore the transnational nature of Latinidad and how Latina/o culture and identity is shaped by power relations and socio-political dynamics both in the United States as well as in countries of origin. This course will begin with discussions of what constitutes Latino/a identity and what constitutes Latino/a studies, raising questions we will return to throughout the semester. We will then cover themes ranging from colonialism and conquest, to sexuality and gender, to transnationalism and immigration, to race, poverty, and spatial inequality, to language, music, and media representations. Within each section of the course, students will be asked to articulate their thoughts via both written work and class participation, creating a classroom environment wherein students collectively think through the politics, histories, and implications of Latina/o identity.
1330:MR   DENNY 311
AMST 200-02 American Documentary Film
Instructor: Zacharie Baque
Course Description:
Cross-listed with FLST 210-01. The purpose of this class is to critically engage students in the American documentary film and the theoretical debates its practice and viewing entail. For from being a simple objective representation of a supposedly truthful reality, the documentary is a complex film form that must be deciphered so as to become critical viewers that will not take moving images at face value. The premise of this course is that formal and aesthetic choices made by the director have immediate political consequences in the reception of images by the spectator. Being able to analyze these images becomes, in return, a political strategy in order to become better spectators who can understand their problematic relationship to an image-saturated environment. The course will follow a chronological framework in order to explore the evolution of the documentary form in the United States. We will be seeing films such as Nanook of the North, Primary, Salesman, In the Year of the Pig, and Fahrenheit 9/11.
1330:TF   DENNY 104
AMST 200-03 Black Feminist Thoughts
Instructor: Jerry Philogene
Course Description:
Cross-listed with AFST 220-03, LALC 200-01 and WGST 202-01. This course provides perspectives on the development and materialization of Black feminist thoughts within historical, social, political, and cultural contexts. Interdisciplinary in focus, it surveys feminist politics and theories through films, popular culture, manifestoes, literary texts, and theoretical and historical essays. It offers an interdisciplinary survey of African-American and other African descendant womens contributions to feminist theory as a heterogeneous field of knowledge encompassing multiple streams of gender- and race-cognizant articulation and praxis. This course will pair primary texts authored by black women with secondary text produced by black feminist scholars; these critiques will illustrate the myriad ways black feminists engage with and seek to transform representations of black female experience. During the course, we will identify and characterize the major issues that black feminists address as well as the various contemporary forms of resistance to social structures. In addition, the course will explore the diversity and ambiguity of various black feminisms through a number of frames, such as gender theory, critical race theory, queer theory, and reproductive rights and practices. Caribbean, Afro-Latina, and Black British feminisms are also included as we map feminist consciousness and practice across the African Diaspora.
1030:TR   DENNY 311
AMST 200-04 American Capitalism and Social Justice
Instructor: Jonathan Cogliano
Course Description:
Permission of Instructor Required.Cross-listed with ECON 223-01 and SOCI 230-04.Designed for those interested in social activism and social justice, this course draws on critical perspectives from Political Economy, American Studies and Sociology to examine how power is structured in American capitalism across institutions including the social relations of production and distribution, corporations, and markets. Special attention is given to the ways in which powerful economic groups and organizations are able to exert economic control, influence government, and dominate American institutions, such as the media, that shape American culture. Looking beyond capitalism, social movements for greater social and economic justice, and greater economic and political democracy are also examined.
1330:MR   ALTHSE 109
AMST 200-05 American Capitalism and Social Justice
Instructor: Jonathan Cogliano
Course Description:
Permission of Instructor Required.Cross-listed with ECON 223-02 and SOCI 230-05.Designed for those interested in social activism and social justice, this course draws on critical perspectives from Political Economy, American Studies and Sociology to examine how power is structured in American capitalism across institutions including the social relations of production and distribution, corporations, and markets. Special attention is given to the ways in which powerful economic groups and organizations are able to exert economic control, influence government, and dominate American institutions, such as the media, that shape American culture. Looking beyond capitalism, social movements for greater social and economic justice, and greater economic and political democracy are also examined.
1500:MR   ALTHSE 109
AMST 200-06 Introduction to U.S. Latina/o Literature and Culture
Instructor: Alberto Rodriguez
Course Description:
Cross-listed with LALC 295-01 and SPAN 295-01. Taught in Spanish. This interdisciplinary introduction to Latina/o Studies discusses foundational historical, cultural, political, artistic, and literary texts of the U.S. Latina/o community. This class will cover diasporic movements and issues of identity, with a particular focus on the Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and Cuban-American diaspora.
1130:MWF   BOSLER 313
AMST 200-08 Sports, Race, and the American Dream
Instructor: Gregory Kaliss
Course Description:
Many have looked to the world of sports as a realization of the American Dream of a color-blind meritocracy in which participants succeed or fail on their own merits alone. And yet issues of racial identity have been central to the story of sports in America, echoing and informing social debates regarding equality, racial and gender stereotypes, legalized segregation, and the quest for civil rights. We will explore these issues and others by examining a wide range of subjects from the late nineteenth century through to the present, including: the life and times of Jack Johnson; Jim Thorpe and the experiences of Native American athletes; the Black Athlete Revolt of 1968; Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and corporate Americas influence on black athletes; and much more. Course materials will include historical accounts, sports journalism, theoretical analysis, documentary and feature films, and Internet message boards.
1500:MR   DENNY 303
AMST 201-01 Introduction to American Studies
Instructor: Marisol LeBron
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. This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement.
1030:TR   DENNY 211
AMST 202-01 Workshop in Cultural Analysis
Instructor: Jerry Philogene
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. This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement and WR graduation requirement.
1500:MR   DENNY 204
AMST 301-01 The Political Novel
Instructor: Sharon O'Brien
Course Description:
Cross-listed with ENGL 370-01. This course will explore the politics of narrative: the ways in which stories both those created by individual authors and cultural scripts relate to structures of power. How do narratives by American writers, ranging from the late 19th century to the present day, challenge dominant social institutions, representations, and ideologies or reinforce them? We will be particularly interested in structures of gender, race, class, ethnicity, and sexuality. We will explore the ways in which American writers give voice to silenced stories and re-vision the past so as to give us a more complex history. Important to our course is the issue of the personal and social impact of literature upon readers: what can stories do? At the same time, we will concern ourselves with aesthetic questions and authorial intentions, asking whether aesthetic goals can be compatible with political ones. We will be reading such texts as Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Kate Chopin, The Awakening, F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby, Toni Morrison, Beloved, E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime, Louise Erdrich, The Roundhouse and seeing such movies as Thelma and Louise and Twelve Years a Slave.
1330:MR   EASTC 300
AMST 301-02 Home, the Streets, Borders: Examining Tropes of Latino/a Cinema
Instructor: Margaret Frohlich
Course Description:
Cross-listed with FLST 310-03, LALC 386-01 and SPAN 385-01. Permission of Instructor Required. This course examines the cultural meaning and production of Latino/a cinema. In particular, we will focus on films representation of space in relation to the spatial imaginary of Latino/a communities. As we study racial and ethnic grouping in the U.S., we will reflect on how transcultural subjects negotiate space and border crossings. Students will develop basic research skills; demonstrate, orally and in writing, basic understanding of some of the historical and cultural contexts in which literary and visual texts are produced; and put their voices in conversation with other scholars in their written assignments. In addition to readings, students will be asked to view films outside of class.
1500:MR   BOSLER 313
AMST 301-03 American Auteurs
Instructor: Gregory Steirer
Course Description:
Cross-listed with ENGL 335-01 and FLST 310-04. Auteurs are usually defined as filmmakers whose individual styles and extraordinary control over the elements of production allow them to create unique films that reflect their own personalities and artistic preoccupations. In this class we will examine the work of four contemporary American directors who are usually identified as auteurs: David Lynch, Gregg Araki, Sophia Coppola, Spike Lee, and Christopher Nolan. Through examinations of their films and through readings on film authorship and culture in the United States, we will explore what it means both to be an auteur in general and to be an auteur in twenty-first-century America.
1500:TF   EASTC 405
AMST 303-01 The America that Race Built
Instructor: Gregory Kaliss
Course Description:
This course examines the origins and histories of the concept of race in the United States. Beginning with a discussion of the concept of race and proceeding through the histories of various groups, we will examine how race interacts with other categories of identitysuch as ethnicity, gender, sexuality, class, and nationalityin the everyday life of the nation past and present. Through we will rely on histories and social-scientific work to develop an understanding of how difference and diversity have been lived in America, we will also focus on how popular culture (such as film, television, popular music, and sports) and literature have shaped and continue to shaperightly or wronglythe way we see one another. This course fulfills the AMST major theory requirement.
0900:TR   ALTHSE 07
AMST 401-01 Research and Methods in American Studies
Instructor: Jerry Philogene
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. This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement.
1330:T   DENNY 212
AMST 401-02 Research and Methods in American Studies
Instructor: Sharon O'Brien
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. This course fulfills the DIV II social sciences distribution requirement.
1330:W   LIBRY JACOBS