Fall 2016

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
AMST 101-01 Disorderly Women
Instructor: Jerry Philogene
Course Description:
Cross-listed with WGSS 101-01. In this course, students will ask the questions: What does it mean to be a disorderly woman and what acts are considered disorderly and why? In this lecture and discussion-based class, students will seek to answer these questions by focusing on key texts and radical scholarship in the fields of Native American, Asian American, African American, and Euro-American womens narratives. By doing this, we will interrogate the ways in which women have shaped ideas and experiences concerning race, class, sexuality, sexual orientation, labor, and political belonging. We will read novels and essays by Betty Friedan, Audre Lorde, Grace Lee Boggs, and Gloria Anzaldua, while viewing the work of visual artists such as Catherine Opie and Kara Walker, and singers Rhianna and Beyonc. Using a variety of primary and secondary textual sources, the course will explore how representations of disorderly women have been presented in memoirs, essays, visual arts, and popular media to both reflect and contribute to current debates within and about feminism, power, and social justice.
1030:TR   DENNY 212
AMST 101-02 Racial Politics of American Popular Music
Instructor: J Cotten Seiler
Course Description:
This course will consider popular music as both a reflection of and a transformative force within American culture. Beginning with the nineteenth century and continuing into our own time, we will look at (and listen to) the ways in which popular music has participated in continuing, often volatile, dialogues about racial identity and racial power in the United States, and has simultaneously shaped ideologies of gender, class, sexuality, and nation. Rather than be structured as a strict chronological survey, the course will focus on themes and issues in popular music production and consumption. In the first part of the course, we will examine theories of musical aesthetics, inquire into the sources of identity, and discuss the power of popular music to reflect and influence politics and cultural values. These discussions will give us analytical tools and historical knowledge for thinking and writing about music commerce and the genres we will discuss more specifically in the course's second halfblues, race music, hillbilly/country, ragtime, swing, rhythm & blues, rock and roll, folk, disco, rap/hip-hop, funk, punk, salsa, heavy metal, and alternative.
0900:TR   DENNY 303
AMST 200-01 History of American Feminism
Instructor: Amy Farrell
Course Description:
Cross-listed with HIST 211-03 and WGSS 220-01. This course will emphasize such topics as the 19th century women's movement, the suffrage movement, radical and liberal feminism, and African-American feminism. We will pay particular attention to the diversity of women's experiences in the United States and to women's multiple and often conflicting responses to patriarchy and other forms of oppression.
1330:MR   DENNY 212
AMST 200-02 Gay American Histories
Instructor: Katherine Schweighofer
Course Description:
Cross-listed with WGSS 301-01. This course addresses the complexities of sex, gender, and sexuality transhistorically and trans-culturally through the diverse sexual histories of the United States. Our goal is to uncover the often erased and forgotten queer histories that preceded us, while simultaneously recognizing the difficulty in tracing any single history of gay identity. Students will examine the historical development of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) identity and community formations in different cultural contexts in the U.S. and how this ongoing process shapes contemporary lives and politics.
0900:TR   DENNY 311
AMST 200-03 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.
1500:MR   DENNY 311
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.
1030:TR   DENNY 311
AMST 202-01 Workshop in Cultural Analysis
Instructor: Eric Vazquez
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.
1330:TF   EASTC 107
AMST 301-01 Freedom Dreams: 20th Century Black Nationalism
Instructor: Jerry Philogene
Course Description:
Cross-listed with AFST 320-03 and LALC 301-01. With a specific emphasis on the cultural aspects of black nationalism concentrating on literature, music, and the visual arts, this course will take an interdisciplinary approach to reading the canonical primary documents focusing on black nationalism as part of Africana social movements, political consciousness, cultural endeavors, and intellectual traditions. We will critically examine the ideas of a few key theorists and iconic spokespersons and take up the core themes of the tradition. Topics to be explored include the varieties of black nationalism; black selfdetermination; the ideas of race and nation; racial solidarity and group selfreliance; selfdefense and political resistance; the construction of gender roles and configurations of class within black nationalist discourses; the relationship between black identity and black liberation goals; the role of black artistic and cultural expressions in black freedom struggles; and the significance of Africa and the Caribbean for black nationalist ideals. In addition to the work of David Walker, Martin Delany, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr, Frantz Fanon, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Amiri Baraka, and Huey Newton, we will also explore the literary works of Pauline Hopkins, Toni Cade Bambara anthology The Black Woman, Assata Shakurs autobiography, the music of Bob Marley, and the writings of Steven Biko and Patrice Lumumba. We will also discuss some contemporary critical assessments of the tradition and its legacy in contemporary black diasporic social movements. Students who register for this course as LALC 301 must write the final research paper on a Caribbean topic.
1330:TF   DENNY 303
AMST 303-01 The America that Race Built
Instructor: J Cotten Seiler
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.
1330:MR   WESTC 1
AMST 401-01 Research and Methods in American Studies
Instructor: Eric Vazquez
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:W   DENNY 204