Spring 2016

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
AMST 101-01 Disorderly Women
Instructor: Jerry Philogene
Course Description:
Permission of Instructor Required.Cross-listed with WGST 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 Paula Gunn Allen, Audre Lorde, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Gloria Steinem 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 War Narratives
Instructor: Eric Vazquez
Course Description:
The United States is in the fourteenth year of its longest war, and yet there are few signs of this fact in our everyday culture. Considering the difficulty of a public reckoning with war in Iraq and Afghanistan, this course will examine how Americans tell stories about foreign conflicts through various media. Looking at texts like Mohamedu Ould Slahi's Guatanamo Diary, Black Panthers' anti-war pamphlets; 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? We will pay particular attention to how sexual, ethnic, and racial minorities respond to war and how their stories further complicate the mythology surrounding World War II, the Vietnam War, Low-Intensity Conflict in Central America, and combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
1330:MR   DENNY 21
AMST 101-03 Football: Gender, American Culture, and the Gridiron Game
Instructor: Katherine Schweighofer
Course Description:
Are you ready for some football?! American football dominates U.S. high school and university sporting cultures, draws millions of fans to professional games, and increasingly is played by children as young as four and five. The gridiron game shapes our culture, bodies, and social interactions, both offering opportunity and presenting challenges. Football: Gender, American Culture, and the Gridiron Game considers how forces like gender, sex, sexuality, race, class, and ability shape and are shaped by football in the United States. Does football reinforce ideas of American exceptionalism? How has it historically functioned as a tool of white settler colonialism, and where do we see that nationalist project today? How does American football continue to shape discourse on violence, masculinity, sexuality on fields, in schools, and in popular culture? These questions and others will be tackled during the term.
1030:MWF   DENNY 311
AMST 200-01 Health, Illness and Narrative
Instructor: Sharon O'Brien
Course Description:
What is it like to experience illness in America? This course will focus on narratives of illness in contemporary American culture. We will explore the ways in which our culture shapes the experience of illness, at differences among healing, cure, and recovery, and at the importance of breaking silence . To what extent, we will ask, do certain forms of illness acquire stigma in American culture, and why? How has the American cult of positive thinking affected the lives of people experiencing illness? What role do forms of creative expressionfiction, memoir, essay, film play in shaping the experience of illness and healing? How, and why, have definitions of what is illness changed over time? Our reading will include books such as Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals; Susan Sontag, Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and Its Metaphors, William Styron, Darkness Visible, and Miriam Engelberg, Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person. Films will include Wit. We will read narratives by health practitioners as well as by patients.
1330:TF   EASTC 301
AMST 200-02 Fat Studies
Instructor: Amy Farrell
Course Description:
Cross-listed with WGST-202-02. This course introduces students to an emerging academic field, Fat Studies. By drawing from historical, cultural, and social texts, Fat Studies explores the meaning of fatness within the U.S. and also from comparative global perspectives. Students will examine the development of fat stigma and the ways it intersects with gendered, racial, ethnic and class constructions. Not a biomedical study of the obesity epidemic, this course instead will interrogate the very vocabulary used to describe our current crisis. Finally, students will become familiar with the wide range of activists whose work has challenged fat stigma and developed alternative models of health and beauty.
1330:MR   DENNY 212
AMST 200-03 American Convservatism
Instructor: J Cotten Seiler
Course Description:
This course charts the origins and fortunes of conservative political and economic thought in the United States from the nineteenth century to the present. We'll first investigate how nineteenth-century thinkers who began to call themselves "conservatives" both drew upon and rejected the democratic political theory and capitalist economics that arose in US modernity. We'll then move to the transformations of conservatism in the twentieth century, whose latter half saw the rise of a powerful conservative movement in politics, economics, and culture. Throughout, we'll examine the relationships between conservatism and structures of race, gender, and class, in US life, and see how conservatives have represented their ideals of selfhood and community in a range of cultural texts.
1500:MR   DENNY 303
AMST 200-04 Introduction to Latino Studies
Instructor: Eric Vazquez
Course Description:
Cross-listed with LALC 123-01. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Latinas and Latinos have emerged as the largest minority group in the United States, and reached majority status in states like California. Consequently, to assess their place in the United States seems timely. This course examines some of the central themes that shape the diverse experiences of Latino populations in the U.S. At core the course will be guided by the contradiction between what unites Latinos/as in the U.S., such as a shared ethos of latinidad, and what divides them, such as differential access to realms of economic and political power. In this course we will investigate how Latinas/os influence and are, in turn, impacted by histories of imperialism, generational conflict, demographic change, social movements, stratified labor markets, gender/sexuality, mass culture, music, and the global shift to free markets. Students will engage in a critical examination of a wide selection of texts, ranging from anthropological and historical texts to poetry, film, and graphic novels, in an effort to place the experience of diverse Latino populations in the social, political, historical, and interdisciplinary perspectives.
1500:MR   DENNY 212
AMST 200-05 Debating Civil Rights History Through Film
Instructor: Crystal Moten
Course Description:
Cross-listed with AFST 220-01 and HIST 211-01. This course will examine the post-World War II Civil Rights Movement led by African Americans in the United States. By viewing and analyzing key documentaries and motion pictures that focus on this important time in history, we will analyze the ways in which screenwriters and directors depict the movement and the larger implications of this. In addition to viewing key documentaries and films, we will read a wide variety of primary and secondary sources that highlight the key people, issues, events, and debates within movement history, including, but not limited to, gender and leadership; struggles for civil rights in the south, west, and urban north; the impact of the Cold War on race relations; student activism; movement strategies; and the emergence of Black Power.
1330:W   DENNY 313
AMST 200-06 Introduction to U.S. Latina/o Literature and Culture
Instructor: Hector Reyes Zaga
Course Description:
Cross-listed with LALC 295-01 and SPAN 295-01.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. Prerequisite: 231. This course fulfills the DIV I.b. distribution requirement and US Diversity graduation requirement.
1330:TF   BOSLER 314
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 303
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.
1030:TR   EASTC 107
AMST 301-01 Contemporary American Fiction and Memoir: Between Worlds
Instructor: Sharon O'Brien
Course Description:
Cross-listed with ENGL 339-03. In this course, we will be exploring how contemporary American writers use the genres of memoir, novel, and short story to explore the complexity, multiplicity, and variety of American identities and hyphenated American identities -- in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. Identity is not a single category; all of us inhabit many identities, some of which we may need to hide, some of which we may need to express. Identities can shift over time, identities can be hyphenated, multiple, contradictory. Identities can stretch across nations, religions, languages, cultures; they can be hyphenated, not singular, as many immigrants to the United States maintain ties to a homeland or to an inherited culture. In this course we will focus on literature portraying immigrant lives, racial and gay/lesbian passing, intersexuality, and cross-cultural and racial adoption. We will be reading such writers as Jhumpa Lahiri, Edwige Danticat, Alison Bechdel, and Jeffrey Eugenides. We will ask such questions as: How do writers tell stories that negotiate between worlds? How does their work engage with issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, diaspora? What literary or narrative techniques do the writers use to make their stories powerful?
1330:MR   EASTC 300
AMST 301-02 Black Visual Aesthetics
Instructor: Jerry Philogene
Course Description:
Cross-listed with AFST 320-01 and FLST 310-02. The course will examine the construction and performance of "black" racial identities through various forms of visual culture. In the class, we will investigate how visual representations, technologies of vision, and the visual arts including specifically film and photography produced in North America (the U.S. Canada, and the Caribbean) and Europe have been used to create and transform the idea of "blackness" at specific historical moments. Specifically, we will look at the films of Sankofa Film and Video Collective, a pioneering group of young black British filmmakers; "blaxpolitations" films in the U.S.; and the work of various Caribbean film makers. In addition, the photography of African Americans James Van der Zee and Lorna Simpson, British-Nigerian Rotimi Fani-Kayode and Jamaican Albert Chong, among others, will be explored to examine the ways in which people of African descent have used visual means to call into question and subvert dominant racial, sexual, and gender categories and ideologies.
1330:MR   ALTHSE 106
AMST 402-01 Writing in American Studies
Instructor: J Cotten Seiler
Course Description:
Students research and write a substantial research project, normally drawing on their work in 401. Prerequisite: 303, 401.
1330:T   DENNY 315