Spring 2017

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
AMST 101-01 Latina/o Popular Culture
Instructor: Eric Vazquez
Course Description:
Cross-listed with LALC 200-01. This course will examine how the increasing diversity of audiences, voices, and participants in popular culture point to deficits, needs, and changes in American culture. Focusing specifically on Latinas/os, we will analyze representation of Latinas/os in a variety of different genres music, film, sports, and television for what they tell us about race, gender, class, sexuality, citizenship, and language. We will look particularly at how Latinas/os negotiate mainstream media representations and create new forms of culture expression. Exploring how Latinas/os produce media representations that defy both narrow understandings of Latinidad as well as dominant U.S. culture, class discussion will explore how identity is produced and contested through popular culture.
0900:TR   DENNY 21
AMST 101-02 Sports and American Culture
Instructor: Steven Marston
Course Description:
It is little secret that sports, from the Super Bowl to campus games, pervade everyday life in the 21st-century United States. In turn, this course addresses the sports world as a mirror of society that reflects larger cultural issues. For example, how have athletes used the sports arena to protest inequalities based on race, gender, and other systems? How do we form our ideas about right and wrong through engagement with sports? And what can the sports world tell us about 21st-century global capitalism? Through readings, lectures, films, and class discussions, we will examine the circulation of ideas about identity, nationalism, and other topics, ultimately finding that sports impact reaches far beyond the games themselves.
0900:TR   ALTHSE 201
AMST 101-03 The Native Within: African American and Native American Cultures
Instructor: Jeffrey Wood
Course Description:
The United States of America has two constituent populations within it that could not opt out of their destiny: Native Americans and African Americans. The Natives, embattled for 500 years, and the Africans, imported against their will for over 200 years, are the catalysts of this course that will investigate historical and contemporary diversity in our national character. We will work out basic principles of dissimilar peoples encountering one another (Europeans, Natives, and Africans) and how these principles are modified by contexts of power, position, and privilege. Current realities will guide our questioning of race and ethnicity, of assumptions and definitions, and of relationships between and inside the populations. An interdisciplinary approach will help establish a vivid understanding of the complexities of personal, group, and national identities. We will use primary, scholarly, and creative sources for study including Black Indians: An American Story (2000), Chris Eyres Edge of America (2006), William Faulkners Go Down, Moses (1942). We will use records and commentaries from the Indian Industrial School at Carlisle and include a field trip to the primary repository of the Cumberland County Historical Society. Our weekly reading will provide a multi-layered story of the entanglements of White, African-American, and Native American.
0830:MWF   DENNY 311
AMST 200-01 The American Face: Portraiture and the Selfies
Instructor: Jerry Philogene
Course Description:
In this course students will investigate portraiture and self-portraiture as genres of representation and self-representation in both painting and photography. Artists we will investigate may include James van der Zee, Diane Arbus, Jamel Shabazz, Kerry James Marshall, Cindy Sherman, Catherine Opie, Renee Cox, and Chuck Close. The course will cover both the theory and practice of portraiture and self-portraiture. Topics include the problem of likeness; the social role of portraiture in its ability to depict race, social class, gender and sexuality; its stylistic conventions and iconographic devices. Questions this course will investigate are: What is a portrait? What does it tell us about the sitter and the painter/photographer? Are portraits truthful depictions of the sitter? Students will also explore the recent phenomena of the selfie and what they tell us about representation, personal identity, objectification, the definition of art, and theories of representation and genre. Reading materials may include: Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (1980), James Hall, The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History (2016), Maurice Wallace and Shawn Michelle Smith, Pictures and Progress: Early Photography and the Making of African American Identity (2012).
1330:TF   DENNY 203
AMST 200-02 American Conservatism
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 eighteenth century to the present. We'll first investigate the origins of conservatism in various thinkers' reactions to the democratic revolutions in England, the American Colonies, France, and Saint-Domingue (Haiti), as well as to abolitionism and the effects of capitalism. 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.
0900:TR   DENNY 204
AMST 200-03 The Long Civil Rights Movement
Instructor: Gregory Kaliss
Course Description:
Cross-listed with AFST 220-01 and HIST 211-01. Taking as its cue the presidential address and subsequent article by historian Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, this course will explore the U.S. Civil Rights Movement from an expanded perspective, chronologically and ideologically. Instead of limiting our study to the "classical phase" of the movement between 1954 and the early 1970s, we will begin in the 1930s and end with contemporary activism such as the Black Lives Matter movement. By exploring a wide range of texts, films, music, and historical approaches, we will better understand the long struggle for black equality, the wide range of individuals and groups involved, and the movement's interconnectedness with numerous other campaigns for social justice.
1330:W   DENNY 313
AMST 201-01 Introduction to American Studies
Instructor: Eric Vazquez
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.
1500:MR   DENNY 212
AMST 202-01 Workshop in Cultural Analysis
Instructor: J Cotten Seiler
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:MR   DENNY 315
AMST 301-02 American Lives, Changing Contexts
Instructor: Sharon O'Brien
Course Description:
Cross-listed with ENGL 370-01. It can be difficult to travel outside of our historically specific assumptions about race, gender, social class, sexuality, and illness and see that American ideas about these seemingly "natural" and innate identities are in fact socially shaped and so subject to change and transformation. In this course, we will be social and cultural travelers. By juxtaposing literature, film, popular culture, and social commentary from different historical periods, ranging from the late 19th century to the early 21st century, we will explore how individual lives are shaped by their social and cultural contexts as well as how dominant categories of identity - because they are social rather than "natural" -- can be challenged, disrupted, and changed. In our travels, we will read both fiction and memoir, seeing how American writers represent others and represent themselves. Our reading list may include texts by writers such as Willa Cather, Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan), Henry Louis Gates (Colored People), Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) and Audre Lorde (Cancer Journals). Our reading will also include works of history, cultural theory, essays, and poetry.
1330:MR   EASTC 300
AMST 303-01 Undocumented in America
Instructor: Eric Vazquez
Course Description:
Cross-listed with LALC 301-01."Undocumented immigrants," Luis Alberto Urrea writes, "have no way to tell you what they have experienced . . . They are, by the very nature of their experience, invisible." In actuality, the undocumented aren't invisible, so much as "hidden in plain sight," they are exempted of legal membership, deprived of political rights, and confined to spaces outside of recognition or public concern. How do producers of culture try to capture lives and experiences that are silenced and invisible to the broader public? This interdisciplinary course will try to engage directly with both the history of legal and economic parameters that designate one as undocumented and how narratives, artistic representations, and media that endeavor to portray and symbolize these particular immigrants. This class will pay particular attention to how legal, political, and economic designations of immigrant's "illegal" or "undocumented" status depend on and sustain U.S. discourse about race and ethnicity.
1030:TR   WESTC 1
AMST 402-01 Writing in American Studies
Instructor: Jerry Philogene
Course Description:
Students research and write a substantial research project, normally drawing on their work in 401. Prerequisite: 303, 401.
1330:W   DENNY 204
AMST 500-01 Of Lines and Lands: Thomas Pynchon's Novels of the 90's
Instructor: J Cotten Seiler
Course Description: