Courses: Fall 2022

American Studies Inside Courses: Fall 2022


AMST 10100/20100       Introduction to American Studies     M/W 12:50-1:40pm
Peter Cajka                            Discussion sections Fridays                11:35 -12:25 and 12:50-1:40pm

This course explores the rich and varied field of American Studies, a field dedicated to understanding America's diverse cultures and the ways’ American national identity has been constructed and contested differently over time. Through lectures, readings, and discussion, we will consider questions such as: How have ideas about race, gender, religion, sexuality, ethnicity, and class shaped the making and meaning of America and Americans, and how have they evolved? What are the dominant myths and values that Americans seem to share? How has the American Dream been defined, and by whom? As a class we will consider the ways in which concepts of America and American are performed and how they have changed over time, across space, and within particular social, cultural, and political contexts. Assignments emphasize critical analysis of texts; requirements include papers, a midterm, and a final.


AMST 20601  The Black Body             
Tracie Canada  T/TH: 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm                     

How is race embodied and how are bodies racialized? How do gender, sexuality, class, size, perceived beauty, and ability mutually influence embodiment? This course considers anthropological and historical studies of the body, with a critical focus on Blackness. We investigate how Black human bodies are othered, valued, dehumanized, and experienced, across time and space, with a particular focus on the United States. Euro-American philosophies have constructed Black people as transgressive, in a variety of ways, and all these ideas have been inscribed on and through their physical bodies. This normative discourse shapes how Black people interact with the social world, so we will discuss, challenge, and critique these narratives and also consider how the body can be used as a site of resistance. We will engage topics like athletic training, bodily modification and perceptions of beauty, biomedical technologies, labor, disability, and illness, through texts like academic writing, music, podcasts, essays, news media, and social media. Overall, this class demonstrates how bodies are key sites for understanding politics, power, social hierarchies, economics, and social change in our contemporary world.


AMST 30101           Baseball in America     
Katherine Walden    T/TH: 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm   

Baseball is one of the most enduringly popular and significant cultural activities in the United States. Since the late 19th century, baseball has occupied an important place for those wishing to define and understand "America." Who has been allowed to play on what terms? How have events from baseball's past been remembered and re-imagined? What is considered scandalous and why (and who decides)? How has success in baseball been defined and redefined? Centering baseball as an industry and a cultural practice, this course will cover topics that include the political, economic, and social development of professional baseball in the United States; the rise of organized baseball industry and Major League Baseball; and globalization in professional baseball. Readings for this course will include chapters from texts that include Rob Rucks's How the Major Leagues Colonized the Black and Latin Game (2011), Adrian Burgos's Playing America's Game: Baseball, Latinos, and the Color Line (2007), Daniel Gilbert's Expanding the Strike Zone: Baseball in the Age of Free Agency (2013), Robert Elias's How Baseball Sold U.S. Foreign Policy and Promoted the American Way Abroad (2010), and Michael Butterworth's Baseball and Rhetorics of Purity: The National Pastime and American Identity During the War on Terror (2010). Coursework may include response papers, primary source analysis, and a final project.


AMST 30103      Critical Refugee Studies 

Jennifer Huynh    M/W: 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

The United Nations estimates that an unprecedented 71 million people around the world have been forced to flee from their respective homes. Among them are nearly 26 million refugees, half of whom are under the age of 18. Media and social science scholarship represent refugees as passive recipients of western aid and avoid critical examination of the global and historical conditions that create "refugees." This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of critical refugee studies (CRS) to re-conceptualize the refugee not as a problem to be solved but as a site of social and political critiques. CRS illuminates the processes of colonization, war, and displacement. This course examines militarism and migration as well as refugee voices written in their own words. We will assess a variety of sources, including oral history, ethnography, art, graphic novels, and interdisciplinary scholarship from humanities and social science.


AMST 30104         Data Feminism 

Katherine Walden  T/TH: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

Feminism isn't only about women, nor is feminism only for women. Feminism is about power - about who has it and who doesn't. And in today's world, data is power. Data can be used to create communities, advance research, and expose injustice. But data can also be used to discriminate, marginalize, and surveil. This course will draw intersectional feminist theory and activism to identify models for challenging existing power differentials in data science, with the aim of using data science methods and tools to work towards justice. Class meetings will be split between discussions of theoretical readings and explorations of data science tools and methods (such as Tableau, RStudio, and Python). Those readings may include chapters from texts that include Catherine D'Ignazio and Lauren Klein's Data Feminism (2020), Virginia Eubanks's Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor (2018), Ruha Benjamin's Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code (2019), and Sasha Costanza-Chock's Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need (2020). This course will also examine the data advocacy and activism work undertaken by groups like Our Data Bodies, Data for Black Lives, the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, and Chicago-based Citizens Police Data Project. Over the course of the semester, students will develop original research projects that use data to intervene in issues of inequality and injustice. This course is not about gaining mastery of particular data science tools or methods, therefore familiarity with statistical analysis or data science tools (R, RStudio, Python, etc.) is NOT a prerequisite for this course.


AMST 30107        History of the Book  

Korey Garibaldi     T/TH: 9:30 am – 10:45 am

This course examines the nineteenth and twentieth century histories of print and cultural manufacturing in the U.S., with special attention given to readers, writers, media producers, and distribution. By tracing how literature, broadly defined, has influenced the shape and reshaping of modern life, our primary goal for the semester will be to better understand the role and impact of intellectual transmission on civil society, formal politics, and cultural standards. Related topics we will investigate include the development and growth of American children's literature; the history of racial and ethnic authorship; the rise of industrial publishing; national and transnational censorship; and legacies of "master" communicators to mass audiences (e.g., Franklin Roosevelt with radio, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan with television, and Donald Trump with Twitter). Course readings and film screenings will range from William Llloyd Garrison's abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator, Matthew Rubery's The Untold Story of the Talking Book, Catherine Fisk's Writing for Hire: Unions, Hollywood, and Madison Avenue, James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time, Capote, and The Social Network.


AMST 30111  Disability at Notre Dame

Laurel Daen      T/TH: 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm 

Disability has long been constructed as the opposite of higher education. Universities are places that valorize, even demand, physical and intellectual ability. Disability, in turn, is often seen as something that does not fit within a university context, a problem that must be fixed. This antithetical relationship between disability and the university is rooted in history—eugenical curriculums, research programs that study disabled people—but it continues today. Despite a growing focus on diversity in university admissions and populations, disabled students enter higher education at a lower rate than non-disabled students and are less likely to graduate. In addition, universities perpetuate cultures of ableism in both faculty and students by prioritizing ability, perfection, and achievement. This course interrogates the relationship between disability and higher education with a special focus on our university, Notre Dame. Students will be introduced to fundamental principles in disability studies; explore the place of disability in higher education; and, drawing on scholarship in critical university studies, consider intersections between ableism, racism, and sexism in university contexts. Students will also think and learn about what inclusive and accessible education might look like. The course will conclude with a student-driven project designed to increase access, inclusiveness, and awareness about ableism and disability at Notre Dame.


AMST 30119      The Asian American Experience

Jennifer Huynh    M/W: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

This class will survey the various historical and contemporary dimensions of Asian American experiences including immigration & integration, family & community dynamics, ethnic/gender/class identity, as well as transnational and diasporic experiences. We will explore contemporary and historical issues of racism, the model minority myth, inter-generational relationships, and the educational experiences of Asian Americans. To accomplish this, our class will pose such questions as: Who is Asian American? How did racism create Chinatown? Is there an Asian advantage? Coursework includes essays based on topics of your choice, presentations, and a creative narrative.


AMST 30126           Captives and Slaves

Sophie White             T/TH: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

This interdisciplinary course will foreground the lives of the enslaved in colonial America and the Caribbean (inc. Haiti). We will consider indigenous Native-American and West African practices pertaining to enslavement and captivity, as well as the development of hereditary slavery in the colonies. Throughout, we will maintain a focus on understanding the lived experience of individuals who were captured/enslaved, with special emphasis on gender and material culture.


AMST 30133           Buddhism in America

Thomas Tweed          T/TH: 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

This course traces the history of Buddhism in the United States since the nineteenth century. After considering the history of Asian immigrants who brought Buddhism with them and American-born converts who embraced it here, we take some steps toward a cultural history of Buddhism in the US since 1945, analyzing the tradition's influence on other faiths and on politics, activism, fiction, poetry, painting, video art, film, music, architecture, martial arts, how-to literature, psychology, and medicine.


AMST 30135           Off the Wall

Erika Doss                  T/TH: 5:05 pm – 6:20 pm 

The 1950s, we're told, were America's "best" years: an idyllic era of suburban family togetherness, television shows like Leave it to Beaver, Disneyland (which opened in Anaheim in 1955), and really big cars. Magazine publisher Henry Luce and other mid-century American power-brokers promoted the postwar US on hegemonic terms: as a unified nation defined by a liberal political economy and by the expectations and desires of middle-class citizens united by the shared goals of upward social mobility and consumerism (white collar jobs, home ownership), college educations, family/suburban lifestyles, etc. This was called the "consensus model" of American identity. Not surprisingly, this ideal of America and these normative expectations about "being" American created a number of tensions in post-World War II America. First, the goals themselves were unattainable for some Americans due to the nation's persistent habits of racism, sexism, class preference, and homophobia. Second, some Americans felt restricted and restrained by expectations of middle-class conformity, among other things. This led to a number of counter-hegemonic cultural expressions: from art that came off the wall to artists who went on the road. This course examines those American artists and their rebellions, from artists like Jackson Pollock—who took his paintings "off the wall" and made them on the floor—to writers like Jack Kerouac, whose novel On the Road was published in 1957. It surveys American art from the Great Depression of the 1930s through the early 1970s, looking at art styles and movements including Regionalism, Abstract Expressionism, Beat, Funk, Pop, Minimalism, Conceptual art, Psychedelia, Earthworks, Feminist art, and the Black Art Movement. Themes include the "triumph of American painting" after World War II, links between art and politics, the development of postwar art theory, and intersections between the avant-garde, popular culture, and consumer culture. A special "Elvis Day" examines post-World War II youth culture and counter-hegemonic rebellion.


AMST 30165           The Vietnam War & American Catholics

Peter Cajka                 M/W: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm 

How did the most divisive war in American History shape the nation's biggest church community? This course explores Catholics as both supporters and detractors of the Vietnam War. American Catholics wished to see America defeat Communism but, importantly, the power of faith motivated many to criticize the state's escalation of the conflict. Students will explore the tensions and transformations of this important moment in American life. Lectures and classroom discussions will address decolonization, the global and national nature of American Catholicism, the power of the liberal state, conscientious objection, the "Spirit of the Sixties," sacramental protests, the rise of human rights, geopolitics, and the Cold War. Course readings will include the latest scholarship, but also primary sources like poems, films, songs, letters, prayers, newspaper articles, and art. Students will have access to the rich materials of Catholic peace activists found in the University of Notre Dame Archives.


AMST 30170           Laboring Women 

Sophie White            T/TH: 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm 

What did shopping, tavern-keeping, and midwifery have in common in early America? They could all be considered legitimate forms of women's and girls' labors both inside and outside of the home. We will consider work that was skilled or unskilled, free or enslaved, and paid or unpaid, and how changing definitions of "women's work" helped to shape boundaries of race and class. Servants were restricted from marrying and procreating while the value of enslaved women resided in both their work and their reproductive potential. Hence, this course will also consider the dual facets of women's labor in work and their labor in childbirth.


AMST 30174           American Wilderness 

Anne Coleman          M/W: 9:30 am – 10:45 am

What does it mean to be American? Wilderness, as an idea, a set of places, and a political process, is a big part of the answer. Writers, historians, painters, photographers, and politicians have described American landscapes as wild from colonization into the 21st century to great effect. Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold famously anchor the history of popular environmental thought. But wilderness is not simple. Because places are constantly constructed and reconstructed through culture as well as politics, wilderness has taken shape in concert with relationships of gender, class, race, and nation. National parks protected distinctively American landscapes starting in 1872 by removing the Native American peoples who inhabited them, and the 1964 Wilderness Act built from that legacy. Today, Congress has designated about 5% of the United States (over half in Alaska) as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System, and arguments over the protection of public land continue to divide local and national communities. This class will explore how the idea of wilderness, the places associated with it, and the politics surrounding both have developed from the 19th century to today. It will examine how wilderness has underscored our national identity but largely failed to recognize the diversity of American society and culture. Along the way we will discuss literature, history, visual culture, politics, and popular media, and explore historical relationships between wilderness and art, outdoor recreation, public land management, and consumer culture.


AMST 30183           Applied Multimedia

Justin Hicks               T/TH: 9:30 am – 10:45 am

This course is a hands-on examination of the latest digital tools and techniques used by journalists as they produce stories on multiple platforms. Students will learn how to take digital photographs, how to shoot and edit high-definition videos, and how to produce audio stories and podcasts. Students will also study the legal and ethical issues surrounding the use, creation and publication of digital media.


AMST 30190           Religion in America

Thomas Tweed          T/TH: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm 

This course introduces students to the history of religion in the lands that became the United States. it focuses on how diverse peoples imagined and transformed the landscape, interacted with one another at different sites, and moved within and across borders. It is divided into two main sections. We begin --and end--by asking: How should we tell the story of religion in America? To help students clarify their thinking and provide them with a wide variety of intriguing sources, the next two sections introduce different ways to tell that story--by chronology or theme. Section one provides an historical overview, telling the story of U.S. religion by tracing chronological shifts, and we turn in the next section to explore a series of theses drawing on varied sources from multiple groups and historical periods. The topics we discuss in that section include gender, sexuality, science, class, race, ethnicity, violence, politics, pluralism, and law. Along the way, students plan and write a research paper on a topic of their choice and present their findings to the class. At the end, we circle back to the questions we posted at the start-how do we tell the story of U.S. religion? -as we write our own narrative on the last day of class.


AMST 30192           Sports and American Culture

Anne Coleman           M/W: 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm

Sports play a big role in American culture. From pick up soccer and the Baraka Bouts to fantasy football and the Olympics, sports articulate American identities, priorities, aspirations, and concerns. They reflect our dominant values but also highlight our divisions and serve as a means to question those values. Athletes, organizers, spectators, fans, and the media all have a stake. This course will examine sport's role in American society and culture thematically, covering the late 19th century to present and paying special attention to sport as a physical performance (including issues of danger, drugs, disability, spectatorship, and fandom), sport as an expression of identity (the construction of race, gender, class, community, and nation), sport as a form of labor (with issues of power and control, safety, and amateurism), and sport as a cultural narrative (how do writers, historians, and the media attach meaning to it?). We will examine history, journalism, documentary film, and television coverage; topics will range from Victorian bicyclists and early college football to Muhammad Ali. Requirements include reading and regular discussion, a variety of short analytical papers, and a culminating project in which students will choose one course theme to analyze through a topic of their own choice.


AMST 30197           Public Art & Memory in America

Erika Doss                  T/TH: 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm 

Public art is a major facet of modern and contemporary American culture and is often controversial: in the 1980s, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was criticized by some for being "anti-American," in the 1990s, the Smithsonian cancelled an exhibit on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima after certain members of Congress said it was not "patriotically correct," in the 2000s, the design and construction of the National September 11 Memorial (dedicated in New York in 2011) was beset by protests. This course examines the politics and aesthetics of public art in America from the perspectives of its producers and audiences. What is public art? Why is it made? Who is it for? How and why does it embody tensions in American culture and society regarding identity, authority, and taste? Specific topics to be explored include American memorials and remembrance rituals, the development of the public art "industry," community art projects (such as murals), national arts programs and policies, landscape architecture, tourism, museums, and national fairs. Our objectives are to recognize how public art shapes and directs local and national understandings of history and memory, self and society, in the United States. Course includes field trips; students will develop their own "Wiki Public Art" pages.


AMST 43156             Drugs and U.S. Popular Culture

Jason Ruiz                    M/W: 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm               Senior AMST Majors only

Mind-altering substances have various, often conflicting meanings in American history and culture. This senior seminar explores the history, meanings, myths, and realities associated with narcotics in the United States. We will pay special attention to drugs and social difference, exploring the ways that American ideas about narcotics relate to such matters as race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, citizenship, and nation. Students will conduct original research into a chosen aspect of drugs in America. 


AMST 47909             The Senior Thesis

Jason Ruiz                    M/W: 9:30 am – 10:45 am               Senior AMST Majors only

The Senior Thesis Capstone provides a culminating experience for American Studies majors who are writing a Senior Thesis. It is only offered during fall semesters and should be followed in the spring by 3 credit hours of AMST 47910 Senior Thesis Writing with the thesis advisor. This course encourages students to think about how their coursework fits together as a whole and gives them an opportunity to put what they've learned as American Studies majors into practice. In this course students will be expected to demonstrate significant progress towards their senior thesis, a year-long experience developed with a faculty advisor that aspires to make an original contribution to the field. Class readings and discussions will address current issues and themes in the field of American Studies as well as how student theses will develop, support, or revise those themes. During the semester students will work on refining a topic and developing a supporting bibliography, conducting a significant amount of research (whether in libraries or in the field), situating their research among relevant secondary sources, writing an abstract or prospectus to guide further research and writing in the spring, and planning the project's final form (paper, exhibit, documentary, etc.). Specific expectations for each project/student will be developed in consultation with the course instructor and the student's thesis advisor. It is expected that each student meet at least twice with their thesis advisor during the semester. This course will be graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis.


American Studies Outside Courses: Fall 2022


AMST 30213             Lit of Reform & Revolution
Abigail Rawleigh        M/W: 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm     CROSSLISTS W/ ENGL

“...and by the way, in the new Code of Laws ... I desire you would Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.” – Abigail Adams, Letter to her husband, John, March 31, 1776 In this course we will consider the ways in which women writers shaped social, political, and religious dialogue from the British colonial period to the 21st century in North America. Taking up Abigail Adams’ charge to “Remember the Ladies,” we will ask how American women writers took up the mantle for social change, adapting and inventing literary tools to fit their reforming interests. We will explore a variety of genres from personal poetry to political declarations, considering how women writers over the course of three centuries both unsettled and reinforced systems of social hierarchy and inequality, applying the questions these reformers asked to our own present-day experiences. Throughout our reading, writing, and class discussions, we will continually return to the guiding questions of the course: In what ways do women writers complicate, dismantle, or otherwise reinscribe systems of inequality in early America? And what can we, in our twenty-first-century context, learn from them?


AMST 30214            Sense of Place in American Lit
Jake McGinnis           M/W: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm     CROSSLISTS W/ ENGL

For the last five centuries, American literatures have reflected diverse and changing relationships between people and their environment. Scholars in human geography and other fields call this a sense of place, our “sixth sense.” In some instances, sense of place is so strong, so deeply imbued with meaning, that it becomes a part of individual or cultural identity, such as one’s childhood home, famous historical landmarks, fictional landscapes, and even Notre Dame’s campus. This course explores the many ways American writers have represented senses of place - and senses of being displaced, or of placelessness - in literary prose. What does it mean to belong to a place? How does connection to place impact specific literary traditions? What is our responsibility to place, and how might notions of place help us understand diverse people and cultures? We’ll consider these questions throughout the term in class discussions and in formal papers, and students will explore their own sense of place in regular informal writing assignments.


AMST 30250            American Prophets: U.S. Poetry
Sara Judy T/TH:        12:30 pm – 1:45 pm               CROSSLISTS W/ ENGL

American poets have long used their poetry to speak truth to power, writing against war, racialized injustice, gender and income inequality, and the climate crisis. Figuring themselves as spokes poets for the nation, many see this kind of writing as prophetic work. But what is the nature of prophecy in American poetry? What do prophetic poets sound like, and what kind of poems do they write? How do we know a prophet when we hear one? In this course, students will explore the various traditions of prophetic poetry in the U.S., applying theories from the Black prophetic tradition, Jewish and feminist criticism, and others. Readings include American poets from the nineteenth century through the present day, including: Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg, Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, Kaveh Akbar, and others. At the end of the semester, students will research social protest poetry relating to a cause of their choice, and propose an addition to the syllabus, arguing for their own definition of what makes an American poet a prophet.


AMST 30255            American Migrant Communities
Francisco Robles      T/TH: 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm     CROSSLISTS W/ ENGL, ILS, & GSC

In this class, we will explore various American migrant communities. Along with Sui Sin Far's Mrs. Spring Fragrance, we will begin with W.E.B. DuBois's classic sociological and literary text, The Souls of Black Folk, initiating the semester with a provocative and urgent question: Should we consider the European colonists the paradigmatic bearers of American identity, or rather the people whose labor and/or land was used to build the United States? By pursuing this question, we will explore the many facets and difficulties of American identity. We will end the semester with Janet Campbell Hale's Women on the Run. Thus, rather than positioning American Indians at the beginning of American history - and thus repeating the myth of their disappearance - we will end with an exploration of what it means to survive, renew, and flourish in contemporary America, a question made particularly poignant and potent in Hale's novel. The various migrant communities we will explore are: African Americans, Chinese Americans, Caribbean Americans, Filipino Americans, Anglo Americans, Southern Americans, "Okies," Armenian Americans, Mexican Americans, Dominican Americans, and American Indians. While this is by no means exhaustive, it gives us an idea of the diversity of peoples who find themselves in the demonym "American" - and what it means to navigate this identity as a migrant. What are the benefits and pitfalls of migration? What should one's relationship be to assimilation? What does migration do to the idea of homeland? As you can see, we will also tackle tough political issues while keeping in mind the role of literature in creating identities: national, local, ethnic, and racial (and that's just the beginning). Although we will be working chronologically through the 20th Century, our progress will be atypical. Our circuitous route through the literature in this class will be a literary journey that echoes the various movements of people in the American 20th Century. Potential course texts include: Mrs. Spring Fragrance, Sui sin Far (Edith Maude Eaton); Bread Givers, Anzia Yezierska; Quicksand, Nella Larsen; Whose Names Are Unknown, Sanora Babb; My Name is Aram, William Saroyan; Migration (series of paintings), Jacob Lawrence; America Is in the Heart, Carlos Bulosan; Maude Martha, Gwendolyn Brooks; ...y no se lo tragó la tierra, Tomás Rivera; The Rain God, Arturo Islas; How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, Julia Alvarez; Women on the Run, Janet Campbell Hale.


AMST 30271            American Literary Traditions I
Nan Da                          M/W: 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm      CROSSLISTS W/ ENGL

Introduction to American literature from its beginnings through the Civil War, emphasizing important figures, literary forms, and cultural movements.


AMST 30317            Sport, America & The World
John Soares               T/TH: 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm     CROSSLISTS W/ HIST, SMAC & STV

This course explores the history of American sport in global context. American football was one of a number of sports (including soccer, rugby and various "football" games) that emerged from common roots. Ice hockey began as a Canadian sport but grew popular in parts of the United States by fusing Canadian talent and management with American capital. Basketball was invented in Massachusetts by a foreign-born educator who viewed physical education as a religious calling, and his creation grew internationally, with the international game developing important differences from the American game. Since the time of sporting goods baron Albert Spalding, businessmen and politicians have used sport to try to market specific products, the American way of life, or a diplomatic agenda. Alone among the industrial nations, the United States developed a talent-development system centered on schools and colleges, with distinctive results - both for the athletes, and for higher education. This course will consider these and other issues.


AMST 30327                Interwar U.S.A.
Rebecca McKenna       T/TH: 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm   CROSSLISTS W/ HIST

This course considers U.S. history from the "Jazz Age" through the depression decade. Drawing on secondary literature and primary sources including novels, films, and non-fiction writing, we will focus especially on the social and cultural dimensions of consumerism, the rise of industrial unionism, religious fundamentalism, the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan, prohibition, immigration restriction, and the Great Depression and New Deal. we will consider the U.S. role in the world through a period often characterized as one of American isolationism; understanding of capitalism between the Roaring 20s and the descent into economic depression; and intellectual though and the participation of artists and intellectuals in public life.


AMST 30330            Moby-Dick & 19th Century America
James Lundberg       T/TH: 3:30 pm – 4:45 pm      CROSSLISTS W/ HIST

“I but put that brow before you,” Herman Melville wrote in his 1851 novel, Moby-Dick, “read it if you can.” Melville was describing the brow of the mighty sperm whale, but his words apply equally to his mighty book. In this seminar, we can and will read Moby-Dick, Melville’s maddening masterpiece. We will read Moby-Dick as an invitation into its multiple historical contexts in the 19th-century American and wider worlds. We will explore the world of whaling and the age of sail, the ecological and imaginary expanses of the 19th-century ocean, the intellectual and literary culture of the “American Renaissance,” and a nation on a collision course with itself over slavery and empire.


AMST 30332                   Crime, Heredity, Insanity in United States

Linda Przybyszewski      T/TH: 9:30 am – 10:45 am      CROSSLISTS W/ HIST, GSC, STV, CNST & HIST

The 19th century witnessed a transformation in the understanding of the origins of criminal behavior in the United States. For many, a religious emphasis on humankind as sinful gave way to a belief in its inherent goodness. But if humans were naturally good, how could their evil actions be explained? Drawing on studies done here and abroad, American doctors, preachers, and lawyers debated whether environment, heredity, or free will determined the actions of the criminal. By the early 20th century, lawyers and doctors had largely succeeded in medicalizing criminality. Psychiatrists treated criminals as patients; judges invoked hereditary eugenics in sentencing criminals. Science, not sin, had apparently become the preferred mode of explanation for the origins of crime. But was this a better explanation than what had come before?


AMST 30334            Boxing in America
Patrick Griffin            M/W: 11:30 am – 12:20 pm         CROSSLISTS W/ HIST & SMAC

In this course, we will study the history of boxing in the United States and learn a great deal about the craft of boxing, what commentators have called “the sweet science.” The class will do so in conventional and innovative ways. The course will explore the story of boxing in America from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries. It will start in England and colonial America, move to places like nineteenth-century New York, New Orleans, and the California mining camps where boxing was transformed from a gambling pursuit among the working class into a mass spectator sport, examine the time when boxing became ascendant in America, and end in the late twentieth century when boxing was entangled with urban decay and changing race politics. The story of boxing is the story of America. The class will look at the rise of cities, mass migration, changing understandings of gender, race, and class, urban history, and the fortunes and misfortunes of postwar American culture.


AMST 30364            American Empires
Katlyn Carter             T/TH: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm CROSSLISTS W/ HIST

This course is an introduction to colonial American history, from the first contact between Native Americans and European settlers, through the rise of what Thomas Jefferson called the American "Empire of Liberty." Approached through the lens of empires, the class provides a foundation for thinking about the emergence of the United States as a multi-ethnic nation and its ongoing global connections. Students will explore the missionary work of Jesuits and fur trappers in New France, the emergence of plantation-based slavery in the Caribbean and American South, Spanish imperial ambitions in the Southwest, Native American empires in the Great Plains, and the Westward expansion of the United States as a young nation. Less emphasis will be placed on memorizing facts and figures, and more attention will be given to identifying change over time related to social, political, religious, economic, and cultural themes. Students will ask and develop answers to questions like: What was new about the "New World" for both Europeans and Native Americans? How did Native Americans shape the course of European colonization? How did imperial rivalries and conflicts contribute to the outbreak of the American Revolution? When Jefferson referred to the United States as an "empire of liberty," what did he mean? Was the new nation an empire? Through the consultation of primary source material and in-class discussion, you will practice thinking historically. Students will be evaluated on class participation, a group timeline and podcast, in addition to a short midterm paper and final exam.


AMST 30416            Ballads to Hip-Hop
Alex Chavez               M/W: 12:30 pm – 1:45 pm        CROSSLISTS W/ ILS, ANTH, AFST

This course is designed to introduce students to important historical and stylistic musical developments as part of the cultural experience of ethnic Mexicans in the United States. To this end, we examine both music-making and performance as aesthetic dialects of the social texture of "everyday life". We will cover various styles and genres, including corridos (the Mexican ballad form), Chicano rock 'n- roll and hip-hop, jazz, and contemporary folk-derived styles (i.e. Banda, Pasito Duranguense, Norteño) with attention to their historical, political, and musical significance. In order we achieve our aims, the course is organized along two axes: one chronological, the other conceptual - neither complete. The chronological portion will allow us to survey the various genres, styles, and ensembles of ethnic Mexican musical production. We dovetail this effort with a focus on important themes and concepts, identity, race, gender, migration, hybridity, that pertain to the present and historical social conditions of this community. Our approach, such that we are dealing with music-cultures, is at once anthropological and ethnomusicological, yet we are guided more broadly, by the paradigm of cultural studies, as we interrogate the expressive terrain where history, language, performance, and social bodies intersect.


AMST 30453            History of American Education: Race, Pol.
Brian Collier               M/W: 8:00 am – 9:15 am            CROSSLISTS W/ AFST, ESS, HESB, CHR

American Education mirrors American society with myriad challenges, successes, and ideologies. This course will look at how political struggles over race, language, gender, and class have all played out in the battle over American schools, schools that ultimately hold the literal future of America. This course will explore the History of Education in American from the late 1865 to the present and will have special emphasis on segregated schools in the 19th century and today. The course will also look closely at the very best programs re-shaping American education such as The Alliance for Catholic Education and KIPP. The course will look at education from Kindergarten all the way through graduate programs as we study how our institutions have formed and how they form and transform our society.


AMST 30480            U.S. National Security Policymaking
Daniel Lindley             T/TH: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm             CROSSLISTS W/ POLS, HESB

This course serves as a gateway for subsequent coursework in international security. It is a required course in the Notre Dame International Security Center's undergraduate certificate program requirements, but it is also appropriate for, and open to, any Notre Dame students interested in U.S. national security policymaking. It will begin with an account of the history and development of U.S. national security policy from the Founding through the present. Next, it examines the current state of the primary institutions involved in U.S. national security policymaking. Finally, it explores the tools and instruments of military statecraft as applied by the United States. The course culminates with a simulation exercise in which students will role-play key participants in the U.S. national security policymaking process. At a minimum, that students will gain from it the analytical tools, historical knowledge, and current-events background to become more informed citizens, particularly with respect to important national debates about when and how our country should use military force. At a maximum, the course may lead some students to become interested enough in the topic to pursue a career in either the practice or the study of U.S. national security policy. The current draft version of the syllabus is posted at

AMST 30519               Social Inequality and American Education

Amy Langenkemp            M/W: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm            CROSSLISTS W/ AFST, SOC, ILS, HESB, CHR, ESS

Many have claimed that the American educational system is the "great equalizer among men." In other words, the educational system gives everyone a chance to prosper in American society regardless of their social origins. In this course, we will explore the validity of this claim. Do schools help make American society more equal by reducing the importance of class, race, and gender as sources of inequality, or do schools simply reinforce existing inequalities and reproduce pre-existing social relations? Topics covered in the course include: unequal resources among schools, sorting practices of students within schools, parents' role in determining student outcomes, the role of schooling in determining labor market outcomes for individuals, and the use of educational programs as a remedy for poverty.


AMST 30824            Structural & Cultural Violence
Jason Springs             T/TH: 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm         CROSSLISTS W/ IIPS & SOC

This course offers an in-depth analysis of the roles of structural and cultural violence in peace studies. Unit 1 (conceptual/theoretical) explores field-formative debates over the nature, basis, and viability of “structural violence” and “cultural violence” as analytical concepts, asking how they have shaped (or failed to, but perhaps ought to shape) the field of peace studies. We will examine their critical appropriations of early critical theory, and assess comparable theoretical approaches such as reflexive sociology (Pierre Bourdieu and Loic Wacquant), post-structural analysis (Michel Foucault), and later critical theory (Nancy Fraser and Axel Honneth) while asking what advantages, if any, lenses of structural and cultural violence have vis-à-vis these resources for peace analysis and peacebuilding, and where they need to be supplemented. Unit 2 (cases/agents) studies cases in which some version of these analytical lenses have been deployed for purposes of peace analysis and peacebuilding. We examine recent uses of these lenses to examine poverty, global development, and global health in building peace (e.g. Nancy Scheper-Hughes, Paul Farmer, Peter Uvin), religious/cultural identity (Veena Das), and race, class, and gender (Joshua Price on incarceration and prison abolition in the U.S; Alex Mikulich and Laurie Cassidy on white complicity in hyper incarceration).


AMST 30923            Public Pedagogies
Michael Macaluso    M/W: 9:30 am – 10:45 am      CROSSLISTS W/ ESS

Discussions about curriculum and pedagogy in education have, for the most part, been limited a limiting, exploring curriculum as a written plan of study (often handed down by the state or a district) and pedagogy as the mere equivalence of teacher instruction. Using some foundational and contemporary theories in education combined with those with ideas from public pedagogy and cultural studies, the intent of this course it to broaden and complexify our understandings of curriculum and pedagogy - what they are, what they entail, where and by whom they are enacted, and mostly, what they "do" in education when conceived in more broader terms.


AMST 30975           Health, Medicine, and American Culture
Ira Halpern                   T/TH: 11:00 am – 12:15 pm               CROSSLISTS W/ STV

This course will introduce students to representations of health and medical care in American fiction as well as the autobiographical, sociological, and medical writings of doctors, nurses, and public health advocates. We will pay particular attention to how health reform and health justice have been imagined, enacted, and reframed within medical, literary, and cultural discourse. We will encounter portrayals of the Civil War hospital, studies about racialization and public health, commentaries on gender and nervous disorders, questions of disability, critiques of the health care economy, as well as the entanglements of science, sexology, and the literary imagination. How have various aspects of human experience been medicalized within American culture? In what ways have perceptions of sickness, health, and care been culturally constituted? Do early debates within the medical profession speak to twenty-first-century concerns about the future of health care?