Courses: Spring 2023
American Studies Inside Courses: Spring 2023
AMST 30102 Integration in the US & Europe Korey Garibaldi M/W 12:30-1:45 PM
This class examines the social, spatial and intellectual history of "integration" in the United States and Europe, from the publication of Jean-Jacques Rousseau's The Social Contract (1762) up to the so-called "global revolutions" of 1968. Students will gain a comprehensive introduction to how peasants, (im) migrants, people of color, and other disempowered populations negotiated confraternity and inclusion - despite tenacious subjugation and exclusion - within and across Western nation-states and colonial possessions. Related topics range from "Indian removal" to religious persecution; from absolutist monarchies to gender discrimination; and from legalized slavery to histories of genocide. Our seminar, eclectic in scope and method, will put particular emphasis on transnational histories of social movements and cultural transformations. In addition to four short writing assignments (4 - 5 pages, double-spaced) connecting two or more course readings, students will develop a final paper (7 - 8 pages, double-spaced) based on cumulative sources, including texts such as: Alexander Pushkin's The Moor of Peter the Great (1837), Maya Jasanoff's The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World (2017), Todd Tucker's Notre Dame vs. the Klan: How the Fighting Irish Defeated the Ku Klux Klan (2004), and Winston Churchill's "United States of Europe" speech (1946). No prior background in American or European history is either required or assumed.
AMST 30105 Sustainable America Thomas Tweed T/TH 2:00-3:15 PM
This CAD course looks back to 1850, when urban industrial America began, and looks forward to 2050, when Notre Dame promises to be carbon neutral, to critically engage competing visions of individual, communal, and ecological flourishing. It focuses on economic, racial, and environmental justice as students explore how US political culture, the discipline of American Studies, and Catholic social teaching have clashed and converged and Americans proposed varying solutions to poverty, racism, and environmental degradation. After an introduction to American Studies, we turn to visions of the good life in foundational US political documents (the Declaration, the Constitution, and Inaugural Addresses) and in Catholic tradition (scriptural passages, theological essays, and papal encyclicals, from Rerum Novarum to Laudato Si’). Then the course’s three main sections consider, in turn, economic equity, racial justice, and environmental restoration. Each section includes a “faith in action” case study and concludes with an “integrative essay” that puts Catholic social teaching into conversation with American Studies scholarship. In the final class session, Learning Groups present their synthesis of the course material, and, during the exam period, each student submits a final integrative essay that focuses on one of the issues—poverty, racism, or environmental degradation—and identifies what American Studies might learn from the Catholic Tradition and what the Catholic Tradition might learn from American Studies.
AMST 30108 History of American Capitalism Korey Garibaldi M/W 9:30-10:45 AM
This course offers a broad thematic overview of the history of capitalism from the early sixteenth century up to the late 1980s. As a discussion-based seminar, we will devote most of our conversations to discovering, analyzing and reflecting on the transformation of the U.S. from a newly-independent British colony, to the most influential economic power in the world. Topics and themes we will consider include: the rise of early modern transnational capitalism, European imperialism and trade, and indigenous dispossession after 1492; science and technological transformations; social and economic thought; slavery and servitude, broadly construed; and characteristics of prosperity, wealth, and economic flux. Our readings and viewings will be a mix of scholarly and primary sources, including an abundance of canonical literary and artistic material, such as novels, visual art, and film excerpts (e.g. Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House (1879), Aaron Douglas's Building More Stately Mansions (1944), and Edith Wharton's The Age of Innocence (1920)). Over the course of the semester, students will draw upon this eclectic combination of sources to synthesize the dominant historical dimensions of capitalism in and beyond the U.S. via four short essays (4 - 5 pages, double-spaced-between 1,100 and 1,400 words), and a final paper (10 - 12 pages, double-spaced) based on cumulative texts.
AMST 30109 Sport and Big Data Katherine Walden T/TH 2:00-3:15 PM
Sport is one of the most enduringly popular and significant cultural activities in the United States. Data has always been a central part of professional sport in the US, from Henry Chadwick's invention of the baseball box score in the 1850s to the National Football League's use of Wonderlic test scores to evaluate players. This course focuses on the intersecting structures of power and identity that shape how we make sense of the "datification" of professional sport. By focusing on the cultural significance of sport data, this course will put the datafication of sport in historical context and trace the ways the datafication of sport has impacted athletes, fans, media, and other stakeholders in the sport industry. The course will also delve into the technology systems used to collect and analyze sport data, from the TrackMan and PITCHf/x systems used in Major League Baseball to the National Football League's Next Gen Stats partnership to emerging computer vision and artificial intelligence research methods. Readings for this course will draw on texts like Christopher Phillips' Scouting and Scoring: How We Know What We Know About Baseball (2019), Ruha Benjamin's Captivating Technology: Race, Carceral Technoscience, and Liberatory Imagination in Everyday Life (2019), and Michael Lewis' Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (2004). Class meetings will be split between discussions of conceptual readings and applied work with sport data and technology systems. Coursework may include response papers, hands-on work with data, and a final project. Familiarity with statistical analysis, data science, or computer science tools and methods is NOT a prerequisite for this course.
AMST 30112 Witnessing the Sixties Pete Cajka M/W 11:00-12:15 PM
The purpose of this interdisciplinary course is twofold: to examine the social context and cultural change of the sixties and to explore the various journalistic and aesthetic representations of events, movements, and transformations. We will focus on the manner in which each writer or artist witnessed the sixties and explore fresh styles of writing and cultural expression, such as the new journalism popularized by Tom Wolfe and the music/lyrics performed by Bob Dylan. Major topics for consideration include the counterculture and the movement--a combination of civil rights and anti-war protests.
AMST 30113 Sports and the Environment Annie Coleman M/W 9:30-10:45 AM
With help from athletes such as Billie Jean King, Colin Kaepernick, LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Megan Rapinoe, Americans are growing accustomed to thinking about sports as embedded in the politics of gender, class, race, sexuality, and the nation. Consider the variety of places where sports happen, however, and the ways we develop and consume those places, and it becomes apparent that sports are also environmental in significant and complex ways. This course will examine the environmental politics of sports from conservation to climate change through the lenses of history and cultural studies. Course content will range from 19th century hunting, Indigenous surfing, and BASE jumping, to pick-up basketball, pro stadiums, and Notre Dame Athletics. Topical sections include outdoor sports and conservation, mountain sports and public land use, parks and recreation, stadiums and environmental justice, sports and climate change, and sustainability in the NCAA. Course requirements include regular reading and discussion, midterm and final essays, and a research project on a topic of the student’s choice.
AMST 30116 American Ruins Erika Doss T/TH 5:05-6:20 PM
American ruins are increasingly visible today, from images of urban decay and piles of debris in Detroit and Gary to movies and novels (The Book of Eli, The Road) depicting post-apocalyptic "ruinscapes" of abandoned towns, derelict factories, crumbling monuments, and deserted shopping malls, variously populated by zombies, vampires, and survivalists. Ruins typically signify "disaster," "failure," "defeat," and "the past." Why, then, in a nation that has repeatedly defined itself in terms of promise, progress, and success - the American Dream - are visions of ruin, real and imagined, so prevalent today? This class explores the history and meaning of American ruins, relating contemporary fascination with ruins ("ruin porn") to currently-held attitudes about modernity, technology, citizenship, consumerism, the rule of law, and the environment. Course materials include novels, films, and photographs; coursework includes field trips (to Detroit and Gary), essays, and discussions.
AMST 30118 Adapting Oz Darlene Hamptons M/W 11:00-12:15 PM
In 1900, L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published. Often discussed as a quintessentially American fairytale, this children's novel and the fantasy world in which it takes place has spawned a wealth of sequels, revisions, and adaptations across a multitude of media platforms--from print sequels and revisions to films, serial television shows, cartoons, games, and Broadway shows. This course will investigate not only the cultural significance of Baum's fantasy world within American culture, but also the theoretical concept of adaptation. Looking closely at multiple iterations of Oz across different platforms, we will discuss questions such as: what is the cultural significance of Oz? what does it mean to adapt a text? how does a story change when it moves from page, to stage, to screen, and back again? Why is it important to examine these changes? What roles do historical/cultural context and audiences play in adaptation? For students of film and media, American culture, and literature this course will provide an opportunity to explore critical concepts of culture and myth, examine the relationship between popular culture and identity, and develop and practice skills in formal analysis.
AMST 30125 Race & Technology of Surveillance Katherine Walden T/TH 11:00-12:15 PM
The United States has a long history of using its most cutting-edge science and technology to discriminate, marginalize, oppress, and surveil. The poorhouse and scientific charity of an earlier era have been replaced by digital tracking and automated decision-making systems like facial recognition and risk prediction algorithms. This course focuses on how automated systems are tasked with making life-and-death choices: which neighborhoods get policed, which families get food, who has housing, and who remains homeless. This course will examine black box tools used in K-12 education, social services, and the criminal justice system to better understand how these technologies reinforce and worsen existing structural inequalities and systems of oppression. Class meetings will be split between discussions of conceptual readings and applied work with technology systems. Readings for this course will draw on texts that include Safiya Noble's Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism (2018), Virginia Eubanks' Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor (2018), Catherine D'Ignazio and Lauren Klein's Data Feminism (2020), and Meredith Broussard's Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World (2019). This course will also examine the advocacy and activism work undertaken by groups like Our Data Bodies, Data 4 Black Lives, Algorithmic Justice League, Auditing Algorithms, Big Brother Watch, and Chicago-based Citizens Police Data Project. Coursework may include response papers, hands-on work, and a final project. Familiarity with statistical analysis, data science, or computer science tools and methods is NOT a prerequisite for this course.
AMST 30129 Notre Dame & America Kathleen Cummings T/TH 12:30-1:45 PM
In this course, we will interpret Notre Dame - an institution often defined as America's only truly national University - from the perspective of American studies. Notre Dame--much like America--can be defined and understood in multiple ways: as a physical location, as social and institutional world, and as an imaginary. We will explore Notre Dame from its pre-history as the homeland of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, to its founding as a missionary outpost of the European Catholic Church, through its evolution during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, through its present profile as a top-tier research university and the nation's premier Catholic educational institution. We will focus not only on obvious subjects such as Catholicism and football but also on as other key topics and themes in American studies that intersect with Notre Dame's story in the past and present. This course is designed to fulfill the History and CAD requirements.
AMST 30150 Decolonizing Gaming: Critical Engagement Through Design & Play Ashlee Bird T/TH 9:30-10:45 AM
This course aims to change the way you think not only about the way that we play games, but also about the way that video games teach their players to behave within their digital worlds. This course will encourage students to reflect on and utilize their lived experiences as players, and utilize these experiences to locate themselves within their analysis and writing as well as their design practices. This course will undertake an intensive, interdisciplinary focus on the history of video game development, representation in video games, and the languages that digital games work in as well as decolonial theory and diverse theories of design. This class will engage with a variety of scholarly texts, video games, media posts, videos, and design exercises, in order to illustrate the ways in which video games have shaped the ways we play, think, and behave within their spaces. Students will be required to write and design around these lessons and address and push back against the problematic behaviors and colonial narratives around violence, race, gender, sexuality, and relationship to the land that these gamic languages and lessons have created.
AMST 30177 The Ideas that Made America Peter Cajka M/W 2:00-3:15 PM
America, at its core, is an idea. The lands that became America have been imagined and in certain ways and constantly reimagined. The history of the ideas that made America is less a lesson in philosophy and more about a series of clashes between contending visions: Democracy vs. Republicanism; Free vs. Slave; Christian vs. Secular; Individual vs. Society; and Universal vs. Particular. This course traces a long arc from the Puritans to the Culture Wars to understand the ideas Americans draw upon to comprehend the world and act in it.Lectures and discussions will consider the notions of equality, democracy, pluralism, religious freedom, and the tensions between contending visions for America. Readings for this course will include autobiographies, speeches, sermons, canonical texts, lyrics, novels, newspaper articles, and poetry.
American Studies Outside Courses: Spring 2023
AMST 30272 American Lit Traditions II Sara Marcus M/W 11am-12:15pm
Inclusion and exclusion, tradition and change, identity and difference: In this survey course, we will track these fundamental dynamics through American literature since 1865, analyzing how such forces helped shape the form and content of literary works. Proceeding from an understanding of US literature as ineluctably multiracial and polyvocal, our historically grounded units will bring us through Reconstruction, realism and naturalism, modernism, mid century social movements (including the Black freedom movement and mobilizations for women’s and LGBTQ liberation), postmodern crises of narrative, and contemporary engagements with the past that never really goes away. We will read novels, short stories, poems, and essays, and we’ll also attend to popular music and other emergent forms of art and media that suffuse US literature since 1865. Texts will include works by Charles Chesnutt, W.E.B. Du Bois, Henry James, Jack London, T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, James Baldwin, Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison, Jennifer Egan, and many others.
AMST 30280 Law and Utopia in Atl America Cyraina Johnson-Roullier M/W 2pm-3:15pm
Is it possible to think of the 21st century as a post-racial, post-feminist world? In her provocative 2012 study, Body as Evidence: Mediating Race, Globalizing Gender, Janell Hobson suggests that rather than having been eradicated, millennial hopes that the historical difficulties represented by race and gender have lost their significance in the present day are as far, if not even further away from the mark as they have ever been. For Hobson, policing the body, whether that be in terms of its race, its gender, or its sexuality, has remained paramount. "...[W]hile the early-twenty-first century discourse of 'post-racial' and 'post-feminist' often declares the loss of meaning attached to race and gender," she argues, "...the global scope of our media-reliant information culture insists on perpetuating raced and gendered meanings that support ideologies of dominance, privilege, and power." In Hobson's view, the body and how it is imagined rests at the center of such ideologies, pointing also to a number of crucial questions that become particularly important when considering the significance of race and gender through the lens of modernity. How might a reconsideration of race point also to a rethinking of gender and vice-versa? What does race actually mean? How does/can it alter the way we understand gender? Is it possible to think race beyond the idea of race? What might a new conception of race actually look like, and how might this influence our thinking on gender? How are the problems of race and gender intertwined, and how is/has the body been imagined in and through them? What can such questions tell us about today's racial and gendered realities, both inside and outside the university, both in the past and the present? This course takes a step backward to investigate these and other like questions in the context of the utopic impulse and its emphasis on the imagination in several 19th-century American authors whose work may be viewed as participating in a broad yet under-acknowledged vision of race, gender and Atlantic modernity that seeks to interrogate hierarchies of race and gender as these have been constructed and maintained within dominant ideologies. Grounding our analysis in a number of 16th-, 17th- and 18th-century political philosophical texts on law and utopia and drawing on insights from critical race theory, gender studies, feminist theory, theories of law and literature, and utopian studies, our goal will be to gain a more nuanced understanding of our racialized past and its troubled link to questions of gender both then and now, so that we may better hope to imagine—and reimagine—the shape of our collective democratic future in the 21st century's global community. Course Texts: To be determined, but will most likely include some of the following, either in their entirety or in the form of relevant excerpts: Plato's Republic; Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince; Thomas More, Utopia; Francis Bacon, The New Atlantis; James Harrington, Oceana; Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan; Robert Filmer, Patriarcha, Or The Natural Power of Kings; John Locke, Two Treatises of Government; Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws; Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract or The Discourse on Inequality; Alexis de Toqueville, Democracy in America; Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia; Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations; Frances Wright, Views of Society and Manners in America; Nathaniel Hawthorne, Blithedale Romance; Moncure Conway, Pine and Palm; Walt Whitman, Democratic Vistas; Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Iola Leroy; Pauline Hopkins, Contending Forces or Of One Blood; Sutton Griggs, Imperium in Imperio; W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk. Course Requirements: To be determined, but will most likely include two five-page essays, an oral presentation and two or three digital projects.
AMST 30295 In a Glamorous Country Brandon Menke T/Th 2pm-3:15pm
In this course, we will deploy critical and creative modes of inquiry as we undertake a survey of mid- to late-twentieth-century American poetry arising from New York City, which in the postwar period became a nexus of literary and artistic experimentation. It is within this geographic and historical framework that the New York School of Poets coalesced around the core figures of Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Barbara Guest, and James Schuyler. Focusing on this dynamic array of poets as well as their precursors (e.g., Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, Federico García Lorca), fellow travelers (e.g., Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Frank Lima), and subsequent "generations" of New York poets (e.g., Joe Brainard, Bernadette Mayer, John Yau), we will consider how lines of affinity and intimacy, as well as the cultural reverberations of the city, drew together writers so diverse in outlook and method that Ashbery remarked, “our program is the absence of any program.” In this light, to figure out what it means to be part of this anti-programmatic community, we will explore how the New York School intersected with the Beats, the Black Arts Movement, the Boston and San Francisco Renaissances, the Nuyorican Movement, and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Poetry - prompting us to consider how the concept of an avant-garde becomes, in this period, a ramifying network of friends, lovers, and intellectual rivals engaged in aesthetic cross-pollination. Our undertaking will be attentive to the intermedial dialogue between these poets and New York painters (e.g., Willem de Kooning, Fairfield Porter, Jane Freilicher), methods of collaboration, the influence of postmodern theory, and how race, gender, sexuality, and place shaped what has been cited as one of the most enduringly influential bodies of literature in the postwar world. Assignments will engage students’ critical and creative talents.
AMST 30317 Sport, America & the World John Soares T/Th 2pm-3:15pm
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 30321 U.S. Environmental History Jon Coleman M/W 2pm-3:15pm
This course is an introduction to the new field of environmental history. While many people think "The Environment" suddenly became important with the first "Earth Day" in 1970 (or a few years earlier), environmental issues have in fact long been of central importance. In recent decades historians have begun actively to explore the past sensibilities of various groups toward their surroundings and fellow creatures. They have also increasingly paid attention to the ways environmental factors have affected history. This course will range widely, from world history to the story of a single river, from arguments about climate change to the significance of pink flamingos, and will survey a number of types of history including cultural, demographic, religious, and animal.
AMST 30331 U.S. Civil War Era Linda Przybyszewski T/Th 9:30am-10:45am
Through intensive reading and writing students will explore the social and cultural history of America's most costly war. We will focus on various topics as they relate to the war: antebellum origins, religion, gender, Lincoln's reasons for waging war, dead bodies, freedmen's families, black soldiers, and the uses of war memory. This will not be a guns-and-generals-smell-the-smoke course, though knowledge of military matters can be helpful. We will ask and try to answer who really "won" and "lost" the war.
AMST 30388 Gender @ Work in US History Daniel Graff T/Th 11am-12:15pm
Gender has been fundamental to the organization of nearly all human societies, but what gender has meant in terms of identity, opportunity, and economic activity has varied widely across time and space. This course will explore gender at work in US history, taking a chronological approach to show gender's evolution and ongoing intersections with class, race, age, religion, region, and sexuality from 1776 to the near present. The term "gender at work" expresses a double meaning here -- first, it connotes that this is a labor history course, with an emphasis on the ways gender has operated at the workplace; second, it suggests the ubiquity of gender in shaping Americans' lives, experiences, and imaginations not only at the workplace, but also in formal politics, informal communities, and every space in between. By exploring the ways gender has been both omnipresent and contingent throughout US history, students should better understand -- and perhaps act upon -- seemingly intractable contemporary conundrums involving questions of equal opportunity and pay, household division of labor, work-life balance, and the proper relationships among employers, workers, households, and government.
AMST 30428 U.S. Foreign Policy Dan Lindley T/Th 9:30am-10:45am
The United States is the most powerful state in the world today. Its actions are important not just for US citizens, but they also affect whether others go to war, whether they will win their wars, whether they receive economic aid, whether they will go broke, or whether they will starve. What determines US foreign policy? What is the national interest? When do we go to war? Would you send US soldiers into war? If so, into which wars and for what reasons? How do our economic policies affect others? Does trade help or hurt the US economy and its citizens? We first study several theories about foreign policy. We then examine the US foreign policy process, including the President, Congress, the bureaucracy, the media, and public opinion. To see how this all works, we turn to the history of US foreign policy, from Washington's farewell address through the World Wars and the Cold War to the Gulf War. We then study several major issue areas, including weapons of mass destruction, trade and economics, and the environment. Finally, we develop and debate forecasts and strategies for the future.
AMST 30434 Public Opinion & Pol Behavior Darren Davis M/W 9:30am-10:45am
A principle tenet underlying democratic governance is the belief that public opinion or the "will of the people" should dictate governmental behavior. To the extent this belief is a realistic consideration, difficult questions remain concerning the capacity for citizens to develop reasoned opinions and how to conceptualize and measure opinion. This course explores the foundations of political and social attitudes and the methodology used to observe what people think about politics.
AMST 30460 Introduction to Latino Studies Alex E. Chavez M/W 12:30pm-1:45pm
This course will examine the Latino experience in the United States, including the historical, cultural, and political foundations of Latino life. We will approach these topics comparatively, thus attention will be given to the various experiences of a multiplicity of Latino groups in the United States.
AMST 30463 Latinos in Future of America Luis Fraga M/W 11am-12:15pm
This course will examine the opportunities and challenges facing Latino communities today as they simultaneously transform and are transformed by their continuing growth in U.S. society. Through a careful examination of the biographies of leaders in Latino communities, we will examine what role they have each played in empowering Latino communities to advance in business, arts, education, community organizing, entertainment, medicine, religion, law, academia, politics, and other areas. The course will coincide with the Transformative Latino Leadership Speaker Series sponsored by the Arthur Foundation through the Institute for Latino Studies. Students in the class will have the opportunity to interact with invited leaders in several setting including the classroom, meals, receptions, and university-wide events. The primary course requirement is a research essay about the life and career of a chosen leader.
AMST 30468 American Politics Angela McCarthy M/W 11:30am-12:20pm
This course surveys the basic institutions and practices of American politics. The goal of the course is to gain a more systematic understanding of American politics that will help you become better informed and more articulate. The course examines the institutional and constitutional framework of American politics and identifies the key ideas needed to understand politics today. The reading and writing assignments have been designed not only to inform you, but also to help develop your analytic and research skills. The themes of the course include the logic and consequences of the separation of powers, the build-in biases of institutions and procedures, the origins and consequence of political reforms, and recent changes in American politics in the 21st century. This semester we will emphasize the significance of the upcoming 2016 elections, and the course will include election-related assignments. Although the course counts toward the Political Science major and will prepare prospective majors for further study of American politics, its primary aim is to introduce students of all backgrounds and interests to the information, ideas, and academic skills that will enable them to understand American politics better and help them become more thoughtful and responsible citizens.
AMST 30637 Engaged Anthropology & Service Meredith Chesson T/Th 11am-12:15pm
Engaged Anthropology & Service (Long Title: Engaged Anthropology and Service: Anthropological Research and Social Justice) This seminar will explore the philosophical, theoretical, and ethical underpinnings for inclusive and service-oriented practices in anthropology, particularly research that combines approaches from more than one anthropological subfield.Taking a global approach, students will examine a wide range of case studies in community-based and collaborative anthropology, aiming to identify best practice and develop skills which students can then apply to their own projects. Attention will be paid to the importance of context, including geography, colonial histories and decolonization, war and conflict, economy, and environment, that shape engaged approaches to working for and serving communities instead of working on or studying communities.
AMST 30703 History of Television Michael Kackman M/W 12:30pm-1:45pm
Television has been widely available in the United States for only half a century, yet already it has become a key means through which we understand our culture. Our course examines this vital medium from three perspectives. First, we will look at the industrial, economic and technological forces that have shaped U.S. television since its inception. These factors help explain how U.S. television adopted the format of advertiser-supported broadcast networks and why this format is changing today. Second, we will explore television's role in American social and political life: how TV has represented cultural changes in the areas of gender, class, race and ethnicity. Third, we will discuss specific narrative and visual strategies that characterize program formats. Throughout the semester we will demonstrate how television and U.S. culture mutually influence one another, as television both constructs our view of the world and is affected by social and cultural forces within the U.S.
AMST 30954 Dancing in the Street Daniel Graff T/Th 3:30pm-4:45pm
In 1964, when Martha Reeves sang, "Calling out around the world/Are you ready for a brand new beat?/Summer's here and the time is right/For dancing in the street," was she beckoning listeners to join a party or the civil rights struggle? Or both? From spirituals sung by enslaved workers to protest anthems shouted at union rallies, music has provided the soundtrack to social justice causes throughout American History. Whether performed by rank-and-file reformers or famous recording artists -- from Frank Sinatra to Nina Simone to Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, and beyond -- popular music has accompanied and sometimes fueled transformations in American politics, culture, and social life. In this course students will explore American popular music in its many forms -- blues, country, jazz, folk, rock, punk, disco, hip hop, Tejano, and more -- to understand its power and limits as both a force for social change and a window into major themes of the American experience.
AMST 30991 Borders and Bridges Marisel Moreno T/TH 12:30pm-1:45pm
What is a border? Who inhabits the borderlands? What function does the border play in the construction of a national or cultural identity? How do we bridge communities? How are borders represented, established, and challenged in the works of US Latino/a writers? These are some of the questions that this course will address within the context of US Latino/a literature and culture. Most of the course will focus on two geographical areas that we tend to associate with these concepts: the traditional US-Mexico border and the lesser-studied Caribbean. Students will watch films and read literary works by Mexican-American, Puerto Rican, Dominican-American, and Cuban-American authors in order to gain a deeper understanding of how borders and borderlands inform contemporary discourse and culture. This course has a Community-Engagement Learning (CEL) requirement. Students are expected to sign up for tutoring at La Casa de Amistad once a week for 2 hours. The course will be taught in Spanish and is open to advanced non-majors. This course is for undergraduate students only.
AMST 30992 American Slavery Zach Sell T/Th 11am-12:15pm
This course provides an introduction to the history of American slavery. After examining the origins and transformation of Atlantic world slavery, the courses focuses particularly upon slavery in the United States. Between the American Revolution and the Civil War, the United States grew into the largest slaveholding society in the modern world. U.S. slavery's growth was driven forward by massive global economic transformations and territorial conquest. Yet, in the face of unprecedented violence, enslaved people themselves brought about the end of slavery and transformed the meaning of freedom in the United States. This course focuses upon this history from the perspective of enslaved people themselves with particular attention to struggles for freedom. Through an examination of this history and its legacies, the course will introduce students to histories of resistance.
AMST 30995 Race Locales Gwendolyn Purifoye M/W 2pm-3:15pm
This course examines the socio-histories, movement, and settlement patterns of racial minorities in America. The course will focus on how race and racial imaginaries shape the movement and settlement of racial minorities. It will include deep examinations of these mobility patterns and how they are constructed and articulated through laws, policies, and social arrangements. Special attention will be paid to the racialization of the United States, American-ness as whiteness, and the consequences for the social and physical landscape. And finally, the course will consider how the racial construction of America is manifested and buttressed through the built environment and the consequences.
AMST 30705 Sport and the Cold War John Soares T/TH 2:00-3:15pm
This course aims to accomplish the following: 1) to develop students’ understanding of the Cold War and its major political developments; 2) to develop students’ understanding of the ways sports and society influence and reflect political developments; 3) to see sports programs as a reflection of the nation-states in which they develop, and to use athletic traditions in different nations to develop students’ understanding of different societies; 4) to improve students’ ability to use contemporary periodical sources in historical research; and 5) to improve students’ analytical reading and writing skills through readings, exams, and a paper.
AMST 30295 In a Glamorous Country:The New York School of Poets Brandon Menke T/TH 2:00-3:15pm
In this course, we will deploy critical and creative modes of inquiry as we undertake a survey of mid- to late-twentieth-century American poetry arising from New York City, which in the postwar period became a nexus of literary and artistic experimentation. It is within this geographic and historical framework that the New York School of Poets coalesced around the core figures of Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Kenneth Koch, Barbara Guest, and James Schuyler. Focusing on this dynamic array of poets as well as their precursors (e.g., Langston Hughes, Gertrude Stein, Federico García Lorca), fellow travelers (e.g., Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, Frank Lima), and subsequent "generations" of New York poets (e.g., Joe Brainard, Bernadette Mayer, John Yau), we will consider how lines of affinity and intimacy, as well as the cultural reverberations of the city,drew together writers so diverse in outlook and method that Ashbery remarked, “our program is the absence of any program.” In this light, to figure out what it means to be part of this anti-programmatic community, we will explore how the New York School intersected with the Beats, the Black Arts Movement, the Boston and San Francisco Renaissances, the Nuyorican Movement, and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Poetry - prompting us to consider how the concept of an avant-garde becomes, in this period, a ramifying network of friends, lovers, and intellectual rivals engaged in aesthetic cross-pollination. Our undertaking will be attentive to the intermedial dialogue between these poets and New York painters (e.g., Willem de Kooning, Fairfield Porter, Jane Freilicher), methods of collaboration, the influence of postmodern theory, and how race, gender, sexuality, and place shaped what has been cited as one of the most enduringly influential bodies of literature in the postwar world. Assignments will engage students’ critical and creative talents.
AMST 30637 Making Science Matter Meredith Chesson T/TH 11am-12:15pm
his graduate level seminar will explore the philosophical, theoretical, and ethical underpinnings for inclusive and collaborative practices in anthropology, particularly research that combines approaches from more than one anthropological subfield. Taking a global approach, students will examine a wide range of case studies in community-based and collaborative anthropology, aiming to identify best practices and develop skills which students can then apply to their own projects. Attention will be paid to the importance of context, including geography, colonial histories and decolonization, war and conflict, economy, and environment, that shape engaged approaches to working for and serving communities instead of working on or studying communities with an extractive approach.
AMST 30903 Readings in Trans Studies Pam Butler T/TH 2:00-3:15pm
In this seminar, students will engage with texts published within the last five years in the field of transgender studies. Along with academic writing, we will work with literature, memoir, film, and popular culture. Together, these texts expand our shared understanding of what trans* means; pose challenging questions about Western transgender studies and its canon; and link the field of transgender studies with global movements for justice. Students will have opportunities for collaboration and community engagement, and to create their own theory and creative work.
AMST 30994 American Hate: White Radicalism, Religion and Domestic Terror in Contemporary America Jason Springs T/TH 2:00-3:15pm
Incidents of hate-driven political violence and domestic terrorism have increased in the United States in recent years and are the highest they have been in decades. Non-partisan studies show this upsurge in violence has been driven primarily by white-supremacist, anti-Muslim, and anti-government extremism. What are the causes of this upsurge in extremism and political violence? What is its impact upon contemporary society, religion, and politics? What do the categories and practices of peacebuilding have to offer for purposes of constructive and transformational responses to such violence and its causes? This course explores answers to these questions. It examines how the causes and conditions of the upsurge in extremist politics and political violence relate to racism, nationalism, xenophobia, and the political weaponizing of American religion. We will explore such factors as the role of ethno-nationalism in the wide-spread Evangelical Christian embrace of QAnon conspiracy theories and political organizing, the merging of Catholic and Orthodox Christian “traditionalism” with political authoritarianism (e.g. especially as modeled by contemporary Hungary, Poland, and Russia), the so-called “Alt-Right” organizing and activism (e.g. the “Unite the Right” marches and rallies in Charlottesville), the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capital, the relation of the so-called “Gun Lobby” to increased militance of political rhetoric and organizing, militia organizing and participation in political violence and terrorism, and invocations of a looming “civil war” as the inevitable result of deep and persistent political polarization in the U.S. Readings will include Janelle Wong's Immigrants, Evangelicals, and Politics in an Era of Demographic Change; Kristen Kobes Du Mez's From Jesus to John Wayne; Cynthia Miller-Idriss' Hate in the Homeland; Barbara Walters' How Civil Wars Start; Sarah Riccardi-Swartz's Between Heaven and Russia; and Ryan Busse's Gun Fight, among others.