AMCULT 350 - Approaches to American Culture
Section: 101
Term: SP 2009
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
Waitlist Capacity:
Enforced Prerequisites:
American Culture concentrators.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course offers an advanced, undergraduate-level introduction to the visual arts, literature, and culture in 20th-century U.S., and has been designed for American Culture concentrators and advanced students working in adjacent disciplines (English, History, Art, Music, Communications, etc). It welcomes interested students from all other disciplines, and all those who enjoy fast-paced, reading- and-interdisciplinary-ideas-oriented, discussion-based learning environments. We will meet twice a week for a combination lecture/discussion class; we’ll also work in small peer groups. Taking an interdisciplinary Humanities approach, and using concepts from literary criticism, the visual arts, and theories of social space to organize our ideas, we will study historic and cultural contexts that have shaped, located, and defined the diverse identities of the “American” in select literary texts, visual arts, films, and critical and theoretical essays. We will read novels and watch films and talk and write about how we use stories, places, objects, forms, and structures to describe and understand ourselves and in relation to other people. In lectures and discussion, we will pay an especially close attention to the ways in which ideas about what it means to be “American” have moved from the Puritan notions of “representational self,” for example, through the exclusionary essentialist constructs of “man” in the 18th and 19th centuries, to the postmodern theories of alienated, splintered, and fragmented subject in the 20th and 21st. We will also examine the ways in which, between the mid-nineteenth and late-twentieth century, notions of private and public space, low and high art, inner and outer self, were shaped by such aspects of socially constructed and intersectional identity as gender, race, sexuality, class, ethnicity, and nationhood.

AMCULT 350 - Approaches to American Culture
Schedule Listing
101 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 1:00PM
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