AMCULT 225 - Space, Story and the American Self
Fall 2020, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: American Culture (AMCULT)
Department: LSA American Culture
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.


Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


Taking an interdisciplinary humanities approach, and using concepts of space to organize our ideas, we will study literary, historic, and cultural contexts that shape, locate, and define “what is an American.” Through two weekly lectures, discussions, individual and group work, students will learn to relate narrative texts (stories) and architectural forms (spaces) to better understand how different media can represent, interrogate, and complicate concepts of national identity (self). While reading novels and glimpsing several icons of American architecture on slides and in films, we will pay close attention to the ways in which texts and architecture—or books and buildings/stories and spaces—record and interpret various stages in the formation of Americanness: from the Puritan notions of representational self to postmodern theories of alienated, splintered, and fragmented subject. We will also examine the ways in which notions of private and public space are shaped by such aspects of socially constructed identity as gender, race, sexuality, class, ethnicity, and nationhood; we will explore select historic moments in which one’s sex, skin color, class or ethnicity determined who did or did not belong in the idealized American social space. Throughout the course, we will thus trace a fascinating dialogue between narrative and visual forms–between actual and imagined American peoples and their stories, places, forms, and structures.

Course Requirements:

Regular active participation in lectures and discussion sessions, and in individual and group class discussions, as well as willingness to be challenged by new concepts and ideas. Three reading responses on any three reading assignments throughout the semester (3-page maximum) response essay. There will be a comprehensive mid-term exam and a final exam covering the latter part of the semester.

Testing for this course will be asynchronous and will consist of short answer and essay questions that will be submitted via Canvas during a designated time frame.

Class Format:

The twice-weekly lectures for this course will be recorded and made available asynchronously. There are 3 discussion sections: 2 (sections 002 and 003) will be held in person and section 004 will be held online. Students should have access to internet, a camera, and a microphone.


AMCULT 225 - Space, Story and the American Self
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
Note: The twice-weekly lectures for this course will be recorded and made available asynchronously
002 (DIS)
Th 3:00PM - 4:00PM
Note: This section will be held remotely (online) during the designated times in the LSA Course Guide.
003 (DIS)
Th 4:00PM - 5:00PM
Note: This section will be held remotely (online) during the designated times in the LSA Course Guide.
004 (DIS)
F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
Note: This section will be held remotely (online) during the designated times in the LSA Course Guide.

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for AMCULT 225.001

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Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for AMCULT 225 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

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CourseProfile (Atlas)