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LSA Course Guide Search Results: UG, GR, Fall 2007, Dept = AMCULT
 
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Title
Section
Instructor
Term
Credits
Requirements
AMCULT 100 — Rethinking American Culture
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Daligga,Catherine Elizabeth

FA 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: SS, RE

What is an American? Who decides, and on what basis? Why does it matter? This course will consider various answers proposed to these deceptively simple questions from the early days of the American republic to the present. Through critical readings of literature, law, journalism, memoir, music, film, and popular culture from different eras that address the subject of Americanness, we will explore the central elements affecting the ongoing transformation of American identity (or identities). We will see that changing concepts of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality and class have in turn shaped American cultural identity as imagined and enacted. Our overall objective will be to deepen our understanding of why this has been and still remains a matter with far-reaching political, economic, social, and personal implications.

AMCULT 102 — First Year Seminar in American Studies
Section 001, SEM
Sports Culture

Instructor: Diaz,Vicente M; homepage

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: SS
Other: FYSem

This seminar examines the role of sports culture in the social and political construction of individual and collective American identities. Special attention will be given to issues of power, and race, gender, sexuality, class, and nationalism. Readings and films will cover contemporary and historical issues in baseball, basketball, football, boxing, and cheerleading.

Advisory Prerequisite: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.

AMCULT 103 — First Year Seminar in American Studies
Section 001, SEM
Race and Mixed-Race

Instructor: Alsultany,Evelyn Azeeza

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU
Other: FYSem

This course examines how laws and popular culture have historically shaped conceptions of race and mixed race in the U.S. In addition to examining historical contexts, we will also explore autobiographical and theoretical writings on mixed race identities and representations of mixed race identities in popular culture. The themes that will be covered in this course include questions of appearance, "authenticity," community membership and belonging, and performativity. Requirements for the course include: in-class attendance, frequent short response papers, a midterm essay, and a creative final project.

Advisory Prerequisite: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.

AMCULT 103 — First Year Seminar in American Studies
Section 002, SEM
Interracial America

Instructor: Briones,Matthew M

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: RE, HU
Other: FYSem

This course will examine the interaction between different racial groups in the U.S. from the 19th century to our present moment. Conventionally, such studies focus solely on the relationship between African Americans and whites, relying on the hackneyed Black-white paradigm of U.S. race relations. This seminar explodes that dichotomy, searching for a broader historical model, which includes yellow, brown, red, and ethnic white.

  • In other words, how did African Americans respond to the internment of Japanese Americans?
  • What made desegregation cases like Mendez v. Westminster important precedents in the run-up to Brown v. Board of Education?
  • What is a "model minority," and why did Asians inherit the mantle from Jews?
  • What is a "protest minority," and why were Blacks and Jews labeled as such during the Civil Rights Movement?
  • What is the relationship among Black Power, Yellow Power, the American Indian Movement, and Chicano Power, if any?

We will critically interrogate the history of contact that exists between and among these diverse "groups," and whether conflict or confluence dominates their interaction. If conflict, what factors have prevented meaningful alliances? If confluence, what roles have these groups played in collectively striving for a multiracial democracy?"

Advisory Prerequisite: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.

AMCULT 103 — First Year Seminar in American Studies
Section 003, SEM
American Humor

Instructor: Daligga,Catherine Elizabeth

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU
Other: FYSem

This seminar will consider the role that comedy and comedians play in contemporary American culture and politics and their influence, both direct and covert, on the ever-changing conception of American identity. We will explore the connections in style and message between current stars — Dave Chappelle, Margaret Cho, Stephen Colbert, and Chris Rock — and some of their classic predecessors (such as Buster Keaton, Bert Willams, the Marx Brothers and Will Rogers). We will also examine the work and impact of innovative, iconoclastic performers whose direct influence is still strong, such as Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Whoopi Goldberg, and discuss key critical commentary on humor, comedy, and comedians.

Advisory Prerequisite: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.

AMCULT 200 — The Academic Paradox
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Neuman, W Russell

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: ID

Credit Exclusions: Does not count toward concentrations in American Culture, Communication Studies, or Psychology.

Have you given a lot of thought to why you are spending four years of your life and approximately $200,000 (of somebody's money) to get a piece of paper certifying a degree from the University of Michigan? Maybe you've given it some thought, but probably not a lot. Your folks and your peers in high school expected that you would go to college, so you did. That's usually about it.

Are you utilizing this investment wisely while you're in Ann Arbor? Are you taking the right courses? Since you're not sure what you want to do, or why exactly you're here, how could you know? The good news is that there are some useful and thought-provoking answers to such questions, many of them hidden in the nooks and crannies of liberal arts curriculum itself.

In this course students are challenged to apply the insights they have been learning from their study of history, sociology, psychology, economics and the humanities to their own current role as college student. A central theme concerns how the student role relates to succeeding roles in the institutional complex of modern society. One principal paradox that motivates this course of inquiry is the celebrated disjuncture between the abstract study of literature, sciences, and the arts and the "practical knowledge base" that one would expect draw upon most professional careers. In common parlance the word "merely academic" translates as "mostly irrelevant." But as it turns out, empirically and practically, a liberal arts education represents an excellent preparation for most professional careers t a paradox that invites the student to internalize and make use of some of the central concepts from the liberal arts as valuable resources rather than arcane requirements and rites of passage.

[Please note: this course does not count toward concentration requirements for either American Culture or Communication Studies.]

Key Topical Areas:

  • Cultures: On the Tension Between the Humanities and Sciences
  • Education and Ethics: Is There a Linkage Between the Two?
  • The Evolution of the Modern University
  • The Evolution of the Modern Scholarly Discipline
  • The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
  • The Meaning of Globalization
  • On Writing Well
  • Grading and Achievement
  • Students and Society
  • Those Who March Grimly on the Career Treadmill
  • Human Capital Theory
  • The Effects of Education
  • The Reproduction of Social Inequalities
  • The Psychology

Course Requirements:

There are no examinations in this class. There are seven writing assignments with an assignment due approximately every two weeks. Four assignments are two-page briefs that summarize and interpret central themes in recent lectures and readings. In addition, two assignments consist of essays that require students to apply what they have learned to their own academic, career and life plans. The first essay is approximately eight pages in length, the second approximately twelve pages. Finally one assignment is a "lives-and-careers" book review of approximately eight pages. Students select a relevant biography of a leader in the fields of Law, Medicine, Business, Academics, Public Service/Government/Non Profits, the Arts, Media and Journalism, and Science and Engineering.

The idea is to link lessons from a concrete example of a life story with the themes of the course concerning education, careers, and the life cycle.

Required texts:

  • Wilson, Edward O. (1998). Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge. New York, Knopf. Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition $10.20
  • Machiavelli, Niccolò ([1513] 1989). The Prince. New York, Prometheus Bantam $4.50
  • Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. (1962) University of Chicago Press $9.75 3rd edition
  • Csíkszentmihályi, Mihály (1991). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York, Harper Collins. $10.50

CP= Course Pack (Available at Excel 1117 S. University Avenue; Tel: 996-1500)


AMCULT 204 — Themes in American Culture
Section 001, REC
Spoken Word Poetry

Instructor: Lawsin,Emily P

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

Learn the art of performance poetry and spoken word! Each week, we will read contemporary poetry, or watch performances of local and nationally-known spoken word artists, and study the phenomena of Poetry Slam competitions in America. Students will also engage in creative exercises to empower the artist in all of us. No previous poetry experience necessary, although one should have an appreciation for poetry and/or performance. This course will be an opportunity for students to develop their own creative projects, which will contribute to the field of spoken word. For the term project, students will produce a spoken word event and/or poetry publication.

AMCULT 204 — Themes in American Culture
Section 002, REC
Facing American Manhood

Instructor: Zaborowska,Magdalena J

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

This course meets for weekly lecture-and-seminar discussions and explores and critiques literary, cinematic, and theoretical representations of American masculinity, mainly focusing on the 19th and 20th centuries, with some view to contemporary cultural developments. We will follow R.W. Connell's seminal work, Masculinities, for theoretical insights in the fields of masculinity and gender studies and read sections of Michael Kimmel's Manhood in America as introduction to the historic and cultural context in American culture. We will also read a selection of literary, historical, theoretical, and critical texts on the subject, and watch several films.

Our weekly collaborative seminar sessions will include mini lectures, general discussion, and group projects/exercises. The class is student-centered and will rely on your active participation and input. A diverse array of literary and theoretical texts, visual material, and several films will serve as springboards for our activities. You will produce two-three group presentations and take part in a variety of activities in class. In order to hone your public speaking and writing skills, you will be expected to work creatively and independently, as well as in a team, and are encouraged to bring relevant visual and literary material to class as part of your contribution/participation.

Requirements

Attendance and Participation

  1. Regular active and intelligent participation in the seminar sessions and in individual and group class discussions, as well as willingness to be challenged by new concepts and ideas.

  2. Three term group presentations and written reports.

  3. Four written film responses.

  4. Midterm and final exams.

AMCULT 204 — Themes in American Culture
Section 003, LEC
History of College Athletics

Instructor: Bacon,John U

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

We've become so accustomed to watching nationally televised football and basketball games played before packed stadiums on college campuses, we rarely stop to wonder how this institution ever came into being. No other nation, not even Canada, takes college sports seriously. Why do we?

This course will develop the central theme that the marriage between university academics and athletics was not inevitable, but has thrived due to the efforts of a few fascinating personalities — three of the most important of whom served as athletic directors at the University of Michigan — at a few crucial junctures. We will also explore how African-Americans and women changed the sports landscape forever, and vice versa. College athletics today is more than a multi-billion dollar industry; it is a quintessential part of American culture.

This course should be innately interesting to many students, but students should know the reading list is extensive, the assignments substantial, and the expectations of attendance, punctuality and professional conduct very high.

AMCULT 205 — American Cultures
Section 001, REC
Native American Literature

Instructor: Noori,Margaret Ann

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

In this class, we will study the oral and written literatures of the Native American Indian culture of the Great Lakes area — emphasizing memoirs, essays, fiction, poetry, drama, and film of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries — examined within their cultural and historical contexts. We will read and become familiar with a range of oral traditional and 19th-, 20th-, and 21st-century texts by Anishinaabe authors.

This class will promote an understanding of the ways in which the ongoing legacy of colonialism has impacted all Native peoples, especially the Anishinaabeg, and it will explore current debates and issues in the field of Native American, Algonquian, and Anishinaabe/Ojibwa studies. Students will be encouraged to become better world citizens through the development of critical thinking skills about cross-cultural issues. Students will also examine how texts were read in their contemporary contexts, as well as the interpretive questions that they present for readers today. The primary goal of this class is to introduce students to the rich literary legacy of this place and the people who have known it for thousands of years.

AMCULT 205 — American Cultures
Section 002, REC
Muslims in America

Instructor: Hassouneh,Rima Saudi

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

This course focuses on the realities, experiences and outlooks of Muslim Americans in the United States. We will explore the complexity of Muslim American identity through its institutions such as mosques and religious and community schools, as well as cultural, artistic expressions, including music, song and literature. We will also examine Muslim American communities within the prevalent framework of identity politics, looking at differences between converted and born Muslims, the nature of their political consciousness and activism, and responses to political racism against Muslims, particularly but not exclusively in the aftermath of September 11th, 2001.

AMCULT 205 — American Cultures
Section 003, LEC
American Humor

Instructor: Brooks,Lori

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

This seminar explores the role of comedy in shaping and challenging racial, gender and sexual identities from the 20the century to the present. From black face minstrelsy to the work of more recent stand-up comedians, the course will seek to answer social questions posed by these performers. For example, does comedy more often reflect gender, ethnic, and racial stereotypes or challenge them? How do we account for the persistent emphasis upon racial and gender differences? Can comedy be "politically correct" and still be funny? How important is "in-group" laughter to comedy's success and what should we make of the uncomfortable laughter of those not in the in-group? We will explore the work of comics from Bert Williams and Stepin Fetchit to Freddie Prinze, Sr., Margaret Cho and Chris Rock. We will investigate the work of these comics through the ideas of modern thinkers who have written on the cultural history of American humor and the social and personal aspects of jokes and comedy.

This course is not a survey of comedy in the U.S. and cannot cover the entire history of major comedians and genres of comedy. Neither does it deal significantly with literary humor. However, we will use Constance Rourke's American Humor (1931) — a core text in American Studies — as a model that links humor and comedy to the concept of identity, specifically, a sense of "American-ness." We will try to answer the question, "What makes comedy in the U.S. distinctly ‘American'?" Can it be explained by the emphasis that comics and their audiences place upon cultural difference and diversity in modern American humor? How do we account for the recent popularity of relatively new comedic identities, such as "redneck" or "blue collar" comedians and "lesbian" stand-up comedy? Throughout the semester, as we view and read this comic material, we will continue to ask ourselves, "Is this funny?" And if so, "Why?"

AMCULT 206 — Themes in American Culture
Section 001, REC
AIDS and America

Instructor: Meisler,Richard A

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: SS

This is a truly interdisciplinary course, working with materials from the natural and social sciences and the arts and humanities. We will deal with a wide range of subjects from the biology of HIV and the medical treatment of AIDS to the politics and sociology of a world-wide epidemic and the nature of artistic creations in the midst of a terrible epidemic. Students will write papers, do class projects, and participate in discussions. There will be frequent quizzes. Class attendance is required.

Attendance at the first class of the semester is mandatory. No overrides will be issued after the first day of classes.

AMCULT 209 — History of American Popular Music
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Conforth,Bruce M

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

America has never been without popular music. The earliest settlers brought with them songbooks and the broadside tradition, and popular song was often one of the main ways of describing the myths and dreams of America, while at the same time reflecting its history. As America became industrialized, popular music, both sacred and secular, played an increasingly important role in American society. This course traces the history of American Popular Music from its earliest days through contemporary genres. Students listen to, watch, and analyze popular music from its context, styles, and forms, as well as the way(s) these relate to the American Experience.

Intended audience: Undergraduates in general.

Course Requirements: 3 quizzes, midterm (essay), final exam (essay), final paper (min 1500 words)

Class Format: Students are expected to attend two 1 hour lectures and one 1 hour discussion per week.

AMCULT 210 — Introduction to Ethnic Studies
Section 001, REC
Introduction to Arab American Studies.

Instructor: Naber,Nadine C

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: RE, SS

Students will explore questions such as:

  • What are the historical circumstances that have shaped Arab immigration to the U.S.?
  • Where do Arab Americans "fit" within the U.S. racial classification system?
  • What is anti-Arab racism? How has it shifted throughout Arab-American history?
  • What is the significance of gender and sexuality to anti-Arab racism?
  • How did September 11th impact Arab-American communities?
  • What are the cultural forms that Arab immigrants have inherited from their homelands and reproduced in the U.S.? In what ways are these cultural forms gendered?
  • What is the relationship between socioeconomic class and cultural identity among Arab Americans?
  • How have Arab Americans used the arts for cultural and political expression?
  • What is the significance of religious affiliation to Arab-American identity formation?
  • How has U.S. foreign policy impacted Arab-American histories and experiences?

This course explores questions such as these in an interdisciplinary context, focusing on anthropological, historical, literary, and visual materials.

Method of evaluation: Weekly assignments — 40%. A two-page (typed, double spaced) response paper is due every two weeks that summarizes the main argument in the reading and offers the student's critical analysis of the reading. At the end of the paper, two questions for class discussion must be included. Active discussion in class — 10%. Students must demonstrate that they have engaged in the readings; participate in group exercises; and meet with the instructor at least one time during office hours. Midterm essay based on required visit to Arab-American National Museum — 20%. Final group project — 30%. Students will receive an individual and a group grade.

AMCULT 213 — Introduction to Latino Studies — Humanities
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Cotera,Maria E; homepage

FA 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: HU, RE

Born in the wake of struggles for social justice and educational equity of the 1960s, Latina/o Studies is a critical practice as variegated as the group it seeks to represent. Latina/o Studies offers an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Puerto-Rican, Chicano, Cubano, Caribbean, Central-American, and Latin-American communities in the U.S. Latina/o Studies deploys the disciplines of history, literary studies, anthropology, sociology, political science, media studies, and law among others in its exploration of the lives and histories of these communities. Latina/o Studies offers a rubric for understanding not only the interconnections among these diverse communities but also the differences that sometimes divide them. This course will introduce students to the many practices of Latina/o Studies, by giving them the opportunity to meet and learn more about scholars engaged in this field of study. The class will consist of a series of lectures and projects designed in conjunction with scholars, activists, and cultural practitioners working in different areas of Latina/o Studies at the University of Michigan and beyond.

AMCULT 214 — Introduction to Asian/Pacific American Studies
Section 001, REC

Instructor: Akutsu,Phillip D; homepage

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: ID, RE

This course examines the long history and diverse experiences of Asian Americans in the United States. Starting with their immigration in mass numbers in the mid-1800s, Asian Americans have made major contributions to U.S. history, culture, and society. Despite this fact, Asian Americans are still viewed as "foreigners" in the U.S. This course will review the Asian-American experience from the mid-19th century to the present and analyze course topics such as anti-Asian immigration and legislation; the "model minority" stereotype and achievement; community activism and political movements; ethnic identity formation and acculturation; pan-ethnic, interracial and multiracial communities and relations; popular culture and mass media representation; and, emotional health, help-seeking, and service delivery.

AMCULT 217 — Introduction to Native American Studies — Humanities
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Daubenmier,Judith Marie

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

This course will give students an overview of many aspects of Native-American culture, including Pre-Columbian lifestyles and gender roles, religion, literature, Native-American identity, attempts and resistance to forced assimilation, and struggles for sovreignty. Themes of colonialism and its impact on Native Americans are featured throughout. The course emphasizes the diversity of Native-American communities, and seeks to broaden students' understanding of Native Americans beyond the image of Plains Indians on horseback. As the course name implies, the topics will be covered in a way that emphasizes breadth, rather than depth, whetting students' appetite for the advanced courses in these areas offered through the Program in American Culture. Guest lecturers from within the Program will introduce students to the ideas and styles of other professors, allowing them to sample courses that they may wish to take in the future from these professors. Students will be required to provide approximately 12 pages of polished writing, complete a midterm and final exam, and participate in class discussions during sections.

AMCULT 219 — Survey of American Folklore
Section 001, REC

Instructor: Conforth,Bruce M

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

This course is a survey of the unofficial culture that has helped shape the American experience, with special emphasis on oral literature, conventional belief, and traditional lifeways. Together we examine various forms of folklore: from the tales of witches and devils that preoccupied the 17th century to the urban legends of "vanishing hitchhikers" of today. The course will feature special sections on dance, material culture, and folk music — especially the emergence of the blues as a musical force. This course helps us understand what it is to be "American" and how we define that status through our traditions and beliefs.

Intended audience: Undergraduates in general.

Course Requirements: 3 quizzes (essay), final essay exam, collection project (1500-word essay, collection items, transcriptions, etc.)

Class Format: Students are expected to attend two 1.5 hour lecture sessions each week.

This course bridges many areas of American Culture offerings and draws them together through the common threads of belief, custom, tradition, and ritual. It introduces students to the broad field of folklore that encompasses philology, anthropology, literary studies, and the humanities in general. The collection component is especially valuable to American Culture students since it introduces students to fieldwork methodology and asks them to produce a collection that will be accessioned into the American Culture Folklore and Oral History Archives. LSA undergraduates gain a valuable insight into the ways in which our cultural and ethnic backgrounds not only differ, but are brought together with many of the same traditions and customs. Folklore, as a universal phenomenon is a perfect topic to address issues of diversity and our mutual commonalities.

The Survey of American Folklore falls naturally within the realm of humanities due to both its history and major paradigms. With its roots in philology, the earliest folklore studies were combinations of linguistics and literature. More recently folkloric studies have begun to include some social science methods within its research tools, but it still remains largely in the humanities. Bishop Thomas Percy (a member of the Antiquarian movement) published one of the first folkloric texts in 1765 with his "Relics of Ancient English Poetry" in which he considered folklore (the rude survivals of the past) as something worthy of collection. The Romantic Movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries believed that the true soul of a people could only be found in its lore, hence scholars such as Herder (1800) and the Brothers Grimm created the foundations of the discipline to be known as folklore: fieldwork, theoretical perspectives, its link with linguistics, and its universality. By 1846 Wm Thoms coined the term folklore to mean "the lore of the people," which explains the discipline's link to the humanities (in many universities and colleges folklore is offered through the English Department). Theoretically, folklore can be divided into several paradigmatic approaches: the Hemispheric School which traces American folklore to its roots; the Folk Cultural School which takes an holistic approach to folk cultural studies; Mass Cultural studies that deal with the material artifacts manufactured by the folk that give meaning to their understanding of the world; and the Oral Formulaic School in which the text becomes the focal point of the scholar. These methodologies, coupled with the history of folkloristics, make it entirely appropriate to be considered Humanities.

AMCULT 222 — Elementary Ojibwa
Section 001, REC

Instructor: McCue,Irving N
Instructor: Noori,Margaret Ann

FA 2007
Credits: 3

The course will serve as an introduction to Anishinaabe language and culture. This course is for students who have no previous knowledge of the tribe as well as tribal members interested in learning more about their culture and language. Because Ojibwe is an endangered language, it is of utmost importance that we make sure the language is learned and used. This is a beautiful language with much to teach about living in this place. It deserves to be revitalized for future generations.

After completing AMCULT222 students should be able to use Ojibwe to:

  • Respond to and initiate simple statements and commands such as greetings and introductions.

  • Understand 250 — 500 words.

  • Express reactions and courtesy phrases.

  • Express likes and dislikes.

  • Describe actions, people, places and things using short phrases.

  • Be able to read standardized orthography with correct pronunciation.

  • Recognize key characters and events found in traditional stories.

  • Know the basic chronological history of the Anishinaabe in the U.S. and Southern Ontario.

Advisory Prerequisite: Non-LSA students must have permission of the American Culture Program Director.

AMCULT 226 — The Latin Tinge: Latin Music in Social Context in Latin America and the U.S.
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Hoffnung-Garskof,Jesse E

FA 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: HU

This is a pilot course that experiments with multimedia lectures and podcasting as ways to introduce the social history of key Latin musical styles. Students download listening and video-viewing assignments to their computers or MP3 players, and write about both these assignments as well as their assigned readings. Listening and viewing is paired with analysis of the social contexts and social meanings of musical production and consumption. Students consider how "Latin" musics emerged from persecuted Afro-diasporic musical styles into (often shallow) celebrations of mixed national identity. They will see how music is entangled in the international interplay between colonizing audiences and exotic racial others, but is often also a basis for interchange in a Black Atlantic and oppositional social identity among Latino migrants in the United States. In short, viewing Latin music in social context means thinking about music as a complicated site for the working out of colonialism, international cultural markets, race, and ethnicity.

AMCULT 231 — Visual & Material Culture Studies
Section 001, REC

Instructor: Hass,Kristin Ann

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

We are living in a material and, increasingly, visual world. Every object you encounter and every image you see is shaped by powerful cultural ideologies — ideas about power and race and gender and class and nation. This class will explore the objects and images of our daily lives as puzzles rich with cultural codes for us to discover and unpack.

Students will be asked to think about how photographs, maps, paintings, graffiti, architecture, monuments, billboards, museums, movies and more — as fundamental elements of our visual and material world — construct and convey meaning. Students will be asked to think about ubiquitous visual and material signs as sites of essential forms of cultural knowledge. They will be asked to develop analytical tools for understanding these signs and to create some signs of their own.

Students will write two papers and produce two visual projects.

AMCULT 231 — Visual & Material Culture Studies
Section 002, REC
On the Margins of the Art World — Outsider and Self-Taught Art in the US

Instructor: Wright,Jason M

FA 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

Outsider and Self-Taught Art in the U.S. is often conflated with folk art, ethnic art, art of the insane, as well as a variety of popular forms of self-expression. This class will focus on a broad selection of these non-traditional or marginalized art forms. Together, these art practices have defined and popularized the idea of the artist outsider, and affected the changing shape of mainstream art. We will examine the boundaries of inside/outside, and the ways in which these shifting boundaries shed light on the larger study of creativity, marginality, art, and culture. A range of artists and practices spanning from folk art to "visionary" artist environments, to graffiti art, Zines, and the Burningman community will be discussed.

AMCULT 240 — Introduction to Women's Studies
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Cole,Elizabeth Ruth; homepage

FA 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: HU, RE

This course provides an introduction to the feminist scholarship about women and gender. We explore how women's lives differ across social categories such as race, class, sexual orientation, and age, with an emphasis on women in the United States today. Readings are drawn from both the humanities and social sciences to familiarize students with key questions, theoretical tools, and issues within Women's Studies. A variety of topics are covered, including: violence against women; women and work; reproductive justice. The course grade is based on short written assignments, a group project, exams, and participation in discussion.

AMCULT 295 — Sexuality in Western Culture
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Newton,Esther

FA 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: SS

This course is an introduction to major concepts in the history and anthropology of sexuality, as well as an historical survey of important trends in the social organization of gender and sexuality in Western Culture beginning with ancient Greece. We continue through ancient Judaism and early Christianity, medieval courtly love, and 19th-century England and America. The last part of the course deals with 20th-century sexual modernism, ending with the Sexual Revolution and the backlash against it.

AMCULT 301 — Topics in American Culture
Section 002, REC
Codeswitch

Instructor: Carroll,Amy Sara

FA 2007
Credits: 1 — 4

In Chicano Poetics: Heterotexts and Hybridities, Alfred Arteaga suggests, "for [Octavio] Paz, the border is a thin one and across it ‘Even the birds speak English' […] What is difficult for Paz is to consider a thick border." In this course, itself an "experiment" in hybridity — something in-between an academic and creative writing seminar — we will explore "thick descriptions" of thickening borders of the Americas. We will address the possibility of a bilingual poetics — laterally — examining written, visual, digital, and cinematic representations of bi- or multicultural subjectivities. Central to our discussion will be the conceit of codeswitching, a linguistic term, which designates a speaker or writer's facility to move between languages. We will approach codeswitching literally to acquaint ourselves with work that shuttles between Spanish and English. We will approach the term metaphorically to address the hybridity of twentieth/twenty-first century poetry as a genre. Finally, as we map an emerging canon of "thick borders," we also will attempt to create alternative cartographies, our own renditions of codeswitching.

AMCULT 301 — Topics in American Culture
Section 003, LEC
The Hollywood Film Industry and National Identity

Instructor: Freedman,Jonathan E

FA 2007
Credits: 1 — 4

In this course, we'll be studying the way that the Hollywood film industry continues to intersect with the transformation of U.S. society in the twentieth century. An industry that was founded by immigrant and second generation Jews, an industry that rose to social power and prominence in the boom years of the 1920s and the bust years of depression, the Hollywood studio system gave Americans a series of narrative forms with which to respond to their rapidly changing culture: narratives we know as the Western, or the gangster film, or even the soap opera. Through those stories, American attitudes towards immigrants, or race, or gender, or sexuality, were all reconfigured — cultural anxieties given form, difficult issues represented, resolutions for problems that seemed all-too insoluble proposed on an imaginary level even when those resolutions seemed impossible to achieve on an actual one. And then, later in the century, filmmakers explored the changing world in which they lived by questioning, revising, parodying, or remaking these very narrative forms.

In this course, we'll be studying both the rise (and fall) of the Hollywood film industry as an industry and the career of some of these narratives through a variety of means: historical readings; novels and stories; and most importantly the films themselves. Specifically, we'll be concentrating on three genres: the Western (e.g., Stagecoach, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, and Lone Star); the gangster film (Scarface, The Big Heat, Once Upon a Time in America); and the so-called women's picture (Imitation of Life, All That Heaven Allows, Far From Heaven). We'll then turn to films that play even more explicitly with genre in the context of contemporary ethnic self-fashioning (Chan is Missing, Smoke Signals) as well as post-modern culture critique (Magnolia, Mulholland Drive).

Requirements: Midterm, final, some quizzes.

AMCULT 301 — Topics in American Culture
Section 005, LEC
Detroit Politics and Community Organization

Instructor: Kurashige,Scott T; homepage

FA 2007
Credits: 1 — 4

  • "How did Detroit get this way?"
  • "Why are the city and suburbs so divided?"
  • "What does it mean to revitalize Detroit?"
  • "Are sports stadiums and events the key to economic development?"
  • "Is gentrification a good or bad thing?"
  • These are some common questions that are frequently heard in relation to Detroit. Digging below the surface of popular discourse and disagreement, this course seeks to get at the roots of urban social, political and economic issues. It offers students an opportunity to gain an in-depth perspective on racism, poverty, political activism, and community organizing among diverse groups. First, we will study what historian Thomas Sugrue has called the "origins of the urban crisis." We will examine the effects of deindustrialization and racism in the post-World War II era alongside the emergence of protest movements which sought to promote social justice. Second, we will study the divergent ways that city and suburban politicians and residents interpret the "urban crisis," and we will critically analyze their response Third, we will probe the history of radicalism in Detroit and investigate the grassroots solutions to the "crisis" being enacted by community organizations.

    Designed to link the study of Detroit's past, present, and future, this interdisciplinary course should appeal to students in a variety of fields, including history, ethnic studies, urban studies, education, law, business, environmental justice and fine arts. There are no prerequisites or prequalifications. You may have lived in the city your entire life, or you might only know the Fox Theater, the Tigers and Xochimilco. Highly-motivated students may be offered opportunities to fulfill course requirements through community service-learning activities.

    AMCULT 305 — Asian Pacific American Community Service and Learning
    Section 001, REC

    Instructor: Lawsin,Emily P

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    This course examines strategies for building Asian/Pacific Islander American communities and developing leadership skills through community service learning and practice. Students will have the option to work with either a mentorship program or a local community project.

    Students will be responsible for regular attendance in a weekly seminar/meeting as well as participation at the designated community service site (in Detroit, Ann Arbor, or Southfield). Each student is expected to participate in a total of 30 hours of service over the entire semester (i.e, 3 hours per week for 10 weeks). Assignments include readings, reflective journal assignments, and a final project/report. For the first two class sessions, all groups will meet together at the time the class is scheduled; subsequent class sessions/group meetings and community service times will be determined.

    Possible Service Sites:
    Students may volunteer with the Detroit Asian Youth (D.A.Y.) Project, Paaralang Pilipino Language and Cultural School, or New Visions: Alliance to End Violence in Asian/Asian American Communities.

    Students volunteering with DAY Project or Paaralang Pilipino will engage in projects that promote the social and political self-development of youth in the city. Incorporating a social justice curriculum and liberatory education theories through tutoring, poetry, arts, or media workshops, students will gain an in-depth perspective on the issues of racism, poverty, and education among Asian Americans, African Americans, and other diverse groups. The Detroit Asian Youth (DAY) Project was founded in 2004, through contacts from the UofM's Project Lighthouse, a college and career exploration program for Hmong American students based at Detroit's Osborne High School. DAY Project runs a mentorship program once a week in northeast Detroit. Paaralang Pilipino Language and Cultural School was founded 20 years ago, teaching all ages Philippine and Filipino American history and culture; they meet most Sundays at the Philippine American Community Center of Michigan in Southfield. To develop a strong network of APA mentorship programs, mentors already volunteering with the Yuri Kochiyama Leadership Program, APA 101, or Project Lighthouse are highly encouraged to enroll to receive course credit.

    Founded in 2002, New Visions is a grassroots organization whose mission is to inspire and support sustainable community actions to end domestic violence in Asian communities of Southeast Michigan. It is a collaboration of Asian community members and local/state domestic violence and related organizations. Affiliated with the University of Michigan School of Social Work, New Visions utilizes art and interactive approaches to engage community members in a dialogue about domestic violence. Students working with New Visions will learn about the issue of domestic violence and gain community organizing and leadership skills.

    Students interested in this course are advised to have completed AMCULT 214, 314 or another Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies course.

    AMCULT 306 — Community Research
    Section 001, LAB

    Instructor: Gutierrez,Lorraine M

    FA 2007
    Credits: 4

    This course will cover research methodologies useful in understanding communities. These include community needs and asset assessment, analysis of census and other statistical information on communities, evaluation of programs offered by community organizations, and surveys of community residents. Through readings, lectures, and discussion, the class will consider what is involved in each of these methods and when each is appropriate. Students will use one of these methodologies to carry out a research project in collaboration with a community organization in Detroit. Results from this project will be communicated through a paper and poster session. Requirements include readings, lectures, a community profile, and a write-up of the research project.

    Advisory Prerequisite: One of the following: PSYCH 111, 112, 114, or 115

    AMCULT 313 — Cuba and its Diaspora
    Section 001, LEC
    Issues in Race & Ethnicity

    Instructor: Behar,Ruth

    FA 2007
    Credits: 4
    Reqs: RE, ULWR

    This course examines Cuban history, literature, and culture since the Revolution both on the island and in the United States diaspora. In political and cultural essays, personal narratives, fiction, poetry, drama, visual art and film, we will seek a comprehensive and diverse view of how Cubans and Cuban-Americans understand their situation as people of the same nation divided for years by the Cold War, revolution, and exile. Topics will include: discussions of race, ethnicity and intolerance in the context of Cuba and the diaspora, the meaning of diasporas in the twentieth century, Fidel Castro and the making of the Cuban Revolution, masculinity and gay sexuality in the Revolution and Cuban diaspora, women's dreams, everyday life under communism, Afrocuban culture and religion, the Cuban arts movement, and the construction and deconstruction of exile identity. We will read and discuss the writings of Fidel Castro, Oscar Hijuelos, Edmundo Desnoes, Reinaldo Arenas, Lourdes Casal, Senel Paz, Dolores Prida, and Carmelita Tropicana, among others, and view major Cuban feature and documentary films. A weekly two hour film screening is required Mondays 4-6pm or 6-8pm in 238A WH.

    AMCULT 322 — Intermediate Ojibwa
    Section 001, REC

    Instructor: McCue,Irving N
    Instructor: Noori,Margaret Ann

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    The course will serve as further introduction to Anishinaabe language and culture. Because Ojibwe is an endangered language, it is of utmost importance that the language is learned and used. This is a beautiful language with much to teach about living in this place. It deserves to be revitalized for future generations.

    After completing AMCULT 322 students should be able to use Ojibwe to:

    • Create and respond to simple and compound statements and questions.

    • Understand 500 — 1000 words.

    • Understand some idiomatic phrases.

    • Express detailed descriptions of events.

    • Describe actions, people, places and things using complete sentences.

    • Be able to write using standardized orthography.

    • Understand the major contemporary cultural and political issues of the tribes of the Great Lakes.

    Enforced Prerequisites: AMCULT 223 (C- or better)

    AMCULT 324 — Asian American Literature
    Section 001, LEC

    Instructor: See,Maria S

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3
    Reqs: HU

    What does it mean to read and interpret Asian American literature?

    This course is an introduction to Asian American texts that represent a range of genres: autobiography, poetry, drama, short story, novel, cultural history, stand-up comedy, and cultural criticism. An understanding of their sociohistorical context and political significance is crucial, so occasionally we will pair literary texts with historical and legal texts. Yet the latter also will be treated as "literary" material that relies on the power of rhetoric and figurative language. Generally, we will emphasize the constructed and crafted nature of the texts at hand, a challenging task for all students of literature but perhaps especially when it comes to analyzing literature by U.S. writers of color.

    Course requirements: several short responses; an essay topic proposal; two essays; and an exam.

    AMCULT 328 — Native American Literature
    Section 001, LEC

    Instructor: Faller,Lincoln B

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3
    Reqs: HU

    All Americans know something about Native Americans — at least they think they do. Stereotypes abound and, for most of our history, most of them have been vicious. But all stereotypes are damaging to the people they include, even the most benign and supposedly positive. Where vicious stereotypes would silence and discredit those they target, stereotypes of the supposedly benign kind are all too ready to speak for them, preempting their own efforts to speak the truth as they see it.

    Native Americans have been publishing their own writing in English since 1772. In focusing almost exclusively on twentieth — century novels, this course will consider only a small part of the large, rich, and various body of the literature, both oral and written, produced by the indigenous peoples of our country. Each of our readings will, in its own way, powerfully contradict the usual ways of imagining and thinking about "Indians."

    The course will begin with an extended look at a work which is neither fictive nor entirely Native-authored, John Neidhardt's Black Elk Speaks. This book will help us to identify certain crucial problems in the reading and interpretation of texts infused with Native American cultural values and emerging from Native American experience, from a perspective outside those values and that experience. Subsequent readings will include, in this order, the following novels: D'Arcy McNickle's The Surrounded, N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn, James Welch's The Death of Jim Loney, Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony, Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine and also Erdrich's Tracks, James Welch's Fools Crow.

    Each class will begin with an oral presentation by a panel of students. Class sessions will operate as much as possible as discussions interspersed with mini-lectures by the instructor. Students will write weekly reaction papers, except during those weeks when they are giving an oral presentation. There will be two in — class essay exams as well as an end — of — term paper or other equivalent project. Class attendance is important and will be recorded.

    AMCULT 335 — Arts and Culture in American Life
    Section 001, LEC

    Instructor: Conforth,Bruce M

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3
    Reqs: HU

    An advanced introduction to the arts in 20th-century U.S. cultural history, this course will establish the late nineteenth-century context and then survey some key topics in twentieth-century America artistic life and popular culture. Special emphasis will be placed on Black/white relations in the arts, the politics of culture in the first half of the 20th century, and the shifting meanings of modernism and postmodernism. We will approach these themes especially through developments in music, literature, art, and film. The multidisciplinary perspective developed here will introduce students to the comparative interpretation of a spectrum of cultural phenomena — including the high modernist poetry of T.S. Eliot, Duke Ellington's jazz music, Hollywood comedy during the Great Depression, Zora Neale Hurston's Harlem Renaissance literature, Jackson Pollock's abstract expressionist painting, the soul music of Aretha Franklin, and the postmodernist ideas lurking within popular films like "The Matrix" — as sites of historical inquiry. The course will explore how the elite art practices and discourses of modernism and postmodernism developed not in an isolated vacuum but rather as symbiotic responses to the ever changing commercialization of cultural life and ordinary leisure. Therefore, the rise and transformation of mass culture will be of particular interest. As the course moves up to the present time, we will emphasize how the multiple worlds of popular music continue to serve as battlegrounds over the representation of gender roles, cultural identity, and racial and ethnic diversity. The format will be two lectures per week plus a required discussion section. There will also be several required film screenings outside of class. Requirements should include attendance, midterm and final exam, brief written commentaries, and periodic reading quizzes.

    AMCULT 341 — Feminist Thought
    Section 001, SEM

    Instructor: Rosen,Hannah

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    This course explores important trends and debates in feminist theory over the last three decades. We will approach this vibrant period in feminist thought as an ongoing conversation among scholars in various disciplines and between scholars and activists about how best to understand and challenge the operation of power, power that constitutes differences between women and men and, as importantly, differences among women — those, for instance, of race, class, sexuality, and nation. We will also explore the relationship of particular theories to political practice and changing historical circumstances.

    This is an introductory survey course that does not assume prior familiarity with feminist theory. We will nonetheless move at a quick pace through different areas of feminist thought, with each week introducing new texts, ideas, and methods of critique that will be drawn on in subsequent weeks. It is thus important to prepare for and participate fully in each week of the seminar. Seminar participants should also be prepared to engage not only in feminist critique, but also in critiques of various forms of feminism, specifically in regards to questions of difference among women — race, sexuality, class, etc. — and in regards to the notion of "woman" as a stable subject position in general.

    Advisory Prerequisite: AMCULT 240 and one additional WOMENSTD course

    AMCULT 341 — Feminist Thought
    Section 002, SEM

    Instructor: Lal,Jayati

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    This course explores important trends and debates in feminist theory over the last three decades. We will approach this vibrant period in feminist thought as an ongoing conversation among scholars in various disciplines and between scholars and activists about how best to understand and challenge the operation of power, power that constitutes differences between women and men and, as importantly, differences among women — those, for instance, of race, class, sexuality, and nation. We will also explore the relationship of particular theories to political practice and changing historical circumstances.

    This is an introductory survey course that does not assume prior familiarity with feminist theory. We will nonetheless move at a quick pace through different areas of feminist thought, with each week introducing new texts, ideas, and methods of critique that will be drawn on in subsequent weeks. It is thus important to prepare for and participate fully in each week of the seminar. Seminar participants should also be prepared to engage not only in feminist critique, but also in critiques of various forms of feminism, specifically in regards to questions of difference among women — race, sexuality, class, etc. — and in regards to the notion of "woman" as a stable subject position in general.

    Advisory Prerequisite: AMCULT 240 and one additional WOMENSTD course

    AMCULT 342 — History of the Family in the U.S.
    Section 001, LEC
    Issues in Race & Ethnicity

    FA 2007
    Credits: 4
    Reqs: RE, SS

    "Parents first embody love and power, and each of their actions conveys to the child, quite independently of their overt intentions, the injunctions and constraints by means of which society attempts to organize experience. If reproducing culture were simply a matter of formal instruction and discipline, it could be left to the schools. But it also requires that culture be embedded in personality. Socialization makes the individual want to do what he has to do; and the family is the agency to which society entrusts this complex and delicate task."

    — Christopher Lasch, Haven in a Heartless World

    The world we live in — its divisions and conflicts, its widening gap between rich and poor, its seemingly inexplicable outbursts of violence — is shaped far less by what we celebrate and mythologize than by the painful events we try to forget."

    — Adam Hochschild, King Leopold's Ghost

    This course aims to give a perspective on the contemporary American family by studying the development of this important institution in the past. Particular emphasis will be placed on changing attitudes and experiences of sex roles, sexuality, childrearing, economic strategies, work patterns and relationships between men, women, and children. We will explore race, ethnicity and class as well as shifting conceptions of the role of the state and how these factors have affected family life in America. We will want to ask ourselves how much the family has changed over time and try to project, on the basis of historical evidence, whither the family is going.

    Course work will consist of readings, lectures and discussion, and the viewing of 4 movies as appointed times outside of class. There will be a 10 page historical paper required of each student on some aspect of the history of your own family by using the historical perspective gained in this course to evaluate and analyze historical changes in your own family over time. An alternative topic is provided by the instructor if this subject proves impossible to do. Two essay exams will be given, a take-home midterm and take-home final. Students are invited to visit the instructor as well as the GSIs during office hours to discuss reading, class lectures, or other topics of interest.

    AMCULT 345 — American Politics and Society
    Section 001, LEC

    Instructor: Meisler,Richard A

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3
    Reqs: ULWR, SS

    We will look closely at social issues in contemporary America and the manner in which they are treated in the political arena. The basic goal is to understand the relationships between politics — the distribution and exercise of power — and the experiences of people living in our society.

    A central goal of this course is for students to improve their writing. We will take considerable time, both in and out of class, to work to achieve this goal. Written work is expected to be excellent in both form and content. Grammar, style, structure, spelling, and proofreading are important.

    The methods of teaching and learning in this course will include discussions, lectures, short and long written assignments, films, and presentations by students and guest speakers. They will also include extensive use of computer-based communications.

    Online quizzes will be given to ensure that out-of-class assignments are completed before the assigned materials are discussed in class or needed as background for class activities.

    Attendance at the first class of the semester is mandatory. When overrides are issued to students on the wait list, preference will be given to seniors and concentrators in American Culture. No overrides will be given after the first day of classes.

    AMCULT 350 — Approaches to American Culture
    Section 001, SEM

    Instructor: Diaz,Vicente M; homepage

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    This seminar broaches a variety of disciplinary, subdisciplinary and extra-disciplinary approaches to the study of American Culture by featuring key thematic and historical developments in the field of American Studies, including relatively recent analytic turns to various forms of American popular culture. Specific themes and subjects to be covered are:

    1. the historical and cultural relationship between the field of American Studies and twentieth century social and intellectual movements and developments,
    2. visual studies, and
    3. pop and folk music.

      Advisory Prerequisite: 201/JR/P.I.

    AMCULT 356 — World War Two in the Pacific
    Section 001, LEC
    World War Two in the Pacific: Hist, Cult, Memory

    Instructor: Salesa,Damon I
    Instructor: Pincus,Leslie B

    FA 2007
    Credits: 4

    The Pacific theater of World War Two was a complicated war, one that has many histories. This course studies the origins and course of the war from a historical perspective, but includes more obscure but equally vital social and cultural aspects. Other topics include: the effects of the war on local communities, the development of cultures of war, the ethics and morality of killing, the war as a meeting of empires, the arrival of the atomic age, and the trials of war criminals. It will culminate with the way that the war has been recorded in history, from the Enola Gay exhibit at the Smithsonian to Hollywood films to the History Channel.

    Intended audience: Those interested in military history and the social history of war; relevant regions such as Hawaii, Japan, East Asia, SE Asia, the Pacific Islands, and Australasia; cultural history; imperial and colonial history; public history and historiography; international relations and diplomatic history.

    Course Requirements: Discussion/Participation (10%); Reading Assignments (10%); Reading responses (20%); Internet Assignment 1000-1200 words (15%); Audio-visual Assignment 10001200 words (15%); Encounter Assignment 800-1000 words (10%); Final Project 2500-3000 words (20%).

    Class Format: Three lecture hours per week with discussion sections led by a GSI.

    AMCULT 374 — The Politics and Culture of the "Sixties"
    Section 001, LEC

    Instructor: Countryman,Matthew J; homepage

    FA 2007
    Credits: 4
    Reqs: SS

    Freedom Rides, Classic Rock, Motown, Vietnam, The Draft, Woodstock, Hippies, and The Great Society. The "Sixties" have a mythic quality in our political and cultural life. Debates over the 1960's and the history of that decade mirror the very essence of American culture. This is the decade of peace, optimism, cultural turbulence, despair, war, and frustration. It was a time when basic assumptions and institutions were challenged.

    This course will explore the nature of American society through a look at the social and cultural movements of the 1960's. Specific attention will be paid to changes in race relations and racial structures in the nation. Specifically, we will examine the relationship between political and cultural change during that decade.

    • How did movements for political and social change affect the nation's political upheavals?
    • What was the relationship between the decade's demographic and cultural changes and the political upheavals of the time?
    • What role did resistance to political and cultural change during the 1960's play in the development of the conservative political and cultural movements that have been so influential in the decades since?

    AMCULT 383 — Junior Honors Reading and Thesis
    Section 001, IND

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3
    Other: Honors, Indpnt Study

    Reading of selected works on American Culture. Conferences, written reports, and term papers.

    Advisory Prerequisite: JR.ONLY

    AMCULT 388 — Field Study
    Section 001, IND

    FA 2007
    Credits: 1 — 4
    Other: Expr

    Field experience in organizations, institutions, and service agencies under such University of Michigan programs as the Washington and New York Internship Program and Project Community. Students must make individual arrangements with these programs.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Permission of instructor.

    AMCULT 389 — Reading Course in American Culture
    Section 001, IND

    FA 2007
    Credits: 1 — 4
    Other: INDEPENDENT

    An independent study course available to undergraduates who are interested in designing a reading list for the purpose of exploring new areas in the field of American Studies. Each student makes individual arrangements with a faculty member in the student's area of interest.

    Advisory Prerequisite: PER. INSTR.

    AMCULT 422 — Advanced Ojibwa
    Section 001, REC

    Instructor: McCue,Irving N

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    The course will foster Ojibwe language use at all levels. Students in this course will be exposed to longer written and oral narratives as well as have the opportunity to design projects to foster language revitalization. Students will work with one another, the Ojibwe community, and affiliated institutions to produce texts and analysis that support Ojibwe language.

    Students of AMCULT 422 will use Ojibwe to:

    • Sustain limited and/or longer two-way conversation with fluent speakers.

    • Understand or make logical assumptions about the meaning of new or unfamiliar words.

    • Correctly use idiomatic phrases in speech and writing.

    • Describe actions, people, places and things using compound sentences and paragraphs.

    • Be able to create short oral and written narratives.

    • Understand the importance and significance of language revitalization including preservation of dialectal and aesthetic variation.

    Enforced Prerequisites: AMCULT 422 (C- or better) or Graduate Standing.

    AMCULT 425 — Feminist Practice of Oral History
    Section 001, SEM

    Instructor: Lawsin,Emily P

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    *** You know that Grandma/Lola/Auntie/Role Model you've always wanted to learn more about, but never have enough time to just sit and chat?
    *** OR that Research Project/Thesis that you have to do interviews for, but just don't know where to start?
    *** OR are you searching for a small seminar where you can learn a really good skill in-depth? THEN THIS ORAL HISTORY CLASS IS FOR YOU!!

    This course focuses on the theory and practice of collecting oral histories of women. We will examine various methods of conducting interviews, with a concentration on the feminist perspective. We will discuss theoretical issues such as relationships between the interviewer and interviewee, "insider-outsider" perspectives, our role as "narrator", legal and ethical issues, the reliability of memory, and how the complex intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality are reflected in women's life stories. We will also explore how material and cultural artifacts are made, and how meaning is produced in oral history narratives. Students will learn different strategies of how to prepare for, conduct, and process an oral history interview; how to develop an interview question guide, how to do background research, how to phrase questions to get the most out of an interview, and what type of equipment choices one has. Towards the latter half of the course, we will cover post-interview processing, including: transcribing, editing, indexing, and presenting the interview. Students will have the opportunity to uncover "new" historical findings within our local community, by conducting an interview of one woman, adding to the oral history research available on women. This course may be used to meet the "Women, Gender, and/or Sexuality" breadth requirements for the concentration in American Culture.

    Advisory Prerequisite: One course in WOMENSTD or AMCULT

    AMCULT 464 — Race, Culture, and Politics in the Era of Civil War and Reconstruction
    Section 001, REC

    Instructor: Rosen,Hannah

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3
    Reqs: RE

    In the mid-19th century, contests over slavery, race, freedom, and equality divided the United States in a bloody Civil War and shaped one of the most revolutionary eras in U.S. history, Reconstruction. The Civil War and its outcome — slave emancipation, the dismantling of social hierarchies, and the loss of political power among traditional elites — created new political possibilities and challenged previous notions of who was an "American" and a "citizen," who had the right to vote, and what it meant to be "Black" or "white" and an "honorable" man or woman.

    This course focuses on cultural and political change from 1830 to 1896, tracing the contests leading to the Civil War and the transformations ushered in by emancipation and resulting, ultimately, in legal racial segregation. It analyzes the interaction of race, gender, class, and citizenship in contests over slavery, voting rights, labor, family, and sexuality. It also considers the role that memories of the Civil War play in politics and culture in the U.S. today. We will explore these questions through both lecture and discussion, through readings in secondary and primary sources, and through films and student presentations.

    AMCULT 493 — Honors Readings and Thesis
    Section 001, IND

    FA 2007
    Credits: 1 — 3
    Other: Honors, Indpnt Study

    Independent interdisciplinary study supervised by two or more tutors leading to an original paper. A grade is not posted until the end of the second term.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Senior standing and a grade point average of at least 3.5 in Honors concentration. Permission of instructor.

    AMCULT 496 — Social Science Approaches to American Culture
    Section 001, SEM
    The Asian American Movement

    Instructor: Kurashige,Scott T; homepage

    FA 2007
    Credits: 4

    In this course, we will analyze the history and legacy of Asian American activism during the Asian American Movement era of the 1960s and 1970s. We will explore these issues:

    • The radical political origins of "Asian American" identity among young Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, and Korean Americans
    • How Asian Americans responded to the movement against the Vietnam War
    • Why Asian American and ethnic studies stressed the importance of college students becoming involved in community activism
    • Coalition building and interracial solidarity between Asian Americans and African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans
    • Women's activism and the relationship between race, class, and gender

    We will also examine the following issues that demonstrate how Asian American activism has become more diverse during the past twenty years:

    • New currents of activism within South Asian and Southeast Asian communities
    • Resistance of Asian immigrant workers to sweatshop labor conditions
    • Asian American queer and LGBT activism
    • Community organizing in Detroit

    This is an advanced seminar and not an introductory class. Coursework will stress critical reading, qualitative discussion, and analytical writing. It is recommended that you meet one of the following criteria before enrolling (regardless of whether you enroll through AC or History):

    1. You have taken AMCULT314/HISTORY 378 ("History of Asian Americans")
    2. You are an Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies minor
    3. You are an American Culture concentrator
      OR
    4. You have knowledge of ethnic studies and Asian American history consistent with one of the three criteria listed above.

    Graduate students from all disciplines are welcome to enroll and will be expected to satisfy requirements consistent with a 600-level readings course.

    AMCULT 498 — Humanities Approaches to American Culture
    Section 001, SEM
    Writings by Arab Americans

    Instructor: Alsultany,Evelyn Azeeza

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    This course examines an array of art and writings (novels, short stories, poems, performances, stand-up comedy, filmmaking) by Arab Americans in order to identify and analyze key themes relating to Arab-American experiences. Arab American art and writing will be understood within its sociohistorical context and central questions to the course will include:

    • How do art and writings by Arab Americans seek to re-define American culture?
    • What kinds of interventions are Arab Americans seeking to make through their art and writings?
    • Which texts by Arab Americans are widely read or circulated over others and why?

    Through art and writings by Arab Americans, students will learn about the diverse array of identities that make up the Arab American community. Requirements for the course include: in-class attendance, frequent short response papers, an oral presentation, a midterm essay, and a creative final project.

    AMCULT 498 — Humanities Approaches to American Culture
    Section 002, SEM
    Literature of Hawaii

    Instructor: Najita,Susan Y; homepage

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    As its literature attests, Hawai'i is simultaneously the uniquely multicultural fiftieth state of the Union, a colonial outpost, and the disputed sovereign nation of native Hawaiians. As might be expected, the literature of Hawai'i is a highly contested terrain ranging from works by native Hawaiian writers, "local" writers, and works by "foreigners." This course allows students to read and study the literary and oral traditions of Hawai‘i, including works by writers of native Hawaiian, Chinese, Puerto Rican, Japanese, Filipino, and Korean descent, through competing paradigms which place Hawaii's literatures and cultures within the historical, social, and political contexts of western imperial expansion, globalization, Asian American literature, and the native Hawaiian movement toward autonomy and self-determination. The literatures of Hawai‘i have been and can be read through these frameworks as well as how they also problematize and contest these categories. We will examine dominant representations of the islands by Melville, London and Twain as well as contestatory representations by "local" writers such as Balaz, Holt, Trask, Murayama, Pak, Yamanaka, Zamora Linmark, and Cobb Keller. The course will also contextualize these authors within the broader critical paradigms of mainland Asian American literature as well as Pacific Island literatures.

    AMCULT 498 — Humanities Approaches to American Culture
    Section 004, SEM
    Indians and Empires

    Instructor: Witgen,Michael

    FA 2007
    Credits: 4

    In this course you will be asked to re-think American history. That is, we will approach the history of America as a continental history. This will require that we think of North America as a New World space, a place that was inhabited and occupied by indigenous peoples, and then remade by the arrival and settlement of Europeans. You will be asked to imagine a North America that was indigenous and adaptive, as well as colonial and Euro-American. This approach to the study of North American history is designed to challenge the epistemology and literature of Borderlands and frontier historiography, which displaces Native peoples from the central narrative of American history by placing them at the physical margins of colonial and national development. Instead we will explore the intersection and integration of indigenous and Euro-American national identity and national space in North America and trace their co-evolution from first contact through the early nineteenth century.

    Readings will include primary source documents including missionary records, captivity narratives, indigenous oral history, and colonial records, as well as historical studies that focus on inter-cultural contact, trade, diplomacy and warfare in the colonial and early national period. Students will be expected to write several short response papers based on these readings and a longer term paper based on original research.


    AMCULT 504 — American Immigration: Sociological Perspectives
    Section 001, SEM

    Instructor: Pedraza,Silvia

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    Both the study of immigration and the questions that study raises are at the very root of social science. In this course we survey the literature that gives evidence of the major concepts, questions, and approaches which sociologists have used to study immigration, as well as the interface between immigration, race, and ethnicity in America. In this seminar, we will seek to focus each session on a different topic, such as the origin of ethnic stratification, race, and racism; the contrasting theoretical explanations of assimilation and internal colonialism for the reality of group differences in social outcomes in America; the different levels of analysis, micro vs. macro approaches to immigration; the causes and consequences of the differential incorporation of immigrants in American society; political vs. economic immigrants as different social types; middleman minorities vs. the ethnic enclave vs. the ethnic economy as models of immigrant adaptation; women and migration; and social networks and gender as the link between micro and macro levels of analysis.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing; seniors with permission of instructor.

    AMCULT 599 — Methods in American Culture
    Section 001, SEM

    FA 2007
    Credits: 1

    A required first-year bibliography course for graduate students.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing in American Culture. Permission of instructor.

    AMCULT 601 — Topics in American Studies
    Section 001, SEM
    Queer in America

    Instructor: Newton,Esther

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    This course will cover major ethnographic and historical writing on lesbian and gay cultures and communities in the United States. It will deal with such issues as the history of the work itself, from the sexologists of the late 19th century to the present; the shifting definitions of the object of study from "homosexual" and "queer" to "gay" to "lesbian and gay" to "lgbt" and back to "queer"; the way community has been defined; the early ascendancy of social science work an its later overshadowing by cultural studies and methodological issues having to do with the position of the gay or straight social scientist.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

    AMCULT 601 — Topics in American Studies
    Section 002, SEM
    Queer of Color Theory

    Instructor: La Fountain-Stokes,Lawrence M; homepage

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    This graduate seminar (also open to qualified advanced undergraduate students) will focus on literary, cultural, and performance theory of queer people of color in the US, with some discussion of social-science approaches (ethnography, migration studies, sociological critique) and of international perspectives. We will be discussing queer theory in a comparative ethnic studies framework, and in a sense carrying out a "queer of color critique," as Rod Ferguson has termed it. This will entail paying especially close attention to the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality, and how queer of color critics have deployed these analytical lenses to understand the experiences and cultural productions of Latinas/os, African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Arab Americans in the US, as well as of global populations. Readings will include articles, books, anthologies, and special issues of journals. Some of the authors to be discussed are Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga, Audre Lorde, E. Patrick Johnson, José Quiroga, José Esteban Muñoz, Juana María Rodríguez, Licia Fiol Matta, Alicia Arrizón, Gayatri Gopinath, Martin F. Manalansan IV, David Eng, Craig Womack, Jasbir K. Puar, and Nadine Naber. Please contact professor for more information, including list of possible readings: lawrlafo@umich.edu.

    Advanced undergraduates interested in this course are encouraged to contact the instructor via e-mail to explain their interest and request permission to enroll.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

    AMCULT 601 — Topics in American Studies
    Section 003, SEM
    Comparative History of North American Borderlands

    Instructor: Witgen,Michael

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    This course is designed to challenge Borderlands epistemology and literature in order to more fully explore the development of national identities and national space in North America. Borderlands historiography evokes the American southwest. This scholarship has traditionally traced Native-European encounters and interactions from the era of first contact through the early national periods of U.S. and Mexican history. Recently, however, historians have adapted the idea of the borderlands to explore the history of settler colonialism in North America more broadly. This course is designed to engage Borderlands literature and epistemology as a means of rethinking the colonial and post colonial past in North America. We will challenge the geographic limitation of the Borderlands as a regional category of analysis, and as a reification of the frontier concept. We will also explore the emergence of intersecting indigenous and European national identities tied to the social construction of space and race.

    In this course I will ask you to re-think American history by situating North America as a Native space, a place that was occupied and controlled by indigenous peoples. You will be asked to imagine a North America that was indigenous and adaptive, and not necessarily destined to be absorbed by European settler colonies. Accordingly, this course we will explore the intersections of European colonial settlement and Euro-American national expansion, along side of the emergence of indigenous social formations that dominated the western interior until the middle of the 19th century. This course is intended to be a readings seminar, but close attention will be given to use and analysis of primary source evidence. Similarly, we will explore the necessity of using multiple genres of textual evidence — archival documents, oral history, material artifacts, etc., — when studying indigenous history.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

    AMCULT 601 — Topics in American Studies
    Section 004, SEM

    Instructor: Benamou,Catherine L; homepage

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    A course on topics in American studies. Content varies by term and instructor.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

    AMCULT 697 — Approaches to American Culture
    Section 001, SEM

    Instructor: Briones,Matthew M
    Instructor: Howard,June M

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    This seminar serves as an introduction to the graduate program in American Culture. It takes on the task of surveying the development of American Studies as an interdisciplinary field, while paying attention to the theoretical concerns and bodies of work that have influenced American Studies scholars over the last half century, including but not limited to marxism, poststructuralism, feminism, cultural studies, race, class, gender and sexuality studies, whiteness studies, material, visual, and popular culture studies.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing; upperclass standing with permission of instructor.

    AMCULT 699 — Periods in American Culture: Literary
    Section 001, SEM
    New Directions in African-American and African Diaspora Literary Studies

    Instructor: Gunning,Sandra R

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    This course will guide students in addressing the following questions: What do these related fields look like at the current moment, in terms of their intersection with feminist and gender studies, queer studies, cultural studies, and traditional literary studies? How did African-American and African diaspora literary studies become established in the first place? Has the resulting scholarship affected the way we study and teach traditional canons? As we continue to see the rising popularity of African diaspora studies, is the transnational really antithetical to the local? Last but not least, how (if at all) has identity politics shaped these fields, their methodologies, their canons, and our perceptions of who an African-Americanist ought to be? (Obviously this question has some bearing on the identity politics at play in so-called mainstream academia.) The course will be coordinated with visits of at least two scholars whose research will form part of our reading list.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing; upperclass standing with permission of instructor.

    AMCULT 699 — Periods in American Culture: Literary
    Section 002, SEM
    Postcolonial Theory and Culture

    Instructor: Najita,Susan Y; homepage
    Instructor: Nagata,Donna Kiyo

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    This course takes an interdisciplinary approach to the study of trauma by examining how the disciplines of clinical psychology and literary study attempt to understand and account for the effects of violence, war, and social upheaval, in the modern world. The instructors for this course have studied the topic of trauma in their disciplinary fields as it appears in the lives of Asians and Pacific Islanders as well as in artistic and literary productions. The disciplines of psychology and literary study have developed different approaches and methodologies as they consider the problem of trauma. For example, clinical psychology research often examines the correlates and effects of trauma, the clinical phenomenon of posttraumatic stress disorder, the gathering of case studies, interviews, and questionnaires, and issues related to diagnosis and treatment. In contrast, literary study, while also focusing on the manifestations/effects of trauma, is more concerned with the nature of trauma itself and the problems it poses for representation and analysis of literary and historical texts. Questions of literary concern include:

    • How does the fact of trauma affect the shape of literary and historical narrative?
    • How does it require different modes of reading and interpretation? Post-trauma memory, in this context, serves to focus legitimate analysis.

    Our aim is to initiate thoughtful dialogue about these important differences:

    • How do the methods, goals, and assumptions of literary and psychological inquiry differentially shape and contribute to our understanding of trauma — and specifically the experiences of Asians and Pacific Islanders?
    • To what extent can knowledge generated from these two distinct fields inform one another?
    • To what extent do the unique dynamics of Asian and Pacific Islander identities complicate the standard methods of academic work on trauma within these disciplines?
    • How does each discipline address the historical context of experienced trauma, and to what degree are political, global factors addressed in their approaches?

    Specific topics of inquiry include immigrant and refugee experiences of trauma, trauma due to human rights violations, experiences of colonization and racialization, World War II internment of Japanese Americans, forced sexual slavery under Japanese military occupation of Korea, intergenerational transmission of trauma, and approaches to healing and intervention. Evaluation will be based upon papers, class participation, and class presentation.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing; upperclass standing with permission of instructor.

    AMCULT 699 — Periods in American Culture: Literary
    Section 004, SEM
    Visual Culture Studies

    Instructor: Hass,Kristin Ann

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    This course will serve as an introduction to the emerging interdisciplinary field of Visual Culture Studies. Starting with the work of Roland Barthes, John Berger, Stuart Hall, and Laura Mulvey, the course will move through the theoretical shifts that have inspired the growth of the field and will trace the development of the field. It will take up questions of spectacle and display, visual colonialism, the gaze and the body, ocularcentrism, racialized vision and more. We will thinking through photographs, film, painting, sculpture, advertisements, architecture, and other elements of our visual world.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing; upperclass standing with permission of instructor.

    AMCULT 699 — Periods in American Culture: Literary
    Section 005, SEM
    Transnational and Multicultural Feminisms

    Instructor: Cotera,Maria E; homepage
    Instructor: Naber,Nadine C

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    This course brings "women of color" and "transnational" feminisms into productive dialogue by charting the development of U.S./third world feminist thought and action over the last four decades. Focusing on modes of theorizing and organizing around questions of subjectivity (race, gender, sexuality, nation, class) and resistance (anti-colonial, nationalist, queer, feminist, anti- globalization), the course will center on the relationship between feminist theory and practice. We will study theorizations of the "intersectionality of oppressions" and how they have emerged in relationship to third world women's resistance movements against colonialism, imperialism and globalization. We will also explore how these theories and movements have taken on different forms in the context of feminist organizing across national borders.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing; upperclass standing with permission of instructor.

    AMCULT 850 — Advanced Graduate Seminar in Primary Research
    Section 001, SEM

    Instructor: Zaborowska,Magdalena J

    FA 2007
    Credits: 3

    This course will meet once a week for a three-hour, seminar-format. Discussion of readings, individual student and instructor presentations, as well as editing sessions of work in progress.

    Our main goal is to combine learning, honing, and applying the skills key to successful scholarly and professional pursuits in the larger academic world of American Studies — from proposing, developing, and presenting conference papers, through conceptualizing an audience for a journal article and writing and submitting the article, to navigating the stormy waters of dissertation research, chapters, defense, and revision (down the road!) of the dissertation into a book.

    Secondly, while we will target the specific inter/disciplinary issues facing you as a prospective American Studies Ph.D., we will also work as a collective to help you learn to identify and build on the strengths of your particular scholarly approach and project, as well as realizing and addressing its challenges and weaknesses. You are not expected to have a dissertation topic or chapter ready to enter the course, but must complete a substantial seminar paper at its end. (There will be built-in time free from meetings during the semester for writing and peer editing of these projects.)

    Readings, if we agree on a reading component, will be drawn from a wide range of American Studies disciplines, and we will invite a few guest speakers to share their work and experience with us. All of the readings and speakers will be selected in consultation with the students, which means that we must all be there for the first meeting to plan and organize the syllabus to meet everybody's individual needs.

    Requirements:

    1. Consistent attendance and participation;
    2. Class presentation on your research field;
    3. Completion of a scholarly paper (directly related to your dissertation and/or fields).

    Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor.

    AMCULT 899 — Special Research
    Section 001, IND

    FA 2007
    Credits: 1 — 6

    It is expected that each student will do substantial work in more than one discipline and that the course of study will delineate appropriate research skills to be acquired and theoretical concerns to be explored An American Culture graduate student will be required to complete an introductory research seminar in the student's field of interest. The option of satisfying this requirement in American Culture 699 or 899 is available for those students who do not have another appropriate seminar that fits their interests.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor

    AMCULT 990 — Dissertation/Precandidate
    Section 001, IND

    FA 2007
    Credits: 1 — 8

    Election for dissertation work by doctoral student not yet admitted as a Candidate.

    Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Election for dissertation work by doctoral student not yet admitted as a Candidate

    AMCULT 993 — Graduate Student Instructor Training Program
    Section 001, SEM

    FA 2007
    Credits: 1

    A seminar for all beginning graduate student instructors, consisting of a two day orientation before the term starts and periodic workshops/meetings during the Fall Term. Beginning graduate student instructors are required to register for this class.

    Advisory Prerequisite: GSI award. Graduate standing.

    AMCULT 995 — Dissertation/Candidate
    Section 001, IND

    FA 2007
    Credits: 8

    Graduate School authorization for admission as a doctoral Candidate. N.B. The defense of the dissertation (the final oral examination) must be held under a full term Candidacy enrollment period.

    Enforced Prerequisites: Graduate School authorization for admission as a doctoral Candidate

     
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