Courses in American Culture (Division 315)

Unless otherwise stated, the permission required for the repetition for credit of specially designated courses is that of the student's concentration or B. G.S. adviser.

201. American Values. (4). (HU).

This course surveys the historical origins and development of the American national ideology. Beginning with the colonial period and coming to the present, it discusses the presumptions which have shaped American behavior. It undertakes to explain why Americans came to accept these presumptions as axioms, not needing critical examination, and it shows how the presumptions formed and influenced the events of American history, through defining ways in which Americans perceived their world. The course is pitched at the introductory level, but it does presuppose a general familiarity with the events of American history. Students who are not confident of their grasp of that material should obtain and read any college-level American history textbook before the beginning of the term. Reading assignments in the course will be drawn from a number of paperback monographs by modern historians, and will also include several novels and other original sources by American authors. Assignments will average about 250 pages per week. There are two general lectures each week, delivered by the course instructor, and two meetings of a section, taught by a graduate teaching assistant. There will be a one-hour midterm examination, a ten-page research paper and a two-hour final examination. (Thornton)

240/Women's Studies 240. Introduction to Women's Studies. Open to all undergraduates. (4). (HU).

See Women's Studies 240.

372/Hist. 376/Eng. Hums. 372. American Technology and Society: Historical Perspectives. (3). (SS).

An intensive study of the nature and development of American technology and its relationships to American society. The course will examine, among other topics, the process of industrialization, the ideology of social progress through technological progress, and the changing roles of men and women in industrial and post-industrial society. The course presupposes no technical or historical background and welcomes the participation of persons from diverse backgrounds. The format is combined lecture-discussion. The principal bases of students evaluation are three short papers. Required texts: Hughes, Changing Attitudes Toward American Technology; Layton, Technology and Social Change in America; Kasson, Civilizing the Machine; Smith, Harpers Ferry Armory and the New Technology; Montgomery, Workers' Control in America; Flink, The Car Culture. (Segal)

490. History of the American Film. Junior standing. (3-4). (HU). Laboratory fee (approximately $20. 00).

The western, the detective/crime film, the musical, the screwball comedy, the science fiction film, etc., form a background against which we measure and understand contemporary American cinema. These film genres each have their particular conventions presenting certain kinds of characters and plots; utilizing particular camera styles, mise-en-scène, and acting; and addressing themselves to particular issues and conflicts. As these genres evolve, old patterns are given new twists, surprising the viewer with unexpected departures from the norm and turning the genre toward consideration of new social and cultural problems. We will examine four characteristic American film genres. A weekly film screening will be accompanied by two hours of lectures and one hour of discussion. Three films in each genre will be studied, ranging in period from the 1930's to the 1970's, thus allowing us to analyze changes within the genre, and the aesthetic as well as the socio-political implications of these changes. Short units on the documentary and the avant-garde film may be included. Students will be evaluated on the basis of four short papers, one longer paper and their participation in discussion. Required texts vary in accordance with the genres chosen for study. (Eagle)

496. Historical Approaches to American Culture. (3). (SS). May be repeated for credit with permission.
Section 001 Music in the United States.
During Fall Term 1982 this course is jointly offered with Music History and Musicology 450. See MHM for description. (Crawford)

498. Literary Approaches to American Culture. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with permission.
Section 001 Native American Literature.
Native American Literature is a survey course representing a large and widely unknown selection of contemporary, recent and past writings and works by American Indian writers, editors and artists. The course itself is divided into four concentric parts: Translations; Articles and Essays; Short Stories and the Novel; and Poetry. Other media and art forms blend well with the above works and tend to enhance a person's experience with the literature. Therefore, the course also includes selections of photography, music and recordings, periodic journals and newspapers created and produced by Native people. Readings required for the course are in paperback and consist of one book of translations, collections of articles and essays, two contemporary newspapers, an anthology of short stories, a novel and three short books of poetry. Many of these works are new, published in the last ten years and are not usually read or recognized by a huge majority of American teachers and scholars. Still, American Indian authors, artists and editors are creating their own literature in the twentieth century and are establishing precedents in form and technique which English literature has yet to experience in its own history. (Crow)


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