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).

From the European discovery of America to the present, it has been assumed that America was a special land, a land anointed by God, chosen as the New Jerusalem, the landscape in which the millennium would occur. From John Winthrop to Ronald Reagan, America has been envisioned "as a city upon the hill," a beacon shining forth for the rest of the world. When that light has dimmed, Americans have denounced their land in a peculiar way, mourning its declension. And then they have written of what America is supposed to be, and of how a person is properly to become an American. They have undertaken their inquiry into values, proposing, often in the form of utopian visions, a reconstruction of their nation, a return to inherent values. This course will examine a few of these visions. Such visions have changed across time, but a core of values has remained as Americans have continued to celebrate, discuss, lament, and recreate America in an ongoing obsession with the meaning of their land, values such as the work ethic, efficiency, the frontier, pragmatism, anti-intellectualism, the melting pot, the self-made man, and, more recently, the self-made woman. A midterm and final examination will be required, along with a 5-7 page paper. (Turner)

210. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (SS).
Introduction to Latino Studies.
This course is a multidisciplinary survey of the Hispanic population of the United States. Students are familiarized with the historical origins, cultural diversity, and socioeconomic conditions of Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Cuban-Americans, and other peoples of Spanish, Indian, and African descent that compromise this population. This class serves as an introduction to the specialized courses on U.S. Hispanics, courses such as, Latinos in Film (American Culture 410), Mexican-American History (American Culture 496), and the Latina (American Culture 410). It also serves as the prerequisite to the four options of the Latino Studies concentration. Classes are conducted on a lecture and discussion basis. Students must complete a midterm, a final examination, and a ten-page paper. The following is a tentative list of books for the course: Hispanics in the United States by Joan Moore and Harry Pachon; Latin Journey: Cuban and Mexican Immigrants in the United States by Alejandro Portes and Robert L.Balch; Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans edited by Adalberto Lopez and James Petras, and La Chicana: The Mexican-American Woman by Alfredo Mirande and Evangeline Enriquez. (Chavez)

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

See Women's Studies 240.

410. Hispanics in the United States. (3). (SS).
Modern Technology, U.S. Hispanics and Latin America.
We will examine the way modern technology has affected Latinos, both in the U.S. and Latin America, by looking at the evolution of such technologies in Puerto Rico (a U.S. "territory") and Central America and the experience of Chicanos (who live in the U.S.). To attack the subject, we will review (briefly) the way technology has evolved in modern capitalist societies and the role of Latin American nations. Of particular importance are the Chicano and Puerto Rican experiences and how they relate to the rest of Latin America: agrotechnology, industrialization, sterilization and the environment are some of the key topics. We will examine the role of the U.S. military in the control of technology in Puerto Rico and the attempts to free Latin America from nuclear weaponry. The current crisis in Central America will be covered too. A survey of the various technological developments in South America will be made, emphasizing the role of foreign aid programs, U.S. influence and the alarming state of the "national debts." The course is intended for advanced undergraduates, students from Hispanic backgrounds and assumes no previous knowledge of Latin American affairs (except geography). Knowledge of Spanish is helpful but not essential to success in the course. Several films, readings and guest lectures will take place as well as student reports. (Melendez)

430/Women's Studies 430. Theories of Feminism. Any of Women's Studies 341-345; or permission of instructor. (4). (HU).

See Women's Studies 430. (Howard)

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-scene, 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 of concentration advisor.
Section 001.
During Fall Term 1986, this section is jointly offered with Music History 450. (Crawford)

Section 002 Caribbean Latinos and the United States. Peoples of Puerto Rican, Cuban, and Dominican descent have established significant minority communities in the United States. This course surveys the histories of these communities. Moreover, these histories are studied in the context of U.S. political and economic involvement in the Caribbean since the 1890s, for the existence of these American minorities has its origins in that involvement. This course is conducted on a lecture and discussion basis. Students must complete a midterm, a final examination, and a ten-fifteen page paper. The following is a tentative list of books from which readings will be assigned: From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City, 1917-1948 by Virginia E. Sanchez Korrol; The Cuban-American Experience by Thomas D. Boswell and James A. Curtis; The Dominican Diaspora by Glenn Hendricks; Cuba: The Making of a Revolution by Ramon Eduardo Ruiz, and The Puerto Ricans: Their History, Culture, and Society edited by Adalberto Lopez. (Chavez)

Section 003. During Fall Term 1986, this section is jointly offered with History 396, section 004. (Wilson)

Section 004. During Fall Term 1986, this section is jointly offered with History 397, section 003. (Holt)

498. Literary Approaches to American Culture. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with permission.

Section 001. American Indians have had a long history of contributing works written in English to American literature. Since about 1960, with an understandable increase of conventionally educated American Indian authors, literature written by Indians has quadrupled that of earlier times. For the most part, no matter the time period, the literature written by Indian authors remains unique, and somehow "Indian." Why is this so? And what is the nature of this "Indianess"? How do these authors describe Indians, Indian cultures, and the place Indian cultures have in an English speaking world? How does their own image of "Indian" compare to the white image of "Indian" found in earlier and contemporary American literature? The course will start with a brief overview of American literature written by whites about American Indians, in such works as selected scenes of Cooper's Leatherstocking tales; Altman's screenplay, Buffalo Bill and the Indians or, Sitting Bull's History Lesson, and a Hollywood thriller like the Crooked Tree. These works will be examined for the kind of Indian imagery they reflect. With this background, the course will then survey American Indian literature as a whole. Authors will include John Rollin Ridge, D'Arcy McNickle, N. Scott Momaday, James Welch, Leslie Silko, and Simon Ortiz. The novels and poetry will be examined from the perspective of the Indian cultures they reflect and the literary and historical milieus in which they were written. Course requirements will include a midterm examination, a term paper, and a final exam. An additional short paper or project can be substituted for the midterm. (LeBeau)

Section 002 Chicano Literature. This discussion course will analyze the Chicano experience in the United States as revealed through novels, short fiction, plays and poems (in English) written by Mexican-Americans. Often considered outside "mainstream" American literature, Chicano literary writings are a valid and exciting part of this country's literature, reflecting the rich historical and cultural experiences of America's fastest growing minority group. Works will be enjoyed and discussed for their literary merit as well as for their insights into the sociological, cultural and political realities of Chicano life, issues which frequently serve as dominant literary themes in the literature. Emphasis will be on works published during the 1960s to the present. Because this course has been designed as a discussion course, class attendance and participation will be crucial. Students of all ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to enroll; ideally, the class can serve as a forum for class-cultural exchange. Required readings will include a course pack containing poetry, short stories and plays; books (all in paperback) are: I Am Joaquin, Corky Gonzales; Barrio Boy, Ernesto Galaraza; And the Earth Did Not Part, Tomas Rivera; The Chicano: From Caricature to Self-Portrait, Edward Simmen, ed.; Pocho, Jose Antonio Villarreal; Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya, and The Road to Tamazunchale, Ron Arias. Students will take a midterm and a final exam, and complete a paper of about ten pages. (Zimmerman)

Section 003 Puerto Rican and Hispanic Caribbean Literature. What is Hispanic literature of the Caribbean? Who writes it? Who is it written for? What does it look like? Why is it so neglected? This class will focus on one of the major literatures written in the Caribbean in the 20th century. Emphasis is necessarily limited to major writers from the Hispanic islands: Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, with a consideration of Hispanic writing in the U.S. by emigrated writers from these islands. The approach will be historical and social. The major genres such as novel, story, poetry and drama will be studied. Through discussion, lecture and student presentations, central topics will be collectively investigated: literature and ideology, colonialism, race and class, political and social change, the U.S. and other interests and concerns of the literature. Students will write 2 or 3 short papers and prepare an oral presentation. Reading knowledge of Spanish is recommended though most of the readings will be in translation. Some of the writers to be included are: Alejo Carpentier, Nicolas Guillen, Manuel Zeno Gandia, Enrique Laguerre, Julia de Burgos, Pedro Juan Soto, Emilio Diaz Valcarcel and Ana Lydia Vega. (Labiosa)

Section 004 The New York Intellectuals: Politics and Culture. This is a seminar that will meet twice a week to discuss writings by and about the famous group of literary political figures known as the "New York Intellectuals." The course is interdisciplinary and texts will include fiction, sociology, political polemic, autobiography, literary criticism, art criticism and other genres. The format will be mostly discussion, with brief presentations by the instructor as well as by other members of the seminar to provide background information. Requirements include two papers. Among the issues to be considered by the seminar are: the ideas and evolution of neoconservatism; theories about culture; literary modernism; abstract expressionism; Jewish identity; politics and the novel; Marxism and the U.S. intelligentsia; the de-radicalization of left-wing intellectuals of the 1930s. Some of the likely texts include: Lionel Trilling, The Liberal Imagination and The Middle of the Journey; Irving Howe, Trotsky; Norman Podhoretz, Why We Were in Vietnam; Mary McCarthy, The Company She Keeps; Philip Rahv, Essays on Literature and Politics; Delmore Schwartz, Collected Essays; and art criticism by Harold Rosenberg and Hilton Kramer. (Wald)

Section 005 The Theatre of Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller. In this course we will focus our readings on the major plays of O'Neill and Miller against the background of the theatre of their times. For O'Neill, this will be primarily the 20s, 30s and 40s; for Miller, the 40s, 50s and 60s. Both the theatres they worked in and the background of their work (political, social, cultural) will be a part of the discussions and approaches to each author. The worlds portrayed by O'Neill and Miller are often explorations of the basic conflicts running through American society: disillusionment vs. optimism; self-awareness vs. conformity of established belief; conscience vs. the pragmatic action. Two papers and a final exam along with class participation in seminar fashion will provide a basis for the final grade. Paper topics are open; individual research proposals are welcome. (Martin)

Courses in Ojibwa

222. Elementary Ojibwa. (3). (FL).

This course is designed to give the conversational and cultural skills necessary to enable students to use Ojibwa in real life situations. The teaching methods are entirely inductive, and the role of writing is downplayed. There is considerable emphasis on teaching culturally appropriate behavior, and the simple conversational patterns of greetings, leave takings, introductions, table talk, etc. There is no prerequisite for the course. (Rhodes)

322. Intermediate Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 322 or permission of instructor. (3). (FL).

This course is designed to improve the basic conversational skills of the student who knows some Ojibwa. The emphasis in class is on increasing the range of situations in which the student can use Ojibwa in real life. Some emphasis is placed on teaching the students to be able to learn more Ojibwa outside of the classroom, by talking and using the language with native speakers. Linguistics 223 is a prerequisite, or some speaking knowledge of Ojibwa, Ottawa, or Chippewa. (Rhodes)

422. Advanced Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 322 and 323, or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course is aimed at giving students with conversational ability in Ojibwa the opportunity to both improve their speaking and listening skills and to introduce them to Ojibwa literature, and the various dialects represented in the literature. Students will work with the original, unedited texts, as well as with edited, retranscribed materials, and thus learn about the problems of working in a language without a standard writing system that is widely accepted. The course prerequisite is Linguistics 323, or a conversational knowledge of Ojibwa, Ottawa, or Chippewa. (Rhodes)


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