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 will survey changing conceptions of the meaning of the American experiment from colonial times to the present. Political, social, economic, religious and cultural ideals have evolved over time, under the influence of changing historical circumstances. American ideals today differ markedly, in all areas, from those of earlier generations. And Americans of every generation have been divided among themselves over the proper formulation of their ideals. We shall analyze the forces and conflicts which have shaped, and reshaped, our national commitments. Lectures will focus upon the ideas and events of the 18th and 19th centuries, though there will also be some consideration of the 17th and 20th centuries. Readings will be drawn from the original writings of the various periods of American history, both non-fiction and fiction, as well as from the commentaries of present-day historians. There will be a one-hour midterm examination, a ten-page term paper, and a two-hour final examination.

210. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (SS).

INTRODUCTION to LATINO STUDIES. Latinos or Hispanics are the second largest minority in the U.S. Comprised of those whose origins however near or far come from the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, Latinos share a basic culture. At the same time, Latinos comprise very variegated experiences in the U.S. Both the reasons for migration from their countries and their processes of incorporation in American society vary widely. Together we will seek to understand both what they share and what is unique. This course explores the experiences of the major groups of Latinos in the U.S. - Chicanos, Mexican immigrants, Puerto Ricans, Cubans both for what it tells us about them and for the social problems and social issues they serve to exemplify: family, immigration law and its consequences, the different meaning of race in Latin America and the U.S., the unfolding drama of revolution, the culture of poverty, and the like. Overall, we will seek to understand to what extent Latinos are insiders or outsiders to this society, and why. The written requirements for this class consist of three exams. All the exams will be in-class tests, consisting of short answer questions that will draw from the lectures and our discussions of the readings. (Pedraza-Bailey)

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

See Women's Studies 240. (Hawthorne)

310. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (Excl).

Section 001 CARIBBEAN LITERATURE: IDENTITY, NATIONHOOD and DIASPORA. This class will examine the literature produced in the French, Spanish, and English Caribbean islands during the 20th century. We will also study the literature created in North America by Hispanics, such as the New Yorkrican literary production. The approach will be primarily literary, historical and social and will take a comparative and intense look at the novel, story, poetry, essay, and drama. Through discussion, lecture and student presentations among the central topics to be collectively investigated are: literature and ideology, colonialism and its aftereffects, race and class, political and social change, the U.S. and the Americas. Students will write three short papers and prepare an oral report/presentation. Reading knowledge of Spanish and/or French is recommended though all of the reading will be in translation. Some of the writers to be studied are: Jacques Roumain, Simone Schwarz-Bart, Aime Cesaire, V.S. Naipaul, Jamaica Kincaid, Alejo Carpentier, Luis Rafael Sanchez, Ana Lydia Vega, Pedro Juan Soto, and others. (Labiosa)

Section 002 PUERTO RICO and PUERTO RICANS: DEVELOPMENT and MIGRATION. In this course we will review the history of Puerto Rico's economic, social, and political development from Columbus (1493) to Colon (1987). In exploring the complex set of interactions between productive processes (sugar and coffee), class relations, political movements, and migration, we will recognize how these internal forces were to a large extent shaped by the foreign policies of the colonial powers and the particular location the Island occupied within the larger world economic system. We will consider the history of Puerto Rico in three stages: 1493-1898, Spanish colonial rule; 1898-1948, United States military and civil rule: and 1949 to the present, in which Puerto Rico acquired a degree of autonomy and self-government within the American Commonwealth and the great Puerto Rican exodus to the mainland takes place. The subject matter of this course may be of value to those of you interested not only in Puerto Rico's history but also Caribbean and Central American studies. We will analyze the process of State formation and failure in Third World societies, as well as issues of economic growth, dependency and U.S. hegemony, making comparisons with Cuba, the rest of Central America, and the Philippines. I will not assume any prior knowledge of this topic nor the Spanish language. The format of this class will be designed in such a way as to encourage dialogue, discussions, creative thinking, and independent research. (Sfeir-Younis)

421/Soc. 423. Social Stratification. (3). (SS).

See Sociology 423. (Pedraza-Bailey)

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 adviser.

Section 001 Music in the United States. In Fall Term, 1987, this section is jointly offered with Music History and Musicology 450. (Crawford)

Section 002 MYTHS AND MODELS IN AMERICAN HISTORY. In Fall Term, 1987, this section is jointly offered with History 396, section 001. (Berkhofer)

Section 003 "SOCIAL and ECONOMIC ISSUES of the FORD ADMINISTRATION." In Fall Term, 1987, this section is jointly offered with History 396, section 004. (Wilson)

Section 004 EMERGENGE of MODERN MEDICINE: HEALTH CARE in AMERICA, from PASTEUR to PENICILLIN, 1870-1950. In Fall Term, 1987, this section is jointly offered with History 397, section 004. (Pernick)

Section 005 In Fall Term, 1987, this section is jointly offered with History 396, section 002. (McDonald)

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

Section 002 NATIVE AMERICAN LITERATURE. What is American Indian literature? Since the earliest contact, Euro-Americans have written about the people and cultures they encountered as they explored, colonized, and settled the New World. Though not always historically or culturally accurate, the image of the Indian that has developed from these writings has had a persuasive impact on the way non-Indians view and understand the American Indian. Can this be American Indian literature? For centuries before and after white contact, Indians have used and perpetuated an oral tradition to remember their history and religious doctrine, and to develop stories for amusement and teaching. Through the years, the songs, prayers, chants, stories, mythologies, of numerous American Indian peoples have been collected, translated and recorded in written form. Can these collections be called American Indian literature? Beginning with the first Indians who could speak and write a European language, Indians themselves have contributed written works to American literature. These works in many cases reflect the author's Indian heritage as well as their perception of the non-Indian world. Is this Indian literature? The possible answers to all these questions will be explored in this class. Students will read literature from each of the categories identified above and students will be asked to discuss - in class the validity of each category to be labeled "American Indian literature." (LeBeau)

Section 003 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 cross-cultural exchange. Required readings will include a course pack containing poetry, short stories and plays; books (all in paperback): POCHO, Jose Antonio Villarreal; AND the EARTH DID NOT PART, Tomas Rivera; BLESS ME, ULTIMA, Rudolfo Anaya; THE HOUSE on MANGO STREET, Sandra Cisneros; THE RAIN GOD, Arturo Islas, 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 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, poetry, sociology, political polemic, autobiography, literary criticism, art criticism, and other types of writing. 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. Among the issues to be considered by the seminar are: the nature of the early Marxism of the New York intellectuals and the reasons why many of them evolved to liberalism and even neo-conservatism; theories about high culture and mass culture; abstract expressionism; Jewish identity; politics and literature. The texts will probably include, literary essays from: PARTISAN REVIEW by Phillip Rahv; EICHMANN IN JERUSALEM by Hannah Arendt; SOCIALISM and AMERICA by Irving Howe; THE MIDDLE of the JOURNEY and THE LIBERAL IMAGINATION by Lionel Trilling; THE COMPANY SHE KEEPS by Mary McCarthy; THE BLOODY CROSSROADS by Norman Podhoretz; REFLECTIONS of a NEOCONSERVATIVE by Irving Kristol; THE TRADITION of the NEW by Harold Rosenberg; stories and poems by Delmore Schwartz. Requirements include a short and long paper; a presentation to the class, and a final exam. For further information call Professor Alan Wald: 764-6351/995-1499. (Wald)

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. (McCue)

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. (McCue)

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. (McCue)


lsa logo

University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index

This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall

The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817

Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.