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; yet there is also much continuity. 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 ideas and events from the 18th through the 20th centuries. Readings will be drawn from the original writings of the various periods of American history. There will be a one-hour midterm two short papers, and a two-hour final examination.

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

See Women's Studies 240.

310. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission of advisor.

SECTION 001. PUERTO RICO AND PUERTO RICANS: DEVELOPMENT AND MIGRATION. The main purpose of this course is to understand the dynamics of the Puerto Rican migration experience to mainland U.S. One cannot fully comprehend the meaning of migration unless it is viewed as resulting from a rather complex set of interactions between Puerto Rico's internal economic development and the foreign policies of the colonial power which ultimately determined the particular location the island has occupied within the larger world economic system. The first part of this course (Part I: HISTORY OF PUERTO RICO) briefly examines the history of Puerto Rico's economic, social, and political development from Columbus (1493) to Colon (1988). It explores the relationship between productive processes (sugar and coffee), class formations, and political movements which set the background for migration flows. Part II: THE PUERTO RICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, focuses on such controversial issues as the problem of work, poverty and welfare; bilingualism; drug abuse; discrimination; the role of religion; the changing structure of the family; and Puerto Rican's search for identity. This course does not assume any prior knowledge of this topic nor of 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. [Cost:3] (Sfeir-Younis)

SECTION 002. ETHNICITY AND GENDER IN AMERICAN CULTURAL ARTS DEVELOPMENTS SEEN HISTORICALLY. Lecture-seminar appeals to students interested in literature, theatre, music and other cultural arts forms. Afro-American cultural history is surveyed within the multi-racial, multi-ethnic evolution in American cultural arts expressions, principally in literature, theatre, dance and the graphic arts. Examined are aspects of the origins of cultural arts developments from Colonial, revolutionary America to the 20th century related white Anglo-Saxon Protestants, Blacks, Indians, women, and other ethnic groups, e.g., Irish, Jews, Latinos, etc. Beginning with Thomas Jefferson's views on Black and Indian "cultures in the anthropological sense," the creative and artistic perceptions of race and ethnicity are examined through the prism of cultural arts. Racial and ethnic "stereotypes" are examined through the long range influence of "Negro minstrelsy" in American music, dance and theatrical forms; the influence of Harriet Beecher Stowe's UNCLE TOM'S CABIN on the literary and theatrical stereotypes in American culture. An interpretation is offered on the incorporation of Black and Indian themes into the evolution of a national American music. Here, Latino elements can be examined. In addition, the course examines the implications of the Anton Dvorak-Jeannette Meyer Thurber thesis on Black and Indian music in the 1890's. Surveyed are the origins of the ragtime-blues-jazz continuum in American popular music culture; Puritanisms, Africanisms, Americanisms in the evolution of popular dance forms; Blacks and ethnics in the evolution of American drama; the Eugene O'Neill thematic revolution with the Black image on the American stage (1917-1930); the Harlem Renaissance (1917-1930) seen as the literary, theatrical and aesthetic cross-cultural, accommodation in American music, literature, theatre, dance and the graphic arts; the 1930's and the New Deal's Works Project Administration (WPA) impact on the cultural arts up to World War Two. A survey of the post World War Two period to the 1980's will be optional and open-ended depending on the general results of class room discussions based on topical choices elected by the students themselves. [Cost:1; All books are on reserve] [WL:4; No limits or restrictions on enrollment.] (Cruse)

SECTION 003. THE ASIAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. This course seeks to provide a historical framework of analysis for understanding the social, political, economic, cultural, and psychological forces which have shaped and continue to shape the lives and communities of Asian Americans. Topics covered include discussion of (1) the historical forces in the Asian countries and in the U.S. which cause and shape Asian immigration, (2) the development of ethnic communities, and (3) the history of discriminatory laws and regulations that have impeded the full growth of Asian-American communities. The disturbing issues of American institutional racism and the failure of the American democratic process fully to protect the civil rights of a large segment of its population is explored. The course includes study, too, of the implications for and the impact on Asian Americans of the concepts of assimilation and America as a melting pot. Importantly, this course covers not only what was done to Asian Americans, but also what Asian Americans have done in building a place for themselves in American society. The human dimension of Asian American history is developed through readings of literature written by Asian Americans. This course seeks to make students aware of the varied multicultural nature of American society and the varied ethnic cultures that form "American" culture. Course requirements include three papers and a seminar presentation. (Nomura)

311. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission of advisor.

LATINO ART IN THE UNITED STATES: THE LATIN AMERICAN SPIRIT (1920-1980). Through the use of slide lectures, readings, films, and discussions, this course will study the history of Latino or Hispanic art from 1920-1980 and its contributions to the development of a modern/contemporary American art. The survey will examine the diverse cultures, styles, influences, and trends (modern art, Mexican muralism, and Chicano art, for example) in the evolution of a Latino aesthetic and will explore the relationships between the Latino art expression and the broader American art movement to better comprehend their unique cultural inter-relatedness. Course requirements: two exams, final exam, a field assignment. Texts: ART IN LATIN AMERICA, 1920-1980, by Dawn Ades, Yale University Press, 1989; HISPANIC ART IN THE UNITED STATES, by John Beardsley and Jane Livingston, Cross River Press, 1987. [Cost:4; Books are available through traditional course book suppliers; also 10 percent discount on individual orders for hardbound books at Border's Bookstore] [WL:2] (Vargas)

350. Approaches to American Culture. Amer. Cult. 201, junior standing, or concentration in American Culture; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

When we speak of an American culture, or cultures, what do we mean from an American Studies perspective? How does one go about interpreting ideas, artifacts, and social groupings in terms of "Americaness" and cultural representation(s)? Readings and seminar discussions will explore these questions in relation to such topics as values and ideals; ethnicity and gender; mass and other communication theories, symbols and myths, etc. Each student will be expected to participate in the weekly seminar discussions and to write two brief papers and a longer one applying the readings and class discussions to the interpretation of aspects of past and present day American society and culture. Those in the Honors Program who enroll in American Culture 398 will substitute the preparation of a thesis prospectus for the third paper. Students must see instructor for an override. [Cost:3]

398. Junior Honors Seminar. Permission of a concentration adviser in American Culture. (3). (Excl).

For description, see American Culture 350.

410. Hispanics in the United States. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission.

SECTION 001. CROSSING BORDERS: LATINO MIGRATION TO THE UNITED STATES. This course ranges between anthropology and its neighboring disciplines in an attempt to understand what life is like for Latinos involved in migration to and from the United States. Focusing on people from Mexico, the Spanish-speaking Caribbean and Central America, it examines their experiences in relation to issues such as the changing character of capitalism as an international system; the organizing role of networks and families; changing patterns of gender relations; the emergence of a second generation; discipline and resistance in the context of class formation; and the role of the state as an agent of policy and ideology. Using a seminar format, the course involves a close reading of required texts and detailed class discussions. The final grade is based on contribution to these discussions and on two papers that use additional research to expand on issues raised by the readings. [Cost:3] [WL:Course designed for graduates and seniors. Seniors must get permission of instructor before registering. Contact professor at 764-7274.] (Rouse)

430/WS 430. Theories of Feminism. Women's Studies 240 and one 340-level course, or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).

See Women's Studies 430. (Stanton)

496. Historical Approaches to American Culture. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission of concentration adviser.

SECTION 002. Being old in America in the 1990s is both remarkably similar to and incredibly different from conditions in past times. Americans have long perceived old age as a distinct stage of life, and they have always faced their own aging with ambivalence. But people in colonial times would be shocked to see Yuppies denounce their elders as "greedy geezers"; they would find it hard to unravel the legal, medical, economic, and ethical issues that currently shape long-term care for the elderly in this country. Through weekly discussions of books and articles, we will try to understand such continuities and changes in the meanings and experiences of old age over time. Because this course bears ECB credit, students will be expected to write at least 30 pages, including a term paper of their own choosing. There will be no exams. [Cost:3] [WL:Janet Rose at Haven 3607 will give overrides.] (Achenbaum)

SECTION 003. This section is offered jointly with History 396.004 for the Fall Term, 1990. (Berkhofer)

SECTION 004. This section is offered jointly with History 396.001 for the Fall Term, 1990. (Vinovskis)

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

SECTION 001. AMERICAN INDIAN LITERATURE. This section if offered jointly with English 473.003 for the Fall Term, 1990. (LeBeau)

SECTION 002. NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICAN LITERATURE. For Fall Term, 1990, this section is offered jointly with English 473.002. (McIntosh)

SECTION 003. U.S. WRITERS ON THE LEFT. This is a specialized senior seminar in American Culture, offered jointly with English 473 in the Fall Term, 1990, that will meet once a week for intensive discussions about "U.S. Writers on the Left." The title comes from Daniel Aaron's classic study, WRITERS ON THE LEFT which will be an important text for our course. However, we will augment Aaron's book with supplementary readings in regard to race, gender, cultural difference, and popular culture. The readings will span the period from the origins of contemporary left-wing writing around the turn of the century up until the present time. We will include the genres of fiction, poetry, autobiography, drama and reportage, and should touch upon radical responses to WWI, the Depression, the rise of the CIO, the Spanish Civil War, World War II, McCarthyism, and the 1960s. Writers to be examined will probably include Randolph Bourne, John Reed, Josephine Herbst, John Dos Passos, Henry Roth, Tillie Olsen, Richard Wright, Langston Hughes, Carlos Bulosan, Kenneth Fearing, Meridel LeSueur, Mari Sandoz, and Marge Piercy. Requirements include attendance at all sessions; completing all the reading on schedule; a short diagnostic paper early in the term and a more substantial one later on; participation in a group project; a final exam. [Cost:2-3] [WL:1] (Wald)

Courses in Ojibwa

A full sequence of Ojibwa cannot be guaranteed. Students should consult with the American Culture Program Office before undertaking Ojibwa to satisfy the College language requirement.

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. [Cost:1] (McCue)

223. Elementary Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 222 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (3). (FL).

Class 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. [Cost:1] (McCue)

322. Intermediate Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 223 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (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. [Cost:1] (McCue)

323. Intermediate Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 322 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (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. [Cost:1] (McCue)

422. Advanced Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 323 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (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. [Cost:1] (McCue)

423. Advanced Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 422 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (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 widely accepted standard writing system. [Cost:1] (McCue)


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