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. (Rydell)

210. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (SS). May be repeated for credit with permission.

SECTION 001 INTRODUCTION TO ASIAN-AMERICAN STUDIES. The experience of people of color have shaped and tested the character of the U.S., its culture, institutions, and society. This course will examine the nature of American culture and society through a study of the Asian American experience in U.S. history. The Asian American experience reveals the dynamics of race relations and economic stratification in this country as well as the continuing process of defining America and American. This course provides an introductory study of the experience of Asian immigrants and their citizen descendants in the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The groups covered include Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Pacific Islander, South Asian, Southeast Asian Americans. Topics for discussion will include international/domestic relations, immigration policy, ethnic adaptive strategies, ethnic community building, constitutional issues, majority/minority relations, and literary expressions. The format of the course will be lecture and discussion. Students will be evaluated on the basis of discussion, exams, and papers. Cost:3 (Nomura)

211. Introduction to Latino Studies. (3). (HU).

PUERTO RICAN AFFIRMATIONS: PUERTO RICAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE IN THE US. This class will explore the literary and cultural production of one of the largest and most neglected Latino groups in the United States of North America. The approach will necessarily be literary, historical, and social with special attention to questions of ideology. We will try to produce a collective cultural study of sorts through a consideration of written, oral and visual narrative texts produced in North America by Puerto Ricans, to include novel, autobiography, story, poetry, film, music, the plastic arts as well as other cultural productions. How do we frame and define this literature/production? Can there be a Puerto Rican literature written in English? What is its relationship to Puerto Rican literature from the island? What are the defining characteristics of this Latino cultural production with its origins in the Caribbean? This class will also consider the differences and similarities between Puerto Ricans and other Latino groups in the U.S., Chicanos, Cubans, Dominicans. Other questions to be included are matters of race/racism, class and gender, historical consideration of the literature and Puerto Ricans, both on the island and in the U.S., and the political and ideological ground and contexts of this cultural production. (Labiosa)

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

See Women's Studies 240.

301. Topics in American Culture. (1-3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission.

SECTION 002. GOING BACK TO CASA: TRACING THE ORAL TRADITION, OR FAMILY CUENTO, IN THE WORKS OF PUERTO RICAN WRITER JUDITH ORTIZ COFER AND OTHER LATINA WRITERS. (1 credit). (Oct. 7-18, 1991). This course will recognize, explore, and celebrate the influence of the oral tradition, or cuento, in the poetry and prose of Latina(o) literature. It will be presented from the perspective of a working writer involved in the process of tracing her literary heritage through family stories and folk wisdom. The basis for discussion will be the analysis of various relevant works as well as "writing from memory" workshops.

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

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

SECTION 001. MESOAMERICAN ART: FROM OLMECS TO AZTECS. The course serves as an introduction to pre-Columbian cultures of Meso or Middle America, beginning with the ancient Olmec and ending with the imperial Aztecs. We will study major artworks of the diverse Mesoamericans to gain a better understanding of their cultural environment, cosmology, and historical heritage. COURSE REQUIREMENTS: (1) midterm, (2) final exam, (3) research paper. TEXT: MESOAMERICAN ART, by Mary Ellen Miller. (Vargas)

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. (Rouse)

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

See Sociology 423.

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

See Women's Studies 430.

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

SECTION 001 MUSIC IN THE UNITED STATES. For Fall Term, 1991, this course is jointly offered with Music 450. (R.Crawford)

Section 002 THE 1950's IN AMERICA. For Fall Term, 1991, this course is jointly offered with History 396-003. (Hollinger)

Section 003 SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE U.S. CIVIL WAR. For Fall Term, 1991, this course is jointly offered with History 396-001. (Vinovskis)

Section 004 TELEVISION, SOCIETY, AND CULTURE. For Fall Term, 1991, this course is jointly offered with Anthropology 458-001. (Kottak)


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

SECTION 001 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 in 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 to be labeled "American Indian literature." (LeBeau)

SECTION 002 WRITERS ON THE LEFT. This is an interdisciplinary seminar in American Culture that will examine the work of a range of 20th century left-wing writers associated with movements for social change. The methodology of the course concerns primarily literary and cultural criticism, biography, and political history of the U.S. Issues of class, gender, race and ethnicity are central categories for analysis and discussion. Although there is no official prerequisite to this course, some knowledge of basic terminology used in left-wing politics (Marxism, Communism, capitalism, nationalism, feminism, etc.) would be helpful, as well as a familiarity with major U.S. literary schools. Readings will include most genres novels, short stories, poetry, drama, reportage, and memoirs, as well as some cultural history. In addition to some of the "classical" works of radical literature, we will cover a substantial number of women writers, writers of color, working-class writers, and even some writers in mass or popular culture. Some of the authors may include John Stenbeck, Lilian Hellman, Richard Wright, Meridel Le Sueur, Dorothy West, Jack Conroy, and Arthur Miller. Requirements include regular attendance and participation at the weekly seminar session; an oral presentation; a short diagnostic essay and a longer term paper; and a final exam. (Wald)


Section 004 19TH-20TH CENTURY LATINO AND LATIN AMERICAN LITERATURES. For Fall Term, 1991, this course is jointly offered with Spanish 475-001. (Perez)

Courses in Ojibwa

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

222. Elementary Ojibwa. Non-LS&A students must have permission of the American Culture Program Director. (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).

See Ojibwa 222. (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).

See Ojibwa 322.

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).

See Ojibwa 422.

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