Courses in American Culture (Division 315)

Unless otherwise stated, the permission required for the repetition for credit of specifically designated courses is that of the student's concentration or BGS advisor.

100. What is an American? (4). (SS).

This lecture/discussion section course will study the diverse, conflicting ways in which Americans have defined what it means to be American, in both the past and the present. A rich tradition of debate over what values and experiences make up our national identity informs most of the central political and cultural conflicts in our history. This course will study both the contemporary era of intense controversy over what it means to be American what some have called a "cultural civil war" and periods of past conflicts over questions of diversity and difference in American life. The course will meet for two hours a week for lecture and two hours for discussion. Students will be graded on the basis of classroom participation, midterm and final examinations, and one term paper. Cost:3 WL:1 (Scobey)

103. First Year Seminar in American Studies. Limited to first- and second-year students. (3). (HU).
Section 001 History and Legacy of the Salem Witchcraft Trials.
For Fall Term, 1997, this section is offered jointly with History 197.006. (DuPuis)
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204. Themes in American Culture. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with permission of concentration advisor.
Section 001 Borders of the American Self: Autobiographies of Migration and Culture-Crossing: Who is American? Who can become American?
These questions about identity remain central to debates about our multicultural nation. Through the medium of twentieth-century immigrant and ethnic American autobiography, this course will explore issues at the heart of personal and national identity: complicated intersections of culture, language, migration, race, labor, gender, sexuality, family. How do authors straddling ethnic, national, and linguistic identities write themselves into the "American story" or the "American Dream?" How do they critique or redefine it? Where are the borders between the "ethnic" or "immigrant" self and the "American" self? Central to this course will be questions about self-representation. What does it mean to write one's life story? Although we will primarily focus on non-fiction autobiographies (including Andrew Carnegie, Carlos Bulosan, Richard Rodriguez), we will also consider fiction, oral history, music, poetry, and visual media, exploring different modes of self-representation through class discussions and independent projects. (Garland)
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206. Themes in American Culture. (3). (SS). May be repeated for credit with permission of concentration advisor.
Section 001 Nature and America: From Wilderness to Winnebagos Changing Ideas about the Natural World.
This course will survey how ideas about nature and wilderness have changed through American history. The course will begin with the earliest interactions between European and Native Americans, but will pay particular attention to contemporary debates over humanity's place in nature. Students will be asked to examine their own assumptions about what is natural by visiting woods, a park, a farm, and a shopping mall in or near Ann Arbor. Readings for this class are interesting and engaging and consist of both primary and secondary sources. The course requires three short papers and a final exam. WL:1 (Randolph)
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213. Introduction to Latino Studies Humanities. (3). (HU). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).

This course will serve as an introduction to the study of the historical situation of Latino/a cultures within the United States. Basic questions of cultural conflict, identity, labor, migrations and immigrations, and social movements will be analyzed through various media, including the short story, novel, poetry/performance, music, film, painting, murals, autobiography, and fashion. Emphasis will be upon issues of race, gender, class, and sexuality as they inform the making of a Latino/a identity. WL:1 (Gonzalez)
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214. Introduction to Asian American Studies Social Science. (3). (SS). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).

This course aims to re-center the experiences of Asian Americans in the narrative of U.S. history not only to uncover submerged histories but also to examine the complex cultural and political processes by which the Asian American past was documented and re-presented. This class also attempts to explore the social construction of race in the history of the U.S., issues of power as it relates to the politics of historical representation, and the intersections of race, gender, and class in historical narratives. We will engage in theorizing the category "Asian American" and partake in identifying key themes in Asian American historiography such as colonialism, (im)migration, labor, culture, ethnicity, identity, strategies of resistance and accommodation, etc. as they relate to historical inquiry. (Lieu)
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217. Introduction to Native American Studies Humanities. (3). (HU). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).

This will be an introductory course in contemporary Native American identity and literature. We will look at the ways in which Native American authors defined or reimagined tribalism in the late 20th century. Our readings will begin with the works of the Native American Renaissance (Momaday, Silko, Deloria) and trace their influences through contemporary novels and essays. (Bell)
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240/WS 240. Introduction to Women's Studies. Open to all undergraduates. (4). (HU). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).

See Women's Studies 240.
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304/Soc. 304. American Immigration. (3). (SS).

See Sociology 304. (Pedraza)
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309. Learning through Community Practice. Permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). (EXPERIENTIAL).
Section 001 Field Work in Multicultural Communities. (3 credits).
For Fall Term, 1997, this section is offered jointly with Psychology 305.003. (Gutierrez)
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310. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (SS). May be repeated for credit with permission of advisor.
Section 001 Cuba and Its Diaspora.
For Fall Term, 1997, this section is offered jointly with Cultural Anthropology 356.001. (Behar)
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311. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with permission of advisor.
Section 001 Dances of Latinas/Latinos.
This course will examine contemporary dance and performance art as a transformative form beyond the body. Through an analysis of selected choreography and performance, we will establish a dialogue that recreates the historical-political-cultural background and context of works about Puerto Rico, New York, and Latino America. The choreography presented will focus on factors such as race, class, gender, and sexuality. We will examine choreography and other artistic collaborative efforts (i.e., music/composers, installation, performer, literature, and visual art) within the issues of cultural identity and how this affects process, movement, and the dance aesthetics. Students are required to participate through movement, discussion, observation, analysis, and performance. Other requirements include: related readings of text and articles, journal entries, one critical essay, written critiques, and complete participation in discussions, workshops and attendance to performances. This course is part of the Theme Semester sponsored by the Institute for Research on Women and Gender. Taught by Puerto Rican Choreographer/Performance Artist/Assistant Professor of Dance. (Velez Aguayo)

Section 002 The Writings of Latinas: Texts of the Borderlands. For Fall Term, 1997, this section is offered jointly with RC Humanities 317.001. (Moya-Raggio)
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314/Hist. 378. History of Asian Americans in the U.S. (4). (Excl).

Asian/Pacific American History in the U.S. will examine the nature of American culture and society through a specific study of Asian/Pacific Americans. The Asian/Pacific American experience reveals the dynamics of race relations in the U.S. as well as the continuing process of defining America and American. This course provides a survey of the experience of Asian immigrants and Pacific-Islanders and their citizen descendants in the United States from the late-eighteenth century to the present. The groups covered include Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Pacific-Islander, South Asian, and Southeast Asian Americans. Topics for discussion include international/domestic factors for immigration, immigration policy, U.S. imperialism/colonialism, settlement and occupational patterns, ethnic adaptive strategies, ethnic community building, constitutional issues, majority/minority relations, anti-Asian movements and Asian resistance to exclusion, World War II, repeal of legal restrictions, and postwar changes in Asian/Pacific-American communities. (Nomura)
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327/English 387. Latino/Latina Literature of the U.S. (3). (HU).

See English 387. (Gonzalez)
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328/Engl. 382. Native American Literature. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

See English 382. (Bell)
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335. Arts and Culture in American Life. (3). (HU).

This course should give students a broad vocabulary with which to explore the ways in which arts and culture constitute and reflect American life; give them a rich collection of fiction, film, public art, architecture, poetry, music, and material culture to grapple with; and give them a good deal of practice in the work of unpacking the stories in and the stories behind this kind of cultural production. Using a variety of readings, songs, photographs, paintings, newspaper accounts, artists' renderings of events in American culture, and the development of the technologies, sounds, and images which are crucial to the histories of arts and culture in the United States will give students some kaleidoscopic visions to read, talk about, and think through different kinds of representation and narrative forms of arts and culture. WL:1 (Hass)
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345. American Politics and Society. (3). (SS).

At century's end, participation in our formal political process is at an all-time low. Yet politics, broadly understood as the distribution and exercise of power in an ever more diverse United States, affects us all, in our private lives as well as our public institutions. This interdisciplinary social science-based course uses a lecture-discussion format and a course pack mixing scholarship and mass media to examine key issues. These include the racial and class politics that infuse current discussions of poverty, welfare, immigration and urban life; the gender politics of family life and workplace opportunity; the "body" politics of health and sexual orientation. The course requires brief written responses to weekly assigned readings and a longer (7-10 page) final paper based on those readings. Student groups will prepare and lead discussion sections. The use of electronic information resources is strongly encouraged and some training will be provided.

American Culture concentrators will be required to elect 1 extra credit for this course (to be arranged). (Ackerman)
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350. Approaches to American Culture. Amer. Cult. 201, junior standing, or concentration in American Culture. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 The View From Here: Reading American "Crises" at the Century's End.
This course addresses some of the major social and political challenges preoccupying Americans at the end of the 19th century, namely: immigration, racial division, the role of the U.S. as a world power, the "problem" of women's rights. While we'll be using American literature of the period as a starting point, we'll be incorporating other disciplinary approaches besides literary studies (e.g., reading from history, sociology, social anthropology) to understand the origins, scope and consequences, of each of these four issues. And since we can't escape the irony of our own placement at the end of the 20th century, looking back to the end of the 19th, we'll also spend some time comparing (via current literature, film, art, journalism, and scholarship) the very different (or very similar) ways in which Americans are coming to terms with the same issues now. Evaluation will be based on formal in-class student presentations and research papers. (Gunning)
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351. Race and American Cinema. (4). (HU). Laboratory fee ($35) required.

This course focuses on an analysis of the representation of racial and ethnic groups in Hollywood cinema, followed by a study of films that members of those groups have made about themselves. We will study how Hollywood developed certain stereotypes or reacted against them. We will also look at films from recent independent cinema to see how these films have followed the established pattern of images or, on the contrary, have intended to represent their own communities. Films viewed are examples from classical American cinema of the '40s and '70s to the present, mostly fictional representations, using some appropriate documentaries. We will discuss representation of African/Asian/Native Americans, and Latinas/os, looking at both content and form, use of cinematographic language and construction of meaning, from an eclectic choice of theoretical positions. Films are the main texts, with insight from readings. The course has two lectures, two film showings and a small discussion group per week. A journal of film criticism, a term paper/project, a midterm, and a class presentation are required. Cost:3 WL:1 (De La Vega-Hurtado)

383. Junior Honors Reading and Thesis. Junior standing and grade point average of at least 3.0. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

Reading of selected works on American Culture. Conferences, written reports, and term papers.
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388. Field Study. Sophomore standing. (1-4). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. (EXPERIENTIAL). May be repeated for credit with permission.

Field experience in organizations, institutions, and service agencies under such University of Michigan programs as the Washington and New York Internship Program and Project Community. Students must make individual arrangements with these programs.
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389. Reading Course in American Culture. Permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit with permission.

An independent study course available to undergraduates who are interested in designing a reading list for the purpose of exploring new areas in the field of American studies. Each student makes individual arrangements with a faculty member in the student's area of interest.
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401. Race and Racialization in the Americas. Amer. Cult. 212 or 213, and 312. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Comparative Processes of Racialization in the Americas.
This course will examine the development of categories of race and the institutionalization of racism in Brazil, Puerto Rico, the U.S., and Mexico from an interdisciplinary perspective. Departing from the idea that race has never been biologically fixed but rather culturally embedded, we will critically read anthropological, historical, and literary works which address themes such as: the connection between various gendered and racialist regimes, the role of science in racialization, the historical links between slavery, violence, and racism, and finally, imperialism and colonialism as processes central to the making of modern racialist discourse and practices especially in terms of U.S.-Latin American relations. This historical inquiry will be accompanied with critical attention to contemporary representations of race including popular culture/music, debates about human intelligence, and the multiple meanings of multiculturalism. WL:1 (Koreck)
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410. Hispanics in the United States. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission.
Section 002 Women in Prison: Gender and Crime Among Blacks and Latinas.
In this course you will learn about women in prison. This course will focus on the oppression that these women experience before, during, and after incarceration. Interviews will be scheduled with women at the prison which will be the basis for a final paper. The approach for these papers will utilize the Human Science perspective. As we study the experiences of these women as they participate in their existence we will use abstract categories and scientific constructs to analyze their experiences. Requirements: (a) midterm and final paper; (b) class participation; (c) reaction papers; and (d) class presentation. WL:1 (Jose-Kampfner)

Section 003 Empowering Latino Families and Communities. For Fall Term, 1997, this section is offered jointly with Psychology 470.001. (Gutierrez)
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432/Hist. of Art 420. National Identity in American Art. Any prior coursework in history of art, American culture, or American history. (3). (Excl).

See History of Art 420. (Zurier)
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489. Senior Essay. Senior concentrators and Amer. Cult. 350. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

This course is designed for concentrators who desire a more directed research experience with individual faculty at the end of their undergraduate career. It allows a senior concentrator in American Culture the opportunity to write a research paper under the direction of a particular faculty member.
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493. Honors Readings and Thesis. Senior standing and a grade point average of at least 3.5 in Honors concentration. (1-3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Independent interdisciplinary study supervised by two or more tutors leading to an original paper. This is a two-term course with 3 credits each term; a grade is not posted until the end of the second term.
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496. Social Science Approaches to American Culture. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission of concentration advisor.
Section 002 U.S. Social and Cultural Thought Since 1945.
For Fall Term, 1997, this section is offered jointly with History 396.001. (Càndida Smith)

Section 003 The History of American Sexualities. For Fall Term, 1997, this section is offered jointly with History 396.002. (Morantz-Sanchez)

Section 004 Monumental America: Public Space, Material Culture, and American Life. Huge roadside chickens, the palaces of worlds fair's, iconic skyscrapers, Las Vegas casinos, hallowed battlegrounds, mega-malls, and Disneyland represent a wide spectrum of visions of American life in the 20th century. We will explore them to try to figure out who we, as Americans, are and how we have imagined ourselves. Studying dramatic, enormous nation-building artifacts from the turn of the century to the present we will think through the tangle of ideas, technologies, conflicts and interests that have shaped American life. Close readings of these artifacts material emblems of American values open up important questions about how Americans have understood themselves and how they have expressed this sense of self in cultural and physical landscapes. We will use these artifacts to think about how Americans share a national community, and to think about how this community is made and remade. (Hass)

Section 005 Ethnic Entrepreneurship as Urban History. This course surveys the history of Ethnic entrepreneurship in urban America. African American entrepreneurship is the primary, although not exclusive, focus. The intent of the course is to (1) strengthen the students knowledge of minority entrepreneurship, (2) to examine the history and tradition of African American entrepreneurship in the face of systematic discrimination, prejudice and oppression, (3) examine myths and stereotypes that exist relevant to African American entrepreneurship, (4) explore internal issues and debates within the African American community regarding Black Capitalism and Black economic development, (5) compare and contrast African American entrepreneurial experiences and issues with other immigrant entrepreneurs such as Latinos and Asians, and (6) contribute to the development and understanding of African American and other ethnic entrepreneurs. The course pack is available from Michigan Documents. This course has an optional oral history component by permission of instructor for an additional 2 credits. (Brown)
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498. Humanities Approaches to American Culture. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission.
Section 001 American Masculinities.
For Fall Term, 1997, this section is offered jointly with English 417.006. (Robinson)
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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). (LR).

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:2 WL:1 (McCue)
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223. Elementary Ojibwa. Amer. Cult. 222 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (3). (LR).

See Ojibwa 222. (McCue)
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322. Intermediate Ojibwa. Amer. Cult. 223 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (3). (LR).

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:2 WL:1 (McCue)
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323. Intermediate Ojibwa. Amer. Cult. 322 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (3). (LR).

See Ojibwa 322. (McCue)
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422. Advanced Ojibwa. Amer. 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, re-transcribed materials, and thus learn about the problems of working in a language without a standard writing system that is widely accepted. Cost:2 WL:1 (McCue)
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423. Advanced Ojibwa. Amer. Cult. 422 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (3). (Excl).

See Ojibwa 422. (McCue)
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