Courses in American Culture (Division 315)

Fall Term, 1998 (September 8-December 21, 1998)

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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.

102. First Year Seminar in American Studies. Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. (3). (SS).
Section 001 Politics and Culture of Race in Post-1945 United States.
This course will examine how changing ideas of race and race relations have affected life in the United States over the past fifty years. Students will consider a wide range of texts from government reports and historical analyses to novels, movies, and popular music to understand the role that debates over the meaning of race have played in recent political, cultural, and social movements. (Countryman)
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201. American Values. (4). (HU).
This course will explore the riot of ideals, aspirations, conflicts, visions, and material realities that have defined American culture. It will draw on a range of sources including fiction, music, movies, architecture, and images in art to reconstruct a history of ways in which Americans have imagined their nation. And, while this is not a history course, we will read a lot of history to follow the life of the American imagined community from the struggles to make sense of industrial growth, national expansion, and urbanization in the late 19th century to the current struggle to understand an increasingly multi-ethnic population, an increasingly service oriented economy, and a growing distrust of government with the history of ideas about what "America" should mean. We will think about American culture as it is manifest in ideas about patriotism and war, race and national progress, the power of the local and the claims of the nation, as well as the idea of separate spheres as a solution to the moral problems of industrial capitalism. Cost:3 WL:1 (Cándida Smith)
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204. Themes in American Culture. (3). (HU). Laboratory fee ($10) required. May be repeated for credit with permission of concentration advisor.
Section 001 Social Constructions of Whiteness in American Culture.
The past five years have seen a virtual explosion of scholarship grappling with the meaning of "whiteness" in American culture. This course is designed to introduce students to this new and exciting scholarship. Topics include: whiteness and class; white supremacy; white ethnicities; whiteness and masculinity; whiteness and femininity; racial cross-dressing; immigration and race; white music; whiteness and post-colonial discourse. Discussion will focus on representative texts from American popular culture, including: film (Deliverance, White Men Can't Jump); TV ("Roseanne"); white music (rock and country); and performance art (Elvis impersonators, "White Trash Girl"). This is an anti-racist approach to "whiteness studies." (Brent)
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212. Introduction to Latino Studies Social Science. (3). (SS). (R&E).
This course is designed as a broad overview of the major topics, themes, and methodologies in social science research in Latino Studies. The goal is to introduce students to the diverse experiences of different Latino groups primarily Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans in order to highlight similarities as well as differences in their historical and contemporary positions in the United States. (Almaguer)
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214. Introduction to Asian American Studies Social Science. (3). (SS). (R&E).
Introduction to Asian American Studies will examine the nature of American culture and society through a specific study of one racial/ethnic group, Asian Americans. The Asian American experience reveals the dynamics of race relations and economic stratification in the U.S.A. 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, and Southeast Asian Americans as well as the heterogeneity within the various ethnic communities, such as gender, class, generation, and region. Topics for discussion will include international/domestic relations, immigration policy, ethnic literary expressions. The format of this introductory course is largely lecture with an emphasis on encouraging and incorporating student discussion and dialogue especially in applying their knowledge gained from this course to an analysis of contemporary American society. (Nomura)
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217. Introduction to Native American Studies Humanities. (3). (HU). (R&E).
This course will introduce the colonization and representation of the "Indian" within America's "discovery" and "victory" culture. To provide alternative (resisting) histories to Manifest Destiny, we will rely on historical and contemporary writings of Native Americans. In addition to literary materials, popular films and native personal narratives will guide our discussion of the courses primary question, "Who owns the stories of Native America?" Students are not expected to have any previous knowledge of native histories or cultures. Course expectations include attendance, midterm, final, and a journal. (Bell)
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240/WS 240. Introduction to Women's Studies. (4). (HU). (R&E).
See Women's Studies 240.
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301. Topics in American Culture. (1-3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission.
Section 001 Hollywood Film Industry and American National Identities. (3 credits).
In this course, we will study how an idealized model of American national identity got established, questioned by the Hollywood film industry between (roughly) 1930 and 1980. The Hollywood studio film was distinguished by its ability to project images of normative Americans and to undercut those notions; in Hollywood, threats and alternatives to that identity were constructed, undermined, and remade sometimes in the very same film. We'll witness how films like Stagecoach, Scarface, It's a Wonderful Life, Shadow of a Doubt postulate models of Americans and/or the threat to it; then we'll see how more recent films like The Godfather, Chinatown, and Unforgiven extend this process by challenging the rules by which these genres work. We'll also witness Hollywood's treatment of such issues as race, immigration, sexuality, and the family and test the Hollywood version against acts of literary imagination, historical analysis, sociological inquiry. Requirements: journals; one paper; midterm and final. (Freedman)
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304/Soc. 304. American Immigration. (3). (SS).
See Sociology 304 (Harris-Reid)
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309. Learning through Community Practice. Permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). (EXPERIENTIAL).
Section 001 Empowering Families and Communities. (4 credits).
For Fall Term, 1998, this course is offered jointly with Psychology 319 and 320. (Mattis)

Section 002 Practicum in the Latino/a Community. (3-4 credits, to be arranged with the instructor). For Fall Term, 1998, this course is offered jointly with Psychology 305.003. (Jose-Kampfner)
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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)
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313/Anthro. 314. Cuba and its Diaspora. (4). (Excl).
See Anthropology 314. (Behar)
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324/Engl. 381. Asian American Literature. (3). (HU). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
See English 381. (Sumida)
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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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342/Hist. 368/WS 360. History of the Family in the U.S. (4). (SS).
See History 368. (Morantz-Sanchez)
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350. Approaches to American Culture. Amer. Cult. 201, junior standing, or concentration in American Culture. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Twentieth Century Radical Movements: Culture and Commitment.
This is a required seminar for juniors concentrating in American Culture that will meet weekly to examine various methods of addressing "commitment" in mid-20th century U.S. culture. The term "commitment" refers to the relationship of intellectuals, writers, and other cultural workers to issues of oppression and social transformation, such as racism, international war, class inequality, sexism, and academic freedom. Among the approaches of inquiry to be engaged are oral history, narrative historical scholarship, cultural studies methodology, documentary materials, film, fiction, and autobiography. A range of perspectives will be included, and seminar members will be able to collectively plan some of the sessions. A few of the texts that we might employ are George Lipsitz, Rainbow at Midnight; Michael Denning, The Cultural Front; Robin Kelley, Race Rebels; Paula Rabinowitz, Labor and Desire; Irving Howe, A Margin of Hope; Victor Navasky, Naming Names; Chester Himes, The Lonely Crusade; and Tess Slesinger, The Unpossessed. Requirements include full participation, a diagnostic essay and a substantial research paper, presentation of material to the seminar, and possibly a short final exam. (Wald)
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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. Film attendance required TTh 7-9 p.m.
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360/Great Books 350/Hist. 350. Great Books of the Founding Fathers. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. (3). (Excl).
See Great Books 350. (Thornton)
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374/Hist. 374. The Politics and Culture of the "Sixties." (3). (SS).

Classic Rock, Motown, Hippies, Freedom Rides, Draft Card and Bra Burnings, the Vietnam Syndrome, and the Great Society. The "Sixties" have a mythic quality in our political and cultural life. The current debate over the 1960's and the history of that decade mirror the very essence of American culture. This is the decade of peace, optimism, cultural turbulence, despair, war and frustration. It was a time when basic assumptions and institutions were challenged. This course will explore the nature of American society through a look at the social movements of the 1960's. Specifically, we will examine the relationship between political and cultural change during the 1960's. How did movements for political and social change affect the nation's popular culture? Were cultural and demographic changes at the root of the decade's political upheavals? We will also examine how resistance to political and cultural change during the 1960's have influenced the conservative political and cultural movements that have flourished in the years since. TTh 8:30 10 (Matthew Countryman)
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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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399(UC 299). Race, Racism, and Ethnicity. (4). (SS). (R&E).
This course will use historical and theoretical approaches toward understanding racism and its dynamics of power, domination, subordination, and resistance. The syllabus and lectures will be interdisciplinary, building partly upon imaginative literature, personal narratives, and other texts in the voices of these various groups: Native Americans, African Americans, Latina/o peoples, Asian/Pacific Americans, and European Americans. Readings, lectures, and discussion will profile the groups and interpret histories of their interactions as well as analyze diversity within each. We will study how domination and resistance and their costs are experiences common to these groups but from different positions and through specific mechanisms varying from group to group. Two weekly hours in lecture plus one two-hour discussion sections are required, as are two papers of 10-12 pages each and weekly responses to assigned readings. (Sumida)
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406/Engl. 384/CAAS 384. Topics in Caribbean Literature. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
See English 384. (Gikandi)
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410. Hispanics in the United States. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission.
Section 001 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; (d) class presentation. WL:1 (José-Kampfner)
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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 three hours of credit 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 001 Ethnic Entrepreneurship as Urban History.
This course chronicles ethnic entrepreneurship in the urban community. African American entrepreneurship is the primary focus with attention to Latino, Asian, and European immigrant groups as well. This seminar course will: explore the concept of entrepreneur; give an overview of minority entrepreneurs beginning from America's earliest entrepreneurs to the present; explore models that seek to explain minority entrepreneurship; study history of government policies and programs related to minority entrepreneurship; and look at traditional and emerging minority businesses and their communities. Requirements: readings, weekly e-mail journal, midterm papers, final paper/project. The course pack is available from Michigan Documents. This course has an optional oral history component by permission of instructor for an additional two credit hours. (Brown)

Section 002 The Years of the Toad: Arts and Culture during the McCarthy Period. The Fifties are usually presented as a rich period of growth, tranquility, and prosperity in the United States. This seminar will focus on the effects of the Cold War in the cultural mentality of the Fifties. We will analyze how the House UnAmerican Activities Committee created a climate of fear, insecurity, paranoia, and persecution which influenced the development of cultural manifestations during those years. We will study and discuss the Hollywood Ten and their work, the repercussions of the Red Scare and the successive blacklisting in movies, visual arts, music, theatre, and popular culture. We will specifically analyze some of these films, plays, and novels, read the memoirs of the participants, and discuss historical perspectives on the period, produced then and now. The seminar will have a weekly discussion meeting, complemented by film screenings and readings. Students will conduct individual research projects, compile a bibliography, and present their findings in a final paper. (De la Vega-Hurtado)

Section 003 Oral History, Life Stories and Changing Cultures. Limitedto seniors; (graduate students in AC, History, Sociology may elect AC 699.007 via override at AC Office, G410 Mason) This course offers an introduction to the biographical approach which is usually termed "oral history" by historians and "life history" by social scientists. It will explore the potential of this approach for research in the context of changing cultures in different parts of the world. We shall consider the interviewing process, the nature of memory, the relationship between psychoanalysis and autobiographical work, and the different forms of interpretation from the reconstructive to the linguistic and narrative. We shall also look at different forms of presentation including television. While the course is essentially conceptual, we shall discuss some basic methodological problems in designing and carrying out projects, and also the ethical issues which they can raise. The course will be taught through discussion seminars. Students will be expected to carry out interviewing of their own and to incorporate this experience in the final paper by which the course will be assessed. (Thompson)
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498. Humanities Approaches to American Culture. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission.
Section 001 Hawthorne, Melville, James.
For Fall Term, 1998, this course is jointly offered with English 482.001. (McIntosh)
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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. 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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