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LSA Course Guide Search Results: UG, GR, Winter 2007, Dept = AMCULT
 
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Title
Section
Instructor
Term
Credits
Requirements
AMCULT 100 — Rethinking American Culture
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Daligga,Catherine Elizabeth

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: SS, RE

What is an American? It is a simple question to ask, but a deceptively difficult one to answer. Most of us believe we have some notion of what constitutes our American identity. Upon closer examination, however, we uncover a myriad of identities, each existing in contested political, economic, and cultural spaces. So who decides what an American is and why? How do we make sense of American Identity, and why should we try anyway? This course will attempt to answer these and many other questions by examining the evolution and transformation of American identity (or identities) from the early days of the American republic to the present. Classical as well as marginal views on American identity will be covered, along with an examination of the contested landscapes of contemporary American culture through critical readings on select institutions and practices.

AMCULT 103 — First Year Seminar in American Studies
Section 001, SEM
Dismantling American Notions of Race

Instructor: Gunning,Sandra R

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU
Other: FYSem

What are we really talking about when we use the word "race?" Students will explore this question by paying close attention not only to a history of the American usage of the term, but also to other markers of identity (ethnicity, class, sexuality, etc.) that have shaped that usage. Course readings will be drawn from history, feminist and gender studies, media studies, literature, and cultural anthropology.

Advisory Prerequisite: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.

AMCULT 103 — First Year Seminar in American Studies
Section 002, SEM
Contemporary American Humor and Performance

Instructor: Clark,Daniel Emmett

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU
Other: FYSem

This seminar will explore the performance of comedy in modern America, focusing on how America's increasingly diverse national character influences humor and comedic presentation. Drawing from all available forms of comedy, this class will encompass an overview of the study of American humor by balancing leading scholarship with firsthand analysis of both canonical American comedians and those performing today, including Lenny Bruce, Dave Chappelle, Stephen Colbert, and many others.

Advisory Prerequisite: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.

AMCULT 103 — First Year Seminar in American Studies
Section 003, SEM
Spoken Word Poetry

Instructor: Lawsin,Emily P

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU
Other: FYSem, Theme

Learn the art of performance poetry and spoken word in this new freshman seminar! Each week, we will read contemporary poetry, or watch performances of local and nationally-known spoken word artists, and study the phenomena of Poetry Slam competitions in America. Students will also engage in creative exercises to empower the artist in all of us. No previous poetry experience necessary. For the term project, students will produce a spoken word event and/or poetry publication.

Advisory Prerequisite: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.

AMCULT 103 — First Year Seminar in American Studies
Section 004, SEM
Contemporary American Hunor & Performance

Instructor: Clark,Daniel Emmett

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU
Other: FYSem

This course is designed to introduce students to a wide variety of topics and issues in American Studies in a seminar format from a Humanities perspective. It enables students to have contact with regular faculty in a small-class experience and to elicit their active participation in the topics under discussion.

Advisory Prerequisite: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor.

AMCULT 201 — American Values
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Hass,Kristin Ann

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: RE, HU

The Problem of the "We"

This course will explore the riot of ideas, conflicts, and material realities that have defined and shaped culture in the U.S. from the Civil War to the present. Focusing on the relationship between ideology, culture, and power in U.S. history, the course will draw on a range of methods and sources — including fiction, music, movies, architecture, historical research, and images in art — to reconstruct a history of ways in which Americans have imagined their nation and the ways in which this "imagined community" has been continually transformed.


AMCULT 203 — Periods in American Culture
Section 001, LEC
United States as Empire

Instructor: Kramer,Paul Alexander

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

"The United States as Empire" revisits United States history through the lens of imperialism, covering among other themes continental empire-building in North America, overseas colonialism and "informal" commercial expansion in the 20th century, Cold War interventions and the post-Cold War "unipolar moment." Lecture and discussion will center on the rise of the United States as a world power, the question of whether the United States is or has been an empire, and the consequences of world power for domestic U.S. society.

AMCULT 204 — Themes in American Culture
Section 002, LEC
American Musical Soundscapes: Roots, Routes, and Scenes

Instructor: Stillman,Amy K

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU
Other: Theme

This course will examine relationships between music and place throughout the United States. What would "A Day in the Life of Music in the United States" sound like in 2007? What might it have sounded like in 1907 or 1807? Why do some musics remain rooted within their communities, while others find broader audiences and routes of circulation? How does music operate as sonic markers of inclusion or exclusion? Using the case of music in the United States, what does music contribute to our thinking about citizenship?

We will examine a range of musical genres, from placed-based traditions to musics belonging to everyone and no one at the same time. We will also examine a range of book, recording and film/video packaging of "American music/s." We shall weigh tensions between notions of a "musical mainstream" and "musical subcultures," and consider how these tensions around music and music-making promotes social bonding or marginaliation.

This course will provide students with several different types of tools.

  1. Students will acquire techniques and use vocabulary for distinguishing different genres on musical grounds.
  2. Students will gain techniques for surveying community musicmaking activity.
  3. Students will develop critical abilities to analyze the discursive dimensions around what musics get heard, where that happens, how it unfolds — and who and what is not heard.
  4. Students will conceptualize relationships between music and place, and the implications of those relationships for thinking about investments of citizenship.

Required reading will include Music in America by Adelaida Reyes (Oxford 2005) and a coursepack of articles. Students will be responsible for an average of three hours of required listening weekly. Access to a high-speed internet connection will be necessary for much of the assigned listening. There will be writing assignments, including a term project. There will be two objective quizzes, an objective midterm exam, and a final exam. Opportunities for class fieldtrips will be announced at the start of the term.

AMCULT 204 — Themes in American Culture
Section 006, LEC
PopularCulture&AmericanHistory

Instructor: Conforth,Bruce M

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

The course is intended for first-year students, sophomores and juniors as specific illustrations of the issues raised and the approaches used by American Studies scholars. It is an interdisciplinary approach to a social, cultural or literary theme in American Culture.

AMCULT 204 — Themes in American Culture
Section 013, REC
Arab American Literature

Instructor: Hassouneh,Rima Saudi

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

This course focuses on the literature written by Arab-Americans over the last century, including short stories, novels, poetry and autobiographies. We will explore the themes of this literature as they engage with American literary and cultural traditions. We will also consider the various contexts and conditions in which this literature was produced. To some extent, this means thinking of how literature by Arab-Americans articulates with and "negotiates" the myths and ideals by which America has defined itself historically and till the present. We will get a partial sense of this when we compare Arab-American experiences and writings to those of other racial-ethnic groups in America, like Latina/os, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, and African-Americans, to whose identities experiences and ideals of migration and travel, democracy and freedom, belonging and sense of "home," and self-advancement have been central. Requirements for the course include: in-class attendance, frequent short response papers, an oral presentation, a midterm essay, and a final exam.

AMCULT 205 — American Cultures
Section 001, LEC
American Humor

Instructor: Daligga,Catherine Elizabeth

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

Comedians seem to have license to explore issues of race, class, gender, sexuality, and religion when such controversial subjects are generally off-limits to everyone else. This class will explore the role that comedians play in creating "American-ness" by their commentary on social norms and taboos. We will investigate questions such as: Are there identifiable themes or subjects for American humor? If so, have they changed over time? Given the reliance of many American comics on caricature and stereotype, does comedy tend to reinforce stereotypes or challenge them? What significance does humor have for "insiders" who may respond to a sly allusion with knowing laughter, in contrast to the "outsiders" who may not fully understand the joke? Can humor be "politically correct" and still be funny? What topics are (still) too hot to handle, and why?

This class will investigate trends and patterns among influential American comedians of the 20th century up to the present, seeking to make connections between dominant comedic styles and genres and the major social issues of their times. It will emphasize performance genres of comedy, tracing the antecedents of today's stand-up routine. We will consider the work of comedians ranging from Bert Williams to Chris Rock, Buster Keaton to George Carlin, the Marx Brothers to Lenny Bruce, Flip Wilson to John Leguizamo, Joan Rivers to Margaret Cho. The class will also offer you an opportunity to acquaint yourselves with some key issues and core texts that form the foundation of the critical study of humor in the United States. Reading for the class averages 80 pages per week, selected from four assigned texts and many single essays. The class CTools site will be in regular use for announcements, other resources, and virtual office hours, among other tasks. Assignments will include a midterm quiz, a take-home response to readings, and a group final project.

AMCULT 205 — American Cultures
Section 005, LEC
Native American Literature: The Great Lakes

Instructor: Noori,Margaret Ann

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

This course is designed to be an introduction to Native American Literature with an emphasis on the literature of the Anishinaabe, a tribe based in the Great Lakes Region. We will examine the historical and contemporary traditions of one group in the context of Native North American Literature as a whole. Along with reading stories, plays and poems, we will learn how the Ojibwa language and Anishinaabe music and art are connected to the storytelling tradition.

AMCULT 206 — Themes in American Culture
Section 001, REC
Aids and America

Instructor: Meisler,Richard A

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: SS

This is a truly interdisciplinary course, working with materials from the natural and social sciences and the arts and humanities. We will deal with a wide range of subjects from the biology of HIV and the medical treatment of AIDS to the politics and sociology of a world-wide epidemic and the nature of artistic creations in the midst of a terrible epidemic. Students will write papers, do class projects, and participate in discussions. There will be frequent quizzes. Class attendance is required, and classes will be devoted to discussion, conversations with guests, and occasional films.

AMCULT 207 — Periods in American Culture
Section 001, LEC
Foreign Perceptions of America

Instructor: Brooks,Stephen R

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: SS

From the earliest years of European colonization in what would become the United States, foreigners have read various meanings into the American experience. America and the American experience constitute one of the defining poles of modern history, a fact that is attested to by the enormous volume of writings on American politics and society by foreigners.

This course will examine foreign perspectives, past and present, on several important features of American political life. These include race relations, wealth and class, political culture, and America's role in the world. We will cover some of the classic writings by foreigners on these themes, including those of Tocqueville, Bryce, Laski, Myrdal, and Beauvoir. The latter two-thirds of the course will be devoted to more contemporary foreign perspectives on American politics, based on surveys, writings and other media — including a lot of video material —: from Britain, Canada, France, other European societies, Russia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Students will be required to write an 5-6-page paper related to one of the themes of this course. There will be a mid-term and final examination. A portion of the grade is based on participation.

Included among the readings for the course will be the following:

    Brooks, America Through Foreign Eyes: Classic Interpretations of American Political Life (Oxford, 2002).
    Brooks, As Others See Us: The Causes and Consequences of Foreign Perceptions of America (Broadview Press, 2006).
    Kohut, Andrew and Bruce Stokes, America Against the World (New York: Henry Holt and Co.: 2006).
    Markovits, Andrei, Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007).

AMCULT 208 — Post World War II American Sub-Cultural Movements: Beatniks, Hippies, and Punks
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Conforth,Bruce M

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: SS

This course looks at the beatnik, hippie, and punk movements in America to introduce the concepts of sub- and counter-cultures, issues of cultural diversity, and the function of such groups as folk cultures. By tracing the history of each group the course investigates how these twentieth-century American secondary cultures responded to the traditional, or dominant, culture. We also consider how each group, despite radical appearances, drew upon a host of traditional cultural tools and processes to create their own communities. Investigating the economic, political, social, cultural, and technological events that surrounded the creation of these groups, the course draws a distinction between sub-cultures and counter-cultures, as well as defines the manner in which each may function as a folk culture. It deals specifically with cultural identification and definition.

Intended audience:Undergraduates in general.

Course Requirements:3 quizzes, midterm, final exam, 3 reaction papers

Class Format:Students are expected to attend two 1 hour lectures and one 1 hour discussion per week.

AMCULT 211 — Introduction to Ethnic Studies
Section 001, LEC
Jewish and Other Others

Instructor: Freedman,Jonathan E

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

In this course, we'll look at the Jewish-American experience from roughly 1880 to the present day from a comparative perspective: that is, in terms of the ways in which that experience looks when placed in relation to that of African-Americans (and the fraught idiom of race), Asian-Americans (and the "model minority" myths applied to both groups) and other Euro-Americans. Our readings will be drawn from history (e.g., Matthew Frye Jacobsen's Whiteness of a Different Color), from anthropology (Sherry Ortner's New Jersey Dreaming: Capital, Culture, and the Class of '58) musicology (Jeffrey Melnick's The Right to Sing the Blues), and film criticism (Michael Rogin's Black Face, White Noise); but we'll spend most of our time reading novels, poems, and plays, and watching films that speak to the complexities both of the Jewish-American experience and of its place in the ethnoracial hurly-burly of twentieth-century America. Two short papers; One long one; quizzes every now and then to keep you on your toes!

AMCULT 223 — Elementary Ojibwa
Section 001, REC

Instructor: McCue,Irving N
Instructor: Noori,Margaret Ann

WN 2007
Credits: 3

Continuation of AMCULT 222.

Advisory Prerequisite: AMCULT 222 and permission of the American Culture Program Director.

AMCULT 230 — Art and Life in 19th-Century America
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Zurier,Rebecca; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

This class asks what the study of art history and American history can tell us about each other through an intensive focus on a complex period in the past. The nineteenth century saw the transformation of the United States from a rural to an industrial, urban nation; a Civil War that divided the country, Westward expansion that enlarged it, and waves of immigration and border movement that changed its population; the rise of a middle class, and the emergence of women into public and professional life. American artists and architects sought to rival their European contemporaries and eventually produced distinctive works that responded to national trends. Through hands-on research in archives and visits to see original works of art in museums and libraries, along with readings in primary-source documents and recent critical interpretations, we will examine both developments in the fine arts and the impact of historical change on the material and popular culture of everyday life in America. Among the topics to be investigated are:

  • the role of art in creating an image of America as "nature's nation";
  • machine-made art and machines as art;
  • the West as viewed from the painter's easel,
  • the photographer's lens, and the frontier homestead;
  • the interaction of Native American artists, Anglo settlers, and the tourist trade;
  • the creation of Civil War monuments;
  • parlors and the ideology of the Victorian home;
  • mass-produced images and the dissemination of art for middle-class taste;
  • the brooding psychology in the Gilded-Age paintings of Eakins, Homer, and Cassatt.

The class will include at least one field trip.

Textbook: Frances Pohl, Framing America: A Social History of American Art plus online course reserves. Students who need background reading may also choose to purchase any edition of John Mack Faragher et al., Out of Many vol. 1 (a U.S. History textbook) and/or Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing about Art.

IV. 4

AMCULT 235 — From Harems to Terrorists: Representing the Middle East in Hollywood Cinema
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Alsultany,Evelyn Azeeza

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: HU, RE

This course provides an overview of representations of Arabs and Arab-Americans in the U.S. media, and specifically Hollywood cinema. Through an examination of Hollywood films over the last century, such as The Sheik (1921), Harum Scarum (1965), and True Lies (1994), it traces a shift in stereotypes from the rich Arab sheik with a harem to the Arab terrorist. Through this process, the course examines the connection between representations and the historical and political moment in which they are created and disseminated, from European colonization of the Arab world, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the Iran hostage crisis, to 9/11. How have international relations, political events, and foreign policy influenced representations in Hollywood filmmaking? What is the impact of stereotypes? How do film representations become part of American culture? Through examining these questions, we analyze the changing landscape of race, gender, and politics in film. We also examine the counter-current of filmmaking via unusual Hollywood films, documentaries, low-budget feature films, short films, and other genres.

Intended audience: Undergraduate students with general interest in learning to analyze media, the impact of stereotypes, and the relationship between the U.S. and the Middle East.

Course Requirements: Weekly film screening and short response papers. Midterm take-home exam would ask students to select a film from a list and write about representations of Arabs and the Middle East in the film, applying some of the theories learned in class. Or it might ask them to write an essay that compares films from two different time periods that we have seen in class, analyzing how the representation has changed based on the historical and political era and drawing from the readings in class. A final exam would ask students to work on an art-as-resistance project.

Class Format: Class comprises 3 hours lecture per week, with a 1 hour discussion section with GSI support (graded component), plus weekly required film viewing.

AMCULT 240 — Introduction to Women's Studies
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Cole,Elizabeth Ruth; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: HU, RE

A survey introduction to the critical, theoretical, and historical study of women and gender in America from a feminist perspective. Readings range across a wide body of feminist scholarship in order to familiarize students with key questions, theoretical tools, and issues within the field. The course aims to sharpen critical awareness of how gender operates in institutional and cultural contexts, in students' own lives and the lives of others. Two questions are central to the course: How is gender created and maintained through social practices (e.g., ideology or media representations)? How do these gendered social practices intersect with other social categories, such as race and ethnicity, social class and sexuality? Because Women's Studies grew out of women's activism, this course explores the relationship between the generation of knowledge about women and gender, and how to bring about gender equity in a society where race and ethnicity matter. Most of the course materials are drawn from the U.S. context; however, several weeks' readings and lectures address feminist work in other parts of the world and transnationally. Attendance at both lectures and discussion sections is mandatory.

AMCULT 301 — Topics in American Culture
Section 001, LEC
Asian Pacific Islander American History and the Law. Meets Feb 13 — Mar 20, 2007. (Drop/Add deadline=Feb. 20).

Instructor: Hwang,Roland

WN 2007
Credits: 1
Other: Theme

This course is an overview of how federal and state laws have affected the Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) experience and presence in the United States. The course will cover the APIA historical timeline, exclusion laws, alien land laws, World War II internment of Japanese Americans, affirmative action as it applies to APIAs, civil rights and racial hate crime violence, bilingual issues in education and the workplace, post-9/11 issues, among other topics.

AMCULT 301 — Topics in American Culture
Section 003, LEC
World War Two in the Pacific

Instructor: Salesa,Damon I

WN 2007
Credits: 3

The Pacific theater of World War Two was a complicated war, one that has many histories. This course takes this conflict, the ‘Pacific War', as its central subject, and studies its origins and the military course of the war — the traditional focus of war histories — but greatly broadens these horizons to include other rarely appreciated, but equally vital, aspects of the war.

As well as looking at the war's origins and developments, the course will also study a number of other facets of the war: from the effects of the war on local communities, the war as a meeting of empires, to the arrival of the atomic age and the trials of war criminals. It culminates in a study of the ways that the war has been put into history, from the Enola Gay exhibit at the Smithsonian to Hollywood films to the History Channel.

AMCULT 301 — Topics in American Culture
Section 004, LEC
Uses of Trash: Gender, Race & Class at the

Instructor: Hubbs,Nadine M; homepage
Instructor: Hubbs,Jolene Renee

WN 2007
Credits: 3

What are the uses of trash — of the word as applied to U.S. poor whites, and the people thus designated? Trash is a wide-ranging and adaptable representation: While "trash fash" is brandished to sell products from cookbooks and comedy routines to country songs, the term is deployed pejoratively to establish boundaries, to distinguish a normative "us" from a polluting "them" in terms of class, race, physiognomy, behavior, and taste. In this seminar we sift through a variety of cultural objects — literary and critical texts, films, popular music — to explore the origins and sites of trash as a construct, and its raced, classed, gender-entangled workings.

AMCULT 301 — Topics in American Culture
Section 005, LEC
U.S. Foreign Policy and International Politics Since World War II.

Instructor: Kramer,Paul Alexander

WN 2007
Credits: 4

Examines the conflict and cooperation of the U.S. with other states in the Cold War, deconolonization, and regional crises. It also analyzes how non-state actors, new technologies, and global markets are transforming the international system. Readings include original documents and differing interpretations from America and abroad.

AMCULT 301 — Topics in American Culture
Section 009, LEC
Human Rights & Social Justice Organizing in the U.S.

Instructor: Smith,Andrea Lee

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Other: Theme

Recently, social justice organizations, particularly those with a racial justice focus, have begun to work within a human rights frame. They regard human rights as a framework that challenges U.S. hegemony, and also provides an opportunity for U.S. based social justice organizations to make transnational linkages with social justice movements globally. This course would focus on case studies of social justice organizations in the U.S. that are utilizing a human rights framework to assess how the human rights framework impacts organizing around disparate social justice issues. In some cases, this framework helps U.S.-based social movements develop linkages transnationally with non-U.S.-based human rights groups. In some cases, this framework has led to transnational organizing limiting itself to U.N. fora and advocacy at the expense of other forms of transnational organizing. This course will look at what have been the benefits and the costs of building a U.S. Human Rights movement in terms of furthering the cause of social justice. The course will explore how social justice organizations have changed in their stance on human rights, and how they have addressed these initial critiques within their movements. The course will also include guest speakers from diverse social justice movements.

AMCULT 302 — Introduction to American Society
Section 002, LEC

Instructor: de Leon,Cedric

WN 2007
Credits: 3

In his best-selling book, What's the Matter with Kansas? Thomas Frank speculates on how the Republican Party captured "the Heart of America," despite the fact that Republican economic policy was and is at odds with the interests of working people. While he makes no explicit theoretical claims, Frank nevertheless invokes a famous debate within sociology that is still as yet unresolved, namely, whether parties rule classes or whether classes rule parties. In this course, we will examine the various sides of this debate and apply them to famous moments in American politics: the Jacksonian Era, the Civil War, Populism, the New Deal Era, and the re-election of George W. Bush.

AMCULT 304 — American Immigration
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Pedraza,Silvia

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: RE, SS
Other: Theme

That America is a nation of immigrants is one of the most common place, yet truest of statements. In this course we will survey a vast range of the American immigrant experience: that of the Irish, Germans, Jews, Italians, Chinese, Japanese, Blacks, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, and Mexicans. Immigration to America can be broadly understood as consisting of four major waves; the first one, that which consisted of Northwest Europeans who immigrated up to the mid-19th century; the second one, that which consisted of Southern and East Europeans at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th; the third one, the movement from the south to the north of Black Americans and Mexicans precipitated by the two world wars; and the fourth one, from 1965 on, is still ongoing in the present, of immigrants mostly from Latin America and Asia. At all times, our effort is to understand the immigrant past of these ethnic groups, both for what it tells us about the past as well as their present and possible future.

Course requirements: the written requirements for this course consist of two exams. Both the exams will be in-class tests, consisting of short answer questions that will draw from the lectures and our discussion of the readings. Each exam will be worth 50 percent.

AMCULT 306 — Community Research
Section 001, LAB

Instructor: Creekmore,Phillip M
Instructor: Levin,Dana S

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Other: Theme

This course involves a community based internship, readings, and a class seminar. The seminar and readings cover research methodologies useful when conducting research on, with and for communities. These include community needs assessment, analysis of census and other statistical information on communities, evaluation of programs offered by community organizations, and surveys of community residents. The community experience involves one visit per week to a community-based organization in Detroit to work on projects to improve the well being of children, youth and families. Projects can involve tutoring, developing outreach activities, or working in community education projects. Students in the course will work with one another on a research project designed to meet community interests. Results from this project will be shared with the community-based organizations and the university community through presentations and written reports. Transportation to the community internship is provided.

Advisory Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in PSYCH 318/AMCULT 307 and one of the following: PSYCH 111, 112, 114, or 115.

AMCULT 311 — Topics in Ethnic Studies
Section 001, LEC
Asian Pacific American Literature and Empire

Instructor: Lawsin,Emily P

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: RE, HU
Other: Theme

How Does the Empire Write Back? This upper-division course focuses on Asian Pacific American literature and the United States empire. By reading stories, plays, historical documents, poems, and films, students will learn how empire affects the experience of different generations of Pacific Islanders and Asians in America. We will examine the continuing impact of wars in the Pacific that established the U.S. as a global power, focusing especially on Filipino American, Hawaiian, Vietnamese American, and South Asian American texts. This diverse range of writers and artists proposes creative ways of thinking beyond, against, and without the U.S. empire. Most importantly, this course will be an opportunity for students to develop their own research or creative projects, which will contribute to this body of writing. While students are expected to work on individual research topics from the very beginning of the course, the last third of the semester is set aside for the development and presentation of projects. This course satisfies the "Cultural Expression" Requirement for the Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies Minor.

AMCULT 318 — Greek-American Culture
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Lambropoulos,Vassilios; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: RE

While Greek culture, thought, and values have always been studied and revered in the U.S., the actual Greeks who immigrated to this country were received differently. They faced many forms of discrimination and exclusion that often led them to protests, marches, strikes, demands for equal rights, and alliances with minority groups. This course studies that particular migrant group, a unique case in American race history: the arrival and settlement of Greeks, a people admired in theory and reviled in practice.

The story is one of dissociation between image and reality, identity and ethnicity, discourse and experience, as the American public distinguished the cultural legacy of Hellenism from the immigrating Hellenes. While Greece stood as an abstract ideal, the actual Greeks appeared dark, barbaric, Eastern (as opposed to Western), lazy, intemperate, dishonest, and above all racially and mentally degenerate in sharp contrast to those they claimed as ancestors. Sometimes even Greeks themselves began treating each other in similar terms.

By examining Greek American history, culture, practices, and institutions, this course studies a test case of complex discrimination that includes racial, ethnic, religious, linguistic, gender, class, cultural, and several other elements. It analyzes the successes and the pitfalls of collective identity as it has been understood in this country over the last two centuries by following the Greeks' gradual ascendancy to whiteness, Hellenization, Europeanization, middle class status, heterosexual normality, public recognition, and assimilation. Students will be required to complete assigned readings and write two 8-page papers based on drafts.

This dissociation between modern Greeks and "real," that is ancient, Greeks is still evident today in course offerings everywhere as College listings distinguish between "Modern Greek" and "Greek" classes whereby the latter, apparently considered "more authentically Greek," do not require to be qualified as "Ancient."

AMCULT 322 — Intermediate Ojibwa
Section 001, REC

Instructor: McCue,Irving N
Instructor: Noori,Margaret Ann

WN 2007
Credits: 3

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.

Advisory Prerequisite: AMCULT 223 and permission of the American Culture Program Director.

AMCULT 323 — Intermediate Ojibwa
Section 001, REC

Instructor: McCue,Irving N
Instructor: Noori,Margaret Ann

WN 2007
Credits: 3

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.

Advisory Prerequisite: AMCULT 322 and permission of the American Culture Program Director.

AMCULT 325 — Pacific Literary and Cultural Studies
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Najita,Susan Y; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

This is a course for students who want to develop their abilities in critical and creative reading, thinking, and analysis. It is an interdisciplinary course that navigates film, fiction, poetry, novels and histories in order to engage with some of the critical processes at work in the modern world. From sunlit beaches, swaying palm trees, and happy tourists to tropical rainforest and menacing natives, the islands of the Pacific have been relentlessly depicted. Perhaps more than any other region of the globe, the Pacific has been "experienced" beforehand through the image-making of Hollywood, television, and advertisement. The huge success of films such as Whale Rider, The Piano, Lord of the Rings, and Once Were Warriors builds upon the early images of the region in films such as Blue Hawaii, Mutiny on the Bounty, and South Pacific. This course puts such texts into dialogue with the extensive body of historical and literary representations. What connections and contradictions emerge when we read popular culture in relation to fictional representations by authors such as Hermann Melville and Jack London, and indigenous authors such as Patricia Grace, Albert Wendt, and Keri Hulme? What other histories and experiences are obscured or misrepresented in these popular representations, including the emergence of indigenous self-determination movements, nuclear testing and U.S. military supremacy, and the multi-ethnic societies which emerged as a result of colonization? To answer these questions, we will read texts from a range of perspectives: EuroAmerican authors (Melville, London, Cook), indigenous Pacific islanders (Hulme, Wendt, Grace, Figiel, and Hau'ofa), as well as non-natives (Yamanaka and Murayama). Requirements include quizzes, 7-8 page paper, final exam, and presentation.

AMCULT 327 — Latino/Latina Literature of the U.S.
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Carroll,Amy Sara

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU
Other: WorldLit

This course considers the relationship between Latino/a literary productions and the social conditions and possibilities of its production. A variety of topics is addressed in the study of such Latino/a literatures of the US as Chicano/a, Puerto Rican, and Cuban American.

AMCULT 341 — Feminist Thought
Section 001, SEM

Instructor: Naber,Nadine C

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This course explores multiple perspectives on feminism and feminist theory. Students will study the histories of feminist theories and practices within a U.S. context. We will highlight the significance of post-colonial, women of color, and transnational theories and practices to U.S. feminisms. We will also trace the relationship between feminist scholarship and activism. This is an interdisciplinary course that brings together artistic work and humanities and social science perspectives.

Advisory Prerequisite: AMCULT 240 and one additional WOMENSTD course

AMCULT 345 — American Politics and Society
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Meisler,Richard A

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: ULWR, SS

Studying current political controversies and social problems will stimulate the search for insight into deeper questions of politics and society. We will follow selected political and social issues using newspapers, magazines, electronic and entertainment media, and the Web. There also will be readings from more scholarly sources in the social sciences. Students will write papers, do class projects, and participate in discussions. There will be frequent quizzes. Class attendance is required, and classes will be devoted to discussion, conversations with guests, and occasional films.

AMCULT 350 — Approaches to American Culture
Section 001, SEM

Instructor: Gunning,Sandra R

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This course asks students to think self-consciously about American Studies as a practice that has continually shifted over time, as a dynamic inquiry that continues to evolve through the participation of historians, anthropologists, political activists, literary scholars, queer theorists, feminists and gender critics, and of course scholars in Ethnic Studies more generally. Class readings are designed to give students a sense of how certain scholarly debates have developed within the field, as well as how these debates are being transformed in the present moment. Central to the class will be current scholarship on the very definition of the subject of study: what do we mean by "America"? "What constitutes American culture? Does the identification of a single country (e.g., the United States) make sense anymore, given current notions of thinking globally about the environment; the multi-national corporation; so-called democratic values; and, the rise of a new imperialism? Final grades will be based on attendance and participation, a midterm, and a final paper.

Advisory Prerequisite: 201/JR/P.I.

AMCULT 363 — Asian/Pacific American Women
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Lawsin,Emily P

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Other: Theme

This interdisciplinary course focuses on the experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islander American women in the United States. Texts and films include an introduction to materials by and about Asian/Pacific Islander American (APIA) women, from historical, anthropological, sociological, psychological, musical, and literary perspectives, thereby allowing students to compare and contrast the experiences of different ethnicities and generations. Discussions and assignments will examine the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, class, sexuality, and nationality in APIA women's lives. Learning critical theories about feminism, immigration, and globalization will show how APIA women have become agents of social change, publicly and privately, at home and in their communities. For the term project, students will have the option of writing an oral history research essay, OR doing a creative project, OR volunteering with New Visions: Alliance to End Violence in Asian/Asian American Communities.

AMCULT 381 — Latinas/Latinos and the Media
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Benamou,Catherine L; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Reqs: HU

Examines access and contributions of Latinas/os to the U.S. media from an historical perspective, with a culminating emphasis on the contemporary period. The cultural scope is pan-Latino, covering a range of genres and formats, from documentary to experimental film and television.

Advisory Prerequisite: AC 213 or FV 236 or AC/FV/SP 380

AMCULT 383 — Junior Honors Reading and Thesis
Section 001, IND

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Other: Honors, Indpnt Study

Reading of selected works on American Culture. Conferences, written reports, and term papers.

Advisory Prerequisite: JR.ONLY

AMCULT 387 — History of American Jews
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Moore,Deborah Dash

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Other: Theme

This course traces the historical development of American Jews from their origins as a small outpost in the colonial era to their evolution as the largest Jewish community in the world. It focuses on the centrality of immigration to that history and the significance of several generations of immigrants and their children in mediating the tensions between the demands of American society for adaptation and the requisites of Jewish religion, culture, and ethnic identity. The course looks at how Jews became American and how they redefined what it meant to be Jewish. It examines their social, economic and political choices. The course employs a variety of sources to explore the history of Jews as an American minority group, a dissenting non-Christian religious group, an immigrant and ethnic group, and a cultural group. These sources include first-person accounts and documents and narrative and analytic histories, as well as media artifacts. It will introduce students to visual and aural dimensions of Jewish culture, employing film, photography, music, and radio. Although structured as a lecture course, it will include regular time set aside for discussion. The course does not assume any prior knowledge of Jewish or American history although such knowledge would be helpful.

Intended audience: Sophomores, juniors, seniors

Course Requirements: Five 1-2 page response papers (30%) (250-500 words) to primary documents to encourage students to engage with surviving records of people's experiences and observations. These writing assignments will provide students with an opportunity for critical thinking and allow them to receive feedback on their writing throughout the academic term. There will also be a Midterm Exam (25%), Final Exam (30%) and Attendance and Preparation (15%).


AMCULT 388 — Field Study
Section 001, IND

WN 2007
Credits: 1 — 4
Other: Expr

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.

Advisory Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Permission of instructor.

AMCULT 389 — Reading Course in American Culture
Section 001, IND

WN 2007
Credits: 1 — 4
Other: INDEPENDENT

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.

Advisory Prerequisite: PER. INSTR.

AMCULT 398 — Junior Honors Writing Workshop
Section 001, SEM

Instructor: Meisler,Richard A
Instructor: Rosen,Hannah

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Other: Honors

This course is designed to help students develop the research and analytical skills necessary to complete an interdisciplinary Honors thesis. Through reading assignments and guest speakers, we will explore research methods, argument formulation, and standards of evidence in different disciplines. The bulk of our work, however, will focus on each student formulating her/his thesis topic, conducting a literature review, identifying sources, and writing a research proposal outlining the problem or hypothesis and research design for the thesis. In individual meetings, the instructor will assist each student in identifying an appropriate faculty member to advise her/his thesis research and writing during senior year. Students will also read and comment on each others research proposals.

Advisory Prerequisite: Permission of a concentration advisor in American Culture.

AMCULT 399 — Race, Racism, and Ethnicity
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Countryman,Matthew J; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 4
Reqs: SS, RE

An interdisciplinary course critically investigating the concept of race, racism, and ethnicity.

AMCULT 416 — Psychology of Asian Americans
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Akutsu,Phillip D; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This course will provide a critical review of the field of psychology that focuses on Asian Americans and their families and analyze historical, political, and cultural influences that contribute to this research. The course will also examine the reasons for why Asian Americans have received little attention from "mainstream" psychology and the consequences of this practice on current knowledge about Asian American groups and their respective communities. Specific topics that will be discussed in the course include: 1) methodology and research limitations; 2) children/youth and parental relations; 3) family dynamics and intergenerational stress; 4) women and gendered roles; 5) the elderly and role hierarchy; 6) interracial marriages and mixed-heritage children; 7) acculturation and ethnic identity; 8) achievement and the "model minority" stereotype; 9) prejudice, discrimination, and violence; 10) mental health status and treatment; 11) family violence and addictions; and 12) sexuality and sexual orientations.

Advisory Prerequisite: 1 intro PSYCH

AMCULT 421 — Social Stratification
Section 001, LEC

Instructor: Sfeir-Younis,Luis Felipe

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Other: Theme

From its inception, a most fundamental concern of Sociology has been the search for an explanation of the social forces that generate and sustain economic, social, and political inequalities among individuals and groups in society. These inequalities promote not only differences in wealth, prestige, and power among these groups but also differences in their experiences and opportunities for a better life. On a more general level, these inequalities in large part determine the course of our history by having an important influence on government policies on issues such as war or peace, the growth or stagnation of our economy, and the future of our democracy.

This course introduces the student to the most important theoretical frameworks that sociologists have utilized to explain the origins, mechanisms, and processes by which these inequalities persist in society, whether it be inequalities of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and disabilities. This course focuses both on inequalities in the United States as well as global inequalities.

AMCULT 422 — Advanced Ojibwa
Section 001, REC

Instructor: McCue,Irving N

WN 2007
Credits: 3

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.

Advisory Prerequisite: AMCULT 323 and permission of the American Culture Program Director.

AMCULT 423 — Advanced Ojibwa
Section 001, REC

Instructor: McCue,Irving N

WN 2007
Credits: 3

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.

Advisory Prerequisite: AMCULT 422 and permission of the American Culture Program Director.

AMCULT 493 — Honors Readings and Thesis
Section 001, IND

WN 2007
Credits: 1 — 3
Other: Honors, Indpnt Study

Independent interdisciplinary study supervised by two or more tutors leading to an original paper. A grade is not posted until the end of the second term.

Advisory Prerequisite: Senior standing and a grade point average of at least 3.5 in Honors concentration. Permission of instructor.

AMCULT 496 — Social Science Approaches to American Culture
Section 001, SEM

Instructor: Conforth,Bruce M

WN 2007
Credits: 3

The blues are largely known as a musical influence on many other forms and styles:  jazz, rock and roll, etc. Few are aware, however, of the great socio-cultural impact that the blues have had on American culture. This course examines the history of the music (from Robert Johnson to Muddy Waters to Stevie Ray Vaughn), its associated literature (Sterling Brown, Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, et al.), and postmodern mythology that has helped us create our own precursors and past.

AMCULT 498 — Humanities Approaches to American Culture
Section 001, SEM
Why Do They Hate Us: Perspectives on 9/11

Instructor: Alsultany,Evelyn Azeeza
Instructor: Naber,Nadine C

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This course provides an overview of the debates around 9/11. We will study historical perspectives on terrorism and anti-terrorism as well as multiple perspectives on the "war on terror," including debates over the clash of civilizations, civil liberties vs. national security, militarism and patriotism, and immigrant rights and racial profiling. We will seek a comprehensive view of how scholars, politicians, citizens and non-citizens have understood and experienced 9/11 and its aftermath. Students will explore materials such as scholarly writings, media representations, cultural and artistic work, government policies, laws, and blogs.

AMCULT 498 — Humanities Approaches to American Culture
Section 002, SEM
American Social Reflection: Thinking About Race & Society.

Instructor: Briones,Matthew M

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This seminar examines literature that aims at social scrutiny or a moral critique of American society. We will focus on the distinctive approach of the literary mind to social problems, such as poverty, racial injustice, gender and class inequality, and alienation. How do "ordinary" people respond in extraordinary circumstances?

Studying and reading authors as unique and diverse as Zora Neale Hurston, Flannery O'Connor, John Okada, Ralph Ellison, Sherman Alexie, James Baldwin, Philip Levine, Toni Morrison, Hisaye Yamamoto, Helena Maria Viramontes, Brian Ascalon Roley, and Arthur Miller, the course serves as an opportunity for students to reflect both critically and morally about their own lives. In that spirit, the literature acts as a springboard for students' careers beyond these ivied walls.

We will rely primarily on close readings of fiction, essays, poetry, films, and documentaries.

AMCULT 498 — Humanities Approaches to American Culture
Section 003, SEM
Media Work and Media Play

Instructor: Moore,Macdonald S

WN 2007
Credits: 3

"The media" is an expression widely employed, along with its metaphorical supporting cast; players catch the wave, push the limit, and hike the bleeding edge. In this course we try to understand how it makes sense to assert that media work is media play, and concomitantly why cynics and utopian boosters end up in bed together. We begin our investigation by interrogating that enforcer of media, its definite article. Various theories of media are cross-examined as we navigate case studies about print, photography, sound recording, moving picture, and broadcast media. The usual suspects pass in review — commodification, appropriation, exploitation, globalization — along with some surprise guests. Student presentations and papers will surely extend our reach and broaden our perspective. In the end we will better understand why the study of American Culture prepares us to engage knowingly and usefully our deeply mediated world.

AMCULT 498 — Humanities Approaches to American Culture
Section 004, SEM
Indigenous Peoples of the Americas in the Western Imaginary

Instructor: Verdesio,Gustavo; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This course will focus on Ancient civilizations in the Americas and how we perceive them today. One of its purposes is to give students an idea of the vast variety of indigenous cultures in pre-Columbian times, how much we know about some of them but, most of all, how much we ignore.

Special attention will be paid to their subsistence patterns and social organizational principles. Another goal of this course is to analyze the ways in which we, from a Western vantage point, portray indigenous cultures. The book compiled by Nina Jablonski, The First Americans, gives us an overview of how we think the Americas were colonized by human beings. We will read Steve Stern's book on a region of the former Inca Empire, Huamanga, in order to learn about the relationship between the Inca rulers and their subjects. The book also deals with the different ways in which indigenous peoples from the Andes adapted to the changes provoked by European colonization. Michael D. Coe gives us the chance to focus on how Western civilization viewed and construed Maya culture, with special emphasis on the Ancient civilization's writing system. A book compiled by Pauketat and Emerson will contain information about the cultures that populated the Valleys of the Rivers Ohio and Mississippi in prehistoric times. In order to see how nineteenth- and twentieth-century writers view indigenous cultures, we will read a couple of novels: The Last of the Mohicans, by J. Fenimore Cooper, and Cricket Sings, by Kathleen King. We are also going to watch a few movies that represent indigenous subjects and cultures, such as Hollywood Westerns and a couple of ethnographic films, as well as fragments from Pocahontas, 1492, and others. At the end of the course we will pass the mike to the indigenous subjects themselves and will try to listen to what they have to say. The two books that will close the course are Nuestra arma es nuestra palabra, by Subcomandante Marcos (about the Chiapas, Mexico, insurgent indigenous movement) and Custer Died for Your Sins. An Indian Manifesto, by Vine Deloria Jr.

AMCULT 498 — Humanities Approaches to American Culture
Section 005, SEM
Regional Writing in America: "Local Color"

Instructor: Howard,June M

WN 2007
Credits: 3

How much does place matter — in writing and reading literature, and more generally in culture and society? Everything that exists has to be somewhere; what vocabulary lets us talk precisely about that fact — should we make a distinction between place and space, for example? In our modern world, what are the connections and contrasts between the regional and the national, the local and the global?

This class will examine "local color" writing, a popular and critically admired form in American literature from roughly 1870 to 1920. Then we will consider recent fictions in which place plays a crucial and often explicit role. Ways of imagining gender, race, class, nationality, politics, spirituality, nature all become visible through these works' representations of land, community, and mobility. We will ask what it meant that representations of the rural became intensely interesting to readers in the urbanizing United States of the late nineteenth century, and what it means that regionalism has revived in the globalizing U.S. of the early twenty-first century. Throughout, we will explore broad questions about the nature and significance of place.

Authors to be read include Hamlin Garland, Mary Wilkins Freeman, Charles Chesnutt, Edith Wharton, and Fae Myenne Ng. Many of these authors are relatively little known today, but they are extremely rewarding to read. The instructor will present perspectives from history, anthropology, philosophy, and art history, and occasional interdisciplinary readings will be assigned. Mainly, however, the class will proceed by discussion. Students' responsibilities will be to read, contribute to on-line and in-class conversations, make an oral presentation, and write several papers.

This class satisfies the American literature requirement. Book cost: TBD

AMCULT 498 — Humanities Approaches to American Culture
Section 006, SEM
The Culture of Jazz

Instructor: Anderson,Paul A; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3

John Szwed writes that "there is more to jazz than music, and it is there, paradoxically, that its influence is profound." "Jazz," he continues, "is also a loosely connected set of ideas: it has a history and a tradition of thought, an imagery and a vocabulary that have given it reality and presence." This senior seminar will explore selected elements of the music and culture of jazz in the United States. With special attention to matters of jazz's relationship to African American cultural history, literary history, and US race relations, we will deal with biographical, critical, and literary issues in addition to addressing essential musical concepts, stylistic definitions, and chronologies.

Although this is not a musicology course, most of the reading will include some discussion of instrumental music, musical styles, concepts, and so forth. Therefore, students need to be willing to work on their own time (reading, listening, and so forth) at acquiring a richer familiarity with relevant musical concepts important to understanding and analyzing instrumental music. Some technical terms and musical skills will also be learned and/or sharpened in the course. This reading-intensive course will pay close attention to a set of imaginative and non-fiction writings about of from the culture of jazz, especially between the 1910s and the 1970s. On some evenings (less than six), we will also be screening a number of documentaries and feature films that do not fit into the time constraints of our class meetings. Students who are unable to attend any evening screenings are still responsible for watching the materials in time for discussion.

This course has no specific prerequisites. It is aimed at upper-level students with a prior intellectual interest in learning more about the history of jazz music in its musical and cultural contexts. Because this is an upper-level seminar, it is expected that students will have performed successfully in prior related coursework in musicology, African American Studies, or American Culture with significant musical components. Reading and digesting the required materials (100-200 pages a week) will be essential to a strong performance in this course. There will be frequent short quizzes and commentaries, along with the usual essay requirements of a senior-level humanities seminar.

Because of major past problems with students who have registered but remain "no shows" well into the term (thus denying entry for other students), the instructor reserves the right to drop any "no shows" students who do not attend the first two class meetings. If you are registered but expect to miss one of these courses, contact the instructor.

AMCULT 505 — Sem Latino Std
Section 001, SEM
History of Latinos in Michigan

Instructor: Hoffnung-Garskof,Jesse E

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Other: Theme

This is a an advanced research seminar on the history of Latino immigrants and Latino-Americans in the state of Michigan. As there is a scarcity of published material on the topic we will be working on primary research in U of M archives and the Institute for Social Research. The goal will be to produce individual research projects while laying the foundations for an ongoing Michigan Latino History Project. Research trips to Wayne State Library, MSU, and Grand Rapids are also planned. Advanced undergraduates, thesis writers, and interested graduate students are all welcome. Some background in Latino Studies or Latino history is recommended.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing/undergrads with permission of instructor

AMCULT 510 — Topics in Ethnic Studies
Section 001, SEM
Cultural Citizenship: A Concept in Theory, Practice, Time, and Place

Instructor: Ellison,Julie

WN 2007
Credits: 3
Other: Theme

This class will focus on the concept of cultural citizenship. There are different definitions of this term, all of them grappling with the everyday politics of what citizenship means, the definition of culture (is it the same thing as "the social"?), why cultural practices matter, and how ideas of community and identity are faring in the global cultural marketplace. We will be begin by looking at how the term is used by human rights organizations, scholars in cultural studies and ethnic studies, the European Union, and other groups and individuals.

Then we will turn to five case studies of intellectual and creative projects to which the idea of cultural citizenship and questions of race and ethnicity are central. The first of these, in January, will be Sekou Sundiata's new performance work, "51st (dream) state." Sundiata will be in residence; he will meet at least twice with our class. The class will attend the performance of Sundiata's "51st (dream) state" on January 20th. Other case studies may include: the Animating Democracy Initiative, especially the Critical Perspectives project (Americans for the Arts); the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati; the annual Concert of Colors in Detroit, launched 14 years ago by ACCESS (Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services); and the International Coalition of Historic Sites Museums of Conscience. We will examine four dimensions of each case: agency, language, conscience, and the archive. This will allow us to test the relationship between theory and practice in each project, and to analyze the variables of time and place, including those relating to social identities.

Weekly responses of different kinds are required. A short paper in early February will focus on a critical analysis of the Sundiata residency, connecting it to selected readings. Your final project will consist of an individual case study. For this, you will develop a critical, historical and/or theoretical bibliography that illuminates — and is illuminated by — a specific cultural project. In preparation for writing final paper on this project, you will assign one selection from your project bibliography to the class, to spark discussion when you do a class presentation on your case-study-in-progress. A case study proposal and a partial draft will also be required. Class attendance is mandatory.

Readings will be drawn from as many of the following fields as possible: American Studies, Ethnic Studies, African-American Studies, Cultural Studies, History, Community Cultural Development, Museum Studies, Law, Literature, Cultural Policy, Organizational Studies, Higher and Post-Secondary Education, Politics, Information Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing/undergrads with permission of instructor

AMCULT 520 — American Literature in the Academy
Section 001, SEM
The Rise and Fall of American Literature

Instructor: Howard,June M

WN 2007
Credits: 3

When and where was "American literature" invented? What role do academies — from elementary schools to graduate schools — play in defining and redefining it? Given powerful challenges to the practice of writing literary history in national terms, should we even be using the category — and if not, what will we substitute?

In this course we will examine the intellectual and institutional history of American literary scholarship, engaging both examples and critiques of its intertwined projects of nation-building and discipline-building. We will also discuss the field's current state and its future. Specific concerns include:

  • the cultural politics of national literatures, and of ‘literature' as an object of study;
  • the nature of claims about literature, history, and literary history;
  • the conceptual foundations of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity;
  • the canon debates, and arguments for desegregated, multilingual American literature(s);
  • the relation of American literary studies to English Departments, Ethnic Studies, American Studies, Women's Studies, and other interdisciplines;
  • the classroom teaching of American literature;
  • the development of colleges and research universities in the United States, and the nature of the academic profession.

The class will, in other words, take an interdisciplinary approach to a particular case in the production of knowledge. It should be useful for anyone wishing to reflect critically on the history of the research university and the practices that produce and legitimate academic discourses. It is specifically designed to offer graduate students in English and American Culture the opportunity to examine the origins of their own situation.

The class is designed as an inquiry into its topic, not the presentation of a set of claims, and our meetings will proceed primarily by discussion; it should be possible to incorporate topics not mentioned above but of urgent concern to participants. Students will have considerable latitude in designing the topics for their term papers, to enable them to make connections between the course materials and their individual professional orientation and research interests.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing

AMCULT 698 — Methodologies in American Culture
Section 001, SEM

Instructor: Cook Jr,James W

WN 2007
Credits: 3

A study, from the point of view of two or more disciplines, of how Americans have dealt in thought, expression, and behavior with some problems and possibilities that also emerged in other cultures.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing; upperclass standing with permission of instructor.

AMCULT 699 — Periods in American Culture: Literary
Section 001, SEM
Narratives of Race, Gender, and Nation

Instructor: Miles,Tiya A

WN 2007
Credits: 3

The topical focus of this course is the interplay among the experiential and structural categories of race, gender, nation, class, and sexuality in narratives of Native American and African American historical experience. In particular, we will read and discuss various reconstructions of the story of Tituba in the Salem Witch Trials, the story of Margaret Garner's infamous killing of her enslaved child, and the story of Muskogee Creek identity (re)formation in the 19th and 20th centuries. While this course will serve as an opportunity for us to closely consider significant happenings in this nation's past, the attainment of "content" knowledge is not the central aim. Rather, the core purpose of this seminar is to encourage graduate students to develop an awareness of critical reading and writing practices at the intersections of history and literature. In essence, students will consider how they read and write as scholars, what stories they are crafting and refuting as they do their work, and how they might strive to consciously employ writing to translate and fulfill their individual intellectual projects.

Toward this end, we will explore the power of story in personal and cultural meaning production through the work of literary, cultural, and feminist critics. We will identify and articulate our own default mechanisms of reading and then practice the application of a particular analytical lens — the women of color feminist concept of "intersectionality" — as a reading method. We will consider the varying ways that a range of historians and historical fiction writers (who are themselves scholars), construct narratives of the same events in the past — with what methods, toward what intellectual ends, and with what degrees of "success." And finally, we will track our own challenges and think through strategies as crafters of narrative in our scholarly work.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing; upperclass standing with permission of instructor.

AMCULT 699 — Periods in American Culture: Literary
Section 002, SEM
Music and Cultural Theory

Instructor: Clague,Mark Allan; homepage
Instructor: Anderson,Paul A; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3

"No theory is good except on condition that one use it to go on beyond."

— André Gide (1869–1951), 1913

MUSICOL 505 "Music and Cultural Theory" (Winter 2007) will be taught by Professors Paul Anderson (American Culture and Center for Afro-American and African Studies) and Mark Clague (Musicology) and surveys the intellectual development of cultural theory as it has engaged with music. This reading intensive graduate seminar will present influential studies in the cultural analysis of music including authors (and texts) such as:

  • Theodor Adorno (Essays on Music),
  • Amiri Baraka (Blues People),
  • Aaron Fox (Real Country),
  • Paul Gilroy (Essays on Music),
  • Kevin Korsyn (Decentering Music),
  • Susan McClary (Feminine Endings),
  • Leonard B. Meyer (Music, the Arts, and Ideas),
  • Ingrid Monson (Saying Something),
  • Fred Moten (In the Cut),
  • Christopher Smalls (Musicking), and
  • Gary Tomlinson (Metaphysical Song).

In addition, we will study the work of Karol Berger (A Theory of Art) ( in preparation for his lecture at Rackham on Friday, March 9, 2007 as well as the ideas of Lawrence Kramer (Musical Meaning) who will speak on campus on February 17, 2007.

Short classic readings by the thinkers who influenced each of the authors examined will prepare seminar members not only to understand the content of each book, but to experience the ideas and traditions of discourse that have influenced and are in turn transformed by them. While it is all too common just to "drop names" of influential theorists in academic discourse today, a useful, working knowledge of these analytical strategies requires an appreciation of their conceptual chemistry and the interactions of authors and ideas in historical context. Cultural theory developed over the course of centuries in often noisy, conjectural, and contingent conversations among philosophers, historians, sociologists, literary critics, and others, including musicologists and ethnomusicologists. Being able to participate in this broader discourse, transforms isolated notions quoted out of context into a web of conceptual threads that can be stretched and rewoven to address new research problems. By getting into conversation with theoretical writings and testing them against sounding art, seminar participants aim to find inspiration not only as wordsmiths and music analysts, but as designers of critical tools and sculptors of ideas.

Course projects include leading discussion, reaction essays, and a major term paper, developed during the course of the seminar. Paper topics will generally address the application of theoretical tools to a student's planned dissertation or other research with the goal of developing a publication.

MUSICOL 505 meets on Central Campus (room tba) with AMCULT 699.002 — Music and Cultural Theory, on Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:30–2:00 pm (3 credits).

This is a heavy reading course.
Undergrads will be able to elect MUSICOL 505 version only with permission of Professor Clague.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing; upperclass standing with permission of instructor.

AMCULT 699 — Periods in American Culture: Literary
Section 003, SEM
Indigenous Studies: Theory, Methods, Ethics

Instructor: Smith,Andrea Lee

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This graduate class will focus on the emerging trends within indigenous studies, focusing primarily, but not entirely on indigenous studies in the United States. In particular, this class will focus on issues of theory, method and ethics within indigenous studies. What challenges does indigenous studies bring to postcolonial, postmodern, and modernist theoretical formations? How do the methods of indigenous studies challenge and intersect with disciplinary methodologies? What are the ethical challenges involved in doing indigenous studies? This class will utilize an interdisciplinary framework to explore the emerging voices within indigenous studies.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing; upperclass standing with permission of instructor.

AMCULT 699 — Periods in American Culture: Literary
Section 004, SEM
Public Health Issues Among Asian & Pacific Islander Americans

Instructor: Gee,Gilbert C

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This graduate seminar examines the health of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans (APIAs) in order to more broadly inform the understanding of health disparities. The class will contrast the health of APIAs to other ethnic groups and also explore the variation in health between APIA subgroups. The class will examine the psychosocial factors that may impact APIA health, including: immigration, acculturation, community, ethnic identity, racism, and intergenerational conflict. Further, students will discuss the methodological and conceptual challenges facing the study of APIAs, especially as related to their highly clustered and numerically small representation in the U.S. Finally, we will examine the challenges and successes related to interventions with APIA communities, families, and individuals.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing; upperclass standing with permission of instructor.

AMCULT 699 — Periods in American Culture: Literary
Section 005, SEM
James Baldwin and the Black Novel, 1950-1990

Instructor: Zaborowska,Magdalena J

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This weekly seminar, open to graduate and upper-level undergraduate students from American Culture, CAAS, and English begins with questioning the placement, if not entrapment, of James Baldwin's works in the Black male tradition of the "big three" writers, that is, along with Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison. Although the trinity of the male masters of the Black novel seemed to define the African American literary 1950's and the following three decades, the works of Gwendolyn Brooks, Anne Petry, Paule Marshall, Audre Lorde, Gloria Naylor, and Toni Morrison created a powerful counter-tradition that developed throughout the same period. As we shall see while reading Baldwin's Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953) and If Beale Street Could Talk (1974), this Black and queer transnational writer's works have much in common with the novels by these Black women, a perspective that challenges reading him as perpetually stuck in an Oedipal conflict with Wright. Far from feminizing Baldwin and essentializing Black women's literature, or segregating gendered and racialized readings, this class examines Baldwin's works in a trans-gender dialogue with women writers, with whom he shares the focus on space and place, life cycles of birth and death, and importance of the feminine and maternal as sources of artistic creativity.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing; upperclass standing with permission of instructor.

AMCULT 699 — Periods in American Culture: Literary
Section 006, SEM
Comparative Colonialisms

Instructor: Salesa,Damon I

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This is a graduate course that studies a variety of colonialisms, predominantly after 1800, in comparative modes. In the course we will study colonialism comparatively, excavate and analyse the ways in which colonialism was itself comparative; and explore the politics and practices of comparative historical studies of colonialism. Though the course is not explicitly bounded, a good deal of emphasis will rest on the colonized spaces of Australasia and the Pacific, and on the British and American empires more generally. Topics to be explored are highly varied and include comparative studies of race, law, economics, transnationalism, imperial and colonial circuitries, indigeneity, and governmentality; there will remain considerable space for students to move autonomously within the themes of the course.

The first part of the course will be built around some key ‘theoretical' or ‘methodological' works in the study of different colonialisms; the second part will turn to other works that are more specific in time and location, and which offer different strategies in the study of colonialism. The final part will be led by the engagements of students with these problematics, and will involve individual excursions into, or critiques of, these kinds of comparative routes and practices.

For further details or if you have any questions, please contact me. salesa@umich.edu

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing; upperclass standing with permission of instructor.

AMCULT 801 — Advanced Research Seminar in American Culture Studies
Section 001, SEM
American Cultural History

Instructor: Kelley,Mary C

WN 2007
Credits: 3

Topics in American Cultural History is a research seminar in which "America" will be defined both in terms of the nation's territorial boundaries and the "Nuestra America" identified by Jose Marti. Students may select topics on either of these Americas from the seventeenth to the mid twentieth century. They may also interrogate the relations between the peoples of these two Americas. Cultural history will be defined with a similar breadth. Some may want to explore the premises of a particular "discourse community," as David Hollinger has labeled individuals coming together to debate shared values, acknowledge difference, and consolidate agreements. Others may look to aspects of culture embodied in material objects, performance, social consumption, or rituals.

The seminar, which begins with a series of common readings, has as its objective the completion of a publication-quality essay.

Advisory Prerequisite: Doctoral students in American Culture. Permission of instructor.

AMCULT 801 — Advanced Research Seminar in American Culture Studies
Section 002, SEM
Reading Photographs — History, Theory & Methods of Analysis

Instructor: Zurier,Rebecca; homepage
Instructor: Biro,Matthew Nicholas; homepage

WN 2007
Credits: 3

This seminar is designed to introduce graduate students from all disciplines to photography as a visual, social, historical, and theoretical phenomenon. Through a series of case studies drawn from the history of American and European photography, students will be introduced to central methods of analysis as well as key issues in the study of historical photographs. Among the ways of analyzing and interpreting photographs that we will interrogate are formal analysis, photographic technique, semiotics, social history, critical theory, phenomenology, institutional analysis, media studies, genre study, and psychoanalysis. Key issues that shall be examined include the photograph as a document, the photograph as art, the photograph as icon, index, and symbol, photography and the archive, and photography as a modernist and a postmodernist practice. Our overarching goals in this seminar are to give students a basic understanding of the key issues and concepts in the history of photography as well as to train them to describe, analyze, and interpret photographs in a way that will allow them to use photographs in their research. Whenever possible, the seminar will work with original photographs on campus and in area collections.

Advisory Prerequisite: Doctoral students in American Culture. Permission of instructor.

AMCULT 899 — Special Research
Section 001, IND

WN 2007
Credits: 1 — 6

It is expected that each student will do substantial work in more than one discipline and that the course of study will delineate appropriate research skills to be acquired and theoretical concerns to be explored An American Culture graduate student will be required to complete an introductory research seminar in the student's field of interest. The option of satisfying this requirement in American Culture 699 or 899 is available for those students who do not have another appropriate seminar that fits their interests.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing and permission of instructor

AMCULT 990 — Dissertation/Precandidate
Section 001, IND

WN 2007
Credits: 1 — 8

Election for dissertation work by doctoral student not yet admitted as a Candidate.

Advisory Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Election for dissertation work by doctoral student not yet admitted as a Candidate

AMCULT 993 — Graduate Student Instructor Training Program
Section 001, SEM

Instructor: Cornelius,Tyler Adam

WN 2007
Credits: 1

A seminar for all beginning graduate student instructors, consisting of a two day orientation before the term starts and periodic workshops/meetings during the Fall Term. Beginning graduate student instructors are required to register for this class.

Advisory Prerequisite: GSI award. Graduate standing.

AMCULT 995 — Dissertation/Candidate
Section 001, IND

WN 2007
Credits: 8

Graduate School authorization for admission as a doctoral Candidate. N.B. The defense of the dissertation (the final oral examination) must be held under a full term Candidacy enrollment period.

Enforced Prerequisites: Graduate School authorization for admission as a doctoral Candidate

 
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