Courses in American Culture (Division 315)

Unless otherwise stated, the permission required for the repetition for credit of specially designated courses is that of the student's concentration or B.G.S. adviser.

202. Community and Diversity in American Life. (4). (SS).

Is "community" in America a state of mind, a point in space, a moment in time, or a system of social relationships? This course will consider these and other questions as it looks at four major topics involving community and diversity in American life: first, the ways that various thinkers have conceived of community in America; second, the structural influences on community and diversity in America such as the economy, race, class, and power; third, the attempts of various sub-groups of the American population (e.g., Blacks, women, workers) to form "communities"; and, fourth, the validity of current diagnoses of American society which locate many of its problems in an assumed "decline" in community. Unlike some courses in American Culture, the course will not be taught primarily from a literary standpoint, but from the perspectives of history, economics, and sociology. The course will consist of a large meeting conducted in a lecture-discussion format by the instructor and smaller discussion meetings conducted by teaching fellows. Students will be expected to complete a midterm and final exam. (McDonald)

203. Periods in American Culture. (3). (HU).
Section 001 America in the 1990s.
This course will investigate different possible scenarios for what society in North America will be like in the last decade of the 20th century. Areas to be covered are: ecological and energy problems, food and resource allocation, family and personal relations, arts, and the economic and political systems which may or may not sustain and encourage possible developments in these areas. This course will, by implication, investigate our present situation, for speculation about the future fundamentally concerns the present. Course work will include short papers and a final paper or project, class participation, and a group presentation. Prerequisite: American Studies 201. Enrollment limited to permission of instructor. (Bradley)

Section 002 Images and Legacies of the 1960s. Looking back twenty years, students of American society see a world much different from their own. Student protests, street riots, hippie clothing, and an overseas undeclared war were staples of everyday life. The course will examine the cultural and political issues of the era, paying particular attention to the use of images and symbolism by both the Left and Right. Our own inheritance from a troubled, violent, and yet creative decade will be the second touchstone of our inquiry. A U.S. history survey would provide helpful background, but is not essential. Moderately heavy reading (about one book per week) will come from a list including pieces and books by Tom Wolfe, Studs Terkel, Betty Friedan, Michael Herr, Malcolm X, Greil Marcus, Ralph Nader, and Norman Mailer. Three four to six page review essays, a class presentation on one essay, and a final examination. Prerequisite: American Studies 201. Enrollment limited to permission of instructor. (Jordan)

Section 003 The Asian/Pacific American Experience in the United States. This course will provide a critical overview of the literature on Asian/Pacific American (A/PA) (e.g., Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, East Indian, and Indochinese). We will (1) explore what A/PA have written about their experience in the United States, (2) discuss the dominant social institutions and social thoughts that confronted A/PA, and (3) examine the impact of events in the home country on the overseas A/PA communities and vice versa. The course will combine lectures with guest speakers and films. Specific topics include patterns of immigration to the United States by the various A/PA groups, Asian Women, Literature, the Model Minority image and A/PA Identity, and other contemporary community issues. Students will be evaluated based on their performance on several short papers and midterms. (Tachiki)

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

See Women's Studies 240. (Cauthen)

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

When we speak of an American culture, or cultures, what do we mean? What are the rules which govern the discourse, or discourses, about America? Methods in American Culture considers these and related questions in an interdisciplinary seminar. We will explore a number of the methods and the explanatory models used by students of the American experience, focusing on the presuppositions, the implications, and the limitations of these varied approaches. Among the texts to be examined are Henry Nash Smith's Virgin Land, Eugene Genovese's Roll, Jordan, Roll, Ann Douglas' Feminization of American Culture, and Ann Banks' First Person America. Along with the readings, class members will share responsibility for the planning and leading of discussions, and will prepare an extended critical book review (approximately 10 pages). For those in the Honors program who enroll for American Studies 398, the preparation and presentation of a thesis prospectus will also be required. (Burke)

398. Junior Honors Seminar. Permission of a concentration adviser in American Culture. (3). (Excl).
See American Culture 350
for description. (Burke)

410. Topics in the History, Culture, and Literature of Hispanic-America. (3). (SS). May be repeated for credit with permission.
Section 001. Latinos in the United States: Critical Social Issues. An
examination of different aspects of what is typically referred to as the "Latino experience" in the United States. The course will examine social issues in the areas of immigration; social and political movements; racial discrimination in housing, education, and employment; the changing roles of women, and bilingual education. While the focus will be on Chicanos and Puerto Ricans, attention will also be given to the experience of other Latinos from the Caribbean and Central America. The impact of U.S. foreign policy on Latin America will be discussed as well. Evaluation will be based largely on class discussion, two short papers, and a term paper. Materials for the course will include films and readings drawn from, but not limited to, the following: Romano-V (ed), Voices: Readings from El Grito, A Journal of Contemporary Mexican-American Thought l967-l973; Garcia and de la Garza, The Chicano Political Experience: Three Perspectives ; Sanchez and Cruz, Essays on la Mujer; Lopez and Petras, Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans; Andersson and Boyer, Bilingual Schooling in the United States; Portes and Bach, Latin Journey: Cuban and Mexican Immigrants in the United States; Flores, et al., "La Carreta Made a U-Turn: Puerto Rican Culture and Language in the United States," Daedalus. (Delgado)

Section 002. Latinos in Film. Many movies and television shows, such as West Side Story, I Love Lucy, A.K.A. Pablo, and El Norte, have been produced about the "Hispanics" of the United States. This course asks how well such visual media have depicted these Americans of Spanish speaking origin the most rapidly growing ethnic population in the nation. The class will view the films, examine the research, and discuss the relevant issues in search of an answer. A midterm, a final examination, and a ten to fifteen page term paper will be required. Readings will be assigned from the following: Mexican Americans by Joan Moore, Images of the Mexican American in Fiction and Film by Arthur Pettit, and Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans edited by Adalberto Lopez and James Petras. In addition several works on other Latino groups will be placed on reserve. (Chavez)

460. Algonquian Culture. (3). (HU).

This course is designed to provide students with an exposure to the history, culture, lifestyle (both ancient and modern), and thought of various Algonquian peoples: the Chippewa, Ojibwa, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Menominee, Cree, Sauk, Fox, Kickapoo, Delaware, Mahican, Abnaki, Micmac, Cheyenne, et al. The course has two parts. The first covers the material from the perspective of anthropology, ethnohistory, and archeology, while the second half of the course explores Algonquian life from the legends, stories, and personal reminiscences, using the methods of folklore and oral history to hear the Algonquians' own view of themselves and their world. The class is organized as a lecture and discussion class; grades are based on a midterm a major paper. (Rhodes)

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

Section 001 Mexican-American History. Mexican-Americans, one of the most rapidly growing ethnic groups in the United States, have a long history. Incorporated into this nation by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, the predecessors of today's Chicanos had established themselves in the "Southwest" long before then, when they had founded such cities as Los Angeles, Tucson, Santa Fe, and San Antonio. As a result of such early events, Mexican ties to the region were strong and would affect relations with the dominant Anglo-Americans for generations. This course will focus on the Chicano perception of the Southwest as a lost land, and how that perception is central to the history of the Mexican-American people. The course will be conducted on a lecture and discussion basis. A midterm, a final examination, and a 10-15 page term paper will be required. Readings will be assigned from the following: Rodolfo Acuna's Occupied America; Mario Barrera's Race and Class in the Southwest; Leonard Pitt's Decline of the Californios, and Mario Garcia's Desert Immigrants. (Chavez)

Section 002 The Problem of God in 19th Century American Thought. During Winter 1985, this section is jointly offered with History 397.005. (Turner)

498. Literary Approaches to American Culture. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with permission.
The New York Intellectuals: Politics and Culture.
This is a seminar that will meet twice a week to discuss writings by and about the famous group of literary-political figures known as the "New York Intellectuals." The course is interdisciplinary and texts will include fiction, sociology, political polemic, autobiography, literary criticism, art criticism, and other genres. The format will be mostly discussion, with brief presentations by the instructor as well as by other members of the seminar to provide background information. Requirements include two papers. Among the issues to be considered by the seminar are: the ideas and evolution of neo-conservatism; theories about culture; literary modernism; abstract expressionism; Jewish identity; politics and the novel; Marxism and the U.S. intelligentsia; the de-radicalization of left-wing intellectuals of the 1930s. Some of the likely texts include: Lionel Trilling, The Liberal Imagination and The Middle of the Journey; Norman Podhoretz, Why We Were in Vietnam; Mary McCarthy, The Oasis; Irving Howe, A Margin of Hope; Clement Greenberg, Art and Culture; Philip Rahv, Essays on Literature and Politics; Hannah Arendt, Eichman in Jerusalum; Radosh and Milton, The Rosenberg File; Allen Weinstein, Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case; Victor Navasky, Naming Names. (Wald)


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