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.

203. Periods in American Culture. (3). (HU).
Section 001 Heavens on Earth: Nineteenth-Century Communal Societies.
During the 19th century several utopian communities were founded in New England and upstate New York. These groups challenged contemporary beliefs and ideas about sex, family life, work, and most importantly, religion. This course is concerned with three of these groups: the Shakers, Mormons, and the Oneida Community. In this course students will examine, through a comparative approach, the history of the Shakers, Mormons, and Oneida Community, and will assess the influence of these extraordinary groups on American culture. We will be concerned first, with such basic questions as: What is a utopian community? Is a communal society the same as a commune? What does a Shaker meetinghouse reveal about that culture's attitude toward the sexes? How is the Mormons' concept of "plural marriage" distinct from the Oneidans' "complex marriage"? Secondly, we will consider such theoretical problems in American culture as the nature of an American religious culture and the use of material culture as historical evidence. In addition to secondary sources on the reading list, a variety of primary sources and material artifacts will be used as historical evidence diaries, journals, letters, poetry, hymns, architecture, tools, and textiles. Three critical reviews and a research project will be required. Classes will consist of both lecture and discussion. American Culture 201 or permission of instructor is required. (Gooden)

Section 002 Images and Legacies of the 1960's. Looking back twenty years, students of American society see a world much different than their own. Student protests, street riots, hippie clothing, and an overseas undeclared war were staples of everyday life. The course will examine some cultural and political issues of the era, paying particular attention to the uses of images and symbolism by both the Left and Right. Our own inheritance from this troubled, violent, and yet creative period will be the second touchstone of our inquiry. Moderately heavy reading (about a book a week) will include books and articles by Michael Herr, Studs Terkel, Tom Wolfe, Alice Walker, Malcolm X, Norman Mailer, and Robert Pirsig. Three four-to-six page review essays, a class presentation on one of the essays, and a final examination. Prerequisite: American Culture 201. PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR FOR REGISTRATION. (Wald, Jordan)

Section 003 American Radicalism and the 1930's. The creators of American culture took a decisive leftward turn in the wake of the Crash of 1929. This course is designed to provoke a thematic and historical exploration of writings from the decade with an eye toward determining what should be preserved and what might best be renounced in the heritage of 30's radicalism and literature. We will first consider the influence of some pre-1930's thinkers, particularly Randolph Bourne, Thorstein Veblen, John Reed, Emma Goldman, and Eugene Debs. With this historical "grounding," we will then turn to the fiction of John Dos Passos, John Steinbeck, Tillie Olsen, Meridel Le Sueur, Jack Conroy, Richard Wright, and others. We will also take a look at other critiques of American society by reading excerpts from the works of William Faulkner, Thomas Wolfe, James Agee, and the Southern Agrarians. The course also includes a rather bizarre utopian sequence: Jack London's, The Iron Heel (1907); William Z. Foster's, The United Soviet States of America (1930's), and Marge Piercy's, Woman on the Edge of Time (1960's). There will be both lectures and discussion. Grades will be based on one classroom presentation, two short (4-5 page) papers, and a take-home final. Prerequisites: American Culture 201 or permission of the instructor. (Lloyd)

210. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (SS).
The Asian American Experience: Topics in Asian American History.
This course will deal with the history of Asians in America, focusing on the immigration patterns of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, and recent South and Southeast Asians to America. We will examine the major issues and events in Asian American history, with an eye on current affairs and future prospects. These issues and events will be explored within the context of Asian and American history, and with a critical approach to the scholarship in the field. Aside from immigration patterns, we will also pay special attention to Asian American literature, identity and stereotypes, anti-Asian legislation and violence, Asian American women, and the Japanese American internment camp experience. For details, contact Scott Wong, (663-0813). (Wong)

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

See Women's Studies 240. (Cauthern, Jessup, Hawthorne)

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 from an American Studies perspective? This interdisciplinary colloquium will examine the various presuppositional frameworks that ground American Studies in light of its development as a field. Thus books and articles exemplifying such topics as individualism and the idea of America; Puritanism as a pre-industrial culture and as heritage; the American frontier and the Great Western in imagination and mass media; Industrial America as social organization and its ideology; and modern mass, popular, and material culture studies constitute the bases of discussion. Each student will be expected to participate in the weekly discussions, write two critical book reviews of the required readings, and prepare a longer paper on an American Studies scholar's methods and contribution to understanding past or present American society or culture. Those in the Honors Program who enroll for American Culture 398 will substitute the preparation of a thesis prospectus for the latter. (Berkhofer)

372/Hist. 376. American Technology and Society: Historical Perspectives. (3). (SS).

This course will trace the history of major technological developments from the late eighteenth century to the present and examine the relationship between the introduction of these technological innovations and subsequent effects on and changes in American society and culture. Additionally, the course will explore contrasting views regarding the nature of technology and changing attitudes within this country towards technology. The impact of the growth of a technological society on workers, managers, engineers/scientists, and women will also be explored. This course does not require a background in either technology/science or the social sciences and welcomes the participation of students from diverse academic backgrounds. The course will be based on a lecture-seminar- discussion format with occasional guest lecturers and field trips to the Henry Ford Museum and an automotive assembly facility. Student evaluation will be based on two short papers and a final exam. (Doyle)

398. Junior Honors Seminar. Permission of a concentration adviser in American Culture. (3). (Excl).

For description, see American Culture 350. (Berkhofer)

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 U.S.: 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 and undocumented workers; social and political movements and organizations, including the United Farmworkers' Movement and political activity by Puerto Ricans in New York; racial discrimination in housing, education, and employment; women in the family and the labor force, including discussion on the "feminization of poverty;" and cultural assimilation. While the main focus will be on Chicanos, or Mexican-Americans, and Puerto Ricans, attention will also be given to the experience of other Latinos from the Caribbean and Central America. The relationship between U.S. policy in Latin America and these issues will be discussed as well. Evaluation will be based on class discussion and three short papers based on the readings and films/videotapes. Readings for the most part will be in a course pack, though two novels are likely to be included. (Delgado)

Section 002 Latinos in Film. Many movies and television shows, such as West Side Story, Miami Vice, The Mark of Zorro, 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 one of the most rapidly growing ethnic populations 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: Images of the Mexican American in Fiction and Film, by Arthur Pettit; Chicano Cinema: Research, Reviews, and Resources, edited by Gary D. Keller, and The Latin Image in American Film, by Allen L. Woll. (Chavez)

Section 003 The Latina. Caught on a permanent confrontation, as a Hispanic and as a woman, Latino women struggle to preserve a voice and an identity within a powerful dominant culture. This course will focus on the experience of Latino women within the broad context of American society. Special attention will be given to Chicano and Puerto Rican women since they comprise the largest and oldest group of Latino women in the United States. An historical background will be presented for a better comprehension of Puerto Rican immigration as well as Chicano's presence in this country. Latino women's participation in the labor force, in education, in social and political movements will be explored as well as her role within the family. The course will also look into the most recent wave of immigration to the U.S.: Guatemalan, Salvadorean, Colombian women, among others, who have a precarious economic situation on the fringes of U.S. society. This will be considered in close relation to the situation in Central and South America and its impact on women. An interdisciplinary approach will be essential to cover as many aspects of Latino women's experience as possible. This includes poems, short stories and testimonials. A discussion course, knowledge of Spanish not required, but welcome. (Moya-Raggio)

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)

492/Hist. of Art 492. The White City: The Drama of Urban-Industrial America, The Columbian Exposition, Chicago 1893. (3). (HU).

An interdisciplinary study of the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 as an expression of the America signaled by the cultural coming of age of Chicago, the capital of the Midwest. Emphasis will be placed on the visual arts and belles lettres as they reflected and informed the perceptions and aspirations of a newly unified nation caught up in the process of modernization. Responses of small-town visitors, utopianist visionaries, world-citizens, etc. will be compared. The Fair as ideal and as illusion will be examined with reference to twentieth century developments. Of all the world fairs none has been of greater significance to American artistic life than the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893. This great "White City" stood on the shores of Lake Michigan just long enough to fix a memory of aesthetic order and harmony that would inspire a communal dream of civic beauty. The aesthetic anarchy of the preceding years had rendered the dream a social necessity. For the architect, the painter, the sculptor, and the landscape gardener it was a rare moment and an extraordinary opportunity. The eyes of all artists were of one mind. The exposition was the product of the new continental nation's growing pains, the metropolis of railroads, stockyards, and skyscrapers; of Poles, Germans, and Irishmen, and the civic omen of an industrial, imperial America. The course will be conducted in a lecture/discussion format. The course is designed for both advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Grading will be based on class discussion, tests, and papers on topics selected in consultation with the instructor. (Huntington)

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 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; Mario Garcia's, Desert Immigrants, and Arnoldo de Leon's, They Called Them Greasers. (Chavez)

Section 002 Women and Education in the United States: Historical Issues and Patterns. In Winter Term, 1986, this section is jointly offered with History 397.001. (Jacoby)

Section 003 Michigan The Era of Industrialization. In Winter Term, 1986, this section is jointly offered with History 397.002. (Blouin)

Courses in Ojibwa

223. Elementary Ojibwa. (3). (FL).

Effective Winter, 1986, Linguistics 223 will now be offered as American Culture 223.

Class is designed to give the conversational and cultural skills necessary to enable students to use Ojibwa in real life situations. The teaching methods are entirely inductive, and the role of writing is downplayed. There is considerable emphasis on teaching culturally appropriate behavior, and the simple conversational patterns of greetings, leave takings, introductions, table talk, etc. There is no prerequisite for this course. (Rhodes)

323. Intermediate Ojibwa. (3). (FL).

Effective Winter, 1986, Linguistics 323 will be offered as American Culture 323.

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. Prerequisite: Linguistics 222 and 223, or some speaking knowledge of Ojibwa, Ottawa, or Chippewa. (Rhodes)

423. Advanced Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 422 or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Effective Winter, 1986, Linguistics 423 will be offered as American Culture 423.

This course is aimed at giving students with conversational ability in Ojibwa the opportunity to both improve their speaking and listening skills and to introduce them to Ojibwa literature, and the various dialects represented in the literature. Students will work with the original, unedited texts, as well as with edited, retranscribed materials, and thus learn about the problems of working in a language without a widely accepted standard writing system. Prerequisite: Linguistics 322 and 323, or a conversational knowledge of Ojibwa, Ottawa, or Chippewa. (Rhodes)


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