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. Amer. Cult. 201 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with permission of concentration adviser.
Section 001 Art and Social Change in America: a comparative look at the 1930s and 1960s.
This course will explore the relationship between the emergence of wide-spread political movements for social change and the development of cultural responses to them. During the 1930s, under the devastating effects of the Depression and the rise of fascism, mass movements for organizing the unemployed, industrial workers and minorities, as well as fighting fascism arose, and artists influenced by the "Old Left" created a revolutionary culture in response. During the 1960s, movements organized to protest the draft and the Vietnam War, fight for civil rights and women's liberation developed into a culture of the "New Left." By looking at the films, novels, poetry, photographs, music, dance and theatre of each era, some comparisons should emerge to help us forge a theory about the relationship between culture and politics. This course is required for American Culture concentrators, but is open to all interested students. The class will include some lectures and screenings, but will be primarily a discussion seminar. To some extent, the content and texts of the course will be determined by the students' interests. Course requirements will include two short papers, one longer paper based upon one in-class presentation, attendance at, and participation in, the class. (Rabinowitz)

Section 002 Schools for Scandal: Literature and Society in the Gilded Age. This course will focus on that period of American history nicknamed the Gilded Age by Mark Twain, in his novel of the same title. As the name suggests, ambivalence about the pace and direction of American life permeated discussions about political policy, social mores, technological advances, and intellectual life. For our purposes, the Gilded Age will begin in 1869, with the first intercollegiate football game (between Princeton and Rutgers: Princeton lost) and end in 1899, with the publication of Kate Chopin's scandalous novel The Awakening. We will look at the curious mixture of banality and sensationalism: government corruption, widespread drug use, sex scandals, and a foreign war coexisted with a celebration of American nationalism, a call to "traditional values," and a supreme belief in the power of technological advancement to solve social ills, Does this sound familiar? Most of the readings will be primary sources (novels, essays, speeches, reports) although I will assign a few general secondary works. Classes will focus on student discussion: some familiarity with American history is important. Course requirements will consist of three papers and active participation. Prerequisites are American Culture 201 and an American history or literature course, or permission of the instructor. (MacFarlane)

Section 003 Novus Ordo Seclorum: the Enlightenment in America. The period under consideration will be that of the late eighteenth century, and the course will focus on one of the more decisive intellectual influences on the shaping of the first self-proclaimed "American" culture in that era, that of the Enlightenment. From an interdisciplinary perspective, the works of the native "philosophes" Franklin and Jefferson as well as of such contemporaries Joel Barlow, Timothy Dwight, and Tom Paine will be explored in both their cultural and political settings. In addition to undertaking a sustained examination of these texts and their contexts, class members will be encouraged to move from the specifics of the period to larger questions of American cultural analysis. While the course is open to all undergraduates with an interest in matters American, some familiarity with the period's history would be helpful for prospective members. The format to be followed will be that of a combined small lecture and discussion, with a special emphasis placed on active student participation. In addition to the readings, students will be expected to make a number of in-class presentations and to write a final examination. (Burke)

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. (Meissenhelter)

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? How does one go about interpreting ideas, artifacts, and social groupings in terms of "Americaness" and cultural representation(s)? Readings and seminar discussions will explore these questions in relation to such topics as values and ideals; popular and material culture; social class and ideology; ethnicity and gender; mass and other communication theories, symbols and myths, etc. Each student will be expected to participate in the weekly seminar discussions and to write two brief papers and a longer one applying the readings and class discussions to the interpretation of aspects of past and present day American society and culture. Those in the Honors Program who enroll for American Culture 398 will substitute the preparation of a thesis prospectus for the third paper. (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 a midterm, a term paper, 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. Hispanics in the United States. (3). (SS).
Section 001 Latinos in the U.S.: Social Problems and Issues.
Latinos - or Hispanics are the second largest minority in the U.S. Comprised of those whose origins however near or far come from the Spanish-speaking countries of Latin America, Latinos share a commonality of cultural heritage. At the same time, Latinos comprise very variegated experiences in the U.S. Both the reasons for migration from their countries and their processes of incorporation in American society vary widely. In this course we will examine various theoretical perspectives that help us to understand these variegated experiences. Moreover, we will seek to understand the social problems and social issues in American society that Hispanics serve to exemplify. Among these are issues of political vs. economic migration, the impact of an ethnic enclave, the salience of ethnic identity, social movements and social change, poverty and its impact on the family, immigration policy and its consequences, the meaning of race in Latin America vs. the U.S., the extent of cultural vs. structural assimilation. (Pedraza-Bailey)

Section 002 Latinos in Film. Numerous movies and TV shows such as West Side Story, Miami Vice, The Mark of Zorro and El Norte - have dealt with Latinos in the United States. This course is a critical examination of the ways in which the visual media have depicted the Americans of Hispanic origin. The class will view shows while also examining the basis for cinematic and narrative analysis. The course examines the images of Chicanos, Cubans, Puerto Ricans and other Latinos for "accuracy" through comparison with the students' own perceptions and with the social science literature on these minorities. The key questions involve the effects of aesthetic, technical, social, and ideological factors on the creation of the images. What are the images and their origins? Why do they persist? How and why are they changing? Film viewings are an integral and essential requirement for the class. A midterm, final exam and 15-page paper will be required. (Hurtado)

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, Salvadoran, 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)

Section 004 Latino Politics and the Latino Community. In Winter Term, 1987, this section is jointly offered with Political Science 320.001. (Calvo)

430/Women's Studies 430. Theories of Feminism. Any of Women's Studies 341-345; or permission of instructor. (4). (HU).

See Women's Studies 430. (Stanton)

496. Historical Approaches to American Culture. (3). (SS). May be repeated for credit with permission of concentration adviser.
Section 001.
In Winter Term, 1987, this section is jointly offered with History 397.001. (Jacoby)

Section 002. In Winter Term, 1987, this course is jointly offered with History 396.003. (Blouin)

Courses in Ojibwa

322. Intermediate Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 322 or permission of instructor. (3). (FL).

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. Linguistics 223 is a prerequisite, or some speaking knowledge of Ojibwa, Ottawa, or Chippewa.

323. Intermediate Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 322. (3). (FL)
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.


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