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 ANTEBELLUM U.S. CULTURE: THE EMERGENCE OF A PLURALISTIC SOCIETY. The years leading up to the Civil War produced a revolution in American social arrangements. The development of urban centers, changes in the organization of the economy, new definitions of political responsibilities, shifting expectations of social duties, and unique artistic expressions altered how Americans perceived their social roles and led to changes which have reverberated to our own time. Through an examination of recent historical works concerning the period, popular literature of the era, the writings of major literary figures such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Herman Melville, and a brief consideration of visual art of the period, we will seek to comprehend the social, intellectual, and artistic resources upon which early Americans drew in their efforts to forge a coherent set of social relations out of the maelstrom of early industrialization. We will pay particular attention to the newly self-conscious middle classes which emerged during the period, and we will also closely examine the responses of the working classes, both white and non-white and both male and female. Our inquiry should reveal how these groups responded to, and contributed to, the rapid transformations of antebellum U.S. society. Such an examination should allow us to see more clearly the legacy of the antebellum period while it also illuminates the cohesive and disruptive forces at work in contemporary U.S. culture. The course will consist of both lectures and discussion. Grades will be based on one classroom presentation, two short (4-5 page) papers, and a final exam. (Genser)

Section 002 POLITICAL CULTURE IN THE UNITED STATES, 1860-1900. A nation's political life provides a reflection of the ideas, principles, beliefs, and goals which bind citizens together and determine their relationship to one another. This course will examine political life in the United States between 1860 and 1900 in order to discover what Americans thought about the proper constitution of republican government, the proper organization and direction of society, and the nature and meaning of citizenship, justice, freedom, and equality. Most of the reading in the course will consist of novels, articles, and speeches by important figures from the period, dealing with such issues as Reconstruction, political corruption, women's suffrage, populism, racism, and immigration. Morton Keller's AFFAIRS OF STATE will serve to provide historical background and context for the other readings. Students will be examined at midterm and at the end of the term, and they will write two papers on assigned topics, one of 2-3 pages and one of 8-10 pages. One class meeting per week will be devoted to a lecture providing background for the assigned readings, and the other will be a discussion period in which active participation is mandatory. Since this course is meant to be a compliment to American Culture 201, experience in that course, or in History 160 or 161 is strongly recommended. (Bernard)

Section 003 POPULAR MASS CULTURE IN AMERICA: 1940 TO THE PRESENT. This critical course will examine, first the shifting theoretical debate since 1940 over what is popular/mass culture and the changing implications associated with this debate. Second, certain areas in popular culture (e.g., popular music, film, photography, sports, popular anthropology) will be studied and one will be selected by the students on which a theoretical paper will be focused. No special background is needed, just a driving desire to understand this unique view of American culture. Evaluations will be based on a midterm, final exam, and a large (12-15 page) final paper. Texts will include a course pack, one contemporary history text, and POPULUXE by Thomas Hine and HIGH CULTURE, POPULAR CULTURE by Herbert Gans. (Shea)

210. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (SS). May be repeated for credit with permission.

Section 001 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. (Wong)

Section 002 THEMES IN INDIAN-WHITE RELATIONS: AN INTRODUCTION. The primary goal of this course is to promote and foster a broader and more sensitive understanding of the history and cultural diversity of the people called American Indians. Selected areas of examination, in both time and geographical location, will include European settlement of the Northeast, Great Lakes fur trade, 19th Century American westward expansion, 20th Century reform movements and American Indian initiatives. Within each segment of study we will also consider the impact of European introduced communicable diseases and contemporaneous policies designed to "civilize and christianize" American Indian peoples through missionization, removal and/or reservations. When cultures meet, intercultural relationships, among other things, are determined by how representatives of each culture perceive themselves and the assumptions they hold regarding the other. Our focus throughout will be on Indians, how they lived, what they believed and how they dealt with environmental and cultural change wrought by European settlement and later American expansion. Our approach will be that of ethnohistory, a blend of the cultural perspective of anthropology and the methodology of history. We will begin with what Francis Jennings has called the "Invasion of America" and trace the remnant of some of those early themes and perceptions through to the present. Class will consist of lecture and discussion. Students will be responsible for reading assigned texts and course pack, as well as material presented in lectures. A term paper will be required in addition to a midterm and final exam. (Steel)

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

See Women's Studies 240. (Umphrey)

304/Soc. 304. American Immigration. (3). (SS).

See Sociology 304. (Pedraza-Bailey)

310. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (SS). May be repeated for credit with permission of advisor.

Section 001 CARIBBEAN DIASPORA: LATINO IMMIGRANTS IN NEW YORK. Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Jamaicans, Haitians, and Cubans have all sought to migrate to the U.S. in search for economic prosperity or less political repression. Upon arrival to New York, they faced major problems, such as impersonal bureaucracies, racial prejudice, unemployment and job discrimination, pressures to assimilate, the disintegration of their family life, and the sudden loss of social standing and personal identity. This course seeks to understand the historical, cultural, geographic, and economic forces behind these migrations as well as the similarities and differences of the migrant experience. (Sfeir-Younis)

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. Students must see instructor for an override. (Berkhofer)

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

This course will trace the history of major American technological developments during the period from the Revolutionary War to pre-World War II and examine the relationship between these technologies and their effects on American society and culture. The course will also explore the contrasting views and changing attitudes within this country regarding the role of technology in American society. No specific academic background is required and the participation of students from diverse academic disciplines is welcome. Students will be required to participate in CONFER for the purpose of class discussion. A field trip to the Henry Ford Museum is also a course requirement. Grades will be derived from a midterm and a final exam, a term paper, and classroom discussion of required readings. (Doyle)

410. Hispanics in the United States. (3). (SS). May be repeated for credit with permission.

Section 001 LA 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, exploring their participation in the labor force, in education, in social and political movements as well as their role in the family. We will look into both the old and new waves of immigration to examine those who have a precarious economic situation on the fringes of U.S. society. This will also be considered in relation to the situation of women in Latin America. (Moya-Raggio)

Section 002. See Women's Studies 480.001. (Jose-Kampfner)

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

Section 002 MICHIGAN IN THE ERA OF INDUSTRIALIZATION. For Winter Term, 1989 this section is offered jointly with History 396.003. (Blouin)

Courses in Ojibwa

A full sequence of Ojibwa cannot be guaranteed. Students should consult with the American Culture Program Office before undertaking Ojibwa to satisfy the College language requirement.

223. Elementary Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 222. (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. (McCue)

323. Intermediate Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 322. (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. (McCue)

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. (McCue)


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