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 HISTORY, MEMORY, AND POWER REVOLUTION AND RECONSTRUCTION. Post-WWII set a volatile stage for political and cultural conflict that continues today. Following the war, dominant economic, political, and cultural forces tried to recreate a traditional sense of "Americanism" while simultaneously establishing the US as the dominant power in an expanding world of technology, international markets, political conflict. This contradiction inspired forces of social and political protest that challenged Cold War repression and white, middle class culture as early murmurings in the fifties became powerful movements in the Sixties. Yet the "Power Elite" continued their struggle to create a suitable and stable mainstream culture supportive of increased international military and economic intervention. These conservative efforts, combined with the internal fragmentations of the Sixties' movements themselves, paved the way for a reconstruction of American culture and values, presently informed by the New Right coalition of the Reagan/Bush era. This course examines these struggles between dominant and resistant cultures and how the battles over different cultural and political terrains occur. We will also focus on the nature of history; the importance of historical foundations for understanding both the meanings that events and ideas had for the people of a certain period, as well as the meanings these past movements have had for the present. The course will be discussion-based, but may include brief lectures by instructor and/or guest speakers. Students will be evaluated on two papers, a midterm exam, and a journal. Cost:2 WL:2,4 (Dolgon)

Section 002 CULTURAL POLITICS AND ACADEMIC DISCOURSE IN THE U.S. This course will endeavor to examine the results of a growing cultural "skepticism" toward the sciences, while simultaneously examining the narratives which have attempted to explain scientific projects. We will seek to understand the ways in which narratives in the sciences, social sciences, and history culturally encode race, gender, geography, and nature. In Donna Haraway's words, "To treat science as narrative is not to be dismissive," but understands science as cultural myth produced within particular historical settings. Since it is narrative which trains us to think about and envision our bodies, medicines, communities, pasts, etc., an analysis of these "stories" can aid us in comprehending the ways our attitudes and desires have been defined and structured. Cultural studies enable us to "read" all cultural products as "texts" which are produced and interpreted within specific historical and social milieus. Through it we can begin to understand the ways in which all discourses tell us as much about ourselves as they do about the subjects they study. Pre-requisite is American Culture 201 or permission of instructor. Cost:2 WL:2 (Mitchell)

Section 003 THE CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN FAMILY. During the postwar baby boom years, the "typical" American family was imagined as white and middle class with a male breadwinner married to a woman who was full-time wife, mother, and housekeeper. Using a model of the 1950s as the "good old days," recent politicians have successfully appealed to what would seem to be a universal desire to return to the values associated with this era. This course will focus initially on the images and realities of the 1950's and the problems associated with holding this decade up as a model in the history of the American family. The course will then focus upon groups who fall outside the model of the "normal" or "traditional" family and will attempt to place them in their proper social/historical perspective. We will attempt to understand and to debate the contemporary phenomena which are seen as threatening the family. These issues will include homosexuality, AIDS, teenage pregnancy, abortion, and domestic violence. Course requirements will include two short papers, a class presentation, and a final exam. Cost:3 WL:2 (Bass)

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

Section 001 INTRODUCTION TO ASIAN-AMERICAN STUDIES. The experience of people of color have shaped and tested the character of the U.S., its culture, institutions, and society. This course will examine the nature of American culture and society through a study of the Asian American experience in U.S. history. The Asian American experience reveals the dynamics of race relations and economic stratification in this country as well as the continuing process of defining America and American. This course provides an introductory study of the experience of Asian immigrants and their citizen descendants in the United States from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The groups covered include Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Pacific Islander, South Asian, Southeast Asian Americans. Topics for discussion will include international/domestic relations, immigration policy, ethnic adaptive strategies, ethnic community building, constitutional issues, majority/minority relations, and literary expressions. The format of the course will be lecture and discussion. Students will be evaluated on the basis of discussion, exams, and papers. Cost:3 (Nomura)

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

See Women's Studies 240.

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

See Sociology 304. (Pedraza-Bailey)

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

Section 001 CONTEMPORARY PUERTO RICAN LITERATURES: ISLAND-MAINLAND. Puerto Rico is a nation divided by history, since almost half of its population resides in the continental United States. This course will examine the literary works of contemporary Puerto Rican writers from the island and from the mainland in order to understand the dynamics behind these two cultural sectors. While issues of national identity, colonialism, and class and race conflicts characterize the narratives of insular authors such as Luis Rafael Sanchez, Rosario Ferre and Ana Lydia Vega, mainland writers like Tato Laviera, Victor Hernandez Cruz, and Nicholasa Mohr deal with life in El Barrio, biculturalism, bilingualism, and ethnicity. Can we define A Puerto Rican literature written in two different languages? Why is Nuyorican literature rejected in the island? What are the conflicting views between both groups regarding the nature and function of literary language? We will look at concepts of PUERTORRIQUENIDAD and national identity, ethnic boundaries, class and language differences, and at the inscription of forms of popular culture, particularly music, as a dynamic and authentic vehicle for cultural representation. Students have the option of reading Spanish texts either in the original or in English. Evaluation will be based on written essays. Class format will be mostly discussion. Cost:4 WL:4 (Aparicio)

Section 002 NATIVE AMERICAN MUSIC. For Winter Term, 1991, this course is jointly offered with Music History and Musicology 407.001. (Browner)

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

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. [Cost:2] [WL:4] (Doyle)

410. Hispanics in the United States. (3). (Excl). 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. A general overview on the situation of women in Latin America is given in order to establish connections and differences whenever possible. Cost:3 WL:2 (Moya-Raggio)

Section 002 SCHOOLING AND ACHIEVEMENT: AN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE This course will give an overview of the historical and current background of both U.S. Hispanics and newer immigrant groups. Class members will discuss this overview and look at possible effects of this on both populations. Course will examine links between status in "older" groups and social and economic advantage, and look at emerging patterns of newer immigration groups. The course will examine the traditional role of schooling in the United States and its current role, and how schooling has or has not served the Hispanic population. Census data such as birth rates, school enrollment rates, graduation rates, employment rates and college enrollment rates will be reviewed both for the general population and for Hispanic groups. In addition to examining the outcomes of schooling, the course will review several test cases in public school law which will give further insight into existing trends and to emerging trends as they are related to outcomes of schooling/education. The intent of schooling will be contrasted to the results of schooling and an analysis/projection of what the future impact of this will be to the general population will be presented by students themselves based on their perception and analysis of course content. [Cost:3] [WL:2] (Garcia-Roberts)

490. American Film Genres. Junior standing. (3-4). (HU). Laboratory fee (approximately $20.00).

The western, the detective/crime film, the musical, the screwball comedy, the science fiction film, etc., form a background against which we measure and understand contemporary American cinema. These FILM GENRES each have their particular conventions presenting certain kinds of characters and plots; utilizing particular camera styles, MISE-EN-SCENE, and acting; and addressing themselves to particular issues and conflicts. As these genres evolve, old patterns are given new twists, surprising the viewer with unexpected departures from the norm and turning the genre toward consideration of new social and cultural problems. We will examine four characteristic American film genres. A weekly film screening will be accompanied by two hours of lectures and one hour of discussion. Three films in each genre will be studied, ranging in period from the 1930's to the 1970's, thus allowing us to analyze changes within the genre, and the aesthetic as well as the socio-political implications of these changes. Short units on the documentary and the AVANT-GARDE film may be included. Students will be evaluated on the basis of four short papers, one longer paper and their participation in discussion. Required texts vary in accordance with the genres chosen for study. Cost:3 WL:2,4 (Hurtado)

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

Section 001 TOPICS IN AMERICAN ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY. For Winter Term, 1991, this course is jointly offered with History 397.003. (Steinberg)

Section 002. APPROACHES TO ASIAN AMERICAN HISTORY is a course designed to introduce students to major works, theories, and methodologies in the writing of Asian American history. Dominant themes representing historical periods and processes in Asian American history will be examined. These include immigration and labor, contact and interaction, community formation and adaptive strategies, the anti-Asian movement, and the postwar legal changes and diverse communities. This seminar will also examine the place of Asian American history within U.S. history and will provide students with the tools to begin rethinking a more inclusive U.S. history. The format of the course will include some lecture but a greater emphasis will be placed on student-led discussion. Students will be assigned to read, report on, and discuss books and essays representing differing approaches to Asian American history. This will provide the student with an overview of the problems and issues in the field. In addition to these reports students will write and present to the seminar a critical review of the literature on a topic of their choice in Asian American History. Cost:3 (Nomura)

Section 003 AMERICAN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT. For Winter Term, 1991, this section is jointly offered with History 396.001. (Clubb)

Section 004. UNDERSTANDING THE MODERN PRESIDENCY: GERALD R. FORD, GOVERNING, AND LEADERSHIP, 1974-77. For Winter Term, 1991, this section is jointly offered with History 396.002. (Mackaman)

Section 005 APPLYING HISTORY TO POLICY MAKING. For Winter Term, 1991, this section is jointly offered with History 396.004. (Achenbaum)

Section 006 MICHIGAN IN THE ERA OF INDUSTRIALIZATION. For Winter Term, 1991, this section is jointly offered with History 396.006. (Blouin)

Section 007 LAW AND SOCIETY IN AMERICAN HISTORY. For Winter Term, 1991, this section is jointly offered with History 396.007. (Green)

Section 008. THE REVOLUTIONARY MENTALITY: DOCUMENTS ON THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. For Winter Term, 1991, this section is jointly offered with History 396.008. (Lockridge)

Section 009. REINTERPRETING THE AMERICAN FRONTIER: IDEOLOGY AND HISTORY. For Winter Term, 1991, this section is jointly offered with History 396, Section 010. (Berkhofer)

498. Literary Approaches to American Culture. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission.

Section 001. APPROXIMACIONES A CHICANA/O CULTURE. For Winter Term, 1991, this course is jointly offered with Spanish 485.002, and English 473.004. (Perez)

Courses in Ojibwa

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

222. Elementary Ojibwa. Non-LS&A students must have permission of the American Culture Program Director. (3). (FL).

This course 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 the course. [Cost:1] (McCue)

223. Elementary Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 222 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (3). (FL).

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. [Cost:1] (Mc Cue)

322. Intermediate Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 223 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (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. [Cost:1] (McCue)

323. Intermediate Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 322 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (3). (FL).

See Ojibwa 322.

422. Advanced Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 323 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (3). (Excl).

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 standard writing system that is widely accepted. [Cost:1] (McCue)

423. Advanced Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 422 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (3). (Excl).

See Ojibwa 422.


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