Courses in AMERICAN CULTURE (DIVISION 315)

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

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: After Vietnam American Culture Since 1975.
This course will use the history of the Vietnam War and the cultural representations of "Vietnam" since 1975 to explore the cultural, political, and intellectual life of the United States in this period. Using the contested terrain around the Vietnam War as a metaphor through which to understand American culture, this interdisciplinary course will teach cultural history, literature, cultural studies, political science and intellectual history. The course will cover a brief history of the war; the domino theory and anti-communism; the official attempts to end and memorialize the war; the legacy of containment and the new world order, the economic consequences of the war; the figure of the Vietnam Veteran; the ever growing POW/MIA movement; the remasculinization of the war and its participants in popular culture; and the future of Vietnam in American culture. Readings will be drawn from a variety of primary and secondary sources. Requirements will include two short papers, one presentation and a final exam. Cost:2 WL:1 (Hass)

Section 002: Indulgence or Denial? American Culture in the 80s. While they were underway, the 1980s were already being understood as a decade of American excess, greed and self-indulgence. Yet the 1980s also saw the emergence of what some commentators have simplistically called Neo-Puritanism, including the so-called War on Drugs, new attitudes toward tobacco use and a pervasive emphasis on weight and fitness. This seminar will use sources from cultural and media studies, American history and anthropology to examine manifestations of both self-indulgence and self-denial during the 1980s, with special emphasis on the media's role in circulating images and creating a climate within which personal behaviors could and did take on social and political significance. The course will require about 200 pages of reading a week, with class participation counting heavily toward the final grade. Assignments will include several short papers and a take-home final. Cost:5 WL:4 (Ackermann)

Section 003: The Interior Life of Journalism in the U.S. Since the 1960s. What happens when writers from various backgrounds and cultural experiences begin to foreground their own personal stake and interests in the act of writing? How, in the face of a growing prominence for journalism and other "objective" forms of information dissemination, does the fiction writer respond and reflect upon the place of his/her writing in a turbulent decade of social unrest and re-definition? This class will explore the ways in which a rather specific and influential group of writers (those who are tentatively classified under the heading of "New Journalism") came to offer up a challenge to the scientific bases upon which the cultural circulation of ideas had been increasingly associated. In doing so we will analyze how their "novel" confrontations came to re-direct the underpinnings of potent myths in the U.S. such as individuality, objectivity, and disinterested inquiry. The class readings will include: Norman Mailer's The Armies of the Night, Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem, James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son, Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. From there we will go on to read a number of more recent selections which have taken on some of the premises of New Journalism and re-worked them into a more contemporary critique. These possibilities include: Toni Morrison's Jazz, Jim Harrison's Sundog, and Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye. (Mitchell)

Section 004: Feminism and Masculinism Race and Gender in American Culture (1910s-1930s). This intensive, multi-cultural, interdisciplinary course will explore shifting cultural meanings and definitions of race and gender in 1910s-1930s. Readings will draw on historical, anthropological, legal, and literary scholarship from and about this time period, as well as fiction, movies, advertisements, music, and other forms of popular culture. How can we use these sources to analyze images of African-American, Native American, Asian-American, native (White), and European-immigrant men and women, masculinity and femininity in the context of specific cultural shifts, social movements, political agendas, and historical events? What are the connections between cultural, popular images and the social and political contexts in which they operate? The particular contexts we will look at include feminism and the "New Woman," (White) masculinist movements, eugenics, scientific racism and social anthropology, Native American citizenship debates and tribal rights conflicts, lynching and anti-lynching campaigns, the Harlem Renaissance, anti-Asian immigration movements and legislation, consumerism and the developing mass media. Cost:3 WL:1 (Ardizzone)

205. American Cultures. (3). (Excl).

American Cultures is an introduction to the study of concepts of culture, cultural diversity, intercultural relations and dynamics, and their causes, effects, and contexts. The course is based on multidisciplinary American studies, where subjects are interpreted through methods which include historical, literary, artistic, religious, and philosophical, popular cultural, and social scientific analyses. Cultural groups to be studied are Native Americans, European Americans, African Americans, Latino/Latina Americans, and Asian/Pacific Americans. Since each of these groups itself is diverse, we shall ask how cultural groupings are conceived, expressed, and interpreted. Further, the course aims to abstract, from specific cultural cases, questions and ideas about what it may mean for a seemingly singular grouping called "American" to be seen pluralistically, as a changing configuration of "cultures." Two lectures and one discussion section per typical week are required, as are three papers two of them about 5 pages each, one of them 7-10 pages and a final exam. Cost:4 WL:2 (Sumida)

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)

Section 002: Other Voices Native American Narratives. Personal narrative texts are an essential and rich source of information about the experiences of Native American peoples. By examining the memories, recollections and representations of individuals, we can hear other voices, see other views, of events the narrators wished to present. This introductory survey of Native American texts will explore personal, tribal and intertribal lives of Native Americans through their literature, film, music and painting. These multimedia texts will focus on particular social, cultural and historical events, from time before non-Indians to this year's Ann Arbor Powwow. Method of investigation is group-inquiry which requires attendance and active participation. After reading, listening to, and watching the narrative texts concerning events under consideration, individuals write preliminary responses to specific questions that are read aloud in small groups. Rewrites based on peer and instructor suggestions elaborate on these preliminary responses and constitute finished papers, four of which determine the course grade. (Howe)

211. Introduction to Latino Studies. (3). (HU).
Section 001: Growing Up Hispanic.
In this course we will analyze the social, cultural and historical realities of Latinos in the Unites States Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans and Cuban-Americans - through autobiographical narratives and fictional works about growing up Hispanic in the USA. Issues such as migration patterns, life in the barrio, family structures, socioeconomics, race relations, bilingualism and education, sexual roles, and cultural resistance and assimilation will be examined as they are reproduced and analyzed by major Latino writers in the U.S. Discussion will also focus on divergences of experiences among the three groups. From a humanistic point of view, autobiography and fiction will be explored not only as aesthetic expressions of an individual's (bi)cultural identity, about also as representational tools of a collective ethnic experience which contest the invisibility and silencing of Latinos within official discourses of history and culture.

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

See Women's Studies 240.

260/History 260. Religion in America. Hist. 160 and 161 are recommended but not required. (3). (HU).

See History 260. (Turner)

310. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (SS). May be repeated for credit with permission of advisor.
Section 001: Latinas/os Grassroots Movements.
This course will expose students to theories of participation and community organization from a variety of approaches. It will focus primarily on grassroots movements in people of color, poor, minority communities in the United States as such the Latino/Latina communities. These movements are to be seen as the response of these communities to the traditional methods of participation, including that of the government. Critical analysis of case studies, accounting for the success and failures of these movements, will be an integral part of the course. Readings, class participation, oral presentation, two short essays, and a final research paper. Lectures, discussion of the readings and case studies assigned, guest speakers, and videos. (Velez)

Section 002: Narrative of Borderland Self. For Winter Term, 1993, this course is jointly offered with Anthropology 356.001. (Behar)

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

Section 001: Native American Music. In this course the musics of First Nations Peoples from Northern Mexico to the Arctic circle will be explored. The emphasis will be on music as a part of culture rather than abstracted from it. In addition to traditional repertoires, modern forms such as country, rock and pan-Indian social musics (Pow-wow and 49) will be covered. There will be midterm and final examinations, one paper of approximately five pages in length, one required performance attendance and thirty minutes of listening per week. The format will be primarily lecture with occasional topics for discussion. Cost:1 WL:4 (Browner)

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

Using an interdisciplinary range of materials and methods, this seminar will explore the ways in which economic crisis and dislocation affects American community life, cultural values, and ideological visions of what "America" should be. It will explore the interaction between material crisis and American cultures in two different periods. The first half of the course will focus on the era of American industrialization, making special use of an 1883 U.S. Senate investigation into class, racial, and social conflicts that accompanied the growth of a national capitalist economy. During the second half of the course, we will investigate the cultural effects of the current economic crisis the "de-industrialization" crisis of the past twenty years paying special attention to community life and social conflict in southeastern Michigan. Our aim will be to explore the interdisciplinary methodologies of American Studies by balancing historical analysis with contemporary investigation, scholarly reading with collaborative primary research. Honors Concentrators in American Culture should register for this course under American Culture 398. Requirements will include several writing and research assignments. (Scobey)

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

This course is a survey of the history of technology in the United States from roughly 1790 to 1950. We will examine the continual interaction of technological change and American social values. The course will cover both the "nuts and bolts" of technology and the economic, institutional, intellectual, and social contexts of technology. We will focus on the invention of new technologies and their impact on workers, on the organization and processes of work, on the national and regional economy, and on the consuming public. The course will consist of lectures, readings, discussions, and films. There will be two visits to the Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village. Grading will be based on class participation, midterm and final exams, two short essays, and a ten page research paper on a topic of the student's choice. Cost:4 WL:1 (Robinson)

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

See American Culture 350. (Scobey)

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

Section 001: The Latina. Caught on a permanent confrontation, as a Latina and as a woman, Latinas struggle to preserve a voice and an identity within a powerful dominant culture. Besides exploring the historical reasons behind their presence in this country, this course will focus on the experience of Latinas with the broad context of U.S. American society, exploring their participation in the labor force, in social and political movements as well as their role within the family, as defender and transmitters of culture. The class also focus on the profound engagement of Latinas in the process of self-representation, through selected texts: Anzaldúa, Cisneros, Ortiz-Coffer, Morales, etc. a mid-term and final exam, plus three short papers written over the course of the term will be required. (Moya-Raggio)

Section 002: Constructing "Minority" America - The Politics of Representation. One of the most difficult tasks of cultural analysis is to grasp phenomena whose very nature is disguised and/or masked through denial of their "made" or "constructed" character. There exists a plurality of practices and registers which construct Latinas/os as a distinctive group in the United States. This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of the various sites where representations of "Latinas" in the United States cohere. We will examine critically constructs such as models of "underclass," statistical and census practices of the state, the manifold ways in which the American mass media represents Latinas/os, debates surrounding "English Only" movements, and the links between ethnicity, sexuality and AIDS, to mention but a few privileged sites. The course is designed to encourage students to think critically about the politics of representation in a variety of contested sites. (Koreck)

421/Soc. 423. Social Stratification. (3). (Excl).

See Sociology 423. (Mizruchi)

430/WS 430. Feminist Thought. Women's Studies 240 and one 340-level course, or permission of instructor. (4). (Excl).
Section 001 Feminist Political Theory.
For Winter Term, 1993, this course is jointly offered with Political Science 402-002. (Stevens)

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

The western, the gangster film, the musical, the melodrama, the film noir, 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. Weekly film screenings 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 1980's, thus allowing us to analyze changes within the genre, and the aesthetic as well as the socio-political implications of these changes. Students will be evaluated on the basis of short paragraphs written weekly, three short papers, one longer paper and their participation in discussion. Required texts vary in accordance with the genres chosen for study. Cost:2 WL:2,4 (Eagle)

496. Historical Approaches to American Culture. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission of concentration adviser.
Section 001: The American West.
For Winter Term, 1993, this course is jointly offered with History 396.002 (Steinberg)

Section 002: The Asian American Experience. The Asian American Experience is a research seminar designed to stimulate students to rethink and re-envision the multicultural nature of American history through the study of one of the varied ethnic cultures that form "American" culture. The Asian/Pacific American groups covered in this course include Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Pacific Islander, South Asian, and Southwest Asian Americans. Students will read and discuss some common texts and write a research paper on a topic in Asian American history of their own choice. Maximum use of local primary sources will be encouraged. Cost:3 (Nomura)

Section 003: Michigan in the Era of Industrialization. For Winter Term, 1993, this course is jointly offered with History 396.006 (Blouin)

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

Section 001: Chicano Literature. This discussion course will analyze the Chicano experience in the United States as revealed through contemporary short stories, novels, plays and poems, and essays (in English) written by Mexican-Americans. Chicano literary writings are a valid and exciting part of this country's literature, reflecting the rich historical and cultural experiences of America's fastest growing minority group. Works will be enjoyed and discussed for their literary merit as well as for their insights into the sociological, cultural and political realities of Chicano life, realities which serve as dominant themes in the literature. (Zimmerman)

499/Hist. of Art 499. The Arts in American Life. Senior concentrators, seniors in any Honors curriculum, or graduate students with permission. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission.
Section 001: National Identity in American Art.
See History of Art 499. (Zurier)

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). (LR).

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). (LR).

See Ojibwa 222. (McCue)

322. Intermediate Ojibwa. Am. Cult. 223 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (3). (LR).

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). (LR).

See Ojibwa 322. (McCue)

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. (McCue)


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