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.

101. Reading in America, 1776-Present. (4). (Introductory Composition).

This writing-intensive seminar historicizes reading in America through discussion, lectures, and archival laboratories. Paying particular attention to popular literacies and young people's literary culture, we will draw upon the history of the book, reader-oriented literary criticism, cultural poetics, historical linguistics, popular culture studies, and the history of education. In an attempt to gain an interdisciplinary perspective on reading, we will sample the following genres: romance novels, dime novels, sentimental fiction, literary parody, diaries, autobiographies, commonplace books, albums, and scrap books; and the following authors: Louisa May Alcott, Horatio Alger, Frederick Douglass, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and Susana Rowson. The seminar concludes with oral presentations and a discussion about reading and mass media. Written permission required for this four credit seminar. (Gernes)

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 From Domestic Work to the Mommy Track: Work, Gender, and Race in the Late 20th Century.
Our notions of self are bound up in myriad ways with what we do. "Work," whether waged or unwaged, is a site around which people construct ideological and material identities. This is an attempt, then to create a rich interdisciplinary discussion about what it means to work in the United States. We will explore the diverse and fundamental inter-relatedness of work, gender, and race by paying particular attention to the work performed by women of various racial/ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Starting with an historical overview of women's work in the United States, and their histories in organized labor, we will craft a story about relationships and real lives culminating in the issues which [women] workers negotiate today: domestic work, occupational segregation, unwaged and reproductive labor, the second shift/role combination, and child care. Requirements will include participation in class discussions, two short papers, an in-class presentation, and a final exam. (Sampson)

Section 002 Growing Up "American": Representations of Youth and Adolescence in Contemporary American Culture. This course will explore the social and cultural construction of adolescent identity from 1975 to the present (adolescence defined as the period of 12-18 years old, or the "teen years"). We will focus our attention on coming of age stories in novels, short stories and films; however, we will also be unpacking the meaning of being an American teenager in other areas as well: advertisements, news reports, essays, television programs, music videos, etc. Some questions we will be considering: What various forms of identity are available to American adolescents in this period? What are the particular crises and conflicts of coming of age now? If rebellion is a salient feature of teenage identity, what are contemporary teens rebelling against, and why? What are the rites of passage in these texts, and do these differ based on the social group of the teenager(s) in question? How, in other words, do questions of gender, class, race/ ethnicity, etc. inform the meanings of these struggles over teenage identity? Tentative List of Readings/Films: Fiction The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros; In Country, Bobbie Anne Mason; Lost in the City (stories), Edward P. Jones; Blues Man, Andre Dubus III; The Boy Without A Flag (stories); The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston; Films Boyz n the Hood; Gas, Food, Lodging; Heathers; and Suburbia. (Knower)

Section 003 Levittown and Its Discontents: History and Representations of Suburbia. This course will approach suburbia as both a historical phenomenon and a cultural icon. The first section of the course will be devoted to the history of suburbanization and its profound impact on the postwar American landscape, both geographical and political. The second half will focus on how suburbia functions as an ideological marker in films, novels and journalism. Although the course will include discussions of both early and contemporary suburbs, its focus will be on the postwar suburban boom. Particular attention will be paid to the suburbs of Detroit. The class will be a mixture of lecture and discussion. Grades will be based on a midterm, a final, a research paper, a number of very brief reaction papers and class participation. Cost:2 WL:1 (Shuker-Haines)

Section 004 American Childhood. How have Americans thought about childhood, and how have attitudes and expectations differed for children of different classes, racial and ethnic groups, and genders? How did different groups of Americans actually experience childhood over time? This class will address these and other questions through a close interdisciplinary look at American childhoods. After a brief look at colonial and ante-bellum cultures, we will use a wide variety of primary and secondary sources to explore the later 19th century. Readings will come from history, literature (works written for both children and adults), material culture, advice literature for parents, autobiography, advertising and more. Visual and musical materials will also be used. Course requirements will include regular attendance and active participation, one short paper, an extensive bibliography on a topic of the student's choice, and one exam. Cost:3 WL:1 (Williams)

Section 005 Contemporary Women's Movements. For Winter Term, 1994, this section is offered jointly with Women's Studies 230.001. (Ardizzone)

205. American Cultures. (3). (HU).

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 (Bell)

210. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (SS). May be repeated for credit with permission.
Section 001. Introduction to Native American Studies: Native American Testimony and Imagination RE-storying, RE-membering and Celebrating Survival.
The aim of this course is to provide an introduction into a "story," the story of Native Americans in the United States as historical subjects - both as individuals and as communities. We hope to survey histories and testimony from a variety of fields, so as to better understand constructions and reconstructions of the social, economic, and political realities of the lived and living Native American experience. Through various historical sources, including oral histories, speeches, songs, poems, legends, and video, we hope to consider and problematize notions of identity, ideology, spirituality, and narratives of survival as opposed to myths of Native extinction. We view this class as a collective where all participants are invested in the process of teaming and teaching, realizing the fluidity of understanding. Evaluation will focus on interactive learning, i.e., response journals, participation, and creative projects. (Coomes, Rael-Galvez)

211. Introduction to Latino Studies. (3). (HU).
Section 001 Growing Up Latina/Latino.
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.

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

See Sociology 304. (Pedraza)

310. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (SS). May be repeated for credit with permission of advisor.
Section 001 Psychosocial Perspectives on the Identities of Asian/Pacific Americans.
For Winter Term, 1994, this course is offered jointly with Psychology 501.001. (Motoike)

311. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with permission of advisor.
Section 001 Race, Ethnicity, and American Cinema.
This course focuses on an analysis of the re-presentation of racial and ethnic groups in Hollywood cinema, followed by a study of the films that members of those groups have made about themselves. We will study how Hollywood developed certain stereotypes or reacted against them. Then we will look at films from recent independent cinema to see how these new films have followed the established pattern of images or, on the contrary, have intended to represent their own communities. The films viewed are examples from Classical American cinema of the '40s, and from the '70s to the present. Most of the films viewed are fictional representations, with the use of some documentaries where it seems appropriate. We will discus re-presentation of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans, looking at both content and form, use of cinematographic language and construction of meaning, from an eclectic choice of theoretical positions. The films are the main texts of the course, with insight from some readings. Students will be required to keep a journal of film criticism, a term paper, and to prepare a class presentation. (De la Vega-Hurtado)

Section 002 Cultures and Places: Going to Miami. For Winter Term, 1994, this course is jointly offered with English 317.007. (Leon)

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

An aim of this course is to give practical experience in methods of research, discussion, and analysis in interdisciplinary American studies. The content of the course will be developments in how "America" has been conceptualized, materially altered, defined, and enacted during the late nineteenth century to the late twentieth. The course will focus on specific events and ideas concerning the influx of immigrants, movements of borders and peoples within what became the United States, and the concurrent revising of thoughts about the face of America the changing faces of America - in this period of United States culture. Texts will include literary, historical, social, and scientific contributions and political consequences - to the attempted understandings of this period of change, as well as current, conceptually differing studies of American heterogeneity, with explicit regard to voices from within and interactions among communities and cultures including (though not limited to) Native American, African American, Jewish American, Asian/Pacific American, Latino/Latina, and European American. Writing requirements consist of two five-page papers, a 10 page final paper, and frequent, brief research and writing assignments. Grades are based on the evaluations of these papers and, especially conspicuous because this class is designed as a seminar, on attendance, preparedness, and participation in class. Cost:3 WL:1 (Sumida)

360/Great Books 350. Great Books of the Founding Fathers. Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. (3). (Excl).

See Great Books 350. (Thornton)

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 1790 to 1950. We will examine the continual interaction of technological change and American social values, with special attention paid to how gender shapes the design and use of technology. The course will cover both the "nuts and bolts" of technology and its the economic, institutional, intellectual, and social contexts. We will focus on the process of invention, the organization of work, the impact of new technologies on workers and consumers, the development and use of household technology, and the creation of a consumer culture. The course will consist of lectures, readings, discussions, and films. There will be at least one visit to the Henry Ford Museum. Grading will be based on class participation, a midterm and a final exam, short essays, and a ten page research paper on a topic of the student's choice. Cost:3 WL:1 (Robinson)

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

See American Culture 350. (Sumida)

406/CAAS 406. Literature of the Caribbean World. (3). (Excl).

See CAAS 406. (Goodison)

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 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 midterm and final exam, plus three short papers written over the course of the term will be required. (Moya-Raggio)

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

See Sociology 423. (Mizruchi)

430/Women's Studies 430. Feminist Thought. Women's Studies 240 and one 340-level course, or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Philosophy and Gender.
For Winter Term, 1994, this course is jointly offered with Philosophy 372. (Haslander)

490/Film-Video 451. American Film Genres. Junior standing. (4). (HU). Laboratory fee (approximately $30.00).
The Problem of Evil in American Culture.
Genre films form a background against which much of American film is understood. Each film genre has particular conventions (typical characters, plots, visual style) and addresses central conflicts in our culture. As genres evolve, old narrative and stylistic patterns are given new twists, surprising the viewer with unexpected departures and new insights on problems. This term, as part of the Theme Semester on Evil, the course will probe questions of evil and violence by studying the Western (grappling with issues of race and "frontier justice"), the Gangster film (questioning extortion and crime as aspects of "getting ahead"), horror film (exploring the fears and dangers which surround sexuality), and the film noir thriller (examining the dynamics of power and subjugation in gender relations). Students will be evaluated on the basis of four short papers and participation in class discussion. 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 Immigration Experience in America.
For Winter Term, 1994, this course is offered jointly with History 396.005. (Linderman)

Section 002 Michigan in the Era of Industrialization. For Winter Term, 1994, this course is offered jointly with History 396.006. (Blouin)

Section 003 Language and Knowledge in the 19th Century. For Winter Term, 1994, this course is offered jointly with History 396.007. (Turner)

Section 004 Memory and Identity in the 20th Century U.S. For Winter Term, 1994, this course is offered jointly with History 396.008. (Smith)

Section 005 American Wars: World War II. For Winter Term, 1994, this course is offered jointly with History 397.001. (Linderman)

Section 006 Early Childhood Education, the Family and the Schools. For Winter Term, 1994, this course is offered jointly with History 397.002. (Vinovskis)

498. Literary Approaches to American Culture. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission.
Section 001 Latino/a Literatures: The Politics of Language and Cultural Identity.
For Winter Term, 1994, this course is offered jointly with Spanish 485.001. (Aparicio)

Section 002 Narratives of the Borderland Self: Women and Exile. For Winter Term, 1994, this course is offered jointly with Cultural Anthropology 458.003. (Behar)

Section 003 Other Destinies: Native American Literature in the Contemporary World. For Winter Term, 1994, this section is jointly offered with English 473.001. (Henry)

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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