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 BGS advisor.

201. American Values. (4). (HU).
This course will explore the riot of ideals, aspirations, conflicts, visions, and material realities that have defined American culture. It will draw on a range of sources including fiction, music, movies, architecture, and images in art to reconstruct a history of ways in which Americans have imagined their nation. And, while this is not a history course, we will read a lot of history to follow the life of the American imagined community from the struggles to make sense of industrial growth, national expansion, and urbanization in the late 19th century to the current struggle to understand an increasingly multi-ethnic population, an increasingly service-oriented economy, and a growing distrust of government with the history of ideas about what "America" should mean. We will think about American culture as it is manifest in ideas about patriotism and war, race and national progress, and the idea of separate spheres as a solution to the moral problems of industrial capitalism. Cost:3 WL:1 (Hass)
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204. Themes in American Culture. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with permission of concentration advisor. Laboratory fee ($10) required.
Section 001 Latino/a Popular Cultures.
This introductory seminar will provide an exploratory yet comprehensive examination to the study of Latina/o popular culture(s). We will draw from various theories that inform the study of popular culture, such as feminist, Marxist/Gramscian, structuralism/post-structuralism, postmodern, and cultural studies. Keeping in mind the importance of how history, geography, coloniality, gender, sexuality, race, and class collectively constitute and are constituted by popular culture, we will examine the production, process, and practices of various popular cultural expressions, such as music, film, and television; religion and popular mythology; sporting events and rituals; murals, graffiti, and other urban art forms; poetry and oral traditions; subcultural dancing, dress, and linguistic expressions; performance and guerrilla theater; and popular rituals, festivals, and parades. Documentary and featured films, along with guest lectures and performances will supplement seminar-style class discussions. Because we all participate in, consume, and/or practice popular culture, students are encouraged to include their personal experiences and insights to class discussions and writing assignments. Course requirements will include four short essays, a take-home midterm and final exam, and a creative group project. There are no prerequisites for this course; however, knowledge in Latino/a Studies and history, and/or in Ethnic Studies will provide an underlying and fundamental grounding to better understand the assigned readings and class discussions. Cost:3 WL:1,3 (ValentÌn)
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212. Introduction to Latino Studies Social Science. (3). (SS). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).
This course is designed as a broad overview of the major topics, themes, and methodologies in social science research in Latino Studies. The goal is to introduce students to the diverse experiences of different Latino groups, primarily Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and Cubans, in order to highlight similarities as well as differences in their historical and contemporary positions in the United States. (Almaguer)
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215. Introduction to Asian American Studies Humanities. (3). (HU). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).
Section 001 Questions of Home and Identity.
To understand the multiple experiences of Asian Americans, you will have the opportunity to read various literary texts by, among others, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai American writers. Main themes are the struggles and motivations of Asian immigrants, the impact of migration on identity and community formation, the question of home and identity for Asians/Asian Americans. You will reexamine the linkages and distinctions between diverse Asian American groups, re-re-envision challenges, and explore dilemmas in how Asian Americans re-define Asian American panethnicity and a cultural nationalism, distinct from other nationalisms of ethnic "minorities." Works will include Garret Hongo, Volcano; Wanwadee Larsen, Confessions of a Mail Order Bride: American Life Through Thai Eyes; Ronyoung Kim, Clay Walls; and Velina Hasu Houston's play, Tea. (Thongthiraj)
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240/WS 240. Introduction to Women's Studies. Open to all undergraduates. (4). (HU). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).
See Women's Studies 240. (Hackett)
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243/WS 243. Introduction to Study of Latinas in the U.S. (3). (HU). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).
This course is an exploration into the multiplicity of social and cultural histories and relations that define the variety of experiences of Latinas in the United States. We will examine the many ways in which ethnic, racial, class, gender, and sexual differences have shaped these experiences. Special attention will be paid to the construction of identities and to power relations in the United States. During the term we will discuss these processes using a wide range of multidisciplinary materials. The course is thematically organized, and it includes topics such as: Differences among Latina women: racialization; "Border" women/"Barrio" women: the Geography of Identity; "Mother," "Sister," and "Daughter," En-gendering Betrayal: Sexuality and Transgressions; and Differences "at Work." (Koreck)
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301. Topics in American Culture. (1-3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission.
Section 001 Popular Culture and Cultural Studies. (3 credits).
The objective of this course is to trace the intellectual issues in the 20th century that have impacted the changing emphasis on popular culture/cultural studies. By examining the important theoretical debates and positions of scholars and theorists, by discussing the historic context of these debates and positions, and by tracing the cross-fertilization of ideas and methods that go into the analysis of popular culture, its various manifestations, and culture in general, students will get a better understanding of (1) where the study of popular culture fits into academic history, (2) why popular culture/cultural studies has become truly important in understanding American culture, and (3) be prepared to examine issues important to them with a more critical eye. (Shea)

Section 002 Asian Pacific Americans and the Law. (1 credit). This mini-course is an overview of how federal and state laws have affected the Asian Pacific American (APA) experience and presence in the U.S. The course will cover the APA historical timeline, exclusion laws, alien land laws, World War II internment of Japanese Americans, affirmative action as it applies to APAs, civil rights and racial hate crime violence, bilingual issues in education and the workplace, and the drive for native Hawaiian recognition and separation, among other topics. This is a mini-course which meets for five weeks from February 18/Mar 25. WL:1 (Hwang)

Section 003 Religious Encounters in the New World: European Discovery in the Americas. (3 credits). For Winter Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with Religion 380.001. (Pulis)
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302/Soc. 302. Introduction to American Society. (3). (Excl).
See Sociology 302. (Kimeldorf)
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309. Learning through Community Practice. Permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). (EXPERIENTIAL).
Section 001 Community Based Research. (4 credits).
For Winter Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with Psychology 303.001. (Cooke)
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311. Topics in Ethnic Studies. (3). (HU). May be repeated for credit with permission of advisor.
Section 001 Colonialism and Asian/Pacific American Literature.
For Winter Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with English 317.004. (Sumida)
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312/Hist. 377. History of Latinos in the U.S. (3). (Excl). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).
See History 377. (Montoya)
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342/Hist. 368/WS 360. History of the Family in the U.S. (4). (SS).
See History 368. (Morantz-Sanchez)
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350. Approaches to American Culture. Amer. Cult. 201, junior standing, or concentration in American Culture. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Imperialism and Democracy: U.S. Intervention in the Americas.
This course in critical methodologies will take as its central question the role of imperialism in the making of a U.S. identity from the beginning of the nation. Starting out as a creole colony itself, the U.S. immediately undertook territorial expansion to be its Manifest Destiny, all the while proclaiming the coincidence of this imperialism with progress, enlightenment, and democracy. We will examine precisely what historical configurations enabled the apparent contradictions of the spread of "democracy" with slavery, other forms of racial subjugations, gender hierarchy, and class exploitation. Significant moments to be examined may include the removal of Native American tribes, the U.S.-Mexican War, Reconstruction, the U.S.-Spanish War, and twentieth-century U.S. interventions in the Americas. An extensive final research project and presentation will be required. Cost:2 WL:1 (Gonz·lez)
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399(UC 299). Race, Racism, and Ethnicity. (4). (SS).
This course will use historical and theoretical approaches toward understanding racism and its dynamics of power, domination, subordination, and resistance. The syllabus and lectures will be interdisciplinary, building partly upon imaginative literature, personal narratives, and other texts in the voices of these various groups: Native Americans, African Americans, Latina/o peoples, Asian/Pacific Americans, and European Americans. Readings, lectures, and discussion will profile the groups and interpret histories of their interactions as well as analyze diversity within each. We will study how domination and resistance and their costs - are experiences common to these groups but from different positions and through specific mechanisms varying from group to group. Two weekly hours in lecture plus one two-hour discussion section are required, as are two papers of 10-12 pages each and weekly responses to assigned readings. Cost:2 WL:1 (Sumida)
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404/Soc. 404. Hispanic-Americans: Social Problems and Social Issues. Junior or senior standing. (3). (Excl).
See Sociology 404. (Pedraza)
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406/Engl. 384/CAAS 384. Topics in Caribbean Literature. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
See English 384. (Gikandi)
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410. Hispanics in the United States. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission.
Section 001 Women in Prison: Gender and Crime Among Blacks and Latinas.
In this course you will learn about women in prison. This course will focus on the oppression that these women experience before, during, and after incarceration. Interviews will be scheduled with women at the prison which will be the basis for a final paper. The approach for these papers will utilize the Human Science perspective. As we study the experiences of these women as they participate in their existence we will use abstract categories and scientific constructs to analyze their experiences. Requirements: (a) midterm and final paper; (b) class participation; (c) reaction papers; (d) class presentation. Cost:2 WL:1 (JosÈ-Kampfner)

Section 002 The Politics of Language and Cultural Identity. For Winter Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with Spanish 440. (Aparicio)

Section 006 Empowering Latino Families and Communities. A primary goal of this course is to apply principles of community psychology to explore how ethnic families and communities empower themselves to promote the well-being of their children. Through readings, discussions, and on-site experiences with parent groups, schools, and community organizations in Detroit, the class will consider how communities define threats to children's welfare and how they respond to those threats. Lectures, readings, and discussions will focus on principles of community psychology, urban communities in Detroit, their histories and their structures. Through discussion and written assignments, the class will consider issues critical to the future of urban communities. Course requirements include readings, lectures, community participation, and a paper focused on a community-based organization in Detroit. An additional four-hour practicum will be required. (Gutierrez)
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430/WS 430. Feminist Thought. Amer. Cult. 240 and one 340-level WS course. (3). (Excl).
Section 001 Philosophical Topics in the Study of Gender.
For Winter Term, 1998, this course is offered jointly with Philosophy 372. Cost:3 WL:1 (Haslanger)
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490/Film-Video 451. American Film Genres. Junior standing. (4). (HU). Laboratory fee ($35) required.
The western, the musical, the detective/crime film, the screwball comedy, the science fiction film, form a background against which we measure and understand American cinema. These film genres each have their particular conventions presenting certain kinds of characters and plots, utilizing particular camera styles, mise-en-scËne, and acting; and how they address particular issues and conflicts. As these genres evolve, old patterns are given new twists, surprising the viewer with unexpected departures from the norm, thus turning the genre toward consideration of new social and cultural problems. We will examine four characteristic American film genres. We will study exemplary films in each genre, 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 sociopolitical implications of these changes. Weekly film screenings will complement two hours of lectures and one hour of discussion. Students will be evaluated on the basis of three short papers, a longer one, and their participation in discussion. (Lab fee, textbook, and course pack). Cost:2 WL:1(De La Vega-Hurtado)
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496. Social Science Approaches to American Culture. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission of concentration advisor.
Section 001 History of the North American Environment.
For Winter Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with History 396.002. (Montoya)

Section 002 Michigan in the Era of Industrialization. For Winter Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with History 396.006. (Blouin)

Section 003 History of Old Age in America. For Winter Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with History 396.001. (Achenbaum)

Section 004 Social History of the American Civil War. For Winter Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with History 396.003. (Vinovskis)

Section 005 Law and Society in American History. For Winter Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with History 397.002. (Green)

Section 006 Approaches to Asian American History. 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, the anti-Asian movement, resistance and adaptive strategies, and the postwar legal changes and diverse communities. This seminar will also examine the place of Asian American history within U.S. history. Cost:3 WL:1 (Nomura)

Section 007 Health and Medicine in U.S. Culture. For Winter Term, 1998, this section is offered jointly with History 396.004. (Pernick)

Section 008 Exploring 1950s U.S. Culture. This is an upper-level seminar in mid-century U.S. intellectual and cultural history. We will explore modernism and mass culture in the U.S. in the context of the cold war through a variety of primary and secondary sources from or about the 1950s. Students will read about one book per week on the following topics: the articulation and critique of the post-war liberal consensus in social thought; the transition from Abstract Expressionism to early Pop Art in visual culture; popular culture and the African American freedom struggle; the relations between modern jazz and the "beat generation" counter-culture; and gender domesticity, and dissent in Hollywood cinema. The weekly format will be one two-hour discussion and a required lab session (for films, videos, and recordings). Students will be evaluated on the basis of active class participation, weekly journals, and several papers. It is expected that students will have done previous course work in modern U.S culture. Enrollment is limited to 20 students. Laboratory fee ($30) required. (Anderson)
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498. Humanities Approaches to American Culture. (3). (Excl). May be repeated for credit with permission.
Section 001 Contemporary Native American Women Writers.
This seminar will address the works of Leslie Marmon Silko, Louise Erdrich, and Linda Hogan. Using the works of these three Native American women we will ask: What does it mean to write as a Native American woman in the late 20th century? How are issues of gender and cultural nationalism (tribalism) addressed in their works? What identifies their work as Native American? As women? And how are they drawing on the past to build a contemporary tradition in Native American women's writing? There will be one 12-15 page paper at the end of the term, and each student in addition to being active in class discussions will give one class presentation. (Bell)
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533/CAAS 533/Hist. 572. Black Civil Rights from 1900. (3). (Excl).
See History 572. (Theoharis)
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Courses in Spanish

224(307)/Spanish 290. Spanish for U.S. Latinos. Basic knowledge of Spanish language. (4). (Excl). This course does not satisfy the language requirement.
See Spanish 290. (Aparicio)
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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. Cost:2 WL:1 (McCue)
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223. Elementary Ojibwa. Amer. Cult. 222 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (3). (LR).
See Ojibwa 222. (McCue)
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322. Intermediate Ojibwa. Amer. 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:2 WL:1 (McCue)
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323. Intermediate Ojibwa. Amer. Cult. 322 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (3). (LR).
See Ojibwa 322.
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422. Advanced Ojibwa. Amer. 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, re-transcribed materials, and thus learn about the problems of working in a language without a standard writing system that is widely accepted. Cost:2 WL:1 (McCue)
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423. Advanced Ojibwa. Amer. Cult. 422 and permission of the American Culture Program Director. (3). (Excl).
See Ojibwa 422. (McCue)
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