AMST-ENGL 1201 / HIST 1503: Introduction to American Studies
Distant Learning. MWF 11:15-12:05, AMST class #8536What does it mean to be American? This course introduces ways of examining the United States while investigating significant historical and contemporary events and popular culture. How has America imagined itself through its history and culture? How does America imagine itself today? Students will also be introduced to the practice of American Studies; the course is designed to teach students to critically analyze United States culture and society. Note: topics for this semester will be racism in post-Civil War America, private detective novels, and baseball.
Professor: Richard Testa
AMST / ENGL 2200: Literature and Culture of North America before 1800
Online. AMST class #10210This course examines the early written and oral record of the area that eventually became the United States. It does so within the context of various non-textual analogues (e.g., architecture, art, landscape, material culture, and social, economic, and political institutions). The goal is to achieve a holistic understanding of the ways in which peoples of many varied backgrounds, from the Asian-derived indigenous inhabitants of North America to the various immigrant populations from continental Europe and the British Isles and the enslaved Africans they introduced to the Western hemisphere, came to express their views of the land and their experiences on it and with each other. Primary readings are drawn from recorded Indigenous mythic and historic texts, travel accounts originally written in various European languages (e.g., French, Spanish, Dutch, German, and English), works centered on indigenous-Euro-American contact and conflict, social history documents of literary value, key political documents, and poetry, early fiction and autobiography. Reaction papers on major texts and a reading journal on the final two texts will be required.
Professor: Wayne Franklin
AMST / CLCS / HEJS 2204 Jewish Culture in American Film
Distance Learning. Tu 3:30-6:30pm, AMST class #11116In this course we will examine how Jewish culture has been represented in American films. We will take a closer look at the social factors that contributed to choices that were made in depictions of Jews and Jewish life, and the way in which these films/characters portray the diversity of Jewish culture in its historical, religious, and secular facets. We will explore not only how societal viewpoints shaped Jewish representation on the screen, but also the ways in which Jewish representation on the screen might have attempted to shape societal views. The course is arranged topically and will address issues such as anti-Semitism, assimilation, Jewish comedy, the Holocaust, Zionism, Israel, Jewish identity, representation of women, and the American Jewish experience.
Professor: Grae Sibelman
AMST / ENGL 2207 Empire and U.S. Culture
Online. AMST class #13935
Professor: Jerry Phillips
AMST / POLS 3082 Critical Race Theory as Political Theory
Distance Learning. TuTh 3:30-4:45pm, AMST class #13933
“Critical race theory” for our purposes is the study of how racial identities are socially defined and politically used. Narrowly construed, the term refers to left-leaning legal scholarship on race. More broadly, critical race theory is practiced by scholars outside the legal academy, social movement activists, and media producers. This course concerns critical race theory about North America by scholars in North America. Part one is about North American social movements. Here Glen Coulthard, Alfonso Gonzales, and Claire Kim will explore the promise and perils of movements mobilized around cultural and racial identities. Part two is about the U.S. legal construction of race. Here Ian Haney López and Michelle Alexander will argue that the U.S. legal system plays a central role in the creation and perception of racial identities.
Professor: Fred Lee
AMST / ENGL 3265W: American Studies Methods: Making Americans, Making Monsters: Reproductive Terror from the Colonial Moment until Today
Distance Learning. TuTh 11:00-12:15, AMST class #8204This class will examine the fear of the future that has recurred in American literature and culture from the colonial era until the present. Beginning with an analysis of archival material connected to the Salem Witch Trials, this interdisciplinary course will examine how science and fiction have often converged in Americans’ fraught relationship with reproducing itself. Texts will likely include, but are not restricted to, archival materials pertaining to the Salem Witch Trials, the eugenics movement, and posthumanism. We will also engage fictional texts and films by Octavia Butler, Philip K. Dick and others.
Professor: Anna Mae Duane
AMST / POLS 3807: Constitutional Rights and Liberties
Distance Learning. TuTh 9:30-10:45am, AMST class #9584
The role of the Supreme Court in interpreting the Bill of Rights. Topics include freedoms of speech and religion, criminal due process, and equal protection.