Sections

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AMST0102A-F16

CRN: 91952

Politics, Media, Pop. Culture
Politics, Media, Popular Culture
In this course, we will examine U.S. politics and popular culture in the period 1941-2015. We will analyze political films ranging from the World War II propaganda series, Why We Fight, to more recent feature films such as Wag the Dog and Good Night and Good Luck. We will consider television’s impact on civic culture, focusing on entertainment programs (I Led 3 Lives, 24, Scandal), the news (See It Now, The O’Reilly Factor), campaign commercials, and political satire (The Daily Show, The Colbert Report). Finally, we will assess how online organizing and the blogosphere impact civic participation. 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0107A-F16

CRN: 92400

Intro African American Culture
Introduction to African American Culture
In this introductory survey we will focus on the study of African American culture in the United States, exploring various aspects of cultural production such as literature, music, visual arts, film, and performance. The guiding questions of the course are: what role has black culture played in shaping and responding to broader paradigms in American culture? How is lived experience implicated in the production of black culture? How have cultural products helped define, call into question, and celebrate “blackness?” Readings may include W. E. B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk (1903), Octavia Butler’s Kindred (1979), and Tricia Rose’s Black Noise (1994). 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AMST0180A-F16

Cross-Listed As:
GSFS0180A-F16

CRN: 92174

Critical Studies of Sport
Critical Studies of Sport
Sports offer important contexts for the study of social relations, inequalities, and differences in North America. Sports exist as an important arena where ideas around class, gender, sexuality, race, ability, and status are embodied and performed. In this course we will discuss the significance of sports to ideas of the self as well as in broader cultural, social, economic, and political realms. We will analyze a variety of issues including the relationship of sports to media, celebrity, money, religion, and education. We will also investigate the significance of sports and athletes to contemporary processes of globalization. (Not open to students who have taken AMST 1003).

AMST0208A-F16

Cross-Listed As:
GSFS0208A-F16

CRN: 92406

Black Womanhood/Pop. Culture
Unruly Bodies: Black Womanhood in Popular Culture
In this course we will examine representations of black womanhood in popular culture, analyzing the processes by which bodies and identities are constructed as dangerous, deviant, and unruly. For example, materials will include the work of bell hooks and Patricia Hill Collins to analyze the imagery of black womanhood propagated by the television shows The Jerry Springer Show and Bad Girls Club. By contrast, we will also read Saidiya Hartman’s Scenes of Subjection as a lens through which to view “bad” black womanhood as a radically stylized means of redress in the Blaxploitation-era film Foxy Brown. 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0209A-F16

Cross-Listed As:
ENAM0209A-F16

CRN: 90878

Am. Lit. & Cult: origins-1830
American Literature and Culture: Origins-1830
A study of literary and other cultural forms in early America, including gravestones, architecture, furniture and visual art. We will consider how writing and these other forms gave life to ideas about religion, diversity, civic obligation and individual rights that dominated not only colonial life but that continue to influence notions of "Americanness" into the present day. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AMST0214A-F16

CRN: 92310

Capturing Nature
Mastodons, Mermaids, and Dioramas: Capturing Nature in America
Why did 18th-century museums stuff and mount exotic and domestic animals? Why does the American Museum of Natural History still house dioramas of so-called native peoples hunting? How has the study and staging of nature transferred into various kinds of artistic expression? In this course we will examine the intertwining of art, science, and ecology in the United States from the 1700s to the present day. Objects of study will include museum dioramas, scientific models, artifacts and artworks collected during scientific expeditions, and the work of Walton Ford and Christy Rupp, contemporary artists whose work engages ecological issues. 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0231A-F16

CRN: 91909

Tourism in American Culture
See the U.S.A.: The History of Tourism in American Culture
In this course, we will explore the history and evolution of American tourism, beginning in the 1820s, when middle-class tourists first journeyed up the Hudson River valley, and ending with our contemporary and continuing obsession with iconic destinations such as Graceland, Gettysburg, and the Grand Canyon. We will explore how the growth of national transportation systems, the development of advertising, and the rise of a middle class with money and time to spend on leisure shaped the evolution of tourism. Along the way, we will study various types of tourism (such as historical, cultural, ethnic, eco-, and 'disaster' tourism) and look at the creative processes by which places are transformed into 'destinations'. Our texts will come from visual art, travel literature, material culture, and film and television. We will consider their cultural meaning and reflect on our own motivations and responses as tourists, and by so doing contemplate why tourism was-and still is-such an important part of American life. 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0232A-F16

Cross-Listed As:
MUSC0232A-F16

CRN: 92382

Music in the United States
Please register via MUSC 0232A
Music in the United States
In this course we will examine folk, classical, and popular music in the United States from the 17th century to the present. We will use historical and analytical approaches to gain insight into the music, the musicians, and the social and cultural forces that have shaped them. Students will explore music’s relation to historical events, other artistic movements, technological changes, and questions of national identity and ethnicity. Topics will include music in the British colonies, minstrelsy, American opera and orchestras, jazz, popular music, and the experimentalist composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Music reading skills are useful but not required. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AMST0240A-F16

Cross-Listed As:
ENAM0240A-F16

CRN: 92311

Captivity Narratives
Captivity Narratives
Captivity narratives—first-person accounts of people's experiences of being forcibly taken and held against their will by an "other"—were immensely popular and important in early America; the captivity motif has been perpetuated and transformed throughout later American literature and film. In this course we will explore what these types of tales reveal about how Americans have handled the issues of race and racism, religion, gender, violence and sexuality that experiences of captivity entail. Beginning with classic Puritan narratives (Mary Rowlandson) and moving forward through the 19th and 20th centuries, we will consider the ways that novels (The Last of the Mohicans), autobiographies (Patty Hearst, Iraqi captivity of Pvt. Jessica Lynch) and films (The Searchers, Little Big Man, Dances with Wolves) do cultural work in shaping and challenging images of American national identity. 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0245A-F16

CRN: 91613

American Landscape: 1825-1865
American Landscape: 1825-1865
This course will explore American landscape painting through an interdisciplinary approach, employing art, literature, religion, and history. In studying the landscape paintings of Thomas Cole, Asher B. Durand, and Frederic Church, we will also consider the commercial growth of New York City; the myths and legends of the Catskill Mountains; the writings of James Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, and Henry David Thoreau; the opening of the Erie Canal; and the design and construction of Central Park. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AMST0252A-F16

Cross-Listed As:
ENAM0252A-F16

CRN: 92313

African American Literature
African American Literature
This course surveys developments in African American fiction, drama, poetry, and essays during the 20th century. Reading texts in their social, historical, and cultural contexts—and often in conjunction with other African American art forms like music and visual art—we will explore the evolution and deployment of various visions of black being and black artistry, from the Harlem Renaissance through social realism and the Black Arts Movement, to the contemporary post-soul aesthetic. Authors may include Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ralph Ellison, Lorraine Hansberry, Amiri Baraka, Ishmael Reed, Toni Morrison, Charles Johnson, and Octavia Butler. 3 hrs lect./disc.

AMST0260A-F16

CRN: 91614

American Disability Studies
American Disability Studies: History, Meanings, and Cultures
In this course we will examine the history, meanings, and realities of disability in the United States. We will analyze the social, political, economic, environmental, and material factors that shape the meanings of "disability," examining changes and continuities over time. Students will draw critical attention to the connections between disability, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and age in American and transnational contexts. Diverse sources, including films and television shows, music, advertising, fiction, memoirs, and material objects, encourage inter and multi-disciplinary approaches to disability. Central themes we consider include language, privilege, community, citizenship, education, medicine and technology, and representation.

AMST0300A-F16

CRN: 92390

Everglades History and Science
Reclaiming the Swamp: History, Science, and the Challenge of the Everglades
In this course we will survey the cultural and ecological history of the Everglades, starting in the early 19th century and culminating in current restoration efforts. A critically endangered ecosystem, the Everglades illustrates the concept of a “wicked environmental problem”: one characterized by high uncertainty and conflict over values. Following our historical survey of the Everglades, we will shift to a project-based investigation of the local and global forces that shape the region. Course materials will be drawn from fiction, art, historical studies, policy documents, and scientific literature. Students should be prepared to work collaboratively to engage a variety of primary sources. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AMST0304A-F16

Cross-Listed As:
ENAM0304A-F16

CRN: 92315

The Graphic Novel
The Graphic Novel
In this course we will study some of the most widely respected graphic novels produced in the last thirty years. Our purpose will be to understand how the form works and is structured by its dual, but sometimes competing, interests in the verbal and the visual, and to think about distinct styles of illustration. We will also think about how landmark examples have shaped the form. Working with software designed for the purpose, students will use photographs to produce short comics of their own. Possible texts include: Alan Moore, Watchmen; Art Spiegelman, Maus; Chris Ware, Jimmy Corrigan; Alison Bechdel, Fun Home.3 hrs. lect.

AMST0307A-F16

CRN: 91955

Disability Issues/U.S. & World
Issues in Critical Disability Studies: U.S. and the World
Disability as a category and as lived experience plays an important but often overlooked role in national, transnational, and global contexts. In this course we will explore disability’s changing meanings in the United States and around the World. Comparative and transnational approaches will draw our attention to disability’s many meanings across wide-ranging historical, cultural, and geographical settings. Foundational concepts and principles, including ableism and Universal Design, shape our critical inquiry. Key themes frame the course: access, language, power, violence, normalcy, identity, community, institutions, and rights and justice. We will engage with diverse primary sources, from memoirs and documentary films to advertisements, material objects, and oral histories.

AMST0310A-F16

CRN: 92317

Livin' for the City
Livin' for the City
In this course we will engage the idea of the "ghetto" as constructed through literature, film, music, and television. Our exploration will relate this concept to geographic spaces and to a socially-constructed set of ideas about urban African American spaces and communities. We will combine critical textual analysis with fundamental concepts from human geography and social history to explore shifting conceptions of the “ghetto”, consider its impact on urban African American space, and examine how the responses of urban black American artists affect, resist, and change its imaginative geography. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AMST0355A-F16

Cross-Listed As:
FMMC0355A-F16

CRN: 92413

Theories of Popular Culture
Please register via FMMC 0355A
Theories of Popular Culture
This course introduces a range of theoretical approaches to study popular culture, exploring the intersection between everyday life, mass media, and broader political and historical contexts within the United States. We will consider key theoretical readings and approaches to studying culture, including ideology and hegemony theory, political economy, audience studies, subcultural analysis, the politics of taste, and cultural representations of identity. Using these theoretical tools, we will examine a range of popular media and sites of cultural expression, from television to toys, technology to music, to understand popular culture as a site of ongoing political and social struggle. (Formerly AMST/FMMC 0275) (FMMC 0102 or FMMC 0104 or FMMC 0236 or AMST 0211) 3 hrs. lect./disc./3 hrs. screen.

AMST0400A-F16

CRN: 90013

Theory and Method
Theory and Method in American Studies (Junior Year)
A reading of influential secondary texts that have defined the field of American Studies during the past fifty years. Particular attention will be paid to the methodologies adopted by American Studies scholars, and the relevance these approaches have for the writing of senior essays and theses. (Open to junior American studies majors only.) 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AMST0408A-F16

CRN: 91118

Am Art In Context:
Art & Life of Winslow Homer
American Art in Context: Art and Life of Winslow Homer
Although generally regarded as a popular painter of American life, Winslow Homer often provides a penetrating and sometimes disturbing view of post-Civil War America. Among the topics to be considered: Homer's paintings of the Civil War; his illustrations of leisure and recreation; and his depictions of women and children in the Gilded Age. During the second half of the course, we will turn our attention to Homer's landscape paintings of the Adirondacks, the Caribbean and the Maine coast, as well as his seascapes of the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AMST0420A-F16

Cross-Listed As:
IGST0420A-F16

CRN: 92219

Visual Culture of the Americas
Please register via IGST 0420A
Visual Cultures of the Americas
From murals to monuments and telenovelas to veladoras, this bilingual [Spanish/English] seminar will explore the role of visual expression in the history of cultural formation throughout the Americas. We will take a hemispheric and transnational approach to our studies. As such, two related premises inform the material we will examine: images traverse the boundaries of nation-states, and they are intrinsically tied to the developments of modern history. We will combine theoretical works with a variety of still and moving images (artifacts of mass culture, photography, artwork, film, mixed media, and performance) to study the relationship between "visuality" and flows of culture throughout Latin and Anglo Americas. This course is equivalent to IGST 0420. 3 hr. sem.

AMST0500A-F16

CRN: 90082

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500B-F16

CRN: 90086

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500C-F16

CRN: 90096

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500D-F16

CRN: 90097

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500E-F16

CRN: 90098

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500F-F16

CRN: 90099

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500G-F16

CRN: 90100

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500H-F16

CRN: 90101

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500I-F16

CRN: 90102

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500K-F16

CRN: 90104

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500L-F16

CRN: 90105

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500M-F16

CRN: 90958

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500N-F16

CRN: 91093

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500O-F16

CRN: 91094

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500P-F16

CRN: 92408

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0705A-F16

CRN: 91372

Senior Research Tutorial
Senior Research Tutorial
This seminar will focus on the development of sophisticated research skills, the sharing with peers of research and writing in progress, and the completion of a substantial research project. Those writing one-credit essays will complete their projects over the course of this tutorial.

AMST0710F-F16

CRN: 90107

Honors Thesis
Honors Thesis
For students who have completed AMST 0705, and qualify to write two-credit interdisciplinary honors thesis. on some aspect of American culture. The thesis may be completed on a fall/winter schedule or a fall/spring schedule. (Select a thesis advisor prior to registration)

Program in American Studies

Axinn Center at Starr Library
15 Old Chapel Road
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753