Sections

« Winter 2017 Spring 2017

AMST0101A-S17

CRN: 21112

Intro to American Studies:
Imagination of Disaster
Introduction to American Studies: The Imagination of Disaster
In this course we will offer an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and identity. Integrating a range of sources and methods, we will examine myths, symbols, values, and social changes that have been used to create and contest ideas of "Americanness." Sources for the course will include movies, fiction, political and religious tracts, advertising, TV shows, music, biography, and architecture. This year, we will focus on the meaning and narration of disaster in American culture, stretching from Puritan fears of God's wrath to contemporary responses to 9/11 and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Specific texts will include Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale; Susan Sontag, The Imagination of Disaster; Cormac McCarthy, The Road; and films such as Irwin Allen's The Towering Inferno and Roland Emmerich's The Day After Tomorrow. 3 hrs.

AMST0104A-S17

Cross-Listed As:
FMMC0104A-S17

CRN: 21399

Television & American Culture
Please register via FMMC 0104A
Television & American Culture
This course explores American life in the last six decades through an analysis of our central medium: television. Spanning a history of television from its origins in radio to its future in digital convergence, we will consider television's role in both reflecting and constituting American society through a variety of approaches. Our topical exploration will consider the economics of the television industry, television's role within American democracy, the formal attributes of a variety of television genres, television as a site of gender and racial identity formation, television's role in everyday life, and the medium's technological and social impacts. 2 hrs. lect./3 hrs. screen.

AMST0204A-S17

CRN: 22369

Black Comic Cultures
Black Comic Cultures
In this course we will explore a range of black comic cultures, analyzing their emergence and transformation from the early 20th century to the present. Specifically, we will examine blackface minstrels of the early 20th century such as George Walker and Bert Williams, Bill Cosby’s performances in the 60s, and the ribald humor of LaWanda Page’s 1970s party records, before moving to the urban scene embodied in television shows such as Def Comedy Jam. We will also engage with theoretical materials that help us analyze black comedy as multidimensional, such as John Limon’s Stand-up Comedy in Theory, or, Abjection in America. 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0206A-S17

Cross-Listed As:
ENAM0206A-S17

CRN: 21670

19th Century American Lit.
Please register via ENAM 0206A
Nineteenth-Century American Literature
This course will examine major developments in the literary world of 19th century America. Specific topics to be addressed might include the transition from Romanticism to Regionalism and Realism, the origins and evolution of the novel in the United States, and the tensions arising from the emergence of a commercial marketplace for literature. Attention will also be paid to the rise of women as literary professionals in America and the persistent problematizing of race and slavery. Among others, authors may include J. F. Cooper, Emerson, Melville, Douglass, Chopin, Whitman, Dickinson, Twain, Hawthorne, Stowe, Alcott, Wharton, and James. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AMST0210A-S17

CRN: 21339

Mod. American Cult. 1830-1919
Formation of Modern American Culture I: 1830-1919
An introduction to the study of American culture from 1830 through World War I with an emphasis on the changing shape of popular, mass, and elite cultural forms. We will explore a widely-accepted scholarly notion that a new, distinctively national and modern culture emerged during this period and that particular ideas of social formation (race, class, gender, sexuality, etc.) came with it. We will practice the interdisciplinary interpretation of American culture by exploring a wide range of subjects and media: economic change, social class, biography and autobiography, politics, photo-journalism, novels, architecture, painting, and photography. Required of all American studies majors. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AMST0224A-S17

Cross-Listed As:
GSFS0224A-S17

CRN: 21526

Race and Ethnicity in the US
Formations of Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.
Historical memories, everyday experiences, and possible futures are powerfully shaped by racial and ethnic differences. Categories of race and ethnicity structure social relationships and cultural meanings in the United States and beyond. In this course we will track the theoretical and historical bases of ideas of race and ethnicity in modern America. We will investigate how race and ethnicity intersect at particular historical moments with other forms of difference including gender, sexuality, nation, and class. The course offers an approach informed by critical studies of race including texts in history, political theory, cultural studies, and anthropology. 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0227A-S17

CRN: 22262

Asian Americas
Asian Americas
In this course we will investigate cultural transformations, cultural politics, and the cultural productions of and about Asian Americans. The themes of immigration, nation, and citizenship are central to the construction of the U.S. racial category of Asian. Those addressed within the category are highly diverse and differentiated along class, gender, and generational lines, yet the racial category structures particular kinds of experiences and possibilities for subjects. Historical transformations and contemporary issues in a variety of Asian American contexts will be investigated through a variety of texts including historical accounts, cultural studies, anthropological studies, autobiography, and fiction. 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0230A-S17

Cross-Listed As:
GSFS0230A-S17

CRN: 22263

Gender Images in Pop Am Cult
Gender Images in American Popular Culture
In this course, we will examine representations of gender in American popular culture. Course materials will include nineteenth-century popular music, literature, and theater, early twentieth-century advertising and film, 1950s television, and more recent electronic media. Considering a range of cultural forms over a broad historical period allows us to determine the impact that particular media have had on our conceptions of gender difference. Finally, by becoming critical readers of popular cultural forms that represent manhood and womanhood, we gain a greater appreciation for the complexity, variability, and open-endedness of gender constructions within American life. 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0259A-S17

CRN: 22475

Re-Presenting Slavery
Re-Presenting Slavery
In this course we will examine 20th century American portrayals of chattel slavery through creative works and situate them in their historical contexts. Working primarily with fiction (Oxherding Tale, Kindred, The Underground Railroad), film (Mandingo, Django Unchained, Twelve Years a Slave), television (Roots, Africans in America, Underground), and visual art (works by Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, and Kara Walker), we will evaluate how those various representations of the “Peculiar Institution” have changed, and/or have been changed, by the cultural moments in which they appeared. 3 hrs lect.

AMST0262A-S17

CRN: 21892

Class, Culture, Representation
Class, Culture, and Representation
In this course we will examine the contested meanings of social class in U.S. culture from 1930 to the present. We will ask the following: How have workers, the workplace, and economic inequality been imagined in U.S. film, art, and popular culture? How have categories such as race, gender, and sexuality informed ideas about class? And how do the realities of economic inequality mesh with civic narratives of meritocracy and the “American Dream”? Readings will include works by Barbara Ehrenreich, Studs Terkel, Tillie Olsen, and Helena Maria Vilamontes. Films, music, and other media will supplement written materials. 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0263A-S17

Cross-Listed As:
ENAM0263A-S17

CRN: 22297

American Psycho
Please register via ENAM 0263A
American Psycho: Disease, Doctors, and Discontents (II) (AL) (Pre-1900 AL)
What constitutes a pathological response to the pressures of modernity? How do pathological protagonists drive readers toward the precariousness of their own physical and mental health? The readings for this class center on the provisional nature of sanity and the challenges to bodily health in a world of modern commerce, media, and medical diagnoses. We will begin with 19th century texts and their engagement with seemingly "diseased" responses to urbanization, new forms of work, and new structures of the family and end with contemporary fictional psychopaths engaged in attacks on the world of images we inhabit in the present. Nineteenth century texts will likely include stories by Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Later 20th-century works will likely include Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Thomas Harris, The Silence of the Lambs, Susanna Kaysen, Girl, Interrupted, and Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho.

AMST0281A-S17

Cross-Listed As:
HARC0281A-S17

CRN: 22403

Controversies in AmArt&Museums
Viewer Discretion Advised: Controversies in American Art & Museums, 1876-Present
What are the “culture wars,” and why do they matter? What ideas are considered too “obscene” for American audiences? In this course we will explore controversies and scandals sparked by public displays of art in the U.S. including: Eakins’s Gross Clinic (1876), seen as too “bloody” for an art exhibition; the U.S. Navy’s objections to Paul Cadmus’s painting of sailors (1934); censorship and NEA budget cuts (Mapplethorpe & Serrano, 1989); backlash to The West as America’s deconstruction of myths of the frontier (1991); tensions surrounding Colonial Williamsburg’s “slave auction” reenactment (1994); debates over the continued display (and occasional defacement) of Confederate monuments in the era of the Black Lives Matter Movement. 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AMST0301A-S17

CRN: 22265

Madness in America
Madness in America
It's a mad, mad course. In this course we will focus on representations of madness from colonial to late 20th century America, emphasizing the links between popular and material culture, science, medicine, and institutions. We will consider how ideas about madness (and normalcy) reflect broader (and shifting) notions of identity. Thus, issues of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation, community, class, and region will play significant roles in our discussions and critiques. To complement foundational readings, this course will draw on American literature, documentary and entertainment films, music, and materials from the college's special collections.

AMST0339A-S17

Cross-Listed As:
HARC0339A-S17

CRN: 22266

Home: The Way We Live
Home: The Why Behind the Way We Live
In this course we will examine the development of numerous housing types in America (with references to Europe). The prevalence of the single-family home today and its importance as the symbol of the “American dream” was never a forgone conclusion. In fact, the American home has been the focus of and battleground for cooperative movements, feminism, municipal socialism, benevolent capitalism, and government interventions on a national scale. 3 hrs. sem.

AMST0340A-S17

Cross-Listed As:
WRPR0340A-S17

CRN: 21893

Oral History Methods/Practice
Telling Stories: Oral History Methods and Practice
In this course we will explore historical and contemporary issues in U.S. society through oral history. Key themes include: community, history, memory, power, identity, and social movements. We will practice the craft of conducting and documenting life stories interviews, paying close attention to ethical and technological issues. Readings, documentary films, NPR-StoryCorps projects, archives, and museum exhibits grounded in oral history will serve as texts to explore diverse ways of using and thinking about this dynamic source of knowledge. Collaborative projects will provide opportunities to pursue original research anchored in oral histories. With the permission of interviewees, digitally recorded interviews and related materials created during this course will be donated to Middlebury’s Special Collections. 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0345A-S17

CRN: 22455

Black Lives Matter
What political and cultural tactics have black people employed to expose, challenge, and undo state-sanctioned and extrajudicial racial violence against black bodies, and how have those tactics changed over time? In this course we will examine how the emergent #blacklivesmatter movement is distinct from, but in direct conversation with, the long history of movements committed to racial justice in America. We will discuss the discourse of #blacklivesmatter in popular media, and its incorporation of black feminist and queer resistance to social and material structures of power. Interdisciplinary texts may include Marc Lamont Hill’s Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, From Ferguson to Flint and Beyond (2016), Dorothy Roberts’ Killing the Black Body (1998), and Ida B. Wells-Barnett’s classic Southern Horrors: Lynch Law in All Its Phases (1892). 3 hr. lect.

AMST0500A-S17

CRN: 20026

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500B-S17

CRN: 20029

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500C-S17

CRN: 21132

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500D-S17

CRN: 20035

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500E-S17

CRN: 20036

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500F-S17

CRN: 20037

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500G-S17

CRN: 20038

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500H-S17

CRN: 20039

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500J-S17

CRN: 20041

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500K-S17

CRN: 20917

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500L-S17

CRN: 21079

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500M-S17

CRN: 21080

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500N-S17

CRN: 21965

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0710A-S17

CRN: 20032

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)

AMST0710B-S17

CRN: 20042

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)

AMST0710C-S17

CRN: 21135

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)

AMST0710D-S17

CRN: 20043

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)

AMST0710E-S17

CRN: 20045

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)

AMST0710F-S17

CRN: 20046

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)

AMST0710G-S17

CRN: 20047

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)

AMST0710H-S17

CRN: 20048

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)

AMST0710J-S17

CRN: 20051

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)

AMST0710K-S17

CRN: 21671

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)

AMST0710L-S17

CRN: 21081

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)

AMST0710M-S17

CRN: 21082

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)

AMST0710N-S17

CRN: 22460

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