Sections

« Winter 2018 Spring 2018

AMST0101A-S18

CRN: 21075

Intro to American Studies:
American Holidays
Introduction to American Studies: American Holidays
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." This year we will focus on holidays, both secular and religious, and how they have been celebrated or observed in the U.S., past and present, privately and publicly. With a multifaith and multiethnic scope, we will consider holidays such as Easter, Purim, Passover, Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, Yom Kippur, and Diwali, as well as largely-secular holidays such as Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. We will also compare and contrast a variety of New Year festivities as they are celebrated by immigrant and diasporic communities. Sources for the course will include greeting cards, advertisements, magazine illustrations, decorations, cookbooks and recipes, genre paintings, music, photographic documentation of parades and festivals, and objects related to the celebration and observation of religious holidays from a variety of faiths and traditions. 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0104A-S18

Cross-Listed As:
FMMC0104A-S18

CRN: 21338

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.

AMST0106A-S18

CRN: 22261

American Comedy
American Comedy: Cultural and Ethnic Perspectives
In this course we will focus on how American comedy has shaped, and been shaped by, particular cultural and ethnic sensibilities. Beginning with the 1960s, we will analyze the developments and transformations in comic personae, techniques, and what can serve as comedic material. Students will have the opportunity to discuss comedy as a genre of entertainment and mode of discourse. Some of the guiding questions include: how has American comedy enabled or disrupted a sense of shared cultural sensibilities in particular historical moments? In what ways does ethnic humor facilitate conversations about conflicts and controversies in ways that bring about new understanding and solidarities, or lay bare societal fissures? How does comedy imbue the person holding the mic with the power to grapple with, and even transgress, social and political norms? 3 hrs. Sem.

AMST0180A-S18

Cross-Listed As:
GSFS0180A-S18

CRN: 22381

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).

AMST0210A-S18

CRN: 21285

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.

AMST0227A-S18

CRN: 21836

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.

AMST0240A-S18

Cross-Listed As:
ENAM0240A-S18

CRN: 22143

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.

AMST0251A-S18

CRN: 22144

Monuments and Memorials
Constructing Memory: American Monuments and Memorials
“Democracy has no monuments,” John Quincy Adams once famously argued. “It strikes no medals; it bears the head of no man upon its coin; its very essence is iconoclastic.” Yet nearly 250 years after America’s founding, monuments and memorials surround us. In this course we will explore the memorializing impulse; the complexity and depth of emotion evoked by memorial acts; and the oftentimes heated controversies about modes, placement, and subject of representation. We will consider how and why America chooses to memorialize certain people and events, and what is gained—and sometimes erased—in the process. By choosing among a broad range of traditional and non-traditional modes of representation, we will consider how public memorials both reflect and shape Americans’ shared cultural values. The course will include site visits to local monuments and projects in which we propose designs or redesigns of memorials for a 21st century audience.

AMST0253A-S18

Cross-Listed As:
ENAM0253A-S18

CRN: 22145

Science Fiction
Science Fiction
Time travel, aliens, androids, robots, corporate and political domination, reimaginings of race, gender, sexuality and the human body--these concerns have dominated science fiction over the last 150 years. But for all of its interest in the future, science fiction tends to focus on technologies and social problems relevant to the period in which it is written. In this course, we'll work to understand both the way that authors imagine technology's role in society and how those imaginings create meanings for science and its objects of study and transformation. Some likely reading and films include Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau, Ridley Scott, Blade Runner, and works by William Gibson, Ursula LeGuin, Octavia Butler and other contemporary writers. (Students who have taken FYSE 1162 are not eligible to register for this course). 3 hrs. lect./disc.

AMST0262A-S18

CRN: 21651

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-S18

Cross-Listed As:
ENAM0263A-S18

CRN: 21864

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.

AMST0269A-S18

Cross-Listed As:
GSFS0269A-S18

CRN: 22319

Beyond Intersectionality
Please register via GSFS 0269A
Beyond Intersectionality: Developing Anti-Racist and Anti-Capitalist Feminisms
Nearly thirty years ago, Kimberlé Crenshaw published the theory of “intersectionality,” in which she argued that racism and sexism collide to make black women’s marginalization distinct from those of both white women and black men (1989). Today, the terms “intersectionality” and “intersectional feminism” are ubiquitous, utilized by scholars, activists, artists, and our students. In this course, we will consider how discourses of and ideas about intersectionality move between and among spaces of dissent. Starting from the position that it is more epistemologically and politically powerful to state that our feminism is anti-racist and anti-capitalist than to say it is “intersectional,” we will address the following questions: What are the benefits and limits of the original theory of intersectionality? How are academic and activist approaches alike both emboldened and limited by intersectionality? What does it mean to be socially and politically conscious, and how do we move from consciousness to action in ways that are not siloed? Texts may include Crenshaw’s “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women” (1989) and Ange-Marie Hancock’s Intersectionality: An Intellectual History (2016). 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0281A-S18

Cross-Listed As:
HARC0281A-S18

CRN: 21944

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.

AMST0302A-S18

CRN: 22146

Love, Sex, Race & Disability
Love, Sex, Race, and Disability
In this course we will explore the connections between gender and sexuality, race, and disability. Culture and representation, understandings of diversity and difference, and contexts (political, social, and historical) will provide central areas of study. Comparing and integrating topics and perspectives, we will critically analyze the constructions and politics of identity (and multiple identities) and historical perspectives on gender and sexuality, race, and disability. We also will consider the impact of education and activism, as well as the meanings of intimate relationships across and between genders and sexualities, races, and disabilities. Our work will foster a fundamental reexamination of American life and history through its study of bodies and minds, identities, languages, cultures, citizenship and rights, power and authority, what is a "natural" and "unnatural." This course will draw on diverse sources, including documentary and Hollywood films, poetry and short fiction, academic texts, such as Freakery, Gendering Disability and Disability and the Teaching of Writing, and memoirs, such as Eli Clare's Exile and Pride.

AMST0307A-S18

CRN: 22147

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.

AMST0325A-S18

Cross-Listed As:
GSFS0325A-S18

CRN: 22311

American Misogyny
American Misogyny
In this course we will explore the place of misogyny in U.S. media and politics. Early topics will include film noir, Cold War gender scapegoating, and lesbian pulp fiction. Subsequent topics will include the backlash against second-wave feminism, the rise of “post-feminism,” and the impact of reality TV and social media on feminist and antifeminist expression. We will conclude by examining how misogyny informs U.S. culture and politics in the Trump era. Throughout the course, we will consider how discourses of misogyny are inflected by white, cisgender, ableist, ageist, and class privilege. 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0347A-S18

Cross-Listed As:
ENAM0347A-S18

CRN: 22148

Families-American Ethnic Lits
Families in American Ethnic Literatures
In this course we will explore depictions of "the family" by authors of various ethnicities-in every case interaction with/integration into "American life" is at issue. Under that broad rubric, we will discuss a range of topics, including: the processes of individual and group identity erasure and formation; experiences of intergenerational conflict; considerations of the burden and promise of personal and communal histories; examinations of varied understandings of race, class, and gender; and interrogations of "Americanness." Authors include Ronald Takaki, Gloria Naylor, Arturo Islas, Sherman Alexie, Philip Roth, Julie Otsuka, Jhumpa Lahiri, Junot Diaz, Gish Jen, and Dinaw Mengestu. 3 hrs. lect.

AMST0500A-S18

CRN: 20024

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500B-S18

CRN: 20027

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500C-S18

CRN: 21090

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500D-S18

CRN: 20033

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500E-S18

CRN: 20034

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500F-S18

CRN: 20035

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500G-S18

CRN: 20036

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500H-S18

CRN: 20037

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500J-S18

CRN: 20039

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500K-S18

CRN: 20892

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500L-S18

CRN: 21046

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500M-S18

CRN: 21047

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0500N-S18

CRN: 21664

Independent Study
Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.

AMST0710A-S18

CRN: 20030

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-S18

CRN: 20040

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-S18

CRN: 21093

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-S18

CRN: 20041

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-S18

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)

AMST0710F-S18

CRN: 20044

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-S18

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)

AMST0710H-S18

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)

AMST0710J-S18

CRN: 20049

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-S18

CRN: 21552

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-S18

CRN: 21048

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-S18

CRN: 21049

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-S18

CRN: 21999

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