Assistant Professor of American Studies
Rachael Miyung Joo, Assistant Professor in American Studies, has been teaching at Middlebury College since 2007. She received her B.A. from Pomona College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Cultural and Social Anthropology from Stanford University. She teaches courses in race and ethnicity, cultural and social theory, methods, globalization, and sports.
Her research focuses on the transnational circulation of mass media, specifically how sporting media connects South Korean and Korean American communities. Her forthcoming book, Competing Visions: Media Sport and Transnational Koreas (Duke University Press), details the significance of commercial mass-mediated sports in shaping ideas of Americanness and Koreanness in Korean/American communities. She has published articles on media and national publics, sports and sexuality, and food. Her current research investigates the cultural politics around golf, specifically the connections between mass-mediated desires, built landscapes, national development, ideas of self and nature, and race relations.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
AMST 0211 - Mod. American Cult. 1920-2001
Formation of Modern American Culture II: 1920-2001
A continuation of the themes addressed in AMST 0210, tracing the development of a distinctive national and international American culture between 1920 and 2001. The class will highlight the rise of modern mass culture, focusing on the emergence of new cultural forms and media, the increasingly public role played by women and racial minorities, the changing nature of the built environment, and the importance of American popular culture on the world stage. Less a survey of cultural history than an interdisciplinary examination of key issues and conflicts, the course will be organized around a variety of written, visual, and aural texts. Required of all American studies majors. 3 hrs. lect./disc.
Spring 2010, Spring 2011
AMST 0224 - 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.
Fall 2010, Spring 2013
AMST 0226 - Global American Studies
Global American Studies
The intensification of globalization since the 1980s has transformed the United States and the field of American Studies. In this course we will explore cultural and social changes that are linked to global flows of media, money, and migration in and out of the United States. Contemporary theories of globalization in the humanities and social sciences will be explored through a number of case studies. Some of the themes covered will include: the relationship between globalization and Americanization, imperialism and American militarization, transnationalism and media, and neoliberalism and finance.
AMST 0227 - 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.
AMST 0500 - Independent Study
Select project advisor prior to registration.
Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2013
AMST 0700 - Senior Essay
For students who have completed AMST 0400 and are not pursuing an honors thesis. Under the guidance of one or more faculty members, each student will complete research leading toward a one-term, one-credit interdisciplinary senior essay on some aspect of American culture. The essay is to be submitted no later than the last Thursday of the fall semester. (Select project advisor prior to registration)
AMST 0710 - 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)
Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Spring 2013
AMST 1003 - Cultural Studies of Sports
Cultural Studies of Sports
Sports operate as a central cultural institution in communities throughout the world. In this course we will offer a critical investigation into the social and cultural roles of sports in the contemporary United States and beyond. We will analyze the role of sports in shaping cultural meanings by asking the following questions: What constitutes a sport? How should sports be defined? What role do sports play in people’s everyday lives? How do sports reflect and reproduce social differences? Students will be expected to write about sports informed by their own fieldwork observations.
FYSE 1292 - Cultural Formations of 1980s
The Cultural Politics of the 1980s
In this seminar, we will investigate cultural formations in the United States during the 1980s through a critical examination of fiction, music, television, art, and film. We will connect texts produced during and about the period with social, political, and economic transformations that began with the so-called “Reagan Revolution.” We will analyze social issues concerning race, class, gender, and sexuality through a variety of topics, including the Culture Wars, globalization and outsourcing, the ascendance of Wall Street, the rise of AIDS, attacks on the welfare state, the emergence of hip hop, and the Drug Wars. 3 hrs. sem.
INTL 0478 / AMST 0478 - Global Cities of the U.S.
Global Cities of the United States
In this seminar we will engage the study of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles as "global cities." We will explore each as a site of networks that link populations in the United States to people, things, media, money, and ideas beyond the borders of the nation-state. The principal themes and issues covered during the semester will include the formation of transnational communities, flows of labor and capital, cultural production, and religious responses to diaspora. Our interdisciplinary approach to these topics will require students to use methods and theories from both the social sciences and the humanities.