Assoc. Prof. of American Studies; Dir., Ctr. for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity
Roberto Lint Sagarena is Associate Professor of American Studies at Middlebury College and Director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity. He holds Bachelors degrees in Art History and Philosophy from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Doctorate in Religion from Princeton University. His research and teaching interests center on the role of religion and religious rhetoric in the formation of racial, ethnic and regional identities in the Americas with particular attention to social relations resulting from inequality.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
AMST 0101 - Intro to American Studies ▹
Introduction to American Studies: American Representations of Crime and Violence
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, video games, music, and journalism. This year, we will focus on American portrayals of crime and violence in a wide range of texts and cultural artifacts that provide us with a larger sense of how these representations function in the formation of categories of gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, ethics and religion, as well as socio-economic class in American society. Texts and films will range from True Crime to Pulp Fiction and from street photography to pictures of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. 3 hrs. lect.
AMST 0209 / ENAM 0209 - 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./dics.
Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012
AMST 0250 / AMST 0477 / INTL 0477 - How EL NORTE Became the S.West
How El Norte Became the Southwest
In this course we will study the political and cultural transformation of Northern Mexican/ Southwestern borderlands. Themes and issues will include: Mexican conceptions of frontier, constructions of identity by Tejanos, Californios, and Hispanos, the history of the Mexican American War, demographic transformation, and the role of dispossession and Americanization in cultural change. We will focus on close readings of texts such as: Maria Ruiz de Burton's The Squatter and the Don, The Life and Times of Juaquin Murrieta, Willa Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop, Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona, and the screenplay of the movie Lone Star. (Formerly INTL/AMST 0477). 3 hrs. lect/disc.
Spring 2010, Spring 2011
AMST 0276 / RELI 0276 - Religion in the Borderlands
Religion in the Borderlands
In this course we will survey the religious and cultural history of the U.S./Mexico borderlands. Themes and issues to be covered include: the definition of place, the history of religious iconography, ritual performance and community, transformations in forms of belief, and the effects of linguistic pluralism on cultural and religious creativity. Readings will include: Gloria Anzaldua's Borderlands/La Frontera, Alberto Pulido's The Sacred World of the Penitentes, and other historical and literary works. 3 hrs. lect./disc.
AMST 0400 - 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.
Fall 2011, Fall 2012
AMST 0500 - Independent Study ▹
Select project advisor prior to registration.
Winter 2010, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014
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)
Fall 2010, Fall 2011
AMST 0704 - Senior Seminar:
Topic is determined by the instructor - refer to section for the course description.
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)
Winter 2010, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Winter 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014
AMST 1004 - American Crime and Violence
American Representations of Crime and Violence
In this course we will study American portrayals of crime and violence through a variety of media and in a number of historical contexts. We will assess cultural artifacts (fictional and non-fictional texts, music, movies, magazines, art, television shows, video games, and material objects) that provide us with a larger sense of how these representations function in the formation of categories of gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, ethics and religion, as well as socio-economic class. Texts and films will range from detective fiction to Pulp Fiction and from the street photography of Weegee to pictures of prisoners at Abu Ghraib.
ENAM 0700 - Senior Essay: Critical Writing
Senior Essay: Critical Writing
Individual guidance and seminar (discussions, workshops, tutorials) for those undertaking one-term projects in literary criticism or analysis. All critical essay writers also take the essay workshop (ENAM 700Z) in either Fall or Spring Term.
Spring 2011, Fall 2011
ENAM 0710 - Senior Thesis: Critical Writ.
Senior Thesis: Critical Writing
Individual guidance and seminar (discussions, workshops, tutorials) for those undertaking two-term projects in literary criticism or analysis. All critical thesis writers also take the thesis workshop (ENAM 710z) in both Fall and Spring terms.
Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012
FYSE 1324 - Race and the Fantastic
Race and the Fantastic
How do categories of race in fantastic literature, art, and digital media mirror the way race is understood and lived in the real world? In this seminar we will employ the insights of critical race scholars to study literary works by Mandeville, Swift, Tolkien, and Mieville, as well as a variety of films and games. Principal issues and topics will include: the representation of “absolute others”; models of racial/ethnic hybridity and assimilation; intersections of race, gender and sexuality; and problematic linkages of cultures to phenotypes.
INTL 0420 / AMST 0420 / HARC 0420 - Visual Culture of the Americas
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 AMST 0420 and HARC 0420. 3 hr. 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.