Vice President for Academic Affairs; Professor, American Studies
Tim Spears has been a member of the Middlebury faculty since 1990. He received his B. A. from Yale University and did his graduate work at Harvard University in the History of American Civilization. Professor Spears has taught a wide range of classes, including courses on consumer culture, Chicago, regional and Southern literature, and football and higher education. He is the author of 100 Years on the Road: The Traveling Salesman in American Culture (1995), and Chicago Dreaming: Midwesterners and the City, 1871 to 1919 (2005). He is also a Senior Consulting Editor for The American Midwest: An Interpretive Encyclopedia,a large public history reference guide that Indiana University Press published in 2006. Currently, he is working on a history of college football, based on his family's participation in the sport.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
AMST 0215 - Football and Higher Education
Football and Higher Education
Football originated on American campuses, and its 150-year history reflects the vibrant, uneasy relation between sports and higher education. The first "big time" college sport, football became a media spectacle in the 1890s, and since then critics have debated the game's violence, educational merits, commercial trappings, and bearing on college admissions policies. The course will move from the 19th century to the present, tracing the sport's cultural meanings, its relation to class identity and gender roles, and its educational mission, including the sport's regulation by the NCAA. We will take an interdisciplinary approach to these issues, and readings will include literary and secondary works by William Bowen, Robert Lipsyte, Michael Oriard, and Murray Sperber.
AMST 0295 - Across the Great Divide ▹
Across the Great Divide: Science, Humanities, and the American Landscape
The American landscape encompasses a diversity of built and natural environments. In this course, we will survey 200 years of history, using the tools of science and the humanities to understand how people have changed the landscape and how the landscape has shaped its human inhabitants. We will read historical, literary, and scientific works—and employ a variety of archival and aesthetic materials—to explore moments of transformation within four geographic regions: New England, the Midwest, the West, and the South. In so doing, we will arrive at an understanding of the interdependency of cultural and ecological history and the intersections between scientific and humanistic modes of inquiry. Readings will emphasize primary texts, and will include writings by Harriett Beecher Stowe, George Perkins Marsh, and photography by Dorothea Lange and others.
AMST 0356 / ENAM 0356 - Chicago Stories
This course offers a survey of literature about Chicago, starting in the 1890s, when America's "shock city" first began to imagine itself in fiction and continue up through the present day and contemporary imaginings of the post-industrial city. Readings will include works by Theodore Dreiser, Sherwood Anderson, Carl Sandburg, Willa Cather, Richard Wright, Saul Bellow, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sandra Cisneros, and Stuart Dybek. In addition to landmark examples of Chicago literature, we will consider non-fictional representations of the city's history and culture (e.g. sociology, urban reform writing) as well as critical analyses that illuminate the Chicago literary tradition and urban literature in general. 3 hrs. lect.
AMST 0500 - Independent Study ▲ ▹
Select project advisor prior to registration.
Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015
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, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012
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)
Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Spring 2015
CRWR 0701 - Senior Thesis:Creative Writing
Senior Thesis: Creative Writing
Discussions, workshops, tutorials for those undertaking one-term projects in the writing of fiction, poetry, or creative nonfiction. (Formerly ENAM 0701)
ENAM 0700 - Senior Essay: Critical Writing
Senior Thesis: Critical Writing
Individual guidance and seminar (discussions, workshops, tutorials) for those undertaking one-term projects in literary criticism or analysis. All critical thesis writers also take the essay workshop (ENAM 700Z) in either Fall or Spring Term.
Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012