Assistant Professor of American Studies
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
AMST 0214 - Capturing Nature ▲
Mastodons, Mermaids, and Dioramas: Capturing Nature in America
Why did 18th-century museums stuff and mount exotic and domestic animals? Why does the American Museum of Natural History still house dioramas of so-called native peoples hunting? How has the study and staging of nature transferred into various kinds of artistic expression? In this course we will examine the intertwining of art, science, and ecology in the United States from the 1700s to the present day. Objects of study will include museum dioramas, scientific models, artifacts and artworks collected during scientific expeditions, and the work of Walton Ford and Christy Rupp, contemporary artists whose work engages ecological issues. 3 hrs. lect.
AMST 0243 - American Bodies ▲
In this course we will examine the material culture of the body and the body as material culture. Themes to be explored include skin (tattoos, tans, cosmetics), muscle (exercise and ideal bodies, historical and contemporary), adornment (fashion, jewelry, body modification practices), health crazes, performance, medical imaging, and enhancement (fictional and technological cyborgs, plastic surgery). We will explore practices that fragment the body and objects that were exchanged as tokens of affection, such as 19th century hairwork and eye miniatures. Historical figures to be discussed include cosmetics magnate Madame C.J. Walker, health enthusiasts Sylvester Graham and the Kellogg brothers, bodybuilder and exercise entrepreneur Eugen Sandow, dancer Josephine Baker, efficiency expert Frederick Winslow Taylor, and P.T. Barnum’s collaborations with performers such as Tom Thumb and the conjoined twins Chang and Eng. 3 hrs. lect.
AMST 0500 - Independent Study ▲
Select project advisor prior to registration.