NEW AMERICAN STUDIES COURSES FOR FALL 2017
American Studies 202 - From the Moral Majority to the Rise of the “Nones”
Since the earliest years of nationhood, the United States has debated the role of religion in civic life. In the post-World War II era the US stood alone among wealth industrialized democracies in its level of religious belief, and the frank and overt religious themes sounded in campaigns and civic discourse. The percentage of Americans who say that they have no religious or congressional affiliation, who reply “none” when asked for a faith affiliation. This course will look at the reasons for the change, and how it is transforming US politics, religion and culture.
Prior study in American History is recommended.
Visiting Professor Rafael Suarez
Class time: MW 8:30-9:50
American Studies 300 - The End of Authority, Politics in Post-Truth America
New technologies for finding and disseminating information have created new channels and sources for people trying to determine “the truth” of anything. As traditional sources of authority, the news business, politics, the academy, organized religion have all watched as public confidence in them declines, a new world of information has rushed in to fill the void. How do political identity and social class inform, and perhaps deform, knowledge, and credibility when making political choices? This class will assess the impact of new ways of ‘knowing,’ and how the old American sources of authority have scrambled to keep pace, with special attention to the Presidential Election of 2016.
Limit 30 students.
Visiting Professor Rafael Suarez
Class Time: MW 2:00-3:20
American Studies 345 - Model Minorities: Jewish and Asian Americans
The United States has long struggled with challenges created by the need to absorb ethnic and racial minorities. In the face of seemingly intractable problems, one solution has been to designate a “model minority,” which then appears to divert attention from the society at large. Earlier in the twentieth century, Jewish Americans played this role; today, Asian Americans are the focus. This course examines specific instances in which Jewish Americans and Asian Americans both embraced and rejected the model minority stereotype. Course units will also examine the underside of the model minority stereotype, quotas imposed to limit access to education and employment as well as social and legal actions taken in response to such restrictions. The course will feature a range of materials, including plays, fiction, journalism, and visual works. Students will read scholarship in the fields of American Studies, Sociology, History, and Critical Race Studies.
Offered as AMST 345 and SOCI 345
Limit 25 students
Class time: Tuesdays 1:00-3:30
McCloy Visiting Professor Franklin Odo and Lecturer Wendy Bergoffen
View "The Good War" and Asian Americans: Impact and Participation Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos, and Japanese in the United States During WWII panel that was held on Wednesday, February 15, 2017 with Professors Franklin Odo (McCloy Visiting Professor), Greg Robinson (l'Universite due Quebec), Richard Chu (University of Massachusetts) Lili Kim (Hampshire College) and K. Scott Wong (Williams College).
Please view the lecture video "From Access to Inclusion" by Dr. Anthony Jack of Harvard University. This talk was taped during his December 1st, 2016 visit to Amherst.