American Studies

Fall 2007/Spring 2008 Course Catalog

The information below is taken from the printed catalog the college produces each year. For more up to date information, including links to course websites, faculty homepages, reserve readings, and more, use the 'courses' or semester specific link to your left.

11. The American Dream. More than any other nation, the United States has envisioned itself as a landscape of pure possibility. From the 17th century to the present, an ever-shifting “American Dream” has been the repository of Americans’ longing for a new kind of personal and national life. In this class we will consider how Americans have imagined their dream in terms of everything from political freedom to home ownership. This class introduces students to American Studies by focusing on whole books, with attention also given to paintings, photographs and film. Books will include The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Huckleberry Finn, The Great Gatsby, and The Human Stain.

Limited to 20 students per section. First semester. Professors Clark and Sandweiss.

12. Religion, Democracy and American Culture. The United States has inscribed the separation of church and state into its constitutional order, and yet Americans have for two centuries been more deeply committed to religious faith and practice than any other people in the Western world. This course endeavors to explore that paradox. Topics addressed include the changing meanings of “the city on a hill”; the varieties of millennial belief and utopian community; the relationship between religion and ethnicity; religious political activism from abolition to prohibition to anti-abortion; and the limits of religious tolerance from movements against Catholics and Mormons to recent warnings of a “clash of civilizations” with Muslim cultures.

Limited to 20 students per section. Second semester. Professors Couvares and Sánchez-Eppler.

25. Introduction to Asian/Pacific/American Studies. This course broadly explores the cultural, geographic, and intellectual boundaries of Asian American Studies. Our interdisciplinary approach will foster analytic links between studies of capitalism, gender, imperialism, and religion as these inform ethnic and racial formations. Course materials will introduce students to this burgeoning field through the different points of entry described in the Five College A/P/A Studies Certificate Program: expressions (cultural works of art, literature, film, theatre, etc.), U.S. intersections (inter-ethnic connections, for example, between Asian and African Americans), and global intersections (diaspora, migration and transnational formations). Along with its broad survey of the panethnic category of “Asian Americans,” the course will feature an in-depth case study of Southeast Asian Americans (e.g., people from Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam). In addition, students will have the opportunity to map the field for themselves through small group research presentations that will present material not covered by the syllabus.

First semester. Five College Visiting Assistant Professor Cardozo.

28. Hapa Issues: Asian Americans of Mixed Racial Descent. Growing numbers of inter-racial marriages and the products of these marriages—children of mixed racial descent—have contributed to the increasing diversity of America in the 21st century. Reflecting this heterogeneity, the 2000 Census allowed people to claim more than one background for the first time. In this course, we will evaluate the experiences of hapas—Asians of mixed racial descent—through a historical and comparative framework. This class will explore inter-racial and inter-ethnic marriage trends in various Asian communities in the U.S. in order to highlight the complexity of the Asian American experience. Additionally, we will compare the experiences of hapas representing a range of backgrounds, including those of Asian/White ancestry as well as Asian/Black heritage. Some of the specific topics that will be covered in this course include the following: racial and ethnic community membership and belonging; the dynamics of inter-racial relationships; identity, authenticity, and choice; and the gender identities of mixed race individuals. This course highlights the simultaneous fluidity and social construction of race while marking its real impact on everyday and structural aspects of American life.

Omitted 2007-08.

30. Screening Asian Americans. Emphasizing contemporary issues, this course introduces students to various forms of visual media by and about Asian Americans. Using a chronological and thematic approach, various genres in advertising, television and film (including narrative dramas, documentaries, and experimental films) will be analyzed within the context of transnational Asian/American histories, cultures, and identities. Some of the issues we will address include: Orientalist stereotypes of Asians; the re/creation of history and memory; the intersections of race, class, and gender/sexuality; and interracial relations. Students will be expected to apply the critical languages of film and narrative theory to their analysis of visual texts—that is, to understand how form and content relate. Along with its broad survey of the panethnic category of “Asian Americans,” the course will feature an in-depth case study of media representations of South Asian Americans (e.g., people from Bhutan, India, Pakistan). Among other assignments, students will independently review a text not covered by the syllabus and generate a final research paper.

Second semester. Five College Visiting Assistant Professor Cardozo.

68. Making Places: Research Methods in American Culture. (Also English 95-05) and History 83.) Who am I? How do I fit into this place? Taking as its starting point each student’s own personal and family stories, this course will draw on a wide range of research methodologies and resources to help students place their own experiences in the larger context of American cultures. Students will be introduced to research tools that will allow them to investigate literary, visual, geographical, material, and historical artifacts and data. Structured by a series of units that develop and interrogate specific skills, the course will culminate in individual research papers, at least 20 pages in length, which explore some aspect of American life.

Those students who wish to take this class as English 95 need to develop an essentially literary final project.

Limited to 20 students. Open to juniors and seniors as a research seminar; underclassmen admitted in special circumstances. Second semester. Professors Sánchez-Eppler and Sandweiss.

77, 78. Senior Departmental Honors.

97, 98. Special Topics.

Related Courses

Critical Debates in Black Studies. See Black Studies 12.

First semester. Professor Ferguson.

Short Stories from the Black World. See Black Studies 23.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Rushing.

Representations of Black Women in Black Literature. See Black Studies 24.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Rushing.

African-American Autobiographies: A Survey. See Black Studies 26 (also English 70).

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Rushing.

Creating a Self: Black Women’s Testimonies, Memoirs and Autobiographies. See Black Studies 27.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Rushing.

African American Oral Traditions. See Black Studies 36.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Rushing.

Black Music and Black Poetry. See Black Studies 54 (also English 15).

First semester. Professor Rushing.

African-American History from the Slave Trade to Reconstruction. See Black Studies 57 (also History 41).

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Moss.

African-American History from Reconstruction to the Present. See Black Studies 58 (also History 42).

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Moss.

Exploring Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. See Black Studies 62.

First semester. Professor Ferguson.

Post-Cold War American Diplomatic History. See Colloquium 18.

Second semester. Professors Levin and Machala.

American Diplomacy in the Middle East from the Second World War to the Iraq War. See Colloquium 19.

Omitted 2007-08. Professors Levin and Machala.

Industrial Organization. See Economics 24.

Second semester. Professor TBA.

Economic History of the United States, 1600-1860. See Economics 28.

First semester. Professor Barbezat.

Economic History of the United States, 1865-1965. See Economics 29.

Second semester. Professor Barbezat.

Current Issues in the United States’ Economy. See Economics 30.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Barbezat.

American Renaissance. See English 01, section 01.

First semester. Professor Guttmann.

Reading Historically. See English 05.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Sánchez-Eppler.

American Literature in the Making: Colonies, Empires, and a New Republic. See English 10, section 01.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor O’Connell.

American Literature in the Making: Nineteenth Century to the Civil War. See English 10, section 02.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor O’Connell.

American Literature in the Making: The Twentieth Century, 1900-1941. See English 10, section 03.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor O’Connell.

American Literature in the Making: The Twentieth Century, 1942-2000. See English 10, section 04.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor O’Connell.

Reading Popular Culture. See English 13 (also Women’s and Gender Studies 28).

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Parham.

Modern British and American Poetry, 1900-1950. See English 45.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Pritchard.

Four African American Poets Haunted by History. See English 56 (also Black Studies 60).

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Rushing.

Studies in American Literature. See English 61.

Omitted 2007-08.

Studies in Nineteenth-Century American Literature. See English 62.

Omitted 2007-08.

Realism and Modernism. See English 64.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Townsend.

Studies in African American Literature. See English 66 (also Black Studies 39).

First semester. Professor Parham.

Democracy and Education. See English 68.

Second semester. Professor O’Connell.

Racial Passing in Literature and Film. See English 69.

Second semester. Professor Parham.

“This New Yet Unapproachable America”: A Survey of Asian American Writing. See English 73.

Omitted 2006-07. Professor O’Connell.

Expatriate Poets. See English 94.

Omitted 2006-07. Writer-in-Residence Hall.

Faulkner and Morrison. See English 95, section 03.

First semester. Professor Parham.

Emily Dickinson. See English 95, section 04.

First semester. Professor Sánchez-Eppler.

Willa Cather. See English 95, section 01.

Second semester. Professor Barale.

Americans in Paris. See English 95, section 02.

Second semester. Professor Guttmann.

Memory, Haunting, and Migration in Contemporary American Novels by Women. See English 95, section 03.

Second semester. Professor Parham.

American Art and Architecture, 1600 to Present. See Fine Arts 37.

Second semester. Professor Clark.

Museums and Society. See Fine Arts 80.

First semester. Professors Clark and Morse.

Colonial North America. See History 08.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Sweeney.

Nineteenth-Century America. See History 09.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Saxton.

Twentieth-Century America. See History 10.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Couvares.

Material Culture of American Homes. See History 37.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Sweeney.

The Era of the American Revolution. See History 38.

Second semester. Professor Sweeney.

Native American Histories. See History 39.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Sweeney.

The Old South, 1607-1876. See History 44.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Saxton.

Women’s History, America: 1607-1865. See History 45 (also Women’s and Gender Studies 63).

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Saxton.

Women’s History, America: 1865 to Present. See History 46 (Also Women’s and Gender Studies 64).

Second semester. Professor Saxton.

Women and Politics in Twentieth-Century America. See History 47 (also Women’s and Gender Studies 67).

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Saxton.

American Diplomacy I. See History 49 (also Political Science 36).

Omitted 2007-08. Professors Levin and Machala.

American Diplomacy II. See History 50.

Omitted 2007-08. Professors Levin and Machala.

American Diplomacy III. See History 51.

First semester. Professor Levin.

Science and Society in Modern America. See History 68.

Second semester. Professor Servos.

Public History in the United States. See History 69.

Second semester. Professor Sandweiss.

Topics in African-American History: Slavery and American Imagination. See History 82 (also Black Studies 67).

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Moss.

Topics in African-American History: Race and Educational Opportunity in America. See History 82 (also Black Studies 67).

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Moss.

Seminar in U.S. Cultural History. See History 84.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Couvares.

Seminar in Western American History. See History 85.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Sandweiss.

Visual Culture and American History. See History 86.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Sandweiss.

Seminar on Race and Nation in the U.S.-Mexican Borderland. See History 87.

First semester. Professor López.

Seminar on the “Wonder Drugs” and Modern Medicine. See History 94.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Servos.

The Social Organization of Law. See Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought 01 (also Political Science 18).

First semester. Professor Sarat.

Legal Institutions and Democratic Practice. See Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought 03.

Second semester. Professor Douglas.

Law and Political Emergency. See Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought 04.

First semester. Professor Hussain.

Race, Place, and the Law. See Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought 05 (also Black Studies 71).

First semester. Visiting Professor Delaney.

The Trial. See Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought 07.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Umphrey.

The State and the Accused. See Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought 21.

First semester. Professor Douglas.

Law, Speech, and the Politics of Freedom. See Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought 30.

Second semester. Professor Umphrey.

Social Movements and Social Change. See Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought 31.

Second semester. Visiting Professor Delaney.

Law’s History. See Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought 43.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Umphrey.

Twentieth-Century American Legal Theory. See Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought 50.

Omitted 2007-08. Visiting Professor Delaney.

Political Obligations. See Political Science 12.

Second semester. Professor Arkes.

American Politics/Foreign Policy. See Political Science 30.

Second semester. Professor Machala.

The American Founding. See Political Science 37.

Second semester. Professor Arkes.

The American Constitution I: The Structure of Rights. See Political Science 41.

First semester. Professor Arkes.

The American Constitution II: Federalism, Privacy and “Equal Protection of the Laws.” See Political Science 42.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Arkes.

Norms, Rights, and Social Justice: Feminists, Disability Rights Activists and the Poor at the Boundaries of the Law. See Political Science 74 (also Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought 74).

First semester. Professor Bumiller.

Religion in the United States. See Religion 19.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Wills.

Sociology of Family. See Sociology 21.

Second semester. Visiting Lecturer Souza.

Conceptualizing White Identity in the United States. See Sociology 31.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Basler.

Thinking Differently about Culture. See Sociology 32.

Second semester. Professor Lembo.

Social Class. See Sociology 34.

First semester. Professor Lembo.

Social Construction of Nature. See Sociology 40.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Dizard.

The American Right. See Sociology 41.

First semester. Professor Himmelstein.

Sport and Society. See Sociology 44.

Second semester. Professor Guttmann.

Latino Identity in the United States: Continuity and Complexity. See Sociology 45.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Basler.

The Sounds of Spanglish. See Spanish 82.

Omitted 2007-08. Professor Stavans.

Twentieth-Century American Dance: Sixties Vanguard to Nineties Hip-Hop. See Theater and Dance 24.

Second semester. Professor TBA.

Contemporary American Drama. See Theater and Dance 28.

First semester. Professor Mukasa.

Gender Labor. See Women’s and Gender Studies 24.

Second semester. Professors Barale and Olver.

Representing Domestic Violence. See Women’s and Gender Studies 53 (also Political Science 53).

Omitted 2007-08. Professors Bumiller and Sánchez-Eppler.