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AMSTUD 94: Topics in Food Studies

This course examines food in the United States over the last hundred years as it relates to the broad themes of nature, disease, technology, and labor. Though firmly grounded in American Studies, an interdisciplinary perspective draws from the material and methods of anthropology, cultural studies, art history, and history. Specific topics include diet-related disease, tipping and the subminimum wage, the concept of agrarian democracy, supermarkets, and food preservation. Creative assignments include writing a menu, conducting a food observation, and reviewing a restaurant. Students will actively engage with paintings, sculpture, film, advertisements, restaurant reviews, commercials, and music videos.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

AMSTUD 95: Consumer Culture

This course will examine consumerism in the United States, first focusing on the rise of advertising, mass market goods, catalogues, and department stores at the turn of the 20th century. We will then examine post-WWII suburbia and the rise of the "good life" and the ensuing backlash in 1960s counterculture anti-consumerist movements. Our topics will include the annual no-shopping day, back to nature movements, urban homesteading, thrift, slow food activism, and the efforts to resist mass production in food, clothing, and housing. Sources include novels, films, magazines, music, and advertisements.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

AMSTUD 101: Black & White Race Relations in American Fiction & Film (AFRICAAM 101, CSRE 41)

Movies and the fiction that inspires them; power dynamics behind production including historical events, artistic vision, politics, and racial stereotypes. What images of black and white does Hollywood produce to forge a national identity? How do films promote equality between the races? What is lost or gained in film adaptations of books? NOTE: Students must attend the first day; admission to the class will be determined based on an in class essay.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Mesa, C. (PI)

AMSTUD 102: Art and Social Criticism (AFRICAAM 102B, ARTHIST 162B, CSRE 102A, FEMGEN 102)

Visual artists have long been in the forefront of social criticism in America. Since the 1960s, various visual strategies have helped emergent progressive political movements articulate and represent complex social issues. Which artists and particular art works/projects have become key anchors for discourses on racism, sexism, economic and social inequality, immigrant rights and climate change? We will learn about a spectrum of political art designed to raise social awareness, spark social change and rouse protest. The Art Workers Coalition¿s agit-prop opposing the Vietnam War and ACT-UP¿s emblematic signs and symbols during the AIDS/HIV crisis of the 1980s galvanized a generation into action. Works such as Judy Chicago¿s The Dinner Party (1979), Fred Wilson¿s Mining the Museum (1992), and Glenn Ligon¿s paintings appropriating fragments from African-American literature all raised awareness by excavating historical evidence of the long legacy resisting marginalization. For three decades more »
Visual artists have long been in the forefront of social criticism in America. Since the 1960s, various visual strategies have helped emergent progressive political movements articulate and represent complex social issues. Which artists and particular art works/projects have become key anchors for discourses on racism, sexism, economic and social inequality, immigrant rights and climate change? We will learn about a spectrum of political art designed to raise social awareness, spark social change and rouse protest. The Art Workers Coalition¿s agit-prop opposing the Vietnam War and ACT-UP¿s emblematic signs and symbols during the AIDS/HIV crisis of the 1980s galvanized a generation into action. Works such as Judy Chicago¿s The Dinner Party (1979), Fred Wilson¿s Mining the Museum (1992), and Glenn Ligon¿s paintings appropriating fragments from African-American literature all raised awareness by excavating historical evidence of the long legacy resisting marginalization. For three decades feminist artists Barbara Kruger and the Guerilla Girls have combined institutional critique and direct address into a provocative form of criticality. Recent art for social justice is reaching ever broadening publics by redrawing the role of artist and audience exemplified by the democratization of poster making and internet campaigns of Occupy and the Movement for Black Lives. We will also consider the collective aesthetic activisms in the Post-Occupy era including Global Ultra Luxury Faction, Climate Justice art projects, and the visual culture of Trump era mass protests. Why are each of these examples successful as influential and enduring markers of social criticism? What have these socially responsive practices contributed to our understanding of American history?
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Hertz, B. (PI)

AMSTUD 104: AMERICA AT PLAY: A HISTORY OF LEISURE IN THE UNITED STATES

What we call "free time" is actually the product of multiple constraints, from economics and gender roles, to trends, moral strictures, and more. This course studies leisure to explore American culture from the late 19th century to the present. We consider, for instance, how new forms of entertainment, such as movies and iPods, altered notions of community and ideals of personal expression. For historical context, the class draws upon popular and critical sources, conversations with guests, and hands-on activities.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Haring, K. (PI)

AMSTUD 117R: Christianity in 21st-century America (RELIGST 117)

As the largest religion practiced in the United States, Christianity not only shapes the lives of a large number of its citizens but also impinges on public discourse, policies, and debates. This course investigates the ways in which Christianity in America is changing and what these changes bode for its role in the public and private spheres. Issues include shifting demographics lead to declining numbers in 'mainline' denominations; the polarization of Christian conservatives and religious 'nones'; interfaith toleration and cooperation alongside interreligious conflict; the rise of 'spiritual, not religious' young adults; the effects of immigration; religion and science.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

AMSTUD 124A: The American West (ARTHIST 152, ENGLISH 124, HISTORY 151, POLISCI 124A)

The American West is characterized by frontier mythology, vast distances, marked aridity, and unique political and economic characteristics. This course integrates several disciplinary perspectives into a comprehensive examination of Western North America: its history, physical geography, climate, literature, art, film, institutions, politics, demography, economy, and continuing policy challenges. Students examine themes fundamental to understanding the region: time, space, water, peoples, and boom and bust cycles.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-SI | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

AMSTUD 127: American Style and the Rhetoric of Fashion (ARTHIST 165B, FILMSTUD 165B)

Focus on the visual culture of fashion, especially in an American context. Topics include: the representation of fashion in different visual media (prints, photographs, films, window displays, and digital images); the relationship of fashion to its historical context and American culture; the interplay between fashion and other modes of discourse, in particular art, but also performance, music, economics; and the use of fashion as an expression of social status, identity, and other attributes of the wearer. Texts by Thorstein Veblen, Roland Barthes, Dick Hebdige, and other theorists of fashion.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

AMSTUD 132: American Art and Culture, 1528-1910 (ARTHIST 132, ARTHIST 332)

The visual arts and literature of the U.S. from the beginnings of European exploration to the Civil War. Focus is on questions of power and its relation to culture from early Spanish exploration to the rise of the middle classes. Cabeza de Vaca, Benjamin Franklin, John Singleton Copley, Phillis Wheatley, Charles Willson Peale, Emerson, Hudson River School, American Genre painters, Melville, Hawthorne and others.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2013 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

AMSTUD 133: Technology and American Visual Culture (FILMSTUD 133B)

An exploration of the dynamic relationship between technology and the ways we see and represent the world, with a focus on American visual culture from the 19th century through the present. We study the history of different tools from telescopes and microscopes to digital detectors that have changed and enhanced our visual capabilities; the way technological shifts, such as the introduction of electric lights or train travel, have shaped our visual imagination and aesthetic sensibilities; and how technology has inspired or responded to visual art. Special attention is paid to how different media, such as photography, cinema, and computer screens, translate the visual experience into a representation; the automation of vision; and the intersection of technology with notions of time and space.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Kessler, E. (PI)
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