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AMSTUD 63N: The Feminist Critique: The History and Politics of Gender Equality (CSRE 63N, FEMGEN 63N, HISTORY 63N)

This course explores the long history of ideas about gender and equality. Each week we read, dissect, compare, and critique a set of primary historical documents (political and literary) from around the world, moving from the 15th century to the present. We tease out changing arguments about education, the body, sexuality, violence, labor, politics, and the very meaning of gender, and we place feminist critics within national and global political contexts.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-SI
Instructors: Freedman, E. (PI)

AMSTUD 68N: Mark Twain and American Culture (ENGLISH 68N)

Preference to freshmen. Mark Twain defined the rhythms of our prose and the contours of our moral map. He recognized our extravagant promise and stunning failures, our comic foibles and  tragic flaws. He is viewed as the most American of American authors--and as one of the most universal. How does his work illuminate his society's (and our society's) responses to such issues as race, gender, technology, heredity vs. environment, religion, education, art, imperialism, animal welfare, and what it means to be "American"?
Last offered: Autumn 2018 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

AMSTUD 75N: American Short Stories (ENGLISH 75N)

How and why did the short story take root and flourish in an American context? Early works of classic American literature read alongside stories by women and minority writers, stretching from the early nineteenth century to the contemporary period.
Last offered: Autumn 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

AMSTUD 93: Food and Popular Culture

This course introduces students to the social history, political economy and aesthetics of eating in America, paying particular attention to representations of food in popular culture over the last hundred years. Though firmly grounded in American Studies, an interdisciplinary perspective draws from the material and methods of anthropology, cultural studies, art history, and history. Topics include the California citrus industry, competitive eating, food art, utopias, and edible landscapes. Students will actively engage with primary sources including cookbooks, paintings and art installations, diet books, TV shows, film, and advertisements.
Last offered: Winter 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

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.
Last offered: Spring 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

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.
Last offered: Spring 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

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 Adrian Piper, 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?
Last offered: Autumn 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

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.
Last offered: Winter 2018 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

AMSTUD 109Q: American Road Trips (HISTORY 69Q)

"Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road." --Jack Kerouac, On the Road, 1957. From Jack Kerouac's On the Road to Cheryl Strayed's Wild, this course explores epic road trips of the twentieth century. Travel is a fundamental social and cultural practice through which Americans have constructed ideas about the self, the nation, the past, and the future. The open road, as it is often called, offered excitement, great adventure, and the space for family bonding and memory making. But the footloose and fancy-free nature of travel that Jack Kerouac celebrated was available to some travelers but not to all. Engaging historical and literary texts, film, autobiography, memoir, photography, and music, we will consider the ways that travel and road trips have been represented in American culture. This course examines the following questions: How did men and women experience travel differently? How did the motivations for travel change over time? What role did race, ethnicity, class, relationships, and sexuality play in these trips? Students will work together to plan a road trip of their own which the class will take during the quarter.
Last offered: Autumn 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED

AMSTUD 114X: Reading Comics (FILMSTUD 114, FILMSTUD 314)

The modern medium of comics, a history that spans 150 years. The flexibility of the medium encountered through the genres of humorous and dramatic comic strips, superheroes, undergrounds, independents, journalism, and autobiography. Innovative creators including McCay, Kirby, Barry, Ware, and critical writings including McCloud, Eisner, Groenstee. Topics include text/image relations, panel-to-panel relations, the page, caricature, sequence, seriality, comics in the context of the fine arts, and relations to other media.
Last offered: Autumn 2018 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
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