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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, last offered Spring 2017 | 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: not given this year, last offered Spring 2018 | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-AmerCul, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

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?
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: not given this year, last offered Winter 2018 | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

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.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2017 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

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.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Bukatman, S. (PI)

AMSTUD 117: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Contemporary American Film (AFRICAAM 117J, CSRE 117D, FEMGEN 117F)

This course introduces students to the theoretical and analytical frameworks necessary to critically understand constructions of race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary American film. Through a sustained engagement with a range of independent and Hollywood films produced since the 1990s, students analyze the ways that cinematic representations have both reflected and constructed dominant notions of race, gender, and sexuality in the United States. Utilizing an intersectional framework that sees race, gender, and sexuality as always defined by one another, the course examines the ways that dominant notions of difference have been maintained and contested through film in the United States. Films to be discussed include Better Luck Tomorrow, La La Land, Mosquita y Mari, Get Out, and Moonlight.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Gow, W. (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, last offered Spring 2017 | 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 124B: European and North African Visions of the American West (COMPLIT 124B, DLCL 124B)

This course is an interdisciplinary investigation of the rewriting of the American West in the Mediterranean context through the transnational lenses of filmmakers and artists of diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds, through primarily cinema, but also graphic novels, novels, and murals. How do these films and novels adopt and adapt the Western genre? How do these artistic endeavors tell us about the enduring aura and stereotypes of the American West mythology? Films: Jacques Audiard, The Sisters Brothers, Sergio Leone, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, David Oelhoffen, Far From Men, Karl May, Winnetou, Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist, Agnès Varda, Mur murs. Special guest: photographer/street artist JR. Readings: Mark Twain, Joan Didion, Romain Gary.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Ulloa, M. (PI)
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