AMERICAN STUDIES

AMST-296
Selected Topics: Non-recurring (1-6)

Course Level: Undergraduate

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic.

AMST-296
001
AMERICAN STUDIES
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Selected Topics: Non-recurring (1-6)

Explore Washington, D.C.'s Music Scene

Washington, D.C. has been home to many prominent musical genres, such as bluegrass, jazz, house-dance, and go-go. This course introduces students to the diverse musical scene of Washington D.C., and reflects the broader history of race in D.C. in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Topics explored include the 1968 race riots, the birth of black-owned music businesses, gentrification, 1980s nightclub culture, and the world of music criticism. The class explores the lives and artistry of many key figures such as Chuck Brown, Experience Unlimited, Rare Essence, and Trouble Funk. The course features lectures, class discussions, documentaries, guest speakers, and excursions.

AMST-296
002
AMERICAN STUDIES
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Selected Topics: Non-recurring (1-6)

Death Penalty and American Culture

In this course students learn the history of the death penalty and consider the legal, political, ethical, medical and moral issues which relate to the imposition of capital punishment and the method of executions. Recent cases and developments in the death penalty as well as the historical, philosophical, and fairness issues surrounding capital punishment are considered. Students look at the edited case files of people who were sentenced to death, including the facts of the crimes for which they were accused, their trials, punishment phases, appeals and the circumstances around their executions.

AMST-296
001
AMERICAN STUDIES
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Selected Topics: Non-recurring (1-6)

Vampire Narratives

For almost two hundred years, vampire narratives have served as projection surfaces for cultural angst and fears of social change. Using these narratives as a magnifying glass, this course investigates how vampires have been used to negotiate immigration and xenophobia, women's suffrage, fear of miscegenation, the Cold War, homophobia, and AIDS. The class considers what aims the contemporary obsession with vampire narratives serves and what it reveals about today's culture. The course includes nineteenth century texts, history, silent movies, reading literature and theory, and academic analysis.