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AMERICAN STUDIES

AMST-340
Community Activism and Regional Studies (3)

Course Level: Undergraduate

Topics vary by section, may be repeated for credit with different topic. Explores the contemporary and historical development of Washington D.C. and the Chesapeake region; or invites students to interact with communities and the environment in the area. Usually offered every term.

AMST-340
001CB
AMERICAN STUDIES
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Community Activism and Regional Studies (3)

Mapping Washington, D.C.

In this course students reconsider how Washington, D.C., as a city inhabited and traversed by various types of communities and persons, can be visualized and understood in radically different ways. Specifically, the course attends to issues of human geography and mapping through issues of space and place, belonging, gentrification, race, class, gender, and sexuality. The class explores these elements through discussions and films, guest speakers, off-campus explorations of D.C., and primary data collection through interviews and personal map production.

AMST-340
002
AMERICAN STUDIES
SPRING 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Community Activism and Regional Studies (3)

Activism and Social Media

The growth of social media has dramatically changed how people communicate, collaborate, and mobilize, thereby transforming political and social activism. These changes have profoundly impacted American culture, fundraising, lobbying, and politics. This course examines the interplay between activism and social media through academic texts, online resources, case studies, videos, guest lectures, and field trips. Issues covered include abortion, the economy, the environment, feminism, immigration, military actions, and same-sex marriage.

AMST-340
001
AMERICAN STUDIES
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Community Activism and Regional Studies (3)

Black Humor

The subject of this course is the pun of its title. It is about the stakes of the racially self-critical satire and parody practiced to great mainstream success by such post-civil-rights era African American literary artists as Danzy Senna, Thomas Sayers Ellis, Percival Everett, and Kara Walker. The course considers the ways in which these literary practices profit from the social darkness of exclusion, pursue the transgressive social force of laughing from the margins, and rework the tropes, stereotypes, and social stigmas of oppression to do so. Students locate these literary practices both in the history of African American humor (blues music, blackface minstrelsy and Richard Pryor) and alongside such contemporary popular practices as that of Dave Chappelle, Aaron Magruder, and Key & Peele. Meets with LIT-381 001.

AMST-340
002
AMERICAN STUDIES
FALL 2015

Course Level: Undergraduate

Community Activism and Regional Studies (3)

Latino Comm of DC Metro Area

This course takes an in-depth look at the local Latino community, numbering about 770,000 or about 13% of the population in the DC metropolitan region. Students examine the historical and political factors that brought a massive migration of Central Americans to the DC area in the 1980s and bring it forward to the current period when unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in C.A. who reached the US/Mexico border are being reunited with family members in this region. The violence they fled, their journeys, and the challenges faced locally is explored. Students analyze and research the critical issues that affect Latinos today, such as immigration status, affordable housing, educational access, employment, cultural identity and mental health issues. Through "community-based learning" (also known as "service-learning") with local nonprofit community agencies, students deepen their learning of these issues; approximately 24 hours of community engagement is expected with one local organization or school. A neighborhood visit to Mt Pleasant, guest speakers, interviews with community members, films, and cultural events further bring course content and class readings to life.