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AMERICAN STUDIES

AMST-320 American Cultural History Course Level: Undergraduate

American Cultural History (3) Topics vary by section. Courses explore political and economic affairs, international relations, social change, literature, drama, music, and fine and popular arts in American history. Usually Offered: fall and spring. Repeatable for credit with different topic.

AMST-320-001
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Civil Rights in the U.S.
Civil Rights in the United States (3) In this course students explore the history of civil rights movements in the United States from the nineteenth century to the present, including those in support of labor rights, freedom of thought and expression, and reproductive rights, and those opposed to discrimination based on race, gender, and sexual orientation. They learn about the actors involved in specific rights movements, and the strategies and tactics used by supporters and opponents to advance their causes. Students use specific historical and contemporary examples to discuss broader issues central to the civil rights of U.S. citizens, including the philosophical, legal, and social foundations of those rights, where those rights are and should be circumscribed (if at all), and how citizens can secure them.
AMST-320-002
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Slavery in the Americas
Slavery in the Americas (3) For nearly 400 years, chattel slavery dominated the life, culture, and economy of the Americas and set into motion patterns of racism and inequality that continue to thrive in new forms. This survey course focuses on the experiences of the African diaspora within the Americas to explore the rise and demise of chattel slavery within the context of the Atlantic world. The course examines what accounts for the origins and continuity of this institution, who benefited from it, how slavery created new ideas about race, what it was like to live in a slave society, and how the enslaved fought for freedom, while creating new cultures within the boundaries of slavery. The course proceeds chronologically and thematically to examine four major themes: the origins of plantation slavery, major slave revolts and rebellions (including the Haitian Revolution), comparisons of daily life and resistance, and how the enslaved envisioned emancipation. Students read a variety of primary and secondary sources to understand the experiences of enslaved men, women, and children and also explore how the institution shaped law, politics, empire, gender roles, and ideas about freedom. Meets with AFAM-396 001 HIST-305 001.
AMST-320-003
Term: Fall 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: American Victorian Culture
American Victorian Culture (3) This course explores a diverse range of cultural phenomena in the nineteenth-century United States, reflecting on how clothes, interior design, child rearing philosophies, nutritional advice, travel literature, and pets can shape society and politics. Meets with HIST-396 003.
AMST-320-001
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: U.S. Through Foreign Eyes
U.S. Through Foreign Eyes (3) Since its inception, the United States has been the subject of celebration, inspiration, and condemnation from those living outside its borders. This course uses a wide variety of primary sources to explore how the United States has tried to project itself abroad, as well as how a variety of commentators, e.g., journalists, heads of states, intellectuals, migrants, and minorities in other countries, have responded to the United States at different times.
AMST-320-002
Term: Spring 2018 Regular Term
Course Level: Undergraduate
Section Title: Kendrick: Black Men & Hip-Hop
Kendrick: Black Men and Hip-Hop in U.S. Popular Culture (3) Rapper Kendrick Lamar's 2015 album To Pimp a Butterfly and his 2017 album Damn have been herald by some as two of the best hip-hop albums in the last decade. Both offer scathing critiques of anti-black racism, mass incarceration, extrajudicial killings of black men, and the continued devaluation in American popular culture of the bodies of black people. This course pairs Kendrick Lamar's body of work with contemporary hip-hop studies to engage with issues Lamar's work inspires including black radical thought, representations of black femininity/masculinity in American popular culture, black sexual politics, and the effects of drugs, poverty, and mass incarceration on American ways of life. Students learn and apply key theories in cultural studies related to race, gender, and sexuality as well as their intersections, and examine how black men and hip-hop have been situated in American popular culture over the past century.