Fall Courses

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Fall 2018

Introductory Courses

American Studies 10 Introduction to American Studies: Everyday America
  • TTh 12:30-2
  • C. Palmer
  • 2 LeConte
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 24244
Section 1 - M 2-3, 245 Hearst Gym
Section 2 - T 11-12, 245 Hearst Gym
Section 3 - Th 11-12, 245 Hearst Gym
Section 1 - W 4-5, 245 Hearst Gym

This course will examine significant aspects of the everyday and the ordinary in American life. Through the analysis of multiple forms--from front porches to closets, from board games to playgrounds, from the remembered South to the end of the world, from the mixtape to the music video--this course provides an introduction to and a “toolkit” for the interdisciplinary study of American Culture.

Building on concepts and methods of inquiry which “define” American Studies, this course will emphasize analyzing cultural meaning, knowledge, and values through the examination of a variety of cultural situations and productions--including the values, patterns of behavior, and even objects that most of us take for granted--in order to explore how individuals, groups, and institutions interact through the different ways they give “meaning” to experience. Through close reading of diverse texts, we will work towards developing an approach that enables us to analyze critically the process involved in the ongoing creation, maintenance and transmission of cultural meaning in American society. A student’s goal in this course is to learn close reading, critical thinking, and writing skills that will enable them to be self-conscious and thoughtful investigator of American culture.

Time Courses

American Studies 101 The Teen Age
  • MW 10-12
  • C. Palmer
  • 131 Campbell
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 24246

This course explores both the invention of the teenager and the significance of teen culture in the United States after the Second World War.  Among the topics addressed in the course will be identity, age-sets, social networks and high school hierarchy, juvenile delinquency, the concept of cool, consumerism, representation, and teen idols.  We will examine a variety of teen texts drawn from film, television, music, narrative and graphic fiction, and social engineering textbooks.  Our task in this class is to figure out how people have represented and responded to teenagers in the United States.  How has the American teenager been understood and commercialized?  What has been the cultural impact of the American teenager?  How do people explain social fascination with high school, the senior prom, adolescent angst, teen fashions, and youth culture?  What metaphors have been most often attached to the teenager in the United States?  How does American adolescence prescribe as well as challenge American adulthood?  How has the American teenager been made exciting, appealing, dangerous, or everyday?  By studying the experiences, culture, and representation of American teenagers, and the cultural forms created for them and by them, we will consider specific moments of meaning-making and the long-term development of generational discourse.

American Studies 101 The Birth of Consumer Society
  • MW 4-6
  • K. Moran
  • 106 Etcheverry
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 20444

This course will examine the period beginning in the 1880’s until WWI when “modern consumer society” emerged in the US. We will also engage the theoretical debate about the usefulness of the concept of consumerism to our understanding of modernization and modernism. Our topics will include the turn of the century world’s fairs, shopping and the rise of department stores, the emergence of mass-market catalogues and magazines and the nature of modern visual culture. Throughout the course we will examine the way advertising reflected and constructed ideas about citizenship, gender and race norms, and generational transformation in our period. 

History of Art 190 G Course Number TBA - The Transatlantic Gilded Age and Its Discontents
  • TTh 12:30 - 2:00
  • M. Lovell
  • 106 Moffitt
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 32602
1 hour section TBA
This course considers the linked arts of the United States, England, and France in the period between 1865 and 1918 looking at specific case study artists, structures, social movements, and literary works. We will focus on the arts and institutions endorsed by the wealthy and, equally, works of art and literature designed to critique and correct the architecture, manners, and activities of the era's transatlantic elite.

Place Courses

American Studies 102 The City of Angels
  • TTh 3:30-5
  • K. Moran
  • 2 LeConte
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 32310

In this course we will examine "Los Angeles" from a number of disciplinary perspectives.  We will consider Los Angeles as a geographical/social space, focusing on such issues as landscape, water, and traffic. We will also discuss Los Angeles as political and cultural space defined by various race, ethnic and class relationships, and we will  consider some comparative studies of the politics of missionization and of LA riots/uprisings.  We will read some examples of popular LA literature and consider arguments about Los Angeles as "postmodern."  We will also attempt to "map" LA as a fantasy space by discussing several Hollywood films.  We will end the course with a "tour" of LA's "exopolis"-- Disneyland and Orange County.

American Studies 102 Hands on the Vines: The California Wine Industry
  • TuTh 2-3:30
  • A. Saragoza
  • 12 Haviland
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 25771

This course examines the California wine industry and the people involved in its production, emphasizing those who do the actual labor, from grape pickers and cellar masters to the vineyard managers and winemakers. The course emphasizes the period since the famous wine tasting competition between California and French wines in 1976, which marks the onset of the “boom” in wine consumption in the U.S. The course takes into account social and cultural trends that impact on the wine industry as well as other key attendant issues: immigrant labor, foreign competition, styles of wine making, and the multiplier effects of the industry, e.g., wine tourism. The course features field trips and guest lectures by farm workers, vineyard managers, wine makers, and winery owners.

American Studies C 171 The American Designed Landscape since 1850
  • TTh 2-330
  • Lecturer -- TBA
  • 191 Wurster
  • 3 Units
  • Class Number: 20498
Cross-listed with Landscape Architecture C171

This course surveys the history of American landscape architecture since 1850 including the rise of the public parks movement, the development of park systems, the establishment of the national parks, the landscape of the Progressive Era, suburbs, and the modernist landscape.  The survey encompasses urban open spaces, conservation landscapes, urban design, environmental planning, and gardens.  It reviews the cultural and social contexts which have shaped and informed landscape architecture in the United States since the advent of the public parks movement, as well as the aesthetic precepts, environmental concerns, horticultural practices, and technological innovations of American landscapes.

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

American Studies 101 The Birth of Consumer Society
  • MW 4-6
  • K. Moran
  • 106 Etcheverry
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 20444

This course will examine the period beginning in the 1880’s until WWI when “modern consumer society” emerged in the US. We will also engage the theoretical debate about the usefulness of the concept of consumerism to our understanding of modernization and modernism. Our topics will include the turn of the century world’s fairs, shopping and the rise of department stores, the emergence of mass-market catalogues and magazines and the nature of modern visual culture. Throughout the course we will examine the way advertising reflected and constructed ideas about citizenship, gender and race norms, and generational transformation in our period. 

History of Art 190 G Course Number TBA - The Transatlantic Gilded Age and Its Discontents
  • TTh 12:30 - 2:00
  • M. Lovell
  • 106 Moffitt
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 32602
1 hour section TBA
This course considers the linked arts of the United States, England, and France in the period between 1865 and 1918 looking at specific case study artists, structures, social movements, and literary works. We will focus on the arts and institutions endorsed by the wealthy and, equally, works of art and literature designed to critique and correct the architecture, manners, and activities of the era's transatlantic elite.

Senior Thesis Seminars

American Studies 191 Senior Thesis Seminar
  • Th 2-4
  • C. Palmer
  • 115 Kroeber
  • 4
  • Class Number: 15233
American Studies 191 Senior Thesis Seminar
  • M 4-6
  • TBA
  • 262 Dwinelle
  • 4
  • Class Number: 15234
American Studies H 195 Senior Honors Thesis Seminar
  • W 2-4
  • M . Cohen
  • 115 Kroeber
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: See Faculty Advisor

***NOTE: In order to receive honors in American Studies, a student must have an overall GPA of 3.51, and a GPA of 3.65 for all courses taken in completion of the major (upper and lower division).   Students should discuss with their major faculty adviser the preparation of a bibliography and a brief description of their proposed honors thesis and their eligibility to enroll in honors, based on GPA, the semester before they plan to enroll in H195.  They also must secure a faculty adviser from an appropriate field who will agree to direct the honors thesis (the "honors thesis adviser").  THE FACULTY ADVISER’S AGREEMENT MUST BE SUBMITTED TO COURSE INSTRUCTOR NO LATER THAN THE 2ND WEEK OF CLASSES.  

Special Courses of Interest

American Studies C 152 Native American Literature
  • MW 12-2
  • B. Piatote
  • 223 Dwinelle
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 15231
Cross-listed with Native American Studies C152

An analysis of the written and oral tradition developed by Native Americans. Emphasis will be placed on a multifaceted approach (aesthetic, linguistic, psychological, historical, and cultural) in examining American Indian literature.

History 100 D Calculating Americans
  • TTh 11-12:30
  • C. Rosenthal
  • 170 Barrows
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 31137
Section 101 – W 8-9, 251 Dwinelle
Section 102 – W 9-10, 106 Wheeler

The data we collect both reflects our values and shapes them, constraining and defining the questions we ask about our society. This course will use a series of case studies from the history of American data to examine a wide array of political, economic, and cultural issues. We will explore the ways that categories, units of analysis, and practices of instruction and collection both reflect and reshape assumptions about race, gender, labor, and household structure. We will also experiment with the many ways we can use quantitative documents to learn about the past—both through close reading and through aggregation and statistical analysis. Case studies will be drawn from the colonial period to the present.

History 125 B African-American History, 1861-1980
  • TTh 2-3:30
  • W. Martin
  • 170 Barrows
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 31142
Section 101 – W 8-9, 254 Dwinelle
Section 102 - W 9-10, 2030 Valley Life Sciences

This course will examine the history of African Americans and ethno-racial relations from the Civil War and Emancipation (1861-1865) to the modern African American Freedom Struggle (1954-1972). Social, cultural, economic, and political developments will be emphasized. Topics to be covered include: Black Reconstruction; black life and labor in the New South; leadership; class; gender; Jim Crow