Current Courses → Place Courses

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Fall 2017

Place Courses

American Studies 102 California, the West, and the World: From Gold and Guano to Google and the New Gilded Age
  • TTh 9:30-11
  • M. Brilliant
  • 2060 VLSB
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 12350
Room-shared with History 128AC

 This course surveys the history of California and the American West from the mid-nineteenth century to the dawn of the twenty-first century. It will situate this state and regional history within the relevant currents of global history, which have profoundly shaped and been shaped by California and the American West. We will pay particular heed to those elements of Californian and western history that are typically associated with the state’s and region’s distinctiveness as a shifting region on the national map, potent and protean symbol in the national (and, often, international) imagination, and catalyst of world historical developments from the Gold Rush and the global guano trade it sparked in the mid-nineteenth century, to the rise of Hollywood in the early twentieth century, to the development and deployment of atomic weapons in the mid-twentieth century, to the emergence of Silicon Valley technological innovation and New Gilded Age income polarization in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

American Studies 102 Writing on the Walls
  • F 9-12
  • A. Shanken
  • 270 Wurster
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 46611
Cross-listed with Architecture 179


We all pass by ugly buildings everyday, often in silent, unconscious protest, or register beautiful ones fleetingly, alas, through a windshield. This turning away leaves us unprepared to judge, and more importantly, to demand better. Yet architecture is the most public of arts. We all use it everyday and this makes us all arbiters of it. The course aims to empower students to seek out their own critical voices in writing about their surroundings. It will help students sharpen their eye and to show them how to lay out plainly, but with sophistication, the ramifications of various kinds of interventions in the built environment. The campus will be the course's quarry. Students will tour Berkeley's buildings and landscape and read them against both architectural criticism and essays by authors such as John McPhee, John Updike, Christopher Hitchens, Sue Allison, Wendell Berry, and Patricia Hampl. 

American Studies C 111 E New Orleans
  • TTh 2:30-3
  • B. Wagner
  • 140 Barrows
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 46298
Cross-listed with English C136

 We will consider the representation of New Orleans in four related formats: (1) historical monograph, (2) folklore collection, (3) jazz autobiography, and (4) cinematic documentary. Our premise is that New Orleans is stranger than fiction. Weekly writing, two essays, two midterm exams, final exam.

American Studies C 171 The American Designed Landscape since 1850
  • TTh 2-330
  • L. Mozingo
  • 88 Dwinelle
  • 3 Units
  • Class Number: 12404
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.