Spring Courses

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Spring 2017

Introductory Courses

American Studies 10 America, Song by Song
  • TTh 12:30-2
  • K. Moran, C. Palmer, G. Marcus
  • 180 Tan
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 12384
Section 102 Th 10-11, 141 Giannini
Section 103 M 12-1, 250 Sutardja Dai

This course uses American songs to explore history, politics, literature, culture, architecture, race relations, economics, folklore, and popular culture.  By focusing on the soundscapes of folk and popular music, we will uncover how songs and performances write the nation.  Music to be considered may include: Billie Holiday’s recording of “Strange Fruit,” Beyoncé’s Lemonade, and recordings by Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Kendrick Lamar, Marvin Gaye, Solange Knowles, and clipping. 

American Studies 110 Staging California
  • TTh 2-3:30
  • S. Steen
  • 534 Davis
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 31988

IN SPRING 2017, THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE AS 10 REQUIREMENT AND THE "PLACE" REQUIREMENT. IT CAN BE USED TO SATISFY ONE OF THESE REQUIREMENTS, BUT NOT BOTH.

This course takes our home state of California as the site through which to explore how cultural systems of performance help shape social systems of race.  We will consider the role a range of performance forms--theater, film, pageants, political protests--have played in shaping California’s unique cultural and racial topography.  From the theatricalization of Chinatown in Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song to that of urban riots in Twilight, from the staging of farmworkers' rights to the configuration of the region by Disney in its state-themed park, performance strategies have been used by a variety of agents towards a wide range of social and political goals.  We will use the histories of play productions, films, and para-theatrical performances to interrogate conceptions of California as a “post-racial” state.   

Time Courses

American Studies 101 The Golden Age of Advertising
  • MW 2-4
  • K. Moran
  • 101 Barker
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 12390

This course will examine American consumer society from the end of WWII  to the early 1970's, including the growth of advertising, car culture, television, the suburbs and youth culture.   

 

American Studies H 110 Bay Area in the 1970s
  • TTh 12:30-2
  • S. Saul
  • 371 Bancroft Library
  • 3 Units
  • Class Number: 31951

NOTE: Honors seminar. Requires consent of instructor and/or approval of faculty advisor to enroll.

This project-based course is three courses rolled into one. First, it delves into the history of the 1970s Bay Area, which was an unusually fertile cultural seedbed: so many features of contemporary life, from the cappuccinos we drink to the laptop computers we use to write and think, were incubated in it. The region was ground-zero for the technological utopianism represented by the Whole Earth Catalog and the computer clubs that produced the first desktop computer; ground-zero for the revolution in cooking known as “California cuisine”; ground-zero for new forms of spiritual practice and religious organization; ground-zero for the spread of women’s liberation, black liberation and gay liberation, and for the evolution of “movement cultures” that stood behind such new cultural forms as disco, punk, and ‘alternative comix’; and much more.

Second, the course offers students an introduction to the practice of archival research. The course will be meeting at the Bancroft Library, and students will work in collaboration with one another to explore specific archives at the Bancroft, such as the Chez Panisse Collection and the Disability Rights and Defense Fund Collection. Students will approach these collections with the open eyes of historians looking at fresh documents, and with the goal of plumbing these documents for the insights and stories that they yield.

Third, the course will give students the experience of creating a digital history project of their own. Students will work towards creating both a digital exhibition and a multi-media essay that springs out of the primary research they do. As a point of reference, students might look at Prof. Saul’s “Richard Pryor’s Peoria” at http://www.becomingrichardpryor.com or the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project at http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/.

No experience with digital humanities is required for this course, but students should be ready to engage with a course that is more collaborative and project-oriented than is customary in humanities seminars.

History 121 B The American Revolution
  • TTh 11-12:30
  • M. Peterson
  • 121 Haas Pavilion
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 32106
Section 101 – T 4-5, 130 Dwinelle
Section 102 – T 5-6, 130 Dwinelle

This course will explore the history of eastern North America and the West Indies in the second half of the 18th century, in order to determine what was "revolutionary" about this history, as well as what was not. We will, of course, examine the causes and consequences of the rebellion staged by thirteen of Britain's American colonies in the 1770s, including the makeshift construction of the United States, but we will also investigate the broader Atlantic context in which these events occurred, and consider their reverberations for places and peoples that did not voluntarily join the new United States.

 

History 122 AC Antebellum America: The Advent of Mass Society
  • TTh 3:30-5
  • D. Henkin
  • 390 Hearst Mining
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 32107

The Civil War is commonly regarded as the second American Revolution, the grand rupture after which a new modern nation came into being. But many of the institutions, ideologies, and practices that make up modern society and culture in the United States emerged more gradually during the half-century that preceded the War. To understand the origins of such contemporary phenomena as the mass media, corporate capitalism, wage labor, the two-party system, family values, and racism, we need to trace their evolution in the nineteenth century. This course examines a little over half a century of life in the United States (roughly from 1800 until the secession of the South), focusing on everyday life, popular culture, race relations, westward expansion, urbanization, class formation, religious experience, gender roles, sexuality, print communication, and competing claims to wealth, power, and the good life. Assigned readings will consist largely of first-person narratives in which women and men of varied ethnic backgrounds and cultural identities try to make sense of their own experiences against the backdrop of major social change.

Theater 114 Performance Workshop - Performing the 1960s
  • MWF 10-12
  • P. Glazer
  • 170 Zellerbach
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 23811

This class will stage a selection of significant writings of the 1960s in the US, to better grasp that profound and influential decade. The class is based on the assumption that there are few better ways to understand a piece of writing than to embody it. We will read and perform every week – developing monologues, small scenes, and ensemble pieces from the literature – working up to a final presentation we will curate from the semester’s explorations. So many of the progressive social movements of the present moment - such as Black Lives Matter, Occupy, and LGBTQ rights, to name a few - have roots in the movement culture of the 60s. We will engage with notable fiction, non-fiction and poetry from the decade. Authors will include, among others:  Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Truman Capote, Cesar Chavez, Joan Didion, Betty Friedan, Allen Ginsberg, Rodolfo Gonzales, Abbie Hoffman, Ken Kesey, Norman Mailer, Sylvia Plath, Luis Valdez, Kurt Vonnegut, Malcolm X. There is no audition required, and prior performance experience is not necessary. 

Place Courses

American Studies 102 Hands on the Vine: The California Wine Industry
  • TTh 2-3:30
  • A. Saragoza
  • 370 Dwinelle
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 12391
Cross-listed with Chicano Studies 180

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 102 What is This?! Writing About American Things
  • T 9-12
  • A. Shanken
  • 270 Wurster
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 12392

This is a small, specialized seminar course. If interested, please talk to a faculty advisor before enrolling.

The word “thing” comes from proto-Germanic words like thingam that surprisingly are about assembly, council, and discussion. Things, those inert objects we place on shelves, throw in drawers, and jettison on trash heaps, have their roots in action, communication, and space. There is no “thing” without its corresponding behavior and there is no behavior without its corresponding place. This class looks at the relationship between things, actions, communication, and place, and it does so particularly within the modern American context of production, consumption, and obsolescence. It is primarily a class in writing creative non-fiction (and reading it). Students will be asked to write short weekly essays about stuff: bricks, paper clips, bras, marbles, collectibles, junk; the places we keep them: mantles, boxes, boutiques, attics; and what they say to us and about us. The class is intended as a supportive workshop environment for students to observe closely and write incisively about the things around them.

American Studies 110 Staging California
  • TTh 2-3:30
  • S. Steen
  • 534 Davis
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 31988

IN SPRING 2017, THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE AS 10 REQUIREMENT AND THE "PLACE" REQUIREMENT. IT CAN BE USED TO SATISFY ONE OF THESE REQUIREMENTS, BUT NOT BOTH.

This course takes our home state of California as the site through which to explore how cultural systems of performance help shape social systems of race.  We will consider the role a range of performance forms--theater, film, pageants, political protests--have played in shaping California’s unique cultural and racial topography.  From the theatricalization of Chinatown in Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song to that of urban riots in Twilight, from the staging of farmworkers' rights to the configuration of the region by Disney in its state-themed park, performance strategies have been used by a variety of agents towards a wide range of social and political goals.  We will use the histories of play productions, films, and para-theatrical performances to interrogate conceptions of California as a “post-racial” state.   

American Studies H 110 The Road in American History
  • W 2-5
  • D. Henkin
  • 104 GPBB
  • 3 Units
  • Class Number: 31952

NOTE: Honors seminar. Requires consent of instructor and/or approval of faculty advisor to enroll.

This seminar takes seriously the idea that paved roads and well-worn paths have been powerful material forces in the historical formation of U.S. society, culture, and politics, while simultaneously offering resonant symbols of national identity and personal transformation throughout that history. Starting around 1800 and moving to the end of the twentieth century, we will study selected sites, moments, and artistic works that illuminate this rich topic.  Requirements include extensive reading, regular participation in discussion, and three written assignments (but no term paper or research project).

American Studies C 111 E The Field: California Farmworker Literature
  • TTh 2-3:30
  • M. Gonzalez
  • 240 Bechtel
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 32121
Cross-listed with English C136

This course will focus on the lives and struggles of Mexican farm workers in California as represented in Chicano/a literature from the 1970s to the early twentieth-first century—or roughly the period that coincides with the rise of neoliberalism as a dominant politico-economic system in Western capitalism.  We’ll consider the ways that the daily struggles and political movements of Mexican farmworkers link Chicano/a history to immigration law, state repression, racialization, gender discrimination, class exploitation, and the expansive power of transnational agricultural corporations.  All of the literary works that we’ll study in this course document or dramatize these links either thematically or formally.  We’ll also read several essays on history and literary criticism to contextualize the literature, and we’ll view two films.  Required assignments will include a midterm, a class presentation, and two papers. 

Reading List:
Diana Garcia, When Living was a Labor Camp
Rigoberto González, Crossing Vines
Rose Castillo Guilbault, Farmworker’s Daughter: Growing Up Mexican in America
Bruce Neuburger, Lettuce Wars
Salvador Plascencia, The People of Paper
Gary Soto, Jesse
Gary Soto, The Elements of San Joaquin
Helena María Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus

Films: Alambrista and Fighting for Our Lives

American Studies C 112 B The American Cultural Landscape - 20th Century
  • Th 11-12:30
  • A. Craghead
  • 145 McCone
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 32764
Cross-listed with Geography 160B
Section 101, Tues 1-2, 145 McCone
Section 102, Wed 12-1, 145 McCone
Section 103, Thurs 10-11, 145 McCone

This course introduces ways of seeing and interpreting American histories and cultures, as revealed in everyday built surroundings—homes, highways, farms, factories, stores, recreation areas, small towns, city districts, and regions. This course encourages students to read ordinary landscapes as records of past and present social relations, and to speculate for themselves about cultural meanings.  This course deals with culture, and America, but it does not deal equally with three different cultures.  Thus, with our apologies, it does NOT satisfy the University's American Cultures requirement. There are no prerequisites.  You may take this “B” course even if you have not had the “A” course.  People from all majors are enthusiastically welcomed.

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

History 121 B The American Revolution
  • TTh 11-12:30
  • M. Peterson
  • 121 Haas Pavilion
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 32106
Section 101 – T 4-5, 130 Dwinelle
Section 102 – T 5-6, 130 Dwinelle

This course will explore the history of eastern North America and the West Indies in the second half of the 18th century, in order to determine what was "revolutionary" about this history, as well as what was not. We will, of course, examine the causes and consequences of the rebellion staged by thirteen of Britain's American colonies in the 1770s, including the makeshift construction of the United States, but we will also investigate the broader Atlantic context in which these events occurred, and consider their reverberations for places and peoples that did not voluntarily join the new United States.

 

History 122 AC Antebellum America: The Advent of Mass Society
  • TTh 3:30-5
  • D. Henkin
  • 390 Hearst Mining
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 32107

The Civil War is commonly regarded as the second American Revolution, the grand rupture after which a new modern nation came into being. But many of the institutions, ideologies, and practices that make up modern society and culture in the United States emerged more gradually during the half-century that preceded the War. To understand the origins of such contemporary phenomena as the mass media, corporate capitalism, wage labor, the two-party system, family values, and racism, we need to trace their evolution in the nineteenth century. This course examines a little over half a century of life in the United States (roughly from 1800 until the secession of the South), focusing on everyday life, popular culture, race relations, westward expansion, urbanization, class formation, religious experience, gender roles, sexuality, print communication, and competing claims to wealth, power, and the good life. Assigned readings will consist largely of first-person narratives in which women and men of varied ethnic backgrounds and cultural identities try to make sense of their own experiences against the backdrop of major social change.

Senior Thesis Seminars

American Studies 191 Senior Thesis Seminar
  • Th 4-6
  • K. Moran./E. Hagberg
  • 238 Kroeber
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 12411

 

 

 

 

 

American Studies 191 Senior Thesis Seminar
  • W 8-10
  • C. Palmer
  • 115 Kroeber
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 12412

 

 

 

 

 

American Studies 191 Senior Thesis Seminar
  • M 12-2
  • C. Palmer/E. Harden
  • 285 Corey
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 12413

 

 

 

 

 

American Studies H 195 Senior Honors Thesis Seminar
  • M 8-10
  • C. Palmer
  • 115 Kroeber
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 12414

NOTE: Consent of instructor or AS Faculty Advisor required

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), and write the honors thesis.   Students should discuss with their major faculty advisor 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 advisor from an appropriate field who will agree to direct the honors thesis (the "honors thesis advisor").  THE FACULTY ADVISOR’S AGREEMENT MUST BE SUBMITTED TO COURSE INSTRUCTOR NO LATER THAN THE 2ND WEEK OF CLASSES. 

 

 

 

 

Honors Seminar

American Studies H 110 Bay Area in the 1970s
  • TTh 12:30-2
  • S. Saul
  • 371 Bancroft Library
  • 3 Units
  • Class Number: 31951

NOTE: Honors seminar. Requires consent of instructor and/or approval of faculty advisor to enroll.

This project-based course is three courses rolled into one. First, it delves into the history of the 1970s Bay Area, which was an unusually fertile cultural seedbed: so many features of contemporary life, from the cappuccinos we drink to the laptop computers we use to write and think, were incubated in it. The region was ground-zero for the technological utopianism represented by the Whole Earth Catalog and the computer clubs that produced the first desktop computer; ground-zero for the revolution in cooking known as “California cuisine”; ground-zero for new forms of spiritual practice and religious organization; ground-zero for the spread of women’s liberation, black liberation and gay liberation, and for the evolution of “movement cultures” that stood behind such new cultural forms as disco, punk, and ‘alternative comix’; and much more.

Second, the course offers students an introduction to the practice of archival research. The course will be meeting at the Bancroft Library, and students will work in collaboration with one another to explore specific archives at the Bancroft, such as the Chez Panisse Collection and the Disability Rights and Defense Fund Collection. Students will approach these collections with the open eyes of historians looking at fresh documents, and with the goal of plumbing these documents for the insights and stories that they yield.

Third, the course will give students the experience of creating a digital history project of their own. Students will work towards creating both a digital exhibition and a multi-media essay that springs out of the primary research they do. As a point of reference, students might look at Prof. Saul’s “Richard Pryor’s Peoria” at http://www.becomingrichardpryor.com or the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project at http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/.

No experience with digital humanities is required for this course, but students should be ready to engage with a course that is more collaborative and project-oriented than is customary in humanities seminars.

American Studies H 110 The Road in American History
  • W 2-5
  • D. Henkin
  • 104 GPBB
  • 3 Units
  • Class Number: 31952

NOTE: Honors seminar. Requires consent of instructor and/or approval of faculty advisor to enroll.

This seminar takes seriously the idea that paved roads and well-worn paths have been powerful material forces in the historical formation of U.S. society, culture, and politics, while simultaneously offering resonant symbols of national identity and personal transformation throughout that history. Starting around 1800 and moving to the end of the twentieth century, we will study selected sites, moments, and artistic works that illuminate this rich topic.  Requirements include extensive reading, regular participation in discussion, and three written assignments (but no term paper or research project).

Special Courses of Interest

American Studies 152 E Native American Literature
  • TTh 12:30-2
  • B. Piatote
  • 240 Mulford
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 12404
Cross-listed with Native American Studies C152

This survey course introduces prominent genres of Native American literary production, including oral traditions, nonfiction essay, novel, and short story. Selections are drawn primarily from Native American/Aboriginal writers and performers in the United States and Canada from the nineteenth century to present. Readings will also include a traditional Nez Perce story in the original language, with translation provided by the instructor; and discussions of non-alphabetic texts such as winter counts and wampum belts. In addition to aesthetic considerations, particular attention will be given to the social, cultural, and political contexts in which these works were produced. Authors include William Apess, Zitkala-Sa, Charles Eastman, D'Arcy McNickle, Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, James Welch, and Sherman Alexie. 

American Studies C 172 History of American Business
  • MW 12:30-2
  • C. Rosen
  • C230 Cheit
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 12405
Cross-listed with UGBA C172

This course covers an amazing history of creative innovation, growth, structural change, challenge, trouble, travail – and more growth, more change, challenge, and trouble.   Less than two hundred years ago, the U.S. was just starting to transform itself from a country of farmers and village craftsmen into a nation based on large scale, mechanized, corporate controlled industry.  It is now an industrial colossus dominated by huge multinational corporations that operate in markets around the world.  Its leaders are experiencing many forms of disruptive innovation. They must manage, find economic opportunities, and politically maneuver in a marketplace that is being constantly shaped and reshaped by international competition, technological and financial innovation, and the ever insistent demands from the investor community for maximal profits every quarter. They must also deal with new forms of financial, economic, social, and environmental regulation, here and abroad, as well as the ongoing rise of new generations of dynamic competitors in China, India, and other parts of the developing world. How has American business gotten to where it is today? How can historical insight help us understand the strategic, organizational, geo-political, economic, social, and environmental problems, opportunities and challenges facing today’s corporate managers?  The purpose of UGBA – AS C 172 is to give you historical perspective on these issues.  The course  illuminates the parallels and continuities as well as the differences between current and past developments in management problem solving, technological and organizational innovation, and business-government interaction, as well as business’s impact on American culture and its relationship with society as a whole.

Lower Division Courses of Interest

Letters & Science 25 Thinking through Art and Design at Berkeley: California Countercultures
  • MW 12-2
  • M. Cohen
  • 3 LeConte
  • 3 Units
  • Class Number: 17634

What is a counterculture? What kind of culture does a counterculture counter? Can culture be a space of political opposition? Can culture be revolutionary?  Activists and artists have asked these questions for generations, seeking out new ideas and new art forms by struggling to create a new world within the shell of the old.

This class, L&S 25 Thinking across the Arts and Design at Berkeley: California Countercultures, looks at the variety of countercultural expressions in the Bay Area centering around the decade of the 1960s. Berkeley occupies a vital place in counterculture history and mythology, and throughout this class we will consider this confluence of art and politics, community and memory that make the East Bay such a unique place in American culture.  Across the semester, in lectures, museum visits, film screenings, musical and dance performances, we will consider a range of California Countercultures including (but not limited to) surrealists, wobblies, beats, hippies, yippies, dopers, Panthers, queers, communes, feminists, punks and occupiers.  

This class is designed to introduce students to the full range of art and design resources at UC Berkeley by engaging with the upcoming “Hippie Modernism” show at the Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archives, a showcase of countercultural films at the PFA, and two performing arts events at CAL Performances, Zellerbach Hall. In addition, the class features a lineup of guest speakers including stage and film actor Peter Coyote, poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, artist Fred Tomaselli, author Ishmael Reed, poet Joanne Kyger, Punk historical V.Vale, as well as professors from across the Berkeley campus. Students in the course will be equipped not only to understand and engage individual artistic and design disciplines,but also to connect their ideas and intentions with each other, across a range of creative and countercultural expressions.