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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.