Current Courses → Introductory Courses

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Spring 2018

Introductory Courses

American Studies 10 Everyday America
  • TTh 9:30-11
  • C. Palmer
  • 106 Stanley
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 22205
Sec. 101: M 2-3, 245 Hearst Gym
Sec. 102: M 3-4, 2030 VLSB
Sec. 103: W 2-3, 245 Hearst Gym
Sec. 104 W 3-4, 2 Evans

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 within American society.  A student’s goal in this course is to learn close reading, critical thinking, and writing skills that will enable her or him to be a self-conscious and thoughtful investigator of American culture.