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Spring 2018

Place Courses

American Studies 102 Staging California
  • TTh 11-12:20
  • S. Steen
  • 102 Wheeler
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 39404
Cross-listed with Theater 126

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 102 Wall Street/Main Street
  • TTh 3:30-5
  • M. Brilliant/S. Solomon
  • 2 LeConte
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 22010
Cross-listed with Legal Std 110
Sec. 101 M 9-10, 110 Barker
Sec. 102 M 10-11, 245 Hearst Gym
Sec. 103 W 12-1, 245 Hearst Gym
Sec. 104 W 102, 2066 VLSB

 As longstanding metaphors in American history and culture, “Wall Street” and “Main Street” typically refer to streets that intersect at right angles and places that represent the antithesis of each other.  In this rendering, Wall Street is home to nefarious big banks and greedy financiers, while Main Street is home to wholesome “mom-and-pop” shops patronized by ordinary people of modest means. What’s good for one is not good for the other. This course, which will be co-taught by a historian and corporate law professor, will examine critical junctures in the intersection of Wall Street and Main Street in American history and culture, how and why Wall Street and Main Street have been understood to point in opposite directions, the extent to which that understanding makes sense, and how and why the relationship between Wall Street and Main Street has evolved over time.

American Studies 102 American Themescapes
  • TTh 3:30-5
  • K.Moran/A.Shanken
  • 101 Morgan
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 39409
Room-shared with Architecture 179
Sec. 201: M 9-10, 238 Kroeber
Sec. 202: M 10-11, 87 Evans
Sec. 203: W 12-1, 238 Kroeber
Sec. 204: W 1-2, 245 Hearst Gym

Fom Disney to Las Vegas, Americans frequently encounter environments that are self-consciously themed, rather than unconsciously developed. These spaces have been dismissed as fake, artificial, evidence of postmodern alienation, even of the homogenizing effects of the global economy. This course proposes to expand the repertoire of themed environments in an effort to reevaluate their meaning in American life. Close attention will be paid to the obvious sites of theming: world’s fairs, consumer environments, and suburbs, but also to how theming has penetrated into film, advertising, “nature,” leisure, historic preservation, and museums.

American Studies 102 Indigenous California History, Literature, and Art
  • MWF 12-1
  • H. Wong
  • 103 Moffitt
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 39445

This course can be used for TIME, PLACE, or PRE-1900 major requirements, depending on the research you do for the course.

 

In this course, we will examine the indigenous history, literature, and art of California, with an emphasis on northern California. We will read primary works by Native California writers, look at the artwork of Native California artists, and learn about the history and cultures of indigenous people in California. In addition, we will schedule visits to the archives of the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology and the Bancroft Library here on campus as well as historic sites and cultural institutions locally. We may also go on a field trip or two.