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Spring 2018

Time Courses

American Studies 101 The Great Exhaling: Culture, Politics, and History 1946-1952
  • MW 4-6
  • G. Marcus & K. Moran
  • 240 Mulford
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 39408
Sec. 101: M 9-10, 126 Wheeler
Sec. 102: W 10-11, 238 Kroeber

1948 was the year that America—after the Great depression, after the Second World War, after sixteen years of the all but revolutionary experiment in national government of the New Deal—let out its collective breath. Finally, that great exhaling said, we can go back to real life but what was “real life?” Centering on 1948, but moving a few years back and a few years forward, this class will explore the sometimes instantly celebrated, sometimes all but subterranean experiments in American culture and literature that tried to raise and answer that question. The artists, writers, filmmakers, painters, musicians, poets, and social theorists who emerged to tell that national story included Miles Davis and Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Ross McDonald, J.D. Salinger and Ray Bradbury, David Riesman and Marshall McLuhan. This course will follow the traces of this explosion as well as contextualize the American that was being born. It will include films, popular music, Life Magazine, advertising culture and television as well as novels, poetry and discussions of visual images.

American Studies 101 Race, Class, and Nutrition in the Progressive Era
  • MW 12-2
  • J. Walker
  • 240 Mulford
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 39408

The Progressive era saw waves of new immigrant communities to urban centers, dramatic shifts in industrial manufacturing technology, and war. As such what it meant to be an American also shifted toward an emphasis on strenuous outdoor work, collective investment in morality, and new standards around food and nutrition. This course considers how the culture, politics and policies of this time reinforced a racialized standard for the ideal American body. We will investigate the historical contexts that give rise to the proper diet, the role of the USDA, and our modern concepts of nutrition. Importantly, we will also consider how these arise in conversation with the institutionalization of scientific racism, representations of the changing ethnic food landscape in America’s nascent urban centers, and the construction of the unhealthy and immoral “other.” We will draw from primary sources like dietary reports, USDA pamphlets, packaged food labels, and health and lifestyle manuals to understand the material world of Americans negotiating their food, classed, and raced lives.


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.

History 122 AC Antebellum America: The Advent of Mass Society
  • MWF 1-2
  • S. McBride
  • 2060 VLSB
  • 4 Units
  • Class Number: 32285

This course examines half a century of life in the United States (roughly from the War of 1812 until the secession of the Southern states), focusing on race relations, westward expansion, class formation, immigration, religion, sexuality, popular culture, and everyday life. Assigned readings will consist largely of first-person narratives in which women and men of a range of ethnic and cultural backgrounds construct distinctive visions of life in the new nation.