GSI and Reader Jobs

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American Studies 10 – Everyday America  (4 units) – Class# 22005; Instructor: Christine Palmer  - POSITION FILLED - NOT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS


American Studies 101, Sec. 1- The Great Exhaling: Culture, Politics, and History 1946-1952 (4 units) - Class # 39398; Instructors: Kathleen Moran and Greil Marcus 

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.

(One GSI position – pending budgetary approval)


 American Studies 102, Sec. 1, Wall Street/Main Street - (4 units) – CC# 22010; Instructors:  Mark Brilliant and Stephen Solomon - POSITION FILLED - NOT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS


American Studies 102, Sec. 2 – American Themescapes (4 units) – Class # 39409; Instructors: Kathleen Moran and Andy Shanken

From 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.

(One GSI position – pending budgetary approval)




American Studies 101, Sec. 2 - Race, Class, and Nutrition in the Progressive Era (4 units) - Class # 39540; Instructor: Jessica Kenyatta Walker

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.

(One reader position – pending budgetary approval)


American Studies 102, Sec. 3, Indigenous California History, Literature, and Art - (4 units) – Class #39445; Instructor: Hertha Wong

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.

(One reader position – pending budgetary approval)


American Studies 102, Sec. 4, Staging California  (4 units) - Class #39445; Instructor: Shannon Steen

 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 farmworker’s 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.    

(One reader position – pending budgetary approval)