Introductory Courses

American Studies 10 Introduction to American Studies - Ordinary America: Folklore and Popular Culture

  • day and time ThTh 11-12:30
  • location 50 Birge
  • instructor C. Palmer
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 02003

Sec. 101: CC# 02006Tu 03:00-04:00, 75 Evans
Sec. 102: CC# 02009Tu 04:00-05:00, 78 Barrows
Sec. 103: CC# 02012W 10:00-11:00, 385 LeConte
Sec. 104: CC# 02015W 11:00-12:00, 385 LeConte

Through the analysis of multiple forms of folklore and popular culturefrom schoolyard to drinking games, from the literature of the remembered South to stories about the end of the world, from the front porch to the haunted house, from Rumspringa to sock hopsthis course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of American culture.

Time Courses

American Studies 101 AC World War II

  • day and time MW 10:00-12:00
  • location 390 Hearst Mining
  • instructor M. Cohen
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 02027

This class will focus on the military, cultural, and political history of World War II in the United States and around the world (1939-1945). Linking the battlefields of Europe and Asia to the factories and movie theaters of San Francisco and New York, World War II transformed the US into the most powerful country in the world. In this class we will consider the history of American involvement in World War II through oral histories, war photography and propaganda, African American fiction, Hollywood films, the writings of European intellectuals who fled the Nazi’s, the stories of Rosie the Riveter in Oakland, incarcerated Pacifists and interned Japanese Americans, Chicano Zoot-Suiters in LA, as well as consider the memory of the war’s twin atrocities: the Nazi Holocaust and the Atomic Bombings. Readings include Chester Himes’ If He Hollers Let Him Go, Hans J. Massaquoi’s Destined to Witness, Nicholson Baker’s Human Smoke, Studs Terkel’s The Good War, Art Spegelman’s Maus, and PK Dick’s The Man in the High Castle; films include Casablanca, Why We Fight, and Best Years of Our Lives. This course satisfies the American Cultures requirement.

American Studies C 111 E Boys and Girls in the Era of Mark Twain and Henry James

  • day and time MWF 12:00-1:00
  • location 166 Barrows
  • instructor R. Hutson
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 02048

Also cross-listed as English C136

***This course satisfies the pre-1900 historical requirement! Historians often define the era after the Civil War and especially from 1880 to ca. 1915 as the era of the child. Children became the heroes of popular culture as well as major subjects for painters and intellectuals and cultural observers. This is a period in which ordinary citizens felt that an economic and social revolution was taking place with the rise of industrial capitalism and urban transformations, creating a crisis of major cultural/political/economic rapid change. Such a historical trauma seemed to demand difficult and painful reconsiderations and redefinitions. Just as there developed an issue of defining masculinity and femininity in the period, there developed a problem about children and adolescents. Questions about boys and girls might be not only about gender definitions but also about the development of an ethical consciousness, what might be called everyday ethical coping. Children seemed to represent the last vestige of a world that was being lost. In the aftermath of the elevation of the importance of children in the Romantic era earlier in the century, in the U.S., the narratives of boys and girls gave artists the opportunity to observe, scrutinize, critique, and entertain. There will be two papers and a final exam. ***This course satisfies the pre-1900 historical requirement!

American Studies C 132 B American Intellectual History from 1865

  • day and time TuTh 3:30-5:00
  • location 219 Dwinelle
  • instructor R. Candida-Smith
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 02065

Also cross-listed as History C132B

In this course we examine key developments in U.S. thought since the middle of the nineteenth century, roughly beginning with the reception of Darwin in the 1860s. Key topics to be addressed include nineteenth-century revolutions in science and religion; the emergence of pragmatism, the first original contribution to philosophy developed within the United States; early twentieth-century debates about modernity, urbanization, economic development, democracy, and pluralism; the impact of psychoanalysis, other new theories of psychological development, and existentialism on U.S. life and thought after World War II. The class concludes by examining the foundations for new technologies like information processing and biotechnology provided by earlier developments in U.S. intellectual life, particularly pragmatism and semiotics. We also look at debates at the end of the twentieth century over race and multi-culturality, national security and the military-industrial-academic complex, economic policy and growing income inequality.

Place Courses

American Studies 102 Bay Area: Landscape, Culture, Politics, 1930-1941

  • day and time TuTh 9:30-11:00
  • location 101 Morgan
  • instructor G. Brechin/K. Moran
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 02030

Sec. 101: CC# 02033Tu 10:00-11:00, 285 Cory
Sec. 102: CC# 02036 Tu 2:00-3:00, 200 Wheeler
Sec. 103: CC# 02039W 3:00-4:00, 185 Barrows
Sec. 104: CC3 02042W 8:00-9:00, 70 Evans

We will begin by discussing the geography of the San Francisco Bay Area as well as the history, politics, culture and built environment that eventually defined the region. For most of the course we will focus on the period from the Great Crash of 1929 to World War II, examining the effects of the Depression and the New Deal on the Bay Area. Our course will include materials about labor movements, political campaigns, films, literature, art, landscapes, consumerism and architecture. Throughout the course we will consider the extensive contributions to the Bay Area by various New Deal projects and engage students in primary research exploring regional projects, visual and material culture from the 1930s

American Studies C 112 A American Built Environment: 1600-1900

  • day and time TuTh 11:00-12:30
  • location 112 Wurster
  • instructor P. Groth
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 02051

Sec. 101: CC# 02054 Tu 01:00-02:00, 172 Wurster
Sec. 102: CC# 02057 W 1:00-02:00, 170 Wurster
Sec. 103: CC# 02060Th 03:00-04:00, 101 Wurster
Also cross-listed as Geography C160A and Environmental Design C169A

*This course satisfies the Pre-1900 Historical Requirement* This course introduces ways of seeing and interpreting American histories and cultures, as revealed in everyday built surroundingshomes, highways, farms, factories, stores, recreation areas, small towns, city districts, and regions. The course encourages students to read landscapes as records of past and present social relations, and to speculate for themselves about cultural meanings. Registration for a section is required by Telebearsbut NOTE!Telebears section assignments are tentative. Final section placement will be determined by cards filled out, in person, on the first day of class. This course deals with culture, and America, but it does not deal equally with three different cultures. Thus, with our apologies, it does NOT satisfy the University’s American Cultures requirement. There are no prerequisites. People from all majors are enthusiastically welcomed. *This course satisfies the Pre-1900 Historical Requirement*

American Studies C 171 The American Designed Landscape Since 1850

  • day and time TuTh 2:00-3:30
  • location 213 Wheeler
  • instructor L. Mozingo
  • 3 Units
  • Class # 02069

Also cross-listed as Landscape Architecture C 171

This course surveys the history of American designed landscapes since 1850 including the rise of the public parks movement, the development of park systems, the establishment of the national parks, the landscape of the Progressive Era, suburbs, and the modernist landscape. The survey encompasses urban open spaces, conservation landscapes, urban design, environmental planning, and gardens. It reviews the cultural and social contexts which have shaped and informed landscape architecture in the United States since the advent of the public parks movement, as well as the aesthetic precepts, environmental concerns, horticultural practices, and technological innovations of American landscapes.

Senior Thesis Seminars

American Studies 191 Section 1 Senior Thesis Seminar

  • day and time Th 4:00-6:00
  • location 385 LeConte
  • instructor TBA
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 02078

American Studies 191 Section 2 Senior Thesis Seminar

  • day and time M 4:00-6:00
  • location 385 LeConte
  • instructor TBA
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 02081

American Studies H 195 Senior Honors Thesis Seminar

  • day and time Th 2:00-4:00
  • location 81 Evans
  • instructor C. Palmer
  • 4 Units
  • Class # (

***NOTE: In order to receive honors in American Studies, a student must have an overall GPA of 3.51, and a GPA of 3.65 for all courses taken in completion of the major (upper and lower division). Students should discuss with their major faculty adviser the preparation of a bibliography and a brief description of their proposed honors thesis and their eligibility to enroll in honors, based on GPA, the semester before they plan to enroll in H195. They also must secure a faculty adviser from an appropriate field who will agree to direct the honors thesis (the “honors thesis adviser”). THE FACULTY ADVISERS AGREEMENT MUST BE SUBMITTED TO COURSE INSTRUCTOR NO LATER THAN THE 2ND WEEK OF CLASSES.

Honors Seminar

American Studies H 110 More Than One Country

  • day and time W 4:00-7:00
  • location 203 Wheeler
  • instructor C. Palmer
  • 3 Units

Enrollment in this course is subject to faculty advisor approval. Please see a faculty advisor if you are interested in this course.
This course is an intensive reading seminar in which we will use a range of literary texts and films to track the meanings and cultural expressions of being and belonging in America. Students are expected to engage, challenge, and assist one another as we read, think, speak, and write about tribalism, exclusivity, social alienation, gender, race, desire, morality, transnational migration, and the American Dream. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to select readings for, give presentations on, and lead discussions about issues germane to their specific areas of concentration.

Special Courses of Interest

American Studies C 134 Information Technology and Society

  • day and time M 2:00-5:00
  • location 122 Barrows
  • instructor M. Laguerre
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 02105

Also cross-listed as African American Studies C134

This course assesses the role of information technology in the digitalization of society by focusing on the deployment of e-government, e-commerce, e-learning, the digital city, telecommuting, virtual communities, Internet time, the virtual office, and the geography of cyberspace. Course will also discuss the role of information technology in the governance and economic development of society.

American Studies C 152 Native American Literature

  • day and time MWF 12:00-1:00
  • location 587 Barrows
  • instructor E. Lima
  • 3 Units
  • Class # 02066

Also cross-listed as Native American Studies C152

In this course, we will investigate the relationship between history and the development of Native American Literature. Our analyses will consider the formal and thematic dimensions of these texts and the historical contexts in which they emerge and circulate. We will read nineteenth-century non-fictional texts by important Native intellectuals like William Apess and Charles Eastman and novels by major twentieth-century Native writers such as James Welch, Louise Erdrich, and Leslie Marmon Silko. This course is also designed to provide skills for the study of literature. During the term students will learn to read critically and to write sophisticated analytical essays.

English 165 Section 2 Freedom and the University: the 1960s and its Afterlives

  • day and time TuTh 11:00-12:30
  • location 103 Wheeler
  • instructor C. Lye
  • 4 Units
  • Class # see MacKenzie

See MacKenzie in 237 Evans before enrolling for this seminar. The sixties represent a period in which the university became for the first time a central locus of struggles for freedomfor civil rights, Black Power, Third World self-determination, and womens and gay liberation, and against imperialism and colonialism, militarism and war, capitalism and heterosexist patriarchy. The result was that conceptions of what higher education should be and whom it should be for were also profoundly changed. Of salience today is whether the university can be a space of relative autonomy from cultures of finance and what kind of critical thought can be produced there? This course is being offered in coordination with next Falls commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement (FSM), which in 1964 put Berkeley on the World Sixties map. Instead of dichotomizing the good early sixties from the bad late sixties, this course will be interested in locating productive encounters between liberal ideals and radical quests for freedom and equality. Examining the intellectual and material legacies of that era in light of todays precarious public university, this course will trace the historical dialectic between Cultural Revolution and Ethnic Studies, and between the counterculture and cyberculture. The course will geographically emphasize the San Francisco Bay Area, so that students may pursue final research projects on topics rich in local archives. Course readings will include a wide range of media and genres: biography, history, memoir, poetry, manifesto, fiction, anthology, theory, film, drama. As such, students should expect that though this is an English-listed course, it will be taught as an interdisciplinary cultural studies, history and theory course. Students should attend the first day of class before purchasing any books, as there may be adjustments to the book list.

History 125 B Soul Power: African American History 1861-1980

  • day and time TuTh 12:30-2:00
  • location TBD
  • instructor W. Martin
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 39570

Description forthcoming

History of Art 185 A Art, Architecture, and Design in the United States, 1782-the present

  • day and time TuTh 11:00-12:30
  • location 102 Moffitt
  • instructor M. Lovell
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 05000

Looking at major developments in painting and architecture from Romanticism to Post-modernism (with some attention to sculpture, city planning, design, and photography), this course addresses art and its social context over the last two centuries in what is now the United States. Issues include patronage, audience, technology, and the education of the artist as well as style, cultural expression, and the relationship of “high” art to vernacular and popular art. We will focus on the ways in which visual culture incorporates and responds to narratives of personal, community, and national identity. Field trips.