Time Courses

American Studies 101 The Art of Advertising: Consumption and Culture in Postwar America

  • day and time MTW 1-4
  • location SOCS 170
  • instructor Alex Craghead
  • 4 Units
  • Class # 13312


This course examines American society in the postwar period. From the late 1940s through to the early 1970s, economic growth and new technologies fostered a new, mediated, consumerist landscape, one built around advertising. We will look at many forms of pervasive, postwar advertisement–from magazines to billboards, from television commercials to Hollywood films, from graphic design to publicity stunts–and we will give them attention as important if not dominating forms of popular art and culture. In addition to discussing the way advertisements both reflected and constructed American society at mid-century, students will learn a number of approaches to “reading” and decoding advertising images, as well as the broader connections between visual culture and history.

Special Courses of Interest

American Studies 110 AC Hidden in Plain Sight

  • day and time MWF 10-12
  • location 20 Social Sciences Building
  • instructor C. Covey
  • 3 Units
  • Class # 15485



Hidden in Plain Sight will explore the ways history can be illuminated or erased through urban design, museums and monuments, archives, historic preservation, heritage tourism, media, oral history, and cultural resource management. We will engage with demands for a more inclusive representation of American experiences, reconsiderations of the relationship between “American heroes” and monuments, and questions of whose names should remain in public and on university buildings. In this course you will explore challenges surrounding the presentation and preservation of public spaces and histories in the U.S. context. Highlighting landscapes that have been shaped by issues such as economic inequality, processes of migration, mass incarceration, racism, and larger conditions of societal and planetary change, we will analyze what is hidden, forgotten, missing, or in need of representation. Assignments will include devising imaginative ways to tell little-known histories of the UC Berkeley campus. This course is sponsored by Future Histories Lab and fulfills the elective requirement for the Certificate in Urban Humanities.