American Studies

Courses

American Studies Courses by Semester

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

American Studies 10 Going Nuclear! (4 units) – Class # 20926
Instructors: C. Palmer and M. Brilliant
TTh 3:30-5, Room 2040 Valley Life Sciences Bldg
Sections
101 – M 2-3, Room 335 CHEIC, Class # 20927
102 – M 3-4, Room 224 Wheeler, Class # 20928
103 – Th 10-11, Room 385 Physics, Class # 23948
104 – W 4-5, Room 115 AAPB, Class # 25138

From the moment that scientists first split the atom in the 1930s, “going nuclear” has conjured up dystopian fears alongside utopian hopes—from mushroom clouds, reactor meltdowns, Superfund sites, and planetary annihilation, on the one hand, to cancer treatment, war deterrence, job creation, and planetary salvation through clean energy, on the other hand. Through an exploration of these and other examples of the utopian/dystopian meanings of “going nuclear” in twentieth century American history and culture, this course will introduce students to the concepts and methods of American Studies as an interdisciplinary field of study.

Letters and Science 40 F – Modernity and Its Discontents: American History and Culture at the Turn of the 20th Century (4 units) – Class # 33050
Instructor: K. Moran
MW 2-4, Room 126 Social Sciences Bldg

Sections
101 – Th 2-3, Room 6 Evans, Class # 33051
102 – Th 3-4, Room 4 Evans, Class # 33052

“So the whole question comes down to this: Can the human mind master what the
human mind has made?”
Paul Valery

Many of the most challenging issues we face today have their origins in a sequence of
massive societal shifts that emerged around the turn of the last century in Europe and North
America. This course will explore some of those challenges by attempting to understand how
they emerged and why. We will read some classic accounts of the rise of capitalism,
urbanization, globalization and bureaucracy. We will also discuss a number of the most
significant social, political, economic and cultural developments that together characterize
modernity including the rise of advertising, amusement parks, the movie industry, popular
music, and department stores. And we will use these accounts to help us understand
contemporary concerns, including the nature of modern branding, the appeal of Disneyization,
the meaning of fashion and influencers, the role of fantasy media, the appeal of sensationalist
movies and the context of global climate change.

 

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 – A History of the Present from 9/11/2001 to 1/6/2021 (4 units) – Class # 23957
Instructor: M. Cohen
MW 2-4, Room 240 Mulford

This interdisciplinary history course explores the origins of our present crisis by studying the history of the United States from 9/11/2001 to 1/6/2021. Using historical and cultural studies methods to study the recent past, we will take on the political, economic, social, technological, environmental and cultural changes that have remade American life in the past two decades. This era has led us to a state of almost permanent crisis in which our democracy, our health and sanity, our jobs and relationships, and our planet all feel on the verge of collapse. Primary topics include the long war on terrorism, the ongoing crisis of global capitalism, race and the culture wars of the Obama era, America’s widening political polarization and the impact of climate change on our bodies, landscapes and culture. Throughout, we will read histories, journalism and novels, listen to popular music, watch important films and TV shows, and generally reconsider the history of a past that we have all somehow survived and must continue to live through. Readings include works by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jia Tolentino, Ling Ma, Elizabeth Kolbert, Adam Serwer, Amia Srinivasan, and Spencer Ackerman.

American Studies C 111 E – American Culture in the Age of Obama (4 units) Class # 23616
Instructor: S. Saul
TTh 3:30-5, Room 56 Social Sciences Bldg.

This course traces, across many forms of American culture, what might be called “the Obama effect.” Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has suggested that the election of Obama prompted a renaissance of black writing, in part by stimulating “curiosity about the community he had so consciously made his home and all the old, fitfully slumbering questions he’d awakened about American identity.” In this course, we’ll examine how a wide range of imaginative writers, in a wide spectrum of genres, took on those questions and offered counternarratives to conventional myths of American innocence, achievement, and glory. We’ll also explore works of music, film, and theater that, like Obama’s autobiography, rewrote the romance of America—whether by adding hip-hop accents to the story of the country’s founding (Hamilton), turning a story of interracial romance into a horror tale (Get Out), or creating an Afro-futurist, queer-inflected story of slave revolt (Janelle Monáe’s Metropolis saga). Along the way, we’ll consider two of the social movements that coalesced and gathered force during Obama’s presidency: Occupy and Black Lives Matter. We’ll investigate how these movements challenged the limits—political, economic, moral—of the “age of Obama” through art and political action, and looked to create new forms of radical community while protesting inequality and state violence.

History 136 C Defiant Women: Gender, Power and Violence in American History (4 units) – Class # 31417
Instructor: S E. Jones-Rogers 
MW 5-7, Room 100 Lewis

Taking as its focus diverse groups of women who have shaped the course of North American history, this class will explore the relationship between gender, power and violence from the colonial period to the modern era. We will discuss how women have challenged conventional notions of “womanhood” through their words and their deeds, how their respective communities understood their behavior, and we will contemplate the ways in which these women simultaneously constructed narratives of power that do not conform to contemporary conceptualizations of their lives.

 

“Place” Courses

American Studies 102 Photos of America: Technology, Representation, and Landscape (4 units) – Class # 20930
Instructor: A. Craghead 
MW 12-2, Room 240 Mulford
The camera and the photograph have a unique relationship with the American landscape. No technology has more profoundly shaped the way that we see, feel, and think about North America as a place. In this course, we will look at photography as a social and cultural practice, one engaged in by inventors, scientists, artists, and most of all by the public at large. We will explore issues of science, politics, consumer culture, and entertainment, and examine how photographs may be preparing the way for our perception of the virtual. Most of all, we’ll consider who makes photos and to what purposes, and attempt to understand how those images shape what we think we know about America.
American Studies 102 American Monuments (units 4) – Class # 24833
Instructor: A. Shanken
W 2-5, Room 105 GSPP
 

“There is nothing in the world as invisible as a monument,” writer Robert Musil once mused. Yet recent events have brought them into high relief, both as commemorative infrastructure and as sites of political struggle. This course will offer a primer on the history of monuments (and memorials) in the United States and engage with their recent history. The course will explore the formal strategies, habits of placement, commemorative value, and the social and political meaning of these often maligned, but also revered, interventions in the built environment. Students will explore issues of iconoclasm, appropriation, race, and gender; confront recent controversies; and work together to propose their own memorial or counter-memorial to an issue or event.

American Studies 102 AC The Great American City: Chicago in the Nineteenth Century (4 units) – Class # 33583
Instructor: S. Gold MCBride 
TTh 12:30-2, Room 141 Giannini

This course will examine Chicago, Illinois, in its first century. When the Town of Chicago was founded in 1833, it had only 200 residents. Sixty years later, when it hosted more than 27 million visitors for the World’s Columbian Exposition, the City of Chicago had 1.1 million residents, making it the second-largest city in the country. What was it like to live in such a rapidly expanding and ever-changing place—and what did Chicago symbolize to Americans living elsewhere in the United States, a country undergoing its own enormous transformations? In this class we will examine the ordinary and extraordinary Chicago: from daily life, labor, and leisure, to the enormous and unprecedented world’s fair held in 1893. By combining history, literature, visual culture, and popular media, our interdisciplinary study of early Chicago will consider what this place can teach us about urban life, race, gender, work, leisure, popular entertainment and popular media, the built environment, and national identity in the nineteenth-century United States. This course fulfills both the Place and the Pre-1900 requirements.

 

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

American Studies 102 AC The Great American City: Chicago in the Nineteenth Century (4 units) – Class # 33583
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
TTh 12:30-2, Room 141 Giannini

This course will examine Chicago, Illinois, in its first century. When the Town of Chicago was founded in 1833, it had only 200 residents. Sixty years later, when it hosted more than 27 million visitors for the World’s Columbian Exposition, the City of Chicago had 1.1 million residents, making it the second-largest city in the country. What was it like to live in such a rapidly expanding and ever-changing place—and what did Chicago symbolize to Americans living elsewhere in the United States, a country undergoing its own enormous transformations? In this class we will examine the ordinary and extraordinary Chicago: from daily life, labor, and leisure, to the enormous and unprecedented world’s fair held in 1893. By combining history, literature, visual culture, and popular media, our interdisciplinary study of early Chicago will consider what this place can teach us about urban life, race, gender, work, leisure, popular entertainment and popular media, the built environment, and national identity in the nineteenth-century United States. This course fulfills both the Place and the Pre-1900 requirements.

History 135 B Encounter & Conquest in Indigenous America (4 units) Class # 26443
Instructor: B. De Lay
TTh 3:30-5, Room Social Sciences  Bldg.

The early colonial period in the Americas is one of history’s most traumatic, astonishing, and consequential eras. This lecture class compares and contrasts histories of encounter, resistance, conquest, and colonization in three regions of indigenous America: Hispaniola, the Valley of Mexico, and the St. Lawrence River Valley. Each section will begin with regional geography and indigenous and European contexts on the eve of contact. As the class progresses, lectures and discussions of primary sources will interrogate the dynamics that gave rise to the complex and profoundly unequal American societies of the early colonial period, with their stratified, diverse populations.

History 136 C Defiant Women: Gender, Power and Violence in American History (4 units) – Class # 31417
Instructor: S E. Jones-Rogers
MW 5-7, Room 100 Lewis

Taking as its focus diverse groups of women who have shaped the course of North American history, this class will explore the relationship between gender, power and violence from the colonial period to the modern era. We will discuss how women have challenged conventional notions of “womanhood” through their words and their deeds, how their respective communities understood their behavior, and we will contemplate the ways in which these women simultaneously constructed narratives of power that do not conform to contemporary conceptualizations of their lives.

Letters and Science 40 F Modernity and Its Discontents: American History and Culture at the Turn of the 20th Century (4 units) – Class #33050
Instructor: K. Moran
MW 2-4, Room 126 Social Sciences Bldg.
Sections
101 – Th 2-3, 6 Evans, Class # 33051
102 – Th 3-4, 4 Evans, Class # 33052

In this course, we will move backwards from 1910 to the 1890’s and forward to World War I to discuss modernization, a history of the economic and social processes of industrialization, urbanization, consumerism, mass immigration and bureaucratization as well as modernism, the aesthetic and artistic responses to those developments. This course is meant to enable students to think, do research and write as interdisciplinary scholars: specifically, to give them the intellectual tools to analyze theoretical and literary texts, as well as films, material culture, and images.

 

Senior Thesis Seminars

American Studies 191 Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15451
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
W 10-12, Room 121 Latimer
American Studies 191 Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15452
Instructor: A. Craghead
M 4-6, Room 180 Social Sciences Bldg.

Honors Seminars

American Studies H195 Honors Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 19311
Instructor: A. Craghead
W 2-4, Room 7 Evans

FACULTY ADVISOR APPROVAL AND/OR INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED

NOTE: In order to receive honors in American Studies, a student must have an overall UC 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 their eligibility with an American Studies faculty advisor.

 

Special Courses of Interest

American Studies 110 American Media and Culture Since World War II (4 units) – Class # 23588
Instructor: C. Palmer
MW 10-12, Room 3108 Etcheverry

This course examines how mass media reflect and shape American history and culture. Tapping a rich collection of primary sources—including popular film, television, magazines, music, and fiction—and secondary sources—including the writings of political theorists and public intellectuals—we will explore the relationship between media and ideas about place, family, freedom, and citizenship. Students will learn to consider media forms and histories in light of theoretical debates about national character, ideology, ethnic and racial identity, gender roles, and the impact of consumerism on American life.

History 133 A History of American Capitalism (4 units) – Class # 31414
Instructor: C. Rosenthal
TTh 12:30-2, Room 105 Stanley

What is capitalism? And when did it come to characterize the American economy? This course will explore the economic history of the United States, from the colonial period to the present. We will analyze the dramatic changes that catapulted a chain of colonies from the fringe of the global economy to its center. As the semester progresses, we will seek out the sources of this dramatic transformation, exploring a variety of overlapping and sometimes conflicting explanations. Is this primarily a story about ideas and economic outlook? Is it about entrepreneurship and innovation? Or about exploitation and expropriation? What role did the government play? What role the individual? Major themes will include the rise of the factory system, slavery and emancipation, immigration and labor, the development of banking and finance, and economic inequality. In addition to building their knowledge of American history, students will gain theoretical familiarity with three subfields of history: business history, economic history, and labor history. We will explore the ways each of these fields has generated different narratives that celebrate and/or critique American capitalism. And at every turn we will consider how these different narratives alternately highlight and minimize the important roles played by business elites, enslaved people, laborers, women, and immigrants. Rarely was the “invisible hand” colorblind or gender neutral. The course will discuss both famous businessmen and largely-forgotten workmen, women, and slaves. We will examine capitalism both from above and from below, seeking to understand the causes and consequences of economic change for different groups of Americans.

History 136 C Defiant Women: Gender, Power and Violence in American History (4 units) – Class # 31417
Instructor: S E. Jones-Rogers
MW 5-7, Room 100 Lewis
Taking as its focus diverse groups of women who have shaped the course of North American history, this class will explore the relationship between gender, power and violence from the colonial period to the modern era. We will discuss how women have challenged conventional notions of “womanhood” through their words and their deeds, how their respective communities understood their behavior, and we will contemplate the ways in which these women simultaneously constructed narratives of power that do not conform to contemporary conceptualizations of their lives.

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

American Studies 10, Sec. 1 – Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Imagining an American Future (4 units) – Class# 23134
Instructor: C. Palmer
TTh 12:30-2, Room 12 Haviland Hall

In 1816, Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past,” a stance Adams not only declared “judicious” but also a prophecy that they would “soon meet and be better friends than ever.” This course considers many of the ways Americans from Jefferson and Adams to a host of writers, photographers, painters, filmmakers, activists, engineers, architects, and city planners have imagined the future. We will consider how concepts of the future influence and determine American politics, economics, architecture, race relations, social policy, and culture. The course will pay particular attention to the special relationship between the past, American memory, and imagined futures. By focusing on the future as a time, a place, a theory, a fantasy, and a media construct, this course introduces and provides a “toolkit” for the interdisciplinary study of American culture.

American Studies 10, Sec. 2 – American Makers: Workers, Artists, Activists, and Drop-Outs (4 units) – Class# 25683
Instructor: A. Craghead
MW 2-4, Room 155 Anthro/Art Practice Building   

What does it mean to make? From methods of industrial mass production, to handicrafts positioned as critiques against those methods, to “make” things within American culture is to engage in a struggle over every meaning. The everyday objects of life—food, clothing, shelter—are all made things. So, too are cultures and traditions. Even ideas are said to be “constructed,” which is another way of saying “made.” Questions of what is made, who makes, and who benefits from making have long been salient with American cultures.

By focusing on the concept of “making” as a practice, a process, and a theory of meaning, this course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of America. We will look at the historical, political, economic, and cultural meanings of “making” in the U.S as expressed and experienced in literature, popular culture, material culture, and the built environment.

 

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101, Sec 1 – The Ordinary and Extraordinary 1890’s 4 units) – Class# 25668
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
TTh 11:00-12:30, Room 102 Wurster Hall

THIS COURSE SIMULTANEOUSLY SATISFIES THE TIME AND PRE-1900 MAJOR REQUIREMENTS.  This class will closely examine a single decade of American history: the 1890s. These ten years were marked by monumental and often grave events: a crippling economic depression; a lynching epidemic; war in Cuba, the Philippines, and Lakota territory; and massive strikes by steel and railroad workers. Yet in the 1890s, ordinary American men, women, and children also went to the circus, read Cosmopolitan magazine, played basketball, tried bananas, and rode in the first underground subways. In this class we will consider both extraordinary and the ordinary as we grapple with questions about race, work, science, masculinity, popular culture, identity, the body, violence, spectacle, and power. Who counted as an American — and what did it mean to be an American — in this final decade of the nineteenth century? We will explore this history through the interdisciplinary lens of American Studies, analyzing a wide range of textual, visual, and material sources produced in the 1890s, including newspaper articles, popular fiction, photographs, and souvenirs.

American Studies 101, Sec. 2 – James Baldwin’s America, 1953-1974 (4 units) – Class # 25669
Instructor: C. Palmer
MW 12-2, Room 155 Anthro/Art Practice Building

At the end of the autobiographical notes to his Notes of a Native Son (1955), James Baldwin writes, “I want to be an honest man and a good writer.” Remembered as a writer and activist who told the truth passionately in essays, novels, plays, and poems, Baldwin delivered piercing critiques of American liberalism and the failed promises of US-American democracy. The American Studies scholar and artist Thulani Davis remembered James Baldwin as “one of those rare figures in literature and history, a man who was truly engaged in all the issues of his time.” In this course, we will read Baldwin—against a backdrop of the social, political, and cultural moment of 1953-1974—to trace his development of thought. We will put Baldwin in conversation with his contemporaries, including Marlon Brando, Miles Davis, Lorraine Hansberry, Jackson Pollock, Nina Simone, and others, to explore the following themes: the artist as what Baldwin called “the disturber of the peace”; the reverberations of chattel slavery and American apartheid; religion and the prophetic voice; the blues as metaphor; the problem of white innocence; the meaning of home and exile; art as a tool for reconfiguring the past and the present; and the need for love, hope, and freedom in the world.

American Studies 101, Sec. 2 – The Music of 1971 – (4 units) – Class # 31100
Instructor: D. Miller
MW 2-4, Room 115 Anthro/Art Practice Building

The music of 1971 was uncommonly good and uncommonly inventive, and it was inextricably linked to the ups and downs of a turbulent period in American history. Marvin Gaye tackled drug abuse, environmental destruction, and the Vietnam War on What’s Going On, often considered the greatest album of all time, while Sly and the Family Stone incorporated elements of the Black Power movement into their music. Carole King and Joni Mitchell told stories about love, sexuality, and (in)dependence in the modern world on Tapestry and Blue, two pinnacles of the singer-songwriter genre. In February, Aretha Franklin recorded one of the most iconic live albums ever in San Francisco (Aretha Live at Fillmore West); in April, Dolly Parton recorded her favorite original song (“Coat of Many Colors”). Miles Davis continued his quest to expand the boundaries of what jazz could be, while experimentalists Morton Feldman and Pauline Oliveros did the same for classical music. In this course we will become intimately familiar with all of this music and more, as we consider both what the music reveals about the United States in 1971, and why it reverberates so powerfully over a half-century later. Students will have the opportunity to pursue research projects on the music of their choosing, and specialized musical knowledge is not required.

American Studies H110 – The New Gilded Age (4 units) – Class # 24132
Instructor: M. Brilliant
T 2-5, Room 102 Social Sciences Building

FACULTY ADVISOR APPROVAL AND/OR INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED

The “new Gilded Age” is a term that scholars, pundits, and activists in recent years have used to refer to the sharp increase in economic inequality in the United States, the increasing concentration of income and wealth in the hands of the nation’s well-to-do, especially its richest 1-percent and above. The roots of this watershed in recent American history are many and run deep. This course will trace some of those roots, examining the origins of America’s new Gilded Age by focusing on major transformations in economics, politics, and education in the 1970s and 1980s. Along the way, we will also consider some of the social experiences and cultural expressions of Americans as they lived through the new Gilded Age.

 

“Place” Courses

American Studies 102 – The Workplace (4 units) – Class #23970
Instructor: M. Cohen
TTh 2-3:30, Room 241 Cory Hall

This American Studies methods class explores the American workplace from the slave ship to the gig economy. By focusing on a sequence of workplaces – the plantation, the factory, the office, the home, the street, and on-line – this class offers a history of how capitalism has constantly revolutionized the work lives of Americans while simultaneously transforming our politics, our culture, our families, and our leisure. By exploring the everyday experiences of workers through a series of political and economic geographies, we will consider the question of race, gender, class and sex on the job; the human and ecological consequences of capitalist expansion from 1492 to the present; and how Americans have refused, resisted and evaded this ever-expanding regime of imposed labor. Readings include works by Frederick Douglass, Marcus Rediker, Karl Marx, Sylvia Federici, Angela Davis, Sarah Jaffe, Sarah Roberts, and David Graeber; with films including Modern Times, The Apartment, and 9 to 5; along with a playlist of work songs and whatever is currently your favorite workplace sit-com.

American Studies 102AC – California, the West, and the World (4 units) – Class # 23935
Instructor: M. Brilliant
TTh 12:30-2, Room 2 Physics Building   

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH HISTORY 128AC

This course will survey the history of California and the United States West from the mid-19th century to the dawn of the 21st century. It will situate this state and regional history within the relevant currents of global history, which have profoundly shaped and been shaped by California and the United States West. We will pay particular heed to those elements of California and western U.S. history that are typically associated with the state’s and region’s distinctiveness as a shifting region on the national map, potent and protean symbol in the national (and, often, international) imagination, and catalyst of world historical developments from the Gold Rush and the global guano trade it sparked in the mid-19th century, to the rise of Hollywood in the early 20th century, to the development and deployment of atomic weapons in the mid-20th century, to the emergence of Silicon Valley technological innovation and New Gilded Age income polarization in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

American Studies C112 – The American Landscape: Place, Power, and Culture (4 units) – Class # 32033
Instructor: A. Craghead
MW 10-12, Room 155 Anthro/Art Practice Building       

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH GEOGRAPHY C160

What is America as a landscape and a place, and how do we know it when we see it? In the present moment, marked by struggles over economic, environmental, and social division played out in space and place, such questions are imperative.

This course seeks to address such questions, to introduce ways of seeing and interpreting American histories and cultures, as revealed in everyday built surroundings—homes, highways, farms, factories, stores, recreation areas, small towns, city districts, and regions. It does so through the lens of cultural geography, an interdisciplinary practice that developed, in part, here at Berkeley during the 20th century. Our goal in this course is thus twofold: First, to develop a kind of literacy in the role of space and place in American culture, and second to develop a working knowledge of cultural geography as a practice and then to use those skills to better see the world around us.

American Studies C171– The American-Designed Landscape Since 1850 (4 units) – Class # 20768
Instructor: L. Mozingo
TTh 3:30-5, Room 101 Wurster Hall

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE C171

This course surveys the history of American landscape architecture since 1850 in four realms: 1) urban open spaces—that is squares, plazas, parks, and recreation systems; 2) urban and suburban design; 3) regional and environmental planning; and 4) gardens. The course will review 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. Students will complete a midterm, final, and a research assignment.

Honors Seminar

American Studies H110 – The New Gilded Age (4 units) – Class # 24132
Instructor: M. Brilliant
T 2-5, Room 102 Social Sciences Building

FACULTY ADVISOR APPROVAL AND/OR INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED

The “new Gilded Age” is a term that scholars, pundits, and activists in recent years have used to refer to the sharp increase in economic inequality in the United States, the increasing concentration of income and wealth in the hands of the nation’s well-to-do, especially its richest 1-percent and above. The roots of this watershed in recent American history are many and run deep. This course will trace some of those roots, examining the origins of America’s new Gilded Age by focusing on major transformations in economics, politics, and education in the 1970s and 1980s. Along the way, we will also consider some of the social experiences and cultural expressions of Americans as they lived through the new Gilded Age.

Special Courses of Interest

Upper division courses may be used for Areas of Concentration, when appropriate.

American Studies C152 – Native American Literature (4 Units) – Class #24605
Instructor: E. Lima
TTh 12:30-2, Room 106 Moffitt Library

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES C152

An analysis of the written and oral tradition developed by Native Americans. Emphasis will be placed on a multifaceted approach (aesthetic, linguistic, psychological, historical, and cultural) in examining American Indian literature.

American Studies 189 – Research and Writing in American Studies (4 Units) – Class # 24062
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
F 10-12, Room 7 Evans Hall

THIS CLASS IS OPTIONAL (AND NOT REQUIRED) FOR AMERICAN STUDIES MAJORS. IT DOES NOT FULFILL ANY AMERICAN STUDIES MAJOR REQUIREMENTS.

This seminar is designed to help American Studies majors prepare to write their senior thesis next semester or next year. Whether you will enroll in AS H195 or AS 191, this class will provide students with the information, skills, and resources you need to write your thesis without feeling overwhelmed. Over the course of the semester, students will develop a senior thesis topic, conduct preliminary research on their topic, and craft a plan for their senior thesis. We will also work together to explore what it means to research and write in the field of American Studies, and our own identities as American Studies scholars. By the end of the semester, each student will have each developed a senior thesis prospectus composed of a meaningful interdisciplinary research question, a set of primary sources to analyze, a preliminary bibliography of secondary sources, and a rough outline of your thesis’s structure.

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

These courses satisfy the pre-1900 US historical requirement.

American Studies 101, Sec 1 – The Ordinary and Extraordinary 1890’s 4 units) – Class# 25668
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
TTh 11:00-12:30, Room 102 Wurster Hall

THIS COURSE SIMULTANEOUSLY SATISFIES THE TIME AND PRE-1900 MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

This class will closely examine a single decade of American history: the 1890s. These ten years were marked by monumental and often grave events: a crippling economic depression; a lynching epidemic; war in Cuba, the Philippines, and Lakota territory; and massive strikes by steel and railroad workers. Yet in the 1890s, ordinary American men, women, and children also went to the circus, read Cosmopolitan magazine, played basketball, tried bananas, and rode in the first underground subways. In this class we will consider both extraordinary and the ordinary as we grapple with questions about race, work, science, masculinity, popular culture, identity, the body, violence, spectacle, and power. Who counted as an American — and what did it mean to be an American — in this final decade of the nineteenth century? We will explore this history through the interdisciplinary lens of American Studies, analyzing a wide range of textual, visual, and material sources produced in the 1890s, including newspaper articles, popular fiction, photographs, and souvenirs.

Senior Thesis Seminars

Students will meet in a seminar that will help them research and write their senior theses.

American Studies 191 – SENIOR THESIS SEMINAR (4 Units) – Class # 15057
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
F 12-2, Room 72 Evans Hall
American Studies H195 – SENIOR HONORS THESIS SEMINAR (4 Units) – Class # 18934
Instructor: A Craghead
Tu 3-4, Room 122 Latimer Hall

FACULTY ADVISOR APPROVAL AND/OR INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED

« NOTE: In order to receive honors in American Studies, a student must have an overall UC 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 their eligibility with an American Studies faculty advisor.

 

American Studies 101 – The Art of Advertising: Consumption and Culture in Postwar America (4 Units) – Class # 13312
Instructor: A. Craghead
MTW 1-3:30, Room 170 Social Sciences Building
SUMMER SESSION A

This course examines American society in the postwar period. From the late 1940s through 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.

 

American Studies 110 AC – Hidden in Plain Sight (4 Units) – Class # 15485
Instructor: C. Covey
MWF 10-12, Room 20 Social Sciences Building 
Summer Session B
THIS COURSE IN CROSS-LISTED WITH HUMANITIES 133AC AND ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN 133AC

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.

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

American Studies 10 – I’ll Be There for You: Friendship in America (4 units) – Class # 23710
Instructors: C. Palmer/S. Gold McBride
TTh 12:30-2, Room 3 Physics North

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle described the virtuous friend as “another self.” More than two-thousand years later, The Rembrandts sang of a good friend, “[it] seems you’re the only one who knows / What it’s like to be me.” (And so, they continued, “I’ll be there for you / ‘Cause you’re there for me too.”) This course suggests we take both of these reflections on friendship seriously, and consider friendship as a means to approaching the study of American culture and history. Our interdisciplinary examination of friendship will explore both the lived experience of being a friend and the ways in which popular culture and the media have depicted friendship in the United States, past and present. We will consider, for example, the folklore and anthropology of friendship; the shifting line between friendship and romantic love; consumerism and friendship; ethnic, racial, and generational differences among friendship cultures; institutions rooted in friendship (such as fraternities and sororities); famous friendships on film and television; and how the meaning of friendship has changed over time. By focusing on friendship as a theory, a fantasy, an organization, an event, and a media construct, this course provides an introduction to and a “toolkit” for the interdisciplinary study of American culture.

Letters and Science 40E – Learning from Disney (4 units) – Class #30047
Instructor K. Moran
MW 4-6, Room 277 Cory

The word “Disney” refers to a man who died in 1966, a film studio that became a global media corporation, six amusement parks/resorts, an oeuvre of audio-visual texts with hundreds of characters and millions of associated products, and a theory of space and landscape design. The word also suggests a set of ideological messages about gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality and nationhood. Recently, it has also been made into a verb. According to the Oxford English Dictionary “to disnify” means “to alter in a way considered characteristic of Disney films, cartoons, or theme parks; to romanticize, sanitize, or simplify.” And scholars now use the terms “disneyfication” or “disneyization” to describe the way that the principles of Disney theming have increasingly come to dominate economic sectors and place-making in the U.S. and in the rest of the world.

This course will focus on all things “Disney” to introduce students to the study of American history, Hollywood films as cultural representations, and the American built environment. Specific topics will include 1) Americanized fairy tales and theories of childhood, 2)the Hollywood Studio and forms of modern labor, 3) post-WWII urban planning, suburbanization and white flight, 4) representations of race, gender, sexuality, and family, 5) theming, immersion and the experience economy, and 6) hyper-consumerism and branding.

 

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 – Dust and Chrome: America and the 1930s (4 units) – Class # 26993
Instructor: A. Craghead
MW 2-4, Room 141 Giannini

How did the 1930s shape us, and how does it continue to do so? This decade was defined by crisis after crisis, from the economic hardships of the Great Depression, to political protest and deep labor unrest, to vast ecological disaster and the seeming demise of democracy around the globe. Despite this—or perhaps because of this—the period was rich in technological, cultural, and social development. How did this decade of crisis help form a new kind of modernity, one that continues to reverberate in our world today? Our task is to try and answer this question. To do so, we will examine the material and representational cultures of the period, such as new technologies of the era (both imagined and realized), popular entertainments (music, novels, and Hollywood films), the arts (folk arts, handicrafts, and the “fine” arts); and examples of the work of planners, architects, and industrial designers (consumer products, buildings, even whole cities both built and unbuilt). Through these and other examples, we will develop a better understanding of the relationship between crisis and creativity, and how different people used space, place, and representations to attempt to exert power over politics, wealth, and the American imagination itself.

American Studies 101 Speed in American Culture (4 units) – Class #23713
Instructors: A. Shanken/D. Henkin
Tu 6:30-9:30, Room 88 Dwinelle

Perceptions of the accelerated pace of life and ideas about the meaning of that acceleration dominate our picture of modern society in the United States. But what is the history of this perception and those ideas? Our interdisciplinary course explores the various contexts in which artists, intellectuals, scientists, consumers, and spectators have found speed remarkable or meaningful. In weekly interactive lectures and discussions, we encourage you to interrogate what it means to speak of things as moving rapidly or slowing down and how celebrations and fears of velocity have shaped society, culture, politics, and everyday experience over the past century and a half.

American Studies H 110 One American Life: Historical Facts—Artistic Fiction (4 units) – Class # 27870
Instructor: M. Lovell
M 2-5, Room 102 Socsci

INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED TO ENROLL
This seminar focuses on the autobiography published in 1850 by an African-American woman who grew up in New England. Born poor but free and resourceful, she spent a decade at the Tsar’s court in Russia observing the urban populace, the military, and the royal family. She also traveled to the Caribbean, eluded those who sought to enslave her, and, safe back in Boston, left us an account of her unique adventures. The first half of the semester we will do intensive research to investigate her narrative, ascertain the backstory to her sometimes enigmatic observations, and create an annotated version of her text. During the second half of the term the class will create a screenplay based on her life. In other words, this is both a research seminar giving students an opportunity to learn about the period 1800-1860 in the U. S., the Caribbean, and Russia in some depth, and an opportunity to turn the facts of a life into art.

American Studies C 111 E The Harlem Renaissance (4 units) – Class # 26609
Instructors: C. Palmer/B. Wagner
MW 12-2, Room 112 Haviland

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH ENGLISH C136 

This course explores the social, cultural, political, and personal awakenings in the literature, art, and music of the Negro Renaissance or the New Negro Movement, now commonly known as the Harlem Renaissance. This is remembered as a time (roughly 1918-1930) when, in the midst of legal segregation and increasing anti-Black mob violence, Black American writers, artists, philosophers, activists, and musicians, congregating in New York City’s Harlem, reclaimed the right to represent themselves in a wide range of artistic forms and activist movements. At stake: who were, and are, Black Americans? What was distinctive about Black art? What gave it such broad, international appeal? Could art be used to uplift the conditions of a people? Were Black artists obligated to make their art a means of protest against racism? If they were, would they produce art or propaganda? Our task in this course is to explore these and other questions through close analysis of major works by Claude McKay, Nella Larsen, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Aaron Douglas, Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, and many others.

 

“Place” Courses

American Studies 102 Let There Be Light: UC Berkeley in American History and Culture (4 units) – Class # 23714
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
TTh 11-12:30, Room 240 Mulford

The university founded in 1868 as, simply, the University of California is more than just the state’s flagship public institution of higher education. Over the past one hundred and fifty years, UC Berkeley has become a potent and often powerful cultural symbol—a shorthand for academic excellence, transformative activism, radical politics, the institutional exploitation of Indigenous peoples, or the devastating power of nuclear war. In this class, Berkeley students will become Berkeley scholars as we engage in a critical examination of UC Berkeley as a place, and consider how the institution’s cultural meaning and function has changed over time. By combining history, visual culture, material culture, and popular media (including literature, music, and film), our interdisciplinary study of Berkeley will consider what this place can teach us about politics, higher education, race, gender, class, sports, geography, popular culture, colonialism, national identity, and power in the United States. Students will also engage in hands-on research using primary sources from university archives and library collections, and design capstone projects that investigate campus buildings, landscapes, public spaces, and works of art.

American Studies 102 Hands on the Vines: The California Wine Industry (4 units) – Class # 28061
Instructor: A. Saragoza
TTh 2-4, Room 141 Giannini

This course examines the California wine industry, where most of the attention will be given to the period since the “wine boom” of the 1980s.  While the Napa/Sonoma region will be at the center of that discussion, the course will encompass state, national and international dimensions of the ascent of that area as a premier site for the production of fine wine. Trends in wine consumption will be extensively considered in light of social and cultural currents.  A field trip visit to a winery will be included in the course among other related activities.

 

Honors Seminar

American Studies H 110 One American Life: Historical Facts—Artistic Fiction (4 units) – Class # 27870
Instructor: M. Lovell
M 2-5, Room 102 Socsci

INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED TO ENROLL

This seminar focuses on the autobiography published in 1850 by an African-American woman who grew up in New England. Born poor but free and resourceful, she spent a decade at the Tsar’s court in Russia observing the urban populace, the military, and the royal family. She also traveled to the Caribbean, eluded those who sought to enslave her, and, safe back in Boston, left us an account of her unique adventures. The first half of the semester we will do intensive research to investigate her narrative, ascertain the backstory to her sometimes enigmatic observations, and create an annotated version of her text. During the second half of the term the class will create a screenplay based on her life. In other words, this is both a research seminar giving students an opportunity to learn about the period 1800-1860 in the U. S., the Caribbean, and Russia in some depth, and an opportunity to turn the facts of a life into art.

Special Courses of Interest

American Studies 139 AC Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History (4 units) – Class # 28887
Instructor: W. Martin
TTh 2-3:30, Room 101 Barker

PLEASE NOTE: Students cannot enroll in this course and there are no seats available. To enroll, please enroll in History C139C. It is the same course as AS 139AC.

Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History presents a top-down (political and legal history), bottom-up (social and cultural history), and comparative (by race and ethnicity as well as region) view of America’s struggles for racial equality from roughly World War II until the present. Beginning with the onset of World War II, America experienced not a singular, unitary Civil Rights Movement as is typically portrayed in standard textbook accounts and the collective memory, but rather a variety of contemporaneous civil rights and their related social movements. These movements, moreover, did not follow a tidy chronological-geographic trajectory from South to North to West, nor were their participants merely black and white. Instead, from their inception, America’s civil rights movements unfolded both beyond the South and beyond black and white. “Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History” endeavors to equip students with a greater appreciation for the complexity of America’s civil rights and social movements history, a complexity that neither a black / white nor nonwhite / white framework adequately captures. Put another way, “Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History” will examine how the problem of the color line which W.E.B. DuBois deemed to be in 1903 the problem of the twentieth century might better be viewed as a problem of color lines. If America’s demographics are increasingly beyond black and white, if “the classic American dilemma has now become many dilemmas of race and ethnicity,” as President Clinton put it in the late 1990s, if color lines now loom as the problem of the 21st century, then a course on America’s civil rights and social movements past may very well offer a glimpse into America’s civil rights and social movements present and future.

American Studies C 172 History of American Business (4 units) – Class # 26992
Instructor: C. Rosen
TTh 11-12:30, Room N100 Chou 

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH UGBA C172

This course covers an amazing history of creative innovation, growth, structural change, challenge, trouble, travail and more growth, more change, challenge, and trouble. Less than two hundred years ago, the U.S. was just starting to transform itself from a country of farmers and village craftsmen into a nation based on large scale, mechanized, corporate controlled industry. It is now an industrial colossus dominated by huge multinational corporations that operate in markets around the world. Its leaders are experiencing many forms of disruptive innovation. They must manage, find economic opportunities, and politically maneuver in a marketplace that is being constantly shaped and reshaped by international competition, technological and financial innovation, and the ever insistent demands from the investor community for maximal profits every quarter. They must also deal with new forms of financial, economic, social, and environmental regulation, here and abroad, as well as the ongoing rise of new generations of dynamic competitors in China, India, and other parts of the developing world. How has American business gotten to where it is today? How can historical insight help us understand the strategic, organizational, geo-political, economic, social, and environmental problems, opportunities and challenges facing todays corporate managers? The purpose of UGBA AS C 172 is to give you historical perspective on these issues. The course illuminates the parallels and continuities as well as the differences between current and past developments in management problem solving, technological and organizational innovation, and business-government interaction, as well as businesss impact on American culture and its relationship with society as a whole.

History 125 A – African American History and Race Relations: 1450-1860 (4 units) – Class # 28885
Instructor: S. Jones-Rogers
TTh 5-6:30, Room 206 VLSB

The course will survey African American history from the African background to the outbreak of the Civil War. The origins and development of Afro-American society, culture and politics will be explored from the perspective of African-Americans themselves: slave and free, North and South. Throughout, the enduring dilemma of race relations functions as a central theme.

History 137 AC Immigrants and Immigration as U.S. History (4 units) – Class # 30627
Instructor: D. Henkin
MW 5-7, Room 2060 VLSB

This course examines the coming together of people from five continents to the United States and provides an historical overview of the shifting patterns of immigration. The course begins in the colonial era when servants and slaves typified the migrant to America. It then follows the migration of the pre-industrial immigrants, through migration streams during the industrial and “post-industrial” eras of the nation.

 

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

American Studies H 110 One American Life: Historical Facts—Artistic Fiction (4 units) – Class # 27870
Instructor: M. Lovell
M 2-5, Room 102 Socsci Bldg.

INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED TO ENROLL

This seminar focuses on the autobiography published in 1850 by an African-American woman who grew up in New England. Born poor but free and resourceful, she spent a decade at the Tsar’s court in Russia observing the urban populace, the military, and the royal family. She also traveled to the Caribbean, eluded those who sought to enslave her, and, safe back in Boston, left us an account of her unique adventures. The first half of the semester we will do intensive research to investigate her narrative, ascertain the backstory to her sometimes enigmatic observations, and create an annotated version of her text. During the second half of the term the class will create a screenplay based on her life. In other words, this is both a research seminar giving students an opportunity to learn about the period 1800-1860 in the U. S., the Caribbean, and Russia in some depth, and an opportunity to turn the facts of a life into art.

English 130 A – American Literature: Before 1800 (4 units) – Class # 26540
Instructor: E. Tamarkin
TTh 12:30-2, Room 88 Dwinelle

Lectures on and discussion of the major writers of the early American period.

English 130 B American Literature: 1800-1865 (4 units)
Instructor: S. Otter
TTh 2-3:30, Room 210 Dwinelle

Lectures on and discussion of the major texts of the American Renaissance

History 123 Civil War and Reconstruction (4 units) – Class # 30599
Instructor: M. Gudgeirsson
TTh 5-6:30, Room 129 Socsci Bldg.

This lecture course will take a broad view of the political, social, economic, and cultural history of the United States in the mid-19th century in order to explore both the causes of the Civil War and its effects on American development. Major topics will include slavery and race relations (north and south), class relations and industrialization, the organization of party politics, and changing ideas about and uses of government power.

History 125 A African American History and Race Relations: 1450-1860 (4 units) – Class # 28885
Instructor: S. Jones-Rogers
TTh 5-6:30, Room 206 VLSB 

The course will survey African American history from the African background to the outbreak of the Civil War. The origins and development of Afro-American society, culture and politics will be explored from the perspective of African-Americans themselves: slave and free, North and South. Throughout, the enduring dilemma of race relations functions as a central theme.

 

Senior Thesis Seminar

Students will meet in a seminar that will help them research and write their senior theses.

American Studies 191 Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15443
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
W 12-2, Room 39 Evans
American Studies 191 Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15057
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
F 12-2, Room 72 Evans
American Studies H 195 Honors Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 19273
Instructor: A. Craghead
W 4-6, Room 45 Evans 
American Studies H 195 Honors Thesis Seminar (4 units) –  Class # 18934
Instructor: A. Craghead
Th 2-4, Room 122 Latimer Hall

FACULTY ADVISOR APPROVAL AND/OR INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED

« NOTE: In order to receive honors in American Studies, a student must have an overall UC 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 their eligibility with an American Studies faculty advisor.

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

American Studies 10 – Love, American Style (4 units) – Class # 23547
Instructor: C. Palmer 
TTh 9:30-11, Room 102 Wurster
Sections 
101: W 4-5, 285 Cory
102: Th 4-5, 242 Hearst Gym

On the Private Dancer album in 1984, Tina Turner asked, “What’s love got to do, got to do with it?”—a question that rose to the top of the US Billboard Hot 100. This course proposes to take the reverberations of Turner’s question seriously as a means of approaching the study of American culture and history. We will consider how love has been depicted and deployed in the service of: romance and its concomitant lust and attachment; arguments about sex and sexuality; domestic labor and family organization; friendship; ethnic, racial, and generational differences; the wedding industry; consumer culture; ritualized behavior; and the built environment. By focusing on love as a theory, a fantasy, a place, an event, and a media construct, this course provides an introduction to and a “toolkit” for the interdisciplinary study of American culture.

American Studies 10 – American Makers: Workers, Artists, Activists, and Drop-outs (4 units) – Class # 33275
Instructor: A. Craghead
MW 2-4, Room 35 Evans
What does it mean to make? From methods of industrial mass production, to handicrafts positioned as critiques against those methods, to “make” things within American culture is to engage in a struggle over every meaning. The everyday objects of life—food, clothing, shelter—are all made things. So, too are cultures and traditions. Even ideas are said to be “constructed,” which is another way of saying “made.” Questions of what is made, who makes, and who benefits from making have long been salient with American cultures.By focusing on the concept of “making” as a practice, a process, and a theory of meaning, this course  provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of America. We will look at the historical, political, economic, and cultural meanings of “making” in the U.S as expressed and experienced in literature, popular culture, material culture, and the built environment.
 

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 Explosive Ideologies: American Culture in the Atomic Age (4 units) – Class # 30373
Instructor: C. Palmer
MW 12-2, Room SOCS 60

This course is about the evolution of modern American culture between the end of World War II and the end of the Cold War. During these years, the United States was shaped and challenged by the building of the atomic bomb, the decision to use it, and the subsequent nuclear arms race. The threat of nuclear annihilation, the rise of anti-Communist ideology, the development of a powerful military-industrial complex, the reliance on covert and proxy warfare, the intersection of civil rights and foreign policy, changing family dynamics and postwar sexuality, civil defense and social engineering programs, and the Hollywood movie monsters that reveal how deeply nuclear preoccupations penetrated the mass culture of the nation are among the topics this course will consider. A central question of the course is: how did the bomb challenge old assumptions and compel reconsideration of accepted norms? Our task in this course is to figure out how people used and responded to the rhetoric of progress and annihilation in the United States. We will study a variety of literary and visual media, and research scientific and political publications, aesthetic and artistic movements, and spectacular public events.

American Studies 101 – Classical Music and American Mass Culture Between the World Wars (4 units) – Class #30784
Instructor: D. Miller
MW 4-6, Room 2038 VLSB

Classical music was big business in the United States in the years preceding the First World War, but not for American composers. As audiences flocked to performances of music by European composers, the most famous work of “American” classical music was not American at all: Czech composer Antonín Dvořák’s New World Symphony. But all that would soon change. Over the course of the 1920s and 30s, a new wave of composers redefined what American classical music could be by responding to the distinctly American experiences of their time. Black composers like Florence Price and William Grant Still blended symphonic forms with blues and spirituals. “Ultra-modern” composers like Ruth Crawford Seeger and (UC Berkeley alum) Henry Cowell wrote radical music to match their increasingly radical politics. And Aaron Copland crafted what would become known as a quintessentially American sound, but only after drawing inspiration from the folk-music-infused works of Mexican composer Carlos Chávez.

While all of these composers reached out to audiences by incorporating popular music idioms and/or addressing topical issues, this era also marks the beginning of classical music’s diminished role within mainstream American culture. A century later, classical music is arguably less popular in the United States than ever before. By considering the political, social, and cultural forces that shaped these composers’ music, we will seek to better understand this seeming paradox, and to explore divergent visions of America’s past, present, and future. No prior knowledge of classical music or music notation is required.

American Studies C 111 E – American Culture in the Age of Obama (4 units) – Class # 24139
Instructor: S. Saul
TTh 3:30-5, Room 204 Wheeler

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH ENGLISH C136 

This course traces, across many forms of American culture, what might be called “the Obama effect.” Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has suggested that the election of Obama prompted a renaissance of black writing, in part by stimulating “curiosity about the community he had so consciously made his home and all the old, fitfully slumbering questions he’d awakened about American identity.” In this course, we’ll examine how a wide range of imaginative writers, in a wide spectrum of genres, took on those questions and offered counternarratives to conventional myths of American innocence, achievement, and glory. We’ll also explore works of music, film, and theater that, like Obama’s autobiography, rewrote the romance of America—whether, say, by adding hip-hop accents to the story of the country’s founding (Hamilton), turning a story of interracial romance into a horror tale (Get Out), or creating an Afro-futurist, queer-inflected story of slave revolt (Janelle Monáe’s Metropolis saga). Along the way, we’ll consider two of the social movements that coalesced and gathered force during Obama’s presidency: Occupy and Black Lives Matter. We’ll investigate how these movements challenged the limits—political, economic, moral—of the “age of Obama” through art and political action, and looked to create new forms of radical community while protesting inequality and state violence

History 136 C – Defiant Women: Gender, Power and Violence in American History (4 units) – Class # 26014
Instructor: S E. Jones-Rogers
TTh 5-6:30pm, location TBA

Taking as its focus diverse groups of women who have shaped the course of North American history, this class will explore the relationship between gender, power and violence from the colonial period to the modern era. We will discuss how women have challenged conventional notions of “womanhood” through their words and their deeds, how their respective communities understood their behavior, and we will contemplate the ways in which these women simultaneously constructed narratives of power that do not conform to contemporary conceptualizations of their lives.

 

“Place Courses”

American Studies 102 – California Stories: Tourism, Labor, and Theater in the Golden State (4 units) – Class # 31221
Instructor: S. Steen
TTh 11-12:30, Room 3113 Etcheverry

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH THEATER 126

How might we characterize California?  What makes us unique?  Who lives here, and what are the stories we tell about them? 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, tourism – 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.

American Studies 102 – The American Southwest: The Construction and Mediation of Regional Identity (4 units) – Class # 30788
Instructor: A. Craghead
TTh 3:30-5, Room 89 Dwinelle

This course explores the relationship between imagination and place in the region we call the “Southwest.” We will interrogate how the region has been defined through geographic strategies of control, representation in art, literature, and film; mediation of everyday life through material culture; and several other means. Examples include the development of national parks and tourist economies; the creation of regional aesthetics and architectural styles; and depictions of the Southwest in novels, Hollywood films, and contemporary streaming television. How are place-based identities formed? Who defines a region, and to what ends? How do ideas shape places, and places in turn give shape to ideas? Class activities include both lectures and in-class discussions, modest reading responses, one midterm, a paper proposal, and a final research paper.

American Studies 102 AC – Beaches in Mind: The Beach in American Culture (4 units) – Class # 24562
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
MW 2-4, Room 60 SOCS

THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE AMERICAN CULTURES REQUIREMENT

This course will explore the meaning, history, and culture of the beach in the United States. From Oahu’s North Shore to the Inkwell on Martha’s Vineyard, to Florida’s “Redneck Riviera” and the Southern California beaches that starred in Beach Boys songs in the 1960s, the beach has loomed large in both the lived experience and the symbolic imagination of ordinary Americans since the nineteenth century. What is the culture of the beach, and why does it matter? By combining history, material culture, and popular media (including literature, music, and film), our interdisciplinary study of the beach will consider what American beaches can teach us about race, gender, indigeneity, class, sexuality, work, leisure, the environment, popular culture, and power in the United States. Our class will also include (public health conditions permitting!) optional class visits to local Bay Area beaches.

American Studies C 171 – The American Designed Landscape Since 1850 (3 units) – Class # 20908
Instructor: L. Mozingo
TTh 2-3:30, Room 101 Wurster

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH LAND ARCH C171

This course surveys the history of American landscape architecture since 1850 in four realms: 1) urban open spaces–that is squares, plazas, parks, and recreation systems; 2) urban and suburban design; 3) regional and environmental planning; 4) gardens. The course will review 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. Students will complete a midterm, final, and a research assignment.

American Studies C 171 – The American Designed Landscape Since 1850 (3 units) – Class # 20768
Instructor: L. Mozingo
TTh 3:30-5, Room 101 Wurster Hall

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH LAND ARCH C171

This course surveys the history of American landscape architecture since 1850 in four realms: 1) urban open spaces–that is squares, plazas, parks, and recreation systems; 2) urban and suburban design; 3) regional and environmental planning; 4) gardens. The course will review 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. Students will complete a midterm, final, and a research assignment.

History of Art 192 G Writing About Berkeley’s Built Environment: Two Residential Neighborhoods (4 units) – Class # 31217
Instructor: M. Lovell
Tue 2-5, Room 425 Doe Library

Interested students should talk to an AS faculty advisor before enrolling.

Students in this writing-intensive upper-division seminar will investigate Berkeley’s residential history with case studies of two distinct neighborhoods, one in the hills and one in the flats. The hills section includes Native American sites, the Southern Pacific Railroad tunnel, and topographically-sensitive platting designed with deeply theorized c. 1910 ideas generated by a group of activist progressive women about the relationship between settlement and topography, as well as houses designed by Berkeley’s most distinguished architects. The residential section in the flats is an historically-Black neighborhood that includes homes in which railroad porter Leon Marsh, newspaper man Thomas C. Fleming, politician William Byron Rumford, police officer Walter Gordon, and WPA artist Sargent Johnson lived. Students will learn about redlining and protective covenants as well as campaigns to establish native species of plants and alleés of street trees and parks. They will learn about and write about evolving transportation systems.

The project of the course is two-pronged: to engage students in developing the skills to write a wide variety of different kinds of research/analytical essays on the one hand, and, on the other, to work as a group toward National Register designations for both these neighborhoods. Students will practice real-world persuasive writing, acquiring life skills that will contribute to our pool of knowledge and a public sense of value in the crafting and ‘reading’ of streetscapes and neighborhoods.

The course investigates the built environment of Berkeley as a collaborative long-term art/design project, the result of generations of inventiveness and repurposing inspired by a sense of community and consensus as well as by raw economic and social forces. Assigned readings are spare (no more than one essay a week) as there are weekly research/writing assignments.

 

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

History 136 C – Defiant Women: Gender, Power and Violence in American History (4 units) – Class # 26014
Instructor: S E. Jones-Rogers
TTh 5-6:30pm, location TBA

Taking as its focus diverse groups of women who have shaped the course of North American history, this class will explore the relationship between gender, power and violence from the colonial period to the modern era. We will discuss how women have challenged conventional notions of “womanhood” through their words and their deeds, how their respective communities understood their behavior, and we will contemplate the ways in which these women simultaneously constructed narratives of power that do not conform to contemporary conceptualizations of their lives.

History 7 A – Introduction to the History of the United States: The United States from Settlement to Civil War (4 units) – Class # 21740
Instructor: B. DeLay
TTh 3:30-5, location Internet/Online

This course introduces the history of North America through the era of Reconstruction. Usually U.S. history surveys follow the expanding sphere of English colonization; that is, the geographic scope of the course widens as English speakers occupy more and more of the continent. The problem with this approach is that it consigns everyone else to the margins, as if they were merely waiting for English-speakers to bring history to them. We’ll pursue a different approach. Our unit of analysis will be the continent. English colonies will emerge as part of a larger international system, one comprised of Spanish, Dutch, and French colonies, and, especially, of the scores of indigenous polities that controlled most of the continent for most of the period we’ll be studying. Major themes will include slavery, Native American history, inter-imperial rivalry, revolution, inequality, democracy, white supremacy, and the economic and political development of the early United States. Primary sources will be the main focus of weekly readings and of the two paper assignments. The midterm and final exams will assess your ability to mobilize material from lecture in the service of historical arguments. Lectures will be remote and asynchronous. Success in this class requires command of the lecture material, but the asynchronous format will mean you can watch them on your own weekly schedule. Attendance in discussion sections is required, so please choose a section time that you can attend. Free digital versions of three of the required texts—The Narrative of Cabeza de Vaca, They Were Her Property, and Attitudes Toward Sex in Antebellum America—will be available via bCourses.

Native American Studies 71 – Native Americans in North America to 1900 (4 units) – Class # 23992
Instructor: E. Lima
TTh 9:30-11, Room 108 Wheeler

An ethnohistorical analysis of America’s original inhabitants and their interactions with Europeans and Euro-Americans emphasizing an Indian perspective.

 

Senior Thesis Seminars

Students will meet in a seminar that will help them research and write their senior theses.

American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15079
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
W 10-12, Room 41 Evans
American Studies H 195 – Honors Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 19147
Instructor: A. Craghead
W 10-12, Room 89 Dwinelle

FACULTY ADVISOR APPROVAL AND/OR INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED

« NOTE: In order to receive honors in American Studies, a student must have an overall UC 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 their eligibility with an American Studies faculty advisor.

Special Courses of Interest

Architecture 170 A – An Historical Survey of Architecture and Urbanism (4 units) – Class # 20614
Instructor: A. Shanken
TTh 11-12:30, Room 112 Wurster

The first part of this sequence studies the ancient and medieval periods; the second part studies the period since 1400; the aim is to look at architecture and urbanism in their social and historical context.

English 137 B – Chicana/o Literature and Culture Since 1910 (4 units) – Class # 30985
Instructor: M. Gonzalez
MWF 12-2, Room 224 Wheeler

This course will focus exclusively on the study of Chicanx/Latinx novels published over the last fifty years. The themes and formal features in these novels have been influenced to a large degree by a broad range of experiences, including: living in the borderlands of nationality, language, and culture; growing up female in a male-centered environment; standing up against racism, sexism, and homophobia; engaging in class struggles; encountering various forms of organized state repression; migrating and immigrating; getting involved in political movements; sometimes becoming complicit with the forces of domination; responding to internal ideological conflicts; and expressing these experiences in art and literature. Because this is a reading-intensive course, we will spend considerable time in class discussing the novels and conducting collective close readings of selected passages. Class participation is required and will be factored into the course grade. We’ll read and discuss a few works of literary criticism to help us analyze the aesthetic qualities of these novels and to understand how Chicanx novels expand and enrich the American literary tradition generally.

English 178 A – Literature and Law (4 units) – Class # 32037
Instructor: B. Wagner
MWF 1-2, Room 222 Wheeler

This course is an introduction to the field of law and literature. It begins with a survey of foundational work by H. L. A. Hart, Robert Cover, Cheryl Harris, Martha Nussbaum, and others before turning to a series of United States Supreme Court cases read in tandem with contemporaneous literary works addressing matters of slavery, citizenship, and equity. The course concludes with a three-week collaborative research and writing workshop that will allow students the opportunity to pursue questions of their own design in a 15-page essay.

History 133 A – History of American Capitalism (4 units) – Class # 32061
Instructor:  C. Rosenthal
TTh 12:30-2, location Internet/Online

What is capitalism? And when did it come to characterize the American economy? This course will explore the economic history of the United States, from the colonial period to the present. We will analyze the dramatic changes that catapulted a chain of colonies from the fringe of the global economy to its center. As the semester progresses, we will seek out the sources of this dramatic transformation, exploring a variety of overlapping and sometimes conflicting explanations. Is this primarily a story about ideas and economic outlook? Is it about entrepreneurship and innovation? Or about exploitation and expropriation? What role did the government play? What role the individual? Major themes will include the rise of the factory system, slavery and emancipation, immigration and labor, the development of banking and finance, and economic inequality. In addition to building their knowledge of American history, students will gain theoretical familiarity with three subfields of history: business history, economic history, and labor history. We will explore the ways each of these fields has generated different narratives that celebrate and/or critique American capitalism. And at every turn we will consider how these different narratives alternately highlight and minimize the important roles played by business elites, enslaved people, laborers, women, and immigrants. Rarely was the “invisible hand” colorblind or gender neutral. The course will discuss both famous businessmen and largely-forgotten workmen, women, and slaves. We will examine capitalism both from above and from below, seeking to understand the causes and consequences of economic change for different groups of Americans.

History of Art 192 G – Writing About Berkeley’s Built Environment: Two Residential Neighborhoods (4 units) – Class # 31217
Instructor: M. Lovell
Tue 2-5, Room 425 Doe Library

Interested students should talk to an AS faculty advisor before enrolling.

Students in this writing-intensive upper-division seminar will investigate Berkeley’s residential history with case studies of two distinct neighborhoods, one in the hills and one in the flats. The hills section includes Native American sites, the Southern Pacific Railroad tunnel, and topographically-sensitive platting designed with deeply theorized c. 1910 ideas generated by a group of activist progressive women about the relationship between settlement and topography, as well as houses designed by Berkeley’s most distinguished architects. The residential section in the flats is an historically-Black neighborhood that includes homes in which railroad porter Leon Marsh, newspaper man Thomas C. Fleming, politician William Byron Rumford, police officer Walter Gordon, and WPA artist Sargent Johnson lived. Students will learn about redlining and protective covenants as well as campaigns to establish native species of plants and alleés of street trees and parks. They will learn about and write about evolving transportation systems.

The project of the course is two-pronged: to engage students in developing the skills to write a wide variety of different kinds of research/analytical essays on the one hand, and, on the other, to work as a group toward National Register designations for both these neighborhoods. Students will practice real-world persuasive writing, acquiring life skills that will contribute to our pool of knowledge and a public sense of value in the crafting and ‘reading’ of streetscapes and neighborhoods.

The course investigates the built environment of Berkeley as a collaborative long-term art/design project, the result of generations of inventiveness and repurposing inspired by a sense of community and consensus as well as by raw economic and social forces. Assigned readings are spare (no more than one essay a week) as there are weekly research/writing assignments.

Music C 138 – Art and Activism (4 units) – Class # 23159
Instructors: T.C. Roberts, C. Lucas
W 10-1, Room 250 Morrison

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH LS C138

This course explores the intersections between aesthetic practice and social change. Students will investigate—in both theory and practice—the capacity of art making to cultivate transformation of themselves, their relationships, their practices, their institutions, and the larger economic and socio-political structures in which they function, locally and globally. Focusing on historical and contemporary artists and political issues, we ask: 1) How is art impacted by social change? 2) How has art been used toward social change? and 3) How can we, as course participants, use art to bring about social change? Rooted in interdisciplinary scholarship, students will engage theoretical debates and historical analyses regarding the role of the arts in social change and examine the particular capacities of the arts to negotiate across and between cultures, languages, and power-laden lines of difference. Taking a broad view of activism, we will consider the ways in which artistic practices foster radical imaginations that can expand our sense of the possible. Case studies will span media including visual arts, theater, dance, poetry/spoken word, literature, and music.

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 – The Art of Advertising: Consumption and Culture in Postwar America (4 units) – Class # 14997
Instructor: A. Craghead
MTW 12-2:30, location Internet/Online
SUMMER SESSION D

NOTE: Lectures will be a combination of synchronous/recorded and asynchronous/recorded. Any student can be accommodated.

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.

American Studies 101 AC – P.T. Barnum and Other Scams (4 units) – Class # 14996
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
MTW 12-2:30, location Internet/Online
SUMMER SESSION A

NOTE: All lecture content will be asynchronous. Class meetings (which will focus on discussion and work with sources) will be held live on Wednesdays 12-2:30 pm.

THIS COURSE SIMULTANEOUSLY SATISFIES THE AMERICAN STUDIES TIME AND PRE-1900 REQUIREMENTS.

THIS COURSE ALSO SATISFIES THE AMERICAN CULTURES REQUIREMENT

What can we learn about American culture by studying its scams? In this class, we will closely examine the scammers, grifters, tricksters, and con artists that began to terrify urban Americans in the nineteenth century. As the United States grew more urban, more industrialized, and more structured around capitalism and consumerism, interactions with strangers became a part of daily life for the first time in the nation’s history. From the confidence men who haunted American cities to the “humbug” peddled by showmen like P.T. Barnum, deception seemed to lurk around every corner, and many Americans felt increasingly anxious about their ability—or inability—to tell truth from fiction. Our examination of American scams will focus especially on the middle decades of the nineteenth century (1830–1870), an era during which the nation’s population tripled, Barnum opened his American Museum in New York City, and Herman Melville published his final novel, The Confidence-Man. As we grapple with questions about popular culture, spectacle, consumption, the media, art, violence, race, and the body, we will also consider the resonance and residue of nineteenth-century scamming in our contemporary world.

 

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

American Studies 101 AC – P.T. Barnum and Other Scams (4 units) – class # 14996
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
MTW 12-2:30, location Internet/Online
SUMMER SESSION A

NOTE: All lecture content will be asynchronous. Class meetings (which will focus on discussion and work with sources) will be held live on Wednesdays 12-2:30 pm.

THIS COURSE SIMULTANEOUSLY SATISFIES THE AMERICAN STUDIES TIME AND PRE-1900 REQUIREMENTS

THIS COURSE ALSO SATISFIES THE AMERICAN CULTURES REQUIREMENT

What can we learn about American culture by studying its scams? In this class, we will closely examine the scammers, grifters, tricksters, and con artists that began to terrify urban Americans in the nineteenth century. As the United States grew more urban, more industrialized, and more structured around capitalism and consumerism, interactions with strangers became a part of daily life for the first time in the nation’s history. From the confidence men who haunted American cities to the “humbug” peddled by showmen like P.T. Barnum, deception seemed to lurk around every corner, and many Americans felt increasingly anxious about their ability—or inability—to tell truth from fiction. Our examination of American scams will focus especially on the middle decades of the nineteenth century (1830–1870), an era during which the nation’s population tripled, Barnum opened his American Museum in New York City, and Herman Melville published his final novel, The Confidence-Man. As we grapple with questions about popular culture, spectacle, consumption, the media, art, violence, race, and the body, we will also consider the resonance and residue of nineteenth-century scamming in our contemporary world.

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

American Studies 10 At Home in America (4 units) 
Instructors: K. Moran and C. Palmer
TTh 12:30-2, location Internet/Online
Sections
W 12-1
W 1-2
Th 2-3
Th 3-4

NOTE: Lectures will be a combination of synchronous/recorded and asynchronous/recorded. Any student can be accommodated.

Synchronous discussion section attendance is required.

As a metaphor for being and belonging, HOME is central to exploring American history, politics, literature, culture, architecture, race relations, economics, folklore, and popular culture. By focusing on the American home as a place, a theory, an experience, a fantasy, and a media construct, this course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary study of America.

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 – The Harlem Renaissance (4 units) – Class # 21398
Instructors: C. Palmer and B. Wagner
TTh 9:30-11, location Internet/Online 

NOTE: Lectures will be a combination of synchronous/recorded and asynchronous/recorded. Any student can be accommodated.

This course explores the social, cultural, political and personal awakenings in the literature, art and music of the Negro Renaissance or the New Negro Movement, known as the Harlem Renaissance.  This is remembered as a time (roughly 1918-1930) when, in the midst of legal segregation and increasing anti-Black mob violence, Black American writers, artists, philosophers, activists, and musicians, congregating in New York City’s Harlem, reclaimed the right to represent themselves in a wide range of artistic forms and activist movements

Langston Hughes remembered the Harlem Renaissance as the time “when the Negro was in vogue”—a time when Black American art and artists captured the attention of the world. George Schuyler held that the Harlem Renaissance was neither a representative nor a definitive moment for Blacks in America. Alain Locke, whose The New Negro (1925) was instrumental in revealing the Black talent burgeoning in Harlem, asked in 1931, “Has the afflatus of Negro self-expression died down? Are we outliving the Negro Fad?” Implicit in each of these positions are a set of questions about the nature of identity, art, modernism, progress, which point to the dilemma as defined by W.E.B. Du Bois in The Souls of Black Folk in 1903: “One ever feels his twoness—an American, a Negro: two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings, two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” At stake: who were, and are, Black Americans? What was distinctive about Black art? What gave it such broad, international appeal? Could art be used to uplift the conditions of a people? Were Black artists obligated to make their art a means of protest against racism? If they were, would they produce art or propaganda? What were the general social, cultural, political and economic conditions of the period during which the Harlem Renaissance developed? How was the Black art that presented and challenged social conventions both shaped by those conventions and able to disengage from them? Our task in this course is to figure out what explains the Harlem Renaissance and what its most important legacies are.

English 174 – The Seventies (4 units)
Instructor: S. Saul
Day and time TBA, location TBA

As one historian has quipped, it was the worst of times, it was the worst of times“The ’70s” routinely come in for mockery: even at the time, it was known as the decade when “it seemed like nothing happened.”

Yet we can see now that the ’70s was a time of cultural renaissance. It gave us the New Hollywood of Scorcese, Coppola and others; the music of funk, disco, punk and New Wave; the postmodern comedy of Saturday Night Live and the postmodern drama of Off-Off-Broadway; and a great range of literary fiction written by women authors from Ursula LeGuin and Margaret Atwood to Toni Morrison and Maxine Hong Kingston. It was also a period of intense political realignments — the moment the United States was roiled by the oil crisis, the fall of Nixon and the fall of Saigon; by the advent of women’s liberation, gay liberation, and environmentalism as mass grassroots movements; and by the rise of the Sunbelt and the dawning of the conservative revolution. One might even say that the ’70s were the most interesting decade of the post-WWII era — the period when the dreams of the ‘60s were most intensely, if achingly, fulfilled.

Lastly, the ’70s may be the decade closest to our own contemporary moment. We will consider how the roots of our current predicament lie in the earlier decade — with its backlash against movements for racial justice, its gun culture, its corruption of the political process, its fetish for self-fulfillment, and its fascination with the appeal of instant and often empty celebrity. We will, in turn, reflect on how Americans in the ’70s struggled with many of the dilemmas that we face now.

The last time this course was taught, the students in the class collaborated to produce The Godfather: Anatomy of a Film” — a site that approaches the film from 18 different angles (and that now receives around 300-400 visitors per day). We will aim to produce a similarly collective project about another artistic touchstone of the 1970s.

 

“Place” Courses

American Studies 102 – American Themescapes (4 units) – Class # 26522
Instructors: K.Moran and A. Shanken
MW 2-4, location Internet/Online  

NOTE: ALL LECTURES WILL BE RECORDED AND WILL BE ASYNCHRONOUS. ALTHOUGH STUDENTS MAY ABLE TO TUNE IN DURING THE CLASS PERIOD, IF THEY SO WISH.

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 expands the repertoire of themed environments and reevaluates 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 film, advertising, “nature,” leisure, historic preservation, and museums.

American Studies 102 – The Great American City: Chicago in the Nineteenth Century (4 units) – Class # 21399
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
MW 10-12, location Internet/Online   

THIS COURSE SIMULTANEOUSLY SATISFIES BOTH THE PLACE AND PRE-1900 MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

NOTE: All lecture content will be asynchronous. Class meetings (which will focus on discussion and work with sources) will be held live on Wednesdays 10am–12pm PST, and recorded for students who cannot attend them synchronously. No class meetings will be held on Mondays.

This course will examine Chicago, Illinois, in its first century. When the Town of Chicago was founded in 1833, it had only 200 residents. Sixty years later, when it hosted more than 27 million visitors to the World’s Columbian Exposition, the City of Chicago had 1.1 million residents, making it the second-largest city in the country. What was it like to live in such a rapidly expanding and ever-changing place—and what did Chicago symbolize to Americans living elsewhere in the United States, a country undergoing its own enormous transformation? In this class we will examine the ordinary and extraordinary Chicago: from daily life, labor, and leisure, to the enormous and unprecedented world’s fair in 1893. By combining history, literature, visual culture, and popular media, our interdisciplinary study of early Chicago will consider what this place can teach us about urban life, architecture, race, gender, work, culture, science, and national identity in the nineteenth-century United States.

American Studies 102 Wall Street/Main Street (4 units) – Class # 32609
Instructors: M. Brilliant and S. Solomon
TTh 9:30-11, location Internet/Online   
Sections
Tu 1-2
Tu 3-4
W 10-11
W 12-1

As longstanding symbols 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 run by greedy financiers with deep pockets, while Main Street is home to unassuming “mom-and-pop” shops patronized by ordinary people of modest means who live in the surrounding wholesome small towns. 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 over the course of the twentieth century, 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.

Assessment will be based on 1-2 papers, an open-book midterm and final, and section attendance and participation, which may include weekly reading response assignments to be posted in bCourses. The final exam will be a written exam held during the class’s scheduled exam time: Wednesday, May 12, 11:30am–2:30pm.

Two of the required texts—The Day Wall Street Exploded by Beverly Gage, and Capital Moves: RCA’s Seventy-Year Quest for Cheap Labor by Jefferson Cowie—will be available electronically through the Library at no cost.

Class Notes:
Lectures will be a mix of asynchronous and synchronous; sections will be synchronous.

American Studies H 110 – What Is This?! (4 units) – Class # 26101
Instructor: A. Shanken
F 9-12, location Internet/Online  

INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED TO ENROLL

The word “thing” comes from proto-Germanic words like thingam that surprisingly are about assembly, council, and discussion. Things, those inert objects we place on shelves, throw in drawers, and jettison on trash heaps, have their roots in action, communication, and space. There is no “thing” without its corresponding behavior and there is no behavior without its corresponding place. This class looks at the relationship between things, actions, communication, and place, and it does so particularly within the modern American context of production, consumption, and obsolescence. It is primarily a class in writing creative non-fiction (and reading it). Students will be asked to write short weekly essays about stuff (bricks, paper clips, bras, marbles, collectibles, junk), the places we keep them (mantles, boxes, boutiques, attics), and what they say to us and about us. The class is intended as a supportive workshop environment for students to observe closely and write incisively about the things around them.

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

American Studies 102 – The Great American City: Chicago in the Nineteenth Century (4 units) – Class # 21399
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
MW 10-12, location Internet/Online  

THIS COURSE SIMULTANEOUSLY SATISFIES BOTH THE PLACE AND PRE-1900 MAJOR REQUIREMENTS

NOTE: All lecture content will be asynchronous. Class meetings (which will focus on discussion and work with sources) will be held live on Wednesdays 10am–12pm PST, and recorded for students who cannot attend them synchronously. No class meetings will be held on Mondays.

This course will examine Chicago, Illinois, in its first century. When the Town of Chicago was founded in 1833, it had only 200 residents. Sixty years later, when it hosted more than 27 million visitors to the World’s Columbian Exposition, the City of Chicago had 1.1 million residents, making it the second-largest city in the country. What was it like to live in such a rapidly expanding and ever-changing place—and what did Chicago symbolize to Americans living elsewhere in the United States, a country undergoing its own enormous transformation? In this class we will examine the ordinary and extraordinary Chicago: from daily life, labor, and leisure, to the enormous and unprecedented world’s fair in 1893. By combining history, literature, visual culture, and popular media, our interdisciplinary study of early Chicago will consider what this place can teach us about urban life, architecture, race, gender, work, culture, science, and national identity in the nineteenth-century United States.

History 125 A – African American History and Race Relations: 1450-1860 (4 units) – Class # 30853
Instructor: S. Jones-Rogers
MW 5-6:30, location Internet/Online 

The course will survey African American history from the African background to the outbreak of the Civil War. The origins and development of Afro-American society, culture and politics will be explored from the perspective of African-Americans themselves: slave and free, North and South. Throughout, the enduring dilemma of race relations functions as a central theme.

 

Senior Thesis Seminars

Note: Seminar meetings will be held live, and recorded for students who cannot attend them synchronously

American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15685
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
W 2-4, location Internet/Online.
American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15686
Instructor: M. Briiliant
W 2-4, location Internet/Online

Senior Honor Thesis Seminar

American Studies H 195 – Honors Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 19673
Instructor: C. Palmer
Th 2-4pm, location Internet/Online 

FACULTY ADVISOR APPROVAL AND/OR INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED

Honors Seminar

American Studies H 110 – What Is This?! (4 units) – Class # 26101
Instructor: A. Shanken
F 9-12, location Internet/Online 

INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED TO ENROLL

The word “thing” comes from proto-Germanic words like thingam that surprisingly are about assembly, council, and discussion. Things, those inert objects we place on shelves, throw in drawers, and jettison on trash heaps, have their roots in action, communication, and space. There is no “thing” without its corresponding behavior and there is no behavior without its corresponding place. This class looks at the relationship between things, actions, communication, and place, and it does so particularly within the modern American context of production, consumption, and obsolescence. It is primarily a class in writing creative non-fiction (and reading it). Students will be asked to write short weekly essays about stuff (bricks, paper clips, bras, marbles, collectibles, junk), the places we keep them (mantles, boxes, boutiques, attics), and what they say to us and about us. The class is intended as a supportive workshop environment for students to observe closely and write incisively about the things around them.

Special Courses of Interest

American Studies C 172 – History of American Business (4 units)
Instructor: C. Rosen
TTh 12:30-2, location Internet/Online 

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH UGBA C172

NOTE: Lectures will be both live and recorded for students who cannot attend them synchronously.

This course covers an amazing history of creative innovation, growth, structural change, challenge, trouble, travail and more growth, more change, challenge, and trouble. Less than two hundred years ago, the U.S. was just starting to transform itself from a country of farmers and village craftsmen into a nation based on large scale, mechanized, corporate controlled industry. It is now an industrial colossus dominated by huge multinational corporations that operate in markets around the world. Its leaders are experiencing many forms of disruptive innovation. They must manage, find economic opportunities, and politically maneuver in a marketplace that is being constantly shaped and reshaped by international competition, technological and financial innovation, and the ever insistent demands from the investor community for maximal profits every quarter. They must also deal with new forms of financial, economic, social, and environmental regulation, here and abroad, as well as the ongoing rise of new generations of dynamic competitors in China, India, and other parts of the developing world. How has American business gotten to where it is today? How can historical insight help us understand the strategic, organizational, geo-political, economic, social, and environmental problems, opportunities and challenges facing todays corporate managers? The purpose of UGBA AS C 172 is to give you historical perspective on these issues. The course illuminates the parallels and continuities as well as the differences between current and past developments in management problem solving, technological and organizational innovation, and business-government interaction, as well as businesss impact on American culture and its relationship with society as a whole.

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

African American Studies C 20 AC – The 2020 Election (4 units) – Class # 33927
Instructors: M. Cohen and S. Jayaraman
MW 10-12, Instruction Mode: Flex
Sections
Sec 101 – Th 8-9, 155 Barrows
Sec 102 – W 8-9, 174 Barrows
Sec 103 – Th 12-1, Location TBA
Sec 104 – W 12-1, Location TBA
Sec 105 – W 4-5, Location TBA
Sec 106 – W 5-6, Location TBA
Sec 107 – W 3-4, Location TBA
Sec 108 – W 10-11, Location TBA
Sec 106 – W 5-6, Location TBA

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH PUBLIC POLICY C20AC

During the fall 2020 semester we will have the quadrennial opportunity to study American politics during a presidential campaign. Combining real-time analysis of the election, an in-depth study of the relevant historical and sociological trends that are shaping this moment, and a lively roster of guest speakers from across the Berkeley campus and community, this class will provide students with a comprehensive and interdisciplinary introduction to American politics.

American Studies 10 – Everyday America (4 units) – Class # 23974
Instructor: C. Palmer
TTh 9:30-11, Remote 
Sections
Section 101 – M 4-5, 121 Latimer
Section 102 – W 4-5, 121 Latimer

This course will examine significant aspects of the everyday and the ordinary in American life. Through the analysis of multiple forms of folk, popular, and mass culture—from front porches to closets, from board games to playgrounds, from the remembered South to the end of the world, from the mixtape to the music video—this course provides an introduction to and a “toolkit” for the interdisciplinary study of American culture.

Letters and Science 40 E – Learning from Disney (4 units) – Class # 33206
Instructor: K. Moran
MW 4-6, Remote
Sections
Section 101 – T 9-10, 245 Hearst Gym
Section 102 – T 10-11, 224 Wheeler
Section 103 – Th 1-3, 104 Wheeler
Section 104 – M 2-3, 105 Barrows
Section 105 – Th 5-6, 159 Mulford

The word “Disney” refers to a man who died in 1966, a film studio that became a global media corporation, six amusement parks/resorts, an oeuvre of audio-visual texts with hundreds of characters and millions of associated products, and a theory of space and landscape design. The word also suggests a set of ideological messages about gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality and nationhood. This course will focus on all things “Disney” to introduce students to the study of American history, Hollywood films as cultural representations, and the American built environment.

 

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 AC – Americans and their Stuff: Object Lessons from the Civil War Era (4 units) – Class # 24933
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
MW 12-2, Remote

THIS CLASS FULFILLS THE AMERICAN CULTURES REQUIREMENT.

What can we learn about American people and their culture by studying their stuff? In this class, we will closely examine the objects that were part of everyday life in the United States in the middle of the nineteenth century (approximately 1846 to 1877). As tensions between the North and South worsened and the nation descended into a devastating Civil War, ordinary people living across North America continued to live daily lives saturated with objects: they exchanged coins and bank notes, sewed clothing, prepared meals, mailed letters, used tools, purchased medicines and cosmetics, shot guns, and cared for dead and dying bodies. While the objects themselves may have differed, people across the country depended on and drew from meaning from their stuff—whether they were enslaved families in South Carolina, immigrant neighborhoods in San Francisco, white middle-class families in Boston, or native communities on the Great Plains. By combining the methodology and sources of material culture with examinations of history, literature, and popular media, our interdisciplinary study of American stuff will consider what objects can teach us about culture, identity, and community in the shadow of war, and the lessons we can draw for our twenty-first century world. 

History 122 AC – Antebellum America: The Advent of Mass Society (4 units) – Class # 32006
Instructor: D. Henkin
MW 5-7, Remote

The Civil War is commonly regarded as the second American Revolution, the grand rupture after which a new modern nation came into being. But many of the institutions, ideologies, and practices that make up modern society and culture in the United States emerged more gradually during the period immediately preceding that war. To understand the origins of such contemporary phenomena as the mass media, corporate capitalism, wage labor, the two-party system, family values, and racism, we need to trace their evolution in the nineteenth century. This lecture course examines a little over half a century of life in the United States (roughly from 1810 until the secession of the South), focusing on everyday life, popular culture, race relations, democratic politics, westward expansion, urbanization, class formation, religious experience, gender roles, sexuality, print communication, and competing claims to wealth, power, and the good life. Assigned readings will consist largely of first-person narratives in which women and men of varied backgrounds and identities try to make sense of their own experiences against the backdrop of major social change.

History 136 C – Defiant Women: Gender, Power and Violence in American History (4 units)
Instructor: S E. Jones-Rogers
TTh 5-7, Remote 

Taking as its focus diverse groups of women who have shaped the course of North American history, this class will explore the relationship between gender, power and violence from the colonial period to the modern era. We will discuss how women have challenged conventional notions of “womanhood” through their words and their deeds, how their respective communities understood their behavior, and we will contemplate the ways in which these women simultaneously constructed narratives of power that do not conform to contemporary conceptualizations of their lives.

History of Art 185 D – The Transatlantic Gilded Age and Its Discontents (4 units) Class # 31553
Instructor: M. Lovell
TTh 9:30-1, Remote

“The Transatlantic Gilded Age and Its Discontents” considers the arts of the United States, England, and France 1865-1918 looking at the Salon and the Louvre; the École des Beaux Arts; the Arts and Crafts movement; and international expositions in Chicago, Paris, Vienna and San Francisco. Focus is on the arts & institutions of the wealthy and bourgeoisie, as well as on works designed to critique the architecture, manners, & activities of the transatlantic elite. Authors, architects, & artists include Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Thorstein Veblen, John Ruskin, Jacob Riis, Henry James, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, John Ruskin, William Morris, Augustus St. Gaudens, Edmonia Lewis, & more.

 

“Place” Courses

American Studies 102 – California Food Places (4 units) – Class # 24766
Instructor: K. Moran
TTh 2-3:30, Hybrid

YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE IN BERKELEY TO TAKE THIS COURSE.  INSTRUCTION WILL BE REMOTE AND THERE MAY BE OPTIONAL, IN-PERSON MEETINGS.

This course will discuss the politics, business and culture of American foodways, focusing on California. We will begin with a history of California farms and agribusiness and well as the role of food advertising and food tourism in the development of the west. We will also discuss various forms of food media, the history of California food movements, the rise of Berkeley’s “gourmet ghetto,” and popular representations of food, gender and race

American Studies 102 – Hands on the Vines: The California Wine Industry (4 units) – Class # 25315
Instructor: A. Saragoza
TTh 12:30-2, Room 108 Wheeler  

This course examines the story of the California wine industry, beginning with the early history of viticulture in the state. Most of the attention in the course will be given to the period since the “wine boom” of the 1970s to the present. The Napa/Sonoma valleys will be the focus of that discussion, but the course will take into account state, national and international issues that impinge upon the development of California’s wine industry, e.g., immigrant labor, imports, and market conditions. Social and cultural trends related to the consumption of wine will also be examined extensively, such as gender, class, race and ethnicity.

American Studies C 111 E – The Wall: Art, Literature, Performance on and about the U.S.-Mexican Border (4 units) – Class # 24705
Instructor: G. Padilla
MWF 2-3, Remote

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH ENGLISH C136

This will be a course in which we will think about the emergence of a distinct border aesthetic, one in which form is often torqued by dispiriting content but which, simultaneously, also finds beauty in the cultural and natural ecologies that trace the border.

We will read The Devil’s Highway, by Luis Alberto Urrea, view documentaries like Rebecca Cammisa’s Which Way Home? and Daffodil Altan’s Kids Caught in the Crackdown, and read the poetry of Javier Zamorra, Emmy Perez, Michelle Otero, and Juan Felipe Herrera, among other poets/essayists, and we will consider art as border performance in the work of Ana Teresa Fernandez, Alberto Caro, and Guillermo Gomez Pena.

American Studies C 171 – The American Designed Landscape Since 1850 (3 units) – Class # 21021
Instructor: L.Mozingo
TTh 2-3:30, Remote 

 THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH ARCH C171

This course surveys the history of American landscape architecture since 1850 in four realms: 1) urban open spaces–that is squares, plazas, parks, and recreation systems; 2) urban and suburban design; 3) regional and environmental planning; 4) gardens. The course will review 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. Students will complete a midterm, final, and a research assignment.

American Studies C 171 – The American Designed Landscape Since 1850 (3 units) – Class # 20908
Instructor: L. Mozingo
TTh 2-3:30, Room 101 Wurster 

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH ARCH C171

This course surveys the history of American landscape architecture since 1850 in four realms: 1) urban open spaces–that is squares, plazas, parks, and recreation systems; 2) urban and suburban design; 3) regional and environmental planning; 4) gardens. The course will review 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. Students will complete a midterm, final, and a research assignment.

American Studies C 171 – The American Designed Landscape Since 1850 (3 units) – Class # 20768
Instructor: L. Mozingo
TTh 3:30-5, Room 101 Wurster Hall

 THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH ARCH C171

This course surveys the history of American landscape architecture since 1850 in four realms: 1) urban open spaces–that is squares, plazas, parks, and recreation systems; 2) urban and suburban design; 3) regional and environmental planning; 4) gardens. The course will review 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. Students will complete a midterm, final, and a research assignment.

Architecture 179 – Americans on the Road (4 units) – Class # 33402
Instructor: M. Crawford
Tu 10-12, Remote

Since the publication of Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road” in 1856, connections between mobility and freedom have been foundational concepts in American culture. This course will explore the multiple forms and dimensions that mobility has taken since then, including topics such as migration, railroads, road infrastructure, automobiles, tourism, and roadside landscapes, among others. Since the US was the first country to widely adopt cars, automobility will be a major topic. Beginning in the 1920s, the automobile reshaped the built environment, social relations and leisure pursuits in dramatic ways that still affect us. Although Whitman saw the open road as democratic and inclusive, this has rarely been the case. Class, gender, and, most importantly, race have defined access to mobility. While Whitman and later writers such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg undertook road trips as spontaneous journeys to connect with the nation, African-Americans needed to consult the Green Book to find hotels and restaurants that would serve them. Acronyms such as DWB (Driving While Black) underline important limits to the freedom of the road.

After 1950, more people on the move produced a uniquely American roadside landscape that generated such negative responses as Peter Blake’s 1964 diatribe, God’s Own Junkyard. Later, in Learning from Las Vegas, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown argued for a newly positive and analytical perspective on mobility and the commercial vernacular. Today, with widespread criticism of automobility, these roadside strips have become objects of nostalgia. Looking into the future, proponents of autonomous vehicles predict that mobility will take new and unprecedented forms.

This research seminar will explore the cultural, social, and spatial contexts and significance of mobility and its outcomes.  The format will be based on lectures, reading and discussion. Students will select and present their own topics for research. Topics can range widely, including historical, cultural, architectural, urban and non-US subjects.

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

American Studies 101 AC – Americans and their Stuff: Object Lessons from the Civil War Era (4 units) – Class # 24933
Instructor S. Gold McBride
MW 12-2, Remote

THIS CLASS FULFILLS THE AMERICAN CULTURES REQUIREMENT.

What can we learn about American people and their culture by studying their stuff? In this class, we will closely examine the objects that were part of everyday life in the United States in the middle of the nineteenth century (approximately 1846 to 1877). As tensions between the North and South worsened and the nation descended into a devastating Civil War, ordinary people living across North America continued to live daily lives saturated with objects: they exchanged coins and bank notes, sewed clothing, prepared meals, mailed letters, used tools, purchased medicines and cosmetics, shot guns, and cared for dead and dying bodies. While the objects themselves may have differed, people across the country depended on and drew from meaning from their stuff—whether they were enslaved families in South Carolina, immigrant neighborhoods in San Francisco, white middle-class families in Boston, or native communities on the Great Plains. By combining the methodology and sources of material culture with examinations of history, literature, and popular media, our interdisciplinary study of American stuff will consider what objects can teach us about culture, identity, and community in the shadow of war, and the lessons we can draw for our twenty-first century world. 

English 130 B – American Literature: 1800 to 1850 (4 units) – Class # 24407
Instructor: S. Otter
MW 12-2, Remote

We will read the extraordinary fiction, poetry, essays, and speeches of this period, including works by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Fanny Fern, Herman Melville, Abraham Lincoln, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. We will pay particular attention to literary form and technique, to social and political context, and to the ideological formations and transformations of these decades, especially the urgent debates about democracy, slavery, race, gender, sexuality, individuality, theology, economic system, social reform, the role of writers, and the power and limits of words. Two midterms and one final examination will be required. See also https://english.berkeley.edu/courses/6482

History 122 AC – Antebellum America: The Advent of Mass Society (4 units) – Class # 32006
Instructor: D. Henkin
MW 5-7, Remote  

The Civil War is commonly regarded as the second American Revolution, the grand rupture after which a new modern nation came into being. But many of the institutions, ideologies, and practices that make up modern society and culture in the United States emerged more gradually during the period immediately preceding that war. To understand the origins of such contemporary phenomena as the mass media, corporate capitalism, wage labor, the two-party system, family values, and racism, we need to trace their evolution in the nineteenth century. This lecture course examines a little over half a century of life in the United States (roughly from 1810 until the secession of the South), focusing on everyday life, popular culture, race relations, democratic politics, westward expansion, urbanization, class formation, religious experience, gender roles, sexuality, print communication, and competing claims to wealth, power, and the good life. Assigned readings will consist largely of first-person narratives in which women and men of varied backgrounds and identities try to make sense of their own experiences against the backdrop of major social change.

History 136 C – Defiant Women: Gender, Power and Violence in American History (4 units)
Instructor: S E. Jones-Rogers
TTh 5-7, Remote 

Taking as its focus diverse groups of women who have shaped the course of North American history, this class will explore the relationship between gender, power and violence from the colonial period to the modern era. We will discuss how women have challenged conventional notions of “womanhood” through their words and their deeds, how their respective communities understood their behavior, and we will contemplate the ways in which these women simultaneously constructed narratives of power that do not conform to contemporary conceptualizations of their lives.

History of Art 185 D The Transatlantic Gilded Age and Its Discontents (4 units) – Class # 31553
Instructor: M. Lovell
TTh 9:30-11, Remote 

“The Transatlantic Gilded Age and Its Discontents” considers the arts of the United States, England, and France 1865-1918 looking at the Salon and the Louvre; the École des Beaux Arts; the Arts and Crafts movement; and international expositions in Chicago, Paris, Vienna and San Francisco. Focus is on the arts & institutions of the wealthy and bourgeoisie, as well as on works designed to critique the architecture, manners, & activities of the transatlantic elite. Authors, architects, & artists include Mark Twain, Edith Wharton, Thorstein Veblen, John Ruskin, Jacob Riis, Henry James, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, John Ruskin, William Morris, Augustus St. Gaudens, Edmonia Lewis, & more.

 

Senior Thesis Seminar

Note: Seminar meetings will be held live, and recorded for students who cannot attend them synchronously

American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15145
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
W 10-12, Remote  

 

Senior Honor Thesis Seminar

American Studies H 195 – Honors Thesis Seminar
Instructor: C. Palmer
Th 12-2, Remote 

FACULTY ADVISOR APPROVAL AND/OR INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED

 

Special Courses of Interest

American Studies 110 – The Secret History of America (4 units) – Class # 33147
Instructor: M. Cohen
Th 2-5, location TBD 

What are the origins of the present crisis? Who writes the secret history of America? Any of us and all of us. Some can, some do, and in this class we will try. And we will do this against the backdrop of a presidential election and a world in crisis. Combining real-time analysis of the election, and an in-depth study of the relevant historical and sociological trends that are shaping this moment, this seminar will take up an interdisciplinary analysis of American politics in a time of unprecedented crisis and possibility. Designed with a dual purpose of providing a history of the present moment while serving as an active laboratory for generating new knowledge about how students engage with US electoral politics, this class will be both discussion seminar and writing workshop. We will start by reading extensively in the fields of contemporary history and politics before publishing two articles on-line, one before the other after the election.

American Studies 189 – Research and Writing in American Studies (3 units) – Class # 31215
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
F 2-4, Remote

This class is designed to provide a solid foundation for American Studies majors preparing to write their senior thesis next semester or next year. Through weekly seminar meetings, one-on-one conversations, and regular research and writing assignments, we will work together to strengthen your skills as an American Studies scholar, and to develop thesis project plans for every student. We will focus on both the creative and practical aspects of producing American Studies scholarship: we will read examples of excellent cultural studies writing, practice key skillsets like writing a strong research question, and discuss the logistics of tracking down library resources. By the end of the semester, you will have a thesis topic, a solid list of primary sources to investigate, and a plan for a thesis project that will help you feel confident when you enroll in AS 191 or AS H195.

Architecture 179 – Americans on the Road (4 units) – Class # 33402
Instructor: M. Crawford
Tu 10-12, Remote 

Since the publication of Walt Whitman’s “Song of the Open Road” in 1856, connections between mobility and freedom have been foundational concepts in American culture. This course will explore the multiple forms and dimensions that mobility has taken since then, including topics such as migration, railroads, road infrastructure, automobiles, tourism, and roadside landscapes, among others. Since the US was the first country to widely adopt cars, automobility will be a major topic. Beginning in the 1920s, the automobile reshaped the built environment, social relations and leisure pursuits in dramatic ways that still affect us. Although Whitman saw the open road as democratic and inclusive, this has rarely been the case. Class, gender, and, most importantly, race have defined access to mobility. While Whitman and later writers such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg undertook road trips as spontaneous journeys to connect with the nation, African-Americans needed to consult the Green Book to find hotels and restaurants that would serve them. Acronyms such as DWB (Driving While Black) underline important limits to the freedom of the road.

After 1950, more people on the move produced a uniquely American roadside landscape that generated such negative responses as Peter Blake’s 1964 diatribe, God’s Own Junkyard. Later, in Learning from Las Vegas, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott-Brown argued for a newly positive and analytical perspective on mobility and the commercial vernacular. Today, with widespread criticism of automobility, these roadside strips have become objects of nostalgia. Looking into the future, proponents of autonomous vehicles predict that mobility will take new and unprecedented forms.

This research seminar will explore the cultural, social, and spatial contexts and significance of mobility and its outcomes.  The format will be based on lectures, reading and discussion. Students will select and present their own topics for research. Topics can range widely, including historical, cultural, architectural, urban and non-US subjects.

 

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

American Studies 10 – “Frontiers” in American History and Culture (4 units) – Class # 18860
Instructors: C. Palmer and M. Brilliant
TTh 9:30-11, Room 141 McCone
Sections
Sec. 101: T 12-1, 238 Dwinelle
Sec. 102: T 1-2, 115 Kroeber
Sec. 103: Th 2-3, 238 Kroeber
Sec. 104 Th 3-4, 238 Kroeber

Few, if any, concepts in American history and culture resonate more powerfully and reverberate more persistently than the “frontier.” This course will explore multiple manifestations of the frontier in United States history and culture, from the nineteenth century western frontier, to the early twentieth century overseas frontier associated with U.S. expansion abroad, to the mid-twentieth century’s “crabgrass” (or, suburban), “atomic,” and “final” (space) frontiers, to the late twentieth century’s “digital” / “electronic” frontier.  Each of these frontiers will serve as a lens through which we will introduce students to the concepts and methods of American Studies.

 

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 – P.T. Barnum and Other Scams (4 units) – Class # 18863
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
MW 10-12, Room 115 Kroeber

What can we learn about American culture by studying its scams? In this class, we will closely examine the scammers, grifters, tricksters, and con artists that began to terrify urban Americans in the nineteenth century. As the United States grew more urban, more industrialized, and more structured around capitalism and consumerism, interactions with strangers became a part of daily life for the first time in the nation’s history. From the confidence men who haunted American cities to the “humbug” peddled by showmen like P.T. Barnum, deception seemed to lurk around every corner, and many Americans felt increasingly anxious about their ability—or inability—to tell truth from fiction. Our examination of American scams will focus especially on the middle decades of the nineteenth century (1830–1870), an era during which the nation’s population tripled, Barnum opened his American Museum in New York City, and Herman Melville published his final novel, The Confidence-Man. As we grapple with questions about popular culture, spectacle, consumption, the media, art, violence, race, and the body, we will also consider the resonance and residue of nineteenth-century scamming in our contemporary world.

American Studies 102 – East Bay Revolution (4 units) 
Instructor: S. Saul
MW 10:30-12:30, location TBA

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN 109

APPLICATION REQUIRED –APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED AND COURSE IS FULL. 

NOTE: This course satisfies either the TIME or PLACE requirement, but not both.

This course delves into the history of the East Bay in the 1960s and 1970s, with particular attention to the emergence of countercultural and social-movement communities. In this project-oriented course, students will work in teams as they reconstruct and analyze particular sites of protest and culture-making across the East Bay, from Berkeley to Emeryville and Oakland. Students will develop their own multi-media digital history projects, which will add significant new dimensions to the platform (The Berkeley Revolution) built by previous Cal undergraduates

American Studies C 111 E – Culture in the Age of Obama (4 units) 
Instructor: S. Saul
MW 5-6:30, Room 20 Wheeler

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH ENGLISH C136

The course traces, across many forms of American culture, what might be called the “Obama effect.” Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates has suggested that the election of Obama prompted a renaissance of black writing, in part by stimulating “curiosity about the community he had so consciously made his home and all the old, fitfully slumbering questions he’d awakened about American identity.”

In this course, we’ll examine how a wide range of imaginative writers, in a wide spectrum of genres, took on those questions, often offering “counternarratives” to conventional myths of American innocence, achievement, and glory. We’ll also explore works of music, film, and theater that, like Obama’s autobiography, rewrote the romance of America — whether, say, by adding hip-hop accents to the story of the country’s founding (Hamilton), turning a story of interracial romance into a horror tale (Get Out), or creating an Afro-futurist, queer-inflected story of slave revolt (Janae Monae’s Metropolis saga).

Along the way, we’ll consider two of the social movements that coalesced and gathered force during Obama’s presidency: Occupy and Black Lives Matter. We’ll investigate how these movements challenged the limits – political, economic, moral – of the “age of Obama” through art and political action, and looked to create new forms of radical community while protesting inequality and state violence.

History 136 A – The History of Women in the United States Before 1900 (4 units) – Class # 31147
Instructor: S. Jones-Rogers
TTh 12:30-2, Room 145 Dwinelle

This course is a survey of the history of women in America from the pre-colonial period to the turn of the twentieth century. It examines the significant cultural, economic, and political developments that shaped the lives of American women, but places gender at the center of historical analysis. The course also stresses the variety of women’s experiences, acknowledging the importance of race, ethnicity, and class in shaping female lives.

 

“Place” Courses

American Studies 102 – Oakland | City (4 units) –  Class # 18864
Instructor: J. Winet
TTh 2-3:30, Room 110 Barrows

The 2020 edition “Oakland | City” renews an active investigation of the unique dynamics of the Bay Area’s third largest city, closest to the Campanile, and home to many Cal students.

In concert with in-class lectures and presentations highlighted by visits from civic and community leaders, students will direct individual and collaborative public digital humanities research in areas to include but not limited to the City’s sports teams, film scene, political activists, cultural organizations, museums, DIY initiatives, galleries and music clubs, library, police department, neighborhood business improvement districts, advocates for the homeless, and city government.

Class activity will also include working on audio, video, photography and website production.

Integral to the class are one or two field trips to Oakland, and final public and online multimedia research presentations.

American Studies 102 – The American Southwest: The Construction and Mediation of Identity (4 units) – Class # 21061
Instructor: A. Craghead
MW 12-2, Room 214 Haviland

This course explores the relationship between imagination and place in the region we call the “Southwest.”  We will interrogate how the region has been defined through geographic strategies of control, representation in art, literature, and film; mediation of everyday life through material culture; and several other means. Examples include the development of national parks and tourist economies; the creation of regional aesthetics and architectural styles; and depictions of the Southwest in novels, Hollywood films, and contemporary streaming television. How are place-based identities formed? Who defines a region, and to what ends? How do ideas shape places, and places in turn give shape to ideas? Class activities include both lectures and in-class discussions, weekly reading responses, a research paper, one midterm, and a final exam.

American Studies 102 – East Bay Revolution (4 units) 
Instructor: S. Saul
MW 10:30-12:30, location TBA 

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN 109

APPLICATION REQUIRED –APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED AND COURSE IS FULL. 

NOTE: This course satisfies either the TIME or PLACE requirement, but not both.

This course delves into the history of the East Bay in the 1960s and 1970s, with particular attention to the emergence of countercultural and social-movement communities. In this project-oriented course, students will work in teams as they reconstruct and analyze particular sites of protest and culture-making across the East Bay, from Berkeley to Emeryville and Oakland. Students will develop their own multi-media digital history projects, which will add significant new dimensions to the platform (The Berkeley Revolution) built by previous Cal undergraduates.

 

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

American Studies 101 – P.T. Barnum and Other Scams (4 units) – Class # 18863
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
MW 10-12, Room 115 Kroeber

What can we learn about American culture by studying its scams? In this class, we will closely examine the scammers, grifters, tricksters, and con artists that began to terrify urban Americans in the nineteenth century. As the United States grew more urban, more industrialized, and more structured around capitalism and consumerism, interactions with strangers became a part of daily life for the first time in the nation’s history. From the confidence men who haunted American cities to the “humbug” peddled by showmen like P.T. Barnum, deception seemed to lurk around every corner, and many Americans felt increasingly anxious about their ability—or inability—to tell truth from fiction. Our examination of American scams will focus especially on the middle decades of the nineteenth century (1830–1870), an era during which the nation’s population tripled, Barnum opened his American Museum in New York City, and Herman Melville published his final novel, The Confidence-Man. As we grapple with questions about popular culture, spectacle, consumption, the media, art, violence, race, and the body, we will also consider the resonance and residue of nineteenth-century scamming in our contemporary world.

English 130 A – American Literature Before 1800 (4 units) – Class # 22168
Instructor: K. Donegan
TTh 11-12:30, Room 140 Barrows 

This course surveys the literatures of early America, from the tracts that envisioned the impact of British colonization to the novels that measured the after-shock of the American Revolution. Throughout, we will consider colonial America as a place of encounter—a place where diversity was a given, negotiation was a necessity, and transformation was inescapable. We will read broadly in the many genres of writing produced in the colonial and early national era, keeping our eyes trained both to literary form and to the world beyond the page. Our topics will include contact and settlement, “translations” of Native American culture, religious and social formations, captivity narratives, natural history, print culture, the Atlantic slave trade, the writing of revolution, and the contested ideals of the new republic. Throughout, we will pay special attention to how writing operated to forge new models of the self that could withstand and absorb the tumult of colonial life.

English 133 A – African American Literature and Culture Before 1917 (4 units) – Class # 30376
Instructor: B. Wagner
MW 5 -6:30, Room 129 Dwinelle

This course explores African American literary history from its beginning in the eighteenth century to the turn of the twentieth century, interpreting major works in the context of slavery and its aftermath. We will reflect on the complex relationship between literature and political activism by examining the genres and formal devices through which African Americans responded to the demand for individual and collective self-representation. Course themes include authorship and authenticity, captivity and deliverance, law and violence, memory and imagination, kinship and miscegenation, passing and racial impersonation, dialect and double consciousness. Works by authors such as Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, and W. E. B. Du Bois are supplemented by readings in history, theory, and criticism. Two essays, two exams, and weekly writing. This course satisfies the university’s Historical Studies breadth requirement. See also https://english.berkeley.edu/courses/6300

History 136 A – The History of Women in the United States Before 1900 (4 units) – Class # 31147
Instructor: S. Jones-Rogers
TTh 12:30-2, Room 145 Dwinelle

This course is a survey of the history of women in America from the pre-colonial period to the turn of the twentieth century. It examines the significant cultural, economic, and political developments that shaped the lives of American women, but places gender at the center of historical analysis. The course also stresses the variety of women’s experiences, acknowledging the importance of race, ethnicity, and class in shaping female lives.

 

Senior Thesis Seminars

American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 16049
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
M 2-4, Room 35 Evans 
American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 16050
Instructor: M. Cohen
Tu 2-4, Room 115 Kroeber
American Studies 191 Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 16051
W 2-4, Room 35 Evans
Instructor: S. Gold McBride

 

Senior Honor Thesis Seminar

American Studies H 195 – Honors Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 18517
Instructor: C. Palmer
W 10-12, 104 GPPB

FACULTY ADVISOR APPROVAL AND/OR INSTRUCTOR CONSENT REQUIRED

 

Honors Seminar

American Studies H 110 – Standing in a Crooked Room Speaking God’s Language: Memory, Creation, and Fiction (4 units) – Class # 30343
Instructor: C. Palmer
W 2-5, Room 236 Evans 

CONSENT OF INSTRUCTOR REQUIRED.

In her 2011 Sister Citizen, political scientist Melissa Harris-Perry suggested that the racial and gender stereotypes that confront Black women place them in “a crooked room, and they have to figure out which way is up.”  In this course, we will explore how a wide range of artists, across a variety of genres and forms, have figured out how to stand in the crooked room or shattered its ceiling and walls by wielding what Toni Morrison, in 1996, called “God’s language”—the movement from memory to creation to narrative and back to memory.  We will also examine music, film, sculpture, poetry, and prose that reconceive womanhood, imagination, the rural south and the urban north, freedom, and the American dream—whether by recasting troubling history (Robin Coste Lewis’s poetry collection Voyage of the Sable Venus and Other Poems); celebrating femme decadence (Solange Knowles’s album A Seat at the Table); or turning a family drama into a story of haunting and lies (Kasi Lemmons’s film Eve’s Bayou).  Students are expected to engage, challenge, and assist one another as we think, speak, and write about how history, memory, narrative, and performance intersect with identity, power, place, culture, desire, imagination, and art.  Other course texts may include: Gwendolyn Brooks’s Maud Martha; Michelle Obama’s Becoming; Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed; Kara Walker’s monumental sculpture, A Subtlety; and other works by Lorraine Hansberry, Nina Simone, Zora Neale Hurston, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Audre Lorde, Janelle Monae, and Toni Morrison.  Additionally, students will have the opportunity to select texts for and lead discussions about issues relevant to their specific areas of concentration and life experiences.

 

Special Courses of Interest

English 130 A – American Literature Before 1800 (4 units) – Class # 22168
TTh 11-12:30, Room 140 Barrows 
Instructor: K. Donegan

This course surveys the literatures of early America, from the tracts that envisioned the impact of British colonization to the novels that measured the after-shock of the American Revolution. Throughout, we will consider colonial America as a place of encounter—a place where diversity was a given, negotiation was a necessity, and transformation was inescapable. We will read broadly in the many genres of writing produced in the colonial and early national era, keeping our eyes trained both to literary form and to the world beyond the page. Our topics will include contact and settlement, “translations” of Native American culture, religious and social formations, captivity narratives, natural history, print culture, the Atlantic slave trade, the writing of revolution, and the contested ideals of the new republic. Throughout, we will pay special attention to how writing operated to forge new models of the self that could withstand and absorb the tumult of colonial life.

English 133 A – African American Literature and Culture Before 1917 (4 units) – Class # 30376
Instructor: B. Wagner
MW 5 -6:30, Room 129 Dwinelle

This course explores African American literary history from its beginning in the eighteenth century to the turn of the twentieth century, interpreting major works in the context of slavery and its aftermath. We will reflect on the complex relationship between literature and political activism by examining the genres and formal devices through which African Americans responded to the demand for individual and collective self-representation. Course themes include authorship and authenticity, captivity and deliverance, law and violence, memory and imagination, kinship and miscegenation, passing and racial impersonation, dialect and double consciousness. Works by authors such as Phillis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, and W. E. B. Du Bois are supplemented by readings in history, theory, and criticism. Two essays, two exams, and weekly writing. This course satisfies the university’s Historical Studies breadth requirement. See also https://english.berkeley.edu/courses/6300

English 166 – The Literature & Art of Incarceration (4 units) – Class # 22175
Instructor: G. Padilla
MWF 11-12, location TBA  

This is a course on the literature of incarceration variously defined and experienced across a range of control systems that attempt to stunt the entire human being. I want to think about the forms of suppression, confinement, and the humiliations of control systems imposed not only on the body but on the mind and heart by the “new” prison system. We will want to concentrate on the ways human beings find the strength to survive conditions of subjection to voice their intellectual, emotional, and spiritual presence. We will open with theorizations of incarceration: chapters from Foucault’s Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison; perhaps chapters from Reiman and Leighton’s The Rich Get Richer and the Poor Get Prison; letters from George Jackson’s Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters. We will study documentary film on the steep, orchestrated rise in incarceration and the politics of prison as a racial, ethnic, gendered, class control system (13th; Babies Behind Bars; Broken on All Sides). We will read prison narrative/poetry—Jimmy Santiago Baca’s memoir/poetry (A Place to Stand), Kenneth Hartman’s autobiography (Mother California)—and women’s prison poetry and memoir (Wall Tappings), but we will also consider other forms of incarceration: Latinas incarcerated in the “domestic sphere” in Cisneros’ House on Mango Street or the tale of an affluent white woman driven to insanity, or perhaps an alternate sanity, in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper. We will consider the forms of incarceration entire communities have been subjected to en masse: Native Americans dispossessed of their tribal homes, imprisoned for resisting or writing about their confinement in U.S. society; tens of thousands of Japanese Americans (loyal Americans) sent to detention centers during WWII (Wakatsuki’s Farewell to Manzanar); thousands of Chinese immigrants who, often detained for long periods at Angel Island (in San Francisco Bay), carved poems of rage, loneliness, imagined retribution on the wood barrack walls of their “prison” in the early 20th century. In addition to textual forms of expression, I hope also to survey some of the films, art, and photography of/on incarceration. Course assignments: You will write two papers of 6-8 pages, and you will also work in discussion groups offering in-class presentations. There will be brief, unannounced quizzes on the material of the day. These cannot be made up. When class meets, I will provide more specific instructions for course assignments, essay grading rubrics, small group project work, and presentations. See also https://english.berkeley.edu/courses/6320

History 133 A – History of American Capitalism (4 units) – Class # 23895
Instructor: C. Rosenthal
TTh 11-12:30, Room 10 Evans

 What is capitalism? And when did it come to characterize the American economy? This course will explore the economic history of the United States, from the colonial period to the present. We will analyze the dramatic changes that catapulted a chain of colonies from the fringe of the global economy to its center. As the semester progresses, we will seek out the sources of this dramatic transformation, exploring a variety of overlapping and sometimes conflicting explanations. Is this primarily a story about ideas and economic outlook? Is it about entrepreneurship and innovation? Or about exploitation and expropriation? What role did the government play? What role the individual? Major themes will include the rise of the factory system, slavery and emancipation, immigration and labor, the development of banking and finance, and economic inequality. In addition to building their knowledge of American history, students will gain theoretical familiarity with three subfields of history: business history, economic history, and labor history. We will explore the ways each of these fields has generated different narratives that celebrate and/or critique American capitalism. And at every turn we will consider how these different narratives alternately highlight and minimize the important roles played by business elites, enslaved people, laborers, women, and immigrants. Rarely was the “invisible hand” colorblind or gender neutral. The course will discuss both famous businessmen and largely-forgotten workmen, women, and slaves. We will examine capitalism both from above and from below, seeking to understand the causes and consequences of economic change for different groups of Americans.

History 137 AC – The Repeopling of America (4 units) – Class # 22955
Instructor: D. Henkin
TTh 3:30-5, Room 155 Dwinelle

Though there are many ways to imagine a nation (a land, a polity, an ethnic group, a culture), America has also been identified, since its inception, with the process and prospect of people arriving from elsewhere. What is the historical basis for this idea? This course surveys the history of the United States between 1790 and 2001 through the lens of immigration and from the perspective of immigrants. Course requirements include regular participation in weekly discussion section, one close reading of assigned primary sources, one research paper, two in-class exams, and a final exam.

Music C 138 – Art and Activism (4 units) – Class # 23159
Instructor: T. Roberts
W 9-12, Room 250 Morrison

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH LS C138

This course explores the intersections between aesthetic practice and social change. Students will investigate—in both theory and practice—the capacity of art making to cultivate transformation of themselves, their relationships, their practices, their institutions, and the larger economic and socio-political structures in which they function, locally and globally. Focusing on historical and contemporary artists and political issues, we ask: 1) How is art impacted by social change? 2) How has art been used toward social change? and 3) How can we, as course participants, use art to bring about social change? Rooted in interdisciplinary scholarship, students will engage theoretical debates and historical analyses regarding the role of the arts in social change and examine the particular capacities of the arts to negotiate across and between cultures, languages, and power-laden lines of difference. Taking a broad view of activism, we will consider the ways in which artistic practices foster radical imaginations that can expand our sense of the possible. Case studies will span media including visual arts, theater, dance, poetry/spoken word, literature, and music.

 

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

African American Studies 27 AC – Lives of Struggle: Minorities in a Majority Culture (4 units) – Class # 20921
Instructor: M. Cohen
TTh 2-3:30, Room 146 Dwinelle
Sections
Section 101 Class #: 25037– Th 10-11, 285 Cory
Section 102 Class #: 25319– W 4-5, 259 Dwinelle
Section 103 Class #: 25302 – Th 12-1, VLSB 2030
Section 104 Class #: 25321 – W 12-1, 4 Evans
Section 105 Class #: 25322 – W 4-5, 71 Evans
Section 106 Class #: 25323 – W 5-6, 245 Hearst Gym
Section 107 Class #: 25324- W 3-4, 174 Barrows
Section 108 Class #: 25325 – W 5-6, 104 Barrows

The purpose of this course is to examine the many forms that the struggle of minorities can assume. The focus is on individual struggle and its outcome as reported and perceived by the individuals themselves. Members of three minority aggregates are considered: African Americans, Asian Americans (so called), and Chicano/Latino Americans. The choice of these three has to do with the different histories of members of these aggregates. Such differences have produced somewhat different approaches to struggle.

American Studies 10 – Love, American Style (4 units) – Class # 24222
Instructor: C. Palmer
TTh 9:30-11, Room 12 Haviland
Sections
Section 101 M 4-5, 115 Krober
Section 102 W 4-5, 115 Kroeber

On the Private Dancer album in 1984, Tina Turner asked, “What’s love got to do, got to do with it?”—a question that rose to the top of the US Billboard Hot 100.  This course proposes to take the reverberations of Turner’s question seriously as a means of approaching the study of American culture and history.  We will consider how love has been depicted and deployed in the service of: romance and its concomitant lust and attachment; arguments about sex and sexuality; domestic labor and family organization; friendship; ethnic, racial, and generational differences; the wedding industry; consumer culture; ritualized behavior; and the built environment.  By focusing on LOVE as a theory, a fantasy, a place, an event, and a media construct, this course provides an introduction to and a “toolkit” for the interdisciplinary study of American culture.

Letters and Science 40 C – Hollywood: The Place, the Fantasy, the Industry (4 units) – Class # 31102
Instructor: K. Moran
MW 4-6, Room 120 Latimer

Sections
LAB: (Film screenings): T 5-8, 1 LeConte
Section 101, Class #31103 T 9-10, 245 Hearst
Section 102, Class #31104 Th 10-11, 2070 VLSB
Section 103, Class #31105 Th 2-3, 2066 VLSB
Section 104, Class #31106 M 2-3, 106 Wheeler

 You can’t explain Hollywood. There isn’t any such place. It’s just the dream suburb of Los Angeles.                                                                                                                                                                -Rachel Field

This course will introduce students to the interdisciplinary field of American Studies, taking the “Hollywood Dream Factory” as its central theme. Focusing on both parts of that phrase, the course will proceed along a double path:

(1) We will examine the economic and cultural history of the neighborhood in Los Angeles called Hollywood and the development of the motion picture industry from the rise of the studio system to the “new” entertainment economy of the 1980’s. Our topics will include the founding of Los Angeles and the history of labor in the culture industry, the implications of various shifts in the spatial organization of film production, and the effects of Hollywood on the larger history of southern California.

(2) We will consider “Hollywood” stories as told by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nathanael West, Raymond Chandler, Joan Didion and John Sayles and we will discuss the way the film industry has framed its own history in the movies it makes about movies You will be required to see 12 “classic” Hollywood films, plus two contemporary movies about movies.

Our goal is to help students relate primary literary and film texts to historical arguments, social analysis and empirical data. Part of the course will be devoted to analyzing the ways that films create meaning and how the medium works to construct powerful fantasies about the boundaries between public and private, work and play, commerce and art, fantasy and reality.

THIS IS A DISCOVERY COURSE THAT FULFILLS THE COLLEGE OF LETTERS AND SCIENCE HISTORICAL OR ARTS AND HUMANITIES BREADTH REQUIREMENT.

 

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 – The Ordinary and Extraordinary 1890s (4 units) – Class # 20933
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
MW 10-12, Room 103 Moffitt

This class will closely examine a single decade of American history: the 1890s. These ten years were marked by monumental and often grave events: a crippling economic depression; a lynching epidemic; war in Cuba, the Philippines, and Lakota territory; and massive strikes by steel and railroad workers. Yet in the 1890s, ordinary American men, women, and children also went to the circus, read Cosmopolitan magazine, played basketball, tried bananas, and rode in the first underground subways. In this class we will consider both the extraordinary and the ordinary in this final decade of the nineteenth century, as we grapple with questions about race, work, science, masculinity, popular culture, identity, the body, violence, spectacle, and power. We will explore this history through the interdisciplinary lens of American Studies, analyzing a wide range of textual, visual, and material sources produced in the 1890s, including newspaper articles, popular fiction, photographs, and souvenirs.

American Studies 101 AC – World War II (4 units) – Class # 25466
MW 12-2, Room 155 Kroeber
Instructor: M. Cohen

Linking the battlefields of Europe and Asia to the factories and movie theaters of San Francisco and New York City, this course takes up the cultural and social history of World War II (1931-1945).  World War II was the most destructive war in the history of humanity, killing some 60-80 million people.  It also shattered the old European colonial order and transformed the US into the most powerful country in the world.  The war remains the source of our deepest fears of genocide and nuclear annihilation.  Yet Americans believe World War II to be “The Good War” and we revere its heroes as “The Greatest Generation.”  This class takes a global approach to WWII by focusing on three primary combatants: Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and the United States.  Consequently, this course focuses explicitly on the role of race and racism in the origins and conduct of the war.   As an American Studies class, we take an interdisciplinary approach to history, reading a range of original sources from propaganda cartoons to oral histories, war photography to experimental fiction.  So what was this war? What did Americans see and do there? And what did that doing do to us?

American Studies C 111 E – The Harlem Renaissance (4 units) – Class # 25146
Instructor: B. Wagner
TTh 3:30-5, Room 310 Hearst Mining 

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED FROM ENGLISH C136

The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement of black artists and writers in the 1920s. Centered in the Harlem neighborhood in Manhattan, the movement extended outward through international collaboration. We will be reading works by writers including Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, and Zora Neale Hurston and as well as manifestos about the nature and function of black art. Themes include migration and metropolitan life, primitivism and the avant garde, diaspora and exile, passing and identity, sexuality and secrecy, and the relation between modern art and folk tradition.

History 136 A – Defiant Women: Gender, Power and Violence in American History (4 units) – Class # 31649
Instructor: S. Jones-Rogers
TTh 12:3-2, Room 159 Mulford

COURSE HAS BEEN CANCELLED

 

“Place” Courses

American Studies 102 – Hands on the Vines: The California Wine Industry (4 units) – Class # 25250
Instructor: A. Saragoza
TTh 2-3:30, 240 Mulford 

This course examines the California wine industry and the people involved in its production, emphasizing those who do the actual labor, from grape pickers and cellar masters to the vineyard managers and winemakers. The course emphasizes the period since the famous wine tasting competition between California and French wines in 1976, which marks the onset of the “boom” in wine consumption in the U.S. The course takes into account social and cultural trends that impact on the wine industry as well as other key attendant issues: immigrant labor, foreign competition, styles of wine making, and the multiplier effects of the industry, e.g., wine tourism. The course features field trips and guest lectures by farm workers, vineyard managers, wine makers, and winery owners.

American Studies 102 AC – California, the West, and the World: From Gold and Guano to Google and the New Gilded Age – Class # 26057
TTh 9:30-11, 145 Dwinelle
Instructor: M. Brilliant

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH HISTORY 128AC

This course will survey the history of California and the American West from the mid-19th century to the dawn of the 21st century. It will situate this state and regional history within the relevant currents of global history, which have profoundly shaped and been shaped by California and the American West. We will pay particular heed to those elements of Californian and western history that are typically associated with the state’s and region’s distinctiveness as a shifting region on the national map, potent and protean symbol in the national (and, often, international) imagination, and catalyst of world historical developments from the Gold Rush and the global guano trade it sparked in the mid-19th century, to the rise of Hollywood in the early 20th century, to the development and deployment of atomic weapons in the mid-20th century, to the emergence of Silicon Valley technological innovation and New Gilded Age income polarization in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

American Studies C 171 The American-Designed Landscape Since 1850 (4 units) – Class # 20983
Instructor: L. Mozingo
TTh 2-3:30, 101 Wurster

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH LAND ARCH C171

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.

 

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

American Studies 101 – The Ordinary and Extraordinary 1890s (4 units) – Class # 20933
Instructor: S. Gold McBride
MW 10-12, 103 Moffitt

This class will closely examine a single decade of American history: the 1890s. These ten years were marked by monumental and often grave events: a crippling economic depression; a lynching epidemic; war in Cuba, the Philippines, and Lakota territory; and massive strikes by steel and railroad workers. Yet in the 1890s, ordinary American men, women, and children also went to the circus, read Cosmopolitan magazine, played basketball, tried bananas, and rode in the first underground subways. In this class we will consider both the extraordinary and the ordinary in this final decade of the nineteenth century, as we grapple with questions about race, work, science, masculinity, popular culture, identity, the body, violence, spectacle, and power. We will explore this history through the interdisciplinary lens of American Studies, analyzing a wide range of textual, visual, and material sources produced in the 1890s, including newspaper articles, popular fiction, photographs, and souvenirs. 

 

Senior Thesis Seminars 

American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15038
Instructor: Sarah Gold McBride
Th 2-4, 238 Kroeber
American Studies H 195 – Senior Honors Thesis (4 units) – Class # 19252
Instructor: C. Palmer
Th 12-2, 134 Dwinelle 

Consent of instructor or American Studies Faculty Advisor is required to enroll in this course. 

**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 ADVISER’S AGREEMENT MUST BE SUBMITTED TO COURSE INSTRUCTOR NO LATER THAN THE 2ND WEEK OF CLASSES.

 

Honors Seminar

American Studies H 110 – Mapping America (4 units) – Class # 31076
Instructor: K. Moran/D. McQuade
Th 2-5, 107 Mulford 

NOTE: ENROLLMENT REQUIRES CONSENT OF AMERICAN STUDIES FACULTY

Ranging from a fictional rendition of California in the 16th century (Las Sergas de Esplanndian /The Adventures of Esplandián, 1510 by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo) representing it as an island, blessed with gold and populated by Amazon-like women whose trained griffins feasted on surplus males to exploring contemporary renditions of sites in the landscape of the mind, “Mapping” will examine various processes of imagining and representing space as well as consider maps as cultural objects. We will also explore a range of contexts and contingencies which have helped shape acts of visualizing, conceptualizing, documenting, representing, and creating spaces graphically — as prescriptive space and imaginative possibility as well as space to be navigated.

Special Courses of Interest

History 133 A – History of American Capitalism (4 units) – Class # 30754
TTh 2-3:30, 105 North Gate 
Instructor: C. Rosenthal

What is capitalism? And when did it come to characterize the American economy? This course will explore the economic history of the United States, from the colonial period to the present. We will analyze the dramatic changes that catapulted a chain of colonies from the fringe of the global economy to its center. As the semester progresses, we will seek out the sources of this dramatic transformation, exploring a variety of overlapping and sometimes conflicting explanations. Is this primarily a story about ideas and economic outlook? Is it about entrepreneurship and innovation? Or about exploitation and expropriation? What role did the government play? What role the individual? Major themes will include the rise of the factory system, slavery and emancipation, immigration and labor, the development of banking and finance, and economic inequality. In addition to building their knowledge of American history, students will gain theoretical familiarity with three subfields of history: business history, economic history, and labor history. We will explore the ways each of these fields has generated different narratives that celebrate and/or critique American capitalism. And at every turn we will consider how these different narratives alternately highlight and minimize the important roles played by business elites, enslaved people, laborers, women, and immigrants. Rarely was the “invisible hand” colorblind or gender neutral. The course will discuss both famous businessmen and largely-forgotten workmen, women, and slaves. We will examine capitalism both from above and from below, seeking to understand the causes and consequences of economic change for different groups of Americans.

 

Lower Division Courses of Interest

American Studies 24 Tommy Orange (1 unit) – Class # 25285
Instructor: R. Hutson
M 1-2, 279 Dwinelle

Tommy Orange’s novel “There There” depicts a relatively small group of contemporary Native Americans living in Oakland, California. The novel is complex, depicting characters of all ages.  I would like to engage us in a careful, close reading of the novel, and try to expand our knowledge to think about the city of Oakland also.  As one of the characters says, “’I feel bad sometimes even saying I’m Native.  Mostly I just feel like I’m from Oakland.’” We can look at some other stories about Oakland, such as the recent film “Blindspotting.”  Class discussion will be expected.  A short paper, 3-5 pages, will be due during finals week.

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 AC – The Age of Monopoly (4 units) – Class # 14093
Instructor: Kathleen Moran
MTW 12-3, 155 Kroeber
Session A

SATISFIES THE AMERICAN STUDIES MAJOR “TIME” AND PRE-1900 REQUIREMENTS AND THE UNIVERSITY’S AMERICAN CULTURES REQUIREMENT

This course will consider the making of modern American culture between the end of the Civil War and the start of the First Great Depression. In these years the United States transformed itself from an isolated and agrarian nation into the richest, most urbanized nation in the world. These enormous changes were driven by the astonishing growth of industrial and finance capitalism into a vast corporate empire of monopolies in money, steel, tobacco, movies, food, oil, electricity, organized crime, etc. With this corporate growth and concentration came tremendous social, political, racial and sexual conflicts characterized by the clash of labor and capital, the triumph of Jim Crow white supremacy, the mass immigration of workers from Asia, Mexico and Europe, the cataclysmic end to 400 years of Indian Wars, the growing women’s movement, and the vibrant outbreak of radical social movements demanding a cooperative commonwealth.

This class will consider the economic and political changes of the Age of Monopoly through a study of its culture, for it was this half-century that gave birth to modern American culture in the form of illustrated magazines and comic strips, world’s fairs and amusement parks, Wild West shows and vaudeville, the advertising and public relations industry, window shopping and department stores, skyscrapers and national parks, military buildups and IQ tests, talk radio and Jazz music, automobiles and suburbs, and most importantly, the Hollywood movie.

 

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

American Studies 101 AC – The Age of Monopoly (4 units) – Class # 14093
Instructor: Kathleen Moran
MTW 12-3, 155 Kroeber
Session A

SATISFIES THE AMERICAN STUDIES MAJOR “TIME” AND PRE-1900 REQUIREMENTS AND THE UNIVERSITY’S AMERICAN CULTURES REQUIREMENT

This course will consider the making of modern American culture between the end of the Civil War and the start of the First Great Depression. In these years the United States transformed itself from an isolated and agrarian nation into the richest, most urbanized nation in the world. These enormous changes were driven by the astonishing growth of industrial and finance capitalism into a vast corporate empire of monopolies in money, steel, tobacco, movies, food, oil, electricity, organized crime, etc. With this corporate growth and concentration came tremendous social, political, racial and sexual conflicts characterized by the clash of labor and capital, the triumph of Jim Crow white supremacy, the mass immigration of workers from Asia, Mexico and Europe, the cataclysmic end to 400 years of Indian Wars, the growing womans movement, and the vibrant outbreak of radical social movements demanding a cooperative commonwealth.

This class will consider the economic and political changes of the Age of Monopoly through a study of its culture, for it was this half-century that gave birth to modern American culture in the form of illustrated magazines and comic strips, world’s fairs and amusement parks, Wild West shows and vaudeville, the advertising and public relations industry, window shopping and department stores, skyscrapers and national parks, military buildups and IQ tests, talk radio and Jazz music, automobiles and suburbs, and most importantly, the Hollywood movie.

 

Senior Thesis Seminars

American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15494
Instructor: C. Palmer
Th 2-4, 45 Evans

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

American Studies 10 – Imagining the Future (4 units) – Class # 23167
Instructor: C. Palmer
TTh 8-9:30, 141 McCone 
Sections
Sec. 101: M 2-3, 285 Cory
Sec. 102: T 1-12, 56 Hildebrand
Sec. 103: M 3-4, 25 Wheeler
Sec. 104: W 4-5, 238 Kroeber

In 1816, Thomas Jefferson wrote to John Adams, I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past, a stance Adams not only declared judicious but also a prophecy that they would soon meet and be better friends than ever. This course considers many of the ways Americans from Jefferson and Adams to a host of writers, photographers, painters, filmmakers, activists, engineers, architects, and city planners have imagined the future. We will consider how the concept of the future influences and determines American politics, economics, architecture, race relations, social policy, and culture. The course will pay particular attention to the special relationship between the past, American memory, and imagined futures. Topics under consideration may include Afrofuturism; robots, robotics, and artificial intelligence; the gleaming city of tomorrow; utopian communities; and dystopia, prophecy, and apocalypse. By focusing on the future as a time, a place, a theory, a fantasy, and a media construct, this course will introduce students to the interdisciplinary study of America.

Letters and Science 20 E – Edible Stories: Representing California Food Culture (4 units) – Class # 30184
Instructor: K. Moran
MW 12-2, 277 Cory
Sections
Sec. 101: Th 4-5, 56 Hildebrand
Sec. 102: Th 3-4, 200 Wheeler
Sec. 103: M 10-11, 130 Wheeler
Sec. 104: F 9-10, 104 Wheeler

Focusing on California writers, historians, artists and cooks, this course will include a wide range of food related texts, images and films in order to explore the relationship between representation, interpretation and cultural identity. Students will examine cultural history, fiction, film, photography, food memoirs, paintings, advertising, cookbooks and television to help them think critically about issues of form, medium and audience. Assignments will help students develop humanities skills such as writing personal essays, doing cultural close readings, analyzing literary and visual representations, and organizing and writing materials that contribute to larger conversations about California, food politics and representation.

 

“Time” Courses

American Studies C 111 E – Age of Noir (4 units) – Class # 25304
Instructors: G. Marcus & K. Moran
TTh 3:30-5, 101 Moffitt

A city no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness. It all depends on where you sit and what your own private score is. I didn’t have one. I didn’t care. –Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye 1953
Taking shape and definition in the late 1930s and the first years of the 1940s, when the United States was more than ten years into the Great Depression and the Second World War was either imminent or had already begun, and continuing into the early 1960s, noir was a sensibility and a way of being in the world. It was a critique, an attitude, a mood, a language, and aesthetic of alienation where cynicism was part of a moral code and fatalism a part of democratic faith and it was expressed, developed, and tested at the margins of legitimate cultural discourse: in low-budget or Poverty Row Hollywood movies, crime fiction, and TV police and detective dramas. In this course we will discuss such still-stunning films as Double Indemnity, Detour, and Sunset Boulevard alongside such indelible novels as Raymond Chandlers Farewell, My Lovely, Ross Macdonalds The Way Some People Die, Chester Himess If He Hollers Let Him Go, and Jim Thompsons Nothing More Than Murder, and the prescient as-it-happened film criticism of Manny Farber. Our goal is to explore, as noir artists did, an America within America and to illuminate noir within its historical period, to understand why it arose and how it dramatized specific wartime and postwar American traumas about citizenship, gender relations, the reintegration of millions of soldiers into peacetime society, abundance, corruption, and the fear of enemies from abroad and within. And to explore some of the most provocative and lasting literature and film America has produced.

American Studies C 111 E – Harlem Renaissance (4 units) – Class # 30538
Instructor: B. Wagner
MW 5-6:30, 130 Wheeler

The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement of black artists and writers in the 1920s. Centered in the Harlem neighborhood in Manhattan, the movement extended outward through international collaboration. We will be reading works by writers including Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, and Zora Neale Hurston and as well as manifestos about the nature and function of black art. Themes include migration and metropolitan life, primitivism and the avant garde, diaspora and exile, passing and identity, sexuality and secrecy, and the relation between modern art and folk tradition. Midterm and final exam, weekly writing, and one essay anticipated by preparation assignments. Hurston, Zora Neale: Their Eyes Were Watching God; Johnson, James Weldon: Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man; Larsen, Nella: Passing; Toomer, Jean: Cane; Wright, Richard: Black Boy
Other Readings and Media Other materials will be available in PDF format on the course website.

History 122 AC – Antebellum America: The Advent of Mass Society (4 units) – Class # 25303
Instructor: S. Gold-McBride
MWF 11-12, 277 Cory

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.

 

“Place” Courses

American Studies 102 – New Orleans (4 units) – Class # 39404
Instructors: B. Wagner and A. Brand
M 2-5, 315D Wurster

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE 154
THIS COURSE REQUIRES INSTRUCTOR APPROVAL AND AN APPLICATION.

How can a city’s past become a meaningful platform for its future? How can city planners and community organizations work to answer this question in historic neighborhoods destabilized by environmental catastrophe, gentrification, multi-scaled development and the privatization of schools and social services?
In this Undergraduate Interdisciplinary Research Studio, students will answer these questions by working in groups to create “paper monuments” (poster or other medium) proposing a public monument to a particular person, event, or movement from the history of New Orleans. Projects will consider setting as well as the substance and design of the proposed monument and will interface with Paper Monuments in New Orleans. The class will also produce a collaborative, interactive digital map of North Claiborne Avenue, representing public art (murals), street performance venues (Mardi Gras and second lines), and past and present neighborhood institutions (anchor businesses, parks, and community centers).
Fulfills the studio requirement for the Undergraduate Certificate in Global Urban Humanities. Travel to New Orleans will happen shortly after the spring semester for approximately 5-7 days; dates to be announced prior to the beginning of the semester.
Priority enrollment to students pursuing the Certificate.
APPLICATION REQUIRED DUE OCT 5

American Studies 102 – Staging the American City: A Cultural History of Broadway, 1800-present (4 units) – Class # 21371
Instructors: S. Steen and D. Henkin
TTh 2-3:30, 105 Northgate 

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH THEATER 125 AND HISTORY 100D, SEC. 2

This course weaves together two stories that are ordinarily told separately: the history of popular theatrical productions in the United States and the history of American urban life. Both stories focus on New York, and on the meaning of Broadway not just as a theatrical genre, but as a place, an institution, and a cultural symbol. What does the history of Broadway from the early nineteenth century to the present day teach us about popular culture, big city living, racial and ethnic identity, mass spectacle, and everyday life in modern America?
Course requirements include regular attendance, timely completion of reading assignments, two midterms, and one cumulative final exam (with a take-home and an in-class component).

American Studies 102 – Wall Street/Main Street (4 units) – Class # 26136
Instructors: M. Brilliant and S. Solomon
TTh 9-10:30, 160 Kroeber 
Sections
Sec. 301 T 2-3, 245 Hearst Gym
Sec. 302 W 4-5, 83 Dwinelle
Sec. 303 W 11-12, 1115 Kroeber
Sec. 304 Th 3-4, 238 Kroeber

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. Whats 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 – Oakland | City (4 units) – Class # 26447
Instructor: J. Winet
MW 12-2, 110 Barrows

Oakland | City will investigate the unique dynamics of the Bay Areas third largest city, closest to the Campanile, and home to many Cal students.

In concert with in-class lectures and presentations highlighted by visits from civic and community leaders, students will direct individual and collaborative public digital humanities research in areas to include but not limited to the Citys sports teams, emerging film scene, political activists, cultural organizations, museums, DIY initiatives, galleries and music clubs, library, police department, neighborhood business improvement districts, advocates for the homeless, and city government.
Class activity will also include technical training on audio, video and photography production.
Integral to the class are one or two field trips to Oakland, and final public and online multimedia research presentations.

History of Art 190 G – UC Berkeley Campus Architecture (4 units)
Instructor: M. Lovell
MWF 10-11, 106 Moffitt
Sections
Tuesdays, 1-2pm, 104 Moffitt
Tuesday, 2-3pm, 104 Moffit

This course takes as its subject the U. C. Berkeley campus as a product of many disparate visions about the nature of the institution and the role of the built environment in instruction, and in envisioning a landscape of learning. Our emphasis will be on the core campus buildings, those built between 1880-1930, and especially those designed by John Galen Howard, Bernard Maybeck, and Julia Morgan. Each student will become expert on several buildings, and will serve as guide for a public campus architectural tour scheduled for the afternoon of May 7.

 

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

History 122 AC – Antebellum America: The Advent of Mass Society (4 units) – Class # 25303
Instructor: S. Gold-McBride
MWF 11-12, 277 Cory

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.

 

Senior Thesis Seminars

American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15495
Instructor: A. Craghead
W 4-6, 115 Kroeber 
American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class #15493
Instructor: M. Cohen
M 2-4, 115 Kroeber
American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15494
Th 2-4, 45 Evans 
Instructor: C. Palmer
American Studies H 195 – Senior Honors Thesis Seminar (4 units)
M 10-12, 115 Kroeber
Instructor: M. Cohen

INSTRUCTOR APPROVAL REQUIRED TO ENROLL
***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 their eligibiliity with an American Studies faculty advisor.

 

Honors Seminar

American Studies H 110 – What is This?! (3 units) – Class # 32193
Instructor: A. Shanken
T 9-11, 489 Wurster

NOTE: Honors seminar. Requires consent of instructor and/or approval of faculty advisor to enroll.
The word thing comes from proto-Germanic words like thingam that surprisingly are about assembly, council, and discussion. Things, those inert objects we place on shelves, throw in drawers, and jettison on trash heaps, have their roots in action, communication, and space. There is no thing without its corresponding behavior and there is no behavior without its corresponding place. This class looks at the relationship between things, actions, communication, and place, and it does so particularly within the modern American context of production, consumption, and obsolescence. It is primarily a class in writing creative non-fiction (and reading it). Students will be asked to write short weekly essays about stuff: bricks, paper clips, bras, marbles, collectibles, junk; the places we keep them: mantles, boxes, boutiques, attics; and what they say to us and about us. The class is intended as a supportive workshop environment for students to observe closely and write incisively about the things around them.

 

Special Courses of Interest

American Studies C 172 – History of American Business (4 units) – Class # 26112
Instructor: C. Rosen
TTh 11-12:30, N100 Chou

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH UGBA C172

UGBA-AS 172 is an undergraduate elective in the history of American business that is cross-listed with UGBA 172. It covers an amazing history of creative innovation, growth, structural change, challenge, trouble, travail and more growth, more change, challenge, and trouble. Less than two hundred years ago, the U.S. was just starting to transform itself from a country of farmers and village craftsmen into a nation based on large scale, mechanized, corporate controlled industry. By the late 20th century the nation was an industrial colossus dominated by huge multinational corporations that operated in markets around the world. Now its corporations are experiencing many forms of disruptive innovation, and its richly paid executives are dealing with a wide range of new national and international challenges. They must manage, find economic opportunities, and politically maneuver in a marketplace that is being constantly shaped and reshaped by international competition, technological and financial innovation, the ever insistent demands from the investor community for maximal profits every quarter, and new forms of financial, economic, social, and environmental regulation, here and abroad, as well as the ongoing rise of new generations of dynamic competitors in China, India, and other parts of the developing world.
How has American business gotten to where it is today? How can historical insight help us understand the strategic, organizational, geo-political, economic, social, and environmental challenges facing the managers of todays global businesses? The purpose of AS – UGBA C 172 is to give you historical perspective on business and management today, to illuminate the parallels and continuities as well as the differences between current and past developments in corporate evolution, management problem solving, technological innovation, business-government interaction, and business impact on American culture and society.

History 133 A – History of American Capitalism (4 units) – Class # 30754
Instructor: C. Rosenthal
TTh 11:30-12, 2040 VLSB

For sections, see: https://classes.berkeley.edu/content/2019-spring-history-133a-001-lec-001

What is capitalism? And when did it come to characterize the American economy? This course will explore the economic history of the United States, from the colonial period to the present. We will analyze the dramatic changes that catapulted a chain of colonies from the fringe of the global economy to its center. As the semester progresses, we will seek out the sources of this dramatic transformation, exploring a variety of overlapping and sometimes conflicting explanations. Is this primarily a story about ideas and economic outlook? Is it about entrepreneurship and innovation? Or about exploitation and expropriation? What role did the government play? What role the individual? Major themes will include the rise of the factory system, slavery and emancipation, immigration and labor, the development of banking and finance, and economic inequality.
In addition to building their knowledge of American history, students will gain theoretical familiarity with three subfields of history: business history, economic history, and labor history. We will explore the ways each of these fields has generated different narratives that celebrate and/or critique American capitalism. And at every turn we will consider how these different narratives alternately highlight and minimize the important roles played by business elites, enslaved people, laborers, women, and immigrants. Rarely was the invisible hand colorblind or gender neutral. The course will discuss both famous businessmen and largely-forgotten workmen, women, and slaves. We will examine capitalism both from above and from below, seeking to understand the causes and consequences of economic change for different groups of Americans.

Music C 138 – Art and Activism (4 units) – Class # 26603
Th 9:30-12:30, 250 Morrison
Instructors: T. Roberts and C. Lucas

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH LS C138

This course explores the intersections between aesthetic practice and social change. Students will investigatein both theory and practicethe capacity of art making to cultivate transformation of themselves, their relationships, their practices, their institutions, and the larger economic and socio-political structures in which they function, locally and globally. Focusing on historical and contemporary artists and political issues, we ask: 1) How is art impacted by social change? 2) How has art been used toward social change? and 3) How can we, as course participants, use art to bring about social change? Rooted in interdisciplinary scholarship, students will engage theoretical debates and historical analyses regarding the role of the arts in social change and examine the particular capacities of the arts to negotiate across and between cultures, languages, and power-laden lines of difference. Taking a broad view of activism, we will consider the ways in which artistic practices foster radical imaginations that can expand our sense of the possible. Case studies will span media including visual arts, theater, dance, poetry/spoken word, literature, and music.

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

African American Studies 10 – Lives of Struggle: Minorities in a Majority Culture (4 units) – Class # 20432
Instructor: L. Raiford
TTh 12:30-2, Hearst Field Annex A1
Sections
Section 101 Class #: 25871 Th 11-2, 385 LeConte
Section 102 Class #: 25890 Th 3-4, 30 Wheeler
Section 103 Class #: 25891 Th 4-5, 104 Wheeler
Section 104 Class #: 25892 – Th 4-5, 104 Barrows
Section 105 Class #: 25893 – W 11-2, 175 Barrows
Section 106 Class #: 25894 W 12-1, 185 Barrows
Section 107 Class #: 25895 – W 3-4, Dwinelle 235
Section 108 Class #: 25896 – W 3-4, 118 Barrows

The purpose of this course is to examine the many forms that the struggle of minorities can assume. The focus is on individual struggle and its outcome as reported and perceived by the individuals themselves. Members of three minority aggregates are considered: African Americans, Asian Americans (so called), and Chicano/Latino Americans. The choice of these three has to do with the different histories of members of these aggregates. Such differences have produced somewhat different approaches to struggle.

American Studies 10 – Introduction to American Studies: Everyday America (4 units) – Class # 24244
Instructor: C. Palmer
TTh 12:30-2, 2060 VLSB
Sections
Section 1 – M 2-3, 245 Hearst Gym
Section 2 – T 11-12, 245 Hearst Gym
Section 3 – Th 11-12, 245 Hearst Gym
Section 1 – W 4-5, 245 Hearst Gym

This course will examine significant aspects of the everyday and the ordinary in American life. Through the analysis of multiple forms–from front porches to closets, from board games to playgrounds, from the remembered South to the end of the world, from the mixtape to the music video–this course provides an introduction to and a toolkit for the interdisciplinary study of American Culture.
Building on concepts and methods of inquiry which define American Studies, this course will emphasize analyzing cultural meaning, knowledge, and values through the examination of a variety of cultural situations and productions–including the values, patterns of behavior, and even objects that most of us take for granted–in order to explore how individuals, groups, and institutions interact through the different ways they give meaning to experience. Through close reading of diverse texts, we will work towards developing an approach that enables us to analyze critically the process involved in the ongoing creation, maintenance and transmission of cultural meaning in American society. A students goal in this course is to learn close reading, critical thinking, and writing skills that will enable them to be self-conscious and thoughtful investigator of American culture.

 

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 – The Teen Age (4 units) – Class # 24246
Instructor: C. Palmer
MW 10-12, 131 Campbell

This course explores both the invention of the teenager and the significance of teen culture in the United States after the Second World War. Among the topics addressed in the course will be identity, age-sets, social networks and high school hierarchy, juvenile delinquency, the concept of cool, consumerism, representation, and teen idols. We will examine a variety of teen texts drawn from film, television, music, narrative and graphic fiction, and social engineering textbooks. Our task in this class is to figure out how people have represented and responded to teenagers in the United States. How has the American teenager been understood and commercialized? What has been the cultural impact of the American teenager? How do people explain social fascination with high school, the senior prom, adolescent angst, teen fashions, and youth culture? What metaphors have been most often attached to the teenager in the United States? How does American adolescence prescribe as well as challenge American adulthood? How has the American teenager been made exciting, appealing, dangerous, or everyday? By studying the experiences, culture, and representation of American teenagers, and the cultural forms created for them and by them, we will consider specific moments of meaning-making and the long-term development of generational discourse.

American Studies 101 – The Birth of Consumer Society (4 units) – Class # 20444
Instructor: K. Moran
MW 4-6, 106 Etcheverry

This course will examine the period beginning in the 1880s until WWI when modern consumer society emerged in the US. We will also engage the theoretical debate about the usefulness of the concept of consumerism to our understanding of modernization and modernism. Our topics will include the turn of the century worlds fairs, shopping and the rise of department stores, the emergence of mass-market catalogues and magazines and the nature of modern visual culture. Throughout the course we will examine the way advertising reflected and constructed ideas about citizenship, gender and race norms, and generational transformation in our period.

History of Art 190 G – The Transatlantic Gilded Age and Its Discontents (4 units) – Class # 32602
Instructor: M. Lovell
TTh 12:30-2, 106 Moffitt
Sections
Section 102 Th 4-5, 104 Moffitt
Section 103 Th 5-6, 104 Moffitt

This course considers the linked arts of the United States, England, and France in the period between 1865 and 1918 looking at specific case study artists, structures, social movements, and literary works. We will focus on the arts and institutions endorsed by the wealthy and, equally, works of art and literature designed to critique and correct the architecture, manners, and activities of the era’s transatlantic elite.

 

“Place” Courses

American Studies 102 – The City of Angels (4 units) – Class # 32310
Instructor: K. Moran
TTh 3:30-5, 2 LeConte

In this course we will examine “Los Angeles” from a number of disciplinary perspectives. We will begin with Los Angeles as a geographical space and the issue of reading maps as representations and communication. We will also discuss Los Angeles as a political and cultural space defined by various race, ethnic and class relationships. And we will primarily think about LA as product of media– both a city of sunshine and a city of noir in film, novels, TV, ads, and tourism promotions. We will end the course with a virtual tour (readings, etc.) about Disneyland and Orange County.

American Studies 102 – Hands on the Vines: The California Wine Industry (4 units) – Class #25771
Instructor: A. Saragoza
TuTh 2-3:30, 12 Haviland

This course examines the California wine industry and the people involved in its production, emphasizing those who do the actual labor, from grape pickers and cellar masters to the vineyard managers and winemakers. The course emphasizes the period since the famous wine tasting competition between California and French wines in 1976, which marks the onset of the boom in wine consumption in the U.S. The course takes into account social and cultural trends that impact on the wine industry as well as other key attendant issues: immigrant labor, foreign competition, styles of wine making, and the multiplier effects of the industry, e.g., wine tourism. The course features field trips and guest lectures by farm workers, vineyard managers, wine makers, and winery owners.

American Studies C 171 – The American Designed Landscape since 1850 (3 units) – Class # 20498
Instructor: M. Owens
TTh 2-330, 191 Wurster

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE C171

This course surveys the history of American landscape architecture 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.

 

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

American Studies 101 – The Birth of Consumer Society (4 units) – Class # 20444
Instructor: K. Moran
MW 4-6, 106 Etcheverry 

This course will examine the period beginning in the 1880s until WWI when modern consumer society emerged in the US. We will also engage the theoretical debate about the usefulness of the concept of consumerism to our understanding of modernization and modernism. Our topics will include the turn of the century worlds fairs, shopping and the rise of department stores, the emergence of mass-market catalogues and magazines and the nature of modern visual culture. Throughout the course we will examine the way advertising reflected and constructed ideas about citizenship, gender and race norms, and generational transformation in our period.

History of Art 190 G – The Transatlantic Gilded Age and Its Discontents (4 units) – Class # 32602
Instructor: M. Lovell
TTh 12:30 – 2, 106 Moffitt 
Sections
Section 102 Th 4-5, 104 Moffitt
Section 103 Th 5-6, 104 Moffitt

This course considers the linked arts of the United States, England, and France in the period between 1865 and 1918 looking at specific case study artists, structures, social movements, and literary works. We will focus on the arts and institutions endorsed by the wealthy and, equally, works of art and literature designed to critique and correct the architecture, manners, and activities of the era’s transatlantic elite.

 

Senior Thesis Seminars

American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15234
Instructors: C. Palmer and R. Syka
M 4-6, 262 Dwinelle
American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15233
Instructor: C. Palmer
Th 2-4, 45 Evans 

 

Special Courses of Interest

American Studies C 152 – Native American Literature (4 units) – Class # 15231
Instructor: B. Piatote
MW 12-2, 223 Dwinelle

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES C152

An analysis of the written and oral tradition developed by Native Americans. Emphasis will be placed on a multifaceted approach (aesthetic, linguistic, psychological, historical, and cultural) in examining American Indian literature.

History 100 D – Calculating Americans (4 units) – Class # 31137
Instructor: C. Rosenthal
TTh 11-12:30, 170 Barrows 
Sections
Section 101 W 8-9, 251 Dwinelle
Section 102 W 9-10, 106 Wheeler

The data we collect both reflects our values and shapes them, constraining and defining the questions we ask about our society. This course will use a series of case studies from the history of American data to examine a wide array of political, economic, and cultural issues. We will explore the ways that categories, units of analysis, and practices of instruction and collection both reflect and reshape assumptions about race, gender, labor, and household structure. We will also experiment with the many ways we can use quantitative documents to learn about the past both through close reading and through aggregation and statistical analysis. Case studies will be drawn from the colonial period to the present.

History 125 B – African-American History, 1861-1980 (4 units) – Class # 31142
Instructor: W. Martin
TTh 2-3:30, 170 Barrows
Sections
Section 101 W 8-9, 254 Dwinelle
Section 102 – W 9-10, 2030 Valley Life Sciences

This course will examine the history of African Americans and ethno-racial relations from the Civil War and Emancipation (1861-1865) to the modern African American Freedom Struggle (1954-1972). Social, cultural, economic, and political developments will be emphasized. Topics to be covered include: Black Reconstruction; black life and labor in the New South; leadership; class; gender; Jim Crow

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 AC – The Age of Monopoly (4 units) – Class # 14116
Instructor: R. Nelson
MTW 12-3, 155 Kroeber
Session A

SATISFIES THE AMERICAN STUDIES MAJOR “TIME” AND PRE-1900 REQUIREMENTS

This course will consider the making of modern American culture between the end of the Civil War and the start of the First Great Depression. In these years the United States transformed itself from an isolated and agrarian nation into the richest, most urbanized nation in the world. These enormous changes were driven by the astonishing growth of industrial and finance capitalism into a vast corporate empire of monopolies in money, steel, tobacco, movies, food, oil, electricity, organized crime, etc. With this corporate growth and concentration came tremendous social, political, racial and sexual conflicts characterized by the clash of labor and capital, the triumph of Jim Crow white supremacy, the mass immigration of workers from Asia, Mexico and Europe, the cataclysmic end to 400 years of Indian Wars, the growing womans movement, and the vibrant outbreak of radical social movements demanding a cooperative commonwealth.

This class will consider the economic and political changes of the Age of Monopoly through a study of its culture, for it was this half-century that gave birth to modern American culture in the form of illustrated magazines and comic strips, world’s fairs and amusement parks, Wild West shows and vaudeville, the advertising and public relations industry, window shopping and department stores, skyscrapers and national parks, military buildups and IQ tests, talk radio and Jazz music, automobiles and suburbs, and most importantly, the Hollywood movie.

NOTE: THIS COURSE SATISFIEST THE UNIVERSITY’S AMERICAN CULTURES REQUIREMENT.

 

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

American Studies 101 AC – The Age of Monopoly (4 units) – Class # 14116
Instructor: R. Nelson
MTW 12-3, 155 Kroeber
Session A

SATISFIES THE AMERICAN STUDIES MAJOR “TIME” AND PRE-1900 REQUIREMENTS

This course will consider the making of modern American culture between the end of the Civil War and the start of the First Great Depression. In these years the United States transformed itself from an isolated and agrarian nation into the richest, most urbanized nation in the world. These enormous changes were driven by the astonishing growth of industrial and finance capitalism into a vast corporate empire of monopolies in money, steel, tobacco, movies, food, oil, electricity, organized crime, etc. With this corporate growth and concentration came tremendous social, political, racial and sexual conflicts characterized by the clash of labor and capital, the triumph of Jim Crow white supremacy, the mass immigration of workers from Asia, Mexico and Europe, the cataclysmic end to 400 years of Indian Wars, the growing womans movement, and the vibrant outbreak of radical social movements demanding a cooperative commonwealth.

This class will consider the economic and political changes of the Age of Monopoly through a study of its culture, for it was this half-century that gave birth to modern American culture in the form of illustrated magazines and comic strips, world’s fairs and amusement parks, Wild West shows and vaudeville, the advertising and public relations industry, window shopping and department stores, skyscrapers and national parks, military buildups and IQ tests, talk radio and Jazz music, automobiles and suburbs, and most importantly, the Hollywood movie.

NOTE: THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE UNIVERSITY’S AMERICAN CULTURES REQUIREMENT.

 

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

American Studies 10 – Our American Life: Stuff, Place, and the Passage of Time (4 units) – Class # 22005
Instructor: C. Palmer and K. Moran
TTh 9:30-11, Remote 

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of American Studies exploring a number of ways to approach “America.” We will begin by examining the social history, political economy and “aesthetics” of consumerism in America. Specific topics in the first module will include the language and visual rhetoric of advertising, the development of consumer spaces such as department stores and the meaning of “stuff” in consumer society. The second module will examine how place—landscapes, architecture, and the built environment—both shape, and are shaped by, the tensions between “high” and “low” American cultures. Finally, we will consider various forms of American popular culture (movies, TV, popular music) as symptoms and reflections of specific historical moments, in particular ideologies about race, technology and gender. This course is designed to enable you to think and do research as an interdisciplinary scholar, specifically to give you the tools to do readings of a literary or visual text, a common object, a film, a space. You will also practice gathering and evaluating evidence–as well as practice the skills involved in finding a thesis and arguing it persuasively. You will strengthen both your research skills and cultural understanding of American society.

 

“Time” Courses

American Studies 102 – Indigenous California History, Literature, and Art (4 units) – Class # 39445
Instructor: H. Wong
MWF 12-1, 103 Moffitt 

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 (4 units) – Class # 32285″
Instructor: S. McBride
MWF 1-2, 2060 VLSB

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.

 

“Place” Courses

American Studies 102 Indigenous California History, Literature, and Art (4 units) – Class # 39445
Instructor: H. Wong
MWF 12-1, 103 Moffitt

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.

American Studies 102 – Staging California (4 units) – Class #39404
Instructor: S. Steen
TTh 11-12:20, 102 Wheeler 

THIS COURSE IS 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 Californias unique cultural and racial topography. From the theatricalization of Chinatown in Rodgers and Hammersteins 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 – American Themescapes (4 units) – Class # 39409
Instructors: K. Moran and A. Shanken
TTh 3:30-5, 101 Morgan 
Sections
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

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: worlds fairs, consumer environments, and suburbs, but also to how theming has penetrated into film, advertising, nature, leisure, historic preservation, and museums.

 

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

American Studies 102 – Indigenous California History, Literature, and Art (4 units) – Class # 39445
Instructor: H. Wong
MWF 12-1, 103 Moffitt

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 (4 units) – Class #32285
Instructor: S. McBride
MWF 1-2, 2060 VLSB

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.

 

Senior Thesis Seminars

American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15474
Instructor: J. Walker
M 2-4, 115 Kroeber
American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15473
Instructor: M. Cohen
T 12-2, 115 Kroeber
American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 15475
Instructor: J. Walker
W 2-4, 115 Kroeber
American Studies H 195 – Senior Honors Thesis Seminar (4 units)
Instructor: C. Palmer
M 8-10, 115 Kroeber

INSTRUCTOR APPROVAL REQUIRED TO ENROLL.
***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 their eligibiliity with an American Studies faculty advisor.

 

Honors Seminar

American Studies H 110 – Bay Area in the 1970s (3 units) – Class # 32193
Instructor: S. Saul
MW 12-2, 78 Barrows

NOTE: Honors seminar. Requires consent of instructor and/or approval of faculty advisor to enroll.
This project-based course is three courses rolled into one, all oriented toward the American Studies-based digital project The Berkeley Revolution. (Any interested students should browse the site at revolution.berkeley.edu to get a sense of what a previous set of students accomplished.)
First, the course delves into the history of the 1970s Bay Area, which was an unusually fertile cultural seedbed: so many features of contemporary life from the cappuccinos we drink to the laptop computers we use to write and think were incubated in it. The region was ground-zero for the revolution in cooking known as California cuisine; ground-zero for new forms of spiritual practice and religious organization; ground-zero for the technological utopianism represented by the Whole Earth Catalog and the computer clubs that produced the first desktop computer; and ground-zero for social movements such as women’s liberation, black liberation, gay liberation, and the environmental movement, and for the new cultural forms that were entangled with them, such as disco, punk, and alternative comix.
Second, the course offers students an introduction to the practice of archival research. Our class will explore specific archives at Cal, such as the Chez Panisse Collection, the Berkeley Free Church Collection, the Social Protest Collection, and the Disability Rights and Defense Fund Collection. Students will be asked to explore these sorts of official archives, and will be invited, if they’re interested, to curate their own unofficial archives. You will be approaching these collections with the open eyes of historians looking at fresh documents, and with the goal of plumbing these documents for the insights and stories that they yield.
Third, the course will give students the experience of creating digital history projects of their own, as part of the larger Berkeley Revolution project. Students will work, collaboratively, to create both digital exhibitions and multi-media essays that spring out of the primary research they do.

American Studies H 110 – Imagining the Future (3 units) – Class # 32194
Instructor: C. Palmer
W 2-5, 332 Giannini

NOTE: Honors seminar. Requires consent of instructor and/or approval of faculty advisor to enroll.
This course is an intensive reading seminar in which we will use a range of texts to trace how American writers, photographers, painters, filmmakers, activists, engineers, architects, and city planners have imagined a variety of futures. Topics of consideration may include but are not limited to Afrofuturism; robots, robotics, and artificial intelligence; the gleaming city of tomorrow; utopian communities; and dystopia, prophecy, and apocalypse. Texts may include but are not limited to W.E.B. Du Boiss The Comet; Octavia Butlers Parable series; Ava Duvernays Selma; Charlotte Perkins Gilmans Herland; Michael Crichtons Westworld; N.K. Jemisins The Fifth Season; and clipping.s Splendor & Misery.

 

Special Courses of Interest

African American Studies 142 AC – Race and American Film (4 units) – Class # 21951
Instructor: M. Cohen
MW 2-4, 160 Kroeber 
Sections
Lab (Section 101): Monday, 6-8, 160 Kroeber, Class #: 39422

This course uses film to investigate the central role of race in American culture. Through the study of film history, from silent film of the Jim Crow era to the digitized dystopias of the 21st century, this course explores the relationship between art and politics, race and representation. Looking at both Hollywood and independent cinema, the course charts the continuities and varieties of representations of race in cinema, considering the overlapping histories of African Americans, whiteness and ethnicity, American Indians, Mexican Americans, the Third World and Multiculturalism in film. Films screened include: The Birth of a Nation (1915), The Jazz Singer (1927), Salt of the Earth (1953), The Searchers (1956), and Imitation of Life (1958).

History 100 AC – American Business History from Cotton to Foreclosure (4 units) – Class # 32323
Instructor: D. Robert
MWF 12-1, 145 Dwinelle 

NOTE: AS majors have priority for this course.
When President Calvin Coolidge declared in 1925 that the chief business of the American people is business, he was not making a historical argument, though it would have been a defensible one. Nearly a century earlier, French visitor, Alexis de Tocqueville, made a similar observation. Indeed, America was colonized by joint-stock corporations! Understanding the history of American business can therefore unlock a great deal about America itself. How did capital exchange become capitalism and how did capitalism affect American lives? How have capitalist markets been constructed socially and legally? What has been the historical relationship between capitalism and gender, race, freedom, and inequality? We will explore these questions on a chronological journey from seventeenth-century cotton trading to twenty-first century foreclosure.

History of Art 185 B – American Architecture: Domestic Forms (4 units) – Class # 39356
Instructor: M. Lovell
TTh 11-12:30, 106 Moffitt
Sections
Tuesdays 2-4 104 Moffitt

Taking as a point of departure specific exemplary houses, both vernacular and high-style architectural forms are studied from the perspectives of the history of style, of technology, sustainability, and of social use. We look at space (interior space, the relationship of structure to site, the relationship of site to environmental and economic context), and we look at interior design, decorative arts, and infrastructure. We consider materials as well as plan, elevation, and expressive form. Both the class as a whole and the student research projects take a case-study approach. Considering examples from the 17th and 18th centuries as well as from the 19th and 20th, the class will provide students with a broad background in habitation in what is now the United States, as well as experience in hands-on original research concerning the built environment today. While much of our attention will focus on unknown builders, we will also study some of the best-known houses (and most widely-dispersed models). Architects whose work we will consider include Thomas Jefferson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Charles and Henry Greene. One all day Saturday field trip.

Theater 125 – Performance and History: The Presence of the Actor – A History of the American Theatrical Avant-Garde (4 units) – Class # 40838
Instructor: P. Glazer
TTh 12:30-2, 209 Dwinelle

The place of the actor in the theatrical event has evolved over the centuries, and some of the most revolutionary changes in the US took place in the 1960s, when society itself was undergoing dramatic upheaval. Theater and performance became urgent sites of political and social commentary. The avant-garde and experimental theater movement that began in the late 1950s and extended into the 1970s drastically reconsidered the theaters role in society, its relationship to the audience, and how acting itself should function. Theater collectives formed, devising works together; rigorous attention was given to movement and voice; theatrical space was re-imagined; minority voices took center stage. Many theater makers were activists for these new approaches, among them Joseph Chaikin, founder of the Open Theater, whose seminal 1972 book The Presence of the Actor, gives this class its name. Though striking and unsettling performances like the Open Theaters The Serpent, or the Living Theaters Paradise Now! may have seemed to arrive out of nowhere, seeds had been planted by the politically, artistically and methodologically provocative work of European theorists such as Brecht, Artaud, and Grotowski, who saw acting in entirely new ways. Taken together with American avant-garde experiments beginning in the 1930s by the likes of John Cage and Merce Cunningham, which questioned the nature of art itself, these practitioners laid the groundwork for twentieth century innovation in western theater and performance. They blurred lines between genres, introduced new kinds of voices and techniques, and challenged once comfortable barriers between character and self, performer and audience, stage and street, text and object, narrative and abstraction, art and real life. Collectives, and individual playwrights and performers, such as the Living Theater and the Open Theater, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, El Teatro Campesino, the Wooster Group, At the Foot of the Mountain, Amiri Baraka, Meredith Monk and Rachel Rosenthal each driven by new and particular priorities on theater, culture, and the performative act altered our understanding of the theatrical experience and its relationship to the world at large. Weekly readings, screenings, lectures, and group discussions will be used to grasp this fascinating period, and help students understand how the country’s social and political history, and these aesthetic innovations, were inseparable. A mid-term, final exam, and research paper will be required.

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

African American Studies 27 AC – Lives of Struggle: Minorities in Majority Culture (3 units) – Class # 12321
Instructor: M. Cohen
TTh 12:30-2, 145 Dwinelle

IN FALL 2017, THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE AMERICAN STUDIES 10 REQUIREMENT. The purpose of this course is to examine the many forms that the struggle of minorities can assume. The focus is on individual struggle and its outcome as reported and perceived by the individuals themselves. Members of three minority aggregates are considered: African Americans, Asian Americans (so called), and Chicano/Latino Americans. The choice of these three has to do with the different histories of members of these aggregrates. Such differences have produced somewhat different approaches to struggle.

American Studies 10 – Food Culture in America (4 units) – Class # 22204
TTh 11-12:30, 3 LeConte
Instructor: K. Moran, M. Lovell
Sections
Section 201 M 3-4, 115 Kroeber
Section 202 M 12-1, 238 Kroeber
Section 203 M 2-3, 238 Kroeber
Section 204 M 1-2, 106 Wheeler

This course will introduce students to the interdisciplinary field of American Studies, taking Food as its central theme. We will explore the social history, political economy and “aesthetics” of eating and cooking in America. Specific topics will include the development and importance of New World agriculture, the design of shopping and eating spaces, eco history, the objects we use in the kitchen, the use of food as a metaphor in literature and in popular culture, food service workers, ethnic foods, food advertising, food photography, fast food, the slow food movement, and food biographies. We will also consider the specific food culture of Berkeley, and explore the rise of the so-called Berkeley “gourmet ghetto.”
Course Goals: This course is meant to enable you to think and do research as an interdisciplinary scholar, specifically to give you the tools to do readings of a literary text, a painting, a common object, a film, a space. You will also learn the basics of conducting an interview, drawing a floor-plan, recording and analyzing behaviors. You will practice historical research gathering and evaluating evidence–as well as practice the skills involved in finding a thesis and arguing it persuasively.

Letters and Science 40 C – Hollywood: The Place, the Fantasy, and the Industry (4 units) – Class # 44495
Instructor: K. Moran
MW 12-2, 141 McCone
Sections
Section 101 – M 9-10, 110 Barker
Section 102 – Th 9-10, 115 Kroeber
Section 103 – Th 2-3, 106 Dwinelle
Section 104 – M 10-11, 115 Kroeber

IN FALL 2017, THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE AMERICAN STUDIES 10 REQUIREMENT. This course is about the history of the Hollywood “Dream Factory,” focusing on both parts of that phrase. We will examine the historical and geographical development of the motion picture industry from the rise of the studio system to the “new” entertainment economy of the 1980’s, as we think about the way films have constructed powerful and productive fantasies about the boundaries between public and private, work and play, commerce and art, fantasy and reality. Our topics will include the history of labor in the culture industry, the implications of shifts in the spatial organization of film production, and the effects of Hollywood on the larger politics of southern California. We will also discuss the way Hollywood has framed its own history by viewing a number of “movies about movies,” including Sullivan’s Travels, Singin’ in the Rain, Sunset Boulevard, and The Player

 

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 – The Harlem Renaissance (4 units) – Class # 12339
Instructor: C. Palmer
TTh 11-12:30, 20 Barrows

This course explores the social, cultural, political, and personal awakenings in the literature, art, and music of the Negro Renaissance or the New Negro Movement, known as the Harlem Renaissance. This is remembered as a time (roughly 1918-1930) when, in the midst of legal segregation and increasing anti-Black mob violence, Black American writers, artists, philosophers, activists, and musicians, congregating in New York Citys Harlem, reclaimed the right to represent themselves in a wide range of artistic forms and activist movements. This course will focus on the forces that led to this “renaissance” as well as those that fueled it. Primary texts for this course may include Jean Toomer, Cane; Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; George Schuyler, Black No More; Nella Larsen, Passing; poetry by Langston Hughes; and works by Claude McKay, Alain Locke, Jessie Fauset, W.E.B. Du Bois, James Weldon Johnson, Anne Spencer, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Augusta Savage, Duke Ellington, and others.

American Studies 101 AC – World War II (4 units) – Class # 67505
Instructor: M. Cohen
MW 12-2, 160 Kroeber 

Linking the battlefields of Europe and Asia to the factories and movie theaters of San Francisco and New York City, this course takes up the cultural and social history of World War II (1931-1945). World War II was the most destructive war in the history of humanity, killing some 60-80 million people. It also shattered the old European colonial order and transformed the US into the most powerful country in the world. The war remains the source of our deepest fears of genocide and nuclear annihilation. Yet Americans believe World War II to be The Good War and we revere its heroes as The Greatest Generation. This class takes a global approach to WWII by focusing on three primary combatants: Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and the United States. Consequently, this course focuses explicitly on the role of race and racism in the origins and conduct of the war. As an American Studies class, we take an interdisciplinary approach to history, reading a range of original sources from propaganda cartoons to oral histories, war photography to experimental fiction. So what was this war? What did Americans see and do there? And what did that doing do to us?

 

“Place” Courses

American Studies 102 – California, the West, and the World: From Gold and Guano to Google and the New Gilded Age (4 units) – Class # 12350
Instructor: M. Brilliant
TTh 9:30-11, 2060 VLSB

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH HISTORY 128AC

This course surveys the history of California and the American West from the mid-nineteenth century to the dawn of the twenty-first century. It will situate this state and regional history within the relevant currents of global history, which have profoundly shaped and been shaped by California and the American West. We will pay particular heed to those elements of Californian and western history that are typically associated with the states and regions distinctiveness as a shifting region on the national map, potent and protean symbol in the national (and, often, international) imagination, and catalyst of world historical developments from the Gold Rush and the global guano trade it sparked in the mid-nineteenth century, to the rise of Hollywood in the early twentieth century, to the development and deployment of atomic weapons in the mid-twentieth century, to the emergence of Silicon Valley technological innovation and New Gilded Age income polarization in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

American Studies 102 – Writing on the Walls (4 units) – Class # 46611
Instructor: A. Shanken
F 9-12, 270 Wurster

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH ARCHITECTURE 179

SEMINAR COURSE — PERMISSION OF FACULTY ADVISOR OR INSTRUCTOR IS REQUIRED TO ENROLL.
We all pass by ugly buildings everyday, often in silent, unconscious protest, or register beautiful ones fleetingly, alas, through a windshield. This turning away leaves us unprepared to judge, and more importantly, to demand better. Yet architecture is the most public of arts. We all use it everyday and this makes us all arbiters of it. The course aims to empower students to seek out their own critical voices in writing about their surroundings. It will help students sharpen their eye and to show them how to lay out plainly, but with sophistication, the ramifications of various kinds of interventions in the built environment. The campus will be the course’s quarry. Students will tour Berkeley’s buildings and landscape and read them against both architectural criticism and essays by authors such as John McPhee, John Updike, Christopher Hitchens, Sue Allison, Wendell Berry, and Patricia Hampl.

American Studies C 111 E – New Orleans (4 units) – Class # 46298
Instructor: B. Wagner
TTh 2:30-3, 140 Barrows

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH ENGLISH C136

We will consider the representation of New Orleans in four related formats: (1) historical monograph, (2) folklore collection, (3) jazz autobiography, and (4) cinematic documentary. Our premise is that New Orleans is stranger than fiction. Weekly writing, two essays, two midterm exams, final exam.

American Studies C 171 – The American Designed Landscape since 1850 (3 units) – Class #12404
Instructor: L. Mozingo
TTh 2-3:30, 88 Dwinelle

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE C171

This course surveys the history of American landscape architecture 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 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 12392
Instructor: J. Walker
M 2-4, 262 Dwinelle
American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 12391
Instructor: C. Palmer
Th 2-4, 121 Latimer
American Studies H 195 – Senior Honors Thesis Seminar (4 units)
Instructor: C. Palmer
Tu 8-10, 115 Kroeber 

***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 – From SFMOMA to Ghost Ship: Exploring Bay Area Art Ecosystems ( 4 units) – Class # 46190
Instructor: J. Winet
F 2-5, 425 Doe 

THIS IS AN HONORS SEMINAR. PERMISSION OF FACULTY ADVISOR OR INSTRUCTOR IS REQUIRED TO ENROLL.

The Bay Area is home to a vibrant and diverse art scene, fueled by thousands of creative artists working in a wide range of media and with an impressive array of interests. At the same time local and national pressures present formidable challenges to artists. This course will explore the range of environments artists inhabit and animate.

Working collaboratively, students will conduct public digital humanities research creating online multimedia mobile websites that highlight artist-centered organizations vital to the Areas culture. Hands-on technical demonstrations and workshops will focus on audio, video and photography production using smart phones. Central to the class will be discussion of best practices for engagement including the art and craft of interviews and approaches to documentary.

Seminar activities will include reading and writing assignments, media screenings, field trips to artists organizations, artist studios, museums and galleries, and in-class and on-site presentations by arts activists and civic leaders.

A culminating public launch event is also planned. There are no specific prerequisites for the class.

 

Special Courses of Interest

History 139 C – Civil Rights and Social Movements in the U.S. (4 units) – Class # 46370
Instructor: W. Martin
TTh 12:30-2, 277 Cory
Sections
Section 101 – Tu 5-6, 283 Dwinelle
Section 102 – Wed 6-7, 179 Dwinelle
Section 103 – Thurs 5-6, 183 Dwinelle
Section 104 – Thurs 6-7, 183 Dwinelle

Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History presents a top-down (political and legal history), bottom-up (social and cultural history), and comparative (by race and ethnicity as well as region) view of America’s struggles for racial equality from roughly World War II until the present. Beginning with the onset of World War II, America experienced not a singular, unitary Civil Rights Movement as is typically portrayed in standard textbook accounts and the collective memory but rather a variety of contemporaneous civil rights and their related social movements. These movements, moreover, did not follow a tidy chronological-geographic trajectory from South to North to West, nor were their participants merely black and white. Instead, from their inception, America’s civil rights movements unfolded both beyond the South and beyond black and white. “;Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History”; endeavors to equip students with a greater appreciation for the complexity of America’s civil rights and social movements history, a complexity that neither a black / white nor nonwhite / white framework adequately captures. Put another way, “;Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History”; will examine how the problem of the color line which W.E.B. DuBois deemed to be in 1903 the problem of the twentieth century might better be viewed as a problem of color lines. If America’s demographics are increasingly beyond black and white, if “;the classic American dilemma has now become many dilemmas of race and ethnicity,”; as President Clinton put it in the late 1990s, if color lines now loom as the problem of the 21st century, then a course on America’s civil rights and social movements past may very well offer a glimpse into America’s civil rights and social movements present and future.

 

Lower Division Courses of Interest

American Studies 24 – Hamilton and the Federalist (1 unit) – Class # 46771
Instructor: R. Hutson
M 10-11, 204 Dwinelle

FRESHMAN SEMINAR. FRESHMEN ONLY!
The idea for the Federalist papers was Alexander Hamiltons, and he wrote most of the papers, 51 of the 85. Hamilton invited James Madison (who became the fourth President of the U.S.) and John Jay to write the others. Hamilton and Madison offer various arguments to try to convince citizens that the newly designed Constitution for a federal government should be accepted and ratified by the state of New York and beyond. Do they convince you? As Jay notes in #2, this new constitution is to be recommended and debated. Such a plan for a federal constitution for a free people who understand the need of a government has to be argued for, because there was already a government of the Continental Congress that seemed to some as working very well. Discussion and debate belong intimately to such a republic, esp. a liberal republic. We cannot read and discuss all of the 85 papers, but we can look carefully at a few of them and engage in discussion and debate. Obviously, the papers deal with serious and controversial issues. I want and expect discussion all of the time in every class. Students will be evaluated on attendance and participation in the discussion. There will be a short paper (5 pages) due at the end of the class.

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

American Studies 10 – American Narratives, American Identity (4 units) – Class # 15766
Instructor: Shannon Steen
MTWTh 2-4, 250 LeConte

Satisfies Social and Behavioral Sciences and Historical Studies L&S Breadth Requirements
Summer Session D, 7/3/2017 – 8/11/2017 Americans have a variety of stories they tell about themselves. In this class, we will take three of these narratives and see how they are represented in popular culture. We will look at how Americans use film, music, advertising, political cartoons, clothing and costuming, and electoral campaigns to think about who we have been, who we are, and who we would like to be in the future. What ideas are contained in these stories? And what are the implications for how we think about who we are? Possible narratives include: the Melting Pot, the American Dream, and the Rugged Individual.

 

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 AC – The Business of American Popular Culture: Race, Class, Ethnicity and the Birth of Consumer Society (4 units) – Class # 15204
Instructors: K. Moran and M. Cohen
MTW 2-5, 141 McCone
 Session A (5/22 – 6/30/17)

This is a course about the way that forms of American popular culture (dime novels, spectacles, fairs, amusement parks, vaudeville, popular music, cinema) were foundational to the growth and development of consumer society. Our course will focus on the overlapping histories of African American, Native American and White (mainly working class) communities as they were represented in popular culture and used in the creation of consumer advertising and the language of persuasion. We will also discuss how people in these communities themselves produced popular culture. The course will be divided into four parts that overlap historically to build a picture of the way that regimes of representation and the practices of entertainment transformed popular culture into market commodities at the turn of the 20th century.

**THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE AMERICAN CULTURES REQUIREMENT AND THE TIME AND PRE-1900 REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AMERICAN STUDIES MAJOR. IT CAN ALSO BE USED AS AN AREA COURSE FOR AS MAJORS DOING POPULAR CULTURE AND BUSINESS-RELATED AREAS OF CONCENTRATION**

 

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

American Studies 101 AC – The Business of American Popular Culture: Race, Class, Ethnicity and the Birth of Consumer Society (4 units) – Class # 15204
Instructors: K. Moran and M. Cohen
MTW 2-5, 141 McCone
 Session A (5/22 – 6/30/17)

This is a course about the way that forms of American popular culture (dime novels, spectacles, fairs, amusement parks, vaudeville, popular music, cinema) were foundational to the growth and development of consumer society. Our course will focus on the overlapping histories of African American, Native American and White (mainly working class) communities as they were represented in popular culture and used in the creation of consumer advertising and the language of persuasion. We will also discuss how people in these communities themselves produced popular culture. The course will be divided into four parts that overlap historically to build a picture of the way that regimes of representation and the practices of entertainment transformed popular culture into market commodities at the turn of the 20th century.

**THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE AMERICAN CULTURES REQUIREMENT AND THE TIME AND PRE-1900 REQUIREMENTS FOR THE AMERICAN STUDIES MAJOR. IT CAN ALSO BE USED AS AN AREA COURSE FOR AS MAJORS DOING POPULAR CULTURE AND BUSINESS-RELATED AREAS OF CONCENTRATION**

 

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

American Studies 10 – America, Song by Song (4 units) – Class # 12384
Instructors: K. Moran, C. Palmer and G. Marcus
TTh 12:30-2, 180 Tan 
Sections
Section 102 Th 10-11, 141 Giannini
Section 103 M 12-1, 250 Sutardja Dai

This course uses American songs to explore history, politics, literature, culture, architecture, race relations, economics, folklore, and popular culture. By focusing on the soundscapes of folk and popular music, we will uncover how songs and performances write the nation. Music to be considered may include: Billie Holidays recording of Strange Fruit, Beyonce’s Lemonade, and recordings by Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Kendrick Lamar, Marvin Gaye, Solange Knowles, and clipping.

American Studies 110 – Staging California (4 units) – Class # 31988
Instructor: S. Steen
TTh 2-3:30, 534 Davis

IN SPRING 2017, THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE AS 10 REQUIREMENT AND THE “PLACE” REQUIREMENT. IT CAN BE USED TO SATISFY ONE OF THESE REQUIREMENTS, BUT NOT BOTH.
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 Californias unique cultural and racial topography. From the theatricalization of Chinatown in Rodgers and Hammersteins 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.

 

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 – The Golden Age of Advertising (4 units) – Class # 12390
Instructor: K. Moran
MW 2-4, 101 Barker 

This course will examine American consumer society from the end of WWII to the early 1970’s, including the growth of advertising, car culture, television, the suburbs and youth culture.

American Studies H 110 – Bay Area in the 1970s (3 units) – Class # 31951
Instructor: S. Saul
TTh 12:30-2, 371 Bancroft Library 

NOTE: Honors seminar. Requires consent of instructor and/or approval of faculty advisor to enroll.
This project-based course is three courses rolled into one. First, it delves into the history of the 1970s Bay Area, which was an unusually fertile cultural seedbed: so many features of contemporary life, from the cappuccinos we drink to the laptop computers we use to write and think, were incubated in it. The region was ground-zero for the technological utopianism represented by the Whole Earth Catalog and the computer clubs that produced the first desktop computer; ground-zero for the revolution in cooking known as California cuisine; ground-zero for new forms of spiritual practice and religious organization; ground-zero for the spread of women’s liberation, black liberation and gay liberation, and for the evolution of movement cultures that stood behind such new cultural forms as disco, punk, and alternative comix; and much more.
Second, the course offers students an introduction to the practice of archival research. The course will be meeting at the Bancroft Library, and students will work in collaboration with one another to explore specific archives at the Bancroft, such as the Chez Panisse Collection and the Disability Rights and Defense Fund Collection. Students will approach these collections with the open eyes of historians looking at fresh documents, and with the goal of plumbing these documents for the insights and stories that they yield.
Third, the course will give students the experience of creating a digital history project of their own. Students will work towards creating both a digital exhibition and a multi-media essay that springs out of the primary research they do. As a point of reference, students might look at Prof. Sauls Richard Pryors Peoria at http://www.becomingrichardpryor.com or the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project at http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/.
No experience with digital humanities is required for this course, but students should be ready to engage with a course that is more collaborative and project-oriented than is customary in humanities seminars.

History 121 B – The American Revolution (4 units) – Class #32106
Instructor: M. Peterson
TTh 11-12:30, 121 Haas Pavilion
Sections
Section 101 T 4-5, 130 Dwinelle
Section 102 T 5-6, 130 Dwinelle

This course will explore the history of eastern North America and the West Indies in the second half of the 18th century, in order to determine what was “revolutionary” about this history, as well as what was not. We will, of course, examine the causes and consequences of the rebellion staged by thirteen of Britain’s American colonies in the 1770s, including the makeshift construction of the United States, but we will also investigate the broader Atlantic context in which these events occurred, and consider their reverberations for places and peoples that did not voluntarily join the new United States.

History 122 AC – Antebellum America: The Advent of Mass Society (4 units) – Class # 32107
Instructor: D. Henkin
TTh 3:30-5, 390 Hearst Mining

The Civil War is commonly regarded as the second American Revolution, the grand rupture after which a new modern nation came into being. But many of the institutions, ideologies, and practices that make up modern society and culture in the United States emerged more gradually during the half-century that preceded the War. To understand the origins of such contemporary phenomena as the mass media, corporate capitalism, wage labor, the two-party system, family values, and racism, we need to trace their evolution in the nineteenth century. This course examines a little over half a century of life in the United States (roughly from 1800 until the secession of the South), focusing on everyday life, popular culture, race relations, westward expansion, urbanization, class formation, religious experience, gender roles, sexuality, print communication, and competing claims to wealth, power, and the good life. Assigned readings will consist largely of first-person narratives in which women and men of varied ethnic backgrounds and cultural identities try to make sense of their own experiences against the backdrop of major social change.

Theater 114 – Performance Workshop – Performing the 1960s (4 units) – Class # 23811
Instructor: P. Glazer
MWF 10-12, 170 Zellerbach

This class will stage a selection of significant writings of the 1960s in the US, to better grasp that profound and influential decade. The class is based on the assumption that there are few better ways to understand a piece of writing than to embody it. We will read and perform every week developing monologues, small scenes, and ensemble pieces from the literature working up to a final presentation we will curate from the semesters explorations. So many of the progressive social movements of the present moment – such as Black Lives Matter, Occupy, and LGBTQ rights, to name a few – have roots in the movement culture of the 60s. We will engage with notable fiction, non-fiction and poetry from the decade. Authors will include, among others: Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Truman Capote, Cesar Chavez, Joan Didion, Betty Friedan, Allen Ginsberg, Rodolfo Gonzales, Abbie Hoffman, Ken Kesey, Norman Mailer, Sylvia Plath, Luis Valdez, Kurt Vonnegut, Malcolm X. There is no audition required, and prior performance experience is not necessary.

 

“Place” Courses

American Studies 102 – Hands on the Vine: The California Wine Industry (4 units) – Class # 12391
TTh 2-3:30, 370 Dwinelle
Instructor: A. Saragoza 

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH CHICANO STUDIES 180

This course examines the California wine industry and the people involved in its production, emphasizing those who do the actual labor, from grape pickers and cellar masters to the vineyard managers and winemakers. The course emphasizes the period since the famous wine tasting competition between California and French wines in 1976, which marks the onset of the boom in wine consumption in the U.S. The course takes into account social and cultural trends that impact on the wine industry as well as other key attendant issues: immigrant labor, foreign competition, styles of wine making, and the multiplier effects of the industry, e.g., wine tourism. The course features field trips and guest lectures by farm workers, vineyard managers, wine makers, and winery owners.

American Studies 102 – What is This?! Writing About American Things (4 units) – Class # 12392
Instructor: A. Shanken
T 9-12, 270 Wurster

This is a small, specialized seminar course. If interested, please talk to a faculty advisor before enrolling.
The word thing comes from proto-Germanic words like thingam that surprisingly are about assembly, council, and discussion. Things, those inert objects we place on shelves, throw in drawers, and jettison on trash heaps, have their roots in action, communication, and space. There is nothing without its corresponding behavior and there is no behavior without its corresponding place. This class looks at the relationship between things, actions, communication, and place, and it does so particularly within the modern American context of production, consumption, and obsolescence. It is primarily a class in writing creative non-fiction (and reading it). Students will be asked to write short weekly essays about stuff: bricks, paper clips, bras, marbles, collectibles, junk; the places we keep them: mantles, boxes, boutiques, attics; and what they say to us and about us. The class is intended as a supportive workshop environment for students to observe closely and write incisively about the things around them.

American Studies 110 – Staging California (4 units) – Class # 31988
Instructor: S. Steen
TTh 2-3:30, 534 Davis

IN SPRING 2017, THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE AS 10 REQUIREMENT AND THE “PLACE” REQUIREMENT. IT CAN BE USED TO SATISFY ONE OF THESE REQUIREMENTS, BUT NOT BOTH.
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 Californias unique cultural and racial topography. From the theatricalization of Chinatown in Rodgers and Hammersteins 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 H 110 – The Road in American History (3 units) – Class # 31952
W 2-5, 104 GPBB
Instructor: D. Henkin

NOTE: Honors seminar. Requires consent of instructor and/or approval of faculty advisor to enroll.
This seminar takes seriously the idea that paved roads and well-worn paths have been powerful material forces in the historical formation of U.S. society, culture, and politics, while simultaneously offering resonant symbols of national identity and personal transformation throughout that history. Starting around 1800 and moving to the end of the twentieth century, we will study selected sites, moments, and artistic works that illuminate this rich topic. Requirements include extensive reading, regular participation in discussion, and three written assignments (but no term paper or research project).

American Studies C 111 E – The Field: California Farmworker Literature (4 units) – Class # 32121
Instructor: M. Gonzalez
TTh 2-3:30, 240 Bechtel

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH ENGLISH C136

This course will focus on the lives and struggles of Mexican farm workers in California as represented in Chicano/a literature from the 1970s to the early twentieth-first century roughly the period that coincides with the rise of neoliberalism as a dominant politico-economic system in Western capitalism. Well consider the ways that the daily struggles and political movements of Mexican farmworkers link Chicano/a history to immigration law, state repression, racialization, gender discrimination, class exploitation, and the expansive power of transnational agricultural corporations. All of the literary works that we’ll study in this course document or dramatize these links either thematically or formally. We’ll also read several essays on history and literary criticism to contextualize the literature, and we’ll view two films. Required assignments will include a midterm, a class presentation, and two papers.
Reading List: Diana Garcia, When Living was a Labor Camp Rigoberto Gonzalez, Crossing VinesRose Castillo Guilbault, Farmworkers Daughter: Growing Up Mexican in AmericaBruce Neuburger, Lettuce Wars Salvador Plascencia, The People of Paper Gary Soto, JesseGary Soto, The Elements of San Joaquin Helena Mara Viramontes, Under the Feet of Jesus
Films: Alambrista and Fighting for Our Lives.

American Studies C 112 B – The American Cultural Landscape – 20th Century (4 units) – Class # 32764
Instructor: A. Craghead
Th 11-12:30, 145 McCone
Sections
Section 101, Tues 1-2, 145 McCone
Section 102, Wed 12-1, 145 McCone
Section 103, Thurs 10-11, 145 McCone

This course introduces ways of seeing and interpreting American histories and cultures, as revealed in everyday built surrounding homes, highways, farms, factories, stores, recreation areas, small towns, city districts, and regions. This course encourages students to read ordinary landscapes as records of past and present social relations, and to speculate for themselves about cultural meanings. 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. You may take this B course even if you have not had the A course. People from all majors are enthusiastically welcomed.

 

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

History 121 B – The American Revolution (4 units) – Class # 32106
Instructor: M. Peterson
TTh 11-12:30, 121 Haas Pavilion
Sections
Section 101 T 4-5, 130 Dwinelle
Section 102 T 5-6, 130 Dwinelle

This course will explore the history of eastern North America and the West Indies in the second half of the 18th century, in order to determine what was “revolutionary” about this history, as well as what was not. We will, of course, examine the causes and consequences of the rebellion staged by thirteen of Britain’s American colonies in the 1770s, including the makeshift construction of the United States, but we will also investigate the broader Atlantic context in which these events occurred, and consider their reverberations for places and peoples that did not voluntarily join the new United States.

History 122 AC – Antebellum America: The Advent of Mass Society (4 units) – Class # 32107
Instructor: D. Henkin
TTh 3:30-5, 390 Hearst Mining

The Civil War is commonly regarded as the second American Revolution, the grand rupture after which a new modern nation came into being. But many of the institutions, ideologies, and practices that make up modern society and culture in the United States emerged more gradually during the half-century that preceded the War. To understand the origins of such contemporary phenomena as the mass media, corporate capitalism, wage labor, the two-party system, family values, and racism, we need to trace their evolution in the nineteenth century. This course examines a little over half a century of life in the United States (roughly from 1800 until the secession of the South), focusing on everyday life, popular culture, race relations, westward expansion, urbanization, class formation, religious experience, gender roles, sexuality, print communication, and competing claims to wealth, power, and the good life. Assigned readings will consist largely of first-person narratives in which women and men of varied ethnic backgrounds and cultural identities try to make sense of their own experiences against the backdrop of major social change.

 

Senior Thesis Seminars

American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 12411
Instructor: K. Moran and E. Hagberg
Th 4-6, 238 Kroeber  
American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 12412
Instructor: C. Palmer
W 8-10, 115 Kroeber
American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 12413
Instructor: C. Palmer and E. Harden
M 12-2, 285 Corey
American Studies H 195 – Senior Honors Thesis Seminar ( 4 units) Class # 12414
Instructor: C. Palmer
M 8-10, 115 Kroeber

NOTE: Consent of instructor or AS Faculty Advisor required
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), and write the honors thesis. Students should discuss with their major faculty advisor 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 advisor from an appropriate field who will agree to direct the honors thesis (the “honors thesis advisor”). THE FACULTY ADVISORS AGREEMENT MUST BE SUBMITTED TO COURSE INSTRUCTOR NO LATER THAN THE 2ND WEEK OF CLASSES.

 

Honors Seminar

American Studies H 110 – Bay Area in the 1970s (3 units) – Class # 31951
Instructor: S. Saul
TTh 12:30-2, 371 Bancroft Library

NOTE: Honors seminar. Requires consent of instructor and/or approval of faculty advisor to enroll.
This project-based course is three courses rolled into one. First, it delves into the history of the 1970s Bay Area, which was an unusually fertile cultural seedbed: so many features of contemporary life, from the cappuccinos we drink to the laptop computers we use to write and think, were incubated in it. The region was ground-zero for the technological utopianism represented by the Whole Earth Catalog and the computer clubs that produced the first desktop computer; ground-zero for the revolution in cooking known as California cuisine; ground-zero for new forms of spiritual practice and religious organization; ground-zero for the spread of women’s liberation, black liberation and gay liberation, and for the evolution of movement cultures that stood behind such new cultural forms as disco, punk, and alternative comix; and much more.
Second, the course offers students an introduction to the practice of archival research. The course will be meeting at the Bancroft Library, and students will work in collaboration with one another to explore specific archives at the Bancroft, such as the Chez Panisse Collection and the Disability Rights and Defense Fund Collection. Students will approach these collections with the open eyes of historians looking at fresh documents, and with the goal of plumbing these documents for the insights and stories that they yield.
Third, the course will give students the experience of creating a digital history project of their own. Students will work towards creating both a digital exhibition and a multi-media essay that springs out of the primary research they do. As a point of reference, students might look at Prof. Sauls Richard Pryors Peoria at http://www.becomingrichardpryor.com or the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project at http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/.
No experience with digital humanities is required for this course, but students should be ready to engage with a course that is more collaborative and project-oriented than is customary in humanities seminars.

American Studies H 110 – The Road in American History (3 units) – Class # 31952
Instructor: D. Henkin
W 2-5, 104 GPBB

NOTE: Honors seminar. Requires consent of instructor and/or approval of faculty advisor to enroll.
This seminar takes seriously the idea that paved roads and well-worn paths have been powerful material forces in the historical formation of U.S. society, culture, and politics, while simultaneously offering resonant symbols of national identity and personal transformation throughout that history. Starting around 1800 and moving to the end of the twentieth century, we will study selected sites, moments, and artistic works that illuminate this rich topic. Requirements include extensive reading, regular participation in discussion, and three written assignments (but no term paper or research project).

 

Special Courses of Interest

American Studies 152 E – Native American Literature (4 units) – Class # 12404
Instructor: B. Piatote
TTh 12:30-2, 240 Mulford

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES C152

This survey course introduces prominent genres of Native American literary production, including oral traditions, nonfiction essay, novel, and short story. Selections are drawn primarily from Native American/Aboriginal writers and performers in the United States and Canada from the nineteenth century to present. Readings will also include a traditional Nez Perce story in the original language, with translation provided by the instructor; and discussions of non-alphabetic texts such as winter counts and wampum belts. In addition to aesthetic considerations, particular attention will be given to the social, cultural, and political contexts in which these works were produced. Authors include William Apess, Zitkala-Sa, Charles Eastman, D’Arcy McNickle, Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, James Welch, and Sherman Alexie.

American Studies C 172 – History of American Business (4 units) – Class #12405
Instructor: C. Rosen
MW 12:30-2, C230 Cheit 

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH UGBA C172

This course covers an amazing history of creative innovation, growth, structural change, challenge, trouble, travail and more growth, more change, challenge, and trouble. Less than two hundred years ago, the U.S. was just starting to transform itself from a country of farmers and village craftsmen into a nation based on large scale, mechanized, corporate controlled industry. It is now an industrial colossus dominated by huge multinational corporations that operate in markets around the world. Its leaders are experiencing many forms of disruptive innovation. They must manage, find economic opportunities, and politically maneuver in a marketplace that is being constantly shaped and reshaped by international competition, technological and financial innovation, and the ever insistent demands from the investor community for maximal profits every quarter. They must also deal with new forms of financial, economic, social, and environmental regulation, here and abroad, as well as the ongoing rise of new generations of dynamic competitors in China, India, and other parts of the developing world. How has American business gotten to where it is today? How can historical insight help us understand the strategic, organizational, geo-political, economic, social, and environmental problems, opportunities and challenges facing todays corporate managers? The purpose of UGBA AS C 172 is to give you historical perspective on these issues. The course illuminates the parallels and continuities as well as the differences between current and past developments in management problem solving, technological and organizational innovation, and business-government interaction, as well as business impact on American culture and its relationship with society as a whole.

 

Lower Division Courses of Interest

Letters & Science 25 – Thinking through Art and Design at Berkeley: California Countercultures (3 units) – Class # 17634
Instructor: M. Cohen
MW 12-2, 3 LeConte

What is a counterculture? What kind of culture does a counterculture counter? Can culture be a space of political opposition? Can culture be revolutionary? Activists and artists have asked these questions for generations, seeking out new ideas and new art forms by struggling to create a new world within the shell of the old.
This class, L&S 25 Thinking across the Arts and Design at Berkeley: California Countercultures, looks at the variety of countercultural expressions in the Bay Area centering around the decade of the 1960s. Berkeley occupies a vital place in counterculture history and mythology, and throughout this class we will consider this confluence of art and politics, community and memory that make the East Bay such a unique place in American culture. Across the semester, in lectures, museum visits, film screenings, musical and dance performances, we will consider a range of California Countercultures including (but not limited to) surrealists, wobblies, beats, hippies, yippies, dopers, Panthers, queers, communes, feminists, punks and occupiers.
This class is designed to introduce students to the full range of art and design resources at UC Berkeley by engaging with the upcoming Hippie Modernism show at the Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archives, a showcase of countercultural films at the PFA, and two performing arts events at CAL Performances, Zellerbach Hall. In addition, the class features a lineup of guest speakers including stage and film actor Peter Coyote, poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, artist Fred Tomaselli, author Ishmael Reed, poet Joanne Kyger, Punk historical V.Vale, as well as professors from across the Berkeley campus. Students in the course will be equipped not only to understand and engage individual artistic and design disciplines, but also to connect their ideas and intentions with each other, across a range of creative and countercultural expressions.

 

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

African American Studies 27 AC – Lives of Struggle: Minorities in Majority Culture (3 units) – Class # 32726
Instructor: M. Cohen
TTh 12:30-2, 145 Dwinelle

IN FALL 2016, THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE AMERICAN STUDIES 10 REQUIREMENT. The purpose of this course is to examine the many forms that the struggle of minorities can assume. The focus is on individual struggle and its outcome as reported and perceived by the individuals themselves. Members of three minority aggregates are considered: African Americans, Asian Americans (so called), and Chicano/Latino Americans. The choice of these three has to do with the different histories of members of these aggregates. Such differences have produced somewhat different approaches to struggle.

American Studies 10 – Introduction to American Studies: America at Play (4 units) – Class # 32135
Instructor: C. Palmer
MW 2-4, 390 Hearst Min 
Sections
Sec. 201 – TBA
Sec. 202 – TBA

This course will introduce students to the interdisciplinary study of American culture, taking play as its central focus. We will look at the historical, political, economic, and cultural meanings of leisure and recreation in the U.S. Specific topics will include: theme parks, hobbies, tourism, vacationing, sports, games, gambling, fandom, the playground movement, holidays, shopping, nightlife, and the relationship between work and play.

American Studies 10 – America at Play (4 units) – Class # 32135
MW 2-4, 390 Hearst Mining
Instructor: C. Palmer
Sections
Sec. 202 – M 5-6, 104 Barrows
Sec. 203 – M 12-1.110 Barker

This course will introduce students to the interdisciplinary study of American culture, taking play as its central focus. We will look at the historical, political, economic, and cultural meanings of leisure and recreation in the U.S. Specific topics will include: toys, theme parks, hobbies, tourism and vacationing, sports and games, the playground movement, holidays, and the relationship between work and play.

Letters and Science 20 E – Edible Stories: Representing California Food Culture (4 units) – Class # 32726
Instructor: K. Moran
MW 2-4, 2 Le Conte 
Section
Sec. 101: M 9-10, 75 Evans
Sec. 102: M 10-11, 87 Evans
Sec. 103: M 12-1, 2070 VLSB
Sec 104 W 11-12, 138 Morgan

IN FALL 2016, THIS COURSE SATISFIES THE AMERICAN STUDIES 10 REQUIREMENT. Focusing on California writers and artists, this course will include a wide range of food related texts and images in order to explore the relationship between representation, interpretation and cultural identity. Students will examine fiction, film, photography, food memoirs, paintings, advertising, cookbooks and television to help them think critically about issues of form, medium and audience. Assignments will help students develop humanities skills such as writing personal essays, doing cultural close readings, analyzing literary and visual representations, and organizing and writing materials and web designs that contribute to larger conversations about California, food and representation.

 

“Time” Courses

American Studies 101 – The Birth of Consumerism (4 units) – Class # 32144
Instructor: K. Moran
TTh 3-5:30, 3106 Etcheverry 

This course will examine the period beginning in the 1880s until WWI, when modern consumer society emerged in the US. We will also engage the theoretical debate about the usefulness of the concept of consumerism to a contemporary understanding of the politics of consumption as a modernizing force. Our topics will include the turn of the century worlds fairs, shopping, toys, and the rise of department stores, as well as the emergence of mass-market catalogues and magazines. We will also examine the way the advertising reflected and constructed ideas about citizenship, gender and race norms, and generational transformation in our period. ***This course also satisfies the pre-1900 historical requirement for American Studies majors.

American Studies 101 – The New Gilded Age (4 units) – Class # 32978
Instructor: M. Brilliant
M 2-5, 115 Kroeber 

The new Gilded Age is a term that scholars, pundits, and activists in recent years have used to refer to the sharp increase in economic inequality in the United States, the increasing concentration of income and wealth in the hands of the nations well-to-do, especially its richest 1 percent and above. The roots of this watershed in recent American history are many and run deep. This course will trace some of those roots, examining the origins of Americas new Gilded Age by focusing on major transformations in economics, politics, and education in the 1970s and 1980s. Along the way, we will also consider some of the social experiences and cultural expressions of Americans as they lived through the new Gilded Age.

American Studies 101 – The Teen Age (4 units) – Class # 12481
Instructor: C. Palmer
TTh 11-12:30, NEW LOCATION AS OF 9/1/16: 145 Moffitt

This course explores both the invention of the teenager and the significance of teen culture in the United States after the Second World War. Among the topics addressed in the course will be identity, age-sets, social networks and high school hierarchy, juvenile delinquency, the concept of cool, consumerism, representation, teen idols, and the rise of tweens. We will examine a variety of teen texts drawn from film, television, music, narrative and graphic fiction, and social engineering textbooks. Our task in this class is to figure out how people have represented and responded to teenagers in the United States. How has the American teenager been understood and commercialized? What has been the cultural impact of the American teenager? How do people explain social fascination with high school, the senior prom, adolescent angst, teen fashions, and youth culture? What metaphors have been most often attached to the teenager in the United States? How does American adolescence prescribe as well as challenge American adulthood? How has the American teenager been made exciting, appealing, dangerous, or everyday? By studying the experiences, culture, and representation of American teenagers, and the cultural forms created for them and by them, we will consider specific moments of meaning-making and the long-term development of generational discourse.

 

“Place” Courses

American Studies 102 – The Suburbs (4 units) – Class # 02024
Instructor: J. Gomer
TTh 2-3:30, 155 Kroeber 

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH CHICANO STUDIES 180

This course is about the American suburb as a place in the geographical, social, political, and cultural landscape of the United States. While our course will move historically through the 19th and 20th century, we will also focus on the representations of suburban life in fiction and film. Additionally, we will examine the material culture of the suburbs. To that end, each student will adopt a suburb and produce an original research profile of a Bay Area suburban community.
By the end of our course, students will have a complex understanding of how the process of suburbanization occurred both nationwide and more specifically in areas like Orange County, Atlanta, Charlotte and Oakland; what the rise of the suburbs has meant for American electoral politics and racial equality; how fiction writers and Hollywood filmmakers have represented the nature of suburban life; and what Bay Area suburbs look and feel like today. Ultimately, our goal in this course is to begin to develop a nuanced understanding of the suburbs as a place in American life. This course satisfies the place requirement for the American Studies major.

American Studies 102 – Detecting California (4 units) – Class # 12502
Instructor: R. Huston
TTh 12:30-2, 155 Kroeber 

The characteristics of specific urban places including their cultural history, racial and ethnic politics, climate, and geography are often critical elements in detective narratives. In this course, we will discuss modern detective novels, films and television to think about two California urban places: Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Our texts will include foundational classics by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, as well as the work of contemporary crime writers who exploit the hard-boiled formula to explore California history, culture and politics from the perspective of women, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans. Films will include The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Chinatown and Chan is Missing.

 

Pre-1900 Historical Requirement

American Studies 101 – The Birth of Consumerism (4 units) – Class #32144
Instructor: K. Moran
TTh 3-5:30, 3106 Etcheverry

This course will examine the period beginning in the 1880s until WWI, when modern consumer society emerged in the US. We will also engage the theoretical debate about the usefulness of the concept of consumerism to a contemporary understanding of the politics of consumption as a modernizing force. Our topics will include the turn of the century world’s fairs, shopping, toys, and the rise of department stores, as well as the emergence of mass-market catalogues and magazines. We will also examine the way the advertising reflected and constructed ideas about citizenship, gender and race norms, and generational transformation in our period. ***This course also satisfies the pre-1900 historical requirement for American Studies majors.

 

Senior Thesis Seminars

American Studies 190 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 12554
Instructor: C. Palmer
day and time TBA, location TBA
American Studies 191 – Senior Thesis Seminar (4 units) – Class # 12565
Instructors: K. Moran and C. CoveyTh 2-4, 214 Haviland 
American Studies H 195 – Senior Honors Thesis Seminar (4 units)
Instructor: C. Palmer
W 2-4, 65 Evans

***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 – Honors Seminar (3 units)
Instructor: M. Cohen
W 3-6, 214 Haviland

Who writes the secret history of America? Working between history and power, this seminar takes up the question of contested historical and political knowledge. This year’s seminar is going to focus on the 2016 Presidential campaign and the election season more broadly. We will spend part of our time reading books, following the news cycle, and most importantly, collaborating with Medium.com to produce a collection of on-line writing about what promises to be the most contentious and consequential election since the 1930s (if not 1860 but lets hope not). Students will be expected to write and publish, in collaboration with your classmates, two short essays available to the general reading public through Medium.com. One piece of political commentary on the election (or electoral politics more generally) and the other on this history and politics of an object, image or text. Readings include The Iron Heel by Jack London, It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis, Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaya Watkins, Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, Memory of Fire: Genesis by Eduardo Galeano and A History of Bombing by Sven Lindqvist. Enrollment is by instructor permission only.

 

Special Courses of Interest

American Studies C 134 – Information, Technology, and Society (4 units) – Class # 12568
Instructor: M. Laguerre
M 2-6, 155 Kroeber

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES C134

This course assesses the role of information technology in the digitization of society and focuses on the deployment of e-government, globalization of e-commerce, telecommuting practices in Silicon Valley, organization of the virtual office, racial and gender ramifications of the digital divide, geography of cyberspace, and privacy, security, and surveillance. It examines how IT has contributed to the mobility of agents, tools, and social structure. It discusses the role of IT in the governance and transformation of the American metropolis with a specific focus on the social production of digital neighborhoods and networked homes. It explains the phenomenon of virtual migration, the rise of digital diasporas, and how IT is a conduit through which the globalization process is deployed.

American Studies C 152 – Native American Literature (4 units) – Class # 12580
Instructor: E. Lima
TTh 12:30-2, 587 Barrows 

THIS COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES C152

An analysis of the written and oral tradition developed by Native Americans. Emphasis will be placed on a multifaceted approach (aesthetic, linguistic, psychological, historical, and cultural) in examining American Indian literature.

English 174 – The Seventies (4 units) – Class # 31883
Instructor: S. Saul
TTh 3-5:30, 254 Dwinelle

As one historian has quipped, it was the worst of times, it was the worst of times. The 70s routinely come in for mockery: even at the time, it was known as the decade when it seemed like nothing happened.” Yet we can see now that the 70s was a time of cultural renaissance. It gave us the New Hollywood of Scorcese, Coppola and others; the music of funk, disco, punk and New Wave; the postmodern comedy of Saturday Night Live and the postmodern drama of Sam Shepard and others; and a great range of literary fiction written by authors from Ursula LeGuin and Margaret Atwood to Toni Morrison and Maxine Hong Kingston. It was also a period of intense political realignments the moment the United States was roiled by the oil crisis, the fall of Nixon and the fall of Saigon; by the advent of women’s liberation, gay liberation, and environmentalism as mass grassroots movements; and by the rise of the Sunbelt and the dawning of the conservative revolution. In this class, we will consider “the seventies” in full, surveying developments in the spheres of both politics and culture. NOTE: At this point there are no seats in this course for American Studies students. Please keep checking the online schedule if interested in taking the course.

History 139 C – Civil Rights and Social Movements in the U.S. (4 units)
Instructor: W. Martin
TTh 3-5:30, 159 GSP

Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History presents a top-down (political and legal history), bottom-up (social and cultural history), and comparative (by race and ethnicity as well as region) view of America’s struggles for racial equality from roughly World War II until the present. Beginning with the onset of World War II, America experienced not a singular, unitary Civil Rights Movement as is typically portrayed in standard textbook accounts and the collective memory but rather a variety of contemporaneous civil rights and their related social movements. These movements, moreover, did not follow a tidy chronological-geographic trajectory from South to North to West, nor were their participants merely black and white. Instead, from their inception, America’s civil rights movements unfolded both beyond the South and beyond black and white. “;Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History”; endeavors to equip students with a greater appreciation for the complexity of America’s civil rights and social movements history, a complexity that neither a black / white nor nonwhite / white framework adequately captures. Put another way, “;Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History”; will examine how the problem of the color line which W.E.B. DuBois deemed to be in 1903 the problem of the twentieth century might better be viewed as a problem of color lines. If America’s demographics are increasingly beyond black and white, if “;the classic American dilemma has now become many dilemmas of race and ethnicity,”; as President Clinton put it in the late 1990s, if color lines now loom as the problem of the 21st century, then a course on America’s civil rights and social movements past may very well offer a glimpse into America’s civil rights and social movements present and future.

International and Area Studies 158 AC – Social Movements, Urban History, and the Politics of Memory (4 units) – Class # 32294
Instructor: S. Burns
TTh 5-6:30, 174 Barrows 

COURSE IS CROSS-LISTED WITH PACS 148AC

Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History presents a top-down (political and legal history), bottom-up (social and cultural history), and comparative (by race and ethnicity as well as region) view of America’s struggles for racial equality from roughly World War II until the present. Beginning with the onset of World War II, America experienced not a singular, unitary Civil Rights Movement as is typically portrayed in standard textbook accounts and the collective memory but rather a variety of contemporaneous civil rights and their related social movements. These movements, moreover, did not follow a tidy chronological-geographic trajectory from South to North to West, nor were their participants merely black and white. Instead, from their inception, America’s civil rights movements unfolded both beyond the South and beyond black and white. “;Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History”; endeavors to equip students with a greater appreciation for the complexity of America’s civil rights and social movements history, a complexity that neither a black / white nor nonwhite / white framework adequately captures. Put another way, “;Civil Rights and Social Movements in U.S. History”; will examine how the problem of the color line which W.E.B. DuBois deemed to be in 1903 the problem of the twentieth century might better be viewed as a problem of color lines. If America’s demographics are increasingly beyond black and white, if “;the classic American dilemma has now become many dilemmas of race and ethnicity,”; as President Clinton put it in the late 1990s, if color lines now loom as the problem of the 21st century, then a course on America’s civil rights and social movements past may very well offer a glimpse into America’s civil rights and social movements present and future.

Music 137 A – Music of the Civil Rights Era (4 units) – Class # 33308
Instructor: T. Roberts
TTh 9:30-11, 125 Morrison 
Sections
Section 101 – W 2-3, 128 Morrison
Section 102- – W4-5, 128 Morrison

The decades of the mid-20th century were an explosion of political unrest, social change, and cultural innovation. While the world was rocked by numerous anti-colonial struggles, disenfranchised populations in the U.S. forged their own battles in what is commonly referred to as the Civil Rights Era. In this course, we engage music both as a record and agent of change as a way to understand this broader history. We explore a wide variety of music from this period, including African American freedom songs, soul, jazz, and funk; the multiracial folk revival; Asian American jazz and taiko; and various Latino styles. In what ways did these social movements employ culture as a political tool? How was music used to express discontent and look toward a better future? In order to address these questions and more, we will engage readings on music, politics, history, and identity. We will also view, listen, and perform the traditions we study. Ultimately, while the tale of the Civil Rights Era is often told as separate, compartmentalized racial/ethnic struggles, our investigations will reveal the intense interracial and intercultural political solidarities and musical dialogues that took place.

Music C 138 – Art and Activism (4 units) – Class # TBA
Instructor: T. Roberts
day and time TBA, location TBA 

This course explores the intersections between aesthetic practice and social change. Students will investigate in both theory and practice the capacity of art making to cultivate transformation of themselves, their relationships, their practices, their institutions, and the larger economic and socio-political structures in which they function, locally and globally. Focusing on historical and contemporary artists and political issues, we ask: (1) How is art impacted by social change? (2) How has art been used toward social change? and (3) How can we, as course participants, use art to bring about social change? Rooted in interdisciplinary scholarship, students will engage theoretical debates and historical analyses regarding the role of the arts in social change and examine the particular capacities of the arts to negotiate across and between cultures, languages, and power-laden lines of difference. Taking a broad view of activism, we will consider the ways in which artistic practices foster radical imaginations that can expand our sense of the possible. Case studies will span media including visual arts, theater, dance, poetry/spoken word, literature, and music.