American Studies

Courses

American Studies Courses by Semester

ALL COURSES ARE OFFERED DURING SUMMER SESSION D (July 3-August 11, 2023)

 
American Studies 110: From Portraits to Snapshots: Memory, identity, and photography in American culture
Instructor: Alex Craghead
IN PERSON – MTW – 1-4 pm  
241 Cory
Units: 4
Class #15247

What does it mean to make a photograph, or to keep a photograph, especially of oneself or of a loved one? What is the relationship between the apparently fixed identities within photos, and the ever-evolving identities that stand outside of them? How does memory and technology collide in the portrait and the snapshot? In this course, we will explore a variety of photographic media, from jewel-like framed Daguerreotypes and Cartes de Visite, through mugshots, photojournalism, and modeling, to grade school portraits, drivers license pictures, and Instagram selfies. Our goal: To understand how photography shapes, and is shaped by, ideas around identity and memory in American culture. In addition to course readings and lectures, students will attend field trips to view important photographic collections, and engage in either a creative or research project of their own devising.

American Studies 10: New Orleans Culture
Instructor: Bryan Wagner
ONLINE/ASYNCHRONOUS 

Units: 4
Class #15461

This course introduces the art, music, literature, politics, religion, and folklore that define the city of New Orleans. Students will read and discuss important books about the city; investigate primary sources from local archives in a variety of mediums; and learn about historical neighborhoods whose architecture and design suggest the complex legacies of colonialism and the slave trade. Across the course, we will consider how culture and society are structured by persisting struggles over group identity conditioned by the city’s history of creolization. This is an online course. All lectures are prerecorded and available to watch at your convenience. This approach gives us the opportunity to engage with many of the city’s most important musicians, activists, artists, writers, and community leaders who will share guest lectures, demonstrations, and performances they have produced for our course.

Amerstd 101: Harlem Renaissance 
Instructors: Bryan Wagner and Christine Palmer
ONLINE/ASYNCHRONOUS 
Units: 4
Class #13460

This course explores the social, cultural, and political awakenings in the literature, art, and music of a movement known in its time as the “New Negro” Renaissance, now more commonly known as the Harlem Renaissance. This is remembered as a period (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 neighborhood, reclaimed the right to represent themselves in a wide range of artistic
mediums and activist movements. We will read works by ClaudeMcKay, Langston Hughes, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, and others as we reflect on migration and metropolitan life, primitivism and the avant garde, diaspora and exile, passing and identity, sexuality and secrecy, and the relationship between modern art and folk tradition.

Introductory Courses

American Studies 10 Going Nuclear!

TTh 3:30-5
2040 Valley Life Sciences Bldg
C. Palmer and M. Brilliant 4 Units
Class # 20926

Section
101 – M 2-3, 335 CHEIC, Class #20927
102 – M 3-4, 224 Wheeler, Class #20928
103 – Th 10-11, 385 Physics, Class #23948
104 – W 4-5, 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

MW 2-4
126 Social Sciences Bldg
K. Moran 4 Units
Class # 33050

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.

Time Courses

American Studies 101 A History of the Present from 9/11/2001 to 1/6/2021

MW 2-4
240 Mulford
M. Cohen 4 Units
Class # 23957

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

TTh 3:30-5
56 Social Sciences Bldg.
S. Saul 4 Units
Class # 23616

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

MW 5-7
100 Lewis
S E. Jones-Rogers 4 Units
Class # 31417

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

MW 12-2
240 Mulford
A. Craghead 4 Units
Class # 20930

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

W 2-5
141 Giannini
A. Shanken 4 Units
Class # 24833

“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

TTh 12:30-2
141 Giannini
S. Gold MCBride 4 Units
Class # 33583

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

TTh 12:30-2
141 Giannini
S. Gold MCBride 4 Units
Class # 33583

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

TTh 3:30-5
170 Social Sciences Bldg
B. De Lay 4 Units
Class # 26443

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

MW 5-7
100 Lewis
S E. Jones-Rogers 4 Units
Class # 31417

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

MW 2-4
126 Social Sciences Bldg
K. Moran 4 Units
Class # 33050

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

W 10-12
121 Latimer
S. Gold McBride 4 Units
Class # 15451

American Studies 191 Senior Thesis Seminar

M 4-6
180 Social Sciences Bldg
A. Craghead 4 Units
Class # 15452

American Studies H195 Honors Senior Thesis Seminar

W 2-4
7 Evans
A. Craghead 4 Units
Class # 19311

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

MW 10-12
3108 Etcheverry
C. Palmer 4 Units
Class # 23588

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

TTh 12:30-2
105 Stanley
C. Rosenthal 4 Units
Class # 31414

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

MW 5-7
100 Lewis
S E. Jones-Rogers 4 Units
Class # 31417

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.

ADDITIONAL 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 COURSES

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.