Graduate Student Instructors (GSI) and Reader Positions

SPRING 2020 American Studies GSI and Reader Positions

To apply for a position,  please send your resume to 

*Two GSI positions for American Studies 10 – “Frontiers” in American History and Culture (4 units) — Class # 18860.  Instructors: C. Palmer and M. Brilliant —  POSITIONS FILLED

*One Reader position for  American Studies C111E/English C136– Culture in the Age of Obama (4 units)– Instructor: S. Saul – POSITION AVAILABLE AS OF 1/16/20

Applicants: please email ASAP with your resume/CV. Here are some requirements for the position:

The reader should have experience in courses that involve the close analysis of a cultural object/text — e.g. a course of study in literature, visual culture, or history. Optimally they would have experience writing in a clear, straightforward manner for a larger public, since part of the class project will be to create a website with pieces written by students, for the general public. Someone who writes in a very jargon-laden way would not be a good fit as grader.

Here is the course description:  “Culture in the Age of Obama” – American Studies C111E/English C136. Instructor: Scott Saul. MW 5-6:30, 20 Wheeler, 4 units.  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.

*One Reader position for  American Studies 102, Sec. 1– Oakland |City (4 units)– Class #18864. Instructor: J. Winet

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

*One Reader position for American Studies 101, Sec. 1 – P.T. Barnum and Other Scams (4 units) – Class #18863. Instructor: S. Gold McBride – POSITION FILLED