Courses

Fall 2015

AMS 150: Intro to American Studies

This course examines personal and national identity through an interdisciplinary study of American culture while gaining perspective on how race, ethnicity, class, and gender have functioned historically in the United States. We will incorporate a variety of academic disciplines and cultural forms—essays, photographs, novels, films, songs, legal opinions, paintings, architecture, advertising and artifacts of material culture. CLOSED TO JUNIORS AND SENIORS.
Prof. Steve Belletto , MW 12:45—2:00

AMS 254: Cultures of Nature

This course is an interdisciplinary examination into the American relationship with nature. We will investigate how Americans have historically defined and currently conceive of concepts such as “nature,” “wilderness,” “environmental,” and “green.” The course will contrast and combine arts/humanities and scientific/technology perspectives, and it will merge active field-experience and field trips with the main topics and texts under discussion. Our texts will include diverse nature and environmental writings, films and visual culture, plus local physical landscapes and ecosystems. We will hike, paddle and camp, integrating site visits and activities in the Delaware River watershed with our critical explorations, so that the personal connection to place that is so central to environmental literature, art, and science becomes an essential context for our understanding. [W]
Prof. David. Brandes & Prof. Andrew Smith, MW 11:00—12:50

AMS 362: Photography and Memory in American Culture

This seminar class will examine the history of photography and its ubiquity in American culture through its technological developments and the debates that have surrounded photography since its invention in the early 19th century.  Topics that will be considered include: its acceptance as an art form, its use in propaganda and advertising, its role in the courts as evidence, its use in journalism and other vernacular forms.   Assignments will include analytic essays, research papers, film screenings, field trips and photographic exercises. [W]
Prof. Karina Skvirsky, MW 11:00—12:15

AMS 363: Senior Research Seminar

This research seminar serves as the capstone of the American Studies experience at Lafayette. As such, we ask many of the questions first raised in Introduction to American Studies: What does it mean to ask questions about the past and the present in American society? What is revealed about us by those questions? What do we seek and what do we find when we pursue these questions through scholarly approaches to the study of culture rather than through psychology or science?  What distinguishes American studies from other disciplines, and what attracts us to it as a model of understanding our world? The readings and exercises we use to think about these questions are driven by students’ own interests. The class is conducted in a workshop format, where students pursue individual research projects and write an article-length monograph on their discoveries. Students who complete this course successfully will be prepared to conduct research, write research reports, and evaluate others’ research on American society, both in the workplace and in graduate study.
Prof. Caroline Lee, TR 1:15—2:30

Elective or Recommended Courses for American Studies Majors, Fall 2015

AFS 211  The Black Experience
A&S 220 Who Gets What and Why
ECON 325  Women and the Economy
ECON 332 The Economics of Health Care
ENG 246 Black Writers
ENG 331 American Literature: 1945-Present
GOV 215 Campaigns and Elections in the U.S. (two sections)
GOV 314 Liberty in the U.S.: Law and Politics
GOV 320 Presidency & Executive Politics
GOV 321 Congress & Legislative Process
GOV 410 Seminar: Personality & the Supreme Court
HIST 231 US History 1840-1940
HIST 359 Seminar: Piracy in Early American History
MUS 264 The Jazz Experience
REL 231 Religion in American History and Culture
WGS 249 Women in the US Criminal Justice System
WGS 280 Feminist Theory

Spring 2015

AMS 150 Introduction to American Studies

This course will introduce students to the study of American culture, focusing specifically on the topics of “work” and “play” as interpreted and embodied from the country’s earliest days to the present. We will use texts from a variety of disciplines (history, art, film, literature, and psychology, among others) to address the question of how (and why) American attitudes towards “work” and “play” have evolved since its founding, and to hypothesize about the directions these concepts might take in the future. CLOSED TO JUNIORS AND SENIORS
Christianne Gadd MW 12:45-2:00

AMS 212 The MIDDLE EAST IN THE MIND OF AMERICA

This course covers a century of political and cultural interactions between one country (the United States) and a large, culturally, linguistically, and politically diverse region (the Middle East).  The class studies, in particular, the variety of ways in which individuals, institutions, and administrations in the United States and the Middle East have perceived of and imagined one another through the lens of academic articles, mainstream press, speeches, literature, personal histories, and the visual arts. The course will entail analyzing perceptions and misconceptions as historically construed cultural categories.
Rachel Goshgarian
TR 9:30-10:45, or
TR 11:00-12:30 (two different sections)

AMS 255 Sports in American culture

This course will explore issues of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and politics in American sports. We will examine not just the first athletes to break through barriers, but also the climate in which they were expected to perform and how their actions contributed to social change. Using a multidisciplinary approach, students will explore why sports have had such an impact in the United States.
Peter Newman
T TR 1:15-2:30

AMS 362-01 Three writers and their americas: willa cather, f. scott fitzgerald, and ernest hemingway

This seminar will explore the lives and times of three writers who were influential voices in describing and defining American experience during the early decades of the twentieth century. In novels and short stories that were both popular and critical successes, these three, in separate and evolving perspectives, brought the ordinary activities of daily living into focus in ways that led readers to think differently about their own lives. Readings will include novels and stories by all three; seminars will include discussions on what they wrote about (and did not write about) and on how they wrote what they wrote; research will include attention to the lives of each and to social and economic perspectives on the years between the two World Wars of the twentieth century.
David Johnson
MW 2:10-3:45

Elective or Recommended Courses for American Studies Majors, Spring, 2015

A&S 221 Social Welfare Policy & Safety Net
AFS 320 Black Feminism
ECON 331 Industrial Organization
ECON 332 Economics of Health Care
ENG 212 American Literature 1
ENG 304 Major American Writers
FAMS 220 Critical Film Theory
FAMS 256 Masculinities in Media
GOV 215 Campaigns & Elections in US
GOV 246 American Political Thought
GOV 311 US Constitutional Law & Politics
GOV 313: 1st Amendment in US: Law & Politics
HIST 232 American Revolution & Civil War
HIST 236 Recent America
HIST 237 The Story of WW II
HIST 246: Latin America: National Period
HIST 252: Transforming American Environment
HIST 261: Making African American, 1500-1880
HIST 371: American Foreign Policy
PSTD 300 Industry, Strategy, Policy
REL 308: Visual Culture & Religious Identity
SPAN 304: Spanish American Civil & Cult
SPAN 428: Sem: Mod Span Amer Lit & Civilization
WGS 249: Woman in US Criminal Justice System
WGS 262: Women & Work in America

Fall 2014

AMS 150 Introduction to American Studies

This introduction to the field of American studies examines American personal and national identity through an interdisciplinary study of American culture. It seeks to introduce students to an American studies perspective on scholarly work, while emphasizing how race, ethnicity, class, and gender have functioned historically in the United States. In order to pursue such work, we will incorporate a variety of academic disciplines and cultural forms—essays, photographs, novels, films, songs, legal opinions, paintings, architecture, advertising, and artifacts of material culture.
CLOSED TO JUNIORS AND SENIORS
Andy Smith
TTH 11:00-12:15

AMS 362.1 American Apocalypse

The apocalyptic myth is intimately associated with the founding of America. It has informed our notion of the New World as a “City on a Hill,” underlain the warnings of Puritan jeremiad, and been used during trying times such as the Civil War, Civil Rights Movement, and the nuclear age as a means of social and political critique. Using the New Testament’s Book of Revelation as the model apocalyptic form, this class will examine a variety of American apocalyptic works and explore how the myth of Apocalypse has been used to inspire, criticize and warn American audiences at various stages of our history. Possible texts we’ll study include works by Cormac McCarthy, Kurt Vonnegut, Don Delillo, James Cameron, Terry Gilliam,the Wachowski Brothers, and Pixar Studios. [W]
Liz Rosen
TTH 1:15-2:30

AMS 363 Senior research seminar

This course is required of all senior AMS majors. The purpose of the seminar is to give majors the opportunity to conduct in-depth scholarly work on a topic of their own choosing, and to work through the stages of research in a collaborative, workshop setting. Seminar participants are encouraged to integrate and deepen the diverse disciplinary perspectives to which they have been exposed in previous courses. The main project, typically an argumentative research paper 40-55 pages in length, must be based on original, primary source materials collected, scrutinized, and documented by the student.
David Shulman
TTH 1:15-2:30

Elective or Recommended Courses for American Studies Majors, Fall 2014
A&S 210 Contemporary American Society
A&S 217 Poverty in America
A&S 265 Sociology of Sport
AFS 211 The Black Experience
ENG 246 Black Writers
ENG 328 The American Renaissance
ENG 355 Race Theory
FAMS 279 Media Theory Criticism
GOVT 227 Politics of Latin American and the Caribbean
GOVT 244 Modern Political Theory
GOVT 248 Capitalism and Its Critics
GOVT 314 Liberty in U.S. Law and Politics
GOVT 410 Personality and the Supreme Court
HIST 231 U.S. History, 1840-1940
HIST 258 U.S. Constitutional History
HIST 365 American Technological Development
PHIL 260 Political Philosophy
REL 231 Religion in American History and Culture
WGS 204 Gender and Environmentalism

Spring 2014

AMS 362.2 American Cinema of the Seventies

Called a “Decade Under the Influence” and the “Last Golden Era of American Film,” the 1970s were a cultural pivot point and an astonishingly rich extended moment in the history of American cinema. This course examines important American films of the 1970s and the cultural contexts from which they emerge. Students will learn to treat films as complex texts and to interpret cinema as a potent cultural force. Possible films we will study include Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971), Shaft (Gordon Parks, 1971), Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972), The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972), Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972), Pink Flamingos (John Waters, 1972), The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973), Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Milos Foreman, 1975), Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976), and Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979). [W]
Andy Smith
TR 11-12:15
T 7-9:50 p.m. [lab]

AMS 362.3 The beat generation in American culture

Who were the Beats? Were they romantic literary geniuses? Know-nothing bohemians? Engaged cultural critics? Political dissenters? Criminals? Religious mystics? An exclusive, boys-only club? Pre-hippies? Drug addicts? Stylistic innovators? All of the above? This course will examine the “Beat Generation” as it was constructed by the Beats themselves and by the culture in and against which they wrote and lived. We will look at how Beat texts initiate a conversation with the values and self-image of America from the 1940s well into the 1970s. Students will also learn about current issues and trends in Beat studies. We will study not only the “canonical” Beat writers (Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gregory Corso, Gary Snyder), but will also study those associated with the Beats outside of this core group. These include African American Beat writers such as LeRoi Jones (Amiri Baraka), Ted Joans, and Bob Kaufman; and women Beat writers such as Hettie Jones, Joyce Johnson, Joanne Kyger, and Lenore Kandel. In-class presentations and a long research essay will be required.
Steven Belletto
TR 9:30-10

Elective or Recommended Courses for American Studies Majors, Spring 2014
A&S 211 Symbolic Interaction
A&S 220 Who Gets What and Why
A&S 228 Alienation
A&S 235 Business and Society
A&S 236 Sociology of Knowledge
A&S 239 Social and Cultural Change
AFS 105 Reversing Sail
ENG 213 American Lit II
ENG 246 Black Writers
ENG 332 Inventing America
FAMS 345 Philosophy of Film
GOVT 207 Black Politics in the U.S.
GOVT 226 Political Regimes and Regime Change
GOVT 241 Politics of Fashion
GOVT 244 Modern Political Theory
GOVT 310 American Federalism
GOVT 313 Ist Amendment Law in U.S.
GOVT 414 Political Theory Literature
HIST 231 U.S. History 1840-1940
HIST 252 Transformation of the American Environment
HIST 232 American Revolution and Civil War
HIST 275 Crossing the Americas
MUS 236 Latin American Popular Music in the U.S.
THTR 312 American Drama on Film
WGS 249 Women in the U.S. Criminal Justice System
WGS 280 Feminist Theory
WGS 340: Sexuality Studies

Fall 2013

AMS 150 Introduction to American Studies

This introduction to the field of American studies examines American personal and national identity through an interdisciplinary study of American culture. It seeks to introduce students to an American studies perspective on scholarly work, while emphasizing how race, ethnicity, class, and gender have functioned historically in the United States. In order to pursue such work, we will incorporate a variety of academic disciplines and cultural forms—essays, photographs, novels, films, songs, legal opinions, paintings, architecture, advertising, and artifacts of material culture.
CLOSED TO JUNIORS AND SENIORS
Steven Belletto
MW 11-12:15

AMS 252 Engineering America

This course presents modern engineering as a narrative of contemporary American society: major innovations that responded to societal needs, and to which society responded in art, literature, and other forms. Students will learn about the breakthrough technological developments that underlie modern civilization, in historical and societal context; perform hands-on experiments to help them understand each innovation in engineering terms; appreciate the reflections of these breakthroughs in literature, art, and other societal products; and gain an understanding of the complex interrelationship of science, technology, and society. This is a writing-intensive (W) course.
Jennifer Rossmann
MWF 1:10-2

AMS 255 Sports in American culture

This course will explore issues of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, and politics in American sports. We will examine not just the first athletes to break through barriers, but also the climate in which they were expected to perform and how their actions contributed to social change. Using a multidisciplinary approach, students will explore why sports have had such an impact in the United States.
Peter Newman
T TR 9:30-10:45

AMS 363 Senior research seminar

This course is required of all senior AMS majors. The purpose of the seminar is to give majors the opportunity to conduct in-depth scholarly work on a topic of their own choosing, and to work through the stages of research in a collaborative, workshop setting. Seminar participants are encouraged to integrate and deepen the diverse disciplinary perspectives to which they have been exposed in previous courses. The main project, typically an argumentative research paper 40-55 pages in length, must be based on original, primary source materials collected, scrutinized, and documented by the student.
Caroline Lee
TR 1:15-2:30

Elective or Recommended Courses for American Studies Majors, Fall, 2013
A&S 210 Contemporary American Society
A&S 217 Poverty in America
A&S 265 Sociology of Sport
A&S 274 Racial Formation
AFS 211 African American Experience
ENG 212 American Literature I
ENG 304 Major American Writers
ENG 329 American Decades: 1950s
FAMS 220 Critical Film Theory
FAMS 235 History of Film
GOVT 245 Early American Political Thought
GOVT 248 Capitalism and Its Critics
GOVT 314 Liberty in U.S. Law and Politics
GOVT 321 Congress and Legislative Process
GOVT 410 Personality and the Supreme Court
GOVT 418 Democracy, Inclusion, Exclusion
HIST 231 U.S. Constitutional History
HIST 359 Early American History
MUS 263 How Jazz Began
PHIL 260 Political Philosophy
PHIL 270 Feminist Philosophy
WGS 262 Woman and Work in Americas

Spring 2013

AMS 150 Introduction to American Studies

This introduction to the field of American studies examines American personal and national identity through an interdisciplinary study of American culture. It seeks to introduce students to an American studies perspective on scholarly work, while emphasizing how race, ethnicity, class, and gender have functioned historically in the United States. In order to pursue such work, we will incorporate a variety of academic disciplines and cultural forms—essays, photographs, novels, films, songs, legal opinions, paintings, architecture, advertising, and artifacts of material culture.
CLOSED TO JUNIORS AND SENIORS
Karina Skvirsky
MW 12:45-2

AMS 212 The MIDDLE EAST IN THE MIND OF AMERICA

This course covers a century of political and cultural interactions between one country (the United States) and a large, culturally, linguistically, and politically diverse region (the Middle East).  The class studies, in particular, the variety of ways in which individuals, institutions, and administrations in the United States and the Middle East have perceived of and imagined one another through the lens of academic articles, mainstream press, speeches, literature, personal histories, and the visual arts. The course will entail analyzing perceptions and misconceptions as historically construed cultural categories.
Rachel Goshgarian
MWF 10-10:50 a.m.

Elective or Recommended Courses for American Studies Majors, Spring, 2013
A&S 214 Race and Ethnic Relations
A&S 236 Sociology of Knowledge
A&S 245 Mass Communication and Society
ENG 213 American Literature II
ENG 331 American Fiction, 1945 to Present
ENG 352 Topics in Black Literature
ENG 369 Women in American Theater
FAMS 230 Reading Visual Media
FAMS 345 Philosophy of Film
GOVT 244 Modern Political Theory
GOVT 246 American Political Thought
GOVT 310 American Federalism
GOVT 313 1st Amendment in U.S. Law & Politics
GOVT 315 Equality in U.S. Law & Politics
GOVT 320 Presidency & Executive Politics
HIST 231 U.S. History, 1840-1940
HIST 358 America in the 1920s and 1930s
HIST 365 American Technological Development
REL 231 Religion in American History & Culture
WGS 249 Women in the U.S. Criminal Justice System
WGS 253 Gender, Race, and Environmental Justice
WGS 27 Women, Politics, and Representation

Fall 2012

AMS 150 Introduction to American Studies

This introduction to the field of American studies examines American personal and national identity through an interdisciplinary study of American culture. It seeks to introduce students to an American studies perspective on scholarly work, while emphasizing how race, ethnicity, class, and gender have functioned historically in the United States. In order to pursue such work, we will incorporate a variety of academic disciplines and cultural forms—essays, photographs, novels, films, songs, legal opinions, paintings, architecture, advertising, and artifacts of material culture.
CLOSED TO JUNIORS AND SENIORS
Steven Belletto
TR 11-12:15

AMS 254 Cultures of Nature

This course is an interdisciplinary examination into the American relationship with nature. We will investigate how Americans have historically defined and currently conceive of concepts such as “nature,” “wilderness,” “environmental,” and “green.” The course will contrast and combine arts/humanities and scientific/technology perspectives, and it will merge active field-experience and field trips with the main topics and texts under discussion. Our texts will include diverse nature and environmental writings, films and visual culture, plus local physical landscapes and ecosystems. We will hike, paddle, and camp, integrating site visits and activities in the Delaware River watershed with our critical explorations, so that the personal connection to place that is central to environmental literature, art, and science becomes an essential context for our understanding. [W]
Prerequisite: ENG 110
David Brandes & Andrew Smith
M 12:45-2
W 12:10-2

AMS 362.1 American fiction: gilded age to 1945

The years from 1880 to 1945 brought some of the most important works by a number of American novelists.  Published during these decades are major works by two masters of American realism (James and Wharton), the most-read novel by the most influential American naturalist (Dreiser), and the major works by several writers at the center of American modernist fiction (Fitzgerald, Hemingway, and Faulkner).  In this course, we will read closely novels by each of these writers, plus others by such contemporaries as Crane, Norris, Cather, Steinbeck, and Wright [W].
Prerequisite: ENG 205
David Johnson
MW 2:45-4

AMS 362.2 eastern europe in the jewish imagination

How has Jewish life in Eastern Europe been imagined elsewhere, including in the United States? We will consider how Eastern European writers have influenced contemporary American Jewish authors, Jewish cultural representations of the shtetl, the effects of the Holocaust’s destruction of East European Jewry on memory and nostalgia, and the more recent phenomenon of “roots” tours to Eastern Europe. Texts will include fiction, memoirs, films, travel writing, and academic sources. [W]
Prerequisite: AMS 150, or permission of instructor
Sasha Senderovich
MW 2:45-4

AMS 363 Senior research seminar

This course is required of all senior AMS majors. The purpose of the seminar is to give majors the opportunity to conduct in-depth scholarly work on a topic of their own choosing, and to work through the stages of research in a collaborative, workshop setting. Seminar participants are encouraged to integrate and deepen the diverse disciplinary perspectives to which they have been exposed in previous courses. The main project, typically an argumentative research paper 40-55 pages in length, must be based on original, primary source materials collected, scrutinized, and documented by the student.
Caroline Lee
TR 1:15-2:30

Elective or Recommended Courses for American Studies Majors, Fall, 2012
A&S 210 Contemporary American Society
A&S 220 Who Gets What and Why?
AFS 211 African American Experience
ECON 325 Women and the Economy
ENG 212 American Literature I
ENG 355 Race Theory
FAMS 255 Women in Film
GOVT 245 Early American Political Thought
GOVT 311 Constitutional Law & Politics
GOVT 314 Liberty in U.S.: Law & Politics
GOVT 405 U.S. Foreign Policy in a Changing World
GOVT 410 Personality and the Supreme Court
PHIL 240 Philosophy of Art
PHIL 340 Philosophy of Literature
WGS 280 Feminist Theory

Spring 2012

AMS 150 Introduction to American Studies

This introduction to the field of American studies examines American personal and national identity through an interdisciplinary study of American culture. It seeks to introduce students to an American studies perspective on scholarly work, while emphasizing how race, ethnicity, class, and gender have functioned historically in the United States. While America has never been one thing to all its citizens, constant recreations of America are visible in such enduring concepts and themes as nation, memory, patriotism, family, the American Dream, social justice, the land, leisure, work, and liberty. Through careful readings of a range of materials—essays, photographs, novels, films, advertising, artifacts of material culture, and the physical landscape itself—we will ask how multiple cultural forms shape and are shaped by the historical moment and contexts in which they appear.
CLOSED TO JUNIORS AND SENIORS
Colleen Martell
TR 1:15-2:30

AMS 362.1 what is a photograph?

This seminar will examine the history of photography and its ubiquity in American culture through its technological developments and the debates that have surrounded photography since its invention in the early 19th century.  Topics that will be considered include: the photograph’s acceptance as an art form, its use in propaganda and advertising, its role in the courts as evidence, its use in journalism and other vernacular forms.  In our quest to answer “What is a photograph, anyway?” we will consider other media including texts, films, audio, and public art.  Assignments will include analytic essays, research papers, film screenings, field trips and photographic exercises. [W]
Karina Skvirsky
TR 11–12:15

AMS 362.2 American Cinema of the Seventies

Called a “Decade Under the Influence” and the “Last Golden Era of American Film,” the 1970s were a cultural pivot point and an astonishingly rich extended moment in the history of American cinema. This course examines important American films of the 1970s and the cultural contexts from which they emerge. Students will learn to treat films as complex texts and to interpret cinema as a potent cultural force. Possible films we will study include Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971), Shaft (Gordon Parks, 1971), Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972), The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972), Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972), Pink Flamingos (John Waters, 1972), The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973), Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Milos Foreman, 1975), Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976), and Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979). [W]
Andy Smith
TR 1:15-2:30
M  7-9:50 p.m. [lab]

 

This course will offer a survey of the Christian Social Justice movement in America from Charles Finney to Martin Luther King, Jr. to the present time.  Attention will be focused on prophetic speaking as it is found in the Old and New Testaments, and the beginnings of the evangelical reform, social gospel, and fledgling feminist movements of the 19th century. Contemporary theological expressions of Christian social justice, including the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice movements, will be examined. Ethical debates such as abortion, homosexuality and the church, end-of-life concerns, and other topics will be discussed. Special attention will be given to the ways in which the uniquely American setting of Christian movements has given rise to both conservative and liberal theologies that affect the ways in which the area of social justice is approached from a faith-based perspective. [W]
John Colatch
W 7-9:50 p.m.

Elective or Recommended Courses for American Studies Majors, Spring, 2012
A&S 210 Contemporary American Society
A&S 220 Who Gets What and Why
A&S 230 Social Memory
A&S 235 Business and Society
AFS 211 African American Experience
AFS 320 Black Feminism
ART 234 Modern Art
ECON 300 Industry, Strategy, Policy
ECON 325 Women and the Economy
ECON 329 Demand Health and Healthcare
ENG 304 American Writers: The Beats
ENG 328 American Renaissance
ENG 330 American Decades
FAMS 220 Critical Film Theory
GOVT 104 Intro to Political Theory
GOVT 241 Politics of Fashion
GOVT 246 Recent American Political Thought
GOVT 310 American Federalism
GOVT 313 First Amendment in U.S. Law and Politics
GOVT 315 Equality in U.S. Law and Politics
GOVT 320 Presidency and Executive Politics
GOVT 407 Law and Social Movements
GOVT 413 Emotions and Politics
HIST 272 American Revolution and Civil War
HIST 275 Crossing the Americas
HIST 354 World War I
MUS 202 Music History and Literature: 1915 to Present
PHIL 240 Philosophy of Art
PHIL 345 Philosophy of Film
THTR 371 Women in American Theater
WGS 249 Women in the US Criminal Justice System
WGS 280 Feminist Theory

Fall 2011

AMS 150 ntroduction to American Studies

This introduction to the field of American studies examines American personal and national identity through an interdisciplinary study of American culture. It seeks to introduce students to an American studies perspective on scholarly work, while emphasizing how race, ethnicity, class, and gender have functioned historically in the United States. In order to pursue such work, we will focus on the Cold War period (roughly 1947 to 1989) and incorporate a variety of academic disciplines and cultural forms—essays, photographs, novels, films, songs, legal opinions, paintings, architecture, advertising, and artifacts of material culture.
CLOSED TO JUNIORS AND SENIORS
Steven Belletto
TR 11-12:15

AMS 252 Engineering America

This course presents modern engineering as a narrative of contemporary American society: major innovations that responded to societal needs, and to which society responded in art, literature, and other forms. Students will learn about the breakthrough technological developments that underlie modern civilization, in historical and societal context; perform hands-on experiments to help them understand each innovation in engineering terms; appreciate the reflections of these breakthroughs in literature, art, and other societal products; and gain an understanding of the complex interrelationship of science, technology, and society. [W]
Jennifer Rossmann
MWF 1:10-2

AMS 363 Senior Research Seminar

This course is required of all senior AMS majors. The purpose of the seminar is to enable majors the opportunity to conduct in-depth scholarly work on a topic of their own choosing, and to work through the stages of research in a collaborative, workshop setting. Seminar participants are encouraged to integrate and deepen the diverse disciplinary perspectives to which they have been exposed in previous courses. The main project, typically an argumentative research paper 40-55 pages in length, must be based on original, primary source materials collected, scrutinized, and documented by the student.
Caroline Lee
TR 1:15-2:30

Elective or Recommended Courses for American Studies Majors, Fall 2011
A&S 217 Poverty in America
A&S 227 The Family
AFS 211 Black Experience
AFS 258 Engendering Black Popular Culture
AFS 260 Politics of Hip Hop Culture
ECON 325 Women and the Economy
ECON 330 Urban Economics
ECON 372 Economics of Health Care
ENG 212 American Literature I
ENG 330 American Decades
ENG 343 American Fiction to the Gilded Age
ENG 347 Modern and Contemporary Poetry
FAMS/WGS 255 Women in Film
GOVT 215 Political Parties and Elections
GOVT 314 Liberty in U.S.: Law and Politics
GOVT 410 Personality and the Supreme Court
GOVT 414 Political Theory Literature
HIST 252 Transforming the American Environment
HIST  258 U.S. Constitutional History
HIST 262 American Foreign Policy, 1941-91
HIST 359 Seminar in Early American History
MUS 362 War & Peace: Music of the 1960s
PHIL 280 Feminist Philosophy
PHIL 340 Philosophy of Literature
SPAN 317 Survey of Spanish American Literature
WGS 353 Single Motherhood

Spring 2011

AMS 150 Introduction to American Studies

This introduction to the field of American studies examines American personal and national identity through an interdisciplinary study of American culture. It seeks to introduce students to an American studies perspective on scholarly work while emphasizing how race, ethnicity, class, and gender have functioned historically in the United States. The course challenges standard definitions of “text” and “reading,” as well as what is typically considered “American” or “America,” and insists on a multi-layered investigation of history, artistic production, and culture. While America has never been one thing to all its citizens, constant recreations of America are visible in such enduring concepts and themes as nation, memory, patriotism, family, the American Dream, social justice, the land, leisure, work, and liberty. As befits an American studies approach, we will incorporate a variety of academic disciplines and ask how a multiplicity of cultural forms—essays, photographs, novels, films, songs, legal opinions, paintings, architecture, advertising, artifacts of material culture, and the physical landscape itself—shape and are shaped by the historical moment and contexts in which they appear.
CLOSED TO JUNIORS AND SENIORS
Andy Smith
TR 1:15-2:30

AMS 362.1 Women and Gender in American Society

How have politics shaped ideas about what it means to be a woman or a man in 20th century American society? How have women and men actively engaged to change the direction and content of modern gender relations in America and to what effect? This course will investigate the meaning(s) of gender in the U.S., as well as how those meanings have changed over time. We will discuss how political and economic structures have influenced these changes, emphasizing how issues of race, class, and sexuality intersect with the meaning of gender. We will explore the significance of social phenomena such as the women’s movement, the Civil Rights movement, and the lesbian and gay rights movement, and employ international sources to reflect global interests in American ideas about gender. [W]
Angelika von Wahl
MW 2:45-4

Elective or Recommended Courses for American Studies Majors, Spring 2011
A&S 210 Contemporary American Society
A&S 212 Sex and Gender—Cross-Cultural Views
A&S 214 Race and Ethnic Relations
A&S 227 The Family
A&S 235 Business and Society
AFS 211 Black Experience
AFS 320 Black Feminism
ART 234 Modern Art
ART 236 African American Art II
ECON 325 Women and the Economy
ENG 213 American Literature II
ENG 225 Contemporary Fiction
ENG 304 Major American Writers
ENG 330 American Decades
ENG 331 American Fiction, 1945-present
ENG 340 Topics in Film
ENG 387 19th Century Poetry
GOVT 246 Recent American Political Thought
GOVT 315 Equality in U.S. Law and Politics
HIST 231 U.S. History 1840-1040
HIST 237 The Story of World War II
HIST  271 Race and Law in American History
JST 201 Jewish Writers and the American Experience
REL 236 African Religion in the Americas
REL 236 Contemporary Catholic Issues in the U.S.
REL 304 Islam in the West
WGS 280 Feminist Theory

Contact Us

Steven Belletto
Chair
204 Pardee Hall
Lafayette College
belletts@lafayette.edu