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Course Offerings Spring 2016

 

Course

Title

Cr

Time/Place

Instructor

101:01

Introduction   to American Studies

Introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of American   Studies. Employing literature, legal studies, film, history, visual culture,   philosophy, and politics, the class will examine the concept and idea of   “America” in its global, national, community, and bodily/psychic permutations.   We will explores key themes from the past – such as American exceptionalism,   “manifest destiny,” and the search for equality – and examine how these ideas   have both changed and persisted as part of a national culture and identity.   The goal of the course is to expose students to intellectual and creative   possibilities in the field of American Studies, as well as to provide   incoming majors with key concepts and analytical tools   that can be used in more advanced courses.   Emphasis will be placed on students’ analytical skills, close reading, verbal   articulations of interdisciplinary scholarship, and critical thinking.

Satisfies Core Curriculum Goals: AHo AHp

3

MW

5:35-6:55

RAB 001

(DC)

Ferguson

102:01

Introduction   to Race and Ethnicity in America

How do we approach issues of race, ethnicity, and skin color in   the 21st-century United States? We live in arguably the most diverse and   multicultural time in this nation’s history; and yet, these terms remain contentious,   and even “fighting words” in public and private arenas, largely because   systemic inequality and quotidian forms of discrimination continue to shape   lived   experience. This course   examines social and political forces, both historical and contemporary, that   have brought about racial and ethnic “diversity” and “difference” in the U.S.   Focusing on the mid-20th century through the contemporary era, and we will   engage case studies from the Civil Rights era through the age of Obama and   the War on Terror. Through historical accounts, sociological studies,   cultural geography, literature, visual culture, and discussion of current   events, we will take a comparative approach to race and   ethnicity. We will also pay close to how   racial and ethnic difference and conflicts shape neighborhoods, communities,   public space, and property ownership.

3

TTh

2:15-3:35

RAB 207

(DC)

Fleetwood

200:01

AIDS   and American Culture

This course will explore the American cultural response to the   AIDS epidemic via literature, cinema, the visual arts and public policy, from   1981 to the present day. Through readings and film screenings, students will   arrive at a   sense of what was lost   personally and culturally from the death of so many citizens, many of whom   were talented aspiring artists and writers. Via the examination of sources   contemporary to the outbreak and later assessments of Americans’ social and   government responses to the epidemic, students will grow familiar with the   country’s uneven early response and changing attitudes toward the virus as   its demographic implications change over time.

3

MW

5:35-6:55

CDL

(DC)

McIntyre

200:02

Topics   in American Studies: Latinos and   Community

This interdisciplinary course examines historical and   contemporary formations of Latin   communities in the US. We critically analyze the connection between space, power,   and Latin populations across the country. The class highlights the ways in   which Latin groups challenge social obstacles and re-shape their environments   through diverse forms of community engagement.

Cross listed with 01:590:299:01 and 01:595:299:01

3

W

5:00-6:20pm

6:40-8:00pm

LSH-A256

(LIV)

Banales

216:01

America   in the Arts

This is a course that looks at what distinguishes the arts   in America from those in other countries—at   the special ways Americans communicate in music, painting, architecture,   sculpture, movies, literature   etc.—as   a reflection of American ideas and values. One could argue that the arts   constitute a universal language. Be that as it may, America has made unique   contributions to the arts that illuminate the nature of our society and   culture and illustrate the characteristics of the imaginative and   creative forces that constitute such a   large part of the American character. As one example, one might ask why it is   that jazz, rock ‘n roll, rock, and rap have all been American creations, and   what does this tell us about our people?

3

TTh

3:55-5:15

HCK216

(DC)

Rockland

225:01

Thoughts   and Society in the American Past

Examines some of the defining American cultural developments of   the long nineteenth century, from the Revolutionary era to the eve of WWI: republicanism,   revivalism, transcendentalism, populism,   progressivism, and pragmatism, among others. Students analyze a variety of   historical, visual, literary and performance texts from the era.

3

MTh

SC 103

9:50-11:10

(CAC)

Backes

246:01

The   Black Experience in America

Interdisciplinary examination of African-Americans within   the context of American political economy,   special conditions of oppression, responses to exploitation, and resultant   social changes.

Cross listed with Africana Studies 014:203:01    

Eligible for CCRES Minor

3

MW

5:00-6:20

LSH A143

(LIV)

Ramsamy

267:01

American Film Directors

A course focusing on the   films of Stanley Kubrick, Orson Welles, John Frankenheimer, David Lynch, Val Lewton,   Andy Warhol and others. In-depth analyses of the structure and content of   films which include: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Moonrise Kingdom, Cat People, The   Magnificent Ambersons, Mulholland Drive, and others. Emphasis on the   "mise-en-scene," narrative form, set design, sound, and special   effects in the films of these celebrated filmmakers. Warning: some films   may   contain nudity, sexual   situations, violence, profanity, substance abuse, and disturbing images.

3

TTh

5:35-6:55

Th

7:15-8:35

RAB 001

(DC)

Nigrin

281:01

Topics   in American   Studies: Asian American Studies   Learning Community

Explore and learn about the diverse array of peoples of Asian   descent in the Americas, including West, South, Southeast, and East Asian   Americans and   Pacific Islanders.   Throughout the semester, we will examine, reflect upon, and discuss   representations of Asian Americans in literature, history, politics, film,   scholarship, current events, and popular culture.

1.5

F

1:40-3:00

Asian American Cultural

Center

(LIV)    

Hwang

282:01

Native American Culture

This course will survey the key themes and concepts of Native American literatures, covering oral narratives, poetry, fiction, critical works, and film. We will analyze works of Native American literature along with their tribal contexts, exploring tribally specific cultural histories and their traditional and modern literary representations. Throughout the semester we will explore a variety of genres, beginning with the most central, which is the oral tradition, moving on to the ways this central generic form influences Native American poetry, short stories, novels, and film. Identity became a major preoccupation of twentieth century Native writers. We will trace Native American identities in literature, from writers such as Zikala-Sa and D'Arcy McNickle to writers of what has been deemed the "Native American Renaissance." We will conclude with the poetry of Luci Tapahonso and Ofelia Zepeda, who integrate tribal languages with English as a testament to Native American "survivance." Special Note: Please contact the Registrar's Office at 848-445-2757 to register for mini courses.

3

Class Begins 03/08/16

TTH

6:10-7:30

MU 211

(CAC)

Mullis

282:02

American Sexualities

A historical survey of American sexualities and sexual cultures from the colonial era through the present, this course will focus on primary source documents and on classic texts that have helped to shape the emerging field of sexuality studies. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which politics, race, religion, ethnicity, age, region, and gender have influenced American sexual cultures and the efforts to regulate them. The course will employ an interdisciplinary approach to its subject, examining artifacts from visual culture such as cartoons, photographs, paintings, and film as well as printed sources. Special Note: Please contact the Registrar's Office at 848-445-2757 to register for mini courses.

1.5

Class Begins 03/07/16

M

9:15-12:15

RAB 018

(DC)

Fishbein

282:03

American Sexualities

A historical survey of American sexualities and sexual cultures from the colonial era through the present, this course will focus on primary source documents and on classic texts that have helped to shape the emerging field of sexuality studies. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which politics, race, religion, ethnicity, age, region, and gender have influenced American sexual cultures and the efforts to regulate them. The course will employ an interdisciplinary approach to its subject, examining artifacts from visual culture such as cartoons, photographs, paintings, and film as well as printed sources. Special Note: Please contact the Registrar's Office at 848-445-2757 to register for mini courses.

1.5

Class Begins 03/09/16

W

5:35-8:35

RAB 018

(DC)

Fishbein

283:01

Topics   in American Studies: Arts Adventure

Visits to museums, galleries, and arts centers in New Brunswick,   Princeton, and New York City, as well as Off-Broadway theatre, dance, music,   and poetry readings to experience differing artistic forms. How do the   aesthetic values of one art discipline (for example, painting) influence the   creation of works in another artistic field (such as music or theatre)? We   will examine how   current events are   depicted in the arts, how the arts shape social values, and how the arts are   interpreted by different social groupings. We will also consider the human   figure in artistic representation, as well as the body as an expressive   vehicle. Special Note: Please contact the Registrar's Office at 848-445-2757 to register for mini courses.

1.5

Class beings 03/06/16

Sun

11:30-2:30

SC 201

(CAC)

Appels

283:02

Topics   in American Studies: Arts Adventure

Visits   to museums,   galleries, and arts centers in New Brunswick, Princeton, and New York City,   as well as Off-Broadway theatre, dance, music, and poetry readings to   experience differing artistic forms. How do the aesthetic values of one art   discipline (for example, painting) influence the creation of works in another   artistic field (such as music or theatre)? We will examine how   current events are depicted in the arts,   how the arts shape social values, and how the arts are interpreted by   different social groupings. We will also consider the human figure in artistic   representation, as well as the body as an expressive vehicle.

Second 7 weeks of semester. Course begins on March 6.

1.5

Class begins 03/06/16

Sun

8:20-10:00

TBA

(CAC)

Appels

300:01

Topics   in American Studies: The Era of Civil   War and   Reconstruction

In 1873, Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner, in their novel   The Gilded Age,   provided an epitaph   for the era that we shall probe in depth this semester.   They maintained that the Civil War and its   immediate aftermath “uprooted institutions that were centuries old, changed   the politics of a people, transformed the social life of half the country,   and wrought so profoundly upon the entire national character that the influence   cannot be measured short of two or three generations.” We will examine the   coming of the war, the four years of conflict that forever transformed the   United States, and the struggle to reconstruct the nation in the decade   following Appomattox. Our focus will be primarily on the political, social,   and cultural history of the era, though we will also address significant   issues in military history.

3

MW

2:50-4:10pm

VD 211

(CAC)

Masur

301:01

Topics   in American Studies: Religion in America

Explores major developments in American culture, from the period   of the Revolution to the present, through the lens of religious history. This   class is not a traditional survey of American religion but rather an   introduction to a range of big cultural problems and the role of religion in   defining, expressing, and shaping them. The class moves through a series of   key moments—the separation from the British empire, the rise of market   culture, the   consolidation of   national power, the emergence of consumer culture, the cold war, and the   crisis of modernity—and culminates in an assessment of the   contemporary scene. Topics include   religion and social values, slavery and race, political discourse, reform,   gender, and the emergence of new religions. Special attention is given   throughout to the popular and mass cultural     dimensions of American religious experience, the links between   religion and economy, and the persistence of religious belief in American   culture.

3

TTh

2:15-3:35

HCK 216

Backes

301:02

Topics   in American Studies: Multi-Ethnic   American Literatures

From   troubling national food metaphors — “the melting-pot” or “the salad   bowl” — to multiculturalism and the transnational and diasporic subjects of globalized   postmodernity, the terms of “ethnicity” remain just as fraught and relevant   today as ever. In the vein of critical ethnic studies, this class will   explore the shifting   relationships   between various ethnic subjects and the U.S. by considering Latino/a, African   American, Native American, and Asian American literatures, as well as the   ways they represent and trouble the terms by which we   understand a collective “ethnos.” We will   look at how these texts comparatively address issues of race, gender, migration,   and belonging, and will be driven by such overarching questions as: What are   the terms of ethnicity   in the U.S.,   and what are its stakes for the individual, the community and the nation? How   does ethnicity shape the stories we tell and the ways we tell them? What does   it mean to “live on a hyphen,” to experience “the peculiar   sensation of double consciousness,” or to   think from the place of the border? And finally, “Who is “Ethnic”? How is   this category even determined, and what does it produce?

Texts   under consideration include: Brown Girl, Brownstone (Marshall; 1959);   Down   These Mean Streets (Thomas;   1967); The Way to Rainy Mountain (Momaday;     1969); A Gesture Life (Lee; 1999); When the Emperor Was Divine   (Otsuka;   2002); The Namesake (Lahiri;   2003); A Mercy (Morrison; 2008); Americanah     (Adichie; 2013); as well as The Best American Poetry 2015,   guest-edited by Sherman Alexie.

3

TF

11:30am-12:50pm

HH-A7

(CAC)

Castroman

302:01

Topics   in American Studies: Sounding the   Blues

Gil Scott Heron, in his poem “Bicentennial Blues,” wrote, “the   blues has always been American, as American as apple pie...the question is   why?” In an attempt to answer that question, this course will conduct an   exploration of blues based music, literature, and film. We will explore the   evolution of the blues as both a musical genre and as a cultural space where   questions of race, gender, class, art, politics and more converge. The rise   of the popularity of the blues as a musical style will be juxtaposed with key   historical events and social movements. In addition to gaining perspective on   the historical roots of the blues, we will also explore how the blues   continues to resonate in popular culture today.

3

TTh

2:15-3:35pm

LOR 115

(DC)

Moomjy

310:01

Approaches   to American Studies: Generations in   Conflict

Introduces students to the research methods and intellectual   strategies that characterize the interdisciplinary field of American Studies.   The goal of the course is to familiarize students with the central approaches   to the field and to effectively practice American Studies together as a   group. To this end the class focuses on the broad theme of generation   conflict in American culture and the many scholarly approaches that may be   used to explore this topic.

3

T

3:55-5:15

5:35-6:55

RAB 018

(DC)

Backes

310:02

Approaches   to American Studies: Messing with   Nature

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary   history, practice, and research methods that comprise   American Studies. The goal of the course   is to familiarize students with the central techniques of the field and encourage   students to apply these approaches in their own work. To demonstrate how   diverse methodologies can help tackle a specific issue, the course will focus   primarily (though not   exclusively) on   the relationship between American society and the natural world. We will   “mess around” with the concept of nature from a variety of perspectives—from   the use of ecological disaster in contemporary fiction to the causes and   consequences of the 1930s Dust Bowl. We will also think about the categories   of “natural” and “unnatural” and the consequences—intended or otherwise—of defying them. Major readings   include fiction, history, nature writing, cultural studies, and folklore,   among other topics.

3

Th

12:35-1:55pm

2:15-3:35pm

RAB 018

(DC)

Decker

312:01

Sports   in American Culture

American spectacles surrounding sports, athletes, fans and their   heroes and heroines have articulated an exhilarating and complex narrative of   American culture. What role does athletics play in higher education? What do   major sporting events tell us about American culture and society? A variety   of sport controversies will be examined such as steroid use, body fascism,   violence, power, and the role of media, the Big 10 and the NCAA in American   athletics. Finally, sport spaces will be interrogated critically in the   context of assumptions, intersections, and transformations of gender, race,   sexuality, class, and ability in sporting bodies and identities.

3

Th

6:10-7:30

7:40-9:00

SC 101

(CAC)

           

Schuster

341:01

The   Child in America

The Child in America examines the evolution of concepts of   childhood and adolescence and of child-rearing practices from the colonial   era through the present via an analysis of social history, religious tracts,   novels, poetry, film, and child care manuals. We will study such issues as child   discipline; the impact of religion on child-rearing practices; homelessness; the   effects of race, gender, ethnicity, and sexuality on childhood development;   and the cultural significance of toys.

3

MW

2:15-3:35pm

RAB 018

(DC)

Fishbein

450:01

Seminar: Folk Festival Management  

Focus on the theoretical   study of folk cultures while developing skills in planning, fieldwork,   administration, funding, staffing, publicity, and production of the New   Jersey Folk Festival at Rutgers.

3

M

6:00-9:00pm

RAB 018

(DC)

Gillespie

489:01

Seminar   in American Studies: The Nexus of Film   and Literature

To reduce it to one word, this course is about issues in   ADAPTATION, usually literature to film but sometimes the other way around.   Most courses concerning film teach it as if it was literature. But literature   consists of words, while film is primarily visual. Film is as close, if not   closer, to painting as it is to literature. To eternally say, “The book was   better than the movie” is to reveal a certain snobbery and to betray   ignorance of both   literature and   film. Nevertheless, film and literature do influence and inform one another.   This course concerns itself with that place where they overlap and intersect.   Professor Rockland has wide experience in both   literature (as a writer) and film (as a   scriptwriter, actor, and television producer), and has participated   peripherally in the making of two Hollywood films.

Note: This course is the American Studies Senior Seminar.   However, if space is available, it will also be available to other students   with a keen interest in the subject matter.

3

T

10:55-12:15

12:35-1:55

RAB 018

(DC)

Rockland

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