Course Offerings Fall 2019

COURSE OFFERINGS

Course

Title

Cr

Time/Place

Instructor

050:101:01

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 explore 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.

3

TTh

5:00-6:20pm

TIL 257

(LIV)

Moomjy

050:102:01

Introduction to Race/Ethnicity

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 the 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.

Eligible for CCRES Minor

3

MTh

10:55-12:15pm

HSB 204

(CD)

Almiron

050:200:01

Topics: Latinos & Communities

Examines historical and contemporary formations of   Latino communities in the US. Critically analyze social, cultural, geographic, political, and symbolic developments and forces that shape Latino populations in comparative perspective. The class also interacts with members   of the local Latino community through cultural and civic events.

3

Th

5:00-7:45pm

LSH A-256

(LIV)

Alonso

050:201:01

Topics: Remembering Emmett Till

The events that took place in rural Mississippi in 1955 – the brutal lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till and the subsequent trial and acquittal of two defendants – shocked the nation and served as a catalyst for the demand for and pursuit of civil rights in the decades to follow. The story of Emmett Till will be central to this course as we explore ideas of race, equality, human rights and citizenship in the United States. It continues to resonate with the American public and in fact has gained increased attention in recent years, as evidenced by the reopening of the murder investigation by the Department of Justice in 2018; the founding of the Emmett Till Interpretive Center; the creation of the Emmett Till Memory Project; and the unveiling of the Emmett Till exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture.  

3

W

7:15-10:05pm

RAB 105

(CD)

Zemla

050:215:01

Springsteen’s America Vision

This course examines the musical and cultural meaning and significance of Bruce Springsteen, an American icon whose work spans five decades. We will probe the roots of his rock ‘n’ roll vision, the transformation of his work over time, and the broader themes that he has addressed as he morphed from a young punk on the streets to a rocker facing the darkness of fame to a misunderstood symbol of America gone awry to an activist who in late middle age sought to make America live up to its promises. Particular attention will be paid to the themes of escape, work, faith, community, and justice. Extensive listening is required. Readings include primary and secondary works on Springsteen as well as on American society from the 1970s to the present.

3

M

1:40-4:40pm

TIL 258

(LIV)

Masur

050:227:01

19th Century Am. Lit & Culture

Explores 19th-century American literature and culture: the struggle for cultural authority in the early republic, the emergence of middle class domesticity and sentimentalism, the search for a distinct American literature, race and the problem of slavery, the rise of industrialism, American Romanticism, Gothic, and social realism, and the emergence of a cultural hierarchy. Literary productions from canonical novels to journalism and poetry as well as cultural texts in the form of songs, paintings, sculpture, theater, and vaudeville. Examine popular and public culture, such as engagement with sport, leisure activities, and museums.

Satisfies Core Curriculum Goals: AHp

3

MW

3:55-5:15pm

HCK 118

(CD)

Backes

050:240:01

Latino Literature & Culture

Read texts by Mexican American, Chicano and Hispanic Caribbean Diasporic writers from the 1960s until 2010. Begins with the PBS documentary “Latinos in America” and Juan Flores’s work. Then focuses on close-reading of a selection of well-known texts from the Chicano tradition and of Nuyorican, Dominican American and Cuban American texts. Topics addressed: border and hybrid   identities, mestizaje, indigeneity,“la raza” and racialization, Spanglish and the limits of transculturation, the transformation of Latino gender and sexuality, and the subversion of   internal colonialism in the creation of a new notion of American identity.  We will also watch the following films: Selena (1997), Quinceañera (2006), Precious Knowledge (2012), Gun Hill Road(2013).

Crosslisted with Africana   Studies 01:595:240:01

Eligible for CCRES Minor

Satisfies Core Curriculum Goals: AHo

3

MW

4:30-5:50pm

HH-B3

(CAC)

Zamora

050:245:01

Asian American Experience

Thorough a variety of genres,including history, literature, film and popular culture, interrogate the   fluid identity categories, the dynamic and diverse experiences, cultures, and   politics of “Asian American”/ “Asian Pacific American”/ “Asian Pacific   Islander American” peoples in the United States.  Cross listed   with: 01:098:262:01

Eligible for   CCRES Minor

3

MW

5:00-6:20pm

LSH A139

(LIV)

K. Ramsamy

050:246:01

Black Experience in America

Offers an inter-disciplinary examination of the Black experience in the US focusing of the themes of acculturation, alienation, oppression and   resistance. While the course surveys the Black experience from slavery to the   present, the subject matter is not approached in a simple chronological   manner. Issues and individuals discussed in the   context of the struggle of African-Americans for political rights, economic   justice and cultural accommodation. Begins with a brief look of   the position of Africa and the fledgling United States in the emerging   international economic order of the 15th and 16th centuries and how the   enslavement of Africans related to economic and political processes of this   era. Proceeds to examine the institutionalization of slavery   in the United States and the subsequent struggles for emancipation. Attempts by African-Americans to gain socio-cultural equality and political and economic rights in the aftermath of the slave experience.

Cross listed with: 01: 014:203:01

Eligible for CCRES Minor

3

MW

5:00-6:20pm

BE-AUD

(LIV)

Westbrook

050:248:01

Native American Experience

An introductory survey of Native American cultures, literature, history, language, and current issues that exposes students to approaches, theories, and important concepts such as colonialism and sovereignty in Native American Studies. This course focuses on themes of colonialism, racism, and federal Indian policy but especially Indian political activism, resistance, and cultural continuity and revitalization. Through oral histories, literature, and film, students will investigate thousands of years of Native American history, but with a focus on current issues in Indian Country. Students will analyze representations of Indian people in American popular culture and consider major shifts in the nature of Native American sovereignty into the present.

Satisfies Core Curriculum Goals: CCD, AH

3

TTh

3:55-5:15pm

RAB 206

(CD)

Sweet

050:259:01

Popular Culture

Universities usually ignore the popular culture as unworthy of consideration. However, what American choose to read, music they like to listen to, movies they wish to see, certainly tells us something about who Americans really are, not who we might want them to be. This course uses the popular culture to examine Americans' true cultural choices and what this tells us about them. It also particularly looks at the issue of celebrity culture--why do so many Americans follow the lives of so-called "celebrities" instead of living their own lives. There is nothing wrong with celebrating talent in any sphere, but it is one thing to celebrate talent, quite another to celebrate the character of people we do not know. This constitutes a one-way relationship which, when pushed to its extreme, results in what is, in effect, a kind of "stalking." Also, if we really believe in democracy would this not require us to consider all Americans as equals instead of celebrating some at the expense of all others. As we will see, this kind of behavior is more typical of Americans than of anyone else on the planet and may be a danger to our national ideals. Social media has only exacerbated the problem as we will see.

Satisfies Core Curriculum Goals: AHo AHp

3

MW

3:55-5:15pm

HSB 201

(CD)

Rockland

050:260:01

On the Road: Mobility in America

This course looks at why Americans are the most mobile people on the face of the earth and what this may say about our national character. From Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn (much of which takes place on a raft on the Mississippi) to Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, while looking at such movies as Stagecoach and Easy Rider, and while listening to the music of such artists as Bruce Springsteen (for example “Born to Run” and “Thunder Road”) we see that in our literature, movies, and music (and the other arts as well) Americans are peculiarly obsessed with movement. In this course we will hit the road together.

SAS Core Curriculum Goals: AHp 

3

MW

2:15-3:35pm

RAB 206

(CD)

Rockland

050:263:01

American Folklore

This course provides an introduction to American folklore as the lore, values, ideas, and world views of Americans found in folk or community life, folk speech, words, signs and symbols, tools and decorative objects, music and other expressive forms. We will study several specific forms in which American folklore appears including the appearance of strange animals and the widespread belief in conspiracy theories.  We then attempt to relate these phenomena to the greater American society and culture.

3

MW

3:55-5:15pm

RAB 105

(CD)

Kennedy

050:265:01

Amer Exper Film & Video

Survey on the history and development of the various American experimental cinema movements from its beginnings to the present. In-depth analyses of the structure and content of films by Andy Warhol, Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, Sidney Peterson, Kenneth Anger, Bruce Baillie, Yoko Ono, and others. Emphasis on the "mise-en-scene," editing, narrative form, sound, and special effects in the films of these celebrated experimental filmmakers. Warning: some films may contain nudity, sexual situations, violence, profanity, substance abuse, and disturbing images.

3

TTh

5:35-6:55pm

RAB 001

(C/D)

H

7:15-8:35pm

RAB 001

(C/D)

Nigrin

050:281:01

Topics: Asian American Identities and Images LLC

Explore and learn about the diverse array of peoples of Asia decent in the Americas, including West, South, Southeast, and East Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Examine, reflect upon, and discuss representations of Asian Americans in literature, history, politics, film, scholarship, current events, and popular culture.

Living Learning Community

3

F

1:40-3:00pm

AAC 207

LIV

Yoon

050:282:MA

American Folklife: Communities and Cultures in America
(10/24-12/9)

In folk studies there are two terms often used—“folklore” and “folklife.” These terms are closely related, yet to scholars they have distinct meanings. What is folklore? It usually includes oral lore—such things as proverbs, riddles, myths, legends, tales, and ballads. What is folklife? It includes material folk culture—such things as folk architecture, folk crafts and art, folk costumes, and folk foods. Our focus in this course will be on American folklife. The direction in which American scholars looked for a model of folklife studies was to Europe, especially Scandinavia. In this course, we will begin with land use, cultivation, housing, settlement, and subsistence crafts, and proceed through furniture, domestic handwork, leisure-time handicrafts, decorative arts, representational art, musical instruments, and folk toys. In other words, we will be looking at the whole gamut of traditional material culture from the necessities of life to the luxuries and pleasures.

 3

MTh

12:35-1:55pm

RAB 105

(CD)

Kennedy

050:283:MA

Topics: Contemporary Arts Adventure (10/27-12/8)

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 the arts of our time. We will examine the way 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.

3

Sun            

11:30-2:30pm

SC 201

(CAC)

Appels

050:283:MB

Topics: Contemporary Arts Adventure (10/27-12/8)

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 the arts of our time. We will examine the way 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.

3

Sun

8:20-11:20am

SC 201

(CAC)

Appels

050:301:01

Topics: American Cinema 2

This course surveys the major trends in American cinema from the 1940s to the present, a period in film history that witnessed the decline of the Hollywood studio system and the rise of television, independent filmmaking, and the blockbuster. While examining these largescale industrial changes, we will consider how a range of films and movements—including the American New Wave and slasher horror, as well as animation and digital effects—shaped and were shaped by broader questions about everything from politics, race, and gender to youth culture, suburbanization, and techno-scientific innovation. Our goal in the process is to develop an understanding of the diversity of forms that American cinema has taken and the ways it continues to evolve, both nationally and globally.

3

MW

4:30-5:50pm

MU 201

(CAC)

W

6:10-9:00pm

MU 201

(CAC)

 Williamson

050:310:01

Approaches: ?

This class introduces students to research methods and intellectual strategies characteristic of the interdisciplinary field of American Studies. The overarching goal of the course is to familiarize students with some of the central approaches to the field and to effectively practice American Studies together as a group. By way of a framework, the class focuses on generation conflict in American culture and the many scholarly approaches that may be used to explore this topic. From the children of the Founding Fathers to the hippies and punks of the post-WWII middle class, rising generations of Americans have struggled to define themselves against the past, against parents and their prescriptive values, and against social expectations. Generational relations and identities offer a window into the dynamics of social change and the process of shaping, defining, and contesting culture. We will examine such generational relations across a range of time periods and social contexts and do so from seven distinct scholarly perspectives.

3

M

10:55-1:55pm

RAB 109B

(CD)

Backes

050:310:02

Approaches: Arts, Music, Sports

Introduces students to the research methods and intellectual strategies that characterize the interdisciplinary field of American Studies.  The goal of this seminar is to familiarize students with the central approaches to the field and to effectively practice American Studies together as a group.  The theme for Fall 2019 is "Arts, Music, Sports."  We will consider the aesthetic and artistic nature of all sports, and the physical and visceral nature of art and music.  Trips to performances and other cultural sites as often as feasible.  

3

H

6:10-9:00pm

SC 103

(CAC)

Appels

050:312:01

Sports in American Culture

American spectacles surrounding sports, athletes, fans and their hero(in)es 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 our American identities, communities, culture, and society? A variety of sport controversies and scandals will be examined as recent as: parent “payola” for college and athletic admission, the collision of Title IX and the #Metoo movement in gymnastics, and equal pay for female soccer champions.  Sport spaces, the intersections, and assumptions of class, ability, race, gender, and sexuality will be interrogated.  Body fascism, violence, power, the role of media, and the treatment of athletes by the NCAA in American athletics will be discussion topics.  No background in sports is required.  There is something for the athlete, participant, and sports fan.

3

H

6:10-9:00pm

FH-B4

(CAC)

Schuster

050:313:01

Amer. as a Business Culture

This course will examine the social, cultural and political underpinnings   of economic constructs such as money, the market, and consumption. Some of the   issues that will be explored are debt in America, as illustrated by the high amounts   of credit card debt many Americans have and the increasing numbers of Americans   declaring bankruptcy. We will also delve into the political economy of higher   education, identifying the factors that contribute to the continuing rise of tuitions, why colleges and universities engage in what is referred to as an “arms race,”   and what is meant by the commodification of education. We will also analyze the   culture of Wall Street, and the changing landscape of retirement in America.

Cross listed with:   01:014:301:07

3

MTh

9:15-10:35am

HCK 213

(CD)

Prisock

050:316:01

21st Century Writing

This course will explore new genres of writing and some popular updates of familiar genres, such as the memoir, the novel, and the short story. In particular, we will examine blogs, read a graphic novel, examine some outsider perspectives on 9-11 and subsequent events, and finish the semester with a unit on zombies in popular literature and film. There will be individual reports on

YouTube videos and group discussions.

3

M

3:55-6:55pm

RAB 208

(CD)

Moomjy

050:320:01

American Life During Cold War

This class will explore the conservative tradition in U.S. politics and culture, from the American Revolution to the present day. We will investigate the major impulses and ideas associated with the political right and discuss how conservatism has been manifested in American politics, government, literature, and culture. Specific topics to be considered include: the contested meanings of the American founding, the ideology of the antebellum South, religion in American culture, free markets and anti-communism, and the New Right as a political movement. We will study partisans of the right but also complicated and ambiguous figures—individuals who cannot be claimed exclusively by any one particular “side.” Readings include historical accounts, political writings, social commentary, and fiction.

3

TTh

2:15-3:35pm

RAB 208

(CD)

Decker

050:324:01

Wayward Americans

Explore various groups of “wayward” Americans.  Or, to put it another way, we will examine our understandings of what it means to be “normal,” with particular focus on physical, mental, and behavioral norms.  Some questions we will consider are: “How do we determine who or what is normal?  Has the definition of normal remained consistent over time and place?  How is normalcy measured?  And by whom?  How important is context – geographic location, social and cultural background, age, gender, race, ethnicity, and religion – when determining normalcy?  By examining various groups that have been described as: different; weird; deviant; abnormal; beyond the pale; on the fringe – including the “feeble-minded,” religious fanatics, criminals, and “sexual deviants” – we will seek to understand the historical, sociological, and psychological frameworks that have rendered these groups outside of mainstream American society.

3

M

7:15-10:05pm

HCK 202

(CD)

Zemla

050:344:01

Islam in/and America

Examines the history and presence of Islam in the United States, and the   construction and evolution of U.S. Muslim identity, community, and culture. In our contemporary moment, “Islam” is perhaps   the most misunderstood term in the national lexicon, and stands at the heart of   numerous cultural and political debates about “who we are” as a nation. Islam’s presence in the   Americas stretches back four centuries, to when over one third of African slaves   forcibly transported here were Muslim. At the start of the 20th century, the religion   forcefully re-emerged amongst Black American communities in urban centers in the   North such as Chicago and Detroit. Examines the diverse historical presence of Muslims in the   United States, alongside representations and stereotypes of Islam and Muslims in media and popular culture. Representations of Black American Muslims and   U.S. Muslim women.

Eligible for   CCRES Minor

3

TTh

2:50-4:10pm

SPR 403

(CAC)

Chan-Malik

050:380:01

Internships in American Studies

BA

BA

BA

050:389:01

Jr. Sem: Indigenous America

This course examines indigeneity as an analytical category, a political relationship, a cultural site, and a lived experience. In contrast, the course will also explore settler colonialism and the relationship between Indigenous people in the United States and the federal government. Analyzing issues of colonialism, identity, race, memory, and indigeneity among American Indians, Native Hawaiians, Alaska Natives, and American Pacific Islanders, this course explores the diversity of Indigenous peoples, and the history, politics, and conditions of Indigenous people throughout the United States. The goal of this course is to understand how indigeneity, as both a theoretical concept and a lived experience, intersects with ideas about sovereignty, citizenship, race, culture, gender, and colonialism.

3

W

2:15-5:15pm

RAB 018

(CD)

Sweet

050:495:01

Honors in American Studies

BA

BA

Masur

 

Offsite Courses

050:300:80 Topics: The Changing American Family:
A Study in Law and Culture
 

T

4:20-5:40P

ACCC

Furman
050:301:81 Topics: Arts Adventure  

W

6:30-8:40P

RVCC

Appels
050:302:80 Topics: Nature: Culture, Sensation  

M

6:00-8:40P

BCC-L

Appels
050:303:82 Decades: 1960s  

W

12:00-2:40P

ACCC

McElhinney
050:310:80 Approaches  

W

6:30-9:10P

MCC

Backes
050:324:80 Wayward Americans  

T

6:00-8:40P

BCC-L

Zemla

 

Online Courses

050:301:90 Topics: Sexuality, Gender, and Media Culture N/A Online McElhinney
050:302:90 Topics: American Horror N/A Online McElhinney