AMST 101
AMST 101 - Intro to American Studies

An interdisciplinary examination of some of the varieties of American experience, aimed at developing a functional vocabulary for further work in American Studies or related fields. Along a brief review of American history, the course will direct its focus on important moments in that history, including the present, investigating each of them in relation to selected cultural, historical, artistic, and political events, figures, institutions, and texts. Course topics include intersectional ethnic and gender studies, consumption and popular culture, urban and suburban life, racial formation, and contemporary American culture.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Alexander

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: This course is required of American Studies majors and should be completed before the end of the Junior year.

AMST 116
AMST 116/ ENG 116 - Asian American Fiction

At various times over the past century and a half, America has welcomed, expelled, tolerated, interned, ignored, and celebrated immigrants from Asia and their descendants. This course examines the fictions produced in response to these experiences. Irony, humor, history, tragedy and mystery all find a place in Asian American literature. We will see the emergence of a self-conscious Asian American identity, as well as more recent transnational structures of feeling. We will read novels and short stories by writers including Hisaye Yamamoto, John Okada, Mohsin Hamid, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Min Jin Lee. Fulfills the Diversity of Literatures in English requirement

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 40

Crosslisted Courses: ENG 116

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Lee

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

AMST 121
AMST 121 - Intro to Ethnic Studies

This course offers an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of Ethnic Studies. Ethnic Studies centers the theories, histories, and perspectives of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian American people in the United States, with particular attention to the study of comparative race and ethnic relations in the United States and its empire. We will explore key themes and concepts in Ethnic Studies such as imperialism and colonialism, social movements, migration, and intersectionality using analysis of popular culture, and historical and current events.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Rivera-Rideau

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

AMST 151
AMST 151 - The Asian American Experience

An interdisciplinary introduction to the study of Asian Americans, the fastest-growing ethnic group in North America. Critical examination of different stages of their experience from "coolie labor" and the "yellow peril" to the "model minority" and struggles for identity; roots of Asian stereotypes; myth and reality of Asian women; prejudice against, among, and by Asians; and Asian contributions to a more pluralistic, tolerant, and just American society. Readings, films, lectures, and discussions.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Remoquillo

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

AMST 161
AMST 161 - Intro to Latina/o Studies

Latinas/os in the United States have diverse histories, cultures, and identities, yet many people in the U.S. assume a commonality among Latina/o groups. What links exist between various Latina/o groups? What are the main differences or conflicts between them? How do constructions of Latina/o identities contend with the diversity of experiences? In this course, we will examine a variety of topics and theories pertinent to the field of Latina/o Studies, including immigration, language, politics, pan-ethnicity, civil rights, racialization, border studies, media and cultural representation, gender and sexuality, and transnationalism, among other issues.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Rivera-Rideau

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 206
AMST 206/ EDUC 206 - Prison Ed in the U.S.

In this class, we will look at several forms of “school” that have historically emerged behind the walls of U.S. prisons. These have included formal university-funded humanities education, trade training, high school and high school equivalency classes and, most importantly, self-organized political education and study groups. Moments of the latter have caused some political and politicized prisoners to refer to prisons as “universities of revolution.” In today’s prison abolitionist movement, inside-outside study groups serve as social hubs, political workshops and cultural anchors. By looking closely at how imprisoned people and their supporters both organize and navigate institutional education programs, we will build a historical and theoretical overview of prison education, with important insights for understanding both prisons and education in general.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: EDUC 20 6

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Alexander

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

AMST 212
AMST 212 - Korean-American Lit & Culture

What is Korean American Literature and what is the justification for setting it apart from the rest of Asian American literature? The course approaches this question by taking up a range of recent fictional writings, all of which were turned out by Korean Americans, between 1995 and the present day. Films on Korean Americans help us to look beyond literature to a wider cultural perspective. As the semester evolves we will continue to keep an eye on the range of styles, issues, and silences that characterize this field. Finally, we will take up the problem of language: the ways in which English is used to evoke a specifically Korean American idiom and the contrary process through which certain Korean American works reach beyond the "ethnic" designation and into the mainstream.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Widmer (East Asian Languages and Cultures)

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

AMST 217
AMST 217 - Latina/o Music and Identity

This course uses Latin music as a lens through which to examine broader social issues in the United States. We will consider how music industries decide what counts as “Latin,” and how these processes intersect or fail to intersect with ideas of Latinx identity on the ground. We will explore topics such as racial identity, immigration, gender and sexuality, transnationalism, and crossover. We will study genres including, but not limited to, banda, norteña, bachata, reggaetón, and pop, and artists such as Aventura, Daddy Yankee, Jenni Rivera, Selena, and Shakira.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Rivera-Rideau

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

AMST 218
AMST 218/ REL 218 - Religion in America

A study of the religions of Americans from the colonial period to the present. Special attention to the impact of religious beliefs and practices in the shaping of American culture and society. Representative readings from the spectrum of American religions including Aztecs and Conquistadors in New Spain, Puritans; the Evangelical and Enlightenment movements; Native American prophets; enslaved persons, slave owners, and abolitionists in the antebellum period; ethnic and assimilationist Catholics and Jews; the Black Church; Fundamentalists and Liberals; American Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus; and new internet sectarians.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 218

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Marini

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year; Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 220
AMST 220/ SOC 220 - Liberty and Morality

Among the various challenges that face democratic societies committed to the ideal of pluralism and its representations in both individuals and institutions, is what is meant by the term "liberty". Among those who identify as conservative, the concept of liberty has over time been addressed in ways that seek to impose order on both individual and institutional behavior or what some conservatives refer to as "ordered liberty". Classical liberal views of liberty stress the removal of external constraints on human behavior as the key to maximizing individual agency, autonomy and selfhood. This course examines the historical and sociological debates and tensions surrounding different visions of liberty. Focus on case studies of contentious social issues that are at the center of public debates, including freedom of expression; race and ethnicity; criminality; sexuality; gender; social class, religion, and the war on drugs.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 220

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Cushman, Imber

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 222
AMST 222/ PSYC 222 - Asian American Psychology

How can cultural values influence the way we process information, recall memories, or express emotion? What contributes to variations in parenting styles across cultures? How do experiences such as biculturalism, immigration, and racism affect mental health? This course will examine these questions with a specific focus on the cultural experiences of Asian Americans. Our aim is to understand how these experiences interact with basic psychological processes across the lifespan, with attention to both normative and pathological development.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 222

Prerequisites: PSYC 101 or AMST 151; or a score of 5 on the Psychology AP exam; or a score of 5, 6, or 7 on the Higher Level IB exam; or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Chen

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

AMST 225
AMST 225/ SOC 225 - Urban Studies and Policy

This course will introduce students to core readings in the field of urban studies. While the course will focus on cities in the United States, we will also look comparatively at the urban experience in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and cover debates on “global cities.” Topics will include the changing nature of community, social inequality, political power, socio-spatial change, technological change, and the relationship between the built environment and human behavior. We will examine the key theoretical paradigms driving this field since its inception, assess how and why they have changed over time, and discuss the implications of these shifts for urban scholarship and social policy. The course will include fieldwork in Boston and presentations by city government practitioners.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 225

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Kaliner

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

AMST 228
AMST 228/ REL 220 - Religious Themes Amer Fiction

Human nature and destiny, good and evil, love and hate, loyalty and betrayal, tradition and assimilation, salvation and damnation, God and fate in The Scarlet Letter, Moby-Dick, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and contemporary novels including Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless Me, Ultima, Allegra Goodman’s Kaaterskill Falls, and Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine. Reading and discussion of these texts as expressions of diverse religious cultures in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 228

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Marini

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature; REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

AMST 231
AMST 231/ FREN 231 - Americans in Paris (in Eng)

For more than two hundred years, the experiences of Americans in Paris have exerted an outsized influence on American, French, and global culture. These transnational encounters have included writers and artists as well as diplomats, students, filmmakers, jazz musicians, bohemians and tourists. Drawing on a variety of historical and literary documents, among them novels and essays, along with films and music, we will trace the history of American encounters with Paris from the late eighteenth century to the present day. Through our study, Paris emerges as a long-running site of complex cultural encounters, a creative and dynamic metropolis with special significance to many different groups, among them, African Americans, women, and queer people, who have made this city a hotbed of intellectual innovation and social change. 

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 231

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Datta, P. Fisher

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 232
AMST 232 - Asian American Pop Culture

This course analyzes the significance of Asian American pop culture. We will investigate cultural constructions of gender, race, ethnicity, class, and sexuality through an examination of various kinds of popular media, including film, music, performance, social media, and art. We will read key works in cultural studies alongside transnational feminist works. Central to this course will be an examination of how popular culture can reproduce and challenge racial, sexual, gender, class, and national identity formations in the United States.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Clutario

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 234
AMST 234/ REL 231 - Rad Individual and Common Good

There is a deep crisis of values at the heart of contemporary culture in the United States. On one hand, the nation is unquestionably committed to the principle of radical individualism, marked especially by free-market capitalism, consumerism, and increasingly violent libertarian politics. On the other hand, increasing competition and diversity require principles of the common good to sustain the cultural coherence, social media, and environmental stability necessary for civil society to function effectively. This course will investigate the conflict between these two sets of values through theoretical readings and the inspection of public life in the United States in the twenty-first century. It asks whether there ought to be any constraints on individualism that can be justified by an appeal to the common good and, if so, what those constraints should be.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 234

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Marini

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis; REP - Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

AMST 235
AMST 235 - Consuming Latina/o Cultures

From the Zumba Fitness Program to Jane the Virgin, salsa night to the ubiquitous taco truck, “Latin” culture is popular. But what do we make of the popularity of “Latin” culture at a time when many Latina/o communities face larger systemic inequalities related to issues such as race, ethnicity, or immigration status? How do organizations and industries represent and market Latinidad to the US public, and how do these forms of popular culture and representation influence our perceptions of Latina/o life in the United States? How do Latina/o consumers view these representations? This course explores these questions through a critical examination of the representation and marketing of Latinidad, or Latina/o identities, in US popular culture. We will pay particular attention to the intersections between Latina/o identities, ideas of “Americanness,” immigration, race, gender, and sexuality in the United States.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Rivera-Rideau

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 240
AMST 240/ ENG 269 - Rise of an American Empire

An interdisciplinary exploration of the so-called Gilded Age and the Progressive era in the United States between the Civil War and World War I, emphasizing both the conflicts and achievements of the period. Topics will include Reconstruction and African American experience in the South; technological development and industrial expansion; the exploitation of the West and resistance by Native Americans and Latinos; feminism, "New Women," and divorce; tycoons, workers, and the rich-poor divide; immigration from Europe, Asia, and new American overseas possessions; as well as a vibrant period of American art, architecture, literature, music, and material culture, to be studied by means of the rich cultural resources of the Boston area.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: ENG 269

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: P. Fisher

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature; HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

AMST 241
AMST 241/ SOC 241 - A Nation in Therapy

What is therapy? Although historically tied to the values and goals of medicine, the roles that therapy and therapeutic culture play in defining life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are now ubiquitous. The impact of therapeutic culture on every major social institution, including the family, education, and the law, has created a steady stream of controversy about the ways in which Americans in particular make judgements about right and wrong, about others, and about themselves. Are Americans obsessed with their well being? Is there a type of humor specific to therapeutic culture? This course provides a broad survey of the triumph of the therapeutic and the insights into the character and culture that triumph reveals.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 241

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Imber

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

AMST 242
AMST 242 - American Reckonings

On January 6th, 2021, a right-wing mob violently attacked the U.S. Capitol using guns, clubs, and fists. But perhaps their most powerful weapon was not physical, but ideological: a white supremacist version of America’s revolutionary past. This course examines the complex interplay between historical memory and present-day social and political realities. We will consider how stories, symbols, and artifacts shape popular understandings of the past, and in turn, how historical memory legitimizes social attitudes and systems. How do American civic myths of freedom and democracy elide genocide, slavery, Jim Crow and other systems of inequality? How does the memory (and erasure) of slavery impact policy decisions and racial attitudes? How does memory of pivotal events in U.S. history shape individual, ethnic, racial, and national identities? Students will examine a range of cultural artifacts, including fiction, film, monuments, museum exhibits, speeches, social media, DNA tests, and the Wellesley College archives. These items provide tangible links to the past that will shape the future of democracy in America.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: E. Battat (Writing Program)

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: This course is recommended for students who have some familiarity with American history and critical reading and analytical writing in the humanities.

AMST 245
AMST 245/ CAMS 245 - Spec Media in US Since 1973

This will be a course about the future and how it is made. We will look at three modes of speculation: financial speculation, speculative storytelling through fiction and cinema, and speculative political claims on new futures. Each of these three modes of speculation imagines and predicts radically different futures, and each mode tells us something crucial about economic, cultural, and political life in the US since 1973. We will study the rise of futures trading and money as a speculative media technology; read Octavia Butler’s fiction and watch sci-fi movies; and finally look at contemporary movements for debt cancellation and climate justice. Readings will draw from Black feminism, queer theory, anti-colonialist thought, and Marxism.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: CAMS 245

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Alexander

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

AMST 246
AMST 246/ SOC 246 - How Immigration is Changing the US and the World

We live in a world on the move. Nearly one out of every seven people in the world today is an international or internal migrant who moves by force or by choice. In the United States, immigrants and their children make up nearly 25 percent of the population. This course looks at migration to the United States from a transnational perspective and then looks comparatively at other countries of settlement. We use Framingham as a lab for exploring race and ethnicity, immigration incorporation, and transnational practices. Fieldwork projects will examine how immigration affects the economy, politics, and religion and how the town is changing in response. We will also track contemporary debates around immigration policy.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 246

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Levitt

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 248
AMST 248/ ENG 248 - Poetics of the Body

Sensual and emotionally powerful, American poetry of the body explores living and knowing through physical, bodily experience. From Walt Whitman’s “I Sing the Body Electric” to contemporary spoken word performances, body poems move us through the strangeness and familiarity of embodiment, voicing the manifold discomforts, pains, pleasures, and ecstasies of living in and through bodies. We’ll trace a number of recurring themes: the relationship between body and mind, female embodiment, queer bodies, race, sexuality, disability, illness and medicine, mortality, appetite, and the poem itself as a body.  Poets include Whitman, Frank O’Hara, Rita Dove, Thom Gunn, Claudia Rankine, Ocean Vuong, Tyehimba Jess, Jos Charles, Max Ritvo, Laurie Lambeth, Chen Chen, and Danez Smith. Fulfills the Diversity of Literatures in English requirement.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 248

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Brogan

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

AMST 251
AMST 251/ SOC 251 - Racial Regimes in US & Beyond

How can we understand the mechanisms and effects of racial domination in our society? In this class, we develop a sociological understanding of race through historical study of four racial regimes in the United States: slavery, empire, segregation, and the carceral state. We relate the U.S. experience to racial regimes in other parts of the world, including British colonialism, the Jewish ghetto in Renaissance Venice, and apartheid and post-apartheid states in South Africa, among other contexts. Thus, we develop a comparative, global understanding of race and power. We conclude with a hands-on group media project engaging a relevant contemporary issue.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 251

Prerequisites: At least one social science course required.

Instructor: S. Radhakrishnan

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

AMST 254
AMST 254/ CAMS 254 - Carceral Cinema in the US

This course will look at representations of prisons, policing, and criminality across US cinema history. We will watch a wide range of movies, from Thomas Edison’s 1901 recreation of Leon Czolgosz’s execution to classic noir, cop procedurals, crime thrillers, horror, and science fiction. Readings will draw from abolitionist, feminist, Marxist, and Black Radical traditions to guide our attention to the ideologies of crime, punishment, policing and incarceration that circulate in and spill out of US cinema. Readings will occasionally invite us to step back and think about the role of cinema in the production of what Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Jordan T. Camp have called “carceral commonsense.” In addition to Gilmore and Camp, authors will include Angela Y. Davis, Khalil Gibran Muhammed, Dylan Rodriguez, W.E.B Du Bois, Assata Shakur, Stuart Hall, Mariame Kaba, Jonathon Finn, Eric A. Stanley, Gina Dent, Simone Browne, and Erin Gray.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: CAMS 254

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Alexander

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

AMST 258
AMST 258/ ENG 258 - Gotham: New York in Lit & Art

This course examines how that icon of modernity, New York City, has been variously depicted in literature and the arts, from its evolution into the nation’s cultural and financial capital in the nineteenth century to the present.  We’ll consider how urban reformers, boosters, long-time residents, immigrants, tourists, newspaper reporters, journalists, poets, novelists, artists, and filmmakers have shaped new and often highly contested meanings of this dynamic and diverse city. We'll also consider how each vision of the city returns us to crucial questions of perspective, identity, and ownership, and helps us to understand the complexity of metropolitan experience. Authors may include Walt Whitman, Edith Wharton, Anzia Yezierska, Paule Marshall, Frank O’Hara, and Colson Whitehead. We’ll look at the art of John Sloan, Georgia O’Keeffe, Helen Levitt, and Berenice Abbott, and others. Filmmakers may include Vincente Minnelli, Martin Scorsese, and Spike Lee.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 258

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Brogan

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 261
AMST 261/ ENG 261 - Hollywood: Vietnam to Reagan

Between the breakdown of the studio system and the advent of the blockbuster era, American filmmaking enjoyed a decade of extraordinary achievement. We'll study a range of great films produced in the late 60s and 70s, such as Bonnie and Clyde, Taxi Driver, The Godfather, Chinatown, Annie Hall, Shampoo, Carrie, and Apocalypse Now, exploring their distinctive combination of American genre and European art-film style, and connecting them to the social and political contexts of this turbulent moment in American history.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 261

Prerequisites: None.

Instructor: Shetley

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 262
AMST 262/ ENG 262 - American Literature to 1865

This is the greatest, most thrilling and inspiring period in American literary history, and the central theme represented and explored in it is freedom, and its relationship to power. Power and freedom—the charged and complex dynamics of these intersecting terms, ideas, and conflicted realities: we will examine this theme in literature, religion, social reform, sexual and racial liberation, and more. Authors to be studied will include Emerson, Thoreau, Whitman, Douglass, Stowe, Henry James. We will enrich our work by studying films dealing with the period—for example, Edward Zwick’s Glory (1989), about one of the first regiments of African-American troops, and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012).; and we also will consider the visual arts—photography and American landscape painting. The literature that we will read and respond to in this course was written 150 years ago, but the issues that these writers engage are totally relevant to who we are and where we are today. In important ways this is really a course in contemporary American literature.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 262

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Cain

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 264
AMST 264 - Asian Am. Labor & Immigration

This course offers an introduction to the history of Asian American labor and immigration from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Using a range of interdisciplinary frameworks and sources, the course will focus on the flow and movement of people to the United States, we will nonetheless pay special attention to the global, transnational and transpacific networks, issues, events and moments that have historically impacted the movement of peoples around the world. This course also spotlights the ways in which labor played a central role in shaping these migratory flows and experiences. As much as possible, this course will aim to look at historical events and moments from the perspective of ordinary people, or “histories from below,” in order to understand how historical narratives may change when you are not looking at histories from the perspective of those in power.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Clutario

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 266
AMST 266/ ENG 266 - Am Lit from Civil War to 1930s

Topic for Fall 2022: The Pursuit of Happiness: American Dreams from Emerson to Hansberry

The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776, states: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." We will focus in particular on what "happiness" means in this founding document and its historical context, and then we will study and explore this theme in Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman, and move from them to novels by Henry James, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Carson McCullers, and Patricia Highsmith. We will also consider examples from film and photography, and will conclude with the African American playwright Lorraine Hansberry.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 266

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Cain

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video; LL - Language and Literature

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: This is a topics course and can be taken more than once for credit as long as the topic is different each time.

AMST 268
AMST 268/ ENG 268 - American Literature Now

This course will explore the richness and diversity of American (and some Canadian) writing since 2000, focusing primarily on writers who have emerged in the new century.  We’ll read novels and short stories by both established authors, such as Jennifer Egan and Colson Whitehead, and rising talents like Ben Lerner and Jenny Offill.  We’ll also look at the work of some experimental writers, such as Lydia Davis and Percival Everett, and some examples of the genre fiction against which literary writing has defined itself, like Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, to think about the ways that intellectual and cultural prestige are established in contemporary America.  Given that MFA programs have become a defining feature of the literary landscape in the US, we’ll examine some of the controversies around the spread of these programs through excerpts from recent treatments like Mark McGurl’s The Program Era and Chad Harbach’s MFA vs. NYC.  And we’ll dip into the occasionally bitter rivalries and feuds that have shaped understandings of the contemporary literary scene: Jonathan Franzen vs. Oprah, Franzen vs. Jennifer Weiner, Francine Prose vs. Sadia Shepard.  Studying these conflicts will help illuminate the terrain of literary and cultural values within which contemporary American literature is written, read, and discussed.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 268

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Shetley

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 274
AMST 274/ WGST 274 - Gender & Race in Westerns

Westerns, a complex category that includes not only films but also novels, photographs, paintings, and many forms of popular culture, have articulated crucial mythologies of American culture from the nineteenth century to the present. From Theodore Roosevelt to the Lone Ranger, myths of the Trans-Mississippi West have asserted iconic definitions of American masculinity and rugged individualism. Yet as a flexible, ever-changing genre, Westerns have challenged, revised, and subverted American concepts of gender and sexuality. Westerns have also struggled to explain a dynamic and conflictive "borderlands" among Native Americans, Anglos, Latinos, Blacks, and Asians. This team-taught, interdisciplinary course will investigate Westerns in multiple forms, studying their representations of the diverse spaces and places of the American West and its rich, complicated, and debated history.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 274

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Creef, P. Fisher (American Studies)

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature; ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 281
AMST 281/ ENG 297 - Rainbow Republic: Am Culture

Transgender rights, gay marriage, and Hollywood and sports figures' media advocacy are only the latest manifestations of the rich queer history of the United States. This course will explore American LGBTQ history and culture from the late nineteenth century to the present, with an emphasis on consequential developments in society, politics, and consciousness since Stonewall in 1969. The course will introduce some elements of gender and queer theory; it will address historical and present-day constructions of sexuality through selected historical readings but primarily through the vibrant cultural forms produced by queer artists and communities. The course will survey significant queer literature, art, film, and popular culture, with an emphasis on the inventive new forms of recent decades. It will also emphasize the rich diversity of queer culture especially through the intersectionality of gender and sexuality with class, ethnicity and race.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Crosslisted Courses: ENG 297

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: P. Fisher

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

AMST 290
AMST 290/ PEAC 290 - Afro-Latinas/os in the U.S.

This course examines the experiences and cultures of Afro-Latinas/os, people of both African and Latin American descent, in the United States. We will consider how blackness intersects with Latina/o identity, using social movements, politics, popular culture, and literature as the bases of our analysis. This course addresses these questions transnationally, taking into account not only racial dynamics within the United States, but also the influence of dominant Latin American understandings of race and national identity. We will consider the social constructions of blackness and Latinidad; the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the Latina/o community; immigration and racial politics; representations of Afro-Latinas/os in film, music, and literature; and African American-Latino relations.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Crosslisted Courses: PEAC 290

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Rivera-Rideau

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 292
AMST 292/ ENG 292 - Film Noir

A journey through the dark side of the American imagination. Where classic Hollywood filmmaking trades in uplift and happy endings, Film Noir inhabits a pessimistic, morally compromised universe, populated by femmes fatales, hard-boiled detectives, criminals and deviants. This course will explore the development of this alternative vision of the American experience, from its origins in the 1940s, through the revival of the genre in the 1970s, to its ongoing influence on contemporary cinema. We’ll pay particular attention to noir’s redefinition of American cinematic style, and to its representations of masculinity and femininity. Films we are likely to watch include Howard Hawks’s The Big Sleep, Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity, Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, Carl Franklin’s Devil in a Blue Dress, and David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive. We’ll also read a number of the gritty detective novels from which several of these films were adapted.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 292

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Shetley

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

AMST 296
AMST 296/ ENG 296 - Immigration & Diaspora

This course explores the exciting new literature produced by writers transplanted to the United States or by children of recent immigrants. We’ll consider how the perspectives of immigrants redefine what is American by sustaining linkages across national borders, and we’ll examine issues of hybrid identity and multiple allegiances, collective memory, traumatic history, nation, home and homeland, and globalization. Our course materials include novels, essays, memoirs, short fiction, and visual art. We’ll be looking at writers in the United States with cultural connections to India, Pakistan, Viet Nam, Bosnia, Egypt, Ethiopia, Korea, Japan, and Mexico. Some authors to be included: André Aciman, Catherine Chung, Sandra Cisneros, Mohsin Hamid, Aleksandar Hemon, Jumpa Lahiri, Lê Thi Diem Thúy, and Dinaw Mengestu. Artists include Surendra Lawoti, Priya Kambli, Asma Ahmed Shikoh, and the African American mixed-media artist Radcliffe Bailey. Fulfills the Diversity of Literatures in English requirement.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 296

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Brogan

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 299
AMST 299/ ENG 299 - Horror Films in America

An exploration of the horror film in America, from 1960 to the present, with particular attention to the ways that imaginary monsters embody real terrors, and the impact of social and technological change on the stories through which we provoke and assuage our fears. We'll study classics of the genre, such as Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby, and The Exorcist, as well as contemporary films like Get Out and Midsommar, and read some of the most important work in the rich tradition of critical and theoretical
writing on horror.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 299

Prerequisites: None

Instructor: Shetley

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 306
AMST 306 - Sem: Asian American Methodologies

In this course students will explore the interdisciplinary approaches by which Asian American scholars, artists, and activists produce work on and in the Asian American diaspora from the 1960s to present day. This survey of Asian American methodologies will offer students the exciting opportunity to receive hands-on experience in conducting ethnographic interviews, studying archival materials, analyzing films, reading memoirs and more that showcase the interdisciplinary nature of Asian American Studies and identity at large.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: At least one of the following courses - AMST 101, AMST 121, AMST 151; or permission of instructor.

Instructor: Remoquillo

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

AMST 310
AMST 310 - Asian Am Politics of Beauty

This course examines historical and contemporary contexts and processes of defining Asian/American beauty as well as the ways in which beauty is used to manage bodies, define social hierarchies, and gain or maintain power. Moreover, this course asks how presentations of beauty, especially “beautiful bodies,” could also be used as forms of subversion and resistance. Looking at sites such beauty pageants, cosmetic consumer cultures, drag performances, cosmetic surgery, and the transnational production and consumption of beauty influencers we will investigate how race, gender, sexuality, and class informs definitions of beauty and how definitions of beauty inform constructions of race, gender, sexuality, and class.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: AMST 101 or AMST 151, or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Clutario

Distribution Requirements: ARS - Visual Arts, Music, Theater, Film and Video

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 314
AMST 314 - Sem: Food & Asian Am Experience

?This seminar will use food as a lens to explore Asian American history and contemporary political, cultural, and economic issues. We will explore the role of food in histories of immigration; labor in restaurant and service industries; farming and agriculture; and the politics of consumption and circulation of food. We will trace contemporary experiences to larger histories through a critical engagement with interdisciplinary scholarship as well as primary sources like recipe books, food criticism, media, film and television, literature, and memoirs.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: One of the following - AMST 151, AMST 121, AMST 232, AMST 264, AMST 101, AMST 116/ENG 116, or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Clutario

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 318
AMST 318/ REL 318 - Sem:The "Enemy Race" in WWII

A close examination of the rationale by the U.S. government for the incarceration of American citizens of Japanese ancestry, and Japanese nationals living in the United States and Latin America, after Japan's attack in December 1941 of Pearl Harbor. The course also examines the dynamics of overwhelming popular support for the incarceration, as well as the aftermath of the internment. The topics include Japan's rise as a colonial power, starting in the late nineteenth century; the place of Asian migrant workers and the "yellow peril"; life in the camps; the formation of the Japanese American Citizens League; the valor of the Japanese American soldiers in Europe during World War II; how the United States has since responded to its "enemies," especially after 9/11; changing immigration laws; race and politics in America.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: REL 318

Prerequisites: One course in Asian American Studies, or in Asian Religions, or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Kodera

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 319
AMST 319/ REL 319 - Sem: Religion, Law & Politics

A study of the relationships among religion, fundamental law, and political culture in the American experience. Topics include established religion in the British colonies, religious ideologies in the American Revolution, religion and rebellion in the Civil War crisis, American civil religion, and the New Religious Right. Special attention to the separation of church and state and selected Supreme Court cases on the religion clauses of the First Amendment. In addition, the class will monitor and discuss religious and moral issues in the 2022 elections.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 319

Prerequisites: REL 200 or REL 217 or REL 218, or at least one 200-level unit in American Studies or in American history, sociology, or politics; or permission of the instructor.

Instructor: Marini

Distribution Requirements: HS or REP - Historical Studies or Religion, Ethics, and Moral Philosophy

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

AMST 323
AMST 323 - Sem: Race, Gender in Reggaeton

Benito Martínez Ocasio, better known as Bad Bunny, has quickly risen through the ranks to become one of the most significant and impactful global Latin music stars in history. This course explores what analyzing Bad Bunny can teach us in Latinx Studies. We will explore his role in the 2019 protests in Puerto Rico, and what the summer of 2019 teaches us about U.S. empire and Puerto Rican politics. We will also pay particular attention to the politics of race, gender, and queerness in Bad Bunny’s performance. Finally, we will consider Bad Bunny as a Spanish-language “crossover” star in the United States to understand the place of Latinx artists in the U.S. mainstream. Overall, this course will explore these topics by closely situating Bad Bunny’s work in relation to key texts in Latinx Studies regarding race, empire, gender, and queerness.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Previous coursework in Latinx Studies, American Studies, Africana Studies or Latin American Studies preferred.

Instructor: Rivera-Rideau

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes: Priority given to American Studies majors, Latinx Studies minors, and Latin American Studies majors

AMST 325
AMST 325 - Puerto Ricans Home & Beyond

Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States since 1898, and yet it holds a very different view of race relations. Dominant discourses of Puerto Rican identity represent the island as racially mixed and therefore devoid of racism; but many scholars argue that this is not the case. We will use popular culture, memoir, and political histories as lenses through which to examine the construction of race, and blackness in particular, in Puerto Rico and among Puerto Ricans in the US. We will explore topics such as the role of Puerto Rican activists in social movements for racial equality, performances of blackness and Puerto Ricanness in hip-hop and reggaeton, and migration's influence on ideas of blackness and Latinidad in both Puerto Rico and the U.S.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: AMST 101 or permission of the instructor

Instructor: Rivera-Rideau

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 327
AMST 327 - Black and Latina Feminisms

This course uses Black and Latina feminist theories to critically examine the performances, personas, and representations of Beyoncé Knowles and Jennifer López. We will begin with an overview of classic Black and Latina feminist theory texts by authors such as Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Gloria Anzaldúa, and Cherríe Moraga. We will then read more contemporary Black and Latina feminist academic and popular works that expand, challenge, and complicate these theories. Throughout the course, we will put these texts in conversation with Beyoncé and Jennifer López, as well as other Black and Latina artists. In addition to the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, topics include performance, fashion and beauty, colorism, motherhood, sex and pleasure, and the politics of representation.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Previous experience with feminist or race theory helpful.

Instructor: Rivera-Rideau

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Typical Periods Offered: Every other year

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

AMST 344
AMST 344 - Sem: US Labor Histories

This class will look at several pivotal moments in US working class history: slave rebellions, early unionization, Black radical labor formations of the 1960s and 1970s, neoliberal attacks on labor, and 2022’s “Hot Labor Summer.” We will use this series of historical studies to think critically about what and who constitutes the working class in the US, when and how that might change, and about how colonial, racial, and gendered dynamics drive these histories while too often being written out of them. For each moment, we will also look to working class cultural artifacts as their own kind of theoretical and historical texts, including music, pamphlets, poetry, drama, photography, film and video, and memes. Potential authors: Gerald Horne, Charisse Burden-Stelly, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, J. Sakai, Philip Foner, James Yaki Sayles, James Boggs, Grace Lee Boggs, Silvia Frederici, Karl Marx, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Kim Kelly, Joshua Clover, Sarah Jaffe

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: One 100- or 200-level AMST course (AMST 101 recommended).

Instructor: Alexander

Distribution Requirements: HS - Historical Studies

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

AMST 348
AMST 348/ SOC 348 - Conservatism in America

An examination of conservative movements and ideas in terms of class, gender, and race. Historical survey and social analysis of such major conservative movements and ideas as paleoconservatism, neoconservatism, and compassionate conservatism. The emergence of conservative stances among women, minorities, and media figures. The conservative critique of American life and its shaping of contemporary national discourse on morality, politics, and culture.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 30

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 348

Prerequisites: A 100-level sociology course or permission of the instructor. Open to juniors and seniors only.

Instructor: Imber

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes:

AMST 350
AMST 350 - Research or Individual Study

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Open by the permission of the director to juniors and seniors.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Spring; Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring; Fall

Notes:

AMST 355
AMST 355 - CSPW: Critiquing Pop. Culture

To what extent does Pose address the lack of queer-of-color representation on streaming? What difference does it make that HBO delivers Sesame Street instead of PBS? How have networks like HBO, Netflix, or Amazon promoted or undercut LGBTQ civil rights or racial justice? American Studies often focuses on the appraisal, interpretation, and critique of historical and contemporary popular culture. Designed for juniors and seniors, this seminar will explore how American Studies multidisciplinary perspectives can be adapted to reviews, critiques, opinion pieces, and other forms of journalistic, literary, and public writing. Students will consider a variety of historical and contemporary American cultural products, including television, film, books, literature, websites, exhibitions, performances, and consumer products, in order to enter the public conversation about the cultural meanings, political implications, and social content of such culture.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 12

Prerequisites: AMST 101 or another AMST 100- or 200-level course. Permission of the instructor required.

Instructor: P. Fisher

Distribution Requirements: SBA - Social and Behavioral Analysis

Other Categories: CSPW - Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes:

AMST 360
AMST 360 - Senior Thesis Research

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Prerequisites: Permission of the director.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Fall

Notes: Students enroll in Senior Thesis Research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member. If sufficient progress is made, students may continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester.

AMST 370
AMST 370 - Senior Thesis

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 25

Prerequisites: AMST 360 and permission of the department.

Instructor:

Typical Periods Offered: Spring

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Spring

Notes: Students enroll in Senior Thesis Research (360) in the first semester and carry out independent work under the supervision of a faculty member. If sufficient progress is made, students may continue with Senior Thesis (370) in the second semester.

AMST 383
AMST 383/ ENG 383 - Women in Love: Am Lit, Art, Film

We will study in depth three great American novels: Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady (1881, rev. 1908); Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (1900); and Edith Wharton, The Custom of the Country  (1913). We also will study two film adaptations: The Portrait of a Lady (1996; dir. Jane Campion, starring Nicole Kidman and John Malkovich); and Carrie (1952; dir. William Wyler; starring Laurence Olivier and Jennifer Jones). In addition: portraits of women by the painters John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins, and Mary Cassatt, and Alfred Stieglitz’s photographs of Georgia O’Keefe.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 20

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 383

Prerequisites: Open to all students who have taken two literature courses in the department, at least one of which must be 200 level, or by permission of the instructor to other qualified students.

Instructor: Cain

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes:

AMST 386
AMST 386/ ENG 386 - Willa Cather

Willa Cather, Pulitzer-prize winning American woman novelist of the early twentieth century, is best known for her novels about settlers on the Great Plains, My Ántonia, O Pioneers! and, set a generation later, The Song of the Lark. The power of the land and questions about the way humans should best relate to the land are at the center of her work. Cather lived most of her life with her companion, Edith Lewis, and her alternative views on heterosexuality, marriage, and transgressive female sexuality emerge in indirect and interesting ways in her fiction. Other intriguing issues in her work include immigration, inter-racial and inter-ethnic relations, the nature of the body in health and illness, tensions between rural and urban life, the development of the artist, especially the woman artist, and the emotional consequences of war.

Units: 1

Max Enrollment: 15

Crosslisted Courses: AMST 386

Prerequisites: Open to all students who have taken two literature courses in the department, at least one of which must be 200 level, or by permission of the instructor to other qualified students.

Instructor: Meyer

Distribution Requirements: LL - Language and Literature

Typical Periods Offered: Fall

Semesters Offered this Academic Year: Not Offered

Notes: