American Culture Studies (AMCS) is a multidisciplinary program that provides both a broader context for study in different fields and a deeper understanding of American culture in all of its complexities. AMCS students explore culture-related topics and issues that demand multiple perspectives and methodologies. They also consider the mutual relevance of various disciplines to any single object of study in American culture — a place, an event, a work of art, a political institution and so on — while developing the knowledge and skills necessary to study a wide array of cultural objects.
The program offers a major and a minor, coordinating offerings across the disciplines so that students from any field or school can explore an array of ideas and approaches as they complete their course work. Pairing the major with a second major in a complementary discipline is an enriching model of cultural study, and AMCS will work closely with students to ensure that double-majoring works well.
The program offers especially attentive advising, helping students to have a cohesive experience and to pursue their specific interests within a diverse curriculum.
|Contact:||Máire Murphy, Academic Coordinator|
The Major in American Culture Studies
Total units required: 30 credits, 24 of which must be 300-level or above. In addition to completing the required units, students are expected to take three courses (9 credits) with heavy methodological content (refer to "Disciplinary Foundations Course Work" below).
Visit our Course Listings webpage for a complete list of courses, by semester, that count toward the AMCS major. For more information about the major, including past examples of projects, leadership opportunities, and an FAQ, please visit our AMCS undergraduate webpage.
- Introductory Course (3 credits) as designated by American Culture Studies, which recently have included AMCS 220 Topics in American Culture Studies: Introduction to American Culture Studies, AMCS 206 "Reading" Culture, and AMCS 202 The Immigrant Experience. Visit our Course Listings webpage for additional offerings by semester.
- AMCS 375A American Culture: Methods & Visions (3 credits)
- Fieldwork Experience (3 credits) (FW): Enrollment in an approved fieldwork course such as AMCS 479: On Location: Exploring America or completion of a field-based independent project under the guidance of AMCS faculty (in most cases under the course number L98 AMCS 298 Directed Fieldwork in American Culture Studies).
- General Americanist Course Work (18 credits): Six courses taken in the following groupings:
- Prime Concentration Area Course Work (9 credits): Three courses in a single concentration. At least two of these courses must be at the 300-level or higher. Refer to the list below of established Concentration Areas.
- Distribution Course Work –or– a Second Concentration Area (9 credits): Courses taken in three different disciplines or fields ("Distribution") or three courses in a second concentration area. At least two of these courses must be at the 300-level or higher.
- Senior Capstone Project (3 credits): A multidisciplinary project culminating the course work and past fieldwork study. Proposed during the spring of the junior year, this 3-credit project is granted academic credit through either AMCS 4011 Capstone Workshop in the fall semester or through AMCS 4004/AMCS 4005 if the Senior Honors Thesis option is approved. In some cases, the capstone project may be fulfilled within the context of an approved, upper-level seminar course. For more information on the capstone project and proposal process, including important dates, please visit our website.
- At least two multidisciplinary (MD) courses, taken as part of the above major requirements and designated by AMCS (this does not usually require additional course work). Students are encouraged to take MD courses that connect to the subjects or issues in their concentration area. AMCS 375A and the course taken to fulfill FW may not also count toward the MD requirement.
Disciplinary Foundations Course Work: In addition to completing the above requirements, students are expected to take three courses (9 credits) with heavy methodological content and approved by the student's adviser/the program, at least two (2) of which must be in a single discipline and two (2) of which must be at the 300 level or higher. A suitable second program of study may be used to fulfill this expectation.
Established Concentration Areas
These areas reflect areas of longstanding student interest. Majors are welcome to propose new concentrations or to tailor an established one to suit their interests. AMCS currently has nine established Concentration Areas:
- 20th-Century America
- Early America
- The Construction of Race and Ethnicity in American Life
- Policy-Making in American Society
- Popular Culture
- A Sense of Place: Community, Region & Landscape
- Social Thought and Social Problems
- Visual, Material and Digital Cultures in the United States
- War and Peace
AMCS gives majors considerable freedom in defining their course of study, allowing them to learn how cultural study is done in multiple fields and periods even as they define concentration areas in ways that suit their specific interests. Pairing the AMCS major with a second major in a complementary discipline is an especially enriching model of cultural study, and AMCS will work closely with students to ensure that double-majoring works well.
Study Abroad: Majors intending to study abroad should consult with the AMCS Study Abroad Advisor well in advance to plan a course of study and discuss its impact on their work in the major (including their fieldwork and capstone projects). For further information, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions on our undergraduate page or review the AMCS approved programs on the Study Abroad webpage, searching for "American Culture Studies" as the approved department under the "Search for a Program" option.
Senior Honors: Writing an AMCS honors thesis is one way to fulfill the Capstone Project requirement. It allows students to complete an extended study of a cultural topic with the input of faculty from more than one discipline, and it provides both a support system and an audience of peers for that study. For more information on the honors thesis and capstone project process, including important dates and criteria, please visit our Senior Honors Thesis webpage.
The Minor in American Culture Studies
Units required: 15 credits, at least 9 of which must be 300-level or above.
- Introductory Course (3 credits): Courses designated as such by American Culture Studies have recently included AMCS 220 Topics in American Culture Studies: Introduction to American Culture Studies, AMCS 206 "Reading" Culture, and AMCS 202 The Immigrant Experience. Visit our Course Listings webpage for the full listing by semester.
- Distribution Course Work (9 credits): At least three courses on American subjects (two of which must be upper-level) either in a single established Concentration Area (refer to the list of established concentrations below, or students may propose their own) — or — in three distinct disciplines outside the student's major.
- One additional AMCS course (3 credits)
- At least two multidisciplinary (MD) courses, taken as part of the above minor courses and designated by AMCS. Minors who opt to do a concentration are encouraged to take at least one MD course that connects to the subjects or issues in the chosen concentration area. AMCS 375A American Culture: Methods & Visions (a junior-level methods seminar) also is encouraged and may count as an MD course. Visit our Course Listings webpage for a complete list of general and MD courses that count toward the AMCS major.
- Only one of the courses taken to complete the minor requirements may be home-based in the same discipline as the student's major(s) (effective for the Class of 2019 and beyond).
Established Concentration Areas
These reflect areas of longstanding student interest. Minors are welcome to propose new concentrations or to tailor an established one to suit their interests. AMCS currently has nine established Concentration Areas:
- 20th-Century America
- Early America
- The Construction of Race and Ethnicity in American Life
- Policy-Making in American Society
- Popular Culture
- A Sense of Place: Community, Region & Landscape
- Social Thought and Social Problems
- Visual, Material and Digital Cultures in the United States
- War and Peace
Visit our undergraduate webpage for more information about the minor requirements and concentration areas, as well as other resources and announcements for AMCS students.
Visit online course listings to view semester offerings for L98 AMCS.
L98 AMCS 1012 Introduction to Urban Studies
This course provides a survey of the field of Urban Studies, utilizing the city of St. Louis as a field site. The major purpose of the course is to gradually reveal how a city operates internally, and how it operates externally with its sister cities, surrounding metropolitan areas and neighboring states, amidst competing and often contradictory interests. Utilizing historical analysis as a guide, the course will briefly revisit the experiences of previous waves of ethnic groups to the St. Louis metropolitan area, as a lens for understanding the current social, political and economic dilemmas which many urban dwellers in St. Louis now face. The course will reveal to students the intricacies of social welfare issues and policies among high density populations, in St. Louis, that are homogeneous and heterogeneous, at the same time. Visits and discussions with various governmental and nongovernmental agencies, and how such agencies function or dysfunction for various constituencies allow students to ask crucial questions regarding equality of opportunity in a democratic society. Students will also encounter diverse communities and neighborhoods and the intended and unintended consequences of social welfare policies designed to ameliorate urban dilemmas such as poverty and inequality, homelessness, educational underachievement, gentrification, migration and immigration, development, health care, fiscal issues, the informal economy, and issues concerned with crime and social justice, among others. Readings are reinforced and challenged through visits, interactions and observations with broad constituencies and institutions, ranging from city officials to community residents. As such, this course offers a survey discussion of the rich interdisciplinary field of Urban Studies for those who may be interested in pursuing a stand alone major in the field of Urban Studies.
Same as L18 URST 101
L98 AMCS 101B American Politics
This course provides an overview of the politics of the American system of government. Among the topics to be covered are the historical developments of American politics, federalism, political participation (voting, interest groups, parties), institutions (congress, the courts, the president), and public opinion. A theme underlying our examination of these and other topics is the fact that political actors are purposive in their strategic pursuit of various objectives. We explore the many ways in which this aspect of political behavior impacts institutions and the interactions between political actors throughout the American political system.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 101B
L98 AMCS 105 History of Jazz
History of jazz to the present, including its African elements.
Same as L27 Music 105
L98 AMCS 109 Ragtime
A history of ragtime music: survey of composers and performers. Emphasis on St. Louis and the music of Scott Joplin. University College students should register for U24 109 Section 02.
Same as L27 Music 109
L98 AMCS 111 Freshman Seminar: Race and Ethnicity on American Television
This course presents a historical overview of the forms that racial and ethnic representations have taken in American television. The course charts changes in public perception of racial and ethnic difference in the context of sweeping cultural and social transformations. The course examines notions of medium and ponders the implications for these identities of the contemporary practice of "narrowcasting." Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 110
L98 AMCS 112 Freshman Seminar: Race and Ethnicity in American Cinema
From the early documentary roots of cinema through the Civil Rights movement and to the recent democratization of the means of media production, questions of race and ethnicity have proved crucial both to the content of American films and also to the perspective from which they are made. This class looks at the representation of historical moments from the Civil War to Hurricane Katrina, the production of cinematic stereotypes as well as their appropriation for subversive purposes, and the gradual evolution of multiculturalism as a central factor in the stories told and the telling of stories on the American screen. Students use film texts to develop a critical understanding of one of the most important issues in American history. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 112
L98 AMCS 115 Freshman Seminar: The Presidency 101: From Washington to Obama
Is this your first presidential election? Or are you a policy wonk? Regardless of your political experience, this course provides an opportunity for students to learn about the American Presidency as a contemporary political institution with deep roots in American history. This freshman seminar introduces undergraduates to the presidency by considering the institution in its political and cultural contexts. Using the selection of a new president and the departure of Barack Obama as a point of departure, this course will explore how the current president as well as the aspiring candidates of 2016 reveal broader trends in American political culture. In addition to introducing students to the study of the presidency, this course will also introduce students to diverse means of studying culture, with assignments that range from political speeches to policy documents to popular media.
L98 AMCS 116 Freshman Seminar: Cult TV: Critical Approaches to Fans and Fictions
What do such disparate television series as Dr. Who, Star Trek, The Avengers, Monty Python's Flying Circus, The X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xena: Warrior Princess and Sealab 2021 have in common? They all attract loyal audiences, stimulate "subcultural" sensibilities, lend themselves to "textual poaching," and thus qualify as examples of "Cult TV," a term that has become increasingly salient within critical studies of the medium. In this course we explore the subject of cult television from a variety of social, cultural and thematic perspectives, so that by the end of the semester students have gained a deeper understanding of its historical importance as a barometer of both popular and oppositional tastes. We examine how these and other examples of genre-based network and cable programming complicate distinctions between lowbrow and highbrow tastes while sustaining worldwide "interpretative communities" years after their original air dates. Students also examine the importance of syndication, home video technologies, ancillary markets, publishing and the internet in the construction of fan cultures. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 116
L98 AMCS 1162 Freshman Seminar: Bruce Springsteen's USA
This course examines the career and work of Bruce Springsteen as songwriter, singer, rock musician, pop star, and public figure. Conducted in seminar format, the primary course materials are Springsteen's recordings and videos, as well as the many interviews he has given. Selections from the vast body of popular and academic scholarship on Springsteen also inform class discussions. The course is limited to freshmen.
Same as L27 Music 1162
L98 AMCS 1181 Freshman Seminar: Beats and Rhymes — Hip-Hop in American Culture
On its surface, hip-hop is fundamentally about making music: a creative combination of beats, flow, samples and rhymes. And yet, beneath the surface lies so much more. Although hip-hop culture writ large (lyrics, fashion, dance and lifestyle) influences many on a global level, this class explores the meaning of hip-hop primarily from African-American informed social and political perspectives. In what ways does hip-hop intersect with American culture, specifically on the fields of race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality? Without a doubt, it does so in intriguing, contested and often problematic ways.
Same as L90 AFAS 1181
L98 AMCS 118A Geology of National Parks
Survey of geologic processes occurring at the Earth's surface and its interior using national parks and monuments as the prime venue for presentation. Volcanism and mountain-building; the work of streams, glaciers and wind; lake and coastline development; stratigraphy and sedimentation; and Earth history. Material presented in a geographic context, with emphasis on landforms and landscape evolution, relating geology to the development and settlement of the U.S.
Same as L19 EPSc 118A
L98 AMCS 1201 Freshman Seminar: Race and Performance
What does it mean to "act black"? What about "acting Jewish"? This course looks at performances of racial and ethnic identity, mostly in the United States, mostly in the 20th century. We examine novels (such as Nella Larsen's Passing), plays (such as Anna Deavere Smith's Fires in the Mirror), and performances of everyday life (such as "Cowboys and Indians") to investigate the performance of race in public. Once we begin to explore the social and cultural performance of race, will it all turn out to be "only" an act?
Same as L15 Drama 120
L98 AMCS 1210 Freshman Seminar: Youth Culture and Visual Media
Since the advent of cinema through the recent development of online social networking, visual media in the United States and around the world have been identified with a market of youthful consumers and producers. This course will look at the development of youth culture in the United States and its unique relationship to visual media, including film, television, comic books, video games, and the internet, in the 20th and 21st centuries. We will examine youth culture as a social phenomenon generated by the young, a means of representing the experience of being youthful, and as part of the ongoing debates over the effects of media on the young. As alternately mass culture, popular culture, counter culture, and participatory culture, youth culture holds a privileged place in the history of American visual media and continues to influence production and innovation within the media marketplace.
Same as L53 Film 121
L98 AMCS 130 The Ritual Landscape of Cahokia: Perspectives on the Politics of Religion & Chiefly Power
The purpose of this class is to engage and challenge freshman students in an open discussion about the prehistoric Mississippian community of Cahokia. The focus of this course is two-fold. The first is to study the way in which the archaeological evidence has been interpreted. The second is to examine other perspectives on Cahokia, especially from the Native American descendants who consecrated this landscape nearly a millennium ago. An underlying tenet of this seminar in understanding Cahokia can also be achieved through the traditions and literature of Native Americans. In the end we want to understand the basis for Cahokia’s organization as a prehistoric Native American community, and the role that ritual and religion played in the rather dramatic and dynamic history of this community and the surrounding region.
Same as L48 Anthro 130
L98 AMCS 135 Freshman Seminar - Chinatown: Migration, Identity, and Space
"Chinatown," as a cultural symbol and a spatial entity, links various topics and studies in this course. Our survey starts with a historical and geographical glimpse of five Chinatowns in the U.S. through the real-life stories of their residents. This is followed by an in-depth study of Chinese restaurants and food all over the world using texts, images and films that reveal how Chinese cuisine is inherited in and adapted to each local culture and society. The seminar culminates in a discussion of Chinese migration and settlement, the representations of identity, and the cultural and spatial constructions in particular historical and social contexts. The assignments include field trips to Chinese businesses, and a debate on whether or not Olive Boulevard constitutes a Chinatown in St Louis.
Same as L97 IAS 135
L98 AMCS 152 Literature Seminars for Freshmen: The Voices of Our American Traditions
Same as L14 E Lit 152
L98 AMCS 163 Freedom, Citizenship and the Making of American Culture from the Colonial Era to the Present
This course offers a broad survey of American history from the era before European settlement of North America to the late 20th century. The course explores the emergence and geographic expansion of the United States and addresses changes in what it meant to be an American during the nation's history. Tracing major changes in the nation's economic structures, politics, social order and culture, the course chronicles, among other issues, changes in the meanings of freedom, citizenship and American identity. Introductory course to the major and minor.
Same as L22 History 163
L98 AMCS 172 Literature Seminar for Freshmen: Life Writing
Reading courses, each limited to 15 students. Topics: selected writers, varieties of approaches to literature, e.g., Southern fiction, the modern American short story, the mystery; consult Course Listings. Prerequisite: first-year standing.
Same as L14 E Lit 172
L98 AMCS 2011 The Roots of Ferguson: Understanding Racial Inequality in the Contemporary U.S.
Overview of sociological understandings of race, with a particular focus on race relations in the contemporary United States. We begin by investigating how sociologists understand racial distinctions, asking: What comprises a racial group? What constitutes a "group" in the social sense? We then shift our attention to patterns of racial inequality in the U.S., investigating the intersection of economic, political, and racial stratification. After analyzing national trends in racial stratification, we narrow the focus to particular regions and metropolitan areas, including St. Louis, to shed light on pressing public concerns such as the interrelationships between race and the criminal justice system. The course ends by looking beyond U.S. borders to compare the way that race is understood in other countries. Are there common patterns of racial classification shared by many societies? What makes the U.S. system of racial stratification distinctive? No prerequisites.
Same as L40 SOC 2010
L98 AMCS 202 The Immigrant Experience
This course explores the history and politics of immigrant groups in the 19th- and 20th-century United States. Topics include legislation, patterns of migration, comparisons of different waves of immigration, and changing social attitudes. This course is a core requirement for the ethnic studies concentration in American Culture Studies.
L98 AMCS 2033 Introduction to Education: Contradictions and Controversies in School Choice
This course is a broad look at the diverse issues surrounding education not only in the United States but around the world. Students examine schooling in areas such as the Pacific Rim, Middle East, Europe and America. We also take a look at educating when working with children with special needs. In addition, students explore some of the ideas and issues unique to the experience of teaching and learning in the U.S. Students work in small groups throughout the semester in projects designed to deepen their understanding of Education in the 21st Century. Throughout the semester, students participate in the Each One Teach One program as tutors. (This course is recommended for freshmen and sophomores only.)
Same as L12 Educ 203A
L98 AMCS 2055 Forever War: American Literature and Culture from Vietnam to Afghanistan
You have now lived more of your life since 9/11 than before it. How does your personal and generational experience help us to define and interact with such an impenetrable concept as war, let alone the "forever" war of contemporary memory? The term itself is relatively recent. Indeed, if you search "forever war" in the library catalog, you will get two hits: a 1974 sci-fi novel The Forever War written by veteran Joe Haldeman that fictionalizes his experiences with the endless futility of the Vietnam War (but in outer space); and a 2008 nonfiction book The Forever War by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Dexter Filkins that chronicles Iraq, Afghanistan, and the long history of the War on Terror. In line with Haldeman's and Filkins' fatigue over modern war's interminability, this course studies the literature and culture of contemporary American war from Vietnam to Afghanistan. Because this is an introductory course to American Culture Studies, we pay particular attention to how our strategies for interpreting the culture of contemporary warfare connects with our understanding of contemporary culture more broadly.
L98 AMCS 206 "Reading" Culture
Refer to section description.
L98 AMCS 208B African-American Studies: An Introduction
Lectures, readings, films, and discussions reflect a range of academic approaches to the study of African-American people. Course materials drawn from literature, history, archaeology, sociology, and the arts to illustrate the development of an African-American cultural tradition that is rooted in Africa but created in the Americas. Required for the major.
Same as L90 AFAS 208B
L98 AMCS 209B Scriptures and Cultural Traditions: America's Bible
When we think of the word "scripture" in antiquity, we might think of the texts that have been compiled in the different holy books that we currently have today. Yet the function of "scriptures" within a community, and the status given to different texts treated as "scriptural," has changed in different times and places. In this course, we will consider texts that would eventually come to be part of the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, and the Qu'ran as well as several of the exegetes and reading communities that shaped their various interpretations. We will explore how non-canonical sources played a role in the formation of the various canons we have today, comparing the authoritative status given to these texts to that given to other works from antiquity, such as the epics of Homer. Special attention will be played to the role of the receiving community in the development of "scripture," and the variety of the contexts in which scripture can function in the construction of and opposition to religious authority.
Same as L93 IPH 209
L98 AMCS 2101 The Linguistic Legacy of the African Slave Trade in Interdisciplinary Perspective
This course explores the linguistic consequences of the African slave trade, and in so doing introduces students to basic concepts in linguistic science that are relevant to human language development and controversial educational theories that are based on race. Anthropological, linguistic, and psychological dimensions of African-American culture are embedded within complementary evaluations of educational controversies surrounding the teaching of (standard) English to American slave descendants, including the Ebonics controversy and its relevance to larger questions of social efficacy, and the affirmative action debate that has consumed the nation. Students work individually or in groups to produce a major intellectual artifact (e.g., a term paper, a scholarly webpage, or a project pertaining to the linguistic plight of citizens within this African diaspora). Students are introduced to foundational African-American studies in anthropology, education, English, linguistics and psychology.
Same as L90 AFAS 210
L98 AMCS 2152 The Theory and Practice of Justice: The American Historical Experience
This introductory course uses historical case studies combined with readings in law, literature and philosophy to illuminate key episodes where definitions of justice were contested in 19th- and 20th-century America. Some of the conflicts to be explored include: Cherokee Removal, Civil War era debates over southern secession; whether reparation should be offered to freed people to redress the injustices of racial slavery; the denial of voting rights to women as a case of "taxation without representation"; 20th-century controversies over legal bans on racial intermarriage; free speech versus hate speech in the 1960s and '70s; and recent debates over affirmative action and gay marriage. Attendance required.
L98 AMCS 2156 The Thrilling Story: Constructing the Civil Rights Movement
Same as L90 AFAS 215C
L98 AMCS 215D Introduction to Comparative Practice I
This course permits the close examination of a particular theme or question studied comparatively, that is, with a cross-cultural focus involving at least two national literatures. Topics are often interdisciplinary; they explore questions pertinent to literary study that also engage history, philosophy, and/or the visual arts. Although the majority of works studied are texts, the course frequently pursues comparisons of texts and images (painting, photography, film). Requirements may include frequent short papers, response papers, and/or exams.
Same as L16 Comp Lit 215C
L98 AMCS 220 Topics in American Culture Studies: Introduction to American Culture Studies
This course introduces students to the different approaches and methodologies within the American Culture Studies field, including those represented by literature, history, sociology and political science; at the same time, they learn key concepts within the field that inform their future work. These are presented in a semester-specific topic of focus; please refer to Course Listings for a description of the current offering. The course is ideal for AMCS majors and minors, but others are welcome. This course fulfills the introductory course requirement for AMCS majors and minors.
L98 AMCS 220S Social Inquiry: An Introduction to Sociology
Sociologists possess a secret knowledge that allows them to dissect subjects ranging from how class, race, gender and sexual orientation affect educational outcomes, family life and crime to apparently trivial issues such as why people cross-dress, are attracted to cults, or become pot smokers. Sociology illuminates the connection between private concerns and public issues. Inspired by this approach, the mission of this course is to first understand what is sociology — its methods and its theories, and then use this foundation to explore issues of class, inequality, race, gender, culture, power, social engagement and activism. Required readings consist of three(ish) articles or chapters per class. Grades are based on three in-class short-answer exams, three workshop and applied assignments, and enthusiastic participation.
L98 AMCS 225 Topics in American Culture Studies
The topic of this course varies from semester to semester. Please refer to Course Listings for a description of the current offering.
L98 AMCS 2250 Freshman Seminar: African-American Women's History: Sexuality, Violence and the Love of Hip-Hop
Black women, much like their male counterparts, have shaped the contours of African-American history and culture. Still, close study of African-American women's history has burgeoned only within the past few decades as scholars continue to uncover the multifaceted lives of Black women. This course explores the lived experiences of Black women in North America through a significant focus on the critical themes of violence and sexuality. We examine African-American women as the perpetrators and the victims of violence, as the objects of sexual surveillance, as well as explore a range of contemporary debates concerning the intersections of race, class and gender, particularly within the evolving hip-hop movement. We take an interdisciplinary approach through historical narratives, literature, biographies, films and documentaries.
Same as L90 AFAS 2250
L98 AMCS 225A Religion and Politics in American Society
The United States has often been imagined as both a deeply Christian nation and a thoroughly secular republic. These competing visions of the nation have created conflict throughout American history and have made the relationship between religion and politics quite contentious. This course surveys the complex entanglements of religion and public life from the colonial era through the contemporary landscape. Topics covered include: religious liberty and toleration, secularization, the rise of African-American churches, the Civil War, national identity and the Protestant establishment, the religious politics of women's rights, religion and the presidency, the Cold War, the religious left and right, and debates over church-state separation.
Same as L57 RelPol 225
L98 AMCS 226 Sociological Approaches to American Health
Exploration through the sociological lens of how health, illness, and health care delivery in the United States are influenced by the social structure in which they are embedded. With the backdrop of the ongoing crisis of health care in the United States and the controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act, we focus on the intersection of diversity factors including such as race, social class, gender, sexuality that predict risks in navigating the health care system. Professionals representing a variety of health oriented settings and serving the needs of a diverse constituency will share their perspectives. No prerequisites.
Same as L40 SOC 2510
L98 AMCS 227 Topics in Native American Culture
The topic of this course varies from semester to semester. Please refer to Course Listings for a description of the current offering.
L98 AMCS 2280 Introduction to Aural Culture: Silence, Noise, Music
In-depth study in areas of special interest. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
Same as L27 Music 228
L98 AMCS 229 Topics in American Culture Studies
The topic of this course varies from semester to semester. Please refer to Course Listings for a description of the current offering.
L98 AMCS 230 Topics in Urban America
This course foregrounds the interpretive and analytical approaches used in the study of American cities. The city is a crucial frame for understanding the nation's cultural, economic, social, political and ecological concerns and evolution. Employing multiple perspectives, we interpret urban space as a product of culture, explore the city's importance in shaping American society, and investigate the ongoing evolution of the built environment. This course lays the basis for interdisciplinary thinking and research in American culture studies. The topic varies by semester. Please refer to Course Listings for a description of the current offering. The course is ideal for AMCS majors and minors, but others are welcome. This course fulfills the introductory course requirement for AMCS students.
L98 AMCS 2356 From St. Louis to Shanghai: Cities and Citizens in Global Urban History
This course is designed to give students an introduction to key themes and scholarship in urban history. Readings and class discussions will examine how cities change over time, how urban spaces are continually built and rebuilt, and the way in which activists and government officials assert power. The course will span a large geographical and chronological scope. Special attention will be paid to St. Louis, in relation to urban spaces around the globe, especially Chinese, Brazilian and Indian cities, to reveal how an international framework forces us to rethink what we know about cities and what the concept of "urban" means.
Same as L22 History 2356
L98 AMCS 236 Cultural History of the American Teenager
This course explores the recent history of the teenager in the United States, from the rise of teen culture in the 1950s to the current state of adolescence in the new century. Why have so many novels and films memorialized adolescence? How has the period of development been portrayed in books and film? How have depictions and attitudes toward teen culture changed over the past 60 years? In our consideration of teen culture, we take a multidisciplinary approach when tackling a variety of materials — including historical readings, literary fiction, Young Adult fiction, comic books, popular films, and popular music — in an attempt to come to a better understanding of how the notion of the American teenager has evolved over the past 60 years. We begin with J.D. Salinger's classic novel of adolescence alienation, The Catcher in the Rye, a book that in many ways helped initiate the rise of the youth movement in the 1950s and '60s. Our readings focus on the middle decades of the 20th century, when teen culture moved to the forefront of American life, but we end the semester by considering how teen life has recently been imagined in such novels as The Hunger Games. Our class also discusses a few films, such as Rebel Without a Cause and American Graffiti, which have helped shape our conception of the American teenager. Ultimately, we question what these depictions of teen culture can tell us about larger trends and concerns in American life. As this course serves as an introduction to American Culture Studies, we focus on the different methods that we can employ when attempting to interpret and analyze American culture.
L98 AMCS 239 Performance and Culture
What are Lady Gaga & Beyonce doing? How do young men and women in poverty use performance for survival? Why do we create performance and for whom? In this class we apply the vocabulary and concepts of Performance Studies to social and theatrical worlds, understanding performance broadly: from popular culture to everyday life to theatre. To understand performance, we will look closely at ethnographies, plays and literature. Subjects span a range of topics: racial impersonation, drag/house balls, celebrity culture, reality television, black-Latino theatre, and slam poetry. Key course questions: How does performance inform everyday culture? How does culture inform popular culture and theatrical performance? This course takes seriously the "doing" and the "undoing" of things — as culture shifts, transforms, and adjusts as bodies engage in the art of performance.
Same as L15 Drama 239
L98 AMCS 244 War, Rebellion and the Formation of American Identity, 1754-1865
This course surveys the United States' experiences with rebellion and organized armed conflict from the origins of the American Revolution until the Civil War. Though the class deals with war, its focus is not on military tactics or the outcome of battles - indeed several of the conflicts it considers were entirely bloodless. Rather, the course utilizes war and rebellion as a prism through which to view the ways in which Americans conceived of themselves. Students address a number of questions: How and why did people in North America conceive of themselves as distinct from Europeans? Did war lead to more inclusive or exclusive views of who was considered "American?" How did people of different backgrounds view violent conflict? Why did some wars become central to American myth and others largely forgotten? Did war and rebellion promote a newly formed nationalism or did they help lead to sectionalism and the Civil War? Readings consist of secondary materials from a range of disciplines and primary documents that include novels, speeches, newspaper articles, letters, memoirs, editorial cartoons, and paintings.
L98 AMCS 245 Images of Disability: Portrayal in Film and Literature
This course critically examines the portrayal of persons with disabilities in literature and film, exploring how those images either shape or mimic general public impressions. We discuss the implications of messages from the media on American responses to people with disabilities, as well as formulating strategies for promoting positive, inclusive messages. Perspectives from social science, health care, communications and other fields provide frameworks for analysis. Literature includes fiction, biography and autobiography in books, essays, drama, poetry and short stories. Selections from fictional, educational and documentary films are reviewed during the semester. We also investigate images in newspapers, magazines and advertising.
Same as L43 GeSt 249
L98 AMCS 246 Introduction to Film Studies
How do film images create meaning? What are the tools the film artist uses to create images? This course introduces students to basic techniques of film production and formal methodologies for analyzing film art. Students learn the essential components of film language — staging, camera placement, camera movement, editing, lighting, special effects, film stock, lenses — to heighten perceptual skills in viewing films and increase critical understanding of the ways films function as visual discourse. The course is foundational for the major in Film and Media Studies. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 220
L98 AMCS 248 Latino/a Experiences in the United States
Identity is a term that begins to give humans a sense of understanding who we are. In terms of the Latino/a diaspora in the United States, issues of ethnicity, gender, nation, class, sexuality and race are key theoretical categories that aid us in theoretical and practical understandings of identity. In this course we analyze and discuss the concept of order to understand the constructions and varied meanings of the term. There is a special emphasis placed on anthropological, historical and social science literatures of the Caribbean, Latin America and the United States as they pertain to deeper understandings of identity. Prerequisite: membership in the Annika Rodriquez Program.
L98 AMCS 250 Topics in Asian-American Studies
An introductory survey covering United States immigrant populations from throughout Eastern and Southern Asia.
L98 AMCS 251 Topics in AFAS: The Ebonics Controversy
This course examines the controversy regarding the status of Ebonics and its role in education. Ebonics is the term often used to describe the distinct speech of 85 percent of the African-American population. The controversy reached the national limelight in 1996 and 1997 due to a resolution by the Oakland (California) School Board, which identified Ebonics as a legitimate form of speech that should be respected. The arguments about Ebonics are multifaceted and highlight significant linguistic as well as educational and political issues. There is the basic question of just what is Ebonics: Is it a separate language, a dialect, slang, bad grammar, broken English or really not a distinct entity? There are issues related to the term Ebonics as evidenced by the various names that academicians have used for the speech of African Americans, i.e., African-American (vernacular) English and African-American Language. Its origins and history also have been debated: Is it a variant of Southern English or are its origins traceable to the language systems of Africa? Further, there is a fundamental, practical question of how to approach the education of African-American children whose home speech is Ebonics: Should a goal in the education of these children be the purging of Ebonics so that it does not interfere with the mastery of Standard English, or should Ebonics be used as a vehicle for learning Standard English? This course examines these and other issues, such as the portrayal of Ebonics in the popular media as well as its use within African-American communities, through readings, films, small and large group discussions, writing assignments and lectures.
Same as L90 AFAS 251
L98 AMCS 252 Introduction to Latino/a Studies: Exploring Memory
The course is an interdisciplinary introduction to Latino Studies, a discipline that studies the experiences and conditions of U.S. Latinos drawing from both the Social Sciences and Humanities. The course presents and analyzes works that include methodological strategies and analytical approaches to learning about U.S. Latinos. We analyze the social, political, and cultural forces that have affected the experiences of Latinos/as with particular attention to the ways in which historical, collective, family, and personal memories have shaped and continue to shape these experiences. We explore the intersections of history, place, and identity through a selection of works, including literary and media studies, in order to understand the principle questions and concerns in the major fields of interest to U.S. Latino Studies.
Same as L38 Span 252
L98 AMCS 258 Law, Politics and Society
This course is an introduction to the functions of law and the legal system in American society. The course material stresses the realities of the operation of the legal system (in contrast to legal mythology), as well as the continuous interaction and feedback between the legal and political systems. There are four specific objectives to the course: (1) to introduce legal concepts and legal theories; (2) to analyze the operation of the appellate courts, with particular emphasis on the U.S. Supreme Court; (3) to analyze the operation of American trial courts, especially juries and the criminal courts; and (4) to examine the linkages between culture and law. Not open to students who have previously taken Pol Sci 358.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 258
L98 AMCS 2590 Freshman Seminar: From the "City on a Hill" to 9/11: Religion and Social Justice in America
From the Puritans' search to build the "city on a hill," to the growing conflation of Islam with terrorism, Americans have long nurtured a self-identity as "God's chosen people," an idea that has helped them justify and normalize a theology of both conquest and suffering. This course will analyze how religion served to both buttress and contest notions of social domination, punishment, reform and revolution in the U.S. from the colonial era to the present. Topics will include the American Jeremiad, abolitionism, slave rebellions, Native American Catholicism, Fundamentalism, the Catholic Worker Movement, Pacifism, the Black Freedom Struggle, the Moral Majority, and Post-9/11 military and gender interventions with the Islamic world.
Same as L22 History 2590
L98 AMCS 260 Topics in Health and Community
A survey of current topics in community health and medicine, with an emphasis upon social science approaches to issues affecting medicine and medical care in contemporary U.S. society. Issues include ethical debates in health care delivery, social stratification and health, access to health services, and factors affecting community wellness at local, national, and global levels. Presented as a weekly series of topical presentations by community health experts from the St. Louis area. Required for students enrolled in the Medicine and Society program, and also open to other interested students.
L98 AMCS 2601 Game Theory in Science and Culture
Introduces the major intellectual insights of game theory in a nontechnical fashion, and examines the influence game theory has had on geopolitics, social philosophy, psychology, art and the humanities. In addition to covering the basic machinery of the theory, the class participates in numerous illustrative classroom games; examines game theory in film, literature and literary criticism; sees how game theory has contributed to social theory; and learns about the background of game theory and its history and perception as a hoped-for tool in the Cold War. Grades based on problems, short essays, two short essay exams and participation.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 260
L98 AMCS 261 The Cultural Lives of Things: An Introduction to American Material Culture
American culture is so often defined by its obsessive attachment to material things — the iPhones, coffee cups, favorite t-shirts and Harley-Davidson motorcycles that fill our everyday lives. This course will explore our contradictory relationship to such objects — the possessions that serve practical functions and give us a sense of identity, meaning and power, but just as often come to possess or control us. How do things take hold of us? What gives them potency, value, and cultural significance? What psychological, social, economic and political purposes do they serve? Do Americans have a distinct relationship (or a dysfunctional attachment) to their possessions? In answering such questions, we will consider objects of all kinds, from the mundane and utilitarian to the strange, rare and often-fetishized. We will explore their histories, their participation in regimes of commodification and power, their everyday and symbolic functions — in short, the twists and turns of their rich cultural lives. The course will introduce different strategies for interpreting objects as cultural evidence, drawing upon work in anthropology, art history, sociology, literature and museum studies, as well as theorists (Marx, Freud, Baudrillard and others) who have influenced modern conceptions of material life. Students should also look forward to some in-the-field analysis of different historic, museum, and personal objects around St. Louis (field trips!).
L98 AMCS 2651 Urban America
The city is a crucial frame for understanding the nation's cultural, economic, social, political and ecological concerns. This course discusses its importance in shaping American society and considers urban environments as living, breathing, contracting and expanding regions in the landscape. Questions of race, class and gender will be explored in an attempt to understand the current configuration of American cities, and to allow students to engage meaningfully with the continual transformation of urban space. Attention will be paid to the role played by popular imagination in the formation of public policy, civic spatial arrangement, suburban development and urban historical geography.
Same as L22 History 2561
L98 AMCS 2674 Sophomore Seminar: Slavery and Memory in American Popular Culture
Sophomores receive priority registration. The history of slavery has long created a sense of unease within the consciousness of many Americans. Recognizing this continued reality, this seminar examines how slavery is both remembered and silenced within contemporary popular culture. Although slavery scholarship continues to expand, how do everyday Americans gain access to the history of bondage? Taking an interdisciplinary approach to these intriguing queries, we will examine a range of sources: literature, public history, art/poetry, visual culture, movies and documentaries, as well as contemporary music including reggae and hip-hop. The centerpiece of this course covers North American society, however, in order to offer a critical point of contrast, students will be challenged to explore the varied ways slavery is commemorated in others parts of the African diaspora.
Same as L22 History 2674
L98 AMCS 280 Exploring Inequality: The Social and Structural Analysis of Modern American Life
What would it mean to engage in effective social and structural analysis of the complex problems of modern American life that are so often reduced by policymakers to matters of personal responsibility and individual choice? This is an urgent question at a historical moment when American "society" is becoming more diverse and more divided. This course explores four areas of inequality: poverty, racism and sexism, the crisis in health care, and the perils of globalization. We will pay particular attention to how intersections of minority statuses as defined by race, social class, gender and sexuality conspire to script social and political outcomes. Our investigations will allow us to consider multiple academic and applied models. In an original research project that closely engages real world cases and draws upon multiple disciplinary perspectives, students will gain an understanding of the complexity of social problems, and what productive intellectual and policy responses entail. Guests from local social, educational and political agencies will share their perspectives with the class. Above all, students will emerge from the course with a set of critical skills that will empower them to decipher contemporary policy debates and develop their own social analyses.
L98 AMCS 297 Undergraduate Internship in American Culture Studies
Students receive credit for a faculty-directed and approved internship. Registration requires completion of the Learning Agreement which the student obtains from the Career Center and which must be filled out and signed by the Career Center and the faculty sponsor prior to beginning internship work. Credit should correspond to actual time spent in work activities, e.g., 8-10 hours a week for 13 or 14 weeks to receive 3 units of credit; 1 or 2 credits for fewer hours. Students may not receive credit for work done for pay but are encouraged to obtain written evaluations about such work for the student's academic adviser and career placement file. Permission of department required before enrollment. Only AMCS majors and minors may enroll for L98 297.
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.
L98 AMCS 298 Directed Fieldwork in American Culture Studies
Fieldwork under the direction of an AMCS-affiliated faculty. All proposals for study must be submitted for review and approved by the AMCS adviser. Visit the AMCS website for the appropriate form. By permission of instructor.
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.
L98 AMCS 299 The Study of Cities and Metropolitan America
This course serves as the introductory course analyzing the forces shaping America’s cities and surrounding metropolitan areas. It examines, as well, strategies for dealing with many of the profound social issues affecting urban/metropolitan America. Emanating from an historical perspective, it examines the ways in which industrialization and deindustrialization shaped Northern American cities and the consequences of deindustrialization on urban citizenry. It further surveys the demographic and spatial transformation of American cities, examining the consequences of urban transformation on federal, state and local politics, on society and on her institutions. Similarly, the course focuses on the origin and societal changes and emerging goals of urban development, gentrification and evolving patterns of metropolitanism and the necessity for central city as well as neighborhood reconstruction. The dynamics of racial residential segregation, crime and punishment, issues of academic achievement and under-achievement, the social cleavages of urban marginalized communities, family structure, urban homelessness, urban sprawl, and health care, among others, are viewed from the perspective of social justice by exploring social, political, economic, racial and ethnic factors that impact on access, equity and care. Various theoretical perspectives and philosophies are introduced that have dominated the discourse on race and urban poverty. A field-based component complements the course work, and is designed to build interest, awareness and skills in preparation for outreach to urban communities. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.
Same as L18 URST 299
L98 AMCS 3000 Overseas Research in American Culture Studies
Overseas research under the direction of an AMCS-affiliated faculty. All proposals for study must be submitted for review and approved by the AMCS adviser. Visit the AMCS website for the appropriate form. By permission of instructor.
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.
L98 AMCS 3002 Directed Study in Legal Culture
Directed study with an AMCS-affiliated faculty. All proposals for study must be submitted for review and approved by the AMCS adviser. Visit the AMCS website for the appropriate form. By permission of instructor.
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.
L98 AMCS 3006 Local Archives: Directed Study in St. Louis
Directed study with an AMCS-affiliated faculty. All proposals for study must be submitted for review and approved by the AMCS adviser. Visit the AMCS website for the appropriate form. By permission of instructor.
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.
L98 AMCS 3009 DC Consortium Elective
Credit 3 units.
L98 AMCS 300B Feminist Fire!: Radical Black Women in the 20th Century
Black women have been at the forefront of the black radical tradition since its inception. Often marginalized in both the scholarship and popular memory, there exist a long unbroken chain of women who have organized around the principles of anti-sexism, anti-racism and anti-capitalism. Frequently critical of heterosexist projects as well, these women have been the primary force driving the segment of the black radical tradition that is commonly referred to as Black Feminism. Remaining cognizant of the fact that Black Feminist thought has also flourished as an academic enterprise — complete with its own theoretical interventions (i.e., standpoint theory, intersectionality, dissemblance, etc.) and competing scholarly agendas — this course will think through the project of Black Feminism as a social movement driven by activism and vigorous political action for social change. Focusing on grassroots efforts at organizing, movement building, consciousness raising, policy reform, and political mobilization, Feminist Fire will center Black Feminists who explicitly embraced a critical posture toward capitalism as an untenable social order. We will prioritize the life and thought of 20th-century women like Claudia Jones, Queen Mother Audley Moore, Frances Beal, Barbara Smith, Audre Lorde, Angela Davis and organizations like the Combahee River Collective, Chicago's Black Women's Committee, and the Third World Women's Alliance. At its core, the course aims to bring the social movement history back into the discourse around Black Feminism.
Same as L90 AFAS 3002
L98 AMCS 3014 American Popular Music and Media
This course considers the history of American popular music as delivered by successive mass media platforms in the industrial and post-industrial eras: from mass-produced sheet music in the mid-19th century to digital music and video on the internet. Historical contextualization and in depth analysis of musical scores and various kinds of audio recordings and audiovisual texts are at the center of the course. Topics considered include: the history of sound recording technologies and formats; the role of electronic mass media structures (radio, film, television, the internet); urbanization, national commercial music centers (New York, Hollywood, Nashville), and the importance of regional sounds in a national context; the formation and transformation of select genres (rock, country, various black musics); legal frameworks relating to music as a commodity (copyright, sampling); the impact of visual media on music dissemination, performance and meanings; and how recorded media of all kinds have transformed the act of listening. Issues of race, gender, sexuality, personal, and national identity are considered across the course. Prerequisites: Music 121C and 122C (Theory I and II) or Music 121J and 122J (Jazz Theory I and II).
Same as L27 Music 3015
L98 AMCS 3015 Topics in Popular Culture: End of the Century: American Culture during the 1990s
Starting with Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind, a book that helped re-ignite the Culture Wars, this course considers the debates and problems that pervaded American culture during the 1990s. From the end of the Cold War to the sexual scandals that rocked Bill Clinton's presidency, from the emergence of the internet to the rise of grunge and rap, the 1990s were a time of vast change in American culture. It was a period when we, as a nation, reconsidered the legacy of the 1960s, the Reagan revolution, and the end of the Cold War, a time of economic expansion and cultural tension. In our consideration of the 1990s, we consider a variety of materials — ranging from news reports and political essays, literary fiction (Philip Roth's The Human Stain and Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections) and popular films (Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing and The Cohen brothers' The Big Lebowski), to the music of Nirvana and Public Enemy — in an attempt to come to a better understanding of our recent history. By examining a wide variety of texts, we not only explore the cultural and political questions that Americans faced in the years between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, but also come to a better understanding of how cultural studies can be performed.
L98 AMCS 3016 The Politics of Kanye West: Black Genius and Sonic Aesthetics
As a hip-hop artist Kanye West has had unprecedented impact on the sonic force of music, fashion, politics and videography. Coupling his controversial moments with his corpus of musical texts with special focus on sonic production, this course illuminates "Mr. West" as a case study for interrogating the interplay between fame, gender, sexuality and race. Mostly, we explore how racialized ways of doing iconography, complex ways of seeing, create a distorted or reductive frame through which we see the black and famous. Nonetheless, the course oscillates with entertaining these nuances, while being entertained by the decade-long catalogue of music and visual imagery. Together, we extract the "Politics of Mr. West" in his music and life, while also illuminating the importance of a politics of genius-making in the larger arc of black pop culture tradition.
Same as L90 AFAS 3010
L98 AMCS 301C The American School
An analysis of the development of American schooling within the context of American social history. Focus on three general themes: differing conceptions of schooling held by leading American educational thinkers; changing relationships among schools and such other educational institutions as the church and the family; and policy issues that have shaped the development of schooling in America. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.
Same as L12 Educ 301C
L98 AMCS 301T Technology and American Culture
This topics course prepares students to critically engage the complex relationship between technology and American culture, and to read technology as expressive of broader cultural tensions and social, political, and social problems. Such inquiry requires historical and theoretical frameworks for conceptualizing what, exactly, comprises the "technologic" American imagination, from the early era of the colonies through to the contemporary moment. Building on these frameworks, students will study various forms and incarnations of technology at different moments throughout the history of the U.S., drawing upon multiple disciplinary practices in order to do so. They will also learn how the material characteristics of technology (whether hardware or software, industrial manufacture or DIY) give expression to ideas of national identity and issues of power, politics, race, class and gender that have emerged in different historical moments. This work will serve as an introduction to the research and study of technology and material culture in America. Topics vary by semester. Please refer to course listings for the current offering.
L98 AMCS 301U Historical Methods - United States History
This is a small-group reading course in which students are introduced to the skills essential to the historian’s craft. Emphasis is on acquiring research skills, learning to read historical works critically, and learning to use primary and secondary sources to make a persuasive and original argument. Refer to Course Listings for current topics. Required for history majors. Preference given to history majors; other interested students welcome.
Same as L22 History 301U
L98 AMCS 3020 Native American Musical Traditions of the Western United States
Exploration of music and its historical and contemporary contexts among Native American cultures of the southwest and the northern plains, chiefly Navajo and Lakota, but with some considerations of Pueblo, Shoshone, and other nations. Examinations of inter-tribal pow-wow movements, crossover musics, European appropriation and refashioning of Native American culture in Hollywood and elsewhere.
Same as L27 Music 3022
L98 AMCS 3023 Jazz in American Culture
This course will address the role of jazz within the context of 20th-century African-American and American cultural history, with particular emphasis on the ways in which jazz has shaped, and has been shaped by, ideas about race, gender, economics and politics. We will make use of recordings and primary sources from the 1910s to the present in order to address the relationship between jazz performances and critical and historical thinking about jazz. This course is not a survey, and students should already be familiar with basic jazz history. Prerequisite: L27 Music 105 or permission of instructor.
Same as L27 Music 3023
L98 AMCS 3025 Sports and Culture
Topics course focusing on instances of identity and culture within the American scope. Varies by semester, refer to Course Listings for description of current semester's offering.
L98 AMCS 3026 Home, Bittersweet Home: Histories of Housing and Homeownership in America since 1850
The idea of owning one's own home has been central to realizations of the American dream or the "good life." By 1931, Herbert Hoover called the idea "a sentiment deep in the heart of our race and of American life." While the dream continues, the reality of homeownership has been elusive or fraught with struggle and sacrifice for many Americans. If home ownership is such a central part of American identity, why have so many generations of Americans struggled to achieve it? In this course, we explore the histories of different versions of home and homeownership by touching down in different locations at pivotal moments in order to investigate the varied meanings of housing and homeownership in the context of a particular place and time in American history. Using a case-study approach, the course travels across time and space to explore diverse forms of housing, including the following: the big house and slave house in the south under slavery, the immigrant tenement in New York City, the company town in south Chicago, the Midwest homestead, the planned postwar suburban neighborhood, high rise public housing and gated communities. This format exposes students to the important role of federal and local policies as well as themes of housing including: homes as private and domestic realms; housing as a commodity and the largest form of American debt; housing as an icon and encoder of social status; housing as exclusionary and inclusionary; housing as racial or socio-economic discrimination; the suburbs and their discontents; and the recent housing crisis.
L98 AMCS 3028 Music of the 1960s
The music of the 1960s played a significant and widely noted role in an era of global political and social upheaval. This course surveys a broad range of music produced during the decade, spanning the world but with emphasis on Anglo-American popular music. While a music course traditionally deals with a single genre such as "world music," classical or jazz, this course analyzes several genres together to show how each influenced the others and how all were informed by broader social and cultural concerns. The course thus both familiarizes students with diverse musical traditions and introduces them to a new way of thinking about music and culture. Topics discussed include the transnational music industry; the contested concept of "folk" and "traditional" music; music and political protest; music and migration; and music’s relation to ethnic and class identity.
Same as L27 Music 3028
L98 AMCS 3031 Gender and Education
An examination, through the lens of gender, of educational practices at the preprimary, primary, secondary, and higher education levels. A sociological and historical approach links gender discrimination in education to other forms of discrimination as well as social forces. Students' own gender-related educational experiences are analyzed in the context of the literature used in the course. Prerequisite: sophomore standing, or permission of instructor.
Same as L12 Educ 303
L98 AMCS 3034 Race and Ethnicity in American Politics
This seminar discusses the continuing importance of race and ethnicity in American politics and the politics of racial minority groups in America. It examines the disadvantage minorities have in the American political structure including problems with political participation. It examines how the structure and functions of the branches of government and its bureaucracy affect the aspirations of minorities. The roll of pressure groups on political structure is discussed. Additional discussion focuses on urban politics and tensions.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3031
L98 AMCS 3041 Sex, Gender and Popular Culture
A critical survey of sex and gender in the production, reception and content of contemporary popular culture. Possible topics include: television, film, advertising, popular fiction, music, comics, internet, foodways and fashion. Themes include: the representation and stylization of sexed and gendered bodies; popular models of sexual and gendered social relations; production of normative and alternative sex and gender identities through media consumption; sex and gender in systems of popular cultural production.
Same as L77 WGSS 304
L98 AMCS 3042 Making Sex and Gender: Understanding the History of the Body
This course provides an overview of the history of the body from antiquity to modern times using an interdisciplinary approach. By exploring selections from medical texts, literature, fashion, art, accounts of "new world" exploration, legal records, self-help books and contemporary media representations of human bodies, we consider the changing historical perception of the body. The intersection of gender, race and class factor significantly in our discussions of how the body has been construed historically and how it is currently being constructed in contemporary American culture. This course also provides an introduction to feminist/gender methodologies that apply to understanding the history of the body. This course is not open to students who have taken WGSS 204. Prerequisite: any 100- or 200-level Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies course or permission of instructor.
Same as L77 WGSS 3041
L98 AMCS 3061 Literacy Education in the Context of Human Rights and Global Justice
Literacy is a fundamental human right. In this course, we explore the current and historical relationships between literacy and human rights. This includes an analysis of the ways in which literacy education is fundamentally linked to issues of global justice, including political engagement and voting rights, environmental sustainability, gender and racial equality, and participation in the globalized economy. We investigate how literacy education has played a role in social struggles at local, national and international levels such as the creation of the Freedom Schools in St. Louis; the Native American boarding school movement; the Civil Rights movement in the United States including the creation of the Citizenship schools; the Ebonics debate in Oakland, California; the Nicaraguan Literacy Campaign; and the current No Child Left Behind federal educational policy. Students explore how literacy education has been used, in each of these cases, as a tool of empowerment and a tool of oppression.
Same as L12 Educ 306
L98 AMCS 3066 American City in the 19th and 20th Centuries
This course explores the cultural, political and economic history of U.S. cities in the 19th and 20th centuries. The course focuses on New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Atlanta, although other cities may be included. Students conduct significant primary research on sections of St. Louis, developing a detailed history of one of the city's neighborhoods. Much of the course readings address broad themes such as immigration, industrialization, deindustrialization and race and gender relations in American cities.
Same as L22 History 3066
L98 AMCS 306M Visualizing Segregation
This interdisciplinary course is designed to introduce students to the history of three of America's major cities. We will explore the political, social, and cultural histories of each of these cities while tracing changes in architecture and the built environment. We chose these three cities for their diverse and intersecting histories. In many ways, St. Louis, Chicago and New Orleans represent the major social and political forces that forged the modern American city. From westward expansion and the growth of the slave system, through mass European immigration and industrialization, the rise of Jim Crow and the decline of American industry, suburbanization, mass incarceration, and gentrification: All are visible in the landscapes of these American cities. Segregation of social groups, so often seen as natural or inevitable, is the result of historical processes, political decisions, public policies and individual actions. The course, in addition, will provide students with the opportunity to use some of the research techniques employed by urban scholars. We will engage in a major research project, tracing the history of St. Louis through a variety of primary sources. Our aim will be to trace the historical processes that generated urban landscapes divided along lines of race, class, ethnicity or religion.
Same as I50 InterD 306M
L98 AMCS 3070 Politics and Policymaking in the American States
The American federal system is often overlooked in discussions about politics in the United States; however, state governments unquestionably touch the lives of Americans everyday. As such, an education in American politics is not complete without serious examination of state governments and their political institutions. This course illuminates the importance of the American states in U.S. politics and policy making by critically examining topics such as: intergovernmental relations; the historical evolution of American federalism; the organization and processes associated with state legislative, executive and judicial branches; state elections; political parties; interest groups; and specific state policy areas including budgeting, welfare, education and the environment. Prerequisite: Pol Sci 101B.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3070
L98 AMCS 3073 The Global War on Terrorism
This course presents an historical assessment of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) from the perspective of its major participants: militant Sunni Islamist jihadists, especially the Al-Qaeda network, and the nation states that oppose them, particularly the United States and its allies. The course then concludes by analyzing the current state and future of Islamist jihad and the GWOT.
Same as L22 History 3073
L98 AMCS 3075 The American Radical Novel: Literature Versus Inequality
Intended to help students reckon knowledgeably, imaginatively and articulately with our era of escalating social inequality, this class is a writing-intensive study of representative American radical novels stretching from the 19th-century abolitionism of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin to the 21st-century dystopianism of Gary Shteyngart's Super Sad True Love Story. Its main goals are two: (1) to introduce students to the long history and current significance of efforts to pit American literature against American inequality; and (2) to improve the quality of advanced student writing in the related fields of American Culture Studies and English literature. The first goal is pursued through close analysis of both radical novels and the contemporary political documents that inform them, juxtaposing such texts as Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto, Alice Walker's Meridian and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Nonviolence and Racial Justice." The second goal is pursued through hands-on analysis of successful rhetorical strategies sampled from The Hodges Harbrace Handbook and, more importantly, from the scholarly writing of students themselves.
L98 AMCS 308 Cracks in the Republic: Discontent, Dissent, and Protest in America During the 1960s and 1970s
This course examines the rise and impact of several major political, social and cultural protest movements in the United States during the middle part of the 20th century. It focuses on the Beats, Civil Rights, New Left, Anti-Vietnam War, Counter-Culture, Black Nationalism, Ethnic Consciousness, Women's Liberation and Gay/Lesbian Liberation, and contextualizes these movements within major national and international developments including Jim Crow and de facto segregation, middle-class ennui, and the Cold War. We will pay special attention to the role of youth activism and the methods of dissent and protest used to challenge the status quo.
Same as L22 History 3072
L98 AMCS 3081 City on a Hill: The Concept and Culture of American Exceptionalism
This course examines the concept, history and culture of American exceptionalism: the idea that America has been specially chosen or has a special mission to the world. First, we examine the Puritan sermon that politicians quote when they describe America as a "city on a hill." This sermon has been called the "ur-text" of American literature, the foundational document of American culture; learning and drawing from multiple literary methodologies, we re-investigate what that sermon means and how it came to tell a story about the Puritan origins of American culture — a thesis our class reassesses with the help of modern critics. In the second part of this class, we broaden our discussion to consider the wider (and newer) meanings of American exceptionalism, theorizing the concept while looking at the way it has been revitalized, redefined and redeployed in recent years. Finally, the course ends with a careful study of American exceptionalism in modern political rhetoric, starting with JFK and proceeding through Reagan to the current day. In the end, students gain a firm grasp of the long history and continuing significance — the pervasive impact — of this concept in American culture.
L98 AMCS 3085 Topics in Visual, Material, and Digital Culture
Variable topics course for courses best suited to the Visual, Digital, and Material Culture concentration area in American Culture Studies.
L98 AMCS 3091 Poverty and Social Reform in American History
This course explores the history of dominant ideas about the causes of and solutions to poverty in American society from the early republic to the end of the 20th century. We will investigate changing economic, cultural, and political conditions that gave rise to new populations of impoverished Americans, and to the expansion or contraction of poverty rates at various times in American history. We will, however, focus primarily on how various social commentators, political activists and reformers defined poverty, explained its causes, and struggled to ameliorate its effects. The course aims to highlight changes in theories and ideas about the relationship between dependence and independence, personal responsibility and social obligation, and the state and the citizen.
Same as L22 History 3091
L98 AMCS 310 Topics in Asian-American Literature: Identity and Self-Image
Topics in Asian-American literature which will vary from semester to semester.
Same as L14 E Lit 308
L98 AMCS 3105 American Holidays, Rituals, and Celebrations
This seminar examines a variety of holidays, festivals and rituals in American history and culture. Topics include: conflicts over Christmas, the sentiments of greeting cards, African-American emancipation celebrations, Roman Catholic festivals dedicated to the Virgin Mary, modern renderings of Jewish ritual (including Hanukkah), the masculinity embodied in fraternal lodge ceremonies, Neopagan festivals, and Halloween Hell Houses. Various interpretive approaches are explored, and the intent is to broach a wide range of questions about history and tradition, gender and race, public memory and civic ceremony, moral order and carnival, through this topical focus on ritual and performance. A major emphasis is also placed on original research and writing, evident in the weight given the concluding seminar report and the final paper.
L98 AMCS 310A From Hysteria to Hysterectomy: Women's Health Care in America
This course examines issues surrounding women's health care in America. While the scope is broad, the major emphasis will be on the 19th and 20th centuries. Through an examination of popular writing, scientific/medical writing, letters, diaries and fiction, we will look at the changing perceptions and conceptions of women's bodies and health in America.
Same as L77 WGSS 310
L98 AMCS 3112 Topics in English & American Literature
Credit 3 units.
L98 AMCS 3121 Topics in American Literature
Topic varies. Writing intensive.
Same as L14 E Lit 316W
L98 AMCS 312A Introduction to Digital Humanities
It is a truism that computers have changed our lives and the way we think and interact. But in fact systematic efforts to apply current technologies to the study of history and culture have been rare. This course will enable students to consider how these technologies might transform the humanities. We will explore the various ways in which ideas and data in the humanities can be represented, analyzed and communicated. We will also reflect on how the expansion of information technology has transformed and is continuing to transform the humanities, both with regard to their role in the university and in society at large. Readings and classwork will be supplemented by class presentations and a small assigned group project.
Same as L93 IPH 312
L98 AMCS 312W Topics in English and American Literature: End of the Century: American Culture During the 1990s
This course explores the theme of consolation in medieval poetry. We read narratives that represent the consolation of a variety of melancholy figures — philosophers in exile, lovers in mourning, citizens in plague-ridden cities, and women disturbed by misogynous writing. We examine the connection between representations of consolation and the act of reading, and think about literature itself (along with other art forms) as a contested site of entertainment, moral guidance, self-fashioning and redemption. Authors may include Boccaccio, Boethius, Chaucer, Christine de Pizan, Abelard and Heloise, and the Pearl-poet. As a writing-intensive class, we spend time writing and talking about writing in the classroom. We read our literary texts as "arguments" about literature in addition to other topics, and we read secondary articles as examples of scholarly writing that we may or may not want to adopt as models.
Same as L14 E Lit 312W
L98 AMCS 3130 Education, Childhood and Society
An examination of childhood, child development and education from different perspectives. Observation of children in a variety of settings, including classrooms. Through historical, sociological, psychological and political readings, students clarify current ideas about children, investigate the nature of childhood, and begin to understand how and why childhood is constructed as it is. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Limited to 45 students.
Same as L12 Educ 313B
L98 AMCS 3131 Topics in English and American Literature
Called the "Age of Revolution," the Romantic Age of British literature, 1770-1830, witnessed the birth of new lyric forms, the effacement of traditional strictures on style and taste, and produced through poetic voice (and its quaverings and multiplications) what might be called, over simply, the modern subject. Within a developing discourse of human rights and personal freedom, this growing assertion through poetry of individual expressivity allowed William Blake to construct in a single work a visual and verbal "Jerusalem." It encouraged William Wordsworth to write a pathbreaking investigation of the sources of his own creativity that challenged conventional restraints on what topics can, and cannot, be confessed in poetry. Beginning with these two poets, we consider the historical contexts, and the sometimes competing histories of ideas, that shaped the five major British Romantic poets: Blake, Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, and John Keats. We follow an anthology for much of the poetry, including the poems and prose of influential contemporaries (female as well as male) who included the political philosopher Edmund Burke and Mary Wollstonecraft. Texts also assigned include Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Byron's Don Juan.
Same as L14 E Lit 313
L98 AMCS 3132 Topics in Composition: Exploring Cultural Identity in Writing
An advanced writing course focusing on selected topics related to writing. Topics chosen by department/instructor. Consult section description for details about specific class emphases. (Note: In some cases, this course may be cross-listed with other programs/departments and may satisfy the writing-intensive requirement.) Prerequisite: Writing 1 (Writing 100) and junior standing.
Same as L13 Writing 314
L98 AMCS 314 First Americans: Prehistory of North America
The predecessors of the Eskimo, Northwest Coast Indians, Pueblo mound builders, and other North American Indians. Concentrates on deductions from archaeological data for cultural development.
Same as L48 Anthro 314B
L98 AMCS 3142 Native Americans at Westward Expansion
Issues precipitated by Euro-American contact, colonization and expansion between 1492 and 1810 across Eastern North America, the Plains and the Rocky Mountains. Impacts of exploration and settlement and responses by native peoples: epidemics, population loss, breakdown of Southeastern chiefdoms, resistance, relocation and shifts in economic strategies. Perspectives and policies of Native Americans as well as Europeans and non-Indian Americans, including Lewis and Clark.
Same as L48 Anthro 3461
L98 AMCS 316F Rediscovering the Child: Interdisciplinary Workshops in an Urban Middle School
It is said that at this time in history the entire country must make a commitment to improve the positive possibilities of education. We must work to lift people who are underserved; we must expand the range of abilities for those who are caught in only one kind of training; and we must each learn to be creative thinkers contributing our abilities to many sectors of our society. In this course, we expand our views about learning by experimenting with the creative process of lateral thinking. In the first six weeks of the semester, we learn about learning by meeting with exceptional people with many scholarly, professional, and civic engagement accomplishments. We also learn by working in teams to develop an exciting set of 2-D/3-D, hands-on, problem-solving workshops for middle-schoolers from economically disadvantaged urban families; the workshop curriculum will be based upon your knowledge and passion as well as your interests. During the last eight weeks, we deliver these workshops once a week to students at Compton-Drew Middle School (adjacent to the Science Center in the city of St. Louis). In this course we celebrate the choices of studies we each pursue, and expand our experience by learning from each other's knowledge bases and creativity. The course is open to students from all disciplines, schools, freshmen through seniors, and meets the multidisciplinary Fieldwork requirement for AMCS majors. CET course.
L98 AMCS 3173 Queer Histories
Queer history is a profoundly political project. Scholars and activists use queer histories to assert theories of identity formation, build communities, and advance a vision of the meanings of sexuality in modern life and the place of queer people in national communities. This history of alternative sexual identities is narrated in a variety of settings — the internet as well as the academy, art and film as well as the streets — and draws upon numerous disciplines, including anthropology, geography, sociology, oral history, fiction and memoir, as well as history. This discussion-based course examines the sites and genres of queer history, with particular attention to moments of contestation and debate about its contours and meanings.
Same as L77 WGSS 3172
L98 AMCS 317S Service Learning: Documenting the Queer Past in St. Louis
Around the U.S. and the world, grassroots LGBTQ history projects investigate the queer past as a means of honoring the courage of those who have come before, creating a sense of community today, and understanding the exclusions and divisions that shaped their communities and continue to limit them. In this course, we participate in this national project of history-making by helping to excavate the queer past in the greater St. Louis region. Course readings will focus on the ways that sexual identities and communities in the United States have been shaped by urban settings since the late 19th century, with particular attention to the ways that race, class and gender have structured queer spaces and communities. In their community service project, students will work with the grassroots St. Louis LGBT History Project to research St. Louis' queer past, including conducting oral histories with local LGBTQ elders. Important Note: This is a service-learning class, which means it combines classroom learning with outside work at a community organization. In addition to regular class time, there is a service requirement, which will necessitate an additional 3-4 hours a week. Before beginning community service, students must complete required training. Prerequisite: Introduction to Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies or Introduction to Queer Studies, or permission of instructor.
Same as L77 WGSS 3173
L98 AMCS 318A Lincoln: Then and Now
A study of Lincoln's writings, and of how they emerge from his reading and his experiences. We will read his speeches and other writings to investigate his political and social philosophy. And, we will look at this legacy, politically and culturally.
Same as L93 IPH 318
L98 AMCS 3190 Engaging the City
Refer to course listings for current offering.
L98 AMCS 3191 Contemporary American Women Poets
An introduction to the work of contemporary American poets who are women; extensive reading of both poetry and prose. Readings include the work of poets such as Bishop, Rich, Plath, Sexton, Clampitt, Gluck, Moss, Graham, Howe, Dove, Oliver, Forche, Lauterbach.
Same as L14 E Lit 3191
L98 AMCS 3202 Civic Scholars Program Semester One: Self Awareness, Civic Life, and Citizenship
This is the first-semester foundation course for students in the Civic Scholars Program of the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. This course provides students with a context for examining civic engagement and developing civic leadership skills. Through lectures, guest speakers, readings, excursions, and class discussion, students 1) explore the history and current status of civic engagement; and 2) prepare for the implementation of a civic project the summer between their junior and senior years. Students meet in a structured class to discuss concepts, engage in critical reflection, and develop leadership skills. In addition, students will critically reflect on course content to enrich their learning. Prerequisite: acceptance into the Civic Scholars Program. CET course.
L98 AMCS 3203 Civic Scholars Program Semester Two: Civic Engagement in Action
This is the second-semester foundation course for students in the Civic Scholars Program of the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. This course provides students with a context for developing their civic projects. Students engage in a semester-long research and project planning process tied to their civic projects. Through research, lectures, workshops and presentations, students develop a project proposal for their civic projects. Students meet in class to discuss concepts, engage in critical reflection, and develop skills. Prerequisite: L98 3202. CET course.
L98 AMCS 320A Religious Freedom in America
This interdisciplinary course, co-taught by a law school professor and an American historian, concerns the intersection of religion, liberty and law in American culture. It introduces students to the major texts and historical issues concerning religious liberty, using legal history and case law, intellectual and social history, and political philosophy. It will address issues of significant contemporary debate — from the role of religious groups on college campuses to bakers and gay weddings — along with the deep historical background, from English settlement of North America and the making of the Constitution, through the Civil War, to the Cold War and the recent political developments.
Same as I50 InterD 320
L98 AMCS 3212 Reading Narrative
Same as L14 E Lit 3211
L98 AMCS 3214 Topics in Theater
Explores a variety of special interest topics in theater. Consult the Course Listings.
Same as L15 Drama 321
L98 AMCS 321A American Literature I
Same as L14 E Lit 321A
L98 AMCS 321B American Religion and the Politics of Gender and Sexuality
Religious beliefs about gender and sexuality have long played a vital role in American politics, vividly evident in debates over such issues as birth control, censorship, pornography, funding for AIDS research, abortion, contraceptive access, abstinence-only sex education, sexual harassment, same-sex marriage, and more. Educated citizens need to understand the impact of these religiously inflected debates on our political culture. This course explores the centrality of sex to religion and politics in the U.S., emphasizing Christianity (both Protestant and Catholic forms) and its weighty social and political role regulating the behavior of women and men, children and teens, as well as its uses in legal and judicial decisions. Alongside scholarly readings in gender and sexuality, we will discuss popular devotional texts — on chastity, marriage, and homosexuality — with a political bent. Students will leave the course able to analyze how religious beliefs about sex shape specific gender norms central to U.S. politics.
Same as L57 RelPol 321
L98 AMCS 3222 Major American Writers: The Contemporary American Novel
Same as L14 E Lit 3222
L98 AMCS 3223 American Literature to 1865
Same as L14 E Lit 321
L98 AMCS 322A American Literature II
Same as L14 E Lit 322A
L98 AMCS 3237 The Art of Popular Song: From Folk and Musical Theatre to Rock and Contemporary A Capella
This course explores the art of songwriting through the lens of American popular music. Students examine landmark songs from multiple eras and create their own original songs in a variety of styles, from classical music, folk music and Broadway to rock, pop and a capella. Through composing and arranging, listening and analysis, students gain insight into the sonic structure and cultural significance of popular music. The course also responds to students' individual interests and performance backgrounds, offering opportunities to write music for vocal ensembles, small groups, singer-songwriter formats, and electronic media.
Same as L27 Music 3237
L98 AMCS 323C Children and War
This course considers 20th-century representations of war in American children's literature. Our scope stretches from the run-up to World War II in the 1930s through the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. This period produced texts that debated not only the role of war in childhood development but also the role of the child in war's development. Genres include picture and comic books, career and adventure fiction, science fiction, and childhood memoir.
Same as L66 ChSt 323
Credit 3 units.
L98 AMCS 326 American Economic History
Basic theoretical concepts applied to analyze the changing structure and performance of the American economy from colonial times to the present. Prerequisites: Econ 1011 and 1021.
Same as L11 Econ 326
L98 AMCS 3262 Literature of the Color Line
In 1903's The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Dubois wrote "for the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color-line." This literature course includes texts written by African-American authors to examine the ways African Americans came to be portrayed in American literature and culture by writers of color, paying special attention to the changing concept of race and African-American citizenship as influenced by American political thought at a time when many of the gains made by African Americans during the period of Reconstruction were repealed. We read fiction, poetry, essays and pamphlets by African-American writers writing through the late 19th and early 20th century, including but not limited to Charles Chesnutt, W.E.B Dubois, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Pauline Hopkins, Frances E.W. Harper, Paul Laurence Dunbar. In addition to the texts, students are asked to briefly examine portrayals of African Americans in other forms of media, such as visual culture and film.
Same as L90 AFAS 326
L98 AMCS 3263 Introduction to Research Design
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to a range of research designs found in the social sciences. We work on ways to ask and operationalize research questions as well as examine appropriate research designs and strategies. We begin the course with the problem of developing informed research questions, the accompanying hypotheses and developing them around a so-called scientific method. We concern ourselves with understanding the role and importance of literature reviews and then examine sources of data and four types of research strategy through cases that use them: ethnomethodology, an historical methodology, a quantitative approach, and a hybrid of quantitative and qualitative approaches.
L98 AMCS 327 Public Opinion and American Democracy
This course is about the salience of public opinion and its influence on American Politics. Topics covered include many of the theories developed to explain how public opinion is formed, if and why it changes, and the relationship between public opinion and the political behavior of citizens and elites. Therefore, the course describes and analyzes many of the factors that influence the formation, structure and variation in public opinion: information processing, education, core values, racial attitudes, political orientation (ideology and party identification), political elites, social groups, the media and religion. Additional topics include presidential approval, congressional approval, and the relationship between public opinion and public policy. The course also trains students in several concepts of statistical analysis (assuming no prior knowledge) so that students can use these tools as part of their own research projects. Prerequisites: previous course work in American politics or communications.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3211
L98 AMCS 3270 Comics, Graphic Novels and Sequential Art
This course traces the evolution of comics in the America from the "comic cuts" of the newspapers, through the development of the daily and Sunday strips, into the comic book format, and the emergence of literary graphic novels. While not a uniquely American medium, comics have a specifically American context that intersects with issues of race, class, gender, nationalism, popular culture, consumerism and American identity. Comics have repeatedly been a site of struggle in American culture; examining these struggles illuminates the way Americans have constructed and expressed their view of themselves. The way comics have developed as a medium and art form in this country has specific characteristics that can be studied profitably through the lens of American Culture Studies.
L98 AMCS 3272 The Superhero in American Culture
The superhero is an American cultural figure that enjoys great metaphoric resonance in contemporary America and about contemporary America, much as the Western did during the Cold War. But this metaphoric resonance has existed since the genre came into being with Superman in 1938 as part of the nation's response to modernity, and predates the creation of the genre through the hero figures that contributed tropes to the superhero genre. Through a cultural historical and transmedia approach, this course examines the superhero and the superhero genre as a myth medium and contested site for portraying and shaping ideas about American identity, masculinity, modernism, race, class, gender and humanity. The prehistory of the superhero is examined in 19th- and early 20th-century frontier stories, science fiction and pulp fiction. The definition of the superhero and the genre's evolution in comics, film, television, and fan-produced works are examined, with a focus on how the genre has served and mediated the conflicting needs of creators and audiences.
L98 AMCS 3273 American Graphic Storytelling and Identity
From editorial cartoons presenting African Americans in racist caricature during the Civil War and Reconstruction, to the appearance of the "Yellow Kid" in the comic strip "Hogan's Alley," to graphic narratives that reinforce (or challenge) racial and gender stereotypes in the late 20th century, comics in the United States have long been preoccupied with identity. In this course we trace the development of identity as a major preoccupation in the comics medium.
L98 AMCS 3283 Introduction to Global Health
This course provides a general introduction to the field of public health. It examines the philosophy, history, organization, functions, activities, and results of public health research and practice. Case studies include infectious and chronic diseases, mental health, maternal and reproductive health, food safety and nutrition, environmental health, and global public health. Students are encouraged to look at health issues from a systemic and population level perspective, and to think critically about health systems and problems, especially health disparities and health care delivery to diverse populations. No background in anthropology or public health is required.
Same as L48 Anthro 3283
L98 AMCS 3295 Beautiful Losers: The French in North America, 1500-1850
Adventurous fur-traders, fun-loving carnival-goers, magnanimous noblemen, simple but goodhearted Catholic peasants: the portrait of the French in the Americas rarely goes beyond these time-honored stereotypes. The French have usually been treated as quaint remnants of a bygone age, vanquished first by the British army, and then by the march of modernity. This class seeks to rescue these historical actors from the typecasting to which we often condemn them. Through this examination of the French presence in the Americas, we will rethink and revisit the familiar stories of British North America, stories of slavery, commerce, property, piety and migration. The contrasted differences will also allow us to reflect on the nature of colonialism and question some ready-made understandings about colonial British America and the Early Republic.
Same as L22 History 3293
L98 AMCS 3296 Race & Ethnic Relations in the United States
This course is designed to explore relations within and between the racial and ethnic groups of the United States. We examine the social, economic and political similarities and differences of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and New Immigrants that distinguish their American experience. Of particular interest are their respective experiences in relation to one another and the majority population for understanding the origins of conflict and unanimity within and between the different groups. We pay specific attention to events in Ferguson, Missouri, and the tensions between political leaders, policing and minorities more generally, the disproportionate levels of poverty experienced by African Americans and Mexican Americans, and the vilifying of certain minorities by the majority population.
L98 AMCS 329F Tale of Two Cities: Documenting Our Divides
The metropolitan St. Louis area has become the nation's symbol of modern segregation erupting into urban unrest and violence foiled against nonviolent direct-action interventions, youth-driven social protests and grassroots revitalization. With the assistance of a faculty seed grant from the Divided City Initiative, in partnership with the Center for the Humanities in Arts & Sciences and the Mellon Foundation, Tale of Two Cities: Documenting Our Divides will bring together students working in transdisciplinary teams to create documentary videos of street events, meetings and interviews that capture the immediacy of this historical moment. Students will partner and engage with a local nonprofit organization, grassroots movement or religious institution. Topics can include personal and/or institutional issues of a "divided city" that are exacerbated by race, gender, economic status, sexual orientation or geography. Successful completion of this course involves researching and creating a short video with a distinctive perspective and point of view that will draw upon the team's collaborative voices from history, performing arts, economics, law, social work, African-American studies, architecture and art. Skills will be developed in the fundamentals of story development, video and audio-capture in the field, editing with Adobe Premier and archival preservation. No prerequisites.
Same as I50 InterD 329F
Credit 3 units.
L98 AMCS 330 Topics in American Culture Studies
Refer to course listings for current offering.
L98 AMCS 3301 History of American Cinema
This course traces the history of the American cinema from the earliest screenings in vaudeville theaters through the birth of the feature film to movies in the age of video. The course examines both the contributions of individual filmmakers as well as the determining contexts of modes of production, distribution and exhibition. The course aims to provide an understanding of the continuing evolution of the American cinema, in its internal development, in its incorporation of new technologies, and in its responses to other national cinemas. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 330
L98 AMCS 3303 Politics and Policies of Immigration in the United States
This class examines the history and politics of American immigration from colonial times to the present. It begins with an overview of the colonial period, then discusses the immigration waves of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and concludes with an examination of current topics and debates about immigration. Issues include racial, ethnic and class relations among groups; changes in immigration policies over time; comparative group experiences; transnational issues in immigration; and the impact of immigration on other American social and political processes and events. This class is a writing-intensive and modified version of Pol Sci 226/AMCS 202. Students who have taken that course should not take this course. Because this is a writing-intensive class, we also spend time studying research paper design and writing.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3302
L98 AMCS 330A Native American/Euro-American Enounters: Confrontation of Bodies and Beliefs
This course surveys the history and historiography of how Native Americans, Europeans and Euro-Americans reacted and adapted to one another's presence in North America from the 1600s to the mid-1800s, focusing on themes of religion and gender. We will examine the cultural and social implications of encounters between Native peoples, missionaries and other European and Euro-American Protestants and Catholics. We will pay particular attention to how bodies were a venue for encounter — through sexual contact, through the policing of gendered social and economic behaviors, and through religiously-based understandings of women's and men's duties and functions. We will also study how historians know what they know about these encounters, and what materials enable them to answer their historical questions.
Same as L57 RelPol 330
L98 AMCS 330C Culture and Identity
Topics course focusing on instances of identity and culture within the American scope. Varies by semester; refer to Course Listings for description of current semester's offering.
L98 AMCS 330D Culture and Identity
Topics course focusing on instances of identity and culture within the American scope. Varies by semester, refer to Course Listings for description of current semester's offering.
L98 AMCS 3312 Gender and American Politics
This course examines the ways in which issues pertaining to gender are salient in U.S. politics. The course is divided into four parts. First, we will examine theoretical approaches to the study of gender and politics, including the use of gender as an analytical category, and the relationship between gender, race, ethnicity and power. Second, we will study gender-based social movements, including the suffrage and woman's rights movements, women's participation in the civil rights movement, the contemporary feminist and anti-feminist movements, the gay rights/queer movement and the women's peace movement. Third, we will examine the role of gender in the electoral arena, in terms of how it affects voting, running for office and being in office. Finally, we will examine contemporary debates about public policy issues, including the integration of women and gays in the military, sexual harassment, pornography and equal rights.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 331B
L98 AMCS 3321 Topics in Politics: Constitutionalism and Democracy
An introductory analysis of a range of issues related to constitutions and democratic government. The main focus is on such theoretical questions as: Why do societies produce constitutions? Why do subsequent generations abide by them? What is the relationship between constitutional principles and democratic decision making? Who benefits from constitutional constraints?
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3321
L98 AMCS 3325 Topics in Politics: Constitutional Politics in the United States
The principal purpose of this course is to introduce students to the politics of constitutional interpretation. We first discuss the origins of the constitution, the structure operation and work of courts, and judicial decision-making. Afterward, we examine various areas of the law relating to institutional powers and constraints (e.g., federalism, presidential powers, Congressional authority). In so doing, we develop an understanding for the legal doctrine in each area of the law and also examine explanations for the legal change we observe.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3325
L98 AMCS 3330 Topics in Linguistics: The American Languages
Our perceptions about language are shaped by our linguistic backgrounds and practices as well as our social and political ideologies. This course examines the history of American languages in the U.S. and explores the social, educational, and political issues that surround them. Four types of languages are studied: Native American, colonial, immigrant, and new languages (e.g., Hawaiian Pidgin and American Sign Language). We also take a special look at the history and structure of African-American Language which challenges linguistic categorizations as well as language policy and education. Among the major questions discussed in this course are: what makes American languages distinct in terms of their history and social status; what do they all have in common beyond the simple geographic classification of being "American." In addressing these questions we also study the politics of language, the history of language policy and education in the U.S., as well as issues of current debate, such as indigenous language reclamation, the "Ebonics controversy," bilingual education, and the official English movement.
Same as L90 AFAS 330
L98 AMCS 3332 Topics in Politics
This course is intended primarily for sophomores and juniors. The topic varies by semester, dependent on faculty and student interests.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 336
L98 AMCS 3333 Topics in Politics
This course is intended primarily for sophomores and juniors. The topic of this course varies by semester, dependent on faculty and student interests.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 333
L98 AMCS 336 Topics in American Culture Studies
The topic varies from semester to semester. Please refer to Course Listings for a description of the current offering.
L98 AMCS 3360 Topics in American Culture Studies
L98 AMCS 336C The Cultural History of the American Teenager
This course explores the recent history of the teenager in the United States, from the rise of teen culture in the 1950s to the current state of adolescence in the new century. Why have so many novels and films memorialized adolescence? How has the period of development been portrayed in books and film? How have depictions and attitudes toward teen culture changed over the past fifty years? We begin with J.D. Salinger’s classic novel of adolescence alienation, The Catcher in the Rye, a book that in many ways helped initiate the rise of the youth movement in the 1950s and ’60s. From there, we read a series of novels and historical studies that trace the changes in teen culture that have occurred over the past half century. Our class also considers a few films, such as Rebel Without a Cause and Dazed and Confused, which have helped shape our conception of the American teenager. Ultimately, we question what these depictions of teen culture can tell us about larger trends and concerns in American life. Readings include Judy Blume’s Forever, Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight, and Colson Whitehead’s Sag Harbor.
Same as L66 ChSt 336
Credit 3 units.
L98 AMCS 3370 Music and Performance
In his 1998 book, Musicking, Christopher Small asserts that music is not a thing but an activity — something that people do. Starting from this premise, this course explores musical performance as a live event, one in which additional aspects of performance — dramatic enactments, costume, choreography, and stage design — also come into play. While recorded music plays an important role in our investigations, we focus on musical events that take place before and with live audiences. Exploring the choices of performers and the expectations of audience members in settings from gospel churches to Radio City Music Hall, this course moves through a wide variety of musical genres, including cabaret, blues, opera, protest song, musical theater and rock. We examine artists whose work blurs the line between "music" and "theater," including George Clinton, Taylor Mac, and Gertrude Stein, as well as everyday people, such as the singers of the Civil Rights Movement, who used the power of live musical performance to change the course of human history. We also attend performances around St. Louis, guided by the interests of the class. Students with an interest in music, theater, dance, cultural history, American studies, and African-American studies are especially welcome.
L98 AMCS 3381 Topics in Politics: National Security, Civil Liberties and the Law
This course is intended primarily for sophomores and juniors. The topic of this course varies by semester, dependent on faculty and student interests.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3381
L98 AMCS 3391 Topics in 19th- and 20th-Century American Writing: American Short Fiction
This course is directed toward a broad range of majors and non-majors with a serious but not scholarly interest in American Short Fiction.
Same as L14 E Lit 3391
L98 AMCS 3400 Topics in 20th-Century American Writing: American Literature 1914-1945
An introduction to major American works and writers from the later 19th century through the mid-20th century. Writers studied include Twain, James, Crane, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, Frost, Eliot and Stevens. The course assumes no previous acquaintance with the material and is directed toward a broad range of majors and non-majors with a serious but not scholarly interest in the subject. Students with little or no background in literature might be advised to take E Lit 213C Chief American Writers, while English majors looking to do advanced work should consider the 400-level American literature sequence. Students who have taken E Lit 213C should not enroll in this course.
Same as L14 E Lit 340
L98 AMCS 3402 The American Novel: Split and Hybrid American Identities
Examination of the struggle to form an enabling identity for author, characters and text against the divisive pressures of family and society.
Same as L14 E Lit 340W
L98 AMCS 341 Understanding the Evidence: Provocative Topics of Contemporary Women’s Health and Reproduction
Contemporary topics of women’s health and reproduction are used as vehicles to introduce the student to the world of evidence-based data acquisition. Selected topics span and cross a multitude of contemporary boundaries. Issues evoke moral, ethical, religious, cultural, political and medical foundations of thought. The student is provided introductory detail to each topic and subsequently embarks on an independent critical review of current data and opinion to formulate their own said notions. Examples of targeted topics for the upcoming semester include, but are not limited to: Abortion, Human Cloning, Genetics, Elective Cesarean Section, Fetal Surgery, Hormone Replacement, Refusal of Medical Care, Medical Reimbursement, Liability Crisis and Gender Bias of Medical Care.
Same as L77 WGSS 343
L98 AMCS 3410 The Jewish People in America
History of the Jews in North America from the colonial era to the present. Close reading of primary sources, with an emphasis on the central issues and tensions in American Jewish life; political, social and economic transformations; and religious trends.
Same as L75 JINE 341
L98 AMCS 3415 Jewish-Gentile Relations in the United States, 1830-1970
Throughout their history Jews faced non-Jewish majorities, and America was no different. Yet unlike Europe, the United States has been, overall, a very hospitable place for Jews, and many of them came to see their new country as "the Promised Land." The course focuses on the relations between Jews and their non-Jewish neighbors from the beginning of a significant Jewish immigration to the United States in the 1830s. The course ends in the 1970s in order to analyze what most historians interpret as a rightward and inward turn of American Jewry (especially after 1967) and link it to the larger wave of ethnic revival in America. As a whole, the course looks at the interethnic and interreligious dimensions of American Jewish life and relates them to the larger American context. How did American Jews view their fellow countrymen and how did these opinions, in turn, affect Jewish integration into the larger society? How did the gamut of relations with other groups, which ran from animosity to coalition building and amity, change the country's political and cultural landscape? How did political and class differences within Jewish communities influence the character of interaction with other communities? Can we learn from the Jewish case about more general patterns of majority-minority relations in America?
Same as L75 JINE 3415
L98 AMCS 341A Gender in Society
Introduction to the sociological study of gender. The primary focus is U.S. society, but we will also discuss gender in an international context. From the moment of birth, boys and girls are treated differently. Gender structures the experiences of people in all major social institutions, including the family, the workplace and schools. We will explore how gender impacts lives and life chances. The central themes of the course are historical changes in gender beliefs and practices; socialization practices that reproduce gender identities; how race/ethnicity, class and sexuality shape the experience of gender; and the relationship between gender, power and social inequality. Prerequisite: introductory course in sociology or consent of the instructor.
Same as L40 SOC 3410
L98 AMCS 342 The American Presidency
Consideration of part played by the president in American politics and public policy. The powers of the president; the staffing and organization of the executive office; the relations of the president with Congress, the bureaucracy, and other participants in American politics; presidential elections. Recommended: Pol Sci 101B.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 342
L98 AMCS 3422 Americans and Their Presidents
How have Americans understood what it means to be President of the United States? This seminar uses that question as a point of departure for a multidisciplinary cultural approach to the presidency in the United States, examining the shifting roles of the chief executive from George Washington through Barack Obama. In addition to a consideration of the president's political and policymaking roles, this course examines how the lived experiences of presidents have informed the ways Americans have conceived of public and private life within a broader political culture. In the process, this course uses the presidency as a means to explore topics ranging from electioneering to gender, foreign policy to popular media. Readings are drawn from a broad range of fields.
L98 AMCS 344 Courts and Civil Liberties
This course focuses on constitutional law principles in the Bill of Rights, and examines how Supreme Court decisions influence these principles in everyday life. We explore how the courts, and particularly the Supreme Court, have interpreted these rights in light of changing times and emerging issues. Topics include the First Amendment; free exercise of religion and the establishment clause; freedom of speech, assembly and association; freedom of the press; the Fourth Amendment and the rights of those accused and convicted of crimes; the right to privacy, including reproductive freedom and the right to die; equal protection and civil rights, including race, gender, sexual orientation; immigrants’ rights and voting rights; and civil liberties after September 11. Recommended for the Liberal Arts and Business (LAB) Certificate.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 344
L98 AMCS 3441 Defendant’s Rights
This course explores the operations of the American criminal justice system. Substantial emphasis on the constitutional rights accorded to the criminally accused. Readings consist primarily, but not exclusively, of Supreme Court cases.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3441
L98 AMCS 3450 Sexual Politics in Film Noir and Hardboiled Literature
Emerging in American films most forcefully during the 1940s, film noir is a cycle of films associated with a distinctive visual style and a cynical worldview. In this course, we explore the sexual politics of film noir as a distinctive vision of American sexual relations every bit as identifiable as the form's stylized lighting and circuitous storytelling. We explore how and why sexual paranoia and perversion seem to animate this genre and why these movies continue to influence "neo-noir" filmmaking into the 21st century, even as film noir's representation of gender and sexuality is inseparable from its literary antecedents, most notably, the so-called "hard-boiled" school of writing. We read examples from this literature by Dashiell Hammett, James Cain, Raymond Chandler and Cornell Woolrich, and discuss these novels and short stories in the context of other artistic and cultural influences on gendered power relations and film noir. We also explore the relationship of these films to censorship and to changing post-World War II cultural values. Films to be screened in complete prints or in excerpts include many of the following: The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, Murder My Sweet, Phantom Lady, Strangers on a Train, The Big Sleep, The Killers, Mildred Pierce, The High Wall, Sudden Fear, The Big Combo, Laura, The Glass Key, The Big Heat, Kiss Me Deadly, The Crimson Kimono, Touch of Evil, Alphaville, Chinatown, Taxi Driver, Devil in a Blue Dress, The Bad Lieutenant, and Memento. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 345
L98 AMCS 346A The Politics of Privacy in the Digital Age
This course explores the changing nature of privacy in contemporary society.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3462
L98 AMCS 3470 Gender and Citizenship
In this writing-intensive course we examine how ideas about gender have shaped the ways Americans understand what it means to be a citizen. We focus on a variety of cases in the past and present to explore the means by which women and men have claimed the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. The types of questions that we ask include: What rights or duties devolve from the status of citizen? Who qualifies for citizenship and what qualifies them? What distinct models of citizenship have been available to Americans? How have individuals used notions of gender identity to make claims to political subjectivity? And finally, how do gendered claims to citizenship intersect or conflict with claims based on race, class, ethnicity or humanity? Prerequisite: previous course work in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies or permission of the instructor. Not open to students who have taken WGSS 210.
Same as L77 WGSS 347
L98 AMCS 347A Global Energy and the American Dream
This lecture course explores the historical, cultural and political relationship between America and global energy, focusing on oil, coal, natural gas, biofuels and alternatives. Through case studies at home and abroad, we examine how cultural, environmental, economic and geopolitical processes are entangled with changing patterns of energy-related resource extraction, production, distribution and use. America's changing position as global consumer and dreamer is linked to increasingly violent contests over energy abroad while our fuel-dependent dreams of boundless (oil) power give way to uncertainties and new possibilities of nation, nature, and the future. Assuming that technology and markets alone will not save us, what might a culturally, politically and socially-minded inquiry contribute to understanding the past and future of global energy and the American dream?
Same as L48 Anthro 3472
L98 AMCS 3482 Rethinking the "Second Wave": The History of U.S. Feminisms, 1960-1990
The U.S. women's movement has been called "the 20th century's most influential movement," but until recently assessments of its origins, characteristics and impact have been largely impressionistic and subjective, left to movement participants and popular culture. Building on a recent explosion of historical studies of American feminism, this course examines the history of the so-called "second wave" of the women's movement from its origins in the early 1960s to its alleged demise in the late 1980s. Topics to be covered include the origins of feminist activism; the traditional history of the women's movement and recent revisions; how race and class shaped the feminist movement; how feminist ideas and organizing transformed American society; feminism and individual experience; and responses to the women's movement. In this discussion-based course, we read scholarly analyses of the women's movement as well as memoirs, popular essays, and many primary documents from the period.
Same as L77 WGSS 348
L98 AMCS 348A Economic Realities of the American Dream
Exploration of the realities of economic life in the U.S. and how they correspond to the American Dream. Interdisciplinary perspectives from economics, sociology, and other areas of social inquiry. Emphasis on the consistency between empirical data and different concepts of the American Dream. Specific topics to include sources of economic growth and changing living standards, unemployment, impact of globalization on U.S. citizens, economic mobility, poverty and inequality, and social justice. Prerequisites: Econ 1011 and Econ 1021, or consent of the instructors.
Same as L11 Econ 348
L98 AMCS 3490 Media Cultures
This course is an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of cultural and media studies. Through a focus on television and new media, it analyzes current theoretical ideas and debates about culture. Main topics include the relationship between new technologies and everyday life and popular culture; analysis of media messages and images; how media help construct new identities and mark differences between groups; analysis of the globalization of the production and circulation of media culture; the rise of multimedia cultural industries; and the role of the audience. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 349
L98 AMCS 3500 On Location: Exploring America
L98 AMCS 3504 The Making of American Conservatism Since 1932, From Herbert Hoover to Trump
Beginning with Hayek's The Road to Serfdom and Buckley's God and Man at Yale, this course examines some of the major conservative writers and thinkers in the United States since World War II. The course includes readings by Russell Kirk, Richard Weaver, Barry Goldwater, Phyllis Schlafly, Irving Kristol, Newt Gingrich, and Pat Buchanan as well younger conservatives like Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg, Ramesh Ponnuru, S.E. Cupp, and Kevin Williamson. Several classes are devoted to black conservatives including Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, and Walter Williams. We try to answer the questions: What is conservatism and who are its adherents? Can we speak of conservatism in the singular or are there several types of conservatism? Are the various forms of conservatism politically and intellectually compatible? How has conservatism changed since Reagan and the 1980s? What inroads has conservatism made in the cultural and political life of the United States? Is the United States essentially a conservative nation? Time permitting, we may also watch a few Hollywood movies by conservative filmmakers.
L98 AMCS 3507 Legal Conflict in Modern American Society
Thousands of lawsuits are filed daily in the state and federal courts of the United States. The disputes underlying those lawsuits are as messy and complex as the human, commercial, cultural and political dynamics that trigger them, and the legal processes for resolving those disputes are expensive, time-consuming and, for most citizens, seemingly impenetrable. At the same time, law and legal conflict permeate public discourse in the United States to a degree that is unique in the world, even among the community of long-established democracies. The overarching objective of the course is to prepare our undergraduate students to participate constructively in that discourse by providing them with a conceptual framework for understanding both the conduct and resolution of legal conflict by American legal institutions, and the evolution of — and values underlying — the substantive law American courts apply to those conflicts. This is, at core, a course in the kind of legal or litigation "literacy" that should be expected of the graduates of first-tier American universities. Some of the legal controversies that are used to help develop that "literacy" include those surrounding the permissible use of lethal force in self-defense, the constitutionality of affirmative action in university admissions, contracts that are unconscionably one-sided, sexual harassment in the workplace, the duty of landlords to prevent criminal assaults on their tenants, groundwater pollution alleged to cause pediatric cancers, and warrantless searches of cellphone locator data by police.
L98 AMCS 351 History of Electronic Media
This course traces the history of electronic media as they have become the dominant source for entertainment and information in contemporary culture, starting with over-the-air broadcasting of radio and television through to cable and the "narrowcasting" achieved by digital technologies. While some attention is paid to other national industries, the chief focus of the course is on electronic media in the United States to determine, in part, the transformative role they have played in the cultural life of the nation. The course explores the relationship of the electronic media industries to the American film industry, determining how their interactions with the film industry helped mutually shape the productions of both film and electronic media. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 350
L98 AMCS 3510 Topics in American Politics: The Supreme Court
This course is intended primarily for sophomores and juniors. The topic of this course varies by semester, dependent on faculty and student interests.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3510
L98 AMCS 3520 Topics in American Culture Studies
L98 AMCS 3522 Topics in Literature
Topics course which varies by semester.
Same as L14 E Lit 3522
L98 AMCS 3525 Topics in Literature
L98 AMCS 352A The Black Athlete in American Literature: Frederick Douglass to LeBron James
The black athlete is a central figure in American entertainment, and has been since Frederick Douglass decried Christmastime slave games in his Narrative. This course will examine literary depictions of black athletes — in novels, memoirs, essays and poems — in order to better understand the cultural significance of sportsmen and women in the African-American struggle for equality, from abolitionism to the "Black Lives Matter" movement. We will read works by Douglass, Ralph Ellison, Maya Angelou, and John Edgar Wideman, among others, and examine the lives and athletic pursuits of prominent athletes such as Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Wilma Rudolph, Michael Jordan, and LeBron James. Popular perceptions of gender and sexuality, in addition to race and racism, will factor into our readings, especially as students incorporate secondary sources into their own research.
L98 AMCS 3550 Sociology of Work
Sociological understanding of work, and in particular, how work reduces or replicates inequality. Classic and contemporary sociological theories of work; how work in the U.S. has changed over time; and how workers are matched to "good" and "bad" jobs. Threaded through the course is the exploration of barriers to racial, gender, and class inclusion and advancement at work. We will explore how organizational structures, policies and practices can increase or decrease those barriers. Prerequisite: introductory course in sociology or consent of the instructor.
Same as L40 SOC 3550
L98 AMCS 3551 The Welfare State and Social Policy in America
How can we understand the recent debate about fundamental health care reform? Should social security be partially or wholly privatized? Was the 1996 welfare reform a success? Contemporary political questions frequently focus on the American welfare state and the social policies that comprise it. The first half of this course describes the American welfare state broadly construed, places it in a comparative context, and elucidates major political science explanations for the size and scope of American social policy. We touch on several areas of social policy while constructing the generalized lenses through which particular political outcomes can be understood. The second part of the course then focuses on three major aspects of the American welfare state: health care, old age pensions, and policies related to work, poverty and inequality.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3551
L98 AMCS 3561 Women and the Law
This course (formerly called "Women and the Law") explores how social constructions of gender, race, class and sexuality have shaped traditional legal reasoning and American legal concepts, including women's legal rights. We will begin by placing our current legal framework, and its gender, race, sexuality, and other societal assumptions, in an historical and Constitutional context. We will then examine many of the questions raised by feminist theory, feminist jurisprudence, and other critical perspectives. For example, is the legal subject gendered male, and, if so, how can advocates (or women and men) use the law to gain greater equality? What paradoxes have emerged in areas such as employment discrimination, family law, or reproductive rights, as women and others have sought liberal equality? What is the equality/difference debate about and why is it important for feminists? How do intersectionality and various schools of feminist thought affect our concepts of discrimination, equality and justice? The course is thematic, but we will spend time on key cases that have influenced law and policy, examining how they affect the everyday lives of women. Over the years, this course has attracted WGSS students and pre-law students. This course is taught by law students under the supervision of a member of the School of Law faculty. In Spring 2017, Jesse Doggendorf, Sapna Khatri, Rebecca Swarm, and Sarah Watson will be teaching this course under the supervision of Professor Susan Appleton. Students who have taken L77 3561 Women and the Law can not take this class.
Same as L77 WGSS 3561
L98 AMCS 3563 Television Culture and Cult TV: Critical Approaches to Fandom
Why do television series inspire passionate involvement on the part of some viewers? What are the differences among being a viewer, an audience member, and a fan? How can we make scholarly sense of cultural practices such as learning to speak Klingon or building a "repli-car" of the General Lee? Studies of fandom have attempted to answer such questions and continue to explore issues that are crucial to understanding contemporary television culture. The phenomenon of "Cult TV" offers fertile ground for examining the complex dynamics at play among fans, popular culture, the institutions of American media, and individual programs. In its exploration of cult television and fans, this course engages with key issues in contemporary media such as the proliferation of new media technologies and the repurposing of existing media forms, the permeable boundaries between high and low or mass and oppositional culture, and the fragmentation and concentration of media markets. The class combines close textual analysis with studies of fan practices to examine a variety of television programs, from canonical cult texts such as Star Trek and Doctor Who to "quality" fan favorites such as Designing Women and Cagney & Lacey to contemporary cult/quality hybrids such as Lost and Heroes. In mapping out this cultural territory, we develop a set of critical perspectives on audience identities and activities and examine the continuing and conflicted imagination of fans by media producers, distributors, regulators and critics. Required screenings. Prerequisite: Film 220 or Film 350, or consent of instructor.
Same as L53 Film 356
L98 AMCS 3570 Quality Television and the "Primetime Novel"
Over the past four decades, the cultural status of television in the United States has been reconfigured and complicated with changes in industrial structures, audience formations, regulatory presumptions, and production techniques and strategies. This course examines these interrelated forces, particularly as they have fostered a set of programs and practices often hailed as Quality Television. The class surveys the institutional paradigms that gave rise to particular generations of programming celebrated as "quality" and analyze the systems of distinction and cultural value that make the label socially and industrially salient. We critically investigate the role of audiences and the conceptions of viewer choice at play in these developments. In addition, the course analyzes the textual features that have come to signify narrative complexity and aesthetic sophistication. We examine foundational historical examples of this phenomenon from The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Hill Street Blues, and Cagney & Lacey to Northern Exposure, as well as more contemporary broadcast and cable fiction such as LOST, The Wire, and Mad Men. In addition, students are expected to watch a complete series, chosen in consultation with the instructor, as part of their final research project. Required screening. Prerequisite: Film Studies 220 or Film Studies 350 or consent of instructor.
Same as L53 Film 357
L98 AMCS 3575 US Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice
In this class we focus on the procedures and institutions that shape U.S. foreign policy decisions. This is neither a course on international relations theory nor a history of U.S. foreign policy. Rather, this course examines the domestic politics surrounding U.S. foreign policy decisions. How do public opinion, electoral politics, and interest groups shape foreign policy? Which branch controls foreign policy — the president, Congress, the courts? Or is it ultimately the foreign affairs bureaucracy that pulls the strings? We examine these topics through reading and writing assignments, class discussion, and simulations to promote deeper understanding and build practical skills.
Same as L97 IAS 3575
L98 AMCS 358 Law, Politics and Society
This course is an introduction to the functions of law and the legal system in American society. The course material stresses the realities of the operation of the legal system (in contrast to legal mythology), as well as the continuous interaction and feedback between the legal and political systems. There are four specific objectives to the course: (1) to introduce students to legal concepts and legal theories; (2) to analyze the operation of the appellate courts, with particular emphasis on the U.S. Supreme Court; (3) to analyze the operation of American trial courts, especially juries and the criminal courts; and (4) to examine the linkages between culture and law.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 358
L98 AMCS 3581 Scribbling Women: 19th-Century American Women Writers
In 1855, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote to his publisher, William Tichnor, that "America is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash." In this class, we examine works of those scribbling women of the 19th century. We read one of the best-selling novels of the century, one that created a scandal and ruined the author’s literary reputation, along with others that have garnered more attention in our time than their own. In addition to focusing on these women writers, we also explore questions about the canon and American literature: What makes literature "good"? What constitutes American literature? How does an author get in the canon and stay there? Finally, in this writing intensive course, there are frequent writing assignments and a strong emphasis on the essential writing process of drafting and revising.
Same as L77 WGSS 358
L98 AMCS 359 Topics in American Culture Studies
L98 AMCS 3590 The American Musical Film
Film musicals were crucial to the success of the American film industry from the dawn of sound film in the late 1920s to the demise of the studio system in the late 1950s. This course examines the American film musical from a variety of aesthetic, critical and historical perspectives, with particular attention to how the genre interacted with popular music and dance and the major political and social trends of the 1930s, '40s and '50s. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 359
L98 AMCS 359A (Re)Writing Slavery
This special topics course considers black-authored texts ranging from the 18th to the 21st century to examine the ways slavery has been discussed in American literature and culture. We pay attention to the role of slavery in creating the African diaspora, the contribution of slave narratives to the Abolitionist movement, and how the structures of American slavery did not disappear after the Civil War. We look at the ways Civil Rights-era and contemporary African-American writers such as Margaret Walker, Toni Morrison, and Charles Johnson have appropriated the slave narrative to engage and critique present day concerns. Their works are read against 19th-century slave narratives by ex-slaves such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs. In addition to the texts, students are asked to consider how slavery and its aftereffects have been portrayed in film and other forms of media.
Same as L90 AFAS 359
L98 AMCS 360A Religion and the Modern Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1968
The modern Civil Rights Movement is a landmark event in the nation's political, civic, cultural and social history. In many contexts, this movement for and against civil and legal equality took on a religious ethos, with activists, opponents and observers believing that the net result of the marches, demonstrations and legislative rulings would redeem and/or destroy "The Soul of the Nation." This seminar examines the modern Civil Rights Movement and its strategies and goals, with an emphasis on the prominent religious ideologies and activities that were visible and utilized in the modern movement. The course pays particular attention to the Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Islamic traditions, figures and communities that were indifferent, combative, instrumental and/or supportive of Civil Rights legislation throughout the mid-20th century.
Same as L57 RelPol 360
L98 AMCS 3611 Legislative Politics
This course is an introduction to the politics of the U.S. Congress and the federal lawmaking process. We focus on the behavior of individual legislators and the role they play in crafting federal legislation in policy areas such as health care, civil rights and the environment. In general we examine questions such as: Why do legislators behave as they do? Whose interests are being represented?
Same as L32 Pol Sci 3610
L98 AMCS 361A Women and Social Movements: Gender and Sexuality in U.S. Social Movements
This course examines the history of grassroots activism and political engagement of women in the U.S. Looking at social movements organized by women or around issues of gender and sexuality, class texts interrogate women's participation in, and exclusion from, political life. Key movements organizing the course units include, among others: the Temperance Movement, Abolitionist Movements, the Women's Suffrage Movements, Women's Labor Movements, Women's Global Peace Movements, and Recent Immigration Movements. Readings and discussion pay particular attention to the movements of women of color, as well as the critiques of women of color of dominant women's movements. Course materials analyze how methods of organizing reflect traditional forms of "doing politics," but also strategies and tactics for defining problems and posing solutions particular to women. Prerequisites: any 100- or 200-level Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies course or permission from the instructor.
Same as L77 WGSS 361
L98 AMCS 363 The American Frontier: 1776-1848
This course will examine the nation's shifting frontier from independence through the Mexican-American War. It will consider people and places in flux as their nationality, demography and social order underwent dramatic changes. Students will make use of an extensive electronic archive of primary sources including period documents, historic maps and contemporary artwork, in order to consider how these sources confirm, reject or expand on the ideas they encounter in published scholarship.
Same as L22 History 3632
L98 AMCS 3632 Mapping the World of "Black Criminality"
Ideas concerning the evolution of violence, crime and criminal behavior have been framed around many different groups. Yet, what does a typical criminal look like? How does race — more specifically blackness — alter these conversations, inscribing greater fears about criminal behaviors? This course taps into this reality examining the varied ways people of African descent have been and continue to be particularly imagined as a distinctly criminal population. Taking a dual approach, students consider the historical roots of the policing of black bodies alongside the social history of black crime while also foregrounding where and how black females fit into these critical conversations of crime and vice. Employing a panoramic approach, students examine historical narratives, movies and documentaries, literature, popular culture through poetry and contemporary music, as well as the prison industrial complex system. The prerequisite for the course is AFAS 3880 (Terror and Violence in the Black Atlantic) and/or permission from the instructor, which will be determined based on a student's past experience in courses that explore factors of race and identity. Enrollment limit: 20.
Same as L90 AFAS 363
L98 AMCS 3651 Black Women Writers
When someone says "black woman writer," you may well think of Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison. But not long ago, to be a black woman writer meant to be considered an aberration. When Thomas Jefferson wrote that Phillis Wheatley's poems were "beneath the dignity of criticism," he could hardly have imagined entire Modern Language Association sessions built around her verse, but such is now the case. In this class we survey the range of Anglophone African-American women authors. Writers likely to be covered include Phillis Wheatley, Harriet Wilson, Nella Larsen, Lorraine Hansberry, Octavia Butler and Rita Dove, among others. Be prepared to read, explore, discuss and debate the specific impact of race and gender on American literature.
Same as L90 AFAS 3651
L98 AMCS 3660 Women and Film
The aim of this course is primarily to familiarize students with the work of prominent women directors over the course of the 20th century, from commercial blockbusters to the radical avant-garde. Approaching the films in chronological order, we consider the specific historical and cultural context of each filmmaker's work. In addition we discuss the films in relation to specific gender and feminist issues such as the status of women's film genres, representations of men and women on screen, and the gender politics of film production. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 366
L98 AMCS 367 Modern America, 1877-1929
This course explores dramatic changes in American society during the half-century from the Civil War to the end of WWI. We discuss industrialization; mass immigration from Europe, Asia and Latin America; the vast movement of rural people to cities; the fall of Reconstruction and rise of Jim Crow; the expansion of organized labor; birth of American Socialism; and the rise of the American empire in the Caribbean and the Philippines. The course, in addition, analyzes the many and varied social reform efforts of the turn of the 20th century, from women’s suffrage to anti-lynching campaigns; from trust-busting and anti-immigrant crusades to the settlement house movement.
Same as L22 History 367
L98 AMCS 3671 The Long Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Rights Movement is known as a southern movement, led by church leaders and college students, fought through sit-ins and marches, dealing primarily with non-economic objectives, framed by a black and white paradigm, and limited to a single tumultuous decade. This course seeks to broaden our understanding of the movement geographically, chronologically, and thematically. It pays special attention to struggles fought in the North, West and Southwest; it seeks to question binaries constructed around "confrontational" and "accommodationist" leaders; it reveals how Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans impacted and were impacted by the movement; and it seeks to link the public memory of this movement with contemporary racial politics.
Same as L22 History 3670
L98 AMCS 367H Medicine, Healing and Experimentation in the Contours of Black History
Conversations regarding the history of medicine continue to undergo considerable transformation within academia and the general public. The infamous Tuskegee syphilis experiment serves as a marker in the historical consciousness regarding African Americans and the medical profession. This course taps into this particular evolution, prompting students to broaden their gaze to explore the often delicate relationship of people of African descent within the realm of medicine and healing. Tracing the social nature of these medical interactions from the period of enslavement through the 20th century, this course examines the changing patterns of disease and illness, social responses to physical and psychological ailments, and the experimental and exploitative use of black bodies in the field of medicine. As a history course, the focus is extended toward the underpinnings of race and gender in the medical treatment allocated across time and space — the United States, Caribbean and Latin America — to give further insight into the roots of contemporary practice of medicine.
Same as L22 History 3672
L98 AMCS 368 Modern America Since 1929
This course offers an intensive survey of U.S. history since World War I, concentrating on key turns in the development of American life: social and political strains of the 1920s as part of the "new era" commenced by the Great War; responses to the Great Depression and the construction of a limited welfare state in the 1930s and 1940s; the rise of Cold War anticommunism in foreign and domestic affairs in the wake of World War II; the advent of a new period of social reform and disruptive protest in the 1950s and 1960s; the turn toward the political right since the 1970s; and the aftermath of the Cold War.
Same as L22 History 368
L98 AMCS 3680 The Cold War, 1945-1991
This course presents an assessment of the Cold War from the perspective of its major participants. Topics include: the origins of the Cold War in Europe and Asia; the Korean War; the Stalin regime; McCarthyism and the Red Scare; the nuclear arms race; the conflict over Berlin; Cold War film and literature; superpower rivalry in Guatemala, Cuba, Vietnam, Africa, and the Middle East; the rise and fall of detente; the Reagan years and the impact of Gorbechev; the East European Revolutions; and the end of the Cold War.
Same as L22 History 3680
L98 AMCS 369 American Horrors
Horror movies. Fright films. Scream marathons. Blood and gore fests. Why should we want to look at movies that aim to frighten us? What is the attraction of repulsion? Is there an aesthetics of ugliness? Except for some early prestige literary adaptations like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the horror film began as a low class genre, a notch above exploitation movies. In the 1970s-1980s, it became the dominant commercial genre by offering increasingly graphic images of violence and mayhem. The horror film had arrived: lavish budgets, big stars, and dazzling special effects in mainstream major studio films competed with low-budget, no frills productions that helped establish artistically ambitious and quirky filmmakers like George Romero and David Cronenberg. By a chronological survey of the American horror film, this course explores how differing notions of what is terrifying reflect changing cultural values and norms. Throughout, we consider the difficult questions raised by horror’s simple aim of scaring its audience. In addition to weekly screenings, work for the course includes analytical and theoretical essays on the horror film. Written analyses of films with a close attention to visual style are required. Prerequisite: Film 220. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 370
L98 AMCS 370 The American West: The Image in History
Examines representations of the American West and of the frontier encounter between Euro-American and Native American cultures, from the early 19th to the early 20th centuries. We consider travel accounts, fiction painting, ledger drawings, photography and film in order to analyze the ways in which historical circumstances have shaped artistic and literary representations. At the same time, we look at how images and texts have shaped formative myths about the West that in turn leave their impact on history.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 370
L98 AMCS 3711 The History of Popular Culture in the United States
This course surveys major developments in the history of popular culture in America, stretching from the mid-19th century to the present. It explores topics such as literature, drama/theater, dance halls, movies, radio, advertising, television, music and the internet; it covers different types of popular culture such as printing, performance, image and audio; it looks at how popular culture has been depicted in terms of icons, myths, stereotypes, heroes, celebrities and rituals; it addresses the rise of mass production and consumption; it examines the ways in which race, class, gender, ethnicity and sexuality have been perceived and are portrayed in popular culture; and it illustrates how the content of popular culture shapes and reflects our personal, social, political and intellectual beliefs and values.
Same as L22 History 3711
L98 AMCS 3712 Art and Culture in America’s Gilded Age
Developments in American culture from the end of the Civil War to the turn of the century: novels, buildings, images, public and private spaces of this transitional period — a time of new class formation, of unparalleled social diversity, and of new urban forms. The connections between art, literature and social experience. Representative figures include Henry James, Henry Adams, Louis Sullivan, Stanford White, Thomas Eakins, Louis Tiffany.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 3712
L98 AMCS 371A Sociology of Immigration
A review of theoretical and empirical research on how and why people migrate across international borders, and the consequences of international migration for immigrants and natives in the United States. While immigration is one of the most controversial issues in the contemporary United States, these contentious debates are not new. Americans once voiced the same concerns about the economic and social impact of Southern and Eastern European immigrants that today are aimed at immigrants from Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. In this course we will compare historical (1880-1920) and contemporary (1965-present) waves of immigration to the United States. We will explore why and how people migrate, immigrant integration, the impact of immigration on native-born Americans, and how government policies — at the national, state, and local level — shape immigrant assimilation and what it means to be considered truly "American" in a social as well as a legal sense. Prerequisite: completion of an introductory sociology course or consent of the instructor.
Same as L40 SOC 3710
L98 AMCS 3729 The United States in the 20th Century
This course explores the dramatic changes that transformed American society from the 1890s to the 1980s. Covering the main themes of 20th century U.S. history, students connect domestic policies and developments to international events, and study how Americans of diverse backgrounds thought about, experienced, and defined democracy and citizenship in the United States.
Same as L22 History 3729
L98 AMCS 373 Making War
This course examines the cinematic representation of war. Using World War II as a case study, students examine a series of combat pictures, documentaries, and "home front" films from the 1940s to the present. Several key questions guide the class discussion: How do war films respond to and shape the political worlds in which they are produced? How do these films confront the aftermath of war and the soldier’s homecoming? Where is the line between the home front and the front line? More broadly, what does it mean to portray the violence and suffering that war inevitably brings? At the close of the semester, students partake in an in-class symposium presenting their research on the cinematic treatment of other conflicts, from the Civil War to the "War on Terror." Films include: The Boat, Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line, Why We Fight, and Mrs. Miniver. Readings include works by Susan Sontag, Kaja Silverman, and W.G. Sebald. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 371
L98 AMCS 3730 History of the United States: Foreign Relations to 1914
This course explores the major diplomatic, political, legal, and economic issues shaping U.S. foreign relations in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries, up until the U.S. entry into the First World War.
Same as L22 History 373
L98 AMCS 3731 Introduction to GIS for Anthropologists
Use of GIS is rapidly becoming standard practice in anthropological research. This course will introduce students to the basic theories and techniques of GIS. Topics will include the application of GIS in archaeologial survey and ethnographic research, as well as marketing, transportation, demographics, and urban and regional planning. This course will enable students to become familiar not only with GIS software such as ArcGIS, but also the methodologies and tools used to collect and analyze spatial data.
Same as L48 Anthro 373
L98 AMCS 3741 History of United States: Foreign Relations: 1920-1989
This course explores the major diplomatic, political, legal, and economic issues shaping U.S. foreign relations with the wider world from the 1920s to the "fall of communism" in 1989.
Same as L22 History 3741
L98 AMCS 3742 Social Landscapes in a Global View
From the beginning of the human campaign, societies have socialized the spaces and places where they live. This socialization comes in many forms, including the generation of sacred natural places (e.g., Mt. Fuji) to the construction of planned urban settings where culture is writ large in overt and subtle contexts. Over the past two decades or so, anthropologists, archaeologists and geographers have developed a wide body of research concerning these socially constructed and perceived settings — commonly known as "landscapes." This course takes a tour through time and across the globe to trace the formation of diverse social landscapes, starting in prehistoric times and ending in modern times. We cover various urban landscapes, rural landscapes, nomadic landscapes (and others) and the intersection of the natural environment, the built environments and the symbolism that weaves them together. Chronologically, we range from 3000 BCE to 2009 CE and we cover all the continents. This course also traces the intellectual history of the study of landscape as a social phenomenon and investigates the current methods used to recover and describe social landscapes around the world and through time. Join in situating your own social map alongside the most famous and the most obscure landscapes of the world and trace the global currents of your social landscape!
Same as L48 Anthro 374
L98 AMCS 3755 Disability, Quality of Life and Community Responsibility
The increasing prevalence of disability presents major challenges for American society. Social participation can be a challenge for people with disabilities, while resources to address these needs tend to be limited. This course begins by critically analyzing concepts of disability, quality of life, health and social participation. We construct a framework for examining social participation and community resources across the lifespan. Public health, educational and environmental theories and methods are applied to programs and services that aim to enhance quality of life with disabilities. We analyze ecological approaches to enhancing social participation. Upon completion of this course, students are equipped to analyze challenges and prioritize resources for individual and population health.
Same as L43 GeSt 375
L98 AMCS 375A American Culture: Methods & Visions
Required course for AMCS majors. Consult semester listing for current topic. As a Writing Intensive course, 375A serves as an occasion for AMCS students to think about matters of argument and presentation, and to develop ideas and models for future research. This course is intended for students at the junior level or higher; it fulfills the "multidisciplinary" (MD) requirement for AMCS minors and the "Methods Seminar" requirements for AMCS majors.
L98 AMCS 376 American Modernism, 1900-1940
American modernism: What is it? What is the nature of its encounter with mass culture? What happened to modernism as it migrated from its "high" European origins to its "middlebrow" version in America between the turn of the century and the eve of World War II? What was the rhetoric of modernism in everyday life — its impact on design, photography, advertising? In addition to the fine arts, we look at popular media, film and photography. Lecture/discussion. Prerequisite: Art-Arch 211 Introduction to Modern Art or permission of the instructor
Same as L01 Art-Arch 376
L98 AMCS 3762 American Modernism, 1900-1940
American modernism: What is it? What is the nature of its encounter with mass culture? What happened to modernism as it migrated from its "high" European origins to its "middlebrow" version in America between the turn of the century and the eve of World War II? What was the rhetoric of modernism in everyday life — its impact on design, photography, advertising? In addition to the fine arts, we look at popular media, film and photography. Lecture/discussion. Prerequisite: Art-Arch 112, Art-Arch 113, Art-Arch 211 or Art-Arch 215, or permission of instructor.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 3762
L98 AMCS 3778 Another Country: Land, Diaspora, and the Vernacular Beyond the Cities
The history of aesthetic and cultural modes of modernity is often told with an urban inflection, omitting a narrative of mobility, artistic experimentation, and social change found in the space beyond the 20th-century city. This course applies a broad interdisciplinary perspective to consider the historical contexts of these diverse rural cultures, their intersections with technology and global economies, and the ways in which these communities and their modes of expression commute between the rural and the urban — writing, speaking, and singing in a vernacular that documents and dramatizes their modern condition. From Mississippi hill country blues to the agricultural essays of Wendell Berry, from emerging forms of American landscape design to Sherman Alexie's postmodern Indian reservation, the American rural emerges as neither a pastoral nor a wasteland, but as a richly complex and diverse patchwork. These cross-cultural narratives are connected through a number of mediums: field recordings, online archives, poems, fiction, critical essays, film, and interdisciplinary fieldwork. The confluence of these artistic and scholarly practices guide robust classroom discussion and inform inventive research projects that conclude the semester's work.
L98 AMCS 3785 Photography in America
This course considers the practice and use of photography in America from its invention up to the present, offering various ways of thinking about the medium and its relation to society and culture. Students come to understand the ways photographic practices shape public perceptions of national identity, ethnicity and gender, nature, democratic selves, and a host of other concerns. We discuss famous practitioners such as Matthew Brady, Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine, Walker Evans, and Robert Frank. We consider not only the social and public uses of the medium through such episodes as the New Deal/FSA and photojournalism, but also the private explorations of "fine art" photographers, and the everyday practices of the snapshot. Prerequisites: Intro to Western (Art-Arch 112) or Intro to Modern (211), or one course in American History, American Cultural Studies, or permission of the instructor.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 3785
L98 AMCS 3789 Building St. Louis Oral History: 1945-Present
This course aims to provide a national and local understanding of how Americans and St. Louisans dealt with the problems of racism, poverty and sexism from 1945 to the present. While history courses traditionally require that students analyze the credibility and subjectivity of each historical source, this course further challenges students to use the methods of oral history to compare evidence from oral historical memory with written texts. By comparing St. Louis history with that of the rest of the nation, students analyze regional differences and understand the unique historical conditions that shaped this city.
Same as L22 History 3789
L98 AMCS 379 Banned Books
Why would anyone want to burn a book? Under what circumstances would you support censorship? Several years ago a Russian student was exiled to Siberia for possessing a copy of Emerson's Essays; today, school boards in the United States regularly call for the removal of Huckleberry Finn and The Catcher in the Rye from classrooms and library shelves. Actions like these dramatize the complex interconnections of literature and society, and they raise questions about what we read and the way we read. The course explores these issues by looking closely at several American and translated European texts that have been challenged on moral, sociopolitical or religious grounds to determine what some readers have found so threatening about these works. Possible authors: Goethe, Voltaire, Rousseau, Defoe, Hawthorne, Flaubert, Twain, Chopin, Brecht, Salinger, Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury. Brief daily writing assignments.
Same as L14 E Lit 381
L98 AMCS 3840 Gender & Consumer Culture in U.S. Fiction of the Late 19th and Early 20th Century
The decades between the end of the Civil War and the 1930s saw the rise of a mass consumer culture that would dramatically reshape America. The fiction writers of this period, keen to capture the spirit of the age, helped to create the enduring idea that consumerism and an orientation toward material acquisition are at the heart of gendered concepts of American identity. Their stories documented, and sometimes celebrated, the emergence of recognizable "types" of American womanhood and manhood — such as self-made millionaires, ambitious "working girls," bargain-hunting middle-class housewives, and the commercially minded women and men of the social and intellectual elite. At the same time, their stories articulated anxieties about U.S. consumer culture and its impact on the world. Students in this course will read, discuss and write about novels and short stories by writers such as Henry James, Mary Wilkins Freeman, Kate Chopin, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, Nella Larsen, Langston Hughes and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Students in the course will also examine primary materials such as magazine advertisements, and will read and respond to relevant scholarship on the period. Writing Intensive course.
Same as L77 WGSS 384
L98 AMCS 3843 Filming the Black Freedom Struggle in St. Louis
This interdisciplinary course is designed to introduce students to the history of the black freedom struggle in St. Louis and to the complex and multiple ways historic narratives are constructed. We will explore the political, economic and cultural history of black St. Louisians who challenged racial segregation in housing and work, fought white mobs in city streets, and battled the destruction of black communities by the federal urban renewal and public housing policies.This course will provide students with the opportunity to write history through visual sources, in order to construct a historical narrative on film. Students will be introduced to the technical skills involved in making a documentary film, and to the archival research and oral history skills required to document the past. This course brings together documentary filmmaking and history research to draw attention to the multiple narratives of African-American and urban history.
Same as L22 History 3843
L98 AMCS 3871 African-American Literature: Early Writers to the Harlem Renaissance
Same as L14 E Lit 387
L98 AMCS 3875 Pharmaceutical Personhood
This course examines sociocultural dimensions of pharmaceutical production and consumption in the contemporary world. Pharmaceuticals have brought remarkable promises. Their consumption also reflects various social inequalities and substantial transformations in human experience that demand critical attention. We examine the history and global reach of the pharmaceutical industry, the content of pharmaceutical advertising, and pharmaceutical use in the treatment of various kinds of illness, including common mental disorders, post-traumatic experience, chronic illness, eating disorders, and lifestyle disorders. Case studies are drawn from diverse societies. We also explore various angles of public criticism about the pharmaceutical industry. No background in anthropology is required.
Same as L48 Anthro 3875
L98 AMCS 3876 Dada and Surrealism in Europe and the United States
In this multimedia, interdisciplinary course, we will consider the history, theory and practice of Dada and Surrealism, from its Symbolist and Expressionist roots at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries through its late expressions in Beat culture and Pop art of the 1950s and 1960s. Dada's emergence in Zürich and New York in the midst of the First World War set the tone for its stress on irrationality as an oppositional strategy. Surrealist research into the domain of the unconscious continued this extreme challenge to dominant culture, but in a revolutionary spirit that proposed new possibilities for personal and collective liberation. The international character of the movements, with substantial cross-transmission between Europe and the United States, will be emphasized. Prerequisites: Intro to Western Art (L01 112) or Intro to Modern Art (L01 211) or permission of instructor.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 3875
L98 AMCS 3880 Terror and Violence in the Black Atlantic
From the period of bondage through the 21st century, terror and racialized violence have consistently been used as a form of social control. This course is constructed to explore the historical foundations of extreme threats of violence inflicted among populations of African descent. The fabric of American culture has given birth to its own unique brand of terrorism, of which this class spends considerable time interrogating. Yet, in recognizing that these practices are commonly found in other parts of the Black Atlantic, students are encouraged to take a comparative view to better tease out the wider strands of violence operative in places like England, the Caribbean and Latin America. Within this course, we explore the varied ways in which music, films, newspapers and historical narratives shed light on these often life altering stories of the past. Some of the themes touched upon include: the use of punishment/exploitation during the era of slavery, lynching, sexual violence, race riots, police brutality, motherhood, black power and community activism.
Same as L90 AFAS 3880
L98 AMCS 3882 Psychological Anthropology
The objective of this course is to introduce students to the central topics and methods of psychological anthropology. Psychological anthropology is concerned with the interplay of psychology and culture on both the individual and group levels. We look cross-culturally at such topics as child and adolescent development, religious experience, illness and healing, self and identity, gender and sexuality, reasoning and symbolism, and psychopathology. This class draws upon a range of sources, including ethnographies, psychoanalytic theory, contemporary critical theory, and cross-cultural materials.
Same as L48 Anthro 3882
L98 AMCS 3884 Modern Design and Modern Culture
This course explores key issues of modernity (industrialization, consumerism, mass culture, nationalism, etc.) through the study of material culture. Focusing primarily on modern design in Europe and North America from William Morris to Charles Eames and Aleksander Rodchenko to Bruce Mau, we examine major developments in design thinking and practice as both reactive to and generative of broader political, economic and social concerns. The course is organized around important and influential exhibitions, from World's Fairs to storefront shows, where design professionals, institutions and publics came together to reflect on topics of urgency, identify alternatives, and imagine the implications of design on everyday life. Wherever possible, class discussions/lectures and assignments make use of objects and archives in area collections. Prerequisites: Intro to Western Art (L01 Art-Arch 113) or Intro to Modern Art (L01 Art-Arch 215) or permission of instructor.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 3884
L98 AMCS 38B9 Understanding Lincoln: Writing-Intensive Seminar
This course explores the life, art (political and literary) and historical significance of Abraham Lincoln. It focuses first on how he understood himself and foregrounds his inspired conception of his own world-historical role in the Civil War. The course also traces how the larger world furnished the contexts of Lincoln's career, how his consciousness, speeches and writings, and presidential decisions can be understood against the backdrop of the revolutionary national democratic upheavals of the 19th century. Finally the course investigates how the 16th president, so controversial in his day, has remained a site of cultural contestation, with historians, novelists, poets, cartoonists, filmmakers, advertisers and politicians struggling over his memory and meaning, to the present.
Same as L22 History 38B9
L98 AMCS 3900 Mormonism and the American Experience
The focus of this seminar is Mormonism, meaning, primarily, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (or LDS Church), which is the largest Mormon body. Mormons in the United States have gone from being one of the most intensely persecuted religious groups in the country's history to the fourth largest religious body in the U.S. (by one count), with a reputation for patriotism and conservative family values. In addition to introducing who the Mormons are, their beliefs and religious practices, this seminar will explore issues raised by Mormonism's move toward the religious mainstream alongside its continuing distinctiveness. These issues include: What is the religious "mainstream" in the U.S.? How did conflicts over Mormonism during the 19th century, especially the conflict over polygamy, help define the limits of religious tolerance in this country? How have LDS teachings about gender and race, or controversies about whether or not Mormons are Christian, positioned and repositioned Mormons within U.S. society?
Same as L57 RelPol 390
L98 AMCS 391 Gender Violence
This course explores the issue of violence against women within families, by strangers in the workplace, and within the context of international and domestic political activity. In each area, issues of race, class, culture and sexuality are examined as well as legal, medical and sociological responses. Readings cover current statistical data, research and theory as well as information on the history of the battered women's movement, the rape crisis center movement, violent repression of women's political expressions internationally, and the effect of violence on immigrant and indigenous women in the United States and abroad. Not open to students who have taken U92 (UCollege) WGSS 363.
Same as L77 WGSS 393
L98 AMCS 394 Urban Development and the Global Economy
This course is designed to familiarize students with the urban effects of economic globalization and to provide students with tools that enable them to engage in scholarly and practical debates on economic growth and the city. Students are exposed to a variety of theoretical statements comparative studies, and case-specific research focusing on cities and the global economy. Topics include: industrial reorganization and its connection to the urban form, the ability of "dead" cities to adapt to economic change; how economic innovation is encouraged or suppressed within cities; growth coalitions and urban politics; networks and culture in relation to capitalist commitment to urban space; and the role of the arts and entertainment in new development versus production-based paradigms.
L98 AMCS 395 American Indians and American Empire
Through readings of historical and contemporary texts drawn from American Indian testimonial, scholarship and literature; anthropology; and history, we explore past struggles for cultural and political survival and contemporary politics of self-determination of indigenous peoples. We consider these issues alongside American "Empire": the past and present politics of nation-building, expansion and rule that characterize the United States. Topics include race, anthropology and 19th-century imperialism; education, the Indian and American democracy; sovereignty and tribal self-determination; Indian political movements; and the contemporary politics of energy, resources and Indian lands.
L98 AMCS 397 Gender and Sexuality in 1950s America: Writing-Intensive Seminar
Historians have recently begun to reconsider the dominant view of the 1950s as an era characterized by complacency and conformity. In this writing intensive seminar we will use the prism of gender history to gain a more complex understanding of the intricate relationship between conformity and crisis, domesticity and dissent that characterized the 1950s for both women and men.
Same as L22 History 39F8
L98 AMCS 3975 Wolves of Wall Street: American Business and Popular Culture
America's perceptions about Big Business and the Free Enterprise system have evolved and changed over time from the 1920s to the present. During the 1980s, for example, Oliver Stone's Wall Street seemed to endorse the notion that "greed is good." Today, however, the topic of rising income inequality has been connected with the collapse of prestigious Wall Street firms, the "housing bubble," a declining middle class, and widespread fear about the future of "The American Dream." This course examines a variety of artistic, ethical and historical perceptions about American Business as depicted in popular culture and the arts over the past hundred years. How have America's foremost artists (among them F. Scott Fitzgerald, Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller, Martin Scorsese), dealt with questions of conspicuous consumption, the acquisition of capital for its own sake, and the disparity between rich and poor? We survey several artistic genres and artistic forms, including American tragic works like The Great Gatsby and Death of a Salesman, to popular musicals such as How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying and The Producers.
L98 AMCS 39SL Blacks, Latinos and Afro-Latinos: Constructing Difference and Identity: Writing-Intensive Seminar
Dominant discourses on Black-Latino relations focus on job competition, while a few others celebrate the future of an America led by "people of color." What is at stake in these narratives? How did we come to understand what is "black" and "Latino"? Students taking this course examine the history of African Americans' and Latinos' racialization under British, Spanish, and American empires, paying attention to both the construction of the racial "Other" by European elites, the reclaiming of identities by the racially marginalized through the Black and Brown liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s, and the movements' impacts on black-Latino electoral and grassroots coalitions, mass incarceration of youth, and Afro-diasporic productions of hip-hop.
Same as L22 History 39SL
L98 AMCS 4000 Urban Education in Multiracial Societies
This course offers students an analysis of the historical development and contemporary contexts of urban education in English-epeaking, multiracial societies. It examines legal decisions, relevant policy decisions, and salient economic determinants that inform urban systems of education in Western societies including, but not limited to, the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and South Africa. The course draws on quantitative, qualitative, and comparative data as an empirical foundation to provide a basis for a cross-cultural understanding of the formalized and uniform system of public schooling characteristic of education in urban settings. Given the social and material exigencies that shape urban school systems in contemporary societies, special attention is given in this course to the roles of migration, immigration urbanization, criminal justice, industrialism, de-industrialism, and globalization in shaping educational outcomes for diverse students in the aforementioned settings. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor.
Same as L18 URST 400
L98 AMCS 4001 Directed Study in American Culture Studies
Directed study with an AMCS-affiliated faculty. All proposals for study must be submitted for review and approved by the AMCS adviser. Visit the AMCS website for the appropriate form. By permission of instructor.
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.
L98 AMCS 4002 Directed Study in Legal Culture
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.
L98 AMCS 4003 Advanced Research in American Culture Studies
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.
L98 AMCS 4004 Senior Honors Seminar in American Culture Studies
This course is required for students seeking college honors through American Culture Studies. Students discuss research methods and make regular research reports both to the instructor and other students. Prerequisite: satisfactory standing as a candidate for senior honors (3.5 cumulative GPA) and permission of thesis director.
Credit 3 units.
L98 AMCS 4005 Senior Honors Seminar in American Culture Studies
This course is required for students seeking college honors through American Culture Studies. Students discuss research methods and make regular research reports both to the instructor and other students. Prerequisite: satisfactory standing as a candidate for senior honors (3.5 cumulative GPA) and permission of thesis director.
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.
L98 AMCS 4007 American Democracy and the Policy Making Process
This course is part of the Semester in DC Program.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 4001
Credit 3 units. EN: S
L98 AMCS 4008 Senior Seminar on the Presidency
This is a research seminar that begins with a series of common readings, after which students constitute themselves into research teams that explore the current state of the presidency in broad cultural perspective. Research topics may include: a survey of the books on the presidential family; media interpretations of the administration and the political process; the political uses of information technology, specifically the Web and social media; continuities and changes in voter behavior; the shifting powers of the presidency. This course is designed as a complement to Focus on the Presidency, and Focus 200 is a prerequisite for this course.
L98 AMCS 401 Race, Sex and Sexuality: Concepts of Identity
This course examines changes in the meanings of three concepts of identity — race, sex and sexuality — from the early modern period to the present. The course begins by looking at early modern constructions of these concepts in Western Europe. We then focus on changes occurring during the course of the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe and the United States and at how such changes were similar and different among these three concepts. We then examine 20th-century challenges to 19th-century constructions. The course concludes by studying the relationship between these challenges and 20th-century identity political movements organized around these concepts. Prerequisite: completion of at least one WGSS course or permission of the instructor.
Same as L77 WGSS 403
L98 AMCS 4010 Pluralism, Liberalism and Education
How should liberal democratic states respond to religious and cultural pluralism? In what ways is pluralism different from mere disagreement, and what normative implications does pluralism have for public policy? How can liberal states justify using their coercive power against a background of pluralism and in ways that systematically disadvantage certain religious and cultural groups in society? In particular, what is to be done when religious parents and the liberal state make conflicting judgments about the proper education of children? When should the state defer to parental judgments and what are the grounds for legitimately refusing to do so? Readings are taken from contemporary political philosophy. Prerequisites: Pol Sci 106, Pol Sci 107, Phil 340 or permission of instructor.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 4010
L98 AMCS 4011 Capstone Workshop
Independent study with an AMCS-affiliated faculty. All proposals for study must be submitted for review and approved by the AMCS adviser. Visit the AMCS website for the appropriate form. By permission of instructor.
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.
L98 AMCS 4012 Research Seminar: The Capstone Project
This course is required for students seeking to earn additional credit for the completion of their Capstone Project. The scope and depth of the project, which the student began in L98 4011, must merit a two-semester time frame for completion and credit; in addition to the credits earned in L98 4011, students may earn an additional 1-3 credits in L98 4012. L98 4012 builds on L98 4011 and involves meetings and workshops during the final stages of their project preparation. Prerequisites: satisfactory standing as a candidate for a two-semester Capstone Project and permission of AMCS directors. Course will meet every other week, time/date to be determined based on participants' schedules.
Credit variable, maximum 3 units.
L98 AMCS 4020 The Legal Landscape in a Changing American Society
This course is designed to examine the qualitative relationship between transformations in law in America and the structure of American values and behavioral patterns and in the institutions and culture of American law. The materials cover the structural aspects of the legal system and its place in American society and not the law's doctrinal features (i.e., the specific substantive areas of the law). Rather the course examines how the organization and functioning of the law incorporates the values and changes in the American society. To achieve this, the course topics include: (a) Americans' perceptions of their legal institutions and agents; (b) changing links between law and the mass media; (c) concerns about the jury system; (d) the use (and abuse?) of litigation and its alternatives (ADR); (e) inequalities in access to the legal system; and (f) the transformations within the legal profession, both in law firms and in the careers of attorneys.
L98 AMCS 4023 Models of Social Science
What distinguishes the social sciences from the natural sciences? What goals and assumptions do they share? Does studying "humans" with free will pose any problems for applying the methods of the natural sciences to the study of society? How do various social sciences — in particular anthropology, economics and political science — differ from one another? And where did the social sciences (both the disciplines and the conceptual issues) come from historically? These are the animating questions of this course. This class explores these questions in historical and contemporary perspective, as they relate to the rise of the social sciences as a set of academic disciplines. We set out the theoretical structure of the scientific method, paying particularly close attention to the relationships between theory and evidence, inference and hypotheses. Next we consider four problems and methods of the social sciences. These include questions of i) treating human beings as a rational actors; ii) attributing causal forces other than a person's own will to human behavior; iii) empirical observations and inference; and iv) the role of interpretation. In all four cases, we are interested in asking: Toward what solutions have these problems lead social scientists, and what other sets of difficulties do their solutions raise? We also pay particularly close attention to the role that concepts play in social analysis.
L98 AMCS 403 Culture and History of the Southwestern United States
This course integrates archaeological, historical, and early ethnographic dimensions of American Indian societies in the southwestern United States and northwest Mexico, a region famous for its challenging environment, cultural diversity, and the contributions made by its Native inhabitants. Emphasis is placed on the development of sophisticated desert agriculture and on the rise of regionally integrated cultures including Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde. The impact of Spanish, Mexican, and American colonization are explored. Ethnographies of Tohono O'odham (Papago), Hopi, Zuni, Rio Grande Pueblo, and Navajo societies are discussed.
Same as L48 Anthro 403
L98 AMCS 4030 Political Theory of Education
This course explores issues of authority, legitimacy, citizenship, freedom, and equality through contemporary readings in the political theory of education. What is to be done when parents, citizens, and educational experts make conflicting judgments about the proper education of children? When should the state defer to parental judgments and what are the grounds for legitimately refusing to do so? How should public schools aim to equip their students for the responsibilities of citizenship in a diverse liberal democratic state? What do the concepts of equality and equality of opportunity mean in the context of education, and (how) should governments pursue these values through education policy? We shall explore these issues through contemporary works of political theory as well as through considering a number of important U.S. court cases, including those dealing with the schooling of children from minority religious and cultural groups, affirmative action in university admissions, and school desegregation plans. Prerequisite: one previous course in political theory or political philosophy.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 4030
L98 AMCS 4036 Children of Immigrants: Identity and Acculturation
This seminar examines two sub-groups: child immigrants and the native-born children of immigrants. It interrogates cultural/ethnic identity, cultural adaptation, bilingualism and biculturalism, and challenges and achievements of this young generation through ethnography, literature, and sociological accounts. We aim to scrutinize the studies of the "1.5" generation and the second generation, and theories such as "segmented assimilation," across a wide range of ethnic groups, from people of East Asian origins to those with Latin American ancestries, by mainly focusing on their experiences in the United States.
Same as L97 IAS 4036
L98 AMCS 4051 Political Representation
In this class we study the concept of representation. Historically, how has representation been conceived? Conceptually, what should count as political representation, and must it always be democratic? As a normative problem, what should representatives do? And how should institutions be designed to foster these normative ends? Readings provide a broad overview of the subject and address enduring questions, including problems of minority representation, voting rights and redistricting. Prerequisite: Pol Sci 106 or Pol Sci 107.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 4050
L98 AMCS 4060 Sexual Health and the City: A Community-Based Learning Course
In this community-based learning course, students partner with a St. Louis AIDS service organization (ASO) or sexual health agency to explore how the interrelationships among gender, class, race/ethnicity and sexual identity shape sexual health decisions, outcomes and access to services. Students also examine the complex relationship between men's and women's life goals and constraints, on the one hand, and the public health management of sexual health, on the other. In collaboration with their community partner and its clients, students develop a project that addresses an identified need of the organization and the community it serves. Course readings draw from the fields of anthropology, public health, feminist studies and policy making. Prerequisite: PHealth 4134 The AIDS Epidemic: Inequalities, Ethnography and Ethics or permission from the instructor, which is determined based on past student's experience in the fields of medical anthropology or sexual/reproductive health.
Same as L90 AFAS 406
L98 AMCS 407 Democracy and the Rhetorical Society
The growth of democracy around the world has placed renewed focus on the practice of democracy and the conditions under which democracy can work effectively as a method of cooperation and decision-making. In this seminar we step back and reflect on what it means to communicate, interact and govern together in a democratic society. With special emphasis on the role of rhetoric in democratic practice, we study a variety of classic and contemporary texts to see what is at stake in making democracy work in the 20th century.
L98 AMCS 4090 The Modernist Revolution in the Arts
What is/was Modernism? How did this worldwide phenomenon impact the arts in every genre and medium from the turn of the 20th century to the present? Do we still live in the age of Modernism, or should we consider ours a new, Postmodern age? This course examines these and other questions as they relate to the theater, prose, poetry and the visual arts. Our investigation focuses on most of the major literary and artistic movements, including Naturalism, Impressionism, Symbolism, Surrealism and Expressionism. We examine literary manifestoes that help to illuminate the periods under discussion, as well as look at individual works themselves. Central to our approach in the course is an interdisciplinary perspective. Among the luminaries whose work is considered are Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Hemingway, Dali, Picasso, Stravinsky, Artaud, Kafka and Beckett.
Same as L15 Drama 409
L98 AMCS 4101 Metropolitan Finance
This course is an interdisciplinary examination of fiscal policies in metropolitan regions and the related public policies that can make them better or worse places for living and working. A particular focus is on the financial structures and arrangements — both public and private — that support or hinder quality of life in urban spaces. Core topics of study include the potential impact of decentralized governments on metropolitan economic development, determination of optimal arrangements for sharing fiscal responsibilities among levels of government, evaluation of local revenue and expenditure decisions, and assessment of prospects and options for intergovernmental fiscal reform. The course is consistent in its approach to policy. Drawing on literature in sociology, education, public finance, community development, political economy and other related fields, the course readings and experiences explore how fiscal policies can and do affect urban dwellers and their well-being. This is a departure from many public finance courses. Such an approach leads to very different questions: How do liquor zoning regulations influence minority and nonminority children in schools? Should whites be paid to move into minority neighborhoods or vice versa? This approach to the study of metropolitan finance puts an emphasis on topics such as child care, public transportation, minimum wage, housing codes, street behavior, homelessness, incarceration, alcohol, sports stadiums, illicit drugs, tax abatements, water service, garbage collection, schools, higher education, sprawl and technological change, with consideration given to political, institutional and cultural factors. Students are required to attend hearings, meetings and other relevant functions associated with the development of public financial policy. Prerequisites: URST 299 and either junior standing or permission of the instructor.
Same as L18 URST 4101
L98 AMCS 4120 Rainbow Radicalisms!: Ethnic Nationalism(s), the 1960s and the Politics of the New Left
The Black Panther Party remains one of the most iconic groups of the 1960s and 1970s. Perhaps one of the most understudied aspects of the Panther's legacy is their radical influence upon other American racial and ethnic groups, including Asian Americans, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans and American Indians, among others. This seminar considers the emergence of ethnic and racial nationalism among these various groups, as a result of their contact and relationship(s) with the Black Panther Party. Considering the politics of groups such as the Red Guard, the Brown Berets, the Young Lords and the American Indian Movement, this course charts the rise and fall of rainbow radicalism as a general offspring of the Black Power Movement and part and parcel of what is commonly referred to as "the New Left." It also considers these groups in relation to the State by probing the dynamic push and pull between repression and democracy. Ultimately, this course grants insight into the contemporary racial domain and current political landscape of America as we discuss how these groups helped to shape modern identity formations, discourses on multiculturalism and definitions of "minority," "diversity" and "equality."
Same as L90 AFAS 4121
L98 AMCS 4134 The AIDS Epidemic: Inequalities, Ethnography and Ethics
In the year 2000, HIV became the world's leading infectious cause of adult death, and in the next 10 years, AIDS is expected to kill more people than all wars of the 20th century combined. As the global epidemic rages on, our greatest enemy in combating HIV/AIDS is not knowledge or resources, but global inequalities and the conceptual frameworks with which we understand health, human interaction and sexuality. This course emphasizes the ethnographic approach for cultural analysis of responses to HIV/AIDS. Students explore the relationship between local communities and wider historical and economic processes, and theoretical approaches to disease, the body, ethnicity/race, gender, sexuality, risk, addiction, power and culture. Other topics covered include the cultural construction of AIDS and risk, government responses to HIV/AIDS, origin and transmission debates, ethics and responsibilities, drug testing and marketing, the making of the AIDS industry and "risk" categories, prevention and education strategies, interaction between bio-medicine and alternative healing systems, and medical advances and hopes.
Same as L48 Anthro 4134
L98 AMCS 4135 Tobacco: History, Culture, Science, and Policy
Tobacco is the most important public health and medical problem of our time, the leading cause of cancer and other chronic diseases. This course examines tobacco's important role in shaping the modern world and global health over the course of the last five centuries, from indigenous uses of tobacco to plantation slavery to the cigarette boom to the politics of health and smoking in the 21st century. Through in-depth historical and anthropological case studies, tobacco provides a window into trends in government and law, medicine and public health, business and economics, society and culture, including changing social meanings of gender, race, class, sexuality, advertising, consumerism, risk, responsibility and health in the United States and worldwide. This course also introduces students to public health approaches to noncommunicable disease prevention, environmental health, and healthy lifestyle promotion. No background in anthropology or public health is required.
Same as L48 Anthro 4135
L98 AMCS 416 Topics in American Culture Studies
Refer to semester listing for current topic.
L98 AMCS 4181 Studying the City: Approaches to Social Research
In this course we will explore social science/social scientific research methods. The course is designed primarily for students majoring in urban studies. However, the research skills that students will acquire can be applied to any substantive topic in the social sciences. The main goal of this course is that students develop the skills to independently design and execute high quality social research, regardless of their substantive interests. To develop these skills we will read about methods, assess published research from a methodological perspective, and complete original research projects.
Same as L18 URST 418
L98 AMCS 4201 Topics in English and American Literature
Comparing the literatures — readings in the literature and theory of English and American Literature. Topics vary according to semester offerings.
Same as L14 E Lit 420
L98 AMCS 4203 Civic Scholars Program Semester Four: Civic Engagement across the Lifespan
This is the fourth-semester course for students in the Civic Scholars Program of the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. This culminating course provides students with the opportunity to integrate the Civic Scholars experience, explore civic engagement opportunities post-college, and discuss ethics and civic engagement. Through group discussions, readings, lectures and guest speakers, students: 1) understand civic engagement over the life course; 2) discuss ethics and civic engagement; and 3) develop a one-, five-, 10-, and 20-year civic vision. This 1-credit course meets weekly for one hour during the spring semester. Students are expected to take an active role in their learning through sharing their experiences, engaging with reading material, and participating in reflection exercises. Prerequisites: L98 3202, L98 3203 and L98 4202. CET course.
L98 AMCS 4209 New Media Literacy and Popular Culture in Education
At the closing of the 20th century, the "digital turn" began to shape how individuals learn, communicate and interact with one another. Current and emerging media technologies have continued to change how individuals (youth and adults alike) gather information; consume, produce and disseminate texts; and participate in both local and global communities through print- and screen-based platforms such as email, blog, podcast and mash-ups, among others. In this course, we explore what we mean by technology, the various types and uses of technology and the relationship of technology to literacy and education. We begin with characteristics of "new media" and consequences of the digital revolution. Then, we examine conceptualizations of literacy in a historical context — from literacy as reading and writing to literacy as multimodality, convergence and participation. Finally, we shift our inquiry to investigate how new media literacies and technologies are shaping (and are shaped by) different forms of popular culture in U.S. and international contexts, including parts of Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, and North and South American. We make explicit the connections to education and explore possible directions for research and practice, including copyright and fair use issues present in educational settings. Readings, discussions and activities online and in actual communities culminate in individual- and class-based new media productions. Prerequisite: at least junior standing or permission of the instructor.
Same as L12 Educ 4211
L98 AMCS 4214 From Mammy to the Welfare Queen: African-American Women Theorize Identity
How do representations of identity affect how we see ourselves and the world sees us? African-American women have been particularly concerned with this question, as the stories and pictures circulated about black female identity have had a profound impact on their understandings of themselves and political discourse. In this course we look at how black feminist theorists from a variety of intellectual traditions have explored the impact of theories of identity on our world. We look at their discussions of slavery, colonialism, sexuality, motherhood, citizenship, and what it means to be human.
Same as L77 WGSS 421
L98 AMCS 4224 The 1904 St. Louis World's Fair: German and Austrian Art Exhibited
The St. Louis World's Fair of 1904 (The Louisiana Purchase Exposition) was one of the greatest events of its time. At the beginning we will deal with the historical development that lead to the purchase of the Louisiana Territory in 1803, will review the developments of World's Fairs since 1851 and will have a look at the grand dimension of the 1904 World's Fair (connected with the Olympic Games). Of central importance are the Art Exhibits from Germany and Austria with their cultural-political implications. The German Emperor had a hand in selecting the German paintings to be sent to St. Louis, and his opposition against modern movements like Impressionism caused opposition in Germany. Austria was different: In their Art Nouveau Pavilion they included secessionists (Hagenbund). The Wiener Werkstaetten (Vienna's Workshops) attracted a lot of attention. Different from the paintings, German Arts and Crafts represented avant-garde movements. We will visit libraries, archives, and museums in St. Louis that have World's Fair holdings. The seminar is for advanced undergraduate students but beginning graduate students can take it with permission of the instructor. Course conducted in English. May not be taken for German major or minor credit.
Same as L97 IAS 4224
L98 AMCS 4225 European Utopian Settlements in the American Midwest (1814-1864): Diversity and Antislavery
During the first part of the 19th century, a number of utopian visionaries from Europe (Germany, France and England) tried to establish communities in the American Midwest. These colonies were based either on religious or philosophical/social ideals which could be traced back to interpretations of the Old and the New Testament or to Enlightenment principles of freedom and equality that had been propagated during the revolutions in Europe of 1789, 1830 and 1848 which in turn had been influenced by the American war of independence. These groups showed strong antislavery convictions. The Midwest was chosen since the areas in the vicinity of the confluence of the Mississippi and the Missouri were seen as open to new social experiments. Part of the seminar are field trips to the St. Louis-based Missouri History Library as well as to the St. Louis Public Library and one-day excursions to New Harmony in Indiana, Nauvoo in Illinois, and to small towns in Warren County, Missouri.
Same as L97 IAS 4225
L98 AMCS 422A Film Stardom, Performance, and Fan Culture
This course focuses on the Hollywood star system. We will explore stars in relation to celebrity and consumerism, especially how "stardom" is created by a system that seeks to create effects in film viewers whether conceived as audiences, fans or spectators. We will examine the performance element of stardom and its relationship to genre, style, and changing film technology. Also of concern will be how stars and the discursive construction of stardom intersect with gender representation, race, ideology, sexuality, age, disability, nationality, and other points of theoretical interest to and historical inquiry in contemporary film studies. While emphasis will be placed on mainstream commercial U.S. cinema, students are encouraged to pursue questions beyond this framework within their own research. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 422
L98 AMCS 4231 Topics in American Literature I
Same as L14 E Lit 4231
L98 AMCS 4232 Slavery and the American Imagination
Same as L14 E Lit 4232
L98 AMCS 4241 Topics in American Literature II
This course offers an advanced introduction to both the literature and the concept of Modernism, the "ism" used to mark the experimental verve of early 20th-century writing and to grasp its ties to modernity, or the modern social world. As the course title suggests, we devote most of our time to the career of modernism in the United States, a place imagined as both the modernist nation par excellence and the desert modernism escaped to be born. Three groups of primary texts — early modernist experiments, 1920s modernist landmarks and Great Depression revisions — illuminate the grand ambitions of eccentric literary forms and sequestered avant-garde movements; the public disputes and buried alliances between "high" expatriate and Harlem Renaissance modernisms; and the influential Depression-era reinterpretation of modernism as reactionary self-indulgence. The syllabus features fiction, poetry and drama by old and new literary celebrities: Djuna Barnes, John Dos Passos, T.S. Eliot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Mike Gold, Ernest Hemingway, Nella Larsen, Meridel LeSueur, Claude McKay, Clifford Odets, Tillie Olsen, Ezra Pound, Jean Toomer and Richard Wright. A shorter list of critical essays highlight Modernism's tendency to theorize itself while introducing 21st-century perspectives from the "New Modernist Studies." Satisfies the American requirement. For undergraduates, junior or senior standing is required.
Same as L14 E Lit 424
L98 AMCS 4243 The Plundered Past: Archaeology's Challenges in the Modern World
The public imagination thrills at the fantastic adventures of Indiana Jones and Laura Croft, Tomb Raider; but the reality of modern archaeology is more complex, ethically challenging and interesting than a simple treasure hunt. In the U.S. and Canada, our science museums and museums of anthropology still display artifacts that are regarded as sacred and culturally definitive by Indian nations, although such holdings are now subject to negotiation and repatriation. Art museums in Europe and the U.S. are still stocked with looted ancient masterpieces that are revered as vital heritage by the nations from which they were stolen. We display looted art alongside a much smaller number of legitimately excavated artifacts of masterpiece quality, so it is no surprise that our popular images of archaeologists as avid and undiscerning collectors raise little concern. But modern archaeologists are not extractors of art or even of scientific information, from places as passive and inert as the museums' objects ultimately occupy. Archaeologists work with living people inhabiting societies and states that care deeply about their pasts and the relics of it. They are active agents engaged with many other people in the production of knowledge about the past. In our rapidly shrinking world, educated sensitivity to the many ancient cultural legacies that shape the values of modern global society is more than a moral imperative; it is a basic form of collaboration in the common project of survival. Archaeologists are ethically charged to advance that project through education about the complex contemporary arena of artifacts, sites, and information they occupy.
Same as L48 Anthro 4240
L98 AMCS 4244 Topics in African-American Literature: Texts and Contexts of the Harlem Renaissance
Same as L14 E Lit 4244
L98 AMCS 424A Broadcasting Equality: Radio, Television and Social Change in Postwar America
The period between World War II and the 1970s was one of profound cultural, political, and demographic shifts that brought the problems of ethno-religious and racial prejudice to the forefront of U.S. national consciousness. Religious leaders, secular social activists, media industry professionals, and African-American civil rights leaders often worked together to combat intolerance, bigotry and inequality. What did these activists achieve in their attempts to deploy U.S. broadcast media in what they sometimes referred to as "propaganda against prejudice"? How did this activism relate to the institutions of broadcast media, including governmental agencies, national networks and local broadcasters? What was television and radio's impact on the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s? In addressing these questions, we will consider a wide range of media: public service programming as well as commercially produced series, specials, network news and documentaries produced between the 1940s and the 1970s. Programs considered will include New World A-Coming, Amos 'n' Andy, American Bandstand, NBC White Papers: Sit In, Sanford and Son, Eyes on the Prize, and Soul Train, among many others. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 424
Credit 3 units. A&S IQ: HUM
L98 AMCS 425A Law, Religion, and Politics
What is the role of religious argument in politics and law? What kinds of arguments are advanced, and how do they differ from one another? Are some of these arguments more acceptable than others in a liberal democracy? This course will explore these questions through the work of legal scholars, theologians and political theorists. Our topics include the nature of violence and coercion in the law, constraints on public reason, the relationship between religion and government, and the nature of religious practice and tradition.
Same as L57 RelPol 425
L98 AMCS 4261 Politics of the Civil Rights Movement
This course is intended primarily for sophomores and juniors. The topic of this course varies by semester, dependent on faculty and student interests. Prerequisite: Pol Sci 101B.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 426
L98 AMCS 4280 History of Urban Schooling in the United States
This reading colloquium examines the history of urban schooling and school policy in the United States. Readings focus on the growing literature in the history of urban schooling and on primary source material. We explore urban schooling in general and we examine particular primary source material as well as particular cities and their school districts. Such districts may include New York, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta and others. The course has two goals: to develop a strong contextual understanding of the conditions of urban schooling, the history of urban school reform, and the debates over the purposes of urban schools; and to examine the ways historians have explored urban schooling in the U.S. Students should expect to read a book a week as well as primary source materials and occasional articles.
Same as L12 Educ 4280
L98 AMCS 4288 Higher Education in American Culture
Colleges and universities in the United States have been the sites of both cultural conservation and political and cultural subversion from their founding in the 17th and 18th centuries. They have been integral to national and regional cultural and economic development. In addition, they have functioned as one component of an increasingly diversified and complex system of education. This course, a reading colloquium, surveys higher education in American history, including the ideas that have contributed to shaping that history, beginning with its origins in European institutional models. We use primary and secondary readings to examine critically its conflict-ridden institutional transformation from exclusively serving the elite to increasingly serving the masses. We explore the cultural sources of ideas as well as the growth and diversification of institutions, generations of students and faculty as they changed over time, and curricular evolutions and revolutions in relation to the larger social and cultural contexts of institutional expansion.
Same as L12 Educ 4288
L98 AMCS 4289 Neighborhoods, Schools and Social Inequality
A major purpose of the course is to study the research and policy literature related to neighborhoods, schools and the corresponding opportunity structure in urban America. The course is informed by theoretical models drawn from economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, education and law. A major focus is to gain greater understanding of the experiences and opportunity structure(s) of urban dwellers, in general, and urban youth, in particular. While major emphasis is placed on data derived from the interface of urban environments and the corresponding institutions within them, the generational experiences of various ethnic groups complement the course foci.
Same as L12 Educ 4289
L98 AMCS 428A The "Crossover" Tradition in Anglo-American Music Theater
The musical stage in the United States and Britain has remained a vital artistic and commercial arena over the past 100 years despite the emergence of mass media formats such as film and television. Audiences continue to clamor for stage stories where actors sing or singers act, and composers, writers, producers and directors have created a stunning variety of musical theater styles to meet the demand. This course surveys important English-language operas, operettas and singer-centered musicals from the turn of the 20th century to the start of the 21st with an emphasis on "crossover" works that blur the lines between opera and the commercial musical stage. All the works included in the course continue to be performed today, forming a core repertory of music theater works in English that emphasize singers and singing. The overlapping, ever-changing spheres of the opera house and Broadway and West End theaters provide the geography of the course, which is peopled by performers, creators and audiences. In-class analysis of 14 works focuses on how the singing voice has been used as an expressive vehicle and how theater singers have adapted to an age of amplification and recording. Works studied include Carousel, Sweeney Todd, The Phantom of the Opera, Show Boat, Candide, Street Scene, The Pirates of Penzance, The Light in the Piazza, My Fair Lady, Albert Herring, Porgy and Bess, The Most Happy Fella, Margaret Garner and The Student Prince. In-class singing is encouraged as a means to get inside the musical and dramatic values of these works. Prerequisites: ability to read music, and graduate or upper-division standing.
Same as L27 Music 4282
L98 AMCS 4291 The American Renaissance
Literature of the mid-19th century with attention to social and intellectual backgrounds and the sources of the transcendentalist movement.
Same as L14 E Lit 426
L98 AMCS 4292 Polarization in American Politics
This course examines the political polarization of the American political parties and explores its effects on the mass public and American democracy more generally. We examine what exactly is polarization, how it is measured, historical changes, potential causes, and its potential effects on the mass public and governance. Prerequisites: Pol Sci 101B Intro to American Politics, Pol Sci 363 Quantitative Political Methodology or equivalent.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 4291
Credit 3 units.
L98 AMCS 4301 American Literature from 1855-1921
Same as L14 E Lit 429
L98 AMCS 431 Modernism and Postmodernism in American Literature
Readings in early sources of 20th-century developments, followed by a selective survey of literary discourse from the 1920s through the 1990s in the United States. Prerequisites: junior standing and 6 units of literature or graduate standing.
Same as L14 E Lit 428
L98 AMCS 4315 Culture, Language and the Education of Black Students
This course examines the communicative patterns of what is called variously African-American language, Pan-African linguistic systems and Ebonics within the context of public school policy and practice. In addition to a review of the structural and pragmatic aspects of black speech, the course highlights relationships between controversies within the linguistic community, contrasting views of speech within black lay communities, public discourse, and educational policy. Students also conduct a field-based research project in accord with their particular interests.
Same as L12 Educ 4315
L98 AMCS 4340 Topics in Drama: 19th-Century American Drama
Varies from semester to semester.
Same as L14 E Lit 434
L98 AMCS 436A Black Sexual Politics
Borrowing from Patricia Hill Collins' perspective in Black Sexual Politics, this seminar examines the historic and popular understandings of black sexuality and how they maintain color line, as well as threaten to spread what Hill Collins refers to as a "new brand of racism." Particularly, this course engages questions about sexuality that have only begun to be discussed with African-American Studies and the larger public sphere. Taking the intersections of identities very seriously, this course interrogates the ways in which these constructions have affected black women, while also being attentive to how "others" are implicated within discourses of black sexuality. Similarly, we will also engage the various distortions of black men — depictions of the black and masculine as almost always violent, sexually and socially irresponsible, brutish, questionable and unfaithful. Together we will use various critical texts and media to better understand the impact and the importance of visual and material images in the interplay of race, sex and politics in contemporary America.
Same as L77 WGSS 436
L98 AMCS 4370 Music and Performance
In his 1998 book, Musicking, Christopher Small asserts that music is not a thing but an activity — something that people do. Starting from this premise, this course explores musical performance as a live event, one in which additional aspects of performance — dramatic enactments, costume, choreography, and stage design — also come into play. While recorded music plays an important role in our investigations, we focus on musical events that take place before and with live audiences. Exploring the choices of performers and the expectations of audience members in settings from gospel churches to Radio City Music Hall, this course moves through a wide variety of musical genres, including cabaret, blues, opera, protest song, musical theater, and rock. We examine artists whose work blurs the line between "music" and "theater," including George Clinton, Taylor Mac, and Gertrude Stein, as well as everyday people, such as the singers of the Civil Rights Movement, who used the power of live musical performance to change the course of human history. We also attend performances around St. Louis, guided by the interests of the class. Students with an interest in music, theater, dance, cultural history, American studies, and African-American studies are especially welcome.
L98 AMCS 4390 Literary Theory
Literary Theory course
Same as L14 E Lit 439
L98 AMCS 4392 Capitalism and Culture: New Perspectives in Economic Anthropology
Capitalism is perhaps the most important historical and social phenomenon in the modern world. In tribal settings and major cities alike its complex impacts are evident. Through rich case studies of how capitalism touches down in diverse cultures, this course provides an introduction to anthropological perspectives on the economy and economic development. Themes covered include the history of capitalism and globalization, the cultural meanings of class and taste, the relationship between capitalism and popular culture, major artistic responses to capitalism, social movements such as environmentalism, and the field of international development. No background in anthropology or economics is required.
Same as L48 Anthro 4392
L98 AMCS 441 In the Field: Ethnographic and Qualitative Methods
This course provides an introduction to ethnographic and qualitative research. Ethnography is the study of culture and social organization primarily through participant observation and interviewing. Ethnographic research provides descriptive and interpretative analyses of the routine practices of everyday life. Ethnographic accounts represent different ways people live and make sense of their experiences and describe the types of social organization (for example, gender relations, class systems, racial divisions or cultural contexts) that, in part, serve to structure or pattern social behavior. Students conduct a small-scale qualitative research project, and in the process they gain skills in various qualitative research methods. This course is suitable for both undergraduate and graduate students. One purpose of the course is to help students plan for subsequent thesis research, independent study projects, or dissertation research.
L98 AMCS 442 Oil Wars: America and the Cultural Politics of Global Energy
This seminar explores the historical, cultural and political relationship between America and global energy, focusing specifically on oil and natural gas. Our central objective is to examine how oil and natural gas shape our own lives and entangle us in the cultural, political and economic lives of the rest of the world. We ask what anthropological and social science approaches might contribute to our understanding of a situation that has become, in most popular terms, a national "crisis" of global dimensions.
L98 AMCS 444 Seminar
Rotating upper-level seminar. Senior seminar normally offered each semester and meant to satisfy the 400-level requirement for the drama major.
Same as L15 Drama 445
L98 AMCS 4450 Readings in American Literature
Same as L14 E Lit 445
L98 AMCS 4455 Ethnographic Fieldwork
This is a practice-based course in ethnographic fieldwork. Using a local case study (the cultural politics of schooling), we examine ethnographic fieldwork as an academic instrument and public social action. The course prepares students for independent research in academic or professional fields, developing skills in critical thought, thesis and question development, background and internet research, perspective and empathy, social and political-economic analysis, observation, interviewing, oral histories, note-taking, data analysis, cultural interpretation, and writing. Student work contributes to the ongoing "St. Louis Schools' Ethnographic Documentation Project."
Same as L48 Anthro 4455
L98 AMCS 4456 Ethnographic Fieldwork: Energy Politics
This is a practice-based course in ethnographic fieldwork that will focus on the politics of fossil fuels and the renewable energy transition in St. Louis and Missouri. We will situate ourselves as anthropologists with an interest in understanding relationships between global warming, the socio-technical arrangements of energy production, circulation, and use in the city and region, public knowledge, health, and social and cultural practices, and the roles and activities of businesses, political institutions, and elected officials. Through case studies we will work to produce critical knowledge aimed at pushing institutions, the city, and the region toward the transition to renewable energy. Our efforts will produce empirical documentation, case studies, and proposals and may include field trips to resource extraction sites and government offices
Same as L48 Anthro 4456
L98 AMCS 4491 American Unbelief from the Enlightenment to the New Atheism
This seminar examines American secularism, humanism and atheism from the Enlightenment forward to the present. Topics emphasized include: the relationship between believers and nonbelievers, the civil liberties of atheists, religion in the public schools, social radicalism and women's rights, and the more recent growth of religious disaffiliation and public atheism. The course considers not only the intellectual dimensions of freethinking unbelief but also the broader politics of secularism in a nation routinely imagined as "under God."
Same as L57 RelPol 4491
L98 AMCS 4501 Tennessee Williams Playwright
Topics in American Drama.
Same as L15 Drama 453
L98 AMCS 4510 American Television Genres
Questions of genre are central to any exploration of television's texts, whether they are being analyzed as craft, commerce, or cultural phenomenon. Genre has been used by critics and historians to ascribe "social functions" to groups of programs and to diagnose cultural preoccupations, while genre has been used industrially to manage expectations among audiences, advertisers, programmers, producers, and creative professionals. Investigating genres ranging from the soap opera to the western, workplace situation comedies to sports, and game shows to cop shows, this course explores the role of genre in the production, distribution and reception of American television. Students gain a critical understanding of genre theory and key arguments about the form and function of television texts and develop a set of tools for analysis of televisual narrative and style, the social uses and meanings of genre, the institutional practices and presumptions of the American television industry, and the persistence of textual forms and audience formations in the face of structural changes such as deregulation, media convergence, and globalization. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 451
L98 AMCS 451B Controversies in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice: Homicide
Seminar investigates current controversies surrounding the homicide laws. Topics include the definitions of homicide and claims of self-defense, the controversies about admissions of evidence at various stages of prosecution, and the debates about the use of capital punishment (including the capital punishment of youths). Includes general academic readings, readings of recent court opinions, and guest discussants from the legal community. Prerequisite: senior standing.
L98 AMCS 452 Race, Ethnicity and Culture: Qualitative Inquiry in Urban Education
Drawing on traditional and recent advances in the field of qualitative studies, this course is the first in a series to examine ethnographic research at the interlocking domains of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and culture. The emphasis in this course is on how these concepts are constructed in urban educational institutions. The course includes a field component that involves local elementary and/or middle schools.
Same as L90 AFAS 4511
L98 AMCS 4520 Industrial Organization
Theoretical and empirical analysis of the presence and value of competitive forces in the United States economy. Theories of industrial organization and development of criteria for performance of noncompetitive industries. Prerequisite: Econ 4011.
Same as L11 Econ 452
L98 AMCS 4521 Immigration, Identity and New Technology
This course examines how immigration is being transformed by changes in information and communication technology. With these new technologies, immigrants can stay in contact with family and friends much more easily, travel to and maintain relationships in their home countries, and form bonds with other immigrants in the new country. How do these changes affect how immigrants view themselves in their new countries? Are they more or less likely to settle permanently? Do they change their patterns of political participation? We will answer these and other questions using literature from sociology, communication, psychology, anthropology and political science. Students will be expected to explore internet sources as well as traditional materials.
Same as L97 IAS 452
L98 AMCS 4522 Topics in American Politics: The Voting, Campaigns and Elections
This course is intended primarily for sophomores and juniors. The topic of this course varies by semester, dependent on faculty and student interests.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 4522
Credit 3 units. A&S: SS
L98 AMCS 4523 Teaching Adults in Community Settings
Communities possess a vast and varied choice of learning opportunities for the citizens, whose participation as volunteers, communicators, facilitators, mentors, leaders and instructors can enhance their own lives as well as the life of the community. This course helps students acquire the knowledge, skill sets, habits of mind, and learning strategies necessary for understanding the adult learner and the effective design of learning for personal and professional growth by adults in a variety of community settings. We inventory the class members' interests in specific community contexts so that we can work with those settings in mind throughout the semester. Discussion of learners' needs and peer practice of appropriate, effective instructional and learning strategies provide experience, new perspectives and opportunities for reflection. Course work serves as preparation for the final project, which is to create an instructional plan for adult learners that addresses a specific community learning need or situation.
Same as L12 Educ 4521
L98 AMCS 453 Sociology of Education
This course provides an overview of sociological theory and research on education in contemporary U.S. society. Drawing from sociological perspectives, it covers the implications of schools and schooling for social inequality, mobility and group relations. It examines major theoretical perspectives on the purpose and social organization of mass education in the United States, and topics related to the organization and function of schools, access to educational resources, and group disparities in school experiences and outcomes.
Same as L12 Educ 453B
L98 AMCS 454 Environmental Policy
This course examines the relationship between environmental economics and environmental policy. The course focuses on air pollution, water pollution, and hazardous wastes, with some attention given to biodiversity and global climate change. The course examines critically two prescriptions that economics usually endorses: (1) "balancing" of benefits against costs (e.g., benefit-cost analysis) and the use of risk analysis in evaluating policy alternatives; (2) use of market incentives (e.g., prices, taxes or charges) or "property rights" instead of traditional command-and-control regulations to implement environmental policy. Prerequisite: Econ 1011.
Same as L11 Econ 451
L98 AMCS 4540 American Film Melodrama and the Gothic
American film melodrama has been considered both the genre of suffering protagonists, incredible coincidences, and weeping spectators as well as a mode of action, suspense, and in-the-nick-of-time rescues. In this course, we examine American film melodrama as a dialectic of sentiment and sensation which draws heavily on Gothic tropes of terror, live burial, and haunted internal states. We trace the origins of film melodrama and the cinematic Gothic to their literary antecedents, the horrors of the French Revolution, and classical and sensational stage melodramas of the 19th century. In addition to the 1940s Gothic woman's film cycle, we excavate the Gothic in the maternal melodrama, the suspense thriller, film noir, domestic melodrama, the slasher film, and the supernatural horror film. Required screenings.
Same as L53 Film 454
L98 AMCS 4551 Seminar in Political Economy
This research seminar will introduce the student to recent work on the political economy of democracy. We shall start with a historical account of the development of democratic institutions in Britain and the United States, and then continue with recent work on modeling elections. We shall compare elections in countries that make use of proportional electoral systems, such as Israel, with those like the United States and Britain that are highly majoritarian. Finally, we shall discuss the forces of democratization and globalization. The required work for the seminar is a research paper approximately 20 pages (double-spaced) in length.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 4551
L98 AMCS 456 Topics in American Politics: Supreme Court
This seminar has two purposes: to introduce students to the state of the art in studies of the Supreme Court and to cover a series of particular topics with emphasis on the major controversies within the field of law and the courts.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 451
Credit 3 units. A&S: SS
L98 AMCS 457 American Film Genres
By close examination of three or four specific types of film narratives, this course will explore how genre has functioned in the Hollywood mode of production. Students will gain an understanding of genre both as a critical construct as well as a form created by practical economic concerns, a means of creating extratextual communication between film artist/producers and audience/consumers. Genres for study will be chosen from the western, the gangster film, the horror movie, the musical, screwball comedy, science fiction, the family melodrama, the woman's film, and others. In addition to film showings, there will be readings in genre theory as well as genre analyses of individual films. Required screenings Tuesdays at 4 p.m.
Same as L53 Film 450
L98 AMCS 4584 Contemporary American Fiction
Same as L14 E Lit 4584
L98 AMCS 4591 Philosophies of Education
An examination of distinct educational philosophies (traditional, progressive and radical) and an analysis of perennial topics in the philosophy of education (educational goals, the teacher’s and student’s roles, and curricular content). Discussion of such recent themes as gender relations and education, democracy and education, and moral values and education. Seminar format.
Same as L12 Educ 459F
L98 AMCS 460 Urban Economics
Economic function of the city and the role of the city in a national economy. Local decisionmaking; financing of local government expenditures. An analysis of selected urban problems, such as causes and effects of housing market segregation; decay and abandonment, landlord-tenant relations, crime, and urban transport systems. Prerequisite: Econ 4011.
Same as L11 Econ 460
L98 AMCS 4608 The Education of Black Children and Youth in the United States
This course provides an overview of the education of Black children and youth in the United States. Covering both pre- and post-Brown eras, this course applies a deep reading to the classic works of DuBois and Anderson as well as the more recent works of Kozol, Delpit, and Foster. The social, political, and historical contexts of education, as essential aspects of American and African-American culture and life, are placed in the foreground of course inquiries,
Same as L12 Educ 4608
L98 AMCS 4612 Topics in Eng Lit I
Studies in special subjects, e.g., allegory and symbolism in the medieval period, the sonnet in English literature, English poetry and politics. Consult Course Listings.
Same as L14 E Lit 461
L98 AMCS 461B The Construction and Experience of Black Adolescence
This course examines the construct of black adolescence from the general perspectives of anthropology, sociology and psychology. It begins by studying the construct of black adolescence as an "invention" of the social and behavioral sciences. The course then draws upon narrative data, autobiography, literature and multimedia sources authored by black youth to recast black adolescence as a complex social, psychological, cultural and political phenomenon. This course focuses on the meaning-making experiences of urban-dwelling black adolescents and highlights these relations within the contexts of class, gender, sexuality and education.
Same as L90 AFAS 461B
L98 AMCS 462 Politics of Education
Politics is interpreted broadly to include not just government, but any situation in which people have to solve a problem or come to a decision. This course focuses on schools and the processes through which certain stories, identities, and practices are promoted, and others, not.
Same as L12 Educ 462
L98 AMCS 4620 Topics in English Literature II: Travel and Colonization in the Early Modern Period
Variable topics, such as Travel and Colonization in the Renaissance; Renaissance Skepticism and the Literature of Doubt.
Same as L14 E Lit 462
L98 AMCS 4621 The Political Economy of Urban Education
Defining a political economy of urban education involves the examination of power and wealth and the manner in which they operate in urban settings. It requires analysis of the larger urban social and economic context and consideration of historical forces that have brought the schools to their present state. In this course, we consider various political and economic factors that have influenced and shaped urban education in the United States, drawing upon the extant literature on urban education and related social science disciplines to characterize and discuss them. A particular focus of this course will be on the dynamic interrelationships among the political economy, urban education, and social stratification.
Same as L12 Educ 4621
L98 AMCS 470 American Intellectual History Since 1865
This course concentrates on social, cultural, philosophical and political thought since the end of the Civil War, and investigates how American thinkers have responded to the challenge of modernity. After an examination of the end of the old religious order and the revolt against Victorianism, it analyzes the subsequent rise of pragmatism, progressivism, literary modernism, radical liberalism, political realism, protest movements and the New Left, neo-conservatism and the New Right, and the current state of intellectuals in post-911 America.
Same as L22 History 469
L98 AMCS 472 American Art and Culture, 1945-1960
The rise and "triumph" of Abstract Expressionism has long dominated the story of American art following World War II. This seminar puts Abstract Expressionism into context with parallel developments in the arts, photography and film. Among the topics we consider: the conversation between émigré artists and American culture during and after the war; the emergence of a "noir" aesthetic in film and literature; the early work of Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg and the so-called "aesthetic of indifference" in relation to Abstract Expressionism; artistic collaborations at Black Mountain College; New York school photography and photojournalism; and the cultural impact of the A-bomb. Prerequisites: a 300-level course on 20th-century art, photography or history, or permission of the instructor.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 4721
L98 AMCS 474 Americans and Their Presidents
How have Americans understood what it means to be President of the United States? This seminar uses that question as a point of departure for a multidisciplinary cultural approach to the presidency in the United States, examining the shifting roles of the chief executive from George Washington through Barack Obama. In addition to a consideration of the president’s political and policy-making roles, this course examines how the lived experiences of presidents have informed the ways Americans have conceived of public and private life within a broader political culture. In the process, this course uses the presidency as a means to explore topics ranging from electioneering to gender, foreign policy to popular media. Readings are drawn from a broad range of fields.
L98 AMCS 4744 TransAmerica: The US and Mexico between the Wars
Many areas of 20th century U.S. culture between World Wars I and II were inspired by post-revolutionary Mexico. The Mexican Revolution (1910-1917) profoundly reoriented modern Mexico, introducing new cultural and aesthetic forms and historical themes over subsequent decades. Mexican artists contributed to a new national consciousness drawing on indigenous Mexico and on the new politics of workers and peasants, given monumental expression in mural painting. The bidirectional exchange between U.S. and Mexican artists was of great importance for the cultural revitalization of the New Deal and after in the U.S. Among artists, writers, anthropologists and tourists, the vogue for things Mexican was fed by many sources, including increasing travel, diplomatic exchange, and a yearning for alternatives to U.S. modernity. The seminar supports travel to Mexico City, funded by the art history and archaeology department. Must be a graduate student, or an undergraduate major or minor in art history and archaeology. Recommended courses: one 300- or 400-level course in 20th-century U.S. art or history; or one relevant course in Latin American Studies program.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 4744
L98 AMCS 476 The City in American Arts and Popular Culture
Using visual media — painting; prints and illustration; film and animation — along with studies of vaudeville and other forms of popular and mass entertainment, this seminar analyzes the presence of the city as a theme that registers a range of cultural attitudes toward the modern. Through close readings of visual and verbal texts, we consider such issues as the relationship between work and leisure, and between high culture and popular arts. We look at critiques and celebrations as well as at how the popular arts help the ordinary man and woman to negotiate the challenges of the new mechanized and overscaled urban environment. Prerequisites: 300-level course in American 20th-century cultural history, American art, literature, or permission of instructor.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 475
L98 AMCS 4785 Art and Culture in 1920s America
This interdisciplinary seminar examines the relationship between art and 1920s culture in the United States: how artists and critics thought about the nature of our cultural heritage — its rich possibilities and its limitations; the potential of technology and urbanization as well as the threats they pose to older cultural values; the nature of a multicultural society and the contributions of minority traditions to the evolution of American culture; the lure of the Southwest; early criticism of popular media; and the conversation between popular culture and high art. Prerequisite: Art-Arch 112 or permission of instructor.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 4785
L98 AMCS 4792 Globalization and National Politics
This seminar examines globalization and its interaction with national politics. The movements of ideas, capital, goods, services, production and people across national borders provide a skeletal framework for the global political economy. Politicians, policymakers and societies discover new opportunities, but also dilemmas, as expanding interdependence challenges traditional notions of sovereignty and national policy autonomy. Prerequisite: Pol Sci 102 or Pol Sci 103.
Same as L32 Pol Sci 4792
L98 AMCS 4803 Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Landscape, and Spatial Analysis in Archaeology
The aim of this course is to learn to analyze archaeological data in terms of its spatial layout, geography, ecology, and temporal dynamics, using Geographic Information Systems and associated computer modeling techniques. A focus is placed on the relationship between natural environments, cultural geography, and the mapping of archaeological landscapes, and on the archaeologist's ability to accurately recover, reconstruct and analyze this relationship in a virtual environment.
Same as L48 Anthro 4803
L98 AMCS 4851 Topics in American Jewish Studies
Same as L75 JINE 4851
L98 AMCS 485A Advanced Seminar: Prisons, Politics and Activism
Prison reformers argue that de-criminalizing nonviolent offenses will be enough to reduce mass incarceration, while prison abolitionists argue that we need to dismantle the entire carceral state in the U.S., which is maintained by a racially stratified system of public schooling, housing, employment and health care. What is at stake in these debates? Are we seeking to promote basic humanity, racial and gender equality or utopian visions of rehabilitation? This course seeks to historically contextualize prison reform and abolitionism from the 13th Amendment's re-articulation of slavery to current resistance to mass incarceration. Special attention will be paid to the intersections between the prisoner's rights movement and the Black & Brown Power, feminist, queer and disability movements.
Same as L22 History 4851
L98 AMCS 487 Topics in American History
This course explores the racial construction of the use of legal and illegal substances in American history from the mid-19th century to the present. We will spend time engaging in a historical analysis of the social, economic, and racial dynamics that defined drug addiction in popular imagination, and examine how these factors contributed to discussions about legality, access to substances, one's ability to be rehabilitated, and criminal status. Regarding criminality we will particularly explore sociological and theoretical perspectives of labeling, habitual and occasional offenders, and moral panic in order to understand how racial minority groups were targeted for different rhetorical, legislative, and economic purposes. One major goal of the course will be to outline the early 20th century beginnings of the war on drugs and connect it to the century long growth of a militarized police system and prison industrial complex. We will secondly work to understand the role of local and national political actors, law enforcement, and the media in manufacturing and maintaining connections between race, crime and drugs. Ultimately, we will use our study of drugs to contextualize 21st-century issues of police violence, increases in homicide in minority communities, mass incarceration, poverty, segregation, and mass movements of protest.
Same as L22 History 487
L98 AMCS 4878 Cold War Cultures, U.S. and Europe, ca. 1945-1955
This seminar examines the art worlds that emerged in France and Germany after the end of World War II, and the ensuing dialogue with the United States, newly established as the most influential center for art and culture. We consider the social and political conditions of the postwar years, along with the aesthetic, cultural, and philosophical reactions to the devastating consequences brought about by World War II. We pay particular attention to the intellectual and ideological debates that would — by 1949 — give rise to the extreme polarities between East and West, democracy and communism — in short, the confrontations that distinguish the Cold War. Artists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning in the United States, Hans Hartung and K.O. Götz in Germany, and Jean Frautrier and Alberto Giacometti in France will be examined, as well as the broader artistic movements that are known under such labels as Abstract Expressionism, Informel, Tachisme, or Un art autre. Prerequisites: L01 Art-Arch 112 Intro to Western Art, L01 Art-Arch 211 Intro to Modern Art, or L01 Art-Arch 215 Intro to Modern Art, Architecture and Design; one 300-level course in Art History preferred; or permission of instructor.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 4878
L98 AMCS 4908 Advanced Seminar: Women in the History of Higher Education and Professions
An advanced seminar with readings exploring education, historical studies, and feminist theory. Each student writes a paper, based on research in local archives and in other primary sources, on a topic related to women in higher education and/or professions. Prerequisite: junior standing or above; some background in American history.
Same as L12 Educ 440
Credit 3 units. A&S: TH, SD
L98 AMCS 4982 Public Art: History, Practice, Theory
The course will consider the history and functions of public art, with special attention to public art in St. Louis. We survey not only the obvious forms of public art in urban sculpture and mural painting, but also less traditional intersections of art and public in such sites as the internet. We will also examine the operations of institutions — national and local arts agencies, international exhibitions, nonprofit centers and the like — that foster a public engagement with contemporary art. Finally, we will consider new priorities and projects in public art, especially socially oriented and environmentally sustainable initiatives. Prerequisites: L01 Art-Arch 112 Introduction to Western Art or L01 Art-Arch 211 Introduction to Modern Art; one 300-level course in art history preferred, or permission of instructor.
Same as L01 Art-Arch 4982
L98 AMCS 4984 The Problem of New World Freedom: The Age of Democratic Revolution in the United States and the Americas
Ever since the improbable alliance of the English pirate and slave trader Sir Francis Drake and the fugitive slave Cimarrons on the Atlantic coast of Panama many centuries ago, the history of freedom in the New World has unfolded in unlikely fits and starts. The course will explore two related conjectures: first, that maroon politics (the often short-lived alliances between slaves, quasi-free blacks and white allies), slave rebellion, provincial secession and civil war were the widespread and normative conditions of post-colonial regimes throughout the New World; and second, that the problem of freedom was especially challenging in a New World environment in which freedom was fleeting and tended to decompose. Special attention will be given to antislavery insurgencies, interracial politics and alliances in the Unites States and the perspectives on freedom they produced, but the readings will also include materials on debates over freedom in the Caribbean and South America over the course of the long age of democratic revolution, 1760-1888.
Same as L22 History 4984
L98 AMCS 4992 The Business of Us All: In/equality in Theory and Practice
This course uses a transdisciplinary approach to discuss in/equality and its interrelated topics of inequality, inequity and social justice. While the focus is on the U.S. predominantly, lessons learned from our global partners are important components of our discussions. The course will emphasize the implications of our findings for other ethnic/racial minorities around the world. Equality speaks to issues of priority, fairness and impartiality. On the other hand, inequality is defined as marked difference among individuals or groups of individuals in the distribution of social goods. Inequity, which considers bias, discrimination and injustice in distributive systems, pushes the discussion further. As the various forms of social, political and economic inequalities are mutually reinforced, we examine economic inequality, residential segregation and housing quality; dis/investment in neighborhoods and communities; resource allocation to low income, city and predominantly ethnic minority schools; academic underachievement of minority youth; access to and provision of appropriate health care; curtailment of social welfare programs; the presentation of stereotypical images of persons of color in the media and school curricula; morbidity, mortality, and longevity rates for persons of color; environmental hazards; the surge in incarceration related to substance abuse and escalating criminal prosecution, as well as discriminatory behavior of police and judges. All of the foregoing is made worse by race and gender status variables. Such factors cannot be considered inconsequential to social im/mobility and equality in the larger society. The collateral damage borne by the intergenerational transfer of social im/mobility and in/equality to future generations are integral to course discussions.
Same as I50 InterD 4992
L98 AMCS 49MA Advanced Seminar: Visual Culture and American History
How does United States history look different with visual culture at the center of the story? Focusing on the 19th century in particular, this course investigates how images and other visual objects did not simply reflect, but also shaped society, culture, politics, ideas and identities. The course moves from the Revolution to the mass-culture society of the early 20th century. During this period, America experienced a litany of profound transformations in the growth of cities to the emancipation of slaves.
Same as L22 History 49MA
L98 AMCS 49PK The Founding Fathers' Government in an Electronic Age
This is a research seminar that examines how Americans sought to translate their notions of government into a realistic set of priorities and a functioning set of public institutions. Extending from 1789 through the 1820s, this course investigates how the federal government came into being, what it did, and who populated the civilian and military rank of American officialdom. This is also a course in digital history. Students create new knowledge through their own contributions to an ongoing digital project that seeks to reconstitute the early federal workforce. In the process, students learn a variety of digital techniques, ranging from encoding languages to electronic systems to software packages.
Same as L22 History 49PK
L98 AMCS 49SA Advanced Seminar: Slavery in America: The Politics of Knowledge Production
This course focuses on the long history of black chattel slavery in America, from origins to emancipation. The course foregrounds the struggles over power, life and death, that were at the heart of slavery's traumatic and grotesquely violent 250-year career in North America, with attention to hemispheric context. At the same time, it highlights the fiercely contested historical battleground where scholars have argued about how to define American slavery — as a system or site of labor, reproduction, law, property and dispossession, racial and gender domination, sexual abuse and usurpation, psychological terror and interdependency, containment and marooning, selfhood and nationality, agency, revolutionary liberation and millennial redemption.
Same as L22 History 49SA
L98 AMCS 479 On Location: Exploring America
Every summer, AMCS travels to a new location to explore fundamental questions of national identity and meaning through the study of the interdependent relationship between culture and place. By visiting landmarks, historic sites, museums, memorials, etc. — sites best understood through direct engagement with consideration of their rich material, historical, political, and social meanings — students become in-the-field observers and learn from local experts and faculty. Past On Location destinations have included: California, Hawaii, New York City, Washington D.C., the "Industrial Southwest," and American Indian landmarks. For more information and a description of past travel sites, please visit our website.