AMER 100: Latinos and U.S. Popular Culture
This course examines past and present issues pertaining to Latinos and popular culture in the United States. A diverse ethnic/racial group with a long history in the United States, Latinos also represent the fastest growing demographic in contemporary U.S. society. This course explores a wide scope of Latino popular culture: highly produced entertainment (television, radio, film, magazines); commercial and non-commercial musical and artistic expression; popular celebrations; and the culture of "everyday life," from traditional folklore to newly invented customs and rituals. Popular culture is examined to reveal how Latino groups (Mexicans, Cubans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, etc.), reinvent their culture, heritage, and ethnic identity in the United States, and how Latinos in the process are changing American popular culture and national identity.
AMER 100W: Introduction to American Studies
AMER 100W: The Harlem Renaissance
This course examines the depth and breadth of the cultural phenomenon known as the Harlem Renaissance. However, rather than view this episode as an isolated period of African-American expression, we will see how Renaissance era artistry extended an earlier "New Negro" tradition, and how it encapsulated African-American cultural responses to early twentieth-century social, political, and economic stimuli. As such, students will work toward developing strategies for positioning authors and texts within specific cultural, historical, and theoretical contexts. Within this diverse landscape we will investigate artists, essayists, poets, musicians, and novelists that include: Aaron Douglass, Langston Hughes, Alain Locke, Countee Cullen, Louis Armstrong, Claude McKay, Nella Larsen, Rudolph Fisher, Wallace Thurman and George Schuyler.
AMER 115F: Food for Thought: The Social History of America Through Food
The course will cover a wide range of topics, from accounts of New World foods, the development of regional food customs, the industrialization of food production, historical and
contemporary instances of excess and lack of food in American history. The course will be organized chronologically, but will go beyond a simple study of history, to include works of literature, folklore, film, popular culture, and women's studies. We will look at how food marks social, racial, and gender differences, as a means for understanding American identity.
AMER 294: American Studies Workshop: History, Memory and Narrative
This course examines the representation of historical trauma through literature and the built environment. It explores how specific historical events are re-membered—both resurrected and recontained—through different narrative forms. We will locate ourselves in historical sites that are crucial to the production of US national identity: slavery, the Holocaust, Vietnam, and 9/11. In doing so, we will examine how cultural texts represent and reconstruct a traumatic past in dialogue with the present needs of national identity. Our focus will be on the production of public memory and its central role in the formation of national identity.