Fall 2011

AMST 55H:  Birth and Death in the United States

Section 1:  Timothy Marr

2 TR, Graham Memorial 038

This course explores birth and death as essential human rites of passage informed by changing American historical and cultural contexts.  Birth and death define life in ways that none can recall or relate with experiential authority, so examining them provides powerful insights into how culture mediates the construction of bodies and social identities.  Birth and death in contemporary United States, in contrast to much of America’s history when they took part in the home, often happen within institutional conventions of, professional practice and legal concern.  This seminar uses active interdisciplinary learning to expose the ways that various Americans have historically defined the meanings of these passages through different processes of cultural power.  Readings and assignments are designed to provoke dynamic understandings of birth and death by examining the changing anthropological rituals, scientific technologies, medical procedures, religious meanings, and ethical quandaries surrounding them.  We will explore – through independent research and collective discussion – a variety of representations of American birth and death through literary expressions, photography and film, material and commercial culture, scholarly inquiry, and institutional practice.

 

AMST 60:  American Indians in History, Law, and Literature

Section 1:  Tol Foster

2 MWF, Murphey 202

This reading-intensive seminar offers a concentrated focus on the experience of American Indians as colonized people, with the understanding that they represent a unique challenge for a contractual democracy both as individuals and as sovereign tribal governments.. At times, victories for American Indians in U.S. courts have meant greater freedom for other Americans, as with religious freedom: at other times, their legal status as “domestic dependent nations” has meant that they are uniquely beholden to a government not their own.

Through three units focused first on history, than law, and finally literature, this course will consider major areas that dramatize the distinct status of American Indians in the U.S.: the land, tribal sovereignty, and American Indian personhood. We will consider how it is that Indians came to “lose” the land in colonial America. Utilizing NC tribes, among others, we will trace how tribes are, and are not, like other governments, such that some can build casinos but none can build nuclear weapons, for example. We will also consider the gradual emancipation of American Indian individuals from their status as enemies, wards of the state and objects of scientific study, de-tribalized and racially quantified citizens, and finally as dual citizens of the U.S. In a number of assignments, both individual and group, students will create and refine entries on Wikipedia that share their understanding of these issues with the larger world. No prior knowledge about American Indians or Wikipedia is expected, but upon completion, students will gain a powerful new understanding of the country we all share, and familiarity with a tool that allows them to distribute what they know to the broader population.

Students will focus on particular American Indian policy issues, a broader area of inquiry that relates to indigenous people, and present a powerpoint presentation on their work.  They will also work with the following materials: Broughton, Wikipedia: The Missing Manual; Green and Perdue, American Indians: A Very Brief Introduction; Wilkinson, Blood Struggle: The Rise of Modern Indian Nations; Banner, How the Indians Lost Their Land; Canby, American Indian Law in a Nutshell; Waldman, Atlas of the North American Indian; Lowery, Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South; Howe, Mikko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story; Silko, Yellow Woman and a Beauty of the Spirit.

 

AMST 89:  A Semester at Walden

Section 1:  Robert Cantwell

9:30 TR; Murphey 203

Thoreau’s Walden transports us to the shores of Walden Pond in the 1840s, acquaints us with the details of its native plants and animals, transforms the language of natural science into a symbolic scheme of the ethical and spiritual life, mounts a powerful critique of capitalist development, and tells the moving story of what sent its author to the woods and what he learned there.  In “A Semester at Walden” students will assess Thoreau’s literary and practical effort to build a foundation under Emerson’s dictum that “nature is the symbol of the spirit.”  Through reading, class discussion, critical writing and their own daily journal, students will explore the literal, figurative, symbolic and transcendental meanings of Walden, while conducting under its influence an experiment of their own in the deliberate life through daily written observation and reflection.

 

AMST 110:  Introduction to Native American Studies

Section 1:  Dan Cobb

12 MW (plus recitation); Chapman 201

“Introduction to Native American Studies” will survey American Indian history from the period before European contact to the present, with a particular focus on the ways in which the peoples indigenous to North America have negotiated dramatic changes in their lives. We will also explore how scholars have come to “make sense” of this past.  At the heart of the course in both regards is ethnohistory—a broadly interdisciplinary way of knowing that draws insights from history, anthropology, sociology, literature, and other fields of study.  Our goal is a challenging one, and to meet it we will come to appreciate the complexity of multiple contexts, including Native and non-Native cultures, federal policies and local adaptations, domination and agency.  It is an endeavor that will call upon us to imagine what one scholar has aptly called “history in the round.”

 

AMST 201:  Approaches to American Studies

Section 1:  Jay Garcia

1:00 MWF; Murphey 204
An introduction to methods and materials in the interdisciplinary study of American society, including theoretical influences upon research in American Studies.  The course explores interpretive practices within the field by focusing on three different historical moments and considering a range of literary and visual artifacts.  Subjects include literary cultures of the Spanish-American War era, visions of cultural renewal from the 1910s and 1920s, and narratives about migration and dislocation from the 1990s to the present.  Throughout the course we investigate relevant transnational contexts for understanding developments and changes in American intellectual and cultural life.

 

AMST 234:  The Kiowa in American Indian Studies

Section 1:  Jenny Tone-Pah-Hote

10 MWF; Murphey 204

It is possible to gain a comprehensive understanding of American Indian Studies though the lens of one American Indian nation.  This course examines major discussions in the field, through a discussion of the Kiowa, a Plains Indian tribe located in Oklahoma.

The Kiowa play a unique role in American Indian history, literature, and the arts. This class will take an interdisciplinary approach to explore Kiowa social, cultural, and political life.  We will examine Kiowa efforts to maintain their tribal sovereignty. We will also analyze the role of law policy, gender, and the rise of intertribal movements like the powwow.  To approach these and other issues, students will read a number of articles, historical documents, and following texts:  The Way to Rainy Mountain by Pulitzer Prize winner, N. Scott Momaday, The Jesus Road:  Kiowas, Christianity and Indian Hymns by Clyde Ellis, Ralph Kotay, and Luke Lassiter, and Kiowa Humanity and the Invasion of the State by Jacki Rand.

 

AMST/ENGL 246:  Introduction  to American Indian Literatures:  Coming of Age

Section 1:  Angie Calcaterra

11 MWF; Alumni 207.

This survey course designed for the general student population will set out the context of Native American cultural and historical life through the exploration of literature in a variety of genres. Native critical terms and concepts, as well as major historical moments in Native history, will be elucidated through oral literature, non-fiction, poetry, short stories, film, music, and novels, primarily drawn from the twentieth century, and from tribal groups of the continental United States. In addition to shorter readings and films, major texts will include Charles Eastman (Indian Boyhood), Leslie Marmon Silko (Storyteller), Pretty Shield (Pretty Shield), Louise Erdrich (Last Report from Little No Horse), Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), and Thomas King (Green Grass, Running Water).  This course fulfills UNC’s Language Arts (LA), U.S. Diversity (US), and North Atlantic World (NA) requirements.   Students from Duke and NC State can receive credit for the course at their home institutions.

 

AMST 269: Mating and Marriage in America

Section 1:  Timothy Marr

11 TR; Phillips 222

This seminar is an interdisciplinary examination of the cultural politics of the married condition from colonial times to the present. Examining developments in legal discourse, the history of sexuality, and the sociology of gender roles provides critical definitions of American marriage as a changing and contested tradition and institution.  The readings explore how ideologies and customs influence the intimacy of interpersonal relations. Readings include both recent scholarly studies on courtship, family, and divorce in United States history as well as literary expressions and those from art, film, music, and popular culture. Themes that the course examines include courtship and romance; marital power and the egalitarian ideal; the challenge to monogamy from divorce, extramarital cohabitations, and singleness; as well as evolving debates over interracial, cross-cultural, and same-sex marriages.

 

AMST 277H:  Globalization and National Identity

Section 1:  Rachel Willis

W 3-5:30;

This honors seminar will explore what national identity means in a global world.   Intended for students that are planning or have recently completed study abroad programs and/or intend to work internationally, the seminar will explore a wide range of issues that revolve around the relationship between national identity and globalization with a particular focus on the perspective of an American citizen.  Our readings and discussions each week will be organized around a theme, case study, or topic and include guest lectures, documentaries, and assignments designed to synthesize internal and foreign views.   Small groups of students will investigate particular regions of the world for an in-class presentation early in the term and then each student will be responsible for developing a background paper on a particular geographical region or specific global issue.  A 3.2 minimum GPA is required and American Studies students have first priority in enrollment.

 

AMST 290.2/ENGL 475:  Southern Literature – Contemporary Issues

Section 2:  Ruth Salvaggio

11 TR; Greenlaw 431

Readings in the literature of this distinctly un-American city—where Africans shaped poetry in Congo Square long before anyone there even spoke English, and where passion and longing infused literature well before Tennessee Williams wrote his play about an old “Streetcar Named Desire.”  As one early observer said of New Orleans, it resembled Bagdad or Cairo more than anyplace in North America.  So with the city’s literary heritage, connected more to the Caribbean than the United States, and perfectly situated as a pivot for studies of the global south.  This course will inevitably expand the borders of what counts as the “literature of the US South,” if indeed New Orleans is south at all, or if it forever remains, as some suggest, “south of south.”  Our literary texts will span three centuries, beginning with African slave songs sung in Congo Square in the 1700’s, Creole poetry and novels in the 1800’s (both before and after the invasion of “Americans” mid-century following the sale of the Louisiana territory to the newly-formed United States), and a wide range of quintessentially New Orleans writers in the 20th century who have stamped the literary legacy of this city.  We will also read works from the burgeoning field of post-Katrina writing, including memoirs and stories of flood and recovery, loss and memory, and a reckoning with impending environmental disaster that surrounds the fate of the city as its surrounding marshlands continue to wash away.  As one recent New Orleans writer says, “There’s trouble in the world.  The kind you can’t fix.”  If reading literature helps us to navigate troubled worlds, then the literature of New Orleans tracks that journey from the earliest Indian chants on through the chants of today’s Mardi Gras Indians, from its formation in the swamplands of river and gulf to its response to human and environmental catastrophe in our own precarious times.

Materials:  Literary texts, cultural history, soundtracks, some film and photos, on-line archives.

 

AMST 339:  The Long 1960s in Native America

Section 1:  Dan Cobb

3-4:15 MW; Graham Memorial 038

This course explores Native America during the “long 1960s,” a period that extends from the mid-1950s to the mid-1970s.  Our goal will be to arrive at a story that is at once distinctively indigenous and inextricably bound up with the larger narrative of United States history. To do so, we will compare and contrast Native and non-Native involvement in the youth, women’s rights, civil rights, radical protest, ethnic nationalist, and anticolonial movements, as well as the War on Poverty and Vietnam War.

We will explore questions such as these:  What did the National Indian Youth Council have in common with the Students for a Democratic Society and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee?  What are the similarities and differences between Red Power and Black Power?  Did the Indian rights movement follow a trajectory similar to that of the civil rights movement?  Did the American Indian Movement have much in common with the Black Panthers?  What are the intellectual connections between American Indian and Third World nationalism?  What happened when American Indians, whites, Latinos, and African Americans attempted to ally with one another along class lines at the Poor People’s Campaign in 1968?  Did Native women’s rights activists see themselves as part of the larger feminist movement?  Are there connections to be drawn between the reassertion of cultural identity through art, literature, and music among Native and other ethnic groups?

 

AMST 350: Main Street, Carolina

Section 1:  Robert Allen

9:30 TR; Graham Memorial 038

No matter what town or city in North Carolina you might visit (or be from), its downtown is likely to share many common features with other “Main Streets” across the state and around the country.  By the same token, each downtown is unique—the product of local forces and a specific history.  Hundreds of towns and cities in the state began to assume their modern forms in the years between 1880 and 1920—when more towns were chartered in N.C. than in any other period of the state’s history and when existing towns and cities replaced older wooden structures and dirt roads with multi-story brick buildings and streetcars.

This course looks at how downtowns in N.C. developed and how downtowns then shaped the economic, social, and cultural life of communities across the state.  We will try to reimagine the experience of “being” downtown for our great-grandparents’ generation.  We will research and think about how race, gender, religion, class, and ethnicity inflected that experience.   We will look at the establishment and growth of businesses and cultural institutions that come to define Main Street throughout most of the twentieth century: movie theaters, department stores, drug stores, fraternal organizations, restaurants, and barber shops, among them.

We will use Wilson Library’s extraordinary collection of materials about towns and cities in North Carolina in our study of downtowns at the turn of the century: newspapers, city directories, maps, photographs, and postcards in the North Carolina Collection; family papers, oral histories, business records, and diaries in the Southern Historical Collection.

A major focus of the course will be on using the latest digital technologies to document and share the history of Main Street.    The work space for the course will be a class website to which students will contribute research they have conducted on the history of a town in North Carolina they have “adopted” for the semester.  We will also take advantage of digital history projects developed at UNC.  “Going to the Show” (www.docsouth.unc.edu/gtts) documents the experience of moviegoing in more than 200 communities in North Carolina between 1896 and 1930.  It was awarded the American Historical Association’s Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History.  “Main Street, Carolina” allows local libraries, museums, schools, and historic preservation organizations to collect and display a wide range of content about the history of downtown layered on top of highly detailed historic maps (Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps).  It was awarded the 2009 C. Felix Harvey Award to advance Institutional Priorities at UNC and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

AMST 365:  Women and Detective Fiction, from Violet Strange to Veronica Mars

Section 1:  Michelle Robinson

9 MWF; Murphey 204

This course will trace the origins of detective fiction and major developments in the history of the genre with a focus on women authors and protagonists. We will examine amateur sleuths, private investigators and police detectives in fiction and film, with close attention to historical

and social contexts and to theoretical arguments related to popular fiction, genre studies, and gender.  Our readings will include Pauline Hopkin’s “Talma Gordon,” Sara Paretksy’s Indemnity Only, Miyuki Miyabe’s All She Was Worth, and Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, as well as classic texts by Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers.

 

AMST 375:  Food in American Culture

Section 1:  Danille Christensen

12:30 – 1:45 TR; Hanes Hall 131

This course examines the meaning of food in America. Unit I introduces basic terms, texts, and approaches that help us think about how food communicates and what people have used it to say. Unit II, “Food Rules,” looks at the ways individuals, institutions, and cultures regulate food consumption—that is, who decides what is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ food, when, and for whom? Here, we’ll consider diet recommendations, access to food in prisons, table manners, religious dietary codes, and boundary lines of various cuisines. Unit III, “Food Chains,” systematically explores food production, processing, display, and consumption, suggesting the social and environmental implications of different models at each stage of the food chain.

As we move through the semester, we’ll see how food shapes national, regional, and personal identity; we’ll also consider how region, gender, ethnicity, class, race, religion, the media, global politics, and corporate America affect the food we eat.  You’ll draw on your own experience and also examine a variety of sources—including cookbooks, recipes, film, literature, art, photography, and other artifacts—to develop an understanding of food in American culture.

 

AMST 390:  American Indian Art and Material Culture

Section 2:  Jenny Tone-Pah-Hote

2 MWF; Murphey 204

This course examines American Indian art and material culture through interdisciplinary perspectives.  Throughout the course students will gain a greater understanding of the role that the arts play in the social, cultural, and political life of American Indian peoples.  This course will also explore a number of questions:  What is the relationship between art and American Indian identities?  How have Native artists negotiated various markets and audiences for their works?  Over the course of the term students will read, discuss, and write about a number of objects and texts.  We will also read Native North American Art, by Janet Berlo and Ruth Phillips, Native Moderns:  American Indian Painting, 1940-1960 by Bill Anthes, and Partial Recall edited by Lucy Lippard.

 

AMST 392:  Radical Communities in Twentieth Century U.S. Religious History

Section 1:  Michelle Robinson

1 MWF; Murphey 104

The goal of this course is to examine some of the radical developments in American religious history from the turn of the twentieth century to the present. We will consider how the language, ideas, and cultural products of religious outsiders responded to and influenced mainstream ideas about what American communities could (and should) look like in terms of gender, race, economics, and faith-based practices. We will closely examine primary

documents (sermons, short stories, documentary films, newspaper articles) by believers and their critics, secondary sources by historians, and documentary films, in order to think about the challenges these religious outsiders posed to religious, social, and political institutions in the United States. Our studies may include the Ghost Dance Religion, Mary Baker Eddy’s Christian Science, early Pentecostalism, the Catholic Worker Movement, Nation of Islam, Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple and other movements.

 

AMST 393:  Back to the Future:  A Chicago Century

Section 1:  Robert Cantwell

2 TR; Murphey 204

A frontier outpost in 1820, Chicago had become by 1893 a metropolis of over a million people, half of whom had arrived in the previous ten years–the most powerful engine of environmental and human exploitation urban industrial capitalism had yet produced. This course will explore the lifeworld of Chicago from the end of the nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth. Through novels, histories,and visual images, students will explore a broad range of topics, including industrial incorporation, urbanization and suburbanization, urban architecture and planning, utopianism and millennialism, electricity, communication, public transportation, social welfare and socialism, the labor movement, the rise of the department store, ward politics, ethnicity, the settlement house, new gender roles and definitions, feminism and the sacralization of art. The World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 will be a central topic, problem, and theme.

 

AMST 410:  Senior Seminar in Southern Studies

Section 1:  Rachel Willis

T 3:30-6; Bingham 101

This Senior Seminar in Southern Studies will examine the history of job creation strategies, policies, and their results within North Carolina through intensive individual research projects.   In addition to lectures on national, regional, and state programs, there will be guest lectures and documentaries on some of the most extensive efforts that impacted our state.   Examples include public sector efforts such as the Work Progress Administration, Civilian Conservation Corps, and Civil Works Administration.  An examination of the southern regional strategies employed by the Southern Growth Policy Board will be included as well as more recent initiatives that utilize public and private partnerships such as the use of industrial recruitment strategies. * *  Using archival resources such as the North Carolina and Southern Historical Collections in Wilson Library, each student will select a specific period, program, occupational sector, or geographical region of the state and develop a class presentation and write a 20-25 page research paper.

 

AMST 466:  You Are Where You Live:  American Housing in Critical Perspective

Section 1:  Kathy Roberts

11 TR; Murphey 204

This course is designed to attune students to the complexities of human shelter.  We will begin our journey by studying the development of several national and regional housing types in the U.S. and the environmental and socio-political factors that contributed to their formation.  From shotguns to ranches to mobile homes and more, we will learn about how domestic forms in the built environment have contributed to American cultural landscapes—past and present.  In addition, we will explore the social use and meaning of housing and examine the strategies people use to create “homes” out of built forms.  Finally, we consider several larger issues associated with housing in the U.S., including affordability, sustainability and gentrification.  By the end of the course, students should be able to understand the built environment as a form of communication, capable of revealing what we value as individuals and communities and as a nation, and to critically evaluate the ways in which housing mediates power relations in the U.S.

 

AMST 499:  Politics of Food

Section 1, Charlie Thompson

W 3:00 – 5:30; Murphey 204

Explores the food system through fieldwork among food and farming community members, including farmers, nutritionists, sustainable agriculture advocates, rural organizers, and farmworker activists.  Examines how food is produced; seeks to identify and understand its workers and working conditions in fields and factories, and using documentary research conducted in the field and other means, unpacks major current issues in the food justice arena globally and locally. Fieldwork required but no advanced technological experience necessary.  Work from the course will help build connections in food and farm studies at UNC and Duke by way of the Triangle University Food Studies network and website.

 

AMST 499:  Transnational America

Section 2:  Jay Garcia

M 3-5:30; 204 Murphey

Literatures from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have regularly posed questions about “America” – both as place and object of analysis. This seminar explores imaginative works in which transnational, multi-lingual and immigrant stories prompt re-conceptualizations of the U.S. domestic scene. Extending beyond literary works, the seminar also considers bodies of cultural criticism generated by non-U.S. writers that deliver alternative aesthetic and ideological accounts of the U.S. We will ask how transnational and international perspectives revise understandings of U.S. culture during different historical moments. By bringing together the documentary impulse of American Studies and cultural theorization around questions of multiculturalism, transnational flows in intellectual culture and the role of the United States outside of its national borders, the seminar models comparative critical reading practices. Seminar texts include works by Anzia Yezierska, Claude McKay, W. E. B. Du Bois, Pietro di Donato, and Junot Diaz, and criticism by Randolph Bourne, C. L. R. James, Simone de Beauvoir, Zadie Smith, and Slavoj Zizek, among others.

 

AMST/INLS 890:  Digital Humanities:  Representing and Recovering the Past

Section 1:  Robert Allen

Tuesday 2-4:30; 08 Peabody

In this interdisciplinary graduate seminar, we will explore the implications of the application of digital technologies to the materials, questions, practices, and potential of humanities scholarship.  Although we will range across issues and problematics from the humanities broadly defined, we will pay particular attention to the impact of digital technologies on historical inquiry.  We see this as a convergence point for scholars and practitioners in a number of historically inflected fields in the humanities and social sciences (American Studies, folklore, public history, social history, urban and regional studies, cultural history, art history, cultural studies, ethnic and racial studies, geography, mass communication, literature, etc.) and in library/information science, archives, historic preservation, and museum studies.

We will consider the implications for historians and other humanities scholars, libraries, archives, and museum of the digitization, organization, and circulation of a massive amount of cultural heritage materials over the past twenty years, as well as the ongoing development of digital tools for analyzing, managing, representing, and interacting with these data.

 

We will engage with digital projects and practitioners around key themes in digital history and digital humanities more generally, among them:

§  digital historiography

§  using digital history in the classroom

§  representing space and time

§  data visualization

§  representing historical experience

§  communicating (publishing) digital scholarship

§  digital humanities and the academy

§  authority and user-generated content

§  crowd sourcing, citizen archiving, and social networking

 

Throughout the semester, a persistent point of reference and area of collaborative project work will be the application of geo-spatial representation to the history of urban spaces: virtual cities/digital history projects.  We will explore recent innovation in this growing field, including several locally-produced, nationally-recognized projects:  “T-Races” (http://salt.unc.edu/T-RACES/  ), awarded a National Leadership Grant by the Institute for Museum and Library Services; “Main Street, Carolina” (http://mainstreet.lib.unc.edu/ ), awarded the 2009 Harvey Award for the Advancement of Institutional Priorities at UNC-CH), and “Going to the Show” (www.docsouth.unc.edu/gtts ), awarded the 2010 American Historical Association Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History.  We will also have conversations with the historians, archivists, and digital practitioners responsible for other cutting-edge digital history projects, such as those showcased in the December 2010 virtual symposium, “Virtual Cities/Digital Histories” (http://virtualcitiesdigitalhistories.web.unc.edu/ ).

 

In addition to class discussions of the growing literature on digital history and digital humanities and engaging with digital history projects, students will have an opportunity to work on group digital history projects about the history of urban spaces in North Carolina.  These projects will be developed in collaboration with local cultural heritage organizations (libraries, museums, preservation organizations, etc.), demonstrating the intersections between academic scholarship and public history.

 

No technical knowledge or digital production experience required, although we welcome students with such experience.

CHER 101:  The Cherokee Speaking World

Section 1:

MW 4:15-5:30; Peabody 08

Cherokee Speaking World is designed to introduce students to the Cherokee language.  In this course, students will develop Cherokee speaking and listening skills, and they will be introduced to the Cherokee writing system using the Latin alphabet.  The course also will provide students with a cultural context for the language.

Spring 2012

AMST 101: Introduction to American Studies

* Please see AMST 384. For 2011-12 this course counts in lieu of AMST 101 for the required introductory course for the American Studies major.

 

AMST 201: Literary Approaches to American Studies

Section 1: Michelle Robinson

12:00 – 1:15 MW; Murray G205

 

This course provides an introduction to the interdisciplinary methods of American Studies, as well as an overview of major developments in the field of American Studies and contemporary approaches to the study of American society and culture. In addition to critical essays and short stories by Norman Wang, Jhumpa Lahiri, Sandra Cisneros, Sherman Alexi, Lee Smith and others, our examination of American life will focus on four historical moments. First, we will consider the U.S. occupation of Haiti and explore representations of gender, marriage, citizenship and consensual governance in Hollywood zombie movies, including White Zombie. (Dir. Victor Halperin, 1932) and I Walked with a Zombie (Dir. Jacques Tourneur, 1943). Next, we will investigate the post WWII-era through popular psychoanalysis, the fate of rural America, and the experiences of Korean War veterans, focusing on Theodore Sturgeon’s homage to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, titled Some of Your Blood (1961). We will also study the genesis of Affirmative Action policies, John Rawl’s contractarianism (and its critics), and multiculturalism in the 1960s and 1970s, using Supreme Court cases and Ellen Raskin’s Newberry Award-winning book The Westing Game (1979) as primary texts. Finally, we will read Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower, examining the economic impact of globalization, the rise of new religious movements in the late twentieth century, and contemporary attitudes toward race, disability and immigration.

 

 

AMST 203: Approaches to American Indian Studies

Section 1: Dan Cobb

3:30 – 6:00 p.m. T; Murphey 204

 

This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary field of American Indian Studies. Students will have an opportunity to learn about the methodologies that scholars working in the fields of History, Anthropology, Literature, American Studies, and Archaeology use in order to research and write about the past, present, and future of Native America.

 

 

AMST 211: Introduction to the American South: A Cultural Journey

Section 1: Marcie Cohen Ferris, LaKisha Simmons, Anderson Blanton

11-12:15 TR, 203 Howell Hall

 

There is not one South, but rather many Souths. For generations, artists, documentarians, musicians, scholars, and writers have attempted to capture this diverse region in the works of their hands and minds. They have done so in expressive forms of material and visual culture, in the literature of native southerners and those who live in the many “southern diasporas” of America such as New York’s Harlem and Chicago’s South Side, in the musical traditions of the blues, gospel, country music, and hip hop, at the tables of white linen restaurants, corner cafes, and home kitchens, and in the contemporary media world of blogs, websites, journalism, film, and television that have taken southern cultural forms to a global audience. Students will consider the region in all its complexity through a multi-disciplinary conversation about the American South that considers art, archaeology, architecture, cultural tourism, ecology, folklife, foodways, geography, history, language, literature, material culture, myth and manners, music, politics, religion, values, and more.

 

 

AMST 233: Native America: The West

Section 1: Dan Cobb

2:00 – 3:15 TR; 201 Chapman

 

This course surveys the histories and cultures of indigenous communities located West of the Mississippi River. We will begin by exploring stories of creation, migration, and becoming and the rise of urban centers such as Cahokia, then move through early encounters with the Spanish, French, and English. We conclude with an in-depth analysis of the struggles between tribal nations and the United States for control over the Great Plains region through the end of the nineteenth century.

 

 

AMST 235/HIST 235: Native America in the 20th Century

Section 1: Jenny Tone-Pah-Hote

12:30 – 1:45 TR; 306 Peabody

 

This course explores the multiple ways that American Indians navigated cultural, political, and economic changes in the twentieth century. Opening with assimilation policy in the 1880’s and extending to contemporary struggles for autonomy, this course emphasizes the continuities of American Indian life ways and their adaptability to changing cultural and political landscapes. It will examine a number of important, interrelated questions. First, how have American Indian peoples maintained sovereignty as Native nations and autonomy as individuals in the shifting contexts of the twentieth century? How have federal policies shaped their lived experiences, and how have they responded to and resisted these policies? This course will approach these questions though historical texts, literature, and film.

 

 

AMST 266: Bob Dylan and The Folk Revival

Section 1: Robert Cantwell

10:00 MWF; Murphey 204

 

This course will explore the life and career of singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, with particular reference to his emergence in the folk revival of the 1950s and 60s, his mid-decade turn to electrically amplified blues-rock instrumentation, and above all to his visionary, prophetic, and often enigmatic songs and much-imitated though inimitable performance style. Syllabus will include, in addition to readings by historian Sean Wilentz, cultural critic Greil Marcus, as well as Bob Dylan himself, several documentary and feature films, including Martin Scorsese’s No Direction Home and Todd Hayne’s I’m Not There.

 

 

AMST 268, American Cinema and American Culture

Section 1: Martin Johnson

9:30 TR; 109 Stone Center

From the premiere of Edison’s Vitascope in 1896 to streaming movies on Apple’s iPad, cinema has had an enduring place in American culture. Until recently, our perception of American cinema has been dominated by theatrically exhibited Hollywood films. In this course, we widen our perspective to consider all forms of cinematic experiences in the United States, including social histories of moviegoing, art house cinema, film festivals, educational pictures, home movies, fan culture, cinephilia and movie memories.

 

 

AMST 292: The South in Black and White

Section 1: Timothy Tyson

7:00 – 9:30 p.m. T; American Tobacco Campus, Bay 7, Durham

 

The South in Black and White explores Southern history, politics and culture in the 20th century.  This lecture and discussion course is open to students at Duke, UNC, NCCU, NC State, Durham Tech and the larger community.  We will constitute a kind of front porch on Southern history and culture, where we will join those whom Zora Neale Hurston called “the big picture talkers” and hear their stories.  We meet at the American Tobacco Campus on Tuesday nights in Downtown Durham. There will be live music, poetry, lectures, stories, discussions, oral histories, and dramatic performances.  We will explore a history as rich and complicated, painful and delightful as the South itself. * This course counts for Southern Studies credit in History and Social Sciences.

 

 

AMST 293 – Vernacular Poetry: Songs, Slams, Slogans: Poetry as Social Force

Section 1: Danille Christensen

TuTh 9:30; Murphey 304

This course examines a range of poetic forms—playground insults, murdered girl ballads, oral histories, advertising jingles, border corridos, gravestone inscriptions, blues lyrics, slam poetry, sermons—as socially significant forms of popular literacy. Employing methods used by literary critics, linguists, ethnographers, folklorists, ethnomusicologists, anthropologists, historians, and scholars of communication, cultural studies, and performance studies, we’ll look at how and why people manipulate the sound and sense of language in everyday life. How is the poetic impulse employed in order to express personal feelings, but also to commemorate, impress, teach, play, unify, divide, negotiate, document, sell, critique, and change? We’ll explore these questions through lecture, in-class activities, and projects that ask you to apply course concepts. No previous experience with poetry or its analysis is required.

 

 

AMST 350: Main Street, Carolina

Section 1: Robert Allen

12:30 TR; Peabody 311

No matter what town or city in North Carolina you might visit (or be from), its downtown is likely to share many common features with other “Main Streets” across the state and around the country.  By the same token, each downtown is unique—the product of local forces and a specific history.  Hundreds of towns and cities in the state began to assume their modern forms in the years between 1880 and 1920—when more towns were chartered in N.C. than in any other period of the state’s history and when existing towns and cities replaced older wooden structures and dirt roads with multi-story brick buildings and streetcars.

This course looks at how downtowns in N.C. developed and how downtowns then shaped the economic, social, and cultural life of communities across the state.  We will try to reimagine the experience of “being” downtown for our great-grandparents’ generation.  We will research and think about how race, gender, religion, class, and ethnicity inflected that experience.   We will look at the establishment and growth of businesses and cultural institutions that come to define Main Street throughout most of the twentieth century: movie theaters, department stores, drug stores, fraternal organizations, restaurants, and barber shops, among them.

We will use Wilson Library’s extraordinary collection of materials about towns and cities in North Carolina in our study of downtowns at the turn of the century: newspapers, city directories, maps, photographs, and postcards in the North Carolina Collection; family papers, oral histories, business records, and diaries in the Southern Historical Collection.

A major focus of the course will be on using the latest digital technologies to document and share the history of Main Street.  The work space for the course will be a class website to which students will contribute research they have conducted on the history of a town in North Carolina they have “adopted” for the semester. We will also take advantage of digital history projects developed at UNC. “Going to the Show” (www.docsouth.unc.edu/gtts) documents the experience of moviegoing in more than 200 communities in North Carolina between 1896 and 1930. It was awarded the American Historical Association’s Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History. “Main Street, Carolina” allows local libraries, museums, schools, and historic preservation organizations to collect and display a wide range of content about the history of downtown layered on top of highly detailed historic maps (Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps).  It was awarded the 2009 C. Felix Harvey Award to advance Institutional AMST Priorities at UNC and a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. * This course counts for Southern Studies credit in History and Social Sciences.

 

 

AMST 384: Myth and History in American Memory

Section 1: Tim Marr

11:00 MWF; 103 Bingham

 

Memory has long been considered a psychological function of the individual. Over the past twenty-five years, however, notions of collective,

public, or cultural memory have emerged as a useful means of understanding the complex ways that personal memories are enmeshed in larger social patterns. This course examines the contested role of memory in constructing historical meaning and imagining the cultural boundaries of communities. We will examine a variety of symbolic and material expressions that Americans have developed over time to celebrate ethnic, regional, and national difference by exploring popular fictions, films, rituals, artifacts, monuments, landscapes, and performances.  Problems we will examine include the invention of tradition; the politics of commemoration; subaltern expression and counter-memory; and the cultural work performed by celebrity figures, sites of memory, national legends, and literary canons. We will approach these problems from a variety of disciplinary perspectives including those of literature, history, anthropology, cultural geography, and media studies. The readings for this class provide a variety of case studies that will provide you with models designed to enrich your understanding of interdisciplinary scholarship. At the end of the semester you will better understand the manifold processes through which the past is made to matter. *For 2011-12 this course counts in lieu of AMST 101 for the required introductory course for the American Studies major.

 

 

AMST 390: American Communities and Cultures: A Photographic Approach

Section 1: Bill Bamberger (Instructor permission required.)

6:00 – 8:30 p.m. T; 204 Murphey

This is a documentary fieldwork class in which each student selects a community to come to know and photograph during the course of the semester. Community is broadly defined as a place where people come together in a meaningful way. In previous classes students have photographed unusual kinds of communities or cultural gathering places like shopping malls, airports and cemeteries. Others have explored the social landscape and American culture with topics like patriotism and the American flag or graffiti art in the South. The class meets once a week and is divided into two parts: students sharing their evolving projects and slide discussions about the work of renowned documentary photographers.

Students must have Adobe Photoshop CS4 and a DSLR camera or similar.

 

 

 

AMST 482: American Landscapes

Section 1: Kathy Roberts

1:00 – 3:30 p.m. W; 317 Greenlaw

This course is designed to attune students to the complexities of cultural landscapes in the US. We will begin our journey by studying the development of landscape as a concept in the Western context and how the idea of landscape shapes the way we look at our physical surroundings. The course will progress thematically, covering different analytical perspectives on landscape studies, such as experience (phenomenological approaches), consumption and the geographic gaze. Towards the end of the course we will consider several particular landscapes in light of our theoretical readings: urban, rural and university. We will take class fieldtrips to visit these landscapes together.

 

By the end of the course, students should be able to understand cultural landscapes as material realities and as forms of communication, capable of revealing what we value as individuals and communities and as a nation, and to evaluate critically the ways in which landscape mediates power relations in the U.S.

 

 

AMST 483: Seeing the USA: The Film Director as Public Intellectual (Visual Arts and American Culture)

Section 1: Michelle Robinson

2:00 – 4:30 W; Venable G311

 

This course will tentatively consider the filmmaker as “public intellectual,” an individual whose skillful orchestration of narrative techniques and formal elements generate compelling critiques of American society. We will examine works by a range of contemporary filmmakers, including Spike Lee, Wayne Wang, Todd Solondz, Lars von Trier, and others (to be determined by students). No previous experience in film studies is necessary, but you will be required to develop or expand your knowledge of film techniques, grammar, history and theory, and to draw on the terminology of film studies in your written work. In addition to reading a limited selection of essays and interviews, we will watch two films most weeks during the semester. Students will need to set up a Netflix account and have time to view films out of class on their own schedule. If you are curious or passionate about cinema, I invite you to take this course!

 

 

AMST 485 – Folk, Self-Taught, Vernacular, and Outsider Arts

Section 1: Bernard Herman

T 3:30 – 6:00; Love House – Seminar Room

Folk, vernacular, self-taught and outsider are terms applied to a large amorphous body of aesthetic work that occupies and contests the borderlands of contemporary art.  Our course examines current conversations with this often hotly contested and deeply conflicted field.  Among the several themes we will discuss are anxieties of authenticity, the connoisseurship of dysfunction, creative and critical inscription and erasure, aesthetic and identity transgressions, and the representation of outsiders in popular and documentary media.  The class will visit collections and exhibitions. Among the artists to be discussed are the works of Charles Benefiel, Malcolm Mckesson, Thornton Dial, Sr., Mary Lee Bendolph, Philadelphia Wireman, and James Castle.  Genres addressed include works on paper, artists’ books, quilts and fiber arts, sculpture and constructions, performance pieces, and installations.  An advanced seminar, the course requires an original research paper, formal class presentation and discussion, and continuous class participation.

 

 

AMST 488: No Place Like Home: Material Culture of the American South

Section 1: Marcie Cohen Ferris

3:30-4:45 TR; 314 Murphey

 

For generations, American Southerners have lived and worked in regionally distinctive worlds, filling these spaces and the landscapes that surround them with tools, furniture, outbuildings, and art inspired by folk, academic, and popular culture. These material settings evoke another time—a pre-industrial South of “shotgun” houses, barns, cast iron skillets, pottery, dulcimers, quilts, and baskets—where the power of place was unmistakable and oral traditions were passed down by families and neighbors. In the contemporary South, these traditional forms of material culture have simultaneously survived, disappeared, and evolved. Newer forms of material culture, including double-wide trailers, the “McMansions” of new urbanist communities and suburbs, banking skyscrapers, NASCAR souvenirs, and nouvelle southern cuisine, have become an integral part of South culture. This course explores the unique worlds of southern material culture and how “artifacts” from portraiture to porches to gain insight about the changing social and cultural history of the American South. *For 2011-12 this course counts in lieu of AMST 490 for the required capstone course for the Southern Studies concentration.

 

AMST 490: Senior Capstone Seminar in Southern Studies

* Please see AMST 488. For 2011-12 this course counts in lieu of AMST 490 for the required capstone course for the Southern Studies concentration.

 

AMST 499: Women and Folklore

Section 1: Elaine Lawless

W 4:00 – 6:30; 103 Caldwell

This course will examine a wide variety of genres of women’s traditional and expressive cultures—from home altars to girls’ games, narrative traditions (modes, and styles of delivery), to humor and quilting, preaching styles and beliefs. Students will read articles on women’s traditions throughout the semester and will respond to these readings with weekly responses on a Blackboard learning site. Students will also conduct a small fieldwork project on some aspect of women’s expressive culture, interviewing the participants in this culture and writing a paper on their field research by the end of the semester. Open to Juniors, Seniors, and graduate students.

 

 

AMST 499/MUSC 286: Contemporary American Indian Music
Section 2: Susan M. Taffe Reed
11 TR, 107 Hill Hall

This seminar will selectively survey contemporary American Indian music
of eastern North America. We will begin by grounding ourselves with a
historical understanding of how anthropologists and ethnomusicologists
have studied American Indian music. There are three units in this course,
each which will answer questions and work on problems related to
relevant topics. In the first unit, students will learn about traditional
music, dance, and instruments specific to individual nations. We will
answer questions on topics such as music revitalization movements,
authenticity, appropriation of American Indian music, and continuity and
change. The second unit will be on powwow culture. Students will learn
about the difference between Northern and Southern styles, competition
and non-competition powwows, pan-Indianism, song structure, and dance
styles. They will consider how powwows shape and support American Indian social identity. In the final unit, students will study American Indian musicians who perform into a variety of genres, such as blues, rap, and opera. We will discuss organizations and awards, the popularization of flute music, and analyze lyrics and music videos. Students will consider the complexity of categorizing the work of some artists with terms like “traditional” or “contemporary.” Through assigned readings and listenings, class discussion, events, and conducting original research projects, students will work through questions that arise from these topics and develop an understanding of American Indian music today. This course can be counted as an elective toward the American Indian Studies major concentration and/or minor.

 

AMST 890  HERMAN MELVILLE: CULTURE AND CRITICISM

Section 1: Tim Marr

W 3:30 – 6:00; Gaskin Library, Greenlaw
This graduate seminar investigates the significance of Herman Melville as a
dynamic nineteenth-century American author whose works continue to speak
with power to different generations and diverse readers. The course places
Melville’s composition of his literary creations both in the context of
their creation as well as interprets them across a spectrum of evolving
critical paradigms.  The course will explore issues and problems in
biography, influence, textual authority, and changing reception, as well as
examine cultural approaches that analyze Melville’s engagement with gender,
sexuality, “race,” ethnicity, class, and the politics of the literary
marketplace.

 

 

CHER 102:  Elementary Cherokee
Section 1:  Brooke Bauer
MW 4:15 – 5:30
Continued audio-lingual practice of basic imperatives, idioms on the imperative stem, verbs of motion and locationals, and basic complement types.