AMST 051: First Year Seminar: Navigating America
Instructor: Dr. Rachel Willis
TR 12:30-1:45; Venable G311
This seminar is designed to teach students how to navigate new intellectual terrain and process unfamiliar information from a variety of disciplinary perspectives with an emphasis on discussion, field study, and documentation. Each student will plan, implement, and document an individual short journey. This voyage of discovery on the campus or in the surrounding community will be chronicled with a documentary journal and presented to the class in a multi-media format that conveys the individual’s perspective, journey, and discoveries. Additionally, the class will collaboratively plan, implement, and document a common full day journey. This required field study will be a core aspect of the experiential education connection for the course.
AMST 055: First Year Seminar: Birth and Death in the US
Instructor: Dr. Tim Marr
TR 3:30-4:45; Graham Memorial 213
This course explores birth and death as essential human rites of passage that are invested with significance by changing American historical and cultural contexts. Since both events define life events that none of us can recall or relate with experiential authority, examining them offers powerful insights into how culture mediates the construction of bodies, social identity, and the meaning of human life. In contrast to the American historical past, birth and death in contemporary United States are often shrouded behind conventions of privacy and medical confidentiality, even as the questions they raise are prominent in political discourse. This seminar uses interdisciplinary learning to expose how different processes of cultural power have shaped these experiences. Readings and assignments are designed to provoke new and complex understandings of birth and death by examining the changing anthropological rituals, medical procedures, scientific technologies, and ethical quandaries surrounding them. We will also explore a variety of representations of birth and death in literary expression, film, and material culture as well as well as in hospitals, funeral homes, and cemeteries.. This course will encourage you to inquire into issues of importance to you and will empower you to seek out sources and readings that can assist you to deepen and refine your understanding of American cultural practices and their development over time.
AMST 060: First-Year Seminar: American Indians in History, Law, and Literature
Instructor: Dr. Daniel Cobb
MWF 11:15-12:05; Murphey 104
This research seminar provides a broad grounding in American Indian law, history, and literature through an exploration of the remarkable lif
e and times of Flathead author, intellectual, and activist D’Arcy McNickle (1904-1977). We will read D’Arcy McNickle’s novels, short stories, histories, and essays, as well as secondary works about him. Even better, we will be working with D’Arcy McNickle’s diary. Students will have an opportunity to transcribe, contextualize, and share (probably through digital technologies) what they have learned about history, law, literature (and much, much more) through his life story.
AMST 089: First-Year Seminar: American Indian Art in the 20th Century
Instructor: Dr. Jenny Tone-Pah-Hote
MWF 11:15-12:05; Murphey 204
This course examines twentieth century American Indian art though secondary articles, books, a graphic novel, and art itself. The class sharpens written and verbal communication though in-class discussion, informal, and formal assignments. Students will hone their visual critical thinking skills as well by examining and analyzing contemporary American Indian art and representations of Native people. This course connects American Indian art to vital conversations in American Indian studies such as colonialism, identity, gender, and tribal sovereignty. We will also address the following questions: How and why does
“contemporary traditional” and “modern” come to desc
ribe and even categorize art created by Native people in the twentieth century? How Native people and others have constructed and contested the idea of the American Indian art? Additionally, we will examine how artists have engaged with and at times resisted the markets for their work and their influence on Native art.
AMST 089.002: First Year Seminar: Mobility, Cars, NASCAR and the South
Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth Engelhardt
MWF 1:25-2:15; Murphy 204
On July 10, 1949, three female drivers competed at the Daytona Beach Road Course, the second ever NASCAR event. That same year Victor Green published another volume of his Negro Motorist Green Book, which had helped African American travelers find friendly places to stay while on the road in the Jim Crow era since 1936. The Good Roads Movement, begun by enthusiastic bicyclists in the late nineteenth century, made grand plans for a Dixie Highway taking tourists from Maine to Florida and transforming automobile highways across the US South. This class will look at the culture, history, memories, and meanings of mobility for a diverse range of people in southern cultures.
AMST 101: The Emergence of Modern America
Instructor: Dr. Sharon Holland
MW 12:20-1:10; Hanes Art 121
This course traces major themes in American culture as viewed through history, literature, art, film, music, politics, and popular culture, from the American Revolution to the present. It is not a comprehensive survey but rather an examination of the ways in which history and the arts interrelate as the present emerges from the past. Topics include American diversity, the natural environment, the rise of the cities, social criticism, the cultural impact of war. Readings consist of primary sources: poetry (Walt Whitman), fiction (Ernest Hemingway and Tim O’Brien), and autobiography (Frederick Douglass and Jane Addams). Each unit will include the work of an artist or photographer, such as Thomas Cole, Matthew Brady, Jacob Riis, Dorothea Lange. Topics include the heritage of the American Revolution; slavery, Civil War, and memory; technology and the environment; writers, film-makers, and artists as social critics. Rec Students enrolling in AMST 101-001 must also enroll in one recitation section numbered 101-601 through 101-604.
AMST 110: Intro to Cultures & History of Native North America
Instructor: Dr. Malinda Maynor-Lowery
MWF 10:10-11:00; Coker 201
An interdisciplinary introduction to Native American history and studies. The course uses history, literature, art, and cultural studies to study the Native American experience
AMST 201: Literary Approaches to American Studies: Southern Writers
Instructor: Dr. Elizabeth Engelhardt
MW 3:35-4:50; Murphey 204
What did nineteenth century tourists to resort hotels across the US South read while they sat on porches or took the waters? What novels did the Book of the Month Club recommend to readers interested in the US South as they sipped cocktails in the suburbs in the middle twentieth century? What do writers tell us about southern cultures through social media and web-based writing today? We will read popular novels and media about the south, asking questions about the role of writers and their readers in shaping and understanding American and southern cultures.
AMST 202: Historical Approaches to American Studies: American Voices.
Instructor: Dr. Seth Kotch
TR 9:30-10:45; Murhpey 204
This course invites you to explore American history and culture through the voices of those who lived it. Moving forward from the slave era to the recent past, you will approach American history through narratives as expressed in oral histories, original writing, photographs, music, and film. These narratives will introduce the human voice, and more broadly human expression, into American history and allow you to explore its major problems, from issues of race, gender, class and other identities; to the influence of memory and context on our understandings of our history; to the reliability of different versions of the past and how to evaluate authenticity, reality, and truth—should it exist—in a historic context.
AMST 234: Native American Tribal Studies
Instructor: Dr. Jenny Tone-Pah-Hote
MWF 2:20-3:10; 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 nation 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 Luke Lassiter, Clyde Ellis, and Ralph Kotay, and Kiowa Humanity and the Invasion of the State by Jacki Rand.
AMST 235: Native America in the 20th Century
Instructor: Dr. Daniel Cobb
MW 12:20-1:10; Peabody 104
The idea that American Indian communities would continue to exist in the year 2000 would have confounded late nineteenth-century federal policymakers. By that time, the Native population had collapsed, the tribal land base had been all but destroyed, and the allotment and assimilation juggernaut pledged to “Kill the Indian to Save the Man.” At the dawn of the new millennium, however, it was the system of colonial administration—not the indigenous peoples subjected to it—that appeared anachronistic. Against terrible odds and in defiance of dominant expectations, Native communities endured. “Twentieth-Century Native America” explores this complex and fascinating story. Readings, lectures, and recitation sections will carry students across Native America from the late nineteenth to the early twenty-first centuries. Along the way, we will engage critically important issues, such as identity construction and contestation, the shifting meanings of sovereignty and citizenship, and the problems of blood and belonging. This course is cross-listed with History 235.
AMST 253: A Social History of Jewish Women in America
Instructor: Dr. Marcie Ferris
MWF 2:30 –3:20; Saunders 204
This course will examine the history and culture of Jewish women in America from their arrival in New Amsterdam in 1654 to the present day. We will explore how gender shaped Jewish women’s experiences of immigration, assimilation, religious observance, home, work, motherhood, family, and feminism. The course will also investigate how factors such as region, race, class, country of origin, and religious denomination influenced the lives of Jewish women in America, and in turn, how Jewish women have shaped the national expression of American Judaism. Texts and discussions consider how these factors have created an American Jewish women’s history that is distinctive from men’s. Students
will examine a variety of sources, including diaries, memoirs, letters, film, recipes, organizational records, and artifactsthat reveal women’s voices that are absent in more traditional histories. The central goal of the course is to integrate Jewish women into the American past, and thus, fundamentally transform American Jewish history.
AMST 257: Melville: Culture and Criticism
Instructor: Dr. Tim Marr
TR 11:00-12:15; Saunders 104
This seminar on Herman Melville examines a creative and deep-thinking nineteenth-century American author whose works continue to speak with power to readers. We will explore together Melville’s world-embracing attempts to engage what he called “the great Art of Telling Truth” through fictional imagination. The course places Melville’s literary expressions in the biographical and political situations when they were composed as well as across a spectrum of evolving critical paradigms. We will also examine cultural approaches that assess Melville’s engagement with gender, sexuality, “race,” ethnicity, class, and the politics of the literary marketplace. Readings include Typee, Moby-Dick, Pierre, The Piazza Tales, and Billy-Budd, Sailor. There will be a special project on Melville’s Civil War poems. The course will examine the status of Melville and his work today, especially Moby-Dick and its characters, as central icons of American memory, as shown in recent popular culture, film, and art.
AMST 277H: Globalization and National Identity
Instructor: Dr. Rachel Willis
TR 2:00-3:15 Graham Memorial 210
Considers the meanings and implications of globalization especially in relation to identity, nationhood, and America’s place in the world.
AMST 290: Introduction to American Legal Education
Instructor: Dr. Keith Richotte
TR 12:30-1:45; Genome G010
This class will afford students the opportunity to learn and engage with how legal education is conducted in the United States by mimicking the “1L” experience, or first year in law school. The class is broken into units that represent the classes that virtually every law school teaches to its first year class. By the end of the course, students will have an introductory understanding of some of the major principles in some of the most prominent areas of law, a greater capacity to “think like a lawyer,” and a true sense of life as a law student and a member of the legal profession.
AMST 292: Historical Seminar in American Studies
Instructor: Dr. Seth Kotch
TR 11:00-12:15; Murphey 204
Historical Seminar in American Studies: Crime and Punishment uses a variety of sources to explore Americans’ experiences with crime and punishment from the strict laws of the New England Puritans to the newly urgent conversation about policing in minority communities. Students will use archival material, historical scholarship, images, film, art, and other sources to encounter rebels, revolutionaries, duelists, brawlers, gangsters, hobos, yeggmen, cops, robbers, protestors, wardens, mobs, moonshiners, chain gangs, judges, juries, executioners, and others with an aim to understand American history and culture through the lens of bad behavior and responses to it.
AMST 365: Women and Detective Fiction: From Miss Violet Strange to Veronica Mars
Instructor: Dr. Michelle Robinson
MWF 10:10-11:00; Greenlaw 305
Traces the origins of detective fiction and major developments in the history of the genre with a focus on women authors and protagonists. Examines literary texts including fiction and film, with close attention to historical and social contexts and to theoretical arguments relating to popular fiction, genre studies, and gender.
AMST 392: Radical Communities in Twentieth Century
Instructor: Dr. Michelle Robinson
MWF 12:20-1:10; Murhpey 204
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/JWST 486: Shalom Y’all: The Jewish Experience
Instructor: Dr. Marcie Ferris
MWF 10:10-11:00; Caldwell 105
This course explores ethnicity in the South and focuses on the experience of Jewish southerners. Since the arrival of Sephardic Jews in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, southern Jews have blended their regional identity as Jews and as Southerners. This course explores the “braided identity” of Jews in the South—their relationships with white and black Gentile southerners, their loyalty to the South as a region, and their embrace of southern culture through foodways, language, religious observance, and other expressive forms of culture. The course traces the history of Jewish southerners from the colonial era to the present, using film, museum exhibits, literature, and material culture as resources. Throughout the course we consider the question of southern Jewish distinctiveness. Is southern Jewish culture different from Jewish culture in other regions of the country, and if so, why? Is region a significant factor in American Jewish identity? Students will explore these issues through class discussion and writing assignments.
AMST 489: Writing Material Culture
Instructor: Dr. Bernie Herman
T 3:35-6:25; Center for the Study of the American South
Writing material Culture is a reading seminar that examines multiple perspectives that shape the understanding and interpretation of objects and images of all sorts. Our readings explore the ways in which material culture can be written and the application of an array of approaches for analysis and writing. Our readings, however, do not superintend an overview of a field as diverse as its subject matter, but offer examples of strategies that can be combined and applied to the scrutiny of things. Consider each of our readings as a critical tool that has a place in an analytical toolbox and recognize that you will constantly add to your stock of tools. Together, we work on an online occasional, student-edited journal entitled Southern Things.
AMST 510: Indian Law and Policy
Instructor: Dr. Keith Richotte
TR 9:30-10:45; New East 301
This class will engage in an in-depth study of the federal government’s legal and political interactions with tribal nations and peoples from the founding through the present day. Often couched as, the “Indian problem,” this class examines how the federal government has sought to solve the “problem” through treaties, legislation, litigation, and other political and legal means. By the end of the course, students will have a thorough understanding of the major policy eras and movements in the field of federal Indian law, the major pieces of legislation that have defined the field, and the major court cases that have shaped the law, as well as other political and legal efforts that have defined the relationship between the federal government, the states, and tribal nations and peoples.
AMST 691H: Senior Honors Thesis (ASIA 691H)
Instructor: Dr. Morgan Pietelka
R 6:00-9:00 New West 103
AMST 691H is a research and methods course designed to help senior Asian Studies and American Studies majors research and write an honors thesis. Our objectives are to review some major issues in Asian and American Studies and interdisciplinary area studies in general,
investigate how each student’s research topic fits into these larger debates, review the writing conventions of the appropriate discipline and field, and help students produce innovative, insightful, and articulate research essays. EE. Students who complete and successfully defend an honors thesis will graduate with honors. Asian Studies students will also participate in the senior colloquium in the spring, where each student will give a short presentation summarizing their thesis research. Completed theses will be entered into the Carolina Digital Repository. Students writing an honors thesis will be enrolled in AMST 691H/ASIA 691H by the department once their thesis applications have been approved.
AMST 850: Digital Humanities Practicum
Instructor: Dr. Robert Allen
M 3:35-6:25 Greenlaw 431
This course approaches digital humanities through practical experience in a lab setting and seminar-style reflection upon and discussion of that experience. Administered through the Department of American Studies, the Digital Innovation Lab shares with it a commitment to public humanities that integrates community engagement, digital technologies, and inter-disciplinary inquiry; to preparing graduate students to work effectively in academic and non-academic settings; and to realizing synergies across all areas of academic practice: research, engaged scholarship, graduate training, and student learning. We also benefit from and share the department’s emphasis on place: the local, the regional, the national, and the trans-national, rooted in our role as public research university supported by the citizens of North Carolina. Participants will work with Will Bosley, General Manager, and other staff of the DIL to contribute to ongoing DIL project work and to augment and expand published projects. In addition to exploring and evaluating a range of digital humanities tools, they will learn to use DH Press to design and implement digital humanities projects and explore different ways of visualizing digital humanities data for academic and non-academic audiences. They will gain valuable experience in developing effective work practices and hone project management and communication/presentation skills of particular relevance to interdisciplinary, collaborative, public-facing digital humanities practice. This course counts toward the UNC-CH graduate certificate in digital humanities. Participants should plan to spend at least one additional hour each week in the lab during business hours working on small-group projects. Enrollment is limited and is by permission of the instructor. Expressions of interest should be sent to Professor Robert Allen: email@example.com
AMST 902: Ph.D Research Seminar
Instructor: Dr. Patricia Sawin
W 3:30-6:20 Phillips 301
Over the course of the semester each student, in consultation with the professor teaching AMST 902 and his/her advisory committee, will prepare his or her professional portfolio and dissertation proposal. Students will workshop drafts to assist each other in preparing the most effective portfolios and proposals. The course will also involve readings and guest speakers to explore approaches to dissertation research and writing; pedagogy and syllabus design; exhibit design; publishing; and other issues especially relevant to the career goals of the students in each cohort.
CHER 101: The Cherokee-Speaking World – “Hadolegwa Tsawonihisdi’i”
Instructor: Dr. Ben Frey
MWF Time: 2:30-3:20; Murray G205
This course presumes no knowledge of Cherokee. Students are introduced to basic vocabulary oriented around classroom objects, daily routines, descriptions of people and objects, and simple narration in the present time. By the end of the course, students will be able to introduce themselves and others, identify and describe objects and people, discuss on-going and daily activities, follow simple directions, comprehend and repeat simple narratives, and participate in rudimentary discussion of themselves and others. This course will introduce the use of the Cherokee syllabary and will be held in the Cherokee language. Texts and class materials will be provided digitally.
FOLK 77: First-Year Seminar: Poetic Roots of Hip-Hop
Instructor: Glenn Hinson
TR 11:00-12:15 Wilson 217
“There ain’t nothing new about rapping.” That’s what elders from a host of African American communities declared when hip hop first exploded onto the scene. This “new” form, they claimed, was just a skilled re–working of poetic forms that had been around for generations. Each elder seemed to point to a different form—some to the wordplay of rhyming radio deejays, others to the bawdy flow of streetcorner poets, still others to the rhymed storytelling of sanctified singers. And each was right; elegant rhyming has indeed marked African American talk for generations. Yet because most such rhyming was spoken, its history remains hidden. In this seminar, we’ll explore this lost history, searching the historical record to uncover hidden heritages of African American eloquence, rhymed storytelling, and sharp social critique. Our goal is nothing short of writing the prehistory of hip hop, by revealing the everyday poetries that, for generations, have defined what it means to be African American. Towards this end, students will meet with oral poets and hip hop emcees, and also conduct original archival research, leading to team-based class presentations and individual papers. Throughout the semester, students will also attend a range of poetic events, thus honing their skills at hearing and appreciating the eloquence that surrounds us all.
FOLK 202: Intro to Folklore
Instructor: Josh Parshall
MW 9:05-9:55; Gardner 08
Folklorists seek to understand how people interpret and make sense of the world. The study of folklore asks how, in a world flooded with commercial and highly refined cultural products, people use those particular materials that they themselves create and re-shape in order to express who they are, where they belong, and what they value. In this course we will look at diverse forms (or “genres”) of folklore, including song,architecture, legend, and food. We will consider how vernacular expressive culture is learned, what it does for people, and why these processes and products persist through time and space. Students will be introduced to the discipline of Folklore’s central research methodology, ethnography, and have an opportunity to practice that approach in individual and group research projects. This course is cross-listed with ENGL/ANTH 202. Note: Students enrolling in FOLK 202-001 are also required to enroll in one recitation section numbered FOLK 202-601 through FOLK 202-604.
FOLK/JWST 490: Special Topics: Traditions in Transition: Jewish Folklore and Ethnography
Instructor: Dr. Gabrielle Berlinger
W 3:30-6:20; Saunders 204
This course introduces students to the variety of folkloristic expression in Jewish American communities today, as well as to the ethnographic documentation of such expression. We will examine Jewish storytelling, humor, ritual, custom, belief, dress, and food, among other genres of folklore, using the history of Jewish folklore and ethnology to provide context for their current forms. Drawing upon ethnographic studies, literary sources, historical documents, films, and field trips, we will discuss what makes these forms of vernacular expression Jewish, how source communities interpret them, and how ethnographers document them, to engage such issues as representation, identity, memory, and tradition. Students will learn ethnographic skills to conduct a final community-based fieldwork project. Multimedia components are welcome.
FOLK 562H: Oral History/Performance
Instructor: Dr. Della Pollack
TR 11:15-12:05 Murphey 111
FOLK 571: Southern Music
Instructor: Dr. William Ferris
TR 8:00-9:15; Center for the Study of the American South
This course explores the music of the American South and considers how this music serves as a window on the region¹s history and culture. We will first consider the South and how the region¹s distinctive sense of place defines music in each generation. From the Mississippi Delta to Harlan County, Kentucky, from small farms to urban neighborhoods, from the region itself to more distant worlds of the southern diaspora, southern music chronicles places and the people who live within them. Our course covers a vast span of southern music and its roots, from ballads to hip hop, with numerous stops and side-trips along the way. We will examine the differences between bluegrass and country, zydeco and Cajun, and black and white gospel. We will also study the influences of southern music on American classical music, art, dance, literature, and food. The class also includes guest speakers and performers. We will listen to field recordings were made by collectors like Alan Lomax and will consider the impact of these recordings on contemporary music. We will also view documentary films on southern music and will discuss how these films enrich our understanding of each musical tradition.
FOLK 790: Public Folklore
Instructor: Dr. Glen Hinson
TR 2:00-3:15; Center for the Study of the American South
This graduate seminar addresses the world of public folklore, exploring theory and praxis in public sector cultural work. Focusing on the ways that cultural workers (folklorists and others) bring their understandings to broader publics, and the ways that we can convey these understandings in full collaboration with the communities being represented, this course explores broad issues of representation, cultural politics, touristic display, and culturally-based economic development. While so doing, it remains eminently pragmatic, drawing participants into conversation with public folklorists, inviting them to attend (and assess) public folklore events, and charting the ways that public cultural outreach translates in the 21st century. At the seminar’s close, each participant will have written a fundable proposal for a public folklore project.
FOLK 850: Approaches to Folklore Theory
Instructor: Dr. Patricia Sawin
T 3:30-6:30; Greenlaw 526A
Folklore is not a thing, let alone a single, determinate object. It is, rather, a category of cultural analysis and a way of looking at our cultural world. It was developed as part of the project of European Modernity and had significantly different definitions and impacts in succeeding eras. Indeed, the “problem” with folklore (in the sense of both a practical challenge and a fascinating intellectual question) is that folklore is taken to stand for so many different partially overlapping or even contradictory objects. What, then, might it mean or entail to study folklore in the 21st century? This graduate seminar is designed to do three things. First, the readings provide one relatively systematic overview of many of the major issues and perspectives that have characterized the study of folklore over the past two centuries and more. Second, written work will require students to apply selected theories to bodies of data in order to understand the continuous process whereby theory illuminates data and data inform new theory. Third and perhaps most importantly, our discussion is intended to model a way of thinking historically about the discipline, recognizing how definitions of the folk and folklore and consequent ideas about the social role of folklore and what questions one might productively ask of such material have emerged from the political and social developments of various periods. Students’ challenge will be to use this perspective to develop a form of folklore study that responds progressively to the realities of the global culture in which we now operate.