Skip Navigation
UT wordmark
College of Liberal Arts wordmark
ams masthead
Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Course Descriptions

AMS 310 • Intro To American Studies

30820 • Engelhardt, Elizabeth
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm GAR 0.102
(also listed as HIS 315G)
show description

AMS 310 is designed to introduce you to some of the major themes and trends of American history, as well as to familiarize you with some of the methods and materials that are used in the interdisciplinary study of American culture. As a way to focus our discussion, this section of AMS 310 takes as its starting point an apparent paradox embedded in the heart of contemporary globalization: at exactly the same time that the very political-economic processes that would seem to homogenize geography—to render the globe "placeless"—in fact increase its importance. Place-bound identities have become more, rather than less, important in a world of diminishing spatial barriers to exchange, movement, and communication. Thus, globalized flows of capital, population, goods, and terrorism not only bring the world together, but they tear it apart. At the center of this irony is the history of United States itself: a space created with an ideal of liberty, equality, individual opportunity, and social improvement, but set in a place of profoundly uneven patterns of wealth, crime, and pollution. We will address this historical contradiction from a variety of disciplinary perspectives by examining a wide range of primary source materials that range from novels, movies, and investigative journalism to travelogues, oral histories, and photography.


Possible Texts

Duany, Plater-Zyberk, & Speck, Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream

Robert Frank, The Americans

Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic

Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake

Luis Alberto Urrea, The Devil’s Highway: A True Story


“The Unforeseen”

“Smoke Signals”


Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

AMS 310 • Intro To American Studies

30825 • Davis, Janet M.
Meets MW 300pm-430pm WEL 1.308
(also listed as HIS 315G)
show description

AMS 310 is an introductory course in American Studies—the interdisciplinary study of American culture and society. We will begin our journey by considering some of the critical transformations—both physical and ideological—that World War II brought to American society and culture.  Filled with televisions, cars, suburbs, malls and chain stores, the landscape that we know so well today came of age during this period.  Throughout the course, we will analyze how communities, broadly defined by differing variables like age, geography, gender, race, ethnicity, class and/or political persuasion, have wrestled with questions about identity, inclusion and exclusion in modern America. While the course will proceed chronologically, I have organized these topics around three separate themes: consumerism, youth culture, and multiculturalism.                 



First exam (in-class): 20%

Second exam (in-class): 30%

Final exam (cumulative, 3 hours long): 50 %.

In addition to the graded assignments, regular attendance is expected.


Possible Texts

Clara Marie Allen and Constance Bowman Reid, Slacks and Calluses: Our Summer in a Bomber Factory

Mary Brave Bird, Lakota Woman

Elva Treviño Hart, Barefoot Heart: Stories of a Migrant Child

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Anne Moody, Coming of Age in Mississippi


Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History. 

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity



AMS 311S • America's Army

30830 • Garza, Irene
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm BUR 228
(also listed as WGS 301)
show description

Since the advent of U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003) over a decade ago, an expansive set of cultural texts depicting the U.S. Armed Forces and more broadly, the U.S. Global War on Terror (GWoT) have circulated throughout American social life. These sites of cultural production include: video games like “Call of Duty” and “America’s Army”, best-selling novels including Sebastian Junger’s War, Kevin Powers’ The Yellow Birds, or Ben Fountain’s Billy Flynn’s Long Half-time Walk, television programs Generation Kill (HBO), Coming Home (Lifetime), Army Wives (ABC), films such as Zero Dark Thirty (2012), Stop Loss (2008), The Messenger (2009) The Hurt Locker (2008), and advertising campaigns like Anheuser-Busch’s “Here’s to the Heroes” program amongst many others.

This course considers how popular representations of the U.S. military, particularly those centering on the figure of the American soldier, can offer productive ways of examining and analyzing contemporary formations of citizenship, national identity, social relations of power, and U.S. global empire. One of our central aims will be to understand how the Armed Forces, though a distinct political and cultural institution in its own right, also serves as a microcosm for American life/culture as shaped by and experienced through classifications of race, class, gender, sexuality, health, and legal status. Topics of study will include: PTSD/ veterans disability rights, enlistment by non-citizen soldiers, race relations/multiculturalism, controversy over women in combat, military sexual trauma (MST), the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the militarization of gratitude (ie “Support the Troops” initiatives), and the civilian labor market’s relationship to evolving recruitment practices. 

This interdisciplinary course will approach the topic from a variety of perspectives, including history, memoir, fashion, art, film, advertising, sporting events, comic books, music, and war memorials/photography.



Attendance and Participation      20%

(2) Reading Responses             10%each

Class Presentation                   20%

Film Report                           15%

Research Paper                       25%


Possible Texts

Andrew Bacevich, The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War

Judith Butler, Frames of War: When is Life Grievable?

Ken MacLeish, Making War at Fort Hood: Life and Uncertainty in a Military Community

Camilo Mejía, Road from Al-Ramadi 

Roger Stahl, Militainment, Inc.: War, Media, and Popular Culture

Kayla Williams, Love my Rifle More than You: Young and Female in the U.S.


Flag(s): Writing


AMS 311S • American Images

30835 • Gustavson, Andrea D
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm GAR 0.120
(also listed as E 314J, WGS 301)
show description

The relationship between representation and “reality” has been grappled with by authors and photographers since the invention of photography in the nineteenth century. This course explores the intersection of American literature and photography from the late nineteenth century to the present, focusing on the camera as a central technology in the making of modernity. We will read novels, short stories, critical texts and will consider the work of several photographers, analyzing each artists’ ways of representing the world within the contexts of shifting social and cultural orders. We will consider several key questions:  How has photography altered our understanding of American history and culture?  How have American authors responded to photography, represented the act of image-making, or marshaled the power of photographs for their works of literature?  How does a photograph impact our understanding of a written work?  How does writing about a photograph change our perception of the image?  In an increasingly image-saturated culture, how does an artist visually and textually represent his or her reality? How is a photograph or manuscript framed by digital and institutional archives and how do these collections shape understandings of the texts?

 This course places the archive—both physical and digital—at the center of our exploration of visual and textual works. Questions about the power of archives to frame understanding, to delimit self and Other, and to constitute and challenge the terms of national, regional, or social belonging will guide our inquiry. We will cover the relationship between photography, literature and several key topics in American cultural history including: the construction of identity, the family, nation and empire, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, literary genres, and cultural memory.  We will consider a broad range of sources from paintings to carte-de-visite to digital images, from novels and shorts stories about photography to critical theories of photography.  This class will be partnered with the Harry Ransom Center so that we may draw on special collections material for course content and make use of digital classrooms and online environments to construct and interpret our own collections of text and images. Because this is a writing intensive course, we will study the writing process as we practice close textual analysis and the crafting of arguments across many forms of written and visual communication.                 



Two-Page Paper #1                                                      10%

Two-Page Paper #2                                                      10%

Blog Postings and Conferences                                         20%

Lead Class Discussion                                                    10%

Final Paper (5 pages)                                                    15%

Final Paper Revision (7 pages)                                         35%


Possible Texts

Sanora Babb, Whose Names Are Unknown

Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Course Reader


Flag(s): Writing


AMS 311S • American Utopia

30840 • Gessler, Anne
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm BUR 228
show description

While we as Americans prize our individualism, the competing values of collectivity and community-based cooperation have also influenced American political and social thought since our country's inception.  Our class examines the cultural history of communitarian movements, in which groups motivated by necessity or political idealism band together to live, work, and worship together.  Studying utopias reveals the dynamic ways in which Americans have sought to transform our society.  We will analyze a series of utopian intentional communities, including 18th century black religious colonies in Nova Scotia, religious communalism as expressed by the Shakers, social reformist experiments such as Fanny Wright's Nashoba and Robert Owens' New Harmony Colony, Louisiana's post-Civil War Freedmen colonies, the Edward Bellamy-inspired socialist collectives of turn-of-the-century Washington State, Southern New Deal collective farms, 1970s countercultural communes, and modern alternative communities. To better understand the intellectual currents framing our case studies, we will read selections from influential utopian theorists and novelists such as Charles Fourier, Robert Owen, John Humphrey Noyes, Edward Bellamy, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Margaret Piercy, and Gloria Anzaldúa.  Further, we will study historical and contemporary popular songs, images, newspapers, novels, manifestos, and films to ground our discussion of utopian communities in the American imagination. 

As an American Studies course, this class will study a variety of sources and employ a range of interdisciplinary methods from American studies, sociology, anthropology, women’s and gender studies, cultural studies, religious studies, and a range of other disciplines to ask, why have Americans joined communal experiments?  How are utopian communities represented in American popular culture?  How do they intersect other religious and social movements such as the Second Great Awakening, Populism, the Civil Rights Movement, and Occupy Wall Street?  And, finally, how utopian experiments altered the country's physical, political, social, and economic landscapes? 



Weekly writing exercises                                             10%

Primary document analysis paper (3-5 pages)                   25%

Critical response paper (3-5 pages)                                25%

Final research paper (8-10 pages)                                  30% 

Class participation and attendance                                  10%


Possible Texts

Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands

Marge Piercy, Woman on the Edge of Time

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Herland

Paul E. Johnson, Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in 19th-Century America           

Course Reader


Flag(s): Writing


AMS 311S • Cowboy Mystique In Amer Cul

30845 • Vaught, Jeannette
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am GAR 0.120
show description

An image both familiar and enigmatic, the cowboy has been a central figure in American culture over the course of the twentieth century.  This course will examine various constructions of cowboy identity in film, media, and politics, investigating continuities and transformations in the cowboy’s embodiment of masculine identity.  

This course will be divided into three sections.  The first will explore the early construction of the cowboy in the twentieth century and its relation to political power, such as President Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Rider identity and its role in expanding the American empire.  The second will focus on male sexuality during the Cold War period, where a range of cowboy cultures sometimes shored up and sometimes challenged a masculine identity tied to a consensus ideology.  The final section will delve into the post-Vietnam era cowboy, a complex figure with a major role both in the counterculture and in its backlash – think Burt Reynolds vis-à-vis the “cowboy president” Ronald Reagan, a modern president who put a cowboy identity to much different purposes than Theodore Roosevelt did at the beginning of the century.                 



Participation: 15%

Response papers: 15%

Unit Papers: 30%

Final Revised Paper: 40%


Possible Texts

Joy Kasson, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West

Gail Bederman, Manliness and Civilization

Tom Engelhardt, The End of Victory Culture

Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried

Daniel Pierce, Real NASCAR

Media such as The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, spaghetti westerns, Clint Eastwood movies, and bootlegging movies


Flag(s): Writing

AMS 311S • Dancing In America

30850 • Ronald, Kirsten
Meets MWF 900am-1000am GAR 2.128
show description

For generations, dancing - from polka to hip hop - has helped ordinary Americans make sense of the world around them.  In this class, you will learn about social, or popular, dancing in America by learning how to do dances ranging from salsa and Lindy Hop to the lawnmower and the wobble - and you'll use these American dance forms to examine broader patterns of cultural change since World War I.  Some of the issues we'll investigate include race, technology, and dance in the segregated ballrooms of the 1930s; immigration and exile in the 1950s Latin dance craze; globalization, Urban Cowboy, and 1970s Texas chic; and the seductive female body in contemporary burlesque.  We'll also try on a variety of tools for studying dance, including visual analysis, historical research, and participant observation.  For your final project, you'll get to put these tools (and maybe even your dance skills) to work in the real world and see how people use social dancing to make sense of American culture in contemporary Austin.                      


Participation                  20%

peer review                   10%

3 unit response papers      30%

final project on social dance in Austin      40%


Possible Texts

Julie Malnig, Ballroom, Boogie, Shimmy Sham, Shake

Sherril Dodds, Dancing on the Canon

Course Reader

Flag(s): Writing

AMS 311S • Marxism And American Culture

30855 • Cashbaugh, Sean
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm GAR 0.120
show description

Throughout the twentieth century, Marxism has been cast as subversively un-American and as a threat to individuals living in America. Yet this ignores Marxism's long history in American political, social, and cultural life. Many Americans have embraced Marxism in diverse ways since the late 1800s, seeing it as a mode of political analysis and engagement, as well as a theoretical approach to history and art. In this course, students will explore these processes and examine how Americans have understood and transformed Marxism in light of their distinct experiences and political goals. In the first of three units, we will examine key writings by Karl Marx, paying close attention to key concepts later revised. In unit two, through analysis of philosophical tracts, speeches, literature, other primary documents, and secondary readings, we will investigate the ways individuals and groups have understood these ideas and sought to make them their own, processes entwined with ideologies of class, race, gender, and nation. Having thought about Marxism in this sense, in unit three we will turn our eyes towards aesthetics and think through Marxism, asking how seemingly unrelated elements of American culture such as film, literature, and drama relate to the ideas explored all semester.



3 Reading Responses, 15%

Auto-Critique, 10%

Auto-Critique Revision, 10%

Essay 1, 20%

Essay 2, 25%

Discussion, 10%

Reading Quizzes, 10%


Possible Texts

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto

Karl Marx, excerpts from Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844

Karl Marx , excerpts from Capital

Tillie Olsen, Yonnondio:  From the Thirties

Clifford Odets, Waiting for Lefty

Various articles, essays, primary documents, and book excerpts to be posted on Blackboard.

Short films to be placed on Reserve


Flag(s): Writing

AMS 315 • Ethncty & Gender: La Chicana

30865 • Minich, Julie A.
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 206
(also listed as MAS 319, SOC 308D, WGS 301)
show description

The purpose of this course is to examine the various experiences, perspectives, and expressions of Chicanas in the United States. This involves examining the meaning and history of the term “Chicana” as it was applied to and incorporated by Mexican American women during the Chicano Movement in areas of the Southwest U.S., such as Texas and California. We will also explore what it means to be Chicana in the United States today. The course will begin with a historical overview of Mexican American women's experiences in the U.S., including the emergence of Chicana feminism. We will discuss central concepts of Chicana feminism and attempt to understand how those concepts link to everyday lived experiences. Specifically, the relationship between gender, race/ethnicity, and class will be key as we discuss issues that have been significant in the experiences and self-identification of Chicanas, such as: family, gender, sexuality, religion/spirituality, education, language, labor, and political engagement. We will engage in interdisciplinary analysis not only concerning cultural traditions, values, belief systems, and symbols but also concerning the expressive culture of Chicanas, including folk and religious practices, literature and poetry, the visual arts, and music. Finally, we will examine media representations of Chicanas through critical analyses of film and television portrayals.

AMS 315 • Intro East Austin Ethnography

30867 • Jones, Omi Osun Joni L.
Meets M 330pm-630pm JES A230
(also listed as AFR 317D, ANT 310L)
show description

In this course, students will study ethnographic methods including, fieldwork, observant participation, interviewing, and oral histories. Archival research will also be conducted.   Students will conduct fieldwork at specific sites in Austin with an emphasis on East Austin communities. This course provides students with skills in critical ethnography by foregrounding the racial politics that shape policy-making and community-building.


Madison, D. Soyini.  Critical Ethnography.  Thousand Oaks, CA:  Sage Publishers.  2012.

Other Readings

African American Quality of Life.  Mayor’s Task Force Report

Boggs, Grace Lee.  The Next American Revolution

Duany, Andres, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, and Jeff Speck.  Suburban Nation.

James, Joy.  Seeking the Beloved Community.

Sorkin, Michael.  Variations on a Theme Park:  The New American City and the End of Public Space.

Wilkerson, Isabel.  The Warmth of Other Suns

AMS 315 • Performing Blackness

30875 • Thompson, Lisa B.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 201
(also listed as AFR 317F, WGS 301)
show description



This course will consider contemporary performance of blackness in film, art, theatre, literature, television, and music. We will discuss how performances of black life, black identity and black culture are created, consumed and sometimes contradicted by artists and non-artists alike. We will explore themes such as the criteria for black art, the Black aesthetic, racial passing, performances of black masculinity/femininity, and cultural appropriation. The class will culminate in student presentations about black performance based upon individual research.


Evie Shockley, The New Black

George C. Wolfe, The Colored Museum

Jay-Z, Decoded

Suzan-Lori Parks, The America Play and Other Works

Spike Lee, Bamboozled

Awkward Black Girl (webseries)

Kiese Laymon, How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America

Mark Anthony Neal, Looking for Leroy: Illegible Black Masculinities

Nicole Fleetwood, Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness.

AMS 315 • Intro To Asian Amer Studies

30880 • Cho, Alexander
Meets TTH 930am-1100am PAR 201
(also listed as AAS 301)
show description

Flag: Cultural Diversity in the U.S.

This is an interdisciplinary course that introduces students to major issues in the historical and contemporary experiences of Asian Americans. Accordingly, it also trains students to critically unpack the idea of “Asian American” as containing an ever-shifting multiplicity of peoples and histories and places this category in conversation with issues of power, race, nation, and gender and sexuality. This course also spends substantial time on contemporary Asian American issues and recent histories of migration. Key topics to be explored are: (im)migration, citizenship, imperialism, panethnicity, racial formation, intersectionality, multiraciality, transnationalism, hybridity, mediated representation.

AMS 315D • Anthropol Of Race/Ethnicity

30895-30910 • Hartigan, John
Meets MW 900am-1000am CLA 0.112
(also listed as AFR 317D, ANT 310L)
show description

This course examines how and why these forms of identity matter so intensely, both in

this country and around the world. Our aim is to understand the fundamental dynamics

shaping racial and ethnic identity by drawing on theories and methods from

anthropology. The first third of the course will cover key concepts and the basic forces

that make ethnicity and race important. The second portion of the course will develop a

cultural perspective on these topics by surveying a range of ethnographic work on these

forms of identity. The final third of class will address a variety of ways that race and

ethnicity operate in the sphere of public culture. Rather than attempt to present a survey

of various groups and traditions, the aim of this course is to introduce students to the

challenges of producing reliable knowledge claims about race and ethnicity.


AMS 315F • Native American Lit And Cul

Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 206
(also listed as E 314V)
show description

Instructor:  Stewart, A

Unique #:  35150

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  AMS 315F

Flags:  Cultural diversity; Writing

Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: E 603A, RHE 306, 306Q, or T C 603A.

Description: This course will explore the worlds of Native American literature ranging across tribal affiliations, regions, and histories. While this literature teaches us about Native American cultures, the novels that we will read also explore cities, technology, ecology, and the challenges of living in our hypermodern world. We will also engage with essays that discuss the connections between oral and written narratives, language and thought, ideas and places, and other concepts key to understanding Native American literature, and literary studies.

The primary aim of this course is to help students develop and improve the critical reading, writing, and thinking skills needed for success in upper-division courses in English and other disciplines. They will also gain practice in using the Oxford English Dictionary and other online research tools and print resources that support studies in the humanities. Students will learn basic information literacy skills and models for approaching literature with various historical, generic, and cultural contexts in mind.

This course contains a writing flag. The writing assignments in this course are arranged procedurally with a focus on invention, development through instructor and peer feedback, and revision; they will comprise a major part of the final grade.

Tentative Texts: Silko, Leslie Marmon. Ceremony (1977); Erdrich, Louise. Tracks (1988); Robinson, Eden. Monkey Beach (2000).

Requirements & Grading: There will be a series of 3 short essays, the first of which must be revised and resubmitted. Subsequent essays may also be revised and resubmitted by arrangement with the Instructor (75% of the final grade). There will also be graded reading journals, and/or in-class presentations (25% of the final grade).

AMS 321 • Europ Immigration/Texas/19th C

Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BUR 337
(also listed as EUS 346, GSD 360)
show description

In the nineteenth century waves of immigrants from several Central and Northern European countries altered the demographics of Texas significantly while accelerating both economic and agricultural development of the republic and (later) state. Painted churches, dance halls, sausage festivals, etc. still speak to the cultural legacy of these immigrants in large swaths of Texas while, amazingly, pockets of diglossia still survive after several generations. The immigrant story often intertwined with larger themes of Texas history such as frontier, Native Americans, and slavery. Contrasting attitudes and values led to conflict at times, especially during the Civil War, since many of the immigrants openly opposed secession and/or slavery. 

This course will examine both the push—the causes of European emigration—and the pull—the attraction of Texas as a destination. The goal is to further our understanding of the cultural and social forces at play in the nineteenth century on both sides of the Atlantic and to deepen our appreciation for the positive contributions of the many different European nationalities that have added strands to the rich and colorful tapestry of the state.

Readings for classroom discussion will all come from online sources, either posted on my website or available through the Handbook of Texas online ( and the Portal of Texas History ( These will include the following:

  • Barker, Eugene C. "AUSTIN, STEPHEN FULLER," Handbook of Texas Online (
  • Barr, Alwyn. "LATE NINETEENTH-CENTURY TEXAS," Handbook of Texas Online (
  • Biesele, Rudolph L. “The Relations between the German Settlers and the Indians in Texas, 1844-1860,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 31, No. 2 (October 1927), 116-129. (
  • Biesele, Rudolph L. “Early Times in New Braunfels and Comal County,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 50, No.1 (July 1947) 75-92. (
  • Elliott, Claude. "Union Sentiment in Texas, 1861–1865," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 50 (April 1947), 449-477. (
  • Ernst, Friedrich. Letter from Mill Creek, 1832. Reprod. in Detlev Dunt, Reise nach Texas in 1834 [Journey to Texas in 1834], transl. by James Kearney and Geir Bentzen.
  • Gould, Lewis L. "PROGRESSIVE ERA," Handbook of Texas Online (
  • Grider, Sylvia. "WENDS," Handbook of Texas Online (
  • Hawgood, John. Chapter VI. “The Planting of a New Germany in the Republic and State of Texas,” in The Tragedy of German-America; The Germans in the United States of America during the Nineteenth Century and After (New York, 1940; rpt., New York: Arno Press, 1970), 137-200.  Available as an online Google book.
  • Jordan, Terry G. EMIGRANTS' GUIDES TO TEXAS," Handbook of Texas Online (
  • Jordan, Terry G.  "GERMANS," Handbook of Texas Online (
  • Jordan, Terry G. "The German Settlement of Texas after 1865," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 73, No.  2, (Oct. 1969), 193-212. (
  • Leatherwood, Art. "SWEDES," Handbook of Texas Online (
  • Machann, Clinton. "CZECHS," Handbook of Texas Online (
  • Nance, Joseph Milton. "REPUBLIC OF TEXAS," Handbook of Texas Online (
  • Narrett, David E. “A Choice of Destiny: Immigration Policy, Slavery, and the Annexation of Texas.” Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. 100 (July 1996-April 1997), No. 3, 271-304. (
  • Perkowski, Jan L. and Jan Maria Wozniak, "POLES," Handbook of Texas Online (
  •  (
  • Ransom, Harry Hunt, "A Renaissance Gentleman in Texas: Notes on the Life and Library of Swante Palm," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 53, No. 3 (Jan. 1950), 225-238. (
  • Schottenstein, Allison. "Jewish Immigration in Small Town Texas” (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, 2011)
  • Unstad, Lyder L. "Norwegian Migration to Texas," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 43, No.2 (Oct. 1939), 176-195. (
  • Werner, George C. "RAILROADS," Handbook of Texas Online (
  • Wooster, Ralph A. "An Analysis of the Texas Know Nothings," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 70, No. 3, (January 1967).  414-423. (


The following books will be reserved for reference and as a resource for papers: 

Barr, Alwyn. Reconstruction to Reform: Texas Politics, 1876–1906 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1971).

Benjamin, Gilbert Giddings. The Germans in Texas: A Study in Immigration. Austin: Jenkins Publishing Co., 1974.

Biesele, Rudolph L. The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831–1861 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1930; rpt. 1964).

Boas, Hans C.  The Life and Death of Texas German (Durham: Duke University, 2009)

Campbell, Randolph B. Gone to Texas: A History of the Lone Star State (Oxford University Press, USA , 2004).

Hewitt, William Philip. “The Czechs in Texas; A study of the Immigration and Development of Czech Ethnicity, 1850-1920,” (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, 1978).

Jordan, Terry G.  German Seed in Texas Soil: Immigrant Farmers in Nineteenth-Century Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1966).

Jordan, Terry G. Immigration to Texas (Boston: American Press, 1980).

Kearney, James C. “European Immigration in Texas in the Nineteenth Century; A Historiography” from Understanding Texas History, Bruce Glasrud and Light Townsend Cummins, eds. (University of Oklahoma Press, 2013).

Kitchen, Martin. The Political Economy of Germany, 1815-1914 (London: Croom Helm; Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press).

Kohn, Hans. The Mind of Germany (New York: Charles Scribner, 1960)

Konecny, Lawrence H. and Clinton Machann, Perilous Voyages; Czech and English Immigrants to Texas in the 1870s (College Station: Texas A&M Press, 2004).

Lich, Glen E. and Dona B. Reeves, eds., German Culture in Texas (Boston: Twayne, 1980).

MacDonald, Archie P. Texas: A Brief History (State House Press, 2007).

Machann, Clinton and James W. Mendl. Krásná Amerika: A Study of the Texas Czechs, 1851–1939 (Austin: Eakin Press, 1983).

Przygoda, Jacek. Texas Pioneers from Poland; A study in Ethnic History (Waco: Texian Press, 1971).

Siegel, Stanley. A Political History of the Texas Republic (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1956)

Stone, Bryan F. The Chosen Folks: Jews on the Frontiers of Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012).

Strubberg, Friedrich Armand, James C. Kearney, transl. Friedrichsburg; die Colonie des deutschen Fürstenvereins (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012).

Taylor, A.J.P. The Course of German History: a Survey of the Development of Germany since 1815 (Routledge; 2 ed., 2001).

Weiner, Hollace, ed., Lone Stars of David: The Jews of Texas (Brandeis University and Texas Jewish Historical Society, 2007).


Participation 35%

Response papers 35%

Final paper 30%

AMS 321 • Mixed Race And Sex In America

30932 • Makalani, Minkah
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 105
(also listed as AFR 372C)
show description


Race and sex remain controversial topics of public debate, with interracial sexual unions and their (“mixed-race”) progeny constituting one of the more troublesome features of the American democratic experiment. It therefore seems hardly coincidental that Barack Obama, the first African American President of the United States, is the son of a Kenyan father and white mother from Kansas. How did his mixed-racial parentage impact his election? Did it render him less black and thus palatable to whites? Do black people still consider him black, or question his authenticity? And how important is it that Obama identifies as black, not biracial?

This course examines the history of mixed-race and interracial sex in America, with particular attention to the racial ideologies, legal structures, policies, and social categories that have defined people of mixed-racial parentage as belonging to, or not belonging to, a given racial group. While people of mixed parentage (parents from two different racial groups) have grown over the past two decades, these have been long standing realities in American history. Given the history of race and racial oppression in America, we will explore the stereotypes and anxieties around interracial sex (black rapists/sluts; submissive Asian women/effeminate Asian men; exotic Latin@s, etc.), and how political power, property, and sexual violence informed such views. Though much of the course will center on people of mixed-black/white parentage/ancestry, we will also examine similar themes involved Asian/white, black/Asian, Latin@/black, Latin@/white, and Middle Eastern/black interracial unions and parentage/ancestry over the course of American history.



Shirley Thompson, Exiles at Home: The Struggle to Become American in Creole New Orleans (Harvard U. Press)

Gerg Carter, The United States of the united Races: A Utopian History of Racial Mixing (New York U. Press)

Kimberley McClain DaCosta, Making Multiracials: State, Family, and Market in the Redrawing of the Color Line (Stanford U. Press)

Danzy Senna, Caucasia (Penguin)


AMS 321 • Writing For Black Performance

30935 • Thompson, Lisa B.
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CLA 0.104
(also listed as AFR 372E, E 376M, WGS 340)
show description



This course will require students to write critical essays as well as theatrical pieces about the performance of black identity in America. Participants will also give oral presentations and perform readings of their work using various African-American performance styles. Students will read texts that examine African-American performance, contemporary black identity, and expressive culture.




Brandi Wilkins Catanese, Problem of the Color[blind]: Racial Transgression and the Politics of Black Performance

Nicole R. Fleetwood, Troubling Vision: Performance, Visuality, and Blackness

E. Patrick Johnson, Appropriating Blackness: Performance and the Politics of Authenticity

Lynn Nottage, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

Suzan-Lori Parks, The America Play and Other Works

Cherise Smith, Enacting Others

August Wilson, The Ground on Which I Stand

George C. Wolfe, The Colored Museum

AMS 321 • Lang & Speech In Amer Socty

30940 • Hosemann, Aimee
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm ART 1.120
(also listed as ANT 325N, LIN 373, SOC 352M)
show description


 In this course, we take as our central concern an exploration of American society through language use by Latin@ populations. We understand that this is a tremendously diverse population as we take “America” in its broad hemispheric sense, and so we seek to understand differences and similarities in the ways Latin@ groups (those tracing some Latin American descent) use language to create and participate in society. We do so by investigating how language is used by individuals from these communities on a daily basis, in a wide variety of contexts. As part of our investigation leads us to consider identity-building processes, which are a product of interaction, we consider also the ways non-Latin@s talk to/about Latin@s. We make use of the existing scholarly literature, as well as more “popular” sources. Students will construct and carry out original research projects.

AMS 321 • America And The Holocaust

30950 • Abzug, Robert H.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm UTC 3.122
(also listed as HIS 356R, J S 365)
show description

The goal of the course is to familiarize you with the history of the Holocaust and how it intersected with American society. It will combine a basic introduction to the Holocaust with a consideration of the ways in which American history, culture, and politics affected and have been affected by these events in Europe. We will consider not only American policymaking and the Nazis but also how the Holocaust became central to the contemplation of evil in the decades after the end of World War II. Issues of race, ethics, national policy, and the ability of cultures to depict and draw lessons from history form the interpretive questions at the heart of the course. .

The course will require students to participate in class discussion on key issues concerning what history can tell us about ethical issues raised in particular crises, as they affect both personal and state action, in the context of historical situations and on the basis of historical evidence.  

Pre-Requisite: There are no specific course pre-requisites, though basic familiarity with modern American and European as well as Holocaust history will of course be helpful. However, I do not assume any such background and a student will most of all need a commitment to the lectures, readings, and questions of the course to do well, and the will to seek additional background if necessary.       

            This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the U.S. history component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, personal responsibility, and social responsibility. 


Robert H. Abzug, Inside the Vicious Heart

Doris Bergen, War and Genocide

Edward T. Linenthal, Preserving Memory

Philip Roth, The Ghostwriter

Richard Rubinstein, The Cunning of History

AND Readings Posted on Canvas



Midterm: 35%                           or

Final:   65%                           


Midterm:                                20%

Optional Midterm:    30%

Final:                           50

AMS 321 • Urban Unrest

30955 • Tang, Eric
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm SZB 370
(also listed as AAS 330, AFR 372F, ANT 324L, URB 354)
show description

How and when do cities burn? The modern US city has seen its share of urban unrest, typified by street protests (both organized and spontaneous), the destruction of private property, looting, and fires. Interpretations of urban unrest are varied: some describe it as aimless rioting, others as political insurrection. Most agree that the matter has something to do with the deepening of racism, poverty and violence. This course takes a closer look at the roots of urban unrest, exploring a range of origins: joblessness, state violence, white flight, the backlash against civil rights gains, new immigration and interracial strife. Urban unrest is often cast as an intractable struggle between black and white, yet this course examines the ways in which multiple racial groups have entered the fray. Beyond race and class, the course will also explore unrest as a mode of pushing the normative boundaries of gender and sexuality in public space. Course material will draw from film, literature, history, geography and anthropology.


Required Texts:

The majority of readings will be available as pdf on Blackboard. Students must acquire the following texts:

Robert F. Williams, Negroes With Guns

Robin D.G. Kelley, Yo Mama’s Dysfunctional: Fighting the Culture Wars in Urban America

Dan Georgakis and Marvin Surkin, Detroit: I Do Mind Dying: A Study in Urban Revolution

Robert Gooding Williams eds. Reading Rodney King/Reading Urban Uprising



AMS 327 • Evangelical Christianity

30975 • Seales, Chad
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 130
(also listed as R S 346)
show description

This course is an introduction to the intellectual and social sources of evangelical Protestant traditions in the United States. It examines varieties of evangelical beliefs and practices. In the first section of the course, we address the self-professed ethical struggle of evangelicals to be in but not of the world.  We historically contextualize that struggle, tracing its more recent expressions back to the categorical rupture between sacred “selves” and profane “society” that was at the heart of the Protestant Reformation.  In our second section of readings, we study how evangelicals continually work out this ethical tension in their everyday lives.  Surveying a range of themes, including science, sexuality, politics, and environmentalism, we examine how evangelicals have defined themselves in opposition to secular society but also have engaged the secular in an effort to convert souls, manage personal behavior, and transform American society in their image of Christian community. By the end of this course, students should be able to defensibly define “who is an American evangelical.”  They should be able to construct a broad historical narrative of nineteenth and twentieth century American evangelicalism.  And they should be able to use this narrative to evaluate evangelical encounters in the twenty-first century with at least one sub-type of American culture listed on the syllabus.



Mark Noll, American Evangelical Christianity: An Introduction (2001).


Additional readings posted on Blackboard.



Attendance/Participation 15%

Reading Response Journal 25%

Short Essays 25%

Final Essay 35%


AMS 327 • Native American Religion

30980 • Graber, Jennifer
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BUR 220
(also listed as R S 346D)
show description

Before European colonization, the North American continent featured myriad Indian nations practicing many different religious traditions and ceremonies. In this course, we will examine the religious traditions of several American Indian groups: the Pueblos of the American Southwest, the Wendats of the eastern Woodlands, and the Lakotas of the Plains. We will look at the myths and rituals that composed these nations’ religious identities. We will then examine the ways that contact with Europeans affected their religious beliefs and practices. In turn, we will study how Native American communities have transformed old practices and fashioned new ones since those initial contacts. Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to see the diversity among American Indian groups and the way in which religious ideas and practices serve living, changing communities of people. 


Readings may include:

Marmon Silko, Ceremony

Martin, The Land Looks After Us: A History of Native American Religion

Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks

Seeman, The Huron-Wendat Feast of the Dead



Papers – 40%

Exams – 30%

Participation – 10%

Final project – 20%

AMS 327 • Religion In The American West

30985 • Graber, Jennifer
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BUR 436A
(also listed as R S 346)
show description

The history of the American West includes the stories of American Indians, Anglo-American and African American settlers, as well as immigrants from Asia and Latin America. These diverse communities have brought an array of religious traditions and practices to the area and to their contacts with each other. The region has also played a key role in the development of several religious movements, including Mormonism and Pentecostalism. Focused on inter-religious contact and the connections between religion, race, and, gender, the class surveys religion in the American West from the pre-colonial period through the present. 



Maffly-Kipp, Laurie. Religion and Society in Frontier California.

Sutton, Matthew Avery. Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America. 

Wenger, Tisa. We Have a Religion: The 1920s Pueblo Indian Dance Controversy and American Religious Freedom



Papers – 40%

Exams – 30%

Participation – 10%

Final project – 20%

AMS 355 • Main Curr Of Amer Cul To 1865

30990 • Meikle, Jeffrey L
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BUR 134
(also listed as HIS 355N)
show description

This lecture course traces the development of American cultural history from the time of the Puritan migration of 1630 through the end of the Civil War in 1865.  The basic premise of the course is that cultural history can best be understood by examining common themes that cut across such wide-ranging fields as religion, literature, art, science, philosophy, and popular culture.  Building from this base, the course explores such themes as the opposition of "young" America to "old" Europe, the continuing struggle between the individual and the community, the significance of the frontier, the impact of evangelical Protestantism, the idea of an American "mission," the emergence of industry, the paradox of liberty and slavery, and the awakening of regionalism and pluralism in opposition to the mainstream.

The course format consists of formal lectures (with questions and discussion encouraged) and several designated discussion periods.  Assigned reading is not always discussed in class but must be completed all the same.  Prior knowledge of basic U.S. history is helpful.



Two in-class tests (20% and 35% of the course grade) and a final exam (45%).  A student who makes at least a B on the first test may substitute a 10-page paper in place of the second test with the approval of the instructor.


Possible Texts

Five or six paperbacks and some articles including material like the following:

Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed

Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography

Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature"

John Kasson, Civilizing the Machine

David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin


Upper-division standing required. Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity


AMS 356 • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

30995 • Lewis, Randolph
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 134
(also listed as HIS 356K)
show description

Stretching chronologically from the Civil War to the contemporary anxieties of postmodern America, this course will touch upon a wide variety of questions: What is the American dream? What keeps us from achieving it? What is the nature of dissent? What are our responsibilities to one another? Underneath all of these concerns is a basic question: What should America be? We will delve into this by exploring the ways in which writers, artists, politicians, and intellectuals have provided both confident visions and devastating critiques of American society, in the form of artful essays, bold manifestos, innovative fiction, and powerful cinema. By focusing on social thought broadly defined, I hope to share with you the challenge and excitement of thinking critically about what American democracy has been as well as what it could be. As we move from the utopian novels of the late 19th century to the contemporary “war on terror,” I hope you will gain a sense not only of the historic struggle over the soul of America, but also a sense of how that struggle continues today, indelibly marked by the rhetoric and reality of the past.                  



Students are expected to attend class regularly, participate in classroom discussion in a civil and constructive manner, and complete assigned readings in a timely fashion. In addition to unannounced quizzes on the readings to ensure that we are all keeping up with the readings, there will be three major exams.


Possible Texts

Molly Haskell, Frankly, My Dear: Gone with the Wind Revisited

Dale Carpenter. Flagrant Conduct: The Story of Lawrence v. Texas

Torin Monahan, Supervision: An Introduction to the Surveillance Society

Jonathan Lethem, Fear of Music

Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward

James Weldon Johnson, The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man

Joan Didion, Slouching Toward Bethlehem

Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You


Upper-division standing required. Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity 


AMS 370 • Hist Black Entrepren In US

31000 • Walker, Juliet E. K.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm GAR 1.122
(also listed as AFR 374D, HIS 350R)
show description

Within the construct of African American Business history, race, contemporary American popular culture and global capitalism, this course will focus on an important aspect in the contemporary political economy of black Americans. Specifically, the commodification (sale) of black culture provides the conceptual frame for an examination of the phenomenon of both the superstar black athlete as an entrepreneur and the Hip Hop Superstar as an entrepreneur in post-Civil Rights America. The emphasis in this course, then, is to critically examine and analyze the impact of a multiplicity of societal, cultural and economic factors in the post-modern information age, propelled by new technologies in the New Economy of Global Capitalism.  Also, consideration will be given to the new diversity as it impacts on the political economy of African Americans.


Proceeding from an interdisciplinary perspective, the course considers both the financial successes of superstar black athletes and hip hop entrepreneurs as well as their emergence as cultural icons, contrasted with the comparatively overall poor performance of Black Business not only within the intersection of race, gender, class, but also within the context of transnationalism in the globalization sale of African American Culture in post-Civil Rights America. But who profits?

Most important, why is it that business receipts for African Americans, who comprise almost thirteen percent of this nation's population, amounted in 2007 to only .5%, that is, less than one (1) percent of the nation's total business receipts? In addition, why is it that among the various occupational categories in which blacks participate in the nation's economy, especially as businesspeople, that black entertainers and sports figures are the highest paid? What does this say about race, class, gender and hegemonic masculinities in America at the turn of the new century?

This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the U.S. history component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, personal responsibility, and social responsibility.


Boyd, Todd,      Young, Black, Rich and Famous:  The Rise of the NBA, The Hip Hop Invasion and the Transformation of American Culture

Curry, Mark,         Dancing With the Devil: How Puff Burned the Bad Boys of Hip Hop

Daniels, Cora,     Black Power, Inc: The New Voice of Black Success

Johnson,  Magic,    32  Ways to Be a Champion in Business

Kitwana, Bakari,   Why White Kids Love Hip Hop: Wangstas, Wiggers, Wannabes, and the New Reality                             of Race in America

Lafeber, Walter, Michael Jordan and the New Global Capitalism, New Expanded Edition

Oliver, Richard, Tim Leffel, Hip-Hop, Inc. : Success Strategies of the Rap Moguls   

Pulley, Brett, The Billion Dollar BET: Robert Johnson and the Inside Story of BET

Smith-Shomade, Beretta, Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy: Selling Black Entertainment Television           

Walker, Juliet E. K. History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship

Chaps, 6-11; Course Packet “The Commodification of Black Culture”   


Critical Book Review Analysis                           25%

    (5 reviews, 2-3 pages 5 points each)

Class Discussion/participation                             25%

Oral Summary of Research Paper                         5%

Seminar Research Paper (15 pages)                    45%

AMS 370 • Amer Cul Hist Alchl/Drugs

31005 • Smith, Mark C.
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BUR 436B
(also listed as HIS 350R)
show description

Most scholars of alcohol and drug use have concentrated upon its physiological aspects.  It is clear that addiction and craving have a physical and, in many cases, even a genetic basis.  Yet, as many anthropologists and sociologists have pointed out, cultures directly affect the types of drugs used, how they are used, and for what purposes.  In addition, one can examine a culture's drug use and attitude toward it and often discover a great deal about its functioning and values.  Thus, drug use is not only a cultural product but also a key social and historical descriptor.  In this course, we will study both how American culture affected the use of drugs and attitudes toward them and how these serve as keys to the changing American intellectual, social, and political landscape.  We will especially concentrate on alcohol, the opiates, marijuana, metamphetamines, and crack cocaine. We will note that the War on Drugs has been taking place for many years.

Topics to be considered include proliferation of alcohol abuse in the early Republic, the fight over cigarettes, the Prohibition movement, criminalization of drugs, Alcoholics Anonymous and treatment, medical response to addiction, and the drug war and the issue of legalization.

This course may be used to fulfill three hours of the U.S. history component of the university core curriculum and addresses the following four core objectives established by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: communication skills, critical thinking skills, personal responsibility, and social responsibility.



Short analytical papers                           5% each

Longer analytical paper                          10%

Two reading quizzes                              15% each

Class participation                                25%

15 to 20 page research paper                  30%


Possible Texts

Michael Lerner, Dry Manhattan: Prohibition in New York City

Nate Blakeslee, Tulia: Cocaine, Race, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town

Nick Reding, Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town

Phillipe Bourgois and Jeffrey Schoenberg, Rigteous Dopefiends

Charles Bowden, Murder City: Cuidad Juarez and the Global Economy

Reading Packet


Upper-division standing required.  Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.  Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Independent Inquiry

AMS 370 • American Disasters

31010 • Cordova, Cary
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm BUR 228
show description

As the popularity of Hollywood disaster films can attest, Americans relish the spectacle of disaster.  This course will examine “natural” and human-made disasters as key turning points in American history.  Whether fire, hurricane, toxin, or epidemic, moments of crisis frequently heighten the visibility of race, gender, and class inequalities, as well as propel, or retard social change.  This class requires students to question what is “natural,” to analyze the relationship between race and environmental policies, and to develop a historical view of disasters and American identities and transformations.  This class will engage with the politics of disasters, analyzing environmental contexts, grassroots activism, legislative policies, and approaches toward commemoration.  Possible topics to be covered include the Triangle Factory fire of 1911, the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, Love Canal, Three Mile Island, AIDS, the Los Angeles Riots of 1965 and 1992, The Chicago Heat Wave of 1995, and Hurricane Katrina (2005). 



Class participation:            25%

Group Presentation:           10%

Paper #1:                        15%

Paper #2:                        20%

Final Paper:                      30%


Possible Texts

Eric Klinenberg, Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago

Tony Kushner, Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes

Erik Larson, Isaac’s Storm: A Man, A Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History 

Anna Deveare Smith, Twilight Los Angeles

Luis Alberto Urrea, The Devil’s Highway: A True Story

Donald Worster, Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s, 25th Anniversary Edition

Julie Sze, Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice


Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity


AMS 370 • Exiles/Expats/Pol Pilgrims

31015 • Mickenberg, Julia
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BUR 228
show description

This course looks at Americans living abroad for political reasons from the 1920s-1950s: we will consider both individuals and groups who have visited and settled in other countries in search of a way of life that they believe will be more deeply fulfilling than life in the United States, or who were no longer able to live in the United States because of their political circumstances. The class will take into account a variety of primary and secondary sources, focusing on several different countries at various moments in the twentieth century, including France, the Soviet Union, and Mexico. We will explore the ways in which foreign experiences affected individuals’ perspective on the United States, social critiques of the U.S. that precipitated or resulted from expatriation, the ways in which foreigners responded to Americans in their midst, and Americans’ experiences of other nations. The course will also attempt comparisons across historical eras and geographical expanses. Within these dynamics, we will give special attention to the experiences of African Americans, Jews, and women, who experienced marginalization from the American mainstream and looked beyond U.S. borders for models of citizenship and selfhood.



Regular attendance and informed participation; a reading journal; a comparative essay, and a group research project with formal presentation.


Possible Texts

Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

Myra Page, Moscow Yankee

Melanie Ann Herzog, Elizabeth Catlett

Malcolm Cowley, Exile’s Return

Brooke L. Blower, Becoming Americans in Paris

Kate Baldwin, Beyond the Color Line and the Iron Curtain: Reading Encounters Between Black and Red

Rebecca Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico

Tyler Stovall, Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light

Additional readings on Blackboard or in packet


Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity, Global Cultures

AMS 370 • The Politics Of Creativity

31020 • Lewis, Randolph
Meets TTH 800am-930am BUR 228
show description

This course is an interdisciplinary investigation of artists in American society, including (but not limited to) Richard Pryor, Banksy, Jimi Hendrix, the Yes Men, Kara Walker, Michael Moore, Dorothea Lange, Anna Deveare Smith, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Spike Lee, David Lynch, and anonymous street artists. In addition to studying individual photographers, musicians, writers, comedians, architects, and filmmakers who have made powerful statements about American culture and its history, we will be looking at the changing function of art in our society in recent decades. Our fundamental questions will often explore the intersection of art and politics: How have American artists conceptualized the United States visually, aurally, and in literature? How have they envisioned American identities? What mythologies about the United States they endorsed or defied? The course will investigate these and other questions about the roles that artists have played in our recent cultural history.



Class participation and weekly journals:     30%    

Presentation:                      20%

5-7 page paper:                  20%

10-12 page research paper:    30%


Possible Texts

Octavia Butler, Kindred

Richard Ross, The Architecture of Authority

Dave Eggers, The Circle

Andrew Boyd, Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution  

Richard Zoglin, Comedy at the Edge: How Stand-up in the 1970s Changed America

HD Thoreau, Walden

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic.

Molly Haskell, Frankly, My Dear: “Gone With the Wind” Revisited

Anna Deveare Smith, Twilight: Los Angeles

David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross

Bart Beaty, David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence

Ed Guererro, Do The Right Thing


Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing


AMS 370 • Radical Latinos

31025 • Cordova, Cary
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BUR 228
(also listed as MAS 374)
show description

The word “radical” encompasses a wide variety of meanings, including being different, “other,” new, extreme, awesome, and even of the Left.  Radical suggests a “black sheep” quality, or an inability to fit into standard operating procedure.  This course will use the word “radical” to examine the social positioning and history of Latinas/os in the United States.  Specifically, we will use this framework to analyze the histories of Latinas/os who have gone against mainstream expectations, or who have challenged or critiqued the status quo in provocative and unexpected ways.  The class will examine a wide range of radical representations, from “radical” activists like Emma Tenayuca, Luisa Moreno, Lolita Lebron, and Reies López Tijerina, to radical social movements like the Brown Berets and the Young Lords, to radical films like Salt of the Earth, to radical artists like Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Asco, and Raphael Montañez Ortiz.  In looking at what is considered extreme, out of the ordinary, or unusual, the class is equally invested in what is appropriate, ordinary, traditional, and everyday.                 



Participation:                           20%

Response Paper #1:                  10%

Response Paper #2:                  20%

Response Paper #3:                  20%

Final Research Paper:                30%


Possible Texts

Culture Clash, Culture Clash in America

Cherrie Moraga, Heroes and Saints and Other Plays

Luis Valdez, The Mummified Deer and Other Plays

Guillermo Verdecchia, Fronteras Americanas / American Borders

Darrel Enck-Wanzer, ed., The Young Lords, a Reader

Reies Lopez Tijerina, They Called Me "King Tiger": My Struggle for the Land and Our Rights


Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing



AMS 370 • Black Political Thought

31030 • Marshall, Stephen H
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 101
(also listed as AFR 372C)
show description

In this course we will examine radical traditions of  black political thought. Enagaging thinkers who jettison the project of political reform in favor of social and political transformation, we shall explore a variety of writters and texts for what they have to teach us about ongoing legacies of slavery, empire, and patriarchy within the US. We will look at exemplary writtings of black marxism, black feminism, Afrocentricity, and Afro-Pessimism among other traditions.           



Final Paper                      30%

2 Response Papers             30%

In Class Presentation          20%

Class Participation              20%


Possible Texts

W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction

Cedric Robinson, The Black Radical Tradition

Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth

Barbara Ransby, Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement


Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing


bottom border