AMS 311s • U.S. Culture in the Age of Globalization-W
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
The year 1898 marked the dawning of a new era in U.S. culture when new expressions of empire and resistance formed in the cauldron of the Spanish-American War. This historical moment reflected an unprecedented surge in U.S. global supremacy coupled with the rise of anti-imperialist opposition, which gave shape to American expansion and to modern social movements. In this course we will explore cultural formations of U.S. empire and globalization during the twentieth century. The class will analyze the work of figures such as Henry Cabot Lodge, Jane Addams, W.E.B. Du Bois, Che Guevara, and Audrey Lorde, along with groups such as the Anti-Imperialist League, CIA, and Black Panther Party. We will evaluate the cultural forces that have outlined opposition movements in the United States and abroad. We will access these ideas by analyzing film, poetry, theatre, novels, photographs, and music, including their relation to modes of empire, economic inequality, racism, sexism, and other social issues. Using the language of race, class, and gender, we will debate these different themes and texts while attending to the relevance of technology and region, domestic and international events. Ideally, by discussing the materiality of globalization we will probe conflicting definitions of American citizenship, identity, and nation in the twentieth century.
The broader objectives of this class include: 1) To situate the relationship between American empire and social resistance within a global culture in the twentieth century; 2) To expose students to interdisciplinary methods for evaluating assumptions made about American history and culture; and 3) To think and write critically about different cultural forms in relation to race, gender, class, and nation.
Readings: Excerpts from Mark Twain, Twain: Collected Tales, Sketches, Speeches, and Essays, Vol. II, 1891-1910 Franz Fanon, Wretched of the Earth Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies Mike Davis, Planet of Slums A Course Packet with additional readings Films: Birth of a Nation Dr. Strangelove