AMS 393 • Introduction to Readings in American Studies
9:00 AM-12:00 PM
This seminar introduces students to issues and concerns in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies. Using the presidential addresses to the American Studies Association, as well as recent American Studies anthologies, we will acquire a grounding in the pasts and futures of the field. As we map trajectories through the discipline, we will also look at the present of American Studies by examining book-length texts and analyzing them as discrete entities, putting them in historiographic, historical, and cultural contexts, and evaluating their methods and theories. In so doing, we will focus in on race, gender, material and popular culture, class, transnationalism, and regionalism, as we also move through different methodologies for approaching such issues. We are not aiming to define American Studies, but to look at the conflicting questions, problems, theories, and methods in which each of us place ourselves as current practitioners.
Presidential Addresses, American Quarterly (TBA) Amy Kaplan and Donald Pease, eds. Cultures of US Imperialism (Duke: 1993). Michael Elliott and Claudia Stokes, eds. American Literary Studies (NYU: 2003) Carolyn de la Pena. The Body Electric (NYU: 2003). Castaneda, Hart, and Armitage, eds. Gender on the Borderlands (Nebraska: 2007) Philip Deloria. Indians in Unexpected Places (Kansas: 2004) John Kasson. Houdini, Tarzan, and the Perfect Man (Hill and Wang: 2001) Tiya Miles. Ties that Bind (UCA: 2005) or Elizabeth McHenry, Forgotten Readers (Duke: 2002) Carroll Smith-Rosenberg. Disorderly Conduct (Oxford: 1985) George Chauncey. Gay New York (Basic: 1995) Jeff Biggers, United States of Appalachia or Anthony Harkins, Hillbilly (Oxford: 2005) Barry Shank, A Token of My Affection (Columbia: 2004) Psyche Williams-Forson. Building Houses out of Chicken Legs (UNC P: 2006). Alan Trachtenberg. Incorporation of America (Hill and Wang, 1982) Elaine May. Homeward Bound (Basic: 1988)