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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2003

AMS 310 • Intro to American Studies

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
26285 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
GSB 2.126

Course 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.

Class format: This is primarily a lecture course, but I will always leave some time available during each class for discussion.

Grading Policy

First exam (in-class): 20%; Second exam (in-class): 30%; Final take-home exam: 50 %. A: 90-100; B: 80-89; C: 70-79; D: 60-69; F: 0-59. Exam Format: The mid-term exams and final exam will contain several short identification questions and an essay question. The essay question on the final will draw upon material from throughout the course. In order to write a successful essay, you will be expected to support your answer with evidence from the assigned readings, lectures and other media like film clips, music, or slides shown in class. For this reason, regular class attendance is critical in order to do well in the course. The take-home final will consist of five short identification questions from the last third of the course, an essay question from the last third of the course, and a broad, integrative essay question that will cover the entire course. I will hand out the take-home final on the last class day. The take-home is an open-book test.


Clara Marie Allen and Constance Bowman Reid, Slacks and Calluses: Our Summer in a Bomber Factory Larry Colton, Counting Coup: A True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little Big Horn 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


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