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

Fall 2003

AMS 393 • Bibliography and Methods

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
26505 W
10:00 AM-1:00 PM
GAR 301

Course Description

This reading seminar will explore a variety of themes, theoretical influences, and methodological approaches currently alive in the interdisciplinary field of American Studies. It will also examine something of the American Studies movement—a field of inquiry with intellectual roots in Depression-era concerns about the viability of American identity and experience, and as an institutional space for the expression of national exceptionalism during the Second World War and subsequent Cold War. Since then, American Studies has changed dramatically in response to scholarship surrounding the area of cultural studies and has, in turn, made significant contributions to it. The seminar, then, will first survey the history of this academic movement by considering some of the classic texts that are now often criticized for their consensus models or claims of American exceptionalism. We will then discuss more recent texts that refocus American studies around issues of race, gender, sexuality, class, space, and transnational cultural exchange. My aim is to introduce students to a wide array of ongoing “conversations” in American Studies, with the hope of promoting active engagement in those discussions


TENTATIVE READING LIST (a sampling of the kinds of materials we will read) George Chauncey, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 (1994) Erika Doss, Elvis Culture: Fans, Faith, and Image (1999) Rosalyn Deutsch, Evictions: Art and Spatial Politics (1998) Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War (1998) Joy Kasson, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West: Celebrity, Memory, and Popular History (2001) Lucy Maddox, Locating American Studies: The Evolution of a Discipline (1998) Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America (1964; 2000) Louis Menand, The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America (2002) Roderick Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind (1967; 2001) David Potter, People of Plenty: Economic Abundance and the American Character (1954) David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (1991; 1999) Andrew Ross, The Celebration Chronicles: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Property Value in Disney’s New Town (2000) Kirk Savage, Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America (1999) Marita Sturken, Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, The AIDS Epidemic, and the Politics of Remembering (1997) Alan Trachtenberg, Reading American Photographs: Images as History: Mathew Brady to Walker Evans (1990)


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