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

Spring 2009

AMS 311s • US Culture and Globalization-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29275 MWF
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
bio 301

Course Description

The year 1898 marked the dawning of a new era in U.S. culture when competing 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 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 Audre Lorde, along with groups such as the Anti-Imperialist League, CIA, and Black Panther Party. We will evaluate the myriad forces that gave life to various "global moments" and chart their impact on the culture of the United States. We will access these ideas by engaging with film, poetry, 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, regional considerations, and 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 and beyond.

The broader objectives of this class include: 1) Situating the relationship between American empire and social resistance in global terms during the twentieth century; 2) Exposing students to interdisciplinary methods for evaluating American history and culture; 3) Thinking and writing critically about different cultural expressions in relation to race, gender, class, and nation.

Grading Policy

Map 10% Essay 1 20% Midterm 25% Final Paper 30% Participation 15%


Possible Texts Jhumpa Lahiri, Unaccustomed Earth A Course Packet with additional readings Films: The King and I (1956) Syriana (2005)


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