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

Spring 2009

AMS 311s • American Places of Leisure-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29235 TTh
8:00 AM-9:30 AM
bio 301

Course Description

The Alamo Drafthouse. Barton Springs. Darrel K. Royal Memorial Stadium. South Congress vintage stores. Emo's. The Salt Lick. Town Lake. These are all places we go to get away from work, to rest, to recreate, to play. They are sites for fun and games. Though, they aren't just that. These are spaces and places where people create culture; they are where people define, reinforce, and challenge social prescriptions and expectations. In this course we will explore how our recreational spaces are constructed, controlled, and used; how built environments express certain sets of values; and how users of these spaces variously experience them as groups and individuals. We will analyze places like saloons and bars, department stores and shopping malls, Amusement Parks and Theme Parks, World's Fairs, theaters, family rooms and bedrooms, public and National parks, and stadiums and arenas. We will consider how these spaces both articulate and critique their historical moments. We will think about how places are invested with ideologies of gender, sexuality, race, nationality, and class.

Grading Policy

This course will combine lectures and vigorous discussions of topics covered in lectures and readings. Students should be prepared to share their insights. This is also a substantial writing component course. Students will complete a number of writing assignments: " a five-page analytical essay (which will count for 20% of the total grade) " a ten-page research paper (20%) " an annotated bibliography (10%) " a significant revision of the research paper (25%) " Daily quizzes and minor assignments (25%)


Possible Texts John Kasson, Amusing the Million: Coney Island at the Turn of the Century Bruce Kuklick, To Every Thing a Season: Shibe Park and Urban Philadelphia, 1909-1976 Stephen Fjellman, Vinyl Leaves: Walt Disney World and America. We will also read various supplementary articles and chapters


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