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

Fall 2009

AMS 311s • Making it in America-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29835 to 29840 Multiple Sections

Course Description

This course studies the history of sexuality, sex, and gender in the United States during the modern era. The course is organized thematically around four broad subject areas: AIDS, birth control, homosexuality, and marriage. In particular, we will be looking at the relationship between ideas of sex and romance as they connect to modernization and urbanization. Students will have the opportunity to explore a variety of texts, including essays, articles, films, works of visual art, photographs, etc. related to these subjects.

Looking at shifting conceptions of sexuality, sex, and gender as products of the specific cultural, historical, social and economic contexts, the course invites students to think critically about not only the subject areas around which the course is structured, but related issues such as adoption, pornography, and sexual morality. Further, students are encouraged to explore the connections between the subjects explored in this course, as they are intimately related to one another. Ultimately, this course should provide a foundation for thinking critically about sex, sexuality and gender in the U.S. not only historically, but in the present.

Grading Policy

4, 4-page essays (including revisions): 80% Class participation (including peer review): 20%


Possible Texts Asbell, Bernard, The Pill: A Biography of the Drug that Changed the World Bornstein, Kate, My Gender Workbook: How to Become a Real Man, a Real Woman, the Real You, or Something Else Entirely Faderman, Lillian, and Stuart Timmons, Gay L.A.: A History of Sexual Outlaws, Power Politics, and Lipstick Lesbians May, Elaine Tyler, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era Shilts, Randy, And the Band Played On: People, Politics, and the AIDS Epidemic


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