AMS 394 • Literature of American Studies
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
This required seminar for American Studies graduate students is designed to introduce students to a number of classic texts in American cultural history and a number of ways of interpreting them. It, like the American Studies methodology itself, seeks to be interdisciplinary on at least two levels. First of all, we will deal with texts from many different media including literature, autobiography, social commentary, religion, community studies, science writing, cultural landscape, and philosophy. Secondly, we will attempt to analyze them through the use of a number of different disciplinary and theoretical perspectives. Throughout, the course will insist upon the need to examine these works through an understanding of their respective cultural context. Among other goals analysis of these works seeks to provide a common basis of knowledge for students from varied undergraduate disciplines.
The following eleven books will be required Benjamin Franklin Autobiography Thomas Jefferson Notes on the State of Virginia Harriet Beecher Stowe Uncle Toms Cabin Jacob Riis How the Other Half Lives (Dover text only) Robert and Helen Lynd Middletown Rachel Carson Silent Spring Betty Friedan The Feminine Mystique Jane Jacobs Death and Life of Great American Cities Frances Fitzgerald Cities on a Hill Dennis Covington Salvation on Sand Mountain Alan Wolfe One Nation After All