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

Fall 2005

AMS 310 • Introduction to American Studies

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
27975 TTh
11:00 AM-12:30 PM
GSB 2.126

Course Description

AMS 310 is designed to introduce you to some of the major themes and ideas in American history and culture, as well as to familiarize you with some of the methods and materials that are used in the interdisciplinary study of American society. As a way to focus our discussion, this section of AMS 310 examines the twin concepts of place and region as they impinge on the historical development of American culture and society. Utilizing both historical and contemporary perspectives, and drawing from a wide range of approaches, we will take as our central motif the escalating importance of regional and local identity in a world of globalization and modernization. Specific themes will include: the historical development of American regional diversity; the role of place image and representation in the social construction of region; the relationship of regional culture to national culture; the way in which perceptions and conflicting communities influence the creation of regions; the importance of the regional concept in contemporary urban planning and landscape design; and the role of art, literature, and poetry in regional renewal.


Readings: Edward Ayers, Patricia Nelson Limerick, Stephen Nissenbaum, and Peter Onuf, All Over the Map: Rethinking American Regions Tony Horwitz, Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War Claude Brown, Manchild in the Promised Land William Cronon, Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England Michael Sorkin, ed., Variations on a Theme Park Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop Films: The Alamo Goin to Chicago Fargo


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