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

Julia Mickenberg

Professor Ph. D.

Associate Professor
Julia Mickenberg

Contact

Biography

Julia Mickenberg is the author of Learning from the Left: Children's Literature, The Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States (2006), which won the Grace Abbott Book Prize from the Society for the History of Children and Youth, the Children's Literature Association's Book Award, the Pacific Coast Branch Award from the American Historical Association, a UT Cooperative Hamilton Book Award runner up prize. She is also co-editor of Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature (2008) and The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature (2011), which won the Children's Literature Association's 2011 Edited Book Award. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and her A.B. from Brown University.

Research Interests

Professor Mickenberg's current book project, for which she was awarded a Humanities Research Award from UT and an NEH fellowship, is tentatively entitled "The New Woman Tries on Red: Russia in the American Feminist Imagination, 1905-1945."

Courses Taught

Main Currents in American Culture, 1865-present; U.S. Cultural History; Society, Culture, and Politics in the 1960s; Women Radicals and Reformers; Children's Literature and American Culture; The Culture of the Cold War; Modernism, Feminism, and Radicalism; Cultures of U.S. Radicalism; The Cold War and American Childhood; Childhood Studies; Practicum in Teaching American Studies; and College and Controversy

Media Appearances

Stars and Tsars: A History of US/Russia Relations (BackStory)

 

 

Interests

History of the Left/Radical Cultures, Children's Literature, Women's History, History of Childhood, Russian Studies, Americans abroad, utopia

AMS 370 • Exiles/Expats/Pol Pilgrims

31015 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BUR 228
show description

This course looks at Americans living abroad for political reasons from the 1920s-1950s: we will consider both individuals and groups who have visited and settled in other countries in search of a way of life that they believe will be more deeply fulfilling than life in the United States, or who were no longer able to live in the United States because of their political circumstances. The class will take into account a variety of primary and secondary sources, focusing on several different countries at various moments in the twentieth century, including France, the Soviet Union, and Mexico. We will explore the ways in which foreign experiences affected individuals’ perspective on the United States, social critiques of the U.S. that precipitated or resulted from expatriation, the ways in which foreigners responded to Americans in their midst, and Americans’ experiences of other nations. The course will also attempt comparisons across historical eras and geographical expanses. Within these dynamics, we will give special attention to the experiences of African Americans, Jews, and women, who experienced marginalization from the American mainstream and looked beyond U.S. borders for models of citizenship and selfhood.

 

Requirements

Regular attendance and informed participation; a reading journal; a comparative essay, and a group research project with formal presentation.

 

Possible Texts

Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

Myra Page, Moscow Yankee

Melanie Ann Herzog, Elizabeth Catlett

Malcolm Cowley, Exile’s Return

Brooke L. Blower, Becoming Americans in Paris

Kate Baldwin, Beyond the Color Line and the Iron Curtain: Reading Encounters Between Black and Red

Rebecca Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico

Tyler Stovall, Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light

Additional readings on Blackboard or in packet

 

Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity, Global Cultures

AMS 356 • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

31180 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BUR 134
(also listed as HIS 356K )
show description

This course will survey American cultural history from the Civil War to the present, emphasizing the variety of economic, political, demographic, and social forces that have shaped American cultural production; the variety of media and forms in which American culture is expressed (including literature, painting, photography, dance, architecture, film, advertising, childrearing practices, education, political speeches, architecture and the environment, music, fashion, theater and performance, scientific thought, athletics, political demonstrations, trials, museums, foodways, fairs and exhibitions); and the impact of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and religion on American cultural expression. Finally, we will consider the trajectory of American cultural history in terms of the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world, examining how Americans have imported traditions from other countries and how the United States has shaped broader processes globalization.

 

Requirements

Students are expected to attend class regularly and to complete all assigned readings. There will be three major exams, and short quizzes most days based on the assigned reading.

 

Possible Texts

Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward

Nella Larsen, Quicksand

Federal Theater Project, Triple A Plowed Under

Mine Okubo, Citizen 13660

Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era

Luis Valdez,Early Works: Actos, Bernabe, and Pensamiento

Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

 

Upper-division standing required.  Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

 

AMS 386 • Cultural Hist Of Us Since 1865

31220 • Spring 2014
Meets TH 200pm-500pm BUR 436B
show description

Note: Graduate standing required. Students also required to attend undergraduate lectures, AMS 356

AMS 370 • Socty, Cul, Polit In 1960s

30860 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm GEA 127
show description

In this class we will explore the major social movements and the political, cultural and intellectual developments of the 1960s, as well as their origins in the 1950s and earlier.  These include post-war liberalism; the Great Society and the War on Poverty; the New Left; the Free Speech Movement; the peace movement; the Civil Rights movement; nationalist and liberation movements among African Americans, Chicanos, Asian Americans, American Indians, gays and lesbians, and women; the youth movement and counterculture; the conservative movement; and the environmental movement.  Throughout, we shall seek to learn not only what happened, but also why it happened; moreover, as members of a university community, we will be attentive to the question of how political and social activity in the 1960s, activity inspired largely by young people in and around universities, has affected our lives today and our relationship to politics and civic life.

In the 1960s spirit of “participatory democracy” this class will be run as something of a cooperative enterprise.  Rather than working on the model of expert teacher and student receptacles-of-knowledge, as students you will be actively contributing to the course content through your own research and presentations to the class.  In other words, your active participation is essential to the success of the course.  If you were hoping for a more passive learning experience, you should look elsewhere.

 

Requirements

Formal presentation

Two 4-6 page papers

One eight-to-ten page paper requiring research and revision

Regular informed participation in on-line blackboard discussion and in-class discussion

Regular attendance is also mandatory

 

Possible Texts

Andrew Jameson and Ron Eyerman, Seeds of the Sixties

Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s

Alexander Bloom and Wini Breines, Takin’ It To the Streets: A Sixties Reader

Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

 

Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

 

AMS 370 • Children's Lit And Amer Cul

30800 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 228
(also listed as E 324 )
show description

This course will trace the history of American childhood through children’s literature. Using selected texts from the colonial era to the present, we will use children's texts as lenses for understanding American culture and American cultural history more generally. Understanding how childhood and children’s literature have changed over time tells us a great deal about the ways in which the broader culture and society have evolved. It is easy to take children’s literature for granted: we’ve all read it, and, indeed, we all read it as kids. What could be simpler, more obvious, or less worthy of critical examination? This class will ask students to think critically about children's literature and to think about how these texts are informed by and also contribute to a broader cultural context.

Requirements

1. Participation (25%): Includes: attendance, active and informed participation in class discussions, two presentations, in-class writing and short (one page) out of class assignments

2. Two 4-5 page papers (20% each)

3. One 8-10 page research paper (35%)

Possible Texts

Ann Scott MacLeod, American Childhood: Essays on Children’s Literature of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

Steve Mintz, Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood

Louisa May Alcott, Little Women (Norton Critical Edition)

Dr. Seuss, The Sneetches and Other Stories

Doris Gates, Blue Willow

Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are

Louise Fitzhugh, Harriet the Spy

Alice Childress, A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich

Jean Luen Yang, American Born Chinese

Additional packet of readings

Upper-division standing required.  Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

 

AMS 390 • Childhood Studies

30830 • Spring 2013
Meets T 200pm-500pm BUR 436B
(also listed as WGS 393 )
show description

What does it mean to study culture through the lens of childhood? This course will focus on scholarship of a historical and/or literary bent, but also delve into sociology, politics, media studies, psychology, visual culture, performance studies, material culture, and other fields.  Drawing on a range of recent scholarship but also giving some attention to the development of this relatively young field, we consider such issues as the metaphorical configuration of the United States as an “infant nation” and the implications of this both for children and for nation-building; the late 19th and early twentieth centuries as the “age of the child”; psychoanalysis and children’s literature; the image of the child in visual culture; race, gender, and sexuality as experienced and constructed through children and childhood; the cultural implications of children’s clothing and material culture; modernism and the rise of the picture book for children; the history of American summer camps; Walt Disney, childrearing, and American national identity; and the politics of childhood. Students will write short response papers and blackboard postings, lead one discussion, present on one supplemental text and write a short review of it and write a final paper on a topic of their choosing 

Requirements

Participation (class discussion, response papers, blackboard postings): 25%

Leading discussion: 10%

Presentation and review of supplemental text: 15%

Final paper: 50%

Possible Texts

Kenneth Kidd Freud in Oz: At the Intersections of Psychoanalysis and Children’s Literature

Nicholas Sammond, Babes in Tomorrowland: Walt Disney and the Making of the American Child, 1930-1960

Nathalie op de Beeck, Suspended Animation: Children’s Picture Books and the Fairy Tale of Modernity

Robin Bernstein, Racial Innocence: Performing Childhood and Race from Uncle Tom’s Cabin to the New Negro Movement

Daniel Thomas Cook, The Commodification of Childhood

Katherine Capshaw-Smith, Children’s Literature of the Harlem Renaissance

Caroline Levander, Cradle of Liberty: Race, the Child, and National Belonging from Thomas Jefferson to W.E.B. DuBois

Margaret Higonnet, Pictures of Innocence: This History and Crisis of Ideal Childhood

Anne Arnett Ferguson, Bad Boys: Public Schools in the Making of Black Masculinity

Sarah Chinn, Inventing Modern Adolescence

Kathryn Bond Stockton, The Queer Child, or Growing Sideways in the Twentieth Century

AMS 356 • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

30605 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BUR 134
(also listed as HIS 356K )
show description

Description

This course will survey American cultural history from the Civil War to the present, emphasizing the variety of economic, political, demographic, and social forces that have shaped American cultural production; the variety of media and forms in which American culture is expressed (including literature, painting, photography, dance, architecture, film, advertising, childrearing practices, education, political speeches, architecture and the environment, music, fashion, theater and performance, scientific thought, athletics, political demonstrations, trials, museums, foodways, fairs and exhibitions); and the impact of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and religion on American cultural expression. Finally, we will consider the trajectory of American cultural history in terms of the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world, both in terms of how Americans have imported traditions from other countries and in terms of how the U.S. has shaped broader processes globalization.

 

Requirements

Students are expected to attend class regularly and to complete all assigned readings. There will be three major exams, and short quizzes most days based on the assigned reading.

 

Possible Texts

Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers 

Bruce Barton, The Man Nobody Knows

Federal Theater Project, Triple A Plowed Under

Mine Okubo, Citizen 13660

Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era

Van Gosse, The Movements of the New Left: 1950-1975

Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

 

Upper-division standing required.  Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

AMS 370 • Exiles/Expats/Politcl Pilgrims

30620 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 228
show description

Description:

This course looks at Americans living abroad for political reasons from the 1920s-1950s: we will consider both individuals and groups who have visited and settled in other countries in search of a way of life that they believe will be more deeply fulfilling than life in the United States, or who were no longer able to live in the United States because of their political circumstances. The class will take into account a variety of primary and secondary sources, focusing on several different countries at various moments in the twentieth century, including France, the Soviet Union, and Mexico. We will explore the ways in which foreign experiences affected individuals’ perspective on the United States, social critiques of the U.S. that precipitated or resulted from expatriation, the ways in which foreigners responded to Americans in their midst, and Americans’ experiences of other nations. The course will also attempt comparisons across historical eras and geographical expanses. Within these dynamics, we will give special attention to the experiences of African Americans, Jews, and women, who experienced marginalization from the American mainstream and looked beyond U.S. borders for models of citizenship and selfhood. Assignments include a reading journal, close reading of a primary source in a social and historical context, a comparative essay, and a research paper, as well as a formal presentation.

 

Possible Texts:

Vilem Flusser, Exile and Creativity

Edward Said, Reflections on Exile

Nancy L. Green, Expatriation, Expatriates, and Expats: The American Transformation of a Concept

George Lamming, The Pleasures of Exile

Malcolm Cowley, Exile’s Return

Brooke L. Blower, Becoming Americans in Paris

Paul Hollander, Political Pilgrims: Western Intellectuals in Search of the Good Society

Langston Hughes, I Wonder as I Wander

Katherine Ann Porter, Violetta the Virgin

Dorothy West, A Room in Red Square

Emma Goldman, My Disillusionment With Russia

Kate Baldwin, Beyond the Color Line and the Iron Curtain: Reading Encounters Between Black and Red

Daniel Soyer, Back to the Future: American Jews Visit the Soviet Union

Arthur Koestler, ed. The God That Failed or Darkness at Noon

José Limon, American Encounters: Greater Mexico, the United States, and the Erotics of Culture

Rebecca Schreiber, Cold War Exiles in Mexico

Gordon Kahn, A Long Way from Home

Ella Winter, Red Virtue

Tyler Stovall, Paris Noir: African Americans in the City of Light 

 

Films: Paris Was a Woman; The Circus; Tina in Mexico; The Brave One

 

Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

Flag(s): Writing, Global Cultures

 

AMS 398T • Supv Teaching In American Stds

30975 • Spring 2011
Meets TH 900am-1200pm BUR 436B
show description

This goal of this course is to provide you with practical tools for teaching your own college-level course in American Studies and related fields, and to introduce you to some of the larger issues around teaching in higher education. Topics covered will include: course development and design; pedagogical methods; creating effective assignments; leading discussion; lecturing; using writing as a teaching tool; testing and evaluation; integrating technology; guiding student research; advising and mentoring; balancing teaching and research; and motivating students’ learning. Throughout the course we will reflect upon the qualities of good teaching, and, in particular, good teaching of interdisciplinary material.

Requirements1.    Students will design two courses: First, an AMS 311S course that assumes a class of 30 students or fewer, that focuses on a topic of your choosing, and that makes writing a central component of the course. Second, an Introduction to American Studies course that is geared to a class of 100 students or more. Both syllabi should be posted on blackboard by Tuesday, May 3 for discussion at our final class meeting on Thursday, May 5.2.    Interview an American Studies faculty member about teaching and observe at least one of that professor’s undergraduate classes. Also (with permission) attend one class taught by a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.3.    Microteaching: Prepare one 30 minute lecture, which we will videotape and go over. Plan to invite several guests.4.    Lead class discussion of readings for one hour of 3-hour period (sign up first class period)5.     Formulate and refine a philosophy of teaching6.    Smaller assignments throughout the semester (see below)7.    Regular attendance and informed participation in class discussionPossible TextsPeter Filene, The Joy of Teaching: A Practical Guide for New College InstructorsPacket of Additional materials from Speedway CopiesBarbara Gross Davis, Tools for Teaching (available in co-op or as e-book)John C. Bean, Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the ClassroomRecommended:Thomas A. Angelo and K. Patricia Cross, Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College TeachersMcKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers. Useful on-line resources:UT Center for Teaching and Learninghttp://www.utexas.edu/academic/ctl/

AMS 356 • Main Curr Amer Cul Since 1865

29615 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BUR 134
(also listed as HIS 356K )
show description

Description

This course will survey American cultural history from the Civil War to the present, emphasizing the variety of economic, political, demographic, and social forces that have shaped American cultural production; the variety of media and forms in which American culture is expressed (including literature, painting, photography, dance, architecture, film, advertising, childrearing practices, education, political speeches, architecture and the environment, music, fashion, theater and performance, scientific thought, athletics, political demonstrations, trials, museums, foodways, fairs and exhibitions); and the impact of race, class, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and religion on American cultural expression. Finally, we will consider the trajectory of American cultural history in terms of the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world, both in terms of how Americans have imported traditions from other countries and in terms of how the U.S. has shaped broader processes globalization.

 

Requirements

Students are expected to attend class regularly and to complete all assigned readings. There will be three major exams, and short quizzes most days based on the assigned reading.

 

Possible Texts

Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers

Bruce Barton, The Man Nobody Knows

Federal Theater Project, Triple A Plowed Under

Mine Okubo, Citizen 13660 

Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era

Van Gosse, The Movements of the New Left: 1950-1975  

Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

 

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

Upper-division standing required.  Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History.

AMS 370 • Socty, Cul, Polit In 1960s

29670 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GAR 0.120
show description

Description

                  In this class we will explore the major social movements and the political, cultural and intellectual developments of the 1960s, as well as their origins in the 1950s and earlier.  These include post-war liberalism; the Great Society and the War on Poverty; the New Left; the Free Speech Movement; the peace movement; the Civil Rights movement; nationalist and liberation movements among African Americans, Chicanos, Asian Americans, American Indians, gays and lesbians, and women; the youth movement and counterculture; the conservative movement; and the environmental movement.  Throughout, we shall seek to learn not only what happened, but also why it happened; moreover, as members of a university community, we will be attentive to the question of how political and social activity in the 1960s, activity inspired largely by young people in and around universities, has affected our lives today and our relationship to politics and civic life.

                  In the 1960s spirit of “participatory democracy” this class will be run as something of a cooperative enterprise.  Rather than working on the model of expert teacher and student receptacles-of-knowledge, as students you will be actively contributing to the course content through your own research and presentations to the class.  In other words, your active participation is essential to the success of the course.  If you were hoping for a more passive learning experience, you should look elsewhere.

 

Requirements

Formal presentation

Two 4-6 page papers

One eight-to-ten page paper requiring research and revision

Regular informed participation in on-line blackboard discussion and in-class discussion

Regular attendance is also mandatory

 

Possible Texts

Andrew Jameson and Ron Eyerman, Seeds of the Sixties

Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin, America Divided: The Civil War of the 1960s

Alexander Bloom and Wini Breines, Takin’ It To the Streets: A Sixties Reader

B.F. Skinner, Walden Two

Eldridge Cleaver, Soul on Ice

Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Doug Rossinow, The Politics of Authenticity

 

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

Upper-division standing required. Students may not enroll in more than two AMS 370 courses in one semester.

AMS 390 • Modnsm, Feminism, & Radicalism

29425 • Spring 2009
Meets W 200pm-500pm BUR 436B
(also listed as WGS 393 )
show description

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

Publications

Books

Leaning from the Left: Children's Literature, the Cold War, and Radical Politics in the United States (Oxford U.P., 2006). Winner of the Children's Literature Association Book Prize, the Grace Abbott Prize from teh Society for the HIstory of Childhood and Youth, the Pacific Coast Branch Prize from the American Historical Association's Pacific Coast Branch, and a $3,000 Hamilton Book Award.

Tales for Little Rebels: A Collection of Radical Children's Literature, edited with Philip Nel (New York U.P., 2008). Selected amonth the "best of the best" books for school and public libraries by the American Association of University Publishers.

The Oxford Handbook of Children's Literature. Edited with Lynne Vallone. (Oxford U.P., 2011).

Peer-Reviewed Articles

“Radical Children’s Literature Now!” (co-authored with Philip Nel). Children’s Literature Association Quarterly, forthcoming, fall 2011.

“The New Generation and the New Russia: Modern Childhood as Collective Fantasy.” American Quarterly 62:1 (March 2010): 103-134.

“Nursing Radicalism: Some Lessons from a Postwar Girls’ Series.” American Literary History 19:2 (summer 2007), 491-520.

“Of Funnybones, Steam Shovels, and Railroads to Freedom: Juvenile Publishing, Progressive Education, and the Politicization of Childhood, 1919-1935,” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 28:3 (Fall 2003), 144-57.

“Civil Rights, History and the Left: Inventing the Juvenile Black Biography.” MELUS (Multi Ethnic Literature of the United States) 27:2 (Summer 2002), 65-93.

“Communist in a Coonskin Cap? Meridel Le Sueur’s Books for Children and the Reformulation of America’s Cold War Frontier Narrative.” The Lion and the Unicorn 21 (1997), 59-85.

“Left at Home in Iowa: ‘Progressive Regionalists’ and the WPA Guide to 1930s Iowa.” Annals of Iowa 56 (Summer 1997) 233-56. *Honorable Mention, Throne-Aldrich Award for best Annals article of 1997.

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