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

Jeffrey L Meikle

Professor Ph.D., American Studies, 1977, University of Texas at Austin

Stiles Professor in American Studies
Jeffrey L Meikle

Contact

  • Phone: 232-2166
  • Office: BUR 424
  • Office Hours: Tuesdays/Thursdays 11-12
  • Campus Mail Code: B7100

Biography

Research Interests

Dr. Meikle's research interests as a cultural historian include industrial design and technology, visual representation in popular print media, and alternative cultures from 1950 to the present.  His books include Twentieth Century Limited: Industrial Design in America, 1925-1939; American Plastic: A Cultural History; and Design in the USA. He has received research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Mellon Foundation, and the Getty Grant Program.

Courses Taught

Dr. Meikle's teaching interests include the history of design, architecture, and technology in the U.S.; the cultural history of the post-1945 era, especially the modern/postmodern shift; the Beat writers and their cultural influence; and American Studies theory and methods. His recent courses include "Introductory Readings in American Studies," "Modernism in American Design and Architecture," "Postmodern America," and "The Beats and American Culture."

Interests

History of design, technology, and architecture; postmodernity; alternative cultures.

AMS 330 • Mdrnsm In Am Design & Arch

30150 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm ART 1.110
(also listed as URB 352 )
show description

Upper-division standing required. Fulfills the core requirement for “Visual and Performing Arts”

SAME AS ARH 367 (TOPIC 3).

Description

This lecture course is intended to provide a broad knowledge of major issues in the history of American design and architecture from about 1880 to the present.  The central assumption of the course is that our environments both shape us and reflect what manner of people we are.  The term design is understood to include all elements of the built environment ranging from the smallest artifacts and products through buildings (whether vernacular or elite) to the shape of suburban and urban landscapes.  Students are encouraged to consider design in the context of social and cultural history.  Among topics to be considered are methods of cultural analysis of material artifacts; the rise, triumph, and fall of functionalism and the International Style; the emergence of uniquely American varieties of commercial design in a consumer society; the interactions of technology, economics, and design; the impact of the automobile on all levels of design; the rise of postmodern design and deconstructive architecture as counters to the modernist tradition; and design for the information age.  Among problems to be considered are tensions between tradition and novelty, between functional and expressive theories of design, between elite ideologies and popular desires, and between European and American design. 

 

Requirements

Although lectures will be illustrated with slides, this is not an image memorization course.  Grades will be based on:

Two in-class exams (the first counting 15%; the second 25%)

5-7 page paper based on original observation (30%)

Final exam (30%).

 

Possible Texts

Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture

Carma Gorman, The Industrial Design Reader

Jeffrey Meikle, Design in the USA

John Kasson, Amusing the Million

Karal Ann Marling, As Seen on TV

Michael Sorkin, Variations on a Theme Park

AMS 355 • Main Curr Of Amer Cul To 1865

30990 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BUR 134
(also listed as HIS 355N )
show description

This lecture course traces the development of American cultural history from the time of the Puritan migration of 1630 through the end of the Civil War in 1865.  The basic premise of the course is that cultural history can best be understood by examining common themes that cut across such wide-ranging fields as religion, literature, art, science, philosophy, and popular culture.  Building from this base, the course explores such themes as the opposition of "young" America to "old" Europe, the continuing struggle between the individual and the community, the significance of the frontier, the impact of evangelical Protestantism, the idea of an American "mission," the emergence of industry, the paradox of liberty and slavery, and the awakening of regionalism and pluralism in opposition to the mainstream.

The course format consists of formal lectures (with questions and discussion encouraged) and several designated discussion periods.  Assigned reading is not always discussed in class but must be completed all the same.  Prior knowledge of basic U.S. history is helpful.

 

Requirements

Two in-class tests (20% and 35% of the course grade) and a final exam (45%).  A student who makes at least a B on the first test may substitute a 10-page paper in place of the second test with the approval of the instructor.

 

Possible Texts

Five or six paperbacks and some articles including material like the following:

Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed

Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography

Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature"

John Kasson, Civilizing the Machine

David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin

 

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

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

 

AMS 385 • Cultural History Of Us To 1865

31050 • Fall 2014
Meets TH 200pm-500pm BUR 436B
show description

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

This graduate seminar introduces students to a range of key secondary texts and scholarly debates relevant to the cultural history of the United States from the colonial period through the Civil War. The format is hybrid in that students are expected to attend the undergraduate lectures for AMS 355, “Main Currents of American Culture to 1865,” and to participate in a three-hour seminar with fellow graduate students to pursue main themes with additional readings and discussion. The undergraduate syllabus opens with the following paragraph:

 

This lecture-discussion course traces U.S. cultural history from the time of the Puritan migration of 1630 through the end of the Civil War in 1865. The basic premise of the course is that cultural history can best be understood by examining common themes that, at any given historical moment, cut across many fields of human activity—such as work, domestic life, politics, religion, philosophy, science, literature, art, architecture, and popular culture. The course will explore such ongoing questions as the attempt to define a “new, young America” against an “old, decaying Europe”; the struggle to define individual identities and rights against the force of a cohesive, organic community; the significance of the frontier, of slavery, and of race to the development of American society; the impact of evangelical Protestantism; the concept of an American "mission"; and the rise of regionalism and pluralism in opposition to the mainstream. The course will cultivate a sense of historical empathy as a means of understanding early Americans whose intentions and activities were utterly unlike ours, but will also suggest ways in which we have inherited aspects of their social issues and cultural concerns.

 

Required work includes two oral reports, a short paper (5-6 pp.), a long paper (20 pp.), and a written précis or commentary on each week's assigned reading. Attendance at the lectures and contribution to discussions in seminar are expected.

 

In the past, assigned readings have included the following, subject to change for the coming semester:

Alfred W. Crosby, Ecological Imperialism (1986)

Sacvan Bercovitch, The American Jeremiad (1978)

Edmund S. Morgan, American Slavery, American Freedom (1975)

Thomas S. Kidd, The Great Awakening (2007)

Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography (any edition)

Gordon S. Wood, The Americanization of Benjamin Franklin (2004)

Gordon S. Wood, The Radicalism of the American Revolution (1991)

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, A Midwife’s Tale (1990)

Anthony F. C. Wallace, Rockdale (1978)

James W. Cook, The Arts of Deception (2001)

Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul (1999)

Mark S. Schantz, Awaiting the Heavenly Country (2008)

AMS 330 • Mdrnsm In Am Design & Arch

31170 • Spring 2014
Meets MW 300pm-430pm ART 1.110
(also listed as URB 352 )
show description

This lecture course is intended to provide a broad knowledge of major issues in the history of American design and architecture from about 1880 to the present.  The central assumption of the course is that our environments both shape us and reflect what manner of people we are.  The term design is understood to include all elements of the built environment ranging from the smallest artifacts and products through buildings (whether vernacular or elite) to the shape of suburban and urban landscapes.  Students are encouraged to consider design in the context of social and cultural history.  Among topics to be considered are methods of cultural analysis of material artifacts; the rise, triumph, and fall of functionalism and the International Style; the emergence of uniquely American varieties of commercial design in a consumer society; the interactions of technology, economics, and design; the impact of the automobile on all levels of design; the rise of postmodern design and deconstructive architecture as counters to the modernist tradition; and design for the information age.  Among problems to be considered are tensions between tradition and novelty, between functional and expressive theories of design, between elite ideologies and popular desires, and between European and American design. 

 

Requirements

Although lectures are illustrated with images, this is not an image memorization course.  Grades are based on:

Two in-class exams (the first counting 15%; the second 25%)

5-7 page paper based on original observation (30%)

Final exam (30%).

 

Possible Texts

Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture

Carma Gorman, The Industrial Design Reader

Jeffrey Meikle, Design in the USA

John Kasson, Amusing the Million

Thomas Hine, Populuxe

Project on Disney, Inside the Mouse

 

Upper-division standing required. Fulfills the core requirement for “Visual and Performing Arts” as well as the Liberal Arts “Cultural Expression, Human Experience, and Thought” requirement. 

AMS 390 • 20th-Cen Amer Design And Arch

31230 • Spring 2014
Meets W 900am-1200pm BUR 128
show description

Graduate standing required. Permission from instructor required.

AMS 355 • Main Curr Of Amer Cul To 1865

30835 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BUR 134
(also listed as HIS 355N )
show description

This lecture course traces the development of American cultural history from the time of the Puritan migration of 1630 through the end of the Civil War in 1865.  The basic premise of the course is that cultural history can best be understood by examining common themes that cut across such wide-ranging fields as religion, literature, art, science, philosophy, and popular culture.  Building from this base, the course explores such themes as the opposition of "young" America to "old" Europe, the continuing struggle between the individual and the community, the significance of the frontier, the impact of evangelical Protestantism, the idea of an American "mission," the emergence of industry, the paradox of liberty and slavery, and the awakening of regionalism and pluralism in opposition to the mainstream.

The course format consists of formal lectures (with questions and discussion encouraged) and several designated discussion periods.  Assigned reading is not always discussed in class but must be completed all the same.  Prior knowledge of basic U.S. history is helpful.

 

Requirements

Two in-class tests (20% and 35% of the course grade) and a final exam (45%).  A student who makes at least a B on the first test may substitute a 10-page paper in place of the second test with the approval of the instructor.

 

Possible Texts

Five or six paperbacks and some articles including material like the following:

Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed

Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography

Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature"

John Kasson, Civilizing the Machine

David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin

 

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

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

 

AMS 385 • Cultural History Of Us To 1865

30895 • Fall 2013
Meets TH 200pm-500pm BUR 436B
show description

Consent of Instructor Required

AMS 330 • Mdrnsm In Amer Design & Arch

30765 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm ART 1.110
(also listed as URB 352 )
show description

This lecture course is intended to provide a broad knowledge of major issues in the history of American design and architecture from about 1880 to the present.  The central assumption of the course is that our environments both shape us and reflect what manner of people we are.  The term design is understood to include all elements of the built environment ranging from the smallest artifacts and products through buildings (whether vernacular or elite) to the shape of suburban and urban landscapes.  Students are encouraged to consider design in the context of social and cultural history.  Among topics to be considered are methods of cultural analysis of material artifacts; the rise, triumph, and fall of functionalism and the International Style; the emergence of uniquely American varieties of commercial design in a consumer society; the interactions of technology, economics, and design; the impact of the automobile on all levels of design; the rise of postmodern design and deconstructive architecture as counters to the modernist tradition; and design for the information age.  Among problems to be considered are tensions between tradition and novelty, between functional and expressive theories of design, between elite ideologies and popular desires, and between European and American design. 

 

Requirements

Although lectures are illustrated with images, this is not an image memorization course.  Grades are based on:

Two in-class exams (the first counting 15%; the second 25%)

5-7 page paper based on original observation (30%)

Final exam (30%).

 

Possible Texts

Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture

Carma Gorman, The Industrial Design Reader

Jeffrey Meikle, Design in the USA

John Kasson, Amusing the Million

Karal Ann Marling, As Seen on TV

Michael Sorkin, Variations on a Theme Park

 

Upper-division standing required. Fulfills the core requirement for “Visual and Performing Arts” 

 

 

AMS 355 • Main Curr Of Amer Cul To 1865

30770 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BUR 208
(also listed as HIS 355N )
show description

This lecture course traces the development of American cultural history from the time of the Puritan migration of 1630 through the end of the Civil War in 1865.  The basic premise of the course is that cultural history can best be understood by examining common themes that cut across such wide-ranging fields as religion, literature, art, science, philosophy, and popular culture.  Building from this base, the course explores such themes as the opposition of "young" America to "old" Europe, the continuing struggle between the individual and the community, the significance of the frontier, the impact of evangelical Protestantism, the idea of an American "mission," the emergence of industry, the paradox of liberty and slavery, and the awakening of regionalism and pluralism in opposition to the mainstream.

The course format consists of formal lectures (with questions and discussion encouraged) and several designated discussion periods.  Assigned reading is not always discussed in class but must be completed all the same.  Prior knowledge of basic U.S. history is helpful.

 

Requirements

Two in-class tests (20% and 35% of the course grade) and a final exam (45%).  A student who makes at least a B on the first test may substitute a 10-page paper in place of the second test with the approval of the instructor.

 

Possible Texts

Five or six paperbacks and some articles including material like the following:

Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed

Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography

Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature"

John Kasson, Civilizing the Machine

David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin

 

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

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

 

AMS 370 • Postmodern America

30707 • Fall 2012
Meets W 630pm-930pm BUR 228
show description

This course considers postmodernity as a way of conceptualizing transformations in American culture since 1945.  In that year two previously inconceivable events, the Holocaust and the atom bomb, called into question a traditional American faith in progress and redefined the very ground of existence.  Since then, Americans have experienced a barrage of often unprecedented experiences, accelerating during the final decades of the twentieth century:  expansion of television and other visual representations of reality; development of a suburban way of life largely focused on mass consumption; disneyfication of everyday environments; formation of multiple subcultures with their own lifestyles; ecological disasters and consciousness of a profound sense of limits; development of multiculturalism and new gender identities with accompanying backlashes; AIDS and the continuing prospect of new pandemics; computerization and information implosion; globalization and balkanization; shifts from production to consumption and from spirituality to therapy; development of a postindustrial service economy; global terrorism and preemptive war.  Perceptions of and responses to these developments have reshaped the arts and stimulated new modes of popular culture, creating a cultural landscape cutting across art, architecture, literature, political thought, journalism, photography, film, philosophy, criticism, music, dance, performance art, etc.  We will examine this new cultural landscape using traditional historical analysis and new critical theories.  Assigned reading will yield both a historical overview of this period and a series of themes for discussion.  The instructor will serve as moderator and will encourage students to act as cultural observers and critics.  The goal is to promote active responses to contemporary culture, to navigate through the vortex without being unconsciously swept along.  We will also assess the usefulness of the concepts of postmodernity and postmodernism.

 

Requirements

Because a successful seminar depends on lively informed discussions, students are expected to attend regularly, to complete assigned readings, and to participate actively in class.  Written work includes four 2-page essays (10% of final grade each), a final project of at least 10 pages (30%), and a take-home final exam (15%).  One short paper must be rewritten, and the resulting grade will be substituted for the original grade.  Reading will be checked by regular quizzes.  Each student is responsible for a short oral presentation, a short oral artifact analysis, and frequent class participation (15%, including quizzes).  Evaluation is based on originality and clarity of thought and expression, both written and oral.

 

Texts

This course requires much reading.  If that worries you, then it is not for you.  Required reading includes books like the following and a packet of articles:

Nicholson Baker, THE MEZZANINE

John Barth, THE END OF THE ROAD

Calvin Tomkins, THE BRIDE AND THE BACHELORS

Thomas Pynchon, THE CRYING OF LOT 49

Ishmael Reed, MUMBO JUMBO

Roland Barthes, MYTHOLOGIES

Paul Auster, CITY OF GLASS

Michael Sorkin, ed., VARIATIONS ON A THEME PARK

Mike Davis, ECOLOGY OF FEAR

Victor Mosco, THE DIGITAL SUBLIME

 

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

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

AMS 393 • Intro Readings In Amer Studies

30770 • Fall 2012
Meets TH 200pm-500pm BUR 436B
show description

Graduate standing required. Seminar designed to acquaint the graduate student with the nature and extent of materials for interdisciplinary research on American culture. Consent of instructor required.

This reading seminar introduces students to the history and current discourses of the interdisciplinary field of American Studies.  Arising out of Depression-era concerns about the viability of American identity and experience, and institutionalized as a semi-politicized expression of U.S. cultural nationalism during the Second World War and the subsequent Cold War, the American Studies movement has undergone an extraordinary series of transformations in the past four decades.  The seminar will first explore the history of this academic movement by considering a few classic texts now often dismissed for their consensus models and claims of American exceptionalism.  We will then discuss more recent texts that refocus American Studies around race, gender, class, material culture, popular culture, consumerism, technology, and transnationalism.  Finally we will use Janice Radway's controversial 1998 presidential address to the American Studies Association as an occasion for considering future agendas. 

Each week the seminar confronts a single book-length text, analyzing it as a discrete entity, placing it in historiographic, historical, and cultural contexts with the assistance of supplementary articles from American Quarterly, and evaluating its usefulness as an example or model.  The course's purpose is not to define American Studies but to survey a series of often conflicting definitions, theories, and methods, and thereby to consider a series of questions and problems that current practitioners might profitably address.

Possible Texts

David Potter, People of Plenty

Sacvan Bercovitch, The American Jeremiad

Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden

Jane Tompkins, Sensational Designs

Kenneth Ames, Death in the Dining Room

Eric Lott, Love and Theft

David Nye, American Technological Sublime

Joel Dinerstein, Swinging the Machine

Janice Radway, A Feeling for Books

Amy Kaplan, The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of U.S. Culture

AMS 330 • Modernism In Am Design & Arch

30835 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm ART 1.110
(also listed as URB 352 )
show description

Upper-division standing required. Fulfills the core requirement for “Visual and Performing Arts”

SAME AS ARH 367 (TOPIC 3).

Description

This lecture course is intended to provide a broad knowledge of major issues in the history of American design and architecture from about 1880 to the present.  The central assumption of the course is that our environments both shape us and reflect what manner of people we are.  The term design is understood to include all elements of the built environment ranging from the smallest artifacts and products through buildings (whether vernacular or elite) to the shape of suburban and urban landscapes.  Students are encouraged to consider design in the context of social and cultural history.  Among topics to be considered are methods of cultural analysis of material artifacts; the rise, triumph, and fall of functionalism and the International Style; the emergence of uniquely American varieties of commercial design in a consumer society; the interactions of technology, economics, and design; the impact of the automobile on all levels of design; the rise of postmodern design and deconstructive architecture as counters to the modernist tradition; and design for the information age.  Among problems to be considered are tensions between tradition and novelty, between functional and expressive theories of design, between elite ideologies and popular desires, and between European and American design. 

 

Requirements

Although lectures will be illustrated with slides, this is not an image memorization course.  Grades will be based on:

Two in-class exams (the first counting 15%; the second 25%)

5-7 page paper based on original observation (30%)

Final exam (30%).

 

Possible Texts

Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture

Carma Gorman, The Industrial Design Reader

Jeffrey Meikle, Design in the USA

John Kasson, Amusing the Million

Karal Ann Marling, As Seen on TV

Michael Sorkin, Variations on a Theme Park

AMS 370 • The Beats/Amer Cul, 1945-90

30885 • Spring 2012
Meets W 630pm-930pm BUR 228
show description

Historians and literary critics have long debated the significance—both literary and cultural—of such "Beat Generation" writers as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs.  This seminar will engage that debate by examining some "classics" of Beat writing and tracing their impact on popular art and culture from the 1960s through the 1980s.  First we will assess several key Beat texts both as literary works and as documents of social and cultural history from the 1940s through the early 1960s.  Then, using an interdisciplinary approach, we will ask whether a Beat aesthetic spread from literature to other areas of cultural production.  Finally, we will examine survivals, influences, and appropriations of Beat or neo-Beat modes of expression in popular arts from the 1960s through the 1990s, including but not limited to literature, art, music, film, photography, and comics.  This course has a significant writing component, including a final paper on a single Beat or neo-Beat figure or phenomenon.  In a sense, the course is an exploration of alternative cultures during the last half of the twentieth century.

 

Requirements

The instructor will present a brief historical overview of the period and offer a series of themes for discussion but for the most part will serve as a moderator of discussion.  Students are encouraged to act as cultural observers and critics.

Because a successful seminar depends on lively, informed discussions, students are expected to complete assigned readings, to attend regularly, and to participate actively in class.  Written work includes four 2-page essays (10% of final grade each), a final project of at least 10 pages (30%), and a take-home final exam (15%).  Each student will be responsible for a short oral report and frequent class participation (15%).  Evaluation will be based on originality and clarity of thought and expression, both written and oral.

 

Possible Texts

This course requires considerable reading, probably about ten books and a packet of articles.  If that worries you, then the course may not be for you.  Students may also be asked to view several films and listen to music outside of class.  Assigned texts will include works like the following:

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Allen Ginsberg, Howl

Jack Kerouac, Lonesome Traveler

William Burroughs, Naked Lunch 

Joyce Johnson, Minor Characters 

Hettie Jones, How I Became Hettie Jones

Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Allen Ginsberg, The Fall of America

Hunter Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Gary Snyder, Turtle Island

Thomas Pynchon, Vineland

Kathy Acker, Essential Acker

Bob Dylan, Chronicles, Vol. 1

Mac Montandon, ed., The Tom Waits Reader

 

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

Flag(s): Writing

AMS 330 • Modernism In Am Design & Arch

30865 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 500pm-630pm ART 1.110
(also listed as URB 352 )
show description

Upper-division standing required. Fulfills the core requirement for “Visual and Performing Arts”

SAME AS ARH 367 (TOPIC 3).

Description

This lecture course is intended to provide a broad knowledge of major issues in the history of American design and architecture from about 1880 to the present.  The central assumption of the course is that our environments both shape us and reflect what manner of people we are.  The term design is understood to include all elements of the built environment ranging from the smallest artifacts and products through buildings (whether vernacular or elite) to the shape of suburban and urban landscapes.  Students are encouraged to consider design in the context of social and cultural history.  Among topics to be considered are methods of cultural analysis of material artifacts; the rise, triumph, and fall of functionalism and the International Style; the emergence of uniquely American varieties of commercial design in a consumer society; the interactions of technology, economics, and design; the impact of the automobile on all levels of design; the rise of postmodern design and deconstructive architecture as counters to the modernist tradition; and design for the information age.  Among problems to be considered are tensions between tradition and novelty, between functional and expressive theories of design, between elite ideologies and popular desires, and between European and American design. 

 

Requirements

Although lectures will be well illustrated, this is not an image memorization course.  Grades will be based on:

Two in-class exams (the first counting 15%; the second 25%)

5-7 page paper based on original observation (30%)

Final exam (30%).

 

Possible Texts

Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture

Carma Gorman, The Industrial Design Reader

Jeffrey Meikle, Design in the USA

John Kasson, Amusing the Million

Karal Ann Marling, As Seen on TV

Michael Sorkin, Variations on a Theme Park

AMS 355 • Main Curr Of Amer Cul To 1865

30870 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm BUR 208
(also listed as HIS 355N )
show description

Description

This lecture course traces the development of American cultural history from the time of the Puritan migration of 1630 through the end of the Civil War in 1865.  The basic premise of the course is that cultural history can best be understood by examining common themes that cut across such wide-ranging fields as religion, literature, art, science, philosophy, and popular culture.  Building from this base, the course will explore such themes as the opposition of "young" America to "old" Europe, the continuing struggle between the individual and the community, the significance of the frontier, the impact of evangelical Protestantism, the idea of an American "mission," the emergence of industry, the paradox of liberty and slavery, and the awakening of regionalism and pluralism in opposition to the mainstream.

The course format consists of formal lectures (with questions and discussion encouraged) and several designated discussion periods.  Assigned reading will not always be discussed but must be mastered all the same.  Prior knowledge of basic U.S. history is helpful.

 

Requirements

Two in-class tests and a final exam.  A student who makes at least a B on the first test may substitute a 10-page paper in place of the second test with the approval of the instructor.

 

Possible Texts

Five or six paperbacks and some articles including material like the following:

Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed 

Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography 

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

John Kasson, Civilizing the Machine 

David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin

 

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

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

AMS 370 • Postmodern America

29665 • Fall 2010
Meets W 630pm-930pm PAR 204
show description

Description

                  This course considers postmodernity as a way of conceptualizing transformations in American culture since 1945.  In that year two previously inconceivable events, the Holocaust and the atom bomb, called into question a traditional American faith in progress and redefined the very ground of existence.  Since then, Americans have experienced a barrage of often unprecedented experiences, accelerating during the final decades of the twentieth century:  expansion of television and other visual representations of reality; development of a suburban way of life largely focused on mass consumption; disneyfication of everyday environments; formation of multiple subcultures with their own lifestyles; ecological disasters and consciousness of a profound sense of limits; development of multiculturalism and new gender identities with accompanying backlashes; AIDS and the continuing prospect of new pandemics; computerization and information implosion; globalization and balkanization; shifts from production to consumption and from spirituality to therapy; development of a postindustrial service economy; global terrorism and preemptive war.  Perceptions of and responses to these developments have reshaped the arts and stimulated new modes of popular culture, creating a cultural landscape cutting across art, architecture, literature, political thought, journalism, photography, film, philosophy, criticism, music, dance, performance art, etc.  We will examine this new cultural landscape using traditional historical analysis and new critical theories.  Assigned reading will yield both a historical overview of this period and a series of themes for discussion.  The instructor will serve as moderator and will encourage students to act as cultural observers and critics.  The goal is to promote active responses to contemporary culture, to navigate through the vortex without being unconsciously swept along.  We will also assess the usefulness of the concepts of postmodernity and postmodernism.

 

Requirements

                  Because a successful seminar depends on lively informed discussions, students are expected to attend regularly, to complete assigned readings, and to participate actively in class.  Written work includes four 2-page essays (10% of final grade each), a final project of at least 10 pages (30%), and a take-home final exam (15%).  If necessary, reading will be checked by unannounced quizzes.  Each student is responsible for a short oral presentation, a short oral artifact analysis, and frequent class participation (15%, including quizzes if given).  Evaluation is based on originality and clarity of thought and expression, both written and oral.

 

Texts

This course requires much reading.  If that worries you, then it is probably not for you.  Required reading includes the following books and a packet of articles:

Nicholson Baker, THE MEZZANINE

John Barth, THE END OF THE ROAD

Calvin Tomkins, THE BRIDE AND THE BACHELORS

Thomas Pynchon, THE CRYING OF LOT 49

Ishmael Reed, MUMBO JUMBO

Roland Barthes, MYTHOLOGIES

Paul Auster, CITY OF GLASS

Michael Sorkin, ed., VARIATIONS ON A THEME PARK

Mike Davis, ECOLOGY OF FEAR

Victor Mosco, THE DIGITAL SUBLIME

 

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

Flag(s): Writing, Cultural Diversity

AMS 393 • Intro Readings In Amer Studies

29725 • Fall 2010
Meets T 900am-1200pm BUR 436B
show description

Notes
Graduate standing required. Consent of graduate advisor must be obtained. Seminar designed to acquaint the graduate student with the nature and extent of materials for interdisciplinary research on American culture. Consent of instructor required!

Description
This reading seminar introduces students to the history and current discourses of the interdisciplinary field of American Studies.  Arising out of Depression-era concerns about the viability of American identity and experience, and institutionalized as a semi-politicized expression of U.S. cultural nationalism during the Second World War and the subsequent Cold War, the American Studies movement has undergone an extraordinary series of transformations in the past four decades.  The seminar will first explore the history of this academic movement by considering a few classic texts now often dismissed for their consensus models and claims of American exceptionalism.  We will then discuss more recent texts that refocus American Studies around race, gender, class, material culture, popular culture, consumerism, technology, and transnationalism.  Finally we will use Janice Radway's controversial 1998 presidential address to the American Studies Association as an occasion for considering future agendas.  

Each week the seminar confronts a single book-length text, analyzing it as a discrete entity, placing it in historiographic, historical, and cultural contexts with the assistance of supplementary articles from American Quarterly, and evaluating its usefulness as an example or model.  The course's purpose is not to define American Studies but to survey a series of often conflicting definitions, theories, and methods, and thereby to consider a series of questions and problems that current practitioners might profitably address.

Possible Texts
David Potter, People of Plenty
Sacvan Bercovitch, The American Jeremiad
Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden
Jane Tompkins, Sensational Designs
Kenneth Ames, Death in the Dining Room
Eric Lott, Love and Theft
David Nye, American Technological Sublime
Joel Dinerstein, Swinging the Machine
Janice Radway, A Feeling for Books
Amy Kaplan, The Anarchy of Empire in the Making of U.S. Culture

AMS 330 • Modernism In Am Design & Arch

29800 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 930-1100 ART 1.110
show description

Modernism in American Design and Architecture                  Spring 2010

AMS 330  (29800), ARH 367 (20215)           

Instructor:  Jeffrey Meikle

Class:  Tuesday, Thursday, 9:30-11:00, Art 1.110

Office hours:  Thursday, 3:30-5:30 or by appt., Burdine 424

Contact info:  512-232-2166; meikle@mail.utexas.edu

Teaching assistant:  Dave Croke, davecroke@mail.utexas.edu

office hour:  Tuesday, 11:15-12:15, or by appt., Burdine 437

This lecture course is intended to provide a broad knowledge of major issues in the history of American design and architecture from about 1880 to the present.  The central assumption of the course is that our environments both shape us and reflect what manner of people we are.  The word design is understood to include all elements of the built environment ranging from the smallest artifacts and products through buildings (whether vernacular or elite) to the shape of suburban and urban landscapes.  Students are encouraged to consider design in the context of social and cultural history.  Among topics to be considered are methods of cultural analysis of material artifacts; the rise, triumph, and fall of functionalism and the International Style; the emergence of uniquely American varieties of commercial design in a consumer society; the interactions of technology, economics, and design; the impact of the automobile on all levels of design; the rise of postmodern design and deconstructive architecture as counters to the modernist tradition; and design for the information age.  Among problems to be considered are tensions between tradition and novelty, between functional and expressive theories of design, between elite ideologies and popular desires, and between European and American design.  Although lectures are well illustrated, this is not an image memorization course.

Required reading: 

Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture

Carma Gorman, The Industrial Design Reader

Jeffrey Meikle, Design in the USA

John Kasson, Amusing the Million

Thomas Hine, Populuxe

Michael Sorkin, Variations on a Theme Park

Required texts are available at the University Co-op, with the exception of Design in the USA, which is available through the library's Electronic Reserves (password:  futurama).  Sometime during the semester you should spend a couple of hours browsing through the Architecture Library in Battle Hall.  Current periodicals are located in the most comfortable reading room at UT.  Books on architecture and design are on two compact levels.  The Fine Arts Library, also a quiet, comfortable place, has many books and periodicals on design and the decorative arts.  Getting true value from this course requires looking outward from lectures and required readings to the objects, structures, and spaces of the real world around you—and exploring what has been written on those aspects that interest or fascinate you.  Websites with a wealth of visual materials are available on almost every conceivable design-related topic.

Required written work includes two in-class exams (the first counts 15% of the final grade; the second counts 25%), a paper of 5-7 pages based on original observation (counts 30%), and a final exam (30%).

The first exam counts only 15% because it is intended to familiarize you with the process.  The second exam and the final exam are cumulative, covering all material in the course up to that point.  Exams include short identifications and longer essays.  You are expected to synthesize material from lectures and assigned readings, and if possible to refer to outside reading and personal observation.

Reading assignments should be read before class on the date under which they are listed.  Sometimes the readings are directly related to that day's lecture; sometimes they are scheduled simply to spread the assignments throughout the semester.  Readings often include material that will not be referred to in lectures; you are responsible for it all the same.  A premium is placed on efforts to understand the course material on your own terms, to use it as raw material for your own interpretations.  Make-up exams will not be given except in cases of dire emergency.

Guidelines for the paper assignment will be provided later.  You will be asked to write about the social and cultural meanings of a product, artifact, object, building, interior, or space with which you are personally familiar.  Several short articles intended to suggest possible models for the paper will be available later in the semester.  Late papers will be marked down one full letter from the grade they would otherwise have received, except in cases of dire emergency.  No credit is given for papers more than one week late.

Regular attendance is advised.  Lectures are loaded with images that obviously will not appear in notes borrowed from other students.  Much of the lecture material is not information that can be memorized by rote but consists of the instructor's personal interpretations, which you are expected to assess for yourself and use as a springboard to your own interpretations.  I place a premium on independent thinking—easier to do if you've been attending class.

Use of cell phones, whether for calls, texting, or internet access, is prohibited.  Use of laptops for Internet access is also prohibited.  Use of these devices is rude in general and distracting to those sitting nearby.  Anyone observed doing so will be asked to leave class.

The University of Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities.  For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TTY.

 

Schedule

Jan. 19          Organization

Jan. 21          Design and Culture

Jan. 26          Le Corbusier and Machine-Age Modernism

                             Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture (look carefully through the book; you'll read it later)

Jan. 28          Roots of American Functionalism

                             Meikle, Design in the USA, 11-49

                             Horatio Greenough, "The Law of Adaptation" (1852), Gorman, 11-14

Feb. 2            Arts and Crafts Revivalism

                             Meikle, Design in the USA, 51-87

                             John Ruskin, "The Nature of Gothic" (1853), Gorman, 14-19

                             William Morris, "The Lesser Arts" (1877), Gorman, 35-40

                             Frank Lloyd Wright, "The Art and Craft of the Machine" (1901), Gorman, 55-61

Feb. 4            Daniel Burnham:  Classical Visions and Organic Dreams

                             Kasson, Amusing the Million, 3-112

Feb. 9            Chicago Design and Architecture

Feb. 11          Frank Lloyd Wright:  Traditionalist or Innovator?

Feb. 16          FIRST EXAM (bring a blue book)

Feb. 18          European Roots of American Modernism

                             Le Corbusier, Towards a New Architecture, v-289

                             Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, "The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism (1909), Gorman, 70-74

                             Adolph Loos, "Ornament and Crime" (1910), Gorman, 74-81

                             Hermann Muthesius, "Aims of the Werkbund" (1911), Gorman, 82-83

Feb. 23          New American Tempo:  Design in the 1920s

                             Meikle, Design in the USA, 89-112

                             Christine Frederick, "The Labor-Saving Kitchen" (1919), Gorman, 92- 96

                             Helen Appleton Read, "The Exposition in Paris" (1925), Gorman, 113- 117

                             Henry Ford, "Machinery, the New Messiah" (1928), Gorman, 121-123

                             "Color in Industry," Fortune magazine (1930), Gorman, 123-125

Feb. 25          Delirious New York:  Art Deco Skycrapers

March 2         Domesticating Modernity between the World Wars

March 4         Streamlining in the Great Depression

                             Meikle, Design in the USA, 113-129

                             Earnest Elmo Calkins, "What Consumer Engineering Really Is" (1932), Gorman, 129-132

                             Alfred H. Barr Jr. and Philip Johnson, "Machine Art" (1934), Gorman, 132-134           

                             Norman Bel Geddes, "Streamlining" (1934), Gorman, 135-137

                             Harold Van Doren, "The Designer's Place in Industry" (1940), Gorman, 142-144    

March 9         The New Alchemy of Plastics

                             Marcy Babbitt, "As a Woman Sees Design:  An Interview with Belle Kogan" (1935),                                                  Gorman, 137-139

                             "What Man Has Joined Together…," Fortune magazine (1936),Gorman, 140-142

March 11       New York World's Fair of 1939

SPRING BREAK

March 23       Rise of the International Style

                             Meikle, Design in the USA, 131-150

March 25       Monuments of the International Style

                             Hine, Populuxe, vi-81

March 30       Housing for the Automobile Age

                             Hine, Populuxe, 82-178

April 1           Populuxe vs. High Modernism in Postwar Design

                             Meikle, Design in the USA, 151-173

                             Edgar Kaufmann Jr., "What Is Modern Design?" (1950), Gorman, 146-151

                             Raymond Loewy, "The MAYA Stage" (1951), Gorman, 155-159

                             Henry Dreyfuss, "Joe and Josephine" (1955), Gorman, 162-168

                             R. Buckminster Fuller, "Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth" (1969), Gorman, 186-187

                             Victor Papanek, "Design for the Real World" (1971), Gorman, 188-191

April 6           Outlaw Machines:  American Motorcycle Design and Counterculture

                             (lecture by Dave Croke)

April 8           SECOND EXAM (bring a blue book)

April 13         Learning from Las Vegas:  Commercial Vernaculars

                             Robert Venturi, "Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture" (1966), Gorman, 184-185

April 15         Eero Saarinen and the New Expressionism

April 20         The Malling of America

                             Sorkin, Variations on a Theme Park, xi-30, 94-122, 123-232                                   

April 22         Postmodernism 1:  Historicism and the Decorated Shed           

                             Meikle, Design in the USA, 175-203

                             PAPER DUE AT START OF CLASS

April 27         Postmodernism 2:  Deconstruction and Beyond...           

                             Klaus Krippendorff and Reinhart Butter, "Product Semantics:  Exploring the Symbolic Qualities                               of Form" (1984), Gorman, 201-204

                             Barbara Radice, "Memphis and Fashion" (1984), Gorman, 204-208

                             Dieter Rams, "Omit the Unimportant" (1984), Gorman, 208-211

April 29         no class:  catch up with reading

May 4            Design for the Information Age

                             Meikle, Design in the USA, 203-210

May 6            Summary and Review

May 13          FINAL EXAM, 9 AM-Noon     (bring blue books)

 

 

AMS 355 • Main Curr Of Amer Cul To 1865

29805 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BUR 208
show description

AMS 355 (29805), HIS 355N (39745)                                                            Spring 2010

Main Currents of American Culture to 1865

instructor:  Jeff Meikle

class:  Tuesday, Thursday, 2-3:30, BUR 208

office hours:  Thursday, 3:30-5:30 or by appt., BUR 424, 232-2166; meikle@mail.utexas.edu

teaching assistant:  Robin O'Sullivan, robinos@mail.utexas.edu

office hour:  Tuesday, 3:30-4:30 or by appt., BUR 436

This lecture-discussion course traces U.S. cultural history from the time of the Puritan migration of 1630 through the end of the Civil War in 1865.  The basic premise of the course is that cultural history can best be understood by examining common themes that, at any given historical moment, cut across many fields of human activity—such as work, domestic life, politics, religion, philosophy, science, literature, art, architecture, and popular culture.  The course will explore such ongoing questions as the attempt to define a “new, young America” against an “old, decaying Europe”; the struggle to define individual identities and rights against the force of a cohesive, organic community; the significance of the frontier, of slavery, and of race to the development of American society; the impact of evangelical Protestantism; the concept of an American "mission"; and the rise of regionalism and pluralism in opposition to the mainstream.

The format of the course consists of formal lectures (with questions and discussion encouraged) and several designated discussion periods.  Exams require knowledge of lectures and required readings, and students are expected to be able to integrate material from both sources.  Prior knowledge of basic U.S. history is recommended.

Required written work includes two in-class exams (the first counts 20% of the course grade, the second 35%) and a cumulative final exam (45%).  Any student who earns at least 88 points on the first exam may omit the second exam and instead submit an optional term paper of at least ten double-spaced pages (endnotes and bibliography extra).  The topic of an optional paper must be discussed with the instructor during office hours and approved before April 1; the paper is due before the start of class on May 6.  Late papers will be reduced one letter grade.  No make-up exams are scheduled except in the case of extreme personal emergency.

Required texts:

Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed

Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature"

John Kasson, Civilizing the Machine

David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness

Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin

All books are available at the University Co-op and from online booksellers.  Emerson’s “Nature” is available on various websites including http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/transcendentalism/authors/emerson/nature.html.

Use of cell phones, whether for calls, texting, or internet access, is prohibited.  Use of laptops for Internet access is also prohibited.  Use of these devices is rude in general and distracting to those sitting nearby.  Anyone observed doing so will be asked to leave class.

The University of Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities.  For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TTY.

 

SCHEDULE

Readings should be completed before the class meeting for which they are listed.  Discussion periods are indicated.

Jan. 19            Organization

Jan. 21            Looking at American Culture

Jan. 26            The Puritan Mind

Jan. 28            God's Controversy with New England

Feb. 2              Witchcraft and Social Change

                                    discuss:  Boyer and Nissenbaum, Salem Possessed

Feb. 4              The Quaker Experiment in Pennsylvania

Feb. 9              Virginia Planters and Slaves

Feb. 11            The Enlightenment in America

Feb. 16            The Great Awakening

Feb. 18            Benjamin Franklin:  Prototypical American

                                    discuss:  Franklin, The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Feb. 23            EXAM

Feb. 25            The Ideology of the Revolution

March 2            Jefferson, Hamilton, and the American Enlightenment

                                    read:  Kasson, Civilizing the Machine, 1-51

March 4            Charles Willson Peale:  Popularizing the Enlightenment

March 9            The Quest for Elbow Room:  Frontier Heroes and Explorers

                                    (lecture by Robin O'Sullivan)

March 11            Jacksonian America

                                    read:  Kasson, Civilizing the Machine, 55-106

SPRING BREAK

March 23            The Second Great Awakening

March 25            Women's Rights and Roles

March 30            Transcendentalism

                                    discuss:  Emerson, "Nature" and "The American Scholar"

April 1                Romanticism and the American Landscape

                                    read:  Kasson, Civilizing the Machine, 107-180

                        LAST DAY FOR APPROVAL OF OPTIONAL PAPER TOPIC

April 6             Spiritualism and Reform

April 8              EXAM

April 13            The Whig Party and National Development                       

April 15            The South:  America’s Minority

April 20            Race and Class in the North

                                    discuss:  Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness

April 22            The Scientific Defense of Racism

April 27            An American Epic

                                    discuss:  Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, vii-280 (chapters 1-21)           

April 29            The Sentimental Critique of Slavery

                                    discuss:  Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, 280-486 (chapters 22-45)

May 4               Brave New World:  Implications of the Civil War

May 6               Conclusion and Review

                        OPTIONAL PAPER DUE

May 15             CUMULATIVE FINAL EXAM, 9 am to 12 noon           

 

AMS 370 • The Beats & American Cul-W

29990 • Fall 2009
Meets TH 600pm-900pm BUR 436A
show description

Historians and literary critics have long debated the significance—both literary and cultural—of such Beat Generation writers as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs.  This seminar engages that debate by examining some classics of Beat writing and tracing their impact on popular art and culture from the 1960s through the 1980s.  First we will examine the social and political background from which a Beat subculture emerged during the late 1940s and early 1950s.  Next we will assess several key texts both as literary works and as documents of social and cultural history from the 1940s through the early 1960s.  Then, using an interdisciplinary approach, we will ask whether a Beat aesthetic spread from literature to other areas of cultural production.  Finally, we will examine survivals, influences, and appropriations of Beat or neo-Beat modes of expression in popular arts from the 1960s through the 1980s.  This course has a significant writing component, including a final paper on a single Beat or neo-Beat figure or phenomenon.  In a sense, the course is an exploration of alternative cultures during the last half of the 20th century.

The instructor will present a brief historical overview of the period and offer a series of themes for discussion but for the most part will serve as a moderator of discussion.  Students are encouraged to act as cultural observers and critics.

Because a successful seminar depends on lively, informed discussions, students are expected to complete assigned readings before class meetings, to attend regularly, and to participate actively in class.  Written work includes four 2-page essays (10% of final grade each), a long essay of at least 10 pages (30%), and an in-class essay (15%).  Each student is responsible for attendance and frequent class participation (15%).  Three unexcused absences lead to reduction of the course grade by one letter; four or more unexcused absences lead to failure of the course.  Evaluation is based on originality and clarity of thought and expression, both written and oral.  The new plus and minus grading system is in effect.

This course requires considerable reading.  If that worries you, then it may not be for you.  Required reading includes the following eleven books and a course pack of articles available at Abel’s Copies, University Towers, 715D West 23rd St., 472-5353.

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students wit Disabilities, 471-6259.

Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Daniel Belgrad, The Culture of Spontaneity

Allen Ginsberg, Howl

Jack Kerouac, Lonesome Traveler

Hettie Jones, How I Became Hettie Jones

William Burroughs, Naked Lunch

Bob Dylan, Chronicles, Volume 1

Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Allen Ginsberg, The Fall of America

Hunter Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, Please Kill Me:  The Uncensored Oral History of Punk

 

 

Schedule

 

(Note:  an asterisk * indicates a book is available at the Co-op; other readings are in the course pack.)

 

Aug. 27            Defining the Beat experience

Postwar malaise:  organization man, lonely crowd, and feminine mystique

Ann Charters, “What Was the Beat Generation?,” Beat Down to Your                                                Soul (2001)

                       Anatole Broyard, “A Portrait of the Hipster,” Partisan Review (1948)

                       John Clellon Holmes, “This Is the Beat Generation,” New York Times                                                (November 1952)

                       Jack Kerouac, “On the Origins of a Generation,” Playboy (June 1959)            

 

Sept. 3                        no class

                           

Sept. 10            In search of America

*Jack Kerouac, On the Road (1957)

                        Gilbert Millstein, review of On the Road, New York Times, September 5,                                    1957

                        John Clellon Holmes, “The Great Rememberer” (1966), in                                                            Representative Men (1988)

                         Jack Kerouac, On the Road:  The Original Scroll (1951; pub. 2007),

pp. 109-117

                       FIRST 2-PAGE ESSAY DUE BEFORE CLASS

 

Sept. 17            The problematic of race:  the Beats and Black America

Crosscurrents:  Jazz, Abstract Expressionism, and Beat aesthetics

*Daniel Belgrad, The Culture of Spontaneity:  Improvisation and the

Arts in Postwar America (1998)

                        Norman Podhoretz, “The Know-Nothing Bohemians,” Partisan Review                                                (Spring 1958)

Norman Mailer, “The White Negro,” Dissent (Spring 1957)

                               

Sept. 24            Allen Ginsberg’s poetics of the hydrogen jukebox

                        Kerouac’s spontaneous bop prosody

                            *Allen Ginsberg, Howl and Other Poems (1956)

    *Jack Kerouac, Lonesome Traveler (1960)

                             Jack Kerouac, “Essentials of Spontaneous Prose,” Black Mountain                                                    Review (Autumn 1957)

                             Jack Kerouac, “Belief & Technique for Modern Prose,” Evergreen                                                                     Review (Spring 1959)

                             SECOND 2-PAGE ESSAY DUE BEFORE CLASS

 

Oct. 1                        Girls who wore black:  women and the Beats

                            *Hettie Jones, How I Became Hettie Jones (1990)

                              “Panel Discussion with Women Writers of the Beat Generation”

                               (1996), in Beat Down to Your Soul, ed. Ann Charters (2001)

 

Oct. 8                      Beat cinema

                              Emergence of a “Beat Generation”:  from subculture to pop culture

                             Jack Sargeant, “Searching for a Free Vision,” Naked Lens:  Beat                                                                   Cinema (1997)

                             Paul O’Neil, “The Only Rebellion Around,” Life (November 30, 1959)

                             THIRD 2-PAGE ESSAY DUE BEFORE CLASS

 

Oct. 15            William Burroughs and the old weird America

                     Ann Douglas, “’Punching a Hole in the Big Lie’:  The Achievement of                                                               William S. Burroughs,” introduction to Word Virus:  The William                                                                      Burroughs Reader (1998)

                      William Burroughs, from Junky (1953)

                      *William Burroughs, Naked Lunch (1959

 

Oct. 22            Out on Highway 61:  Bob Dylan as latter-day Beat

                            *Bob Dylan, Chronicles:  Volume One (2004)

                             Greil Marcus, “Into a Laboratory” and “Another Country,” from Invisible

                            Republic:  Bob Dylan’s Basement Tapes (1997)

 

Oct. 29            Further along the road:  Ken Kesey and the psychedelic

                            *Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968

                             “Maggie Gaskin” and “Ron Thelin,” in Leonard Wolfe, ed., Voices                                                                   from the Love Generation (1968)

                             FOURTH 2-PAGE ESSAY DUE BEFORE CLASS

 

Nov. 5              Ginsberg’s road from Beat poet to antiwar activist

The road movie…a Beat genre?

                            *Allen Ginsberg, The Fall of America (1972)

 

Nov. 12            Gonzo journalism and the end of the road

                            *Hunter Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1971)

 

Nov. 19            Off the road:  Punk and other discontents

                            *Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, ed., Please Kill Me:  The Uncensored

Oral History of Punk (1997)

 

Nov. 26            no class:  Thanksgiving           

 

Dec. 3                        Tom Waits, Jim Jarmusch, Laurie Anderson, and neo-Beat romanticism

                             Jay Jacobs, from Wild Years (2000)

                             Mark Roland, “Tom Waits Is Flying Upside Down (On Purpose),”                                                                 Musician (October 1987)

                             Jim Jarmusch, “Tom Waits Meets Jim Jarmusch,” Straight No Chaser                                                      John Leland, “Do Geeks Dream of HTML Sheep?,” Hip:  The History                                                      (2004)

                             FINAL PAPER DUE BEFORE CLASS

 

Dec. 10            TAKE-HOME FINAL EXAM due at 5 PM

 

AMS 393 • Intro Readings In Amer Studies

30055 • Fall 2009
Meets T 900-1200 BUR 436B
show description

This reading seminar introduces students to the history and current discourses of the interdisciplinary field of American Studies.  Arising out of Depression-era concerns about the viability of American identity and experience and institutionalized as a semi-politicized expression of U.S. cultural nationalism during the Second World War and the subsequent Cold War, the American Studies movement has undergone an extraordinary series of transformations in the past four decades.  The seminar will first explore the history of this academic movement by considering a few classic texts now often dismissed for their consensus models and claims of American exceptionalism.  We will then discuss more recent texts that refocus American Studies around race, gender, class, material culture, popular culture, consumerism, technology, and transnationalism.  Finally we will use Janice Radway's controversial 1998 presidential address to the American Studies Association as an occasion for considering future agendas. 

Each week the seminar confronts a single book-length text, analyzing it as a discrete entity, placing it in historiographic, historical, and cultural contexts with the assistance of supplementary articles from American Quarterly, and evaluating its usefulness as an example or model.  The course's purpose is not to define American Studies but to survey a series of often conflicting definitions, theories, and methods, and thereby to consider a series of questions and problems that current practitioners might profitably address.

To promote discussions of substance, you are asked to prepare a brief weekly precis or commentary on the reading (2-3 single-spaced pages).  You should summarize the central points of the main text, critique its methods and conclusions, and suggest questions one might profitably ask of it.  These reports may be rough and informal, written more for yourself than for the instructor, but should be sufficient for guiding your contributions to the discussion and leaving you with a written key to the text and its issues.  Commentaries will be collected at the end of each session and returned the following week.

Each week one student will present an oral report on a related secondary work.  A report should last about twenty-five minutes.  It should focus on the assigned text, summarizing its essential information, insights, and methods, and perhaps most importantly relating it to the primary text.  A student presenting a report is excused from handing in the required commentary on that week's common reading.  One week later, that student will submit a short formal paper (5-6 double-spaced pages) analyzing a significant issue raised by the previous week's readings and discussion.  This paper may take a wide range of perspectives and may explore a variety of types of themes.

The major written assignment of the course is a long essay (20 double-spaced pages plus endnotes and bibliography).  The essay should fall into one of two categories:

1)  An examination of the work of a twentieth or twenty-first century scholar or other cultural analyst or critic whose work contributes to American Studies- whether at the center or the periphery.  The essay should demonstrate a working knowledge of the chosen individual's professional career and should situate the individual's work within whatever contexts-biographical, social, historical, or historiographic-seem most productive.

2)  A bibliographic essay on a topic, issue, or question that has stimulated debate and engaged a considerable number of scholars.  The essay should demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the development of scholarship over time, an awareness of shifting theoretical positions, and a knowledge of issues and areas that require further work.  The student's own perspective and conclusions must be clearly articulated.

In either case, the range of topics is vast but some are more promising than others.  You should begin seeking a topic during the first weeks of the semester and are encouraged to discuss potential topics with the instructor.  A written proposal of 2 double-spaced pages plus annotated bibliography is due on October 27; however, earlier submission is encouraged.

Two copies of the final essay are due before noon on Wednesday, November 25:  a paper copy in the instructor's mailbox in Burdine 437 and an electronic copy submitted by email.  Students are required to read each other's essays, which will be posted on the electronic Blackboard system.  The seminar will regroup for a final meeting on December 1 to discuss the essays and to assess the semester's experience.

Evaluation:  long essay 50%, short paper 20%, commentaries 10%, oral report 10%, and participation 10%.  No late papers or incompletes except in extraordinary circumstances.

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students wit Disabilities, 471-6259.

Schedule

Major texts are available at textbook stores.  Other readings are available in a course packet at Abel's Copies, 715-D West 23rd St., 472-5353.  Report books are wherever you can find them (libraries, bookstores, etc.).

Sept. 1             Organization and Introduction

(date TBA)        National Character

                        David M. Potter, People of Plenty:  Economic Abundance and the                                                     American Character (1954)

                        reports:  David Riesman, The Lonely Crowd (1950)

                                       Daniel J. Boorstin, The Genius of American Politics (1953)                   

                        Philip Gleason, "World War II and the Development of American Studies"                              (1984)

                        Gene Wise, "'Paradigm Dramas' in American Studies:  A Cultural and                        Institutional History of the Movement" (1979)

 

Sept. 15            Puritanism and National Purpose

                        Sacvan Bercovitch, The American Jeremiad (1978) 

                        reports:  Perry Miller, Errand into the Wilderness (1956)

                                       R.W.B. Lewis, The American Adam (1955)

                        Warren I. Susman, "History and the American Intellectual:  Uses of a                          Usable Past" (1964)

                        David Howard-Pitney, "The Enduring Black Jeremiad:  The American                                     Jeremiad and Black Protest Rhetoric, from Frederick Douglass to                                     W.E.B. Du Bois, 1841-1919" (1986)

Sept. 22            Myth and Symbol

                        John William Ward, Andrew Jackson-Symbol for an Age (1955)

reports:  Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden:  Technology and the

                  Pastoral Ideal in America (1964)

                                       Alan Trachtenberg, Brooklyn Bridge:  Fact and Symbol (1965)

 

                        Henry Nash Smith, "Can 'American Studies' Develop a Method?" (1957)

                        Bruce Kuklick, "Myth and Symbol in American Studies" (1972)

Sept. 29            Domesticity and Material Culture

                        Kenneth L. Ames, Death in the Dining Room and Other Tales of Victorian

     Culture (1992) 

                        reports: John Kouwenhoven, Made in America (1948)

                                     Karen Halttunen, Confidence Men and Painted Women (1982)       

                        Barbara Welter, "The Cult of True Womanhood:  1820-1860" (1966)

                        Shelley Nickles, "More Is Better:  Mass Consumption, Gender, and Class                              Identity in Postwar America" (2002)

Oct. 6               Race, Class, Ethnicity

                        George Lipsitz, The Possessive Investment in Whiteness:  How White                                  People Profit from Identity Politics (1998)

                        reports:  David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness (1991)

                                      Eric Lott, Love and Theft (1995)

                        Shelley Fisher Fishkin, "Interrogating 'Whiteness,' Complicating                                             'Blackness':  Remapping American Culture" (1995)

                        Larry J. Griffin and Maria Tempenis, "Class, Multiculturalism and the                                      American Quarterly" (2002)

Oct. 13 Technology and Culture

                        David E. Nye, America as Second Creation:  Technology and Narratives of

     New Beginnings (2003)

reports:  Joel Dinerstein, Swinging the Machine (2003)

                                       Fred Nadis, Wonder Shows (2005)

Carolyn Thomas de la Peña, "'Slow and Low Progress'; or Why American                                         Studies Should Do Technology" (2007)

Oct. 20 Consumer Studies

                        Vicki Howard, Brides, Inc.:  American Weddings and the Business of

     Tradition (2006) 

reports:  Janice Radway, A Feeling for Books (1997)

                                      Regina Blaszczyk, Imagining Consumers (2000)

Michael Denning, "'The Special American Conditions':  Marxism and American Studies" (1986)

Robert F. Berkhofer Jr., "A New Context for a New American Studies?"  (1989)

Oct. 27            Popular and Mass Culture

                        Erika Doss, Elvis Culture:  Fans, Faith & Image (1999)

                        reports:  Greil Marcus, Mystery Train (1975)                              

                        George Lipsitz, "Listening to Learn and Learning to Listen:  Popular                                      Culture, Cultural Theory, and American Studies" (1990)

                        Note:  paper proposal due

Nov. 3              Built Environment

                        Robert Bruegmann, Sprawl:  A Compact History (2005)

                        reports:  Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour,                                                                 Learning from Las Vegas (1972)

                          J. B. Jackson, Discovering the Vernacular Landscape (1984)

                        no supplementary articles

Nov. 10 Postmillennial Agendas

                        Michael Denning, Culture in the Age of Three Worlds (2004)

                        no reports

                        Janice Radway, "What's in a Name?:  Presidential Address to the American                      Studies Association, 20 November, 1998" (1999)

Research and writing period

Nov. 25 Final essay due at 12 noon

Dec. 1              Final meeting:  discussion of essays

 

Publications

Books

Public Space and the Ideology of Place in American Culture, ed. with Miles Orvell (Amsterdam:  Rodopi, 2009).

Design in the USA (Oxford:  Oxford University Press, 2005); runner-up, Robert W. Hamilton Book Award, University of Texas, 2006.

American Plastic:  A Cultural History (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1995; paperback, 1997); awarded Dexter Prize, Society for the History of Technology, 1996; runner-up, Robert W. Hamilton Book Award, University of Texas, 1997.

Design in the Contemporary World (New York:  Pentagram Design, 1989); Japanese translation (Tokyo:  Paos, 1989).

Twentieth Century Limited:  Industrial Design in America, 1925-1939 (Philadelphia:  Temple University Press, 1979; paperback, 1981; 2nd ed., 2001).

Articles

"Materials," in Speed Limits, ed. Jeffrey T. Schnapp (Milan: Skira, 2009), pp. 58-65.

"Introduction" (with Miles Orvell), in Public Space and the Ideology of Place in American Culture, ed. Orvell and Meikle (Amsterdam:  Rodopi, 2009), pp. 9-17.

"Pasteboard Views:  Idealizing Public Space in American Postcards, 1931-1953," in Public Space and the Ideology of Place in American Culture, ed. Orvell and Meikle (Amsterdam:  Rodopi, 2009), pp. 111-33.

"Polyethylene," in Molecules That Matter, ed. Raymond J. Giguere (Saratoga Springs, NY:  Frances Young Tang Museum, Skidmore College, 2008), pp. 64-79.

"From Kerouac to Kaurismäki:  Defining a Transatlantic neo-Beat Aesthetic," in Communities & Connections:  Writings in North American Studies, ed. Ari Helo (Helsinki:  Renvall Institute, 2007), pp. 190-98.

"Plastics," in The Encyclopedia of New England, ed. Burt Feintuch and David H. Watters (New Haven:  Yale University Press, 2005), pp. 870-72.

"How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Plastics" (interviewed by Allison Xantha Miller), Stay Free!, no. 24 (2005), pp. 24-29.

"From Material to Immaterial:  Plastics and Plasticity in the 20th Century," Tekniikan Waiheita (Finnish Quarterly for the History of Technology), 22 (December 2004), 5-17.

"New Materials and Technologies," in Art Deco 1910-1939, ed. Timothy Benton, Charlotte Benton, and Ghislaine Wood (London:  Victoria & Albert Museum, 2003), pp. 348-59.

"Classics Revisited:  Leo Marx's The Machine in the Garden," Technology and Culture, 44 (January 2003), 147-59.

"Visual Representation and National Identity:  The View from an Alternate America," Journal of American Studies (American Studies Association of Korea), 34 (Winter 2002), 175-94.

"The Midwestern City and the American Industrial Design Aesthetic," in The Alliance of Art and Industry:  Toledo Designs for a Modern America, ed. Terry Ann R. Neff (Toledo:  Toledo Museum of Art, 2002), pp. 82-107.

"Weighing the Difference:  Industrial Design at the Toledo Scale Company, 1925-1950," in The Alliance of Art and Industry:  Toledo Designs for a Modern America, ed. Terry Ann R. Neff (Toledo:  Toledo Museum of Art, 2002), pp. 128-51.

"In Memoriam:  Robert Morse Crunden," in Roots and Renewal:  Writings by Bicentennial Fulbright Professors, ed. Mark Shackleton and Maarika Toivonen (Helsinki:  Renvall Institute, 2001), pp. 14-19 (with Shelley Fisher Fishkin and Neil Foley).

"Design, Commerical and Industrial," Encyclopedia of American Studies (New York:  Grolier, 2001), vol. 2, pp. 27-31.

"Plastics," Encyclopedia of American Studies (New York:  Grolier, 2001), vol. 3, pp. 331-33.

"Industrial Design" and "Plastics," in The Oxford Companion to United States History, ed. Paul S. Boyer (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 381, 599.

"A Paper Atlantis:  Postcards, Mass Art, and the American Scene," Journal of Design History, 13 (2000), 267-86.

"De l'immatérialité virtuelle:  plastiques et plasticité au xxe siècle," in Plasticité, ed. Catherine Malabou (Paris:  Editions Léo Scheer, 2000), pp. 146-69.

"Industrial Design Speeds Forward," Railroad History, special issue on The Diesel Revolution (2000), 62-72, 76-78.

"A Future in Plastics:  The Ralph Sr. and Sunny Wilson House," Texas Architect, April 1999.

"Introduction," special issue on business history, Journal of Design History, 12 (1999), 1-3.

"Material Virtues:  On the Ideal and the Real in Design History," Journal of Design History, 11 (1998), 191-99.

"Material Doubts:  The Consequences of Plastic," Environmental History, 2 (July 1997), 278-300 (adapted from American Plastic).

"Beyond Plastics:  Postmodernity and the Culture of Synthesis," in Ethics and Aesthetics:  The Moral Turn of Postmodernism, ed. Gerhard Hoffmann and Alfred Hornung (Heidelberg:  C. Winter, 1996), pp. 325-42; preprint: Odense American Studies International Series, Working Paper No. 5 (1993), 15 pp.

"Domesticating Modernity:  Ambivalence and Appropriation, 1920-1940,"  in Designing Modernity:  The Arts of Reform and Persuasion, 1885-1945:  Selections from the Wolfsonian, ed. Wendy Kaplan (New York:  Thames and Hudson, 1995), pp. 142-67.

"Presenting a New Material:  From Imitation to Innovation with Fabrikoid," Decorative Arts Society Journal, 19 (1995), 8-15.
"Design History for What?:  Reflections on an Elusive Goal," Design Issues, 11 (Spring 1995), 71-75.

"Norman Bel Geddes:  A Portrait,"  Rassegna, 60 (1994), 6-10 (English and Italian editions).

"Materia Nova:  Plastics and Design in the U.S., 1925-1935," in The Development of Plastics, ed. S.T.I. Mossman and P.J.T. Morris (Cambridge:  Royal Society of Chemistry, 1994), pp. 38-53.

"L'aérodynamisime esthétique aux États-Unis, 1930-1955," in Design, miroir du siècle, ed. Jocelyn de Noblet (Paris:  Flammarion, 1993), pp. 182-92; "Streamlining 1930-1955," in Industrial Design:  Reflection of a Century (Paris:  Flammarion, 1993), pp. 182-92.

"DHS 1992 Annual Conference, Manchester," Design History Society Newsletter, no. 57 (April 1993), 5-6.

"Into the Fourth Kingdom:  Representations of Plastic Materials 1920-1950," Journal of Design History, 5 (1992), 173-82.

"Das Rennen ums Publikum:  Die Stromlinienform als Stil," in Stromlinienform, ed. Claude Lichtenstein (Zürich:  Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, 1992), pp. 78-85.

"Plastics:  The Afterlife of 'the Stuff of Alchemy,'" EcoDesign Foundation Newslines, 1 (June 1992), 4-7.

"Substance and Surface:  The Meaning of Formica" (retitled "Plastics"), in Formica & Design:  From the Counter Top to High Art, ed. Susan Grant Lewin (New York:  Rizzoli, 1991), pp. 39-57.

"Plastics in the American Machine Age 1920-1950," in The Plastics Age:  From Modernity to Post-Modernity, ed. Penny Sparke (London:  Victoria & Albert Museum, 1990), pp. 40-53; The Plastics Age:  From Bakelite to Beanbags and Beyond (Woodstock, NY:  Overlook Press, 1993).

"From Celebrity to Anonymity:  The Professionalization of American Industrial Design," in Raymond Loewy:  Pioneer of American Industrial Design,  ed. Angela Schönberger (München:  Prestel, 1990), pp. 50-61 (English and German editions).  Condensed in Issue: The Quarterly Magazine of the Design Museum (London), Spring 1991, pp. 2-5.

"Coups de génie dans l'industrie," in Raymond Loewy, un pionnier du design américain (Paris:  Centre Georges Pompidou, 1990), pp. 8-19 (trans. of above).

"Looking Backward:  A Brief History of Industrial Design in America,"  in Design USA, ed. Brian Horrigan (Washington:  USIA, 1989), pp. 8-13 (Russian and Ukrainian editions).

"Nylon:  What's in a Name?," Textile Chemist and Colorist, 20 (June 1988), 13-16 (with Steven M. Spivak); reprinted as "The Naming of Nylon," Cleaning and Restoration, 26 (Oct. 1988), 14-16, (Nov. 1988), 20, 22; and as "What's in a Name," Chemtech, 20 (April 1990), 204-208.

"Visionary Realities:  The Rise of the Industrial Design Profession," in Visions of Tomorrow:  New York and American Industrialization in the 1920s-1930s (Tokyo:  The Mainichi Newspapers, 1988), pp. 24-31 (in Japanese and English).

"The Stuff of Dreams:  Plastics and Cultural Synthesis," Center:  A Journal for Architecture in America, 4 (1988), 24-31.

"'The Machine Age in America 1918-1941,' An Exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum" (exhibit review), Technology and Culture, 28 (July 1987), 666-69.

"Donald Deskey Associates:  The Evolution of an Industrial Design Firm," in Donald Deskey: Decorative Designs and Interiors, by David A. Hanks (New York:  E. P. Dutton, 1987), pp. 121-56.

"Industrial Design," Academic American Encyclopedia (Danbury, Connecticut:  Grolier, 1987),  v. 11, pp. 155-56.

"Loewy" (obituary),  Industrial Design, 33 (Nov.-Dec. 1986), 28-37.

"Materials and Metaphors:  Plastics in American Culture," in New Perspectives on Technology and American Culture, ed. Bruce Sinclair (Philadelphia:  American Philosophical Society, 1986), pp. 31-47.

"Plastic, Material of a Thousand Uses," in Imagining Tomorrow:  History, Technology, and the American Future, ed. Joseph J. Corn (Cambridge:  MIT Press, 1986), pp. 77-96.

"American Design History:  A Bibliography of Sources and Interpretations," American Studies International, 23 (April 1985), 3-40.

"Refining the Roadside," Industrial Design, 31 (Nov.-Dec. 1984), 70-73, 89-91.

"The City of Tomorrow:  Model 1937," Pentagram Papers 11 (London:  Pentagram Design, 1984),  35 pp.

"1945-1980:  Il design a stelle e strisce," Modo, #68 (April 1984), 45-47.

"Design Since 1945:  An Exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, October 1983-January 1984," The Design History Society Newsletter, #21 (April 1984), 13-16.

"Celebrated Streamliners," Architecture:  The AIA Journal, 72 (December 1983), 48-55.

"From Aspen to Memphis:  Design Since 1945," Industrial Design, Nov.-Dec. 1983, pp. 14-23.

"The Culture of Plasticity:  Observations on Contemporary Cultural Transformation," Amerikastudien, 28 (1983), 205-18.

"The Walt Disney Connection," World's Fair, 2 (Spring 1982), 3.

"Norman Bel Geddes:  Autocrat of the Futurama:  Planning the American Dream,"  World's Fair, 2 (Spring 1982), 1-6.

"The Malling of the Mall:  Cultural Resonances of the East Building," DeGolyer Prize Essay, Southwest Review, 66 (Summer 1981), 233-44.

"Coldspots and Heaters:  The Formation of Industrial Design," Industrial Design, July-August 1981, pp. 24-29.

"'Other Frequencies':  The Parallel Worlds of Thomas Pynchon and H. P. Lovecraft," Modern Fiction Studies, 27 (Summer 1981), 287-94.

"Hawthorne's Alembic:  Alchemical Images in The House of the Seven Gables," ESQ:  A Journal of the American Renaissance, 26 (1980), 172-83.

"Norman Bel Geddes and the Popularization of Streamlining," The Library Chronicle of the University of Texas, n.s .#13 (1980), 90-110.

 "'Over There':  Arthur Conan Doyle and Spiritualism," The Library Chronicle of the University of Texas, n.s.# 8 (1974), 22-37; reprinted in Critical Essays on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, ed. Harold Orel (New York:  G. K. Hall, 1992), 271-81.

Book Reviews

Carroll Pursell, Technology in Postwar America (2007), in Winterthur Portfolio, 43 (Summer/Autumn 2009), 268-69.

Richard Megraw, Confronting Modernity:  Art and Society in Louisiana (2008), in Journal of American History, 95 (March 2009), 1214-15.

Kjetil Fallan, Modern Transformed:  The Domestication of Industrial Design Culture in Norway, ca. 1940-1970 (2007), in Nordic Journal of Architectural Research, 20, no. 2 (2008), 121-24.

Cynthia Lee Henthorn, From Submarines to Suburbs (2006), in Technology and Culture, 48 (July 2007), 661-63.

John H. Lienhard, Inventing Modern (2003), Donald A. Norman, Emotional Design (2004), and Henry Petroski, Small Things Considered (2003), in Technology and Culture, 46 (April 2005), 385-92.

Glenn Adamson, ed., Industrial Strength Design (2003), in Journal of Design History, 18 (2005), 119-21.

Mardges Bacon, Le Corbusier in America (2001), in American Quarterly, 55 (March 2003), 113-20.

Priscilla J. Brewer, From Fireplace to Cookstove (2000), in The American Historical Review, 107 (October 2002), 1217-18.

Sarah Nichols, Aluminum by Design (2000), in Design Issues, 18 (Summer 2002), 89-91.

Alison J. Clarke, Tupperware (1999), in Business History Review, 74 (Autumn 2000), 517-19.

Paul Israel, Edison (1998), in The American Historical Review, (October 2000), 1321-22.

Janice A. Radway, A Feeling for Books (1997), in Business History Review, 73 (Spring 1999), 129-30.

John A. Jakle, Keith A. Sculle, and Jefferson S. Rogers, The Motel in America (1996), in Technology and Culture, 40(April 1999), 431-32.

Maureen Ogle, All the Modern Conveniences (1996), in The American Historical Review (October 1998), 1320.

Stephen Fenichell, Plastic (1996), in Scientific American, 276 (February 1997), 102-04.

Wiebe E. Bijker, Of Bicycles, Bakelites, and Bulbs (1995), in Technology and Culture, 37 (October 1996), 853-55.

Richard K. Lieberman, Steinway & Sons (1995), in The Journal of American History, 83 (September 1996), 635-36.

David Gartman, Auto Opium (1994), in The American Historical Review (June 1996), 936.

David E. Nye, American Technological Sublime (1994), in Technology and Culture, 36 (October 1995), 1021-22.

Stanley Abercrombie, George Nelson (1994), in I.D. Magazine, 42 (January-February 1995), 97.

Karen Lucic, Charles Sheeler and the Cult of the Machine (1991), in Winterthur Portfolio, 28 (Summer/Autumn 1993), 200-01.

Michael Brian Schiffer, The Portable Radio in American Life (1991), in Technology and Culture, 34 (January 1993), 171-73.

David E. Nye, Electrifying America (1990), in Business History Review, Spring 1992, pp. 188-89.

Nicholson Baker, The Mezzanine (1988), in Design History Society Newsletter, #54 (July 1992), 3-4.

Donald Leslie Johnson, Frank Lloyd Wright Versus America (1990), in The Journal of American History, 78 (March 1992), 1501-02.

Henry Petroski, The Pencil (1989), in Business History Review, Summer 1990, pp. 334-36.

Judith Singer Cohen, Cowtown Moderne (1988), in Southwestern Historical Quarterly, April 1990, pp. 560-61.

Arthur J. Pulos, The American Design Adventure 1940-1975 (1988),  in Technology and Culture, 31 (April 1990), 312-14.

Thomas Walton, Architecture and the Corporation (1988), in Cite, 23 (Fall 1989), 20-21.

Charles T. Goodsell, The Social Meaning of Civic Space (1988), in Winterthur Portfolio, 24 (Summer/Autumn 1989), 196-98.

Joel Colton and Stuart Bruchey, eds., Technology, the Economy, and Society (1987), in The Canadian Review of American Studies, 20 (Fall 1989), 275-76.

Grant McCracken, Culture and Consumption (1988), in Technology and Culture, 30 (October 1989), 1091-92.

Cecelia Tichi, Shifting Gears (1987), in Technology and Culture, 29 (July 1988), 704-05.

Adrian Forty, Objects of Desire (1986), in Technology and Culture, 29 (April 1988), 318-19.

Eileen Boris, Art and Labor (1986), in Technology and Culture, 29 (January 1988), 173-74.

Hugh Kenner, The Mechanic Muse (1986), in Isis, 78 (1987), 293.

Kenneth Turney Gibbs, Business Architectural Imagery in America (1984), in Business History Review, Autumn 1986, pp. 511-12.

Roland Marchand, Advertising the American Dream (1985), in Design Issues, 3 (Spring 1986), 85-86.

Robert Friedel and Paul Israel, Edison's Electric Light (1986), in The Journal of American History, 73 (December 1986), 770-71.

Howard P. Segal, Technological Utopianism in American Culture (1985), John M. Staudenmaier, Technology's Storytellers (1985), and Neil Longley York, Mechanical Metamorphosis  (1985), in American Quarterly, 38 (Spring 1986), 120-26.

Simon Jervis, The Facts on File Dictionary of Design and Designers (1984), in Design Book Review, #9 (Spring 1986), p. 76.

Andrea DiNoto, Art Plastic (1984), and Sylvia Katz, Plastic (1984), in Winterthur Portfolio, 20 (Winter 1985), 320-21.

Tilmann Buddensieg and Henning Rogge, Industriekultur (1984), in Business History Review, 59 (Spring 1985), 159-61.

Kathryn B. Hiesinger and George H. Marcus, ed., Design Since 1945 (1983), and Edward Lucie-Smith, A History ofIndustrial Design (1983), in Design Issues, 1 (Fall 1984), 87-89.

James Sloan Allen, The Romance of Commerce and Culture (1983), in The Journal of American History, 71 (December 1984), 667-68.

David P. Billington, The Tower and the Bridge (1983), in Technology and Culture, 25 (October 1984), 896-98.

Robin E. Rider, The Show of Science (1983), in Isis, 75 (1984), 564.

Norman Isaac Silber, Test and Protest (1983), in The American Historical Review, 89 (June 1984), 874-75.

Karen Halttunen, Confidence Men and Painted Women (1982), in Amerikastudien, 29 (1984), 475-76.

Arthur J. Pulos, American Design Ethic  (1983), in Isis, 75 (1984), 408.

David A. Hanks, Innovative Furniture in America (1981), in The Decorative Arts Society Newsletter, 8 (September 1982), 19-20.

Robert Nadeau, Readings from the New Book on Nature (1981), in American Studies, 23 (Spring 1982), 108.

Teresa deLauretis, ed., The Technological Imagination (1980), and Kathleen Woodward, ed., The Myths of Information (1980), in Isis, 73 (1982), 295-96.

Helen A. Harrison, ed., Dawn of a New Day  (1980), in Technology and Culture, 23 (January 1982), 130-31.

William L. Downard, Dictionary of the History of the American Brewing and Distilling Industries (1980), in Technology and Culture, 22 (October 1981), 803-05.

Carl W. Condit, The Port of New York (1980), in Isis, 72 (1981), 131-32.

Victor Margolin, Ira Brichta, and Vivian Brichta, The Promise and the Product (1979), in Winterthur Portfolio, 15 (Autumn 1980), 285-86.

Taylor Stoehr,  Hawthorne's Mad Scientists (1978), in Isis, 70 (1979), 635-36.

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