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Elizabeth Engelhardt, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Andrea D Gustavson

Doctoral Student

Contact

Biography

M.A. American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

Interests

visual culture, memory studies, vernacular photography, Digital Humanities, the Cold War, Twentieth-century American literature

AMS 311S • American Images

30835 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm GAR 0.120
(also listed as E 314J, WGS 301 )
show description

The relationship between representation and “reality” has been grappled with by authors and photographers since the invention of photography in the nineteenth century. This course explores the intersection of American literature and photography from the late nineteenth century to the present, focusing on the camera as a central technology in the making of modernity. We will read novels, short stories, critical texts and will consider the work of several photographers, analyzing each artists’ ways of representing the world within the contexts of shifting social and cultural orders. We will consider several key questions:  How has photography altered our understanding of American history and culture?  How have American authors responded to photography, represented the act of image-making, or marshaled the power of photographs for their works of literature?  How does a photograph impact our understanding of a written work?  How does writing about a photograph change our perception of the image?  In an increasingly image-saturated culture, how does an artist visually and textually represent his or her reality? How is a photograph or manuscript framed by digital and institutional archives and how do these collections shape understandings of the texts?

 This course places the archive—both physical and digital—at the center of our exploration of visual and textual works. Questions about the power of archives to frame understanding, to delimit self and Other, and to constitute and challenge the terms of national, regional, or social belonging will guide our inquiry. We will cover the relationship between photography, literature and several key topics in American cultural history including: the construction of identity, the family, nation and empire, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, literary genres, and cultural memory.  We will consider a broad range of sources from paintings to carte-de-visite to digital images, from novels and shorts stories about photography to critical theories of photography.  This class will be partnered with the Harry Ransom Center so that we may draw on special collections material for course content and make use of digital classrooms and online environments to construct and interpret our own collections of text and images. Because this is a writing intensive course, we will study the writing process as we practice close textual analysis and the crafting of arguments across many forms of written and visual communication.                 

 

Requirements

Two-Page Paper #1                                                      10%

Two-Page Paper #2                                                      10%

Blog Postings and Conferences                                         20%

Lead Class Discussion                                                    10%

Final Paper (5 pages)                                                    15%

Final Paper Revision (7 pages)                                         35%

 

Possible Texts

Sanora Babb, Whose Names Are Unknown

Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Course Reader

 

Flag(s): Writing

 

AMS 311S • American Images

30710 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm GAR 0.120
(also listed as E 314J, WGS 301 )
show description

The relationship between representation and “reality” has been grappled with by authors and photographers since the invention of photography in the nineteenth century. This course explores the intersection of American literature and photography from the late nineteenth century to the present, focusing on the camera as a central technology in the making of modernity. We will read novels, short stories, critical texts and will consider the work of several photographers, analyzing each artists’ ways of representing the world within the contexts of shifting social and cultural orders. We will consider several key questions:  How has photography altered our understanding of American history and culture?  How have American authors responded to photography, represented the act of image-making, or marshaled the power of photographs for their works of literature?  How does a photograph impact our understanding of a written work?  How does writing about a photograph change our perception of the image?  In an increasingly image-saturated culture, how does an artist visually and textually represent his or her reality? How is a photograph or manuscript framed by digital and institutional archives and how do these collections shape understandings of the texts?

This course places the archive—both physical and digital—at the center of our exploration of visual and textual works. Questions about the power of archives to frame understanding, to delimit self and Other, and to constitute and challenge the terms of national, regional, or social belonging will guide our inquiry. We will cover the relationship between photography, literature and several key topics in American cultural history including: the construction of identity, the family, nation and empire, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, literary genres, and cultural memory.  We will consider a broad range of sources from paintings to carte-de-visite to digital images, from novels and shorts stories about photography to critical theories of photography.  This class will be partnered with both the Harry Ransom Center and the Digital Writing and Reading Lab so that we may draw on special collections material for course content and make use of digital classrooms and online environments to construct and interpret our own collections of text and images. Because this is a writing intensive course, we will study the writing process as we practice close textual analysis and the crafting of arguments across many forms of written and visual communication.                 

 

Requirements

Two-Page Paper #1                       10%

Two-Page Paper #2                       10%

Blog Postings and Conferences       20%

Lead Class Discussion                    10%

Final Paper (5 pages)                     15%

Final Paper Revision (7 pages)        35%

 

Possible Texts

Sanora Babb, Whose Names Are Unknown

Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep

Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

Course Reader

 

Flag(s): Writing

Publications

"From 'Observer to Activist': Documentary Memory, Oral History, and Studs Terkel's 'Essence' Narratives"

in The Journal of American Studies (forthcoming, 2011).

“The Bel Geddes Process: Model Photography and the Selling of Realism”

in I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs the Future. Abrams, (forthcoming 2012).

Review of Otto J. Lehrack’s Road of 10,000 Pains: The Destruction of the 2nd NVA Div. by the U.S. Marines, 1967

in The Oral History Review 38, no. 1 (2011): pp 153-155.

Contributor, viz.: Rhetoric, Visual Culture, Pedagogy

– blog awarded the Kairos 2010 John Lovas Memorial Weblog Award, 2009–2010.

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