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

Andrew J Friedenthal

Doctoral Student

Contact

Biography

MA, Performance Studies, NYU, 2006

BA, Theater, Dartmouth College, 2005

 

Interests

Comic Books, Tourism, Amusement Parks/Theming/Immersive Environments, Theatre,Performance Studies, American Cold War Social & Popular Culture

AMS S370 • Broadway Musicals & Amer Cul

81548 • Summer 2014
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am BUR 228
show description

From the work of Rodgers & Hammerstein to that of Harvey Fierstein & Cindy Lauper, Broadway musicals have frequently commented upon American culture, and American history, in a unique and fascinating way.  This course will explore the give and take between history as presented in these musicals and as revealed by more “traditional,” scholarly sources.  Through an examination of the thin line that separates fact from fiction, and intellect from affect, we will come to an understanding of how this unique form of theater engages with history in a manner that is sometimes playful and other times painful.  In particular, we will be focusing on four case studies: South Pacific, Ragtime, Rent, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.  We will listen to the music from these shows, watch their filmic versions (where available), and read their source material alongside of scholarly articles that expand upon the time periods and cultural settings in which these stories take place.  By the end of this course students will be able to better understand how American culture and history are related in one of the most American of popular forms, musical theater.      

                 

Requirements

Reading/Song Responses – 20%

Midterm Critical Analysis Paper – 30%

Final Paper/Project – 40%

Participation – 10%          

 

Possible Texts

Ragtime, E.L. Doctorow

Tales of the South Pacific, James Michener

La Boheme (Complete Libretto), Puccini

Course Reader

 

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

Flag(s): Writing

 

AMS 311S • Myth/History: Am Superhero

31085 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm GAR 0.132
show description

From Natty Bumpo to the Virginian to John McClane, American myth and literature is saturated with larger-than-life heroic figures who right wrongs and fight for justice in a way that the political and legal system cannot or will not.  In the 1930’s, faced with a crippling depression and the rumbling of wars overseas, this figure evolved, in early American comic books, into the modern superhero, as embodied by such figures as Superman and Batman.  This course will examine the reasons behind, and repercussions of, the American love affair with the superhero, focusing on the 20th century, in which the genre of the superhero came to be most explicitly defined and explored.  Along the way, we will explore how and why the superhero holds such a fascination to readers and audiences, looking at various superheroes in specific contexts in order to understand what that hero embodies for a particular public. By the end of the course, students will be able to: identify what defines the superhero as a “genre”; place the superhero within the larger heroic monomyth explored by Joseph Campbell; understand the context of the (largely Jewish and immigrant) early American comic book industry in which the superhero developed; compare and contrast the use of superheroes in both “high” and “low” culture; analyze the ways in which a given superhero reflects American culture at a particular time; and think critically about superhero comic books, movies, television, and literature as texts, as commodities, and as historical artifacts                 

     

Requirements

Reading/Film Responses (4)         20%

Critical Analysis Paper                  30%

Final Paper/Presentation               40%

Participation                                10%

 

Possible Texts

Hatfield, Heer, Worcester, eds., The Superhero Reader

Reynolds, Super Heroes: A Modern Mythology

Siegel & Schuster, The Superman Chronicles: Volume 1

Johns & Lee, Justice League Volume 1

Coogan, Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre

 

Flag(s): Writing

AMS 311S • Myth/History: Am Superhero

30730 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm GAR 0.120
show description

From Natty Bumpo to the Virginian to John McClane, American myth and literature is saturated with larger-than-life heroic figures who right wrongs and fight for justice in a way that the political and legal system cannot or will not.  In the 1930’s, faced with a crippling depression and the rumbling of wars overseas, this figure evolved, in early American comic books, into the modern superhero, as embodied by such figures as Superman and Batman.  This course will examine the reasons behind, and repercussions of, the American love affair with the superhero, focusing on the 20th century, in which the genre of the superhero came to be most explicitly defined and explored.  Along the way, we will explore how and why the superhero holds such a fascination to readers and audiences, looking at various superheroes in specific contexts in order to understand what that hero embodies for a particular public. By the end of the course, students will be able to: identify what defines the superhero as a “genre”; place the superhero within the larger heroic monomyth explored by Joseph Campbell; understand the context of the (largely Jewish and immigrant) early American comic book industry in which the superhero developed; compare and contrast the use of superheroes in both “high” and “low” culture; analyze the ways in which a given superhero reflects American culture at a particular time; and think critically about superhero comic books, movies, television, and literature as texts, as commodities, and as historical artifacts                 

                 

Requirements

Response papers (x5) - 25%

Reading quizzes (x5) - 15%

Consumer identity profile paper - 10%

Ad analysis paper - 20%

Final research paper - 30%

 

 

Possible Texts

Lizabeth Cohen, A Consumer's Republic

Thomas Frank, The Conquest of Cool

Naomi Klein, No Logo

William Leach, Land of Desire

Judith Levine, Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping

Roland Marchand, Advertising the American Dream

William Rathje and Cullen Murphy, Rubbish!

Elizabeth Royte, Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash

Juliet Schor, Born to Buy

Juliann Sivulka, Soap, Sex, and Cigarettes

Susan Strasser, Waste and Want

Robert Weems, Desegregating the DollarWaste Land (film)

 

Flag(s): Writing

AMS F310 • Intro To American Studies

81705 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm BUR 130
(also listed as HIS F315G )
show description

This course serves as an introduction to the interdisciplinary field of American Studies.  As such, rather than explicitly reviewing the facts and dates of American history, we will be focusing on how and why it is important to study the broader changes in American culture over the past several hundred years.  In order to do so, we will examine the history of American popular/mass culture, and the ways in which that culture has evolved over time and been a crucial component of American identity.  Although the majority of the class will focus on the 20th century, we will begin with a look at colonial and Native American cultures before examining how successive waves of immigration and social change altered and influenced the burgeoning nation’s popular amusements, in particular focusing on theatrical movements such as minstrelsy and vaudeville.  It is in the decades following World War II, however, that popular culture came to increasingly define American identity, and we will spend a good chunk of this class looking at the various forms this has taken, including film, television, suburban sprawl, shopping and consumer culture, theme parks, car culture, pop/rock/hip-hop music, comic books, video games, and the internet.  By the end of the course, students should develop a greater awareness of how their own conceptions of themselves and their culture are greatly shaped by the forms of entertainment they consume, and have the ability to analyze the varying (and often contradictory) messages and influence of those forms.

 

Requirements

In-Class Exam 1                               20%

In-Class Exam 2                               20%

Final Take-Home Exam                      40%

Participation/Attendance/Quizzes       20%

 

 

Possible Texts

Roy Rosenzweig, Eight Hours For What We Will

John F. Kasson, Amusing The Million

Susan J. Davis, Where The Girls Are

Course reader, with multiple excerpts and articles

 

Partially fulfills legislative requirement in American History. 

Flag(s): Cultural Diversity

AMS 311S • American Performances

30670 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm GAR 0.132
show description

From the famous Puritan jeremiads through to Jersey Shore, America, like all societies, has been filled with a wide variety of performances.  This survey course will combine two interdisciplinary fields – American Studies and Performance Studies – in order to examine the history and impact of “performance” in American life since the days of Native American shamans.  We will thus be mixing together history, sociology, ethnography, anthropology, theatre/dance studies, film studies, cultural studies, and a variety of other disciplines in our quest to understand how various Americans have performed their identities over the past several centuries.  Essentially, we will be asking, “What does it mean to put performances, of various types, at the center of American history?” 

           

 

Requirements

Response Paper 1                          10%

Response Paper 2                          15%

Final Research Paper and/or Performance 40%

4 Performance Reports                    20%

Participation                                        15%

 

 

Possible Texts

Richard Schechner, Performance Studies: An Introduction

Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self In Everyday Life

Tony Kushner, Angels In America

Course reader (including exceprts from Henry Bial, ed., The Performance Studies Reader; William Leach, Land of Desire; and various others)

 

Flag(s): Writing

AMS 311S • American Performances

30590 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am GAR 0.120
show description

From the famous Puritan jeremiads through to Jersey Shore, America, like all societies, has been filled with a wide variety of performances.  This survey course will combine two interdisciplinary fields – American Studies and Performance Studies – in order to examine the history and impact of “performance” in American life since the days of Native American shamans.  We will thus be mixing together history, sociology, ethnography, anthropology, theatre/dance studies, film studies, cultural studies, and a variety of other disciplines in our quest to understand how various Americans have performed their identities over the past several centuries.  Essentially, we will be asking, “What does it mean to put performances, of various types, at the center of American history?” 

 

Requirements

Response Paper 1                          10%

Response Paper 2                          15%

Final Research Paper and/or Performance 40%

4 Performance Reports                    20%

Participation                                   15%

 

Possible Texts

Richard Schechner, Performance Studies: An Introduction

Erving Goffman, The Presentation of Self In Everyday Life

Tony Kushner, Angels In America

 

Course reader (including exceprts from Henry Bial, ed., The Performance Studies Reader; William Leach, Land of Desire; and various others)

 

Flag(s): Writing

Publications

“My Wonder Woman: The ‘New Wonder Woman,’ Gloria Steinem, and the Appropriation of Comic Book Iconography”

Crossing Boundaries in Graphic Fiction: Essays on Forms, Series, and Genres, edited by James F. Wurtz & Jake Jakaitis (2012, McFarland Press)

“The Lost Sister: Lesbianism, Incest, and the Reception of Rose Red in ‘Snow White and Rose Red’”

Transgressive Tales, edited by Kay Turner & Pauline Greenhill (2012 publication, Wayne State University Press) (forthcoming)

“Monitoring the Past: DC Comics’ Crisis on Infinite Earths and the Narrativization of Comic Book History”

ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies (Volume 6, Issue 2, Spring 2012)

“The Public Face: Working the Front Desk of the UWC”

(co-authored with Chris Edwards, Jamie Jesson, Lindsey Purvin, Ashley Busby, Anthony Fassi, and Brian Gatten) Praxis: A Writing Center Journal (Volume 7 Issue 2, Spring 2010)

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