Fall AMST Registration Opens April 2, 2012 - AMST Course Highlights


KENNESAW, Ga. (Mar 20, 2012)Fall 2012 American Studies Course Offerings
Fall Registration: April 2 – May 25
Final Registration: July 16-August 6, 2012

Fall 2012 AMST Undergraduate Course Highlights

AMST 3700: Principles and Methods of American Studies Thursdays 5:00-7:45 Dr. Ugena Whitlock Contact: rwhitlo3@kennesaw.edu Prerequisite: ENGL 1102

This course critically examines the meaning and culture of America locally and globally. This reading, writing, and discussion-based course introduces students to the interdisciplinary study of American cultures. The course uses a wide variety of readings and activities from multiple academic disciplines and popular culture.

AMST 3710: US in the World (focus on Latin America) Mondays and Wednesdays 2:00-3:15 Dr. Ernesto Silva Contact: esilva@kennesaw.edu Prerequisite: ENGL 1102

This course examines “America” as a cultural signifier that circulates around the world. These representations not only travel to other countries, but also return to us in cultural products from other countries. In addition to cultural theory, we will look at film, television, literature, and music as primary concern is to interrogate what ideological assumptions underlie our notion of what “America” means.

AMST 3740: American Popular Culture: Blues in American Culture Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30-4:45 Mr. Don Fay Contact: dfay@kennesaw.edu

Blues is a major musical contribution of African-Americans to 20th century American culture and letters, essential for understanding a number of American literary works. As background to the assigned poetry and fiction, this course will examine the blues as feeling, as music, and as means of coping with the blues feeling. We will consider key blues musicians, blues history from rural blues to blues-rock, blues records (an audio CD set will be one of our texts), blues clubs, influences on jazz, key commentaries on the blues as they apply to our literary texts, as well as the relevant issues of race, gender, class and ethnicity. Note: This course is cross-listed with ENGL 4560.

AMST 3750: Place in American Culture: The History of the American West Mondays 5:00-7:45 p.m. Dr. Kay Reeve Contact: kreeve@kennesaw.edu

Professor Elliott West once wrote “…what attracted pioneers (to the West) was the West’s placelessness. As they saw it, the West was no past and all possibilities.” This course will examine both the actual history and the enduring mythologies associated with the region of the U.S. traditionally identified as the American West. Course material will explore the unique roles this place called "The West" have played in American culture. This course is cross-listed with HSIT 3315.

AMST 3760: American Identities: African American Humor - Fridays 11:00-1:45, Dr. Regina Bradley Contact: rbradl14@kennesaw.edu

This course will use satire and humor to complicate 21st-century constructions of gender, race, and identity. Through an interdisciplinary framework consisting of readings (both critical and creative), music, film, and television we will investigate how humor can frame (black) American identity and what that signifies in a deemed “postracial” era. Of particular interest to this class is troubling race and gender politics which underlie social and cultural interactions of a contemporary, post-Civil Rights American experience.

AMST 3770/01: American Cultural Productions (American Music) Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:12:15 Dr. Ed Eanes Contact: eeanes@kennesaw.edu Prequisite: Music 1107 Through an examination of the role of music in American Society, and a study of American musical works from the Native Americans to the present day, this course provides a context-based understanding of the cultural history of the United States and develops skills in critical analysis. Purpose: This course was designed to expand the undergraduate music major’s core knowledge and broaden their understanding of Music in Western Culture to include North America. Goals and Objectives:
* Identify and distinguish the three broad streams of American Music
*Identify and articulate the historical and socio-cultural context of the various styles of American folk music
* Trace the development of various popular styles of American music, both sacred and secular, from their cross-cultural roots * Identify and analyze the various processes by which American composers of classical music create an indigenous American classical sound
* Recognize and discuss the role of American music as being intricately connected with and supportive of the larger American society
* Recognize the presence and influence of American music within the broader global society
* Articulate how a piece is “American” This course is cross-listed with MUSI 4412.

AMST 3770/02: American Cultural Productions (Immigration)Mondays and Wednesdays 3:30-4:45 Dr. Ken Maffitt Contact: kmaffitt@kennesaw.edu

Is there an “immigration problem” in the United States? Why is immigration reform such a divisive political issue? How have immigrants and debates over immigration policy shaped American history? This course explores the history of immigration in the United States through study of immigrant experiences and cultures, key pieces of legistlation, and contesting images and ideas about immigrants in U.S. politics and popular culture. Central issues include citizenship and naturalization, the process and impact of immigration policymaking, the relation between immigration and U.S. foreign policy, and changing notions of assimilation and ethnic identity. Students will examine a range of sources including secondary readings, documentary and feature films, key legal cases, fiction, music, and art.

MAST Graduate Courses:

AMST 7000: American Studies Scholarship Rebecca Hill, Tuesdays, 6:30 – 9:15 p.m.

This course is designed to introduce you to contemporary American studies scholarship and its historical antecedents, so that you have a broad understanding of not only what contemporary scholars are doing, but where their work fits in the history of the field as a whole. That field has expanded from its own institutional origins to embrace what has come today to be known as “cultural studies,” so some of the classic works that you will read have not traditionally been understood as “American Studies” works, but have become so influential in contemporary American Studies scholarship that they can be said to have formed a new canon. The class will go in nearly chronological order based on these “classics”, creating a history of the field that places it within an international context of cultural studies scholarship.

AMST 7220: Passages to America: An Engaged Classroom (Maya) (TRANSNATIONAL) Alan LeBaron, Mondays, 6:30-9:15 p.m.

This course examines the question of ethnic and cultural identity among the Maya of Mesoamerica and the United States, and secondarily ethnic and cultural identity among Native Americans in the Americas. Students will consider the various theories behind ethnic/cultural identity, including the concepts of emotional ethnicity, political ethnicity and imagined ethnicity. The Maya people have lived in the Americas for thousands of years, thus have gone through many cultural and identity transformations, however, Maya continue speaking their indigenous languages and maintaining parts of their historic culture. As a class project, students will examine the recent immigration of approximately 800,000 Maya into the United States, and the quest of some Maya to establish a Native American Movement. Community engagement will focus on the decade long work called the Maya Heritage Community Project, located in Canton, Georgia. Students will have an engaged classroom experience working with the KSU Maya Heritage Community Project and with Maya in Georgia. Course may be repeated provided the content differs entirely from the previous offering.

AMST 7420: Popular Culture: Sexual Representation in the U.S. Joe Thomas, Thursdays, 3:30-6:15 p.m.

This course examines the cultural production, public images, and reception of sexuality in the United States since World War II. A survey of the history of sexuality as a cultural and social phenomenon during this period will provide a backdrop for case studies that demonstrate changing attitudes in the population at large as well as the evolution of new sexual and erotic expressive forms. New scientific discoveries will be placed in a social context. Films, comics, art, and advertising are some of the media to be examined. Students should be those who are not offended by frank discussions of sexuality, including sexual orientation, pornography, and images of nudity or sexual activity. Course may be repeated for credit provided the content differs entirely from the previous offering.

AMST 7320: America in Transnational Context: Greater Mexico Emron Esplin, Thursdays, 6:30 – 9:15 p.m. (TRANSNATIONAL)

Mexican culture-food, language, religion, literature, politics, music, etc.—manifests itself not only throughout Mexico and the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, but throughout the United States in general and throughout the American continent. Américo Paredes and several other scholars refer to this region of Mexican cultural influence as “Greater Mexico.” This course will introduce students to the concept of Greater Mexico while offering an in-depth study of literature from Mexican, Chicano/a, and U.S. literary traditions. Our readings will lead to discussions about national conflict between the U.S. and Mexico (e.g. the U.S.-Mexican War, the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, current immigration issues on the U.S. Mexico border) and to questions of racial and ethnic identity (e.g. when/where is the term “Mexican” a national marker and when/where is it a racialized label? What are the differences between terms like Chicano/a, Mexican-American, Latino and Hispanic? What tensions exist between Mexican nationals, Mexican-Americans, and other groups throughout the Americas?) In short, the course brings diverse texts into conversation with each other and emphasizes the problem of dividing literature by nation and/or language while still recognizing the valuable differences between these rich histories and literary traditions. Course may be repeated for credit provided the content differs entirely from the previous offering.

AMST 7500: PRACTICUM (Internship or Applied Research Project) Rebecca Hill, Prerequisite: AMST 7000 and AMST 7100

This course requires students to apply American Studies knowledge, concepts, and theory to practical issues, non-academic environments, or to new research questions. The Practicum fosters the ability to: 1. Read and think critically while using diverse methods to study American cultural products and practices, 2. Communicate effective analysis of American culture both orally and in writing; and 3. Analyze and critique relationships between cultural products and social values. The practicum may be offered as an internship; applied research project; teaching practicum; or other applied experience as approved by the MAST Program Director. For more information on AMST 7500 options, see the AMST 7500 Handbook (http://amst.hss.kennesaw.edu).

AMST 7900: Capstone Experience (1-6 hours Credit Hours) Rebecca Hill, Permission of the Director Required.

The Capstone Experience consists of a major research project or a project using interdisciplinary methods from American Studies to investigate questions consistent with the program’s mission and the student’s professional goals. Students work with faculty advisors to develop a proposal, carry out research related to their topic or project aims, and complete a product drawing on the content of program courses and integrating it with new, individualized study.