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Fall 2014



Course descriptions for FALL 2014

Complete list of Fall 2014 AMST courses available here

Courses are subject to change; last updated 9/4/14.

AMST 150 (FGB) » America and the World

Instructor: Jeffrey Tripp

Course Description: This course examines formations of “America” in a global context, beginning with its emergence as a European colonial outpost imposed on indigenous peoples, to its emergence as an imperial and military power in the modern era. We will survey major world-historical events in which the U.S. has played key roles as well as consider the significant impacts that other world cultures have had on the American social, political, cultural and economic fabric (and vice versa). Central to the organization of this course is a consideration of race, class and gender as crucial axes for the formation of “America” and Americans. 

Course Requirements: 

Class Participation 30%
Short Writing Assignments 40%
Exams 30%

Required Text(s): 

-Stannard, David. American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.
-Equiano, Olaudah. The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 1995 (original, 1789).
-Spiegelman, Art. Maus I and II. New York: Pantheon Books, 1991 edition.

AMST 201 (W) » American Experience: Institutions & Movements 

Instructor: Sookkasikon, Pahole

Course Description: This interdisciplinary course examines diversity and changes in American lives and values in a historical context as manifested in social institutions and social movements.  It introduces students to various types of primary materials (such as law, sermons, political manifestoes, memoirs, music, popular culture, et cetera) and to different methods of reading and analyzing such materials.  Using social and analytical categories such as race, ethnicity, gender, class, and sexuality, the course examines several critical periods in U.S. history as well as situates Hawai‘i in the context of American experience.  This course fulfills a Manoa Core humanities requirement.  

Course Requirements: 


Required Text(s):

Butler, Octavia E. Kindred.
Yang, Kao Kalia. The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir 
Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present. 

**All books are available at Revolution Books: 2626 King St #201,  Honolulu, HI  96826
**Additional course readings will be available on the course website.  

AMST 202 (W) » America Experience: Culture and the Arts

Instructor: Jessica Tan

Course Description: How do we know–or think we know–what “American” means? How do art and culture shape and construct these meanings and feelings? How do you participate in or create “American art(s) and culture(s)”? What is the role of “American art(s) and culture(s)” in the world? In this course, we will investigate how art and culture do not simply reflect society, but inform and construct how we think and feel about “America.” Throughout the course, we will explore how these meanings are coded and imbued with history, memory, affect, and values that are not fixed, but constantly shifting for different individuals, in different locations and historical contexts. This semester we will regularly look at particular artworks as well as cultural productions and ask: How are they engaging the themes of space, time, memory, play, work. figure(s) (including the body), technology, and/or power?  Repeatedly, this course will ask us to take the time to practice noticing both our initial, first reactions to art works and cultural productions as well as our subsequent secondary, tertiary and later responses.  The supplementary reading and other materials of this course will work to situate our inferences about certain art works and cultural productions in relation to specific discussions within American Studies, Visual Culture, Art History, and/or the Philosophy of Art.  This course fulfills a writing intensive focus requirement. 

Required Text(s): 

Rawlinson, Mark. 2009. American Visual Culture. New York: Bloomsbury Academic.
Robert, Jean and Craig McDaniel. 2012. Themes of Contemporary Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Yamashiro, Aiko and Noelani Goodyear-Kaopua. 2014. The Value of Hawai‘i 2: Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions. Honolulu: University Hawai‘i. 

AMST 211 (W) » Contemporary American Domestic Issues

Instructor: Yohei Sekiguchi 

Course Description: This course explores contemporary American domestic issues. This course will examine the double meanings of the “domestic”: we will focus on the “American” issues and “familial” issues, we will see how these two meanings of the “domestic” overlap.  This course will mostly explore “contemporary” (more or less, from the 1970s to the present) issues, but we will also examine the 1950s-60s history because it will help us understand our current standpoint.  

In the spirit of American Studies, we will use various types of materials–drama, short story, movie, history, reportage, etc.  This course is not a lecture class: our style is closer to seminar, which means students are expected to discuss the readings and intellectually engage with their peers.  Attendance and participation are mandatory.  This is a Writing Intensive course.  Therefore, you will be assigned a substantial amount of writing and writing assignments will account for a substantial portion of your grade.  

Course Requirements:

Class Attendance 15%
Online Posting 10%
Group Projects 20%
Short Writing Assignments 25%
Final Projects 40%

Required Text(s):

Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun  

AMST 212 (W) » Contemporary American Global Issues

Instructor: Leanne Sims

Course Description: This interdisciplinary and writing intensive course is an exploration of contemporary American global discourses and attitudes within an historical context.  The course will chronicle the influence of American values and institutions in the world and analyze the effects of U.S. foreign policy, with a particular focus on U.S. military interventions abroad.  Our topics will take into account the diversity of American values and perspectives.  These will include, but will not be limited to, foreign policy, the economy, the environment, national security, international diplomacy, and war.  Concurrently, we will discuss the present role of the U.S. in the world.  Although we will be primarily looking at these issues within their historical context, the course is designed to draw on a variety of materials including film, literature, advertisement campaigns, newspapers, documentaries, current news reports and other primary source materials.

Course Requirements:

Class Attendance and Participation: 20%
Reading Responses (2 pages each): 10%
Individual Presentation: 20%
Group Debate/Final Exam: 20%
Midterm and Final Essays (6 pages each): 30 %

Required Text(s): 

Chandrasekaran, Rajiv. Imperial Life in the Emerald City: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone. New York: Random House, 2006. 
Hosseini, Khaled. A Thousand Splendid Suns. New York: Riverhead Books. 2007. 
Hosseini, Khaled. The Kite Runner. New York: Riverhead Books, 2003. 
Kinzer, Stephen. Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq. New York: Times Books, 2006.
Latifa. My Forbidden Face: Growing Up Under the Taliban: A Young Woman’s Story. New York: Hyperion, 2001.

* Online Readings: Required readings marked with an asterisk (*) are available online through Laulima. 

AMST 212 (W) » Contemporary American Global Issues

Instructor: Tomoaki Morikawa

Course Description: This course explores contemporary global issues in historical, political, economic, and cultural contexts.  It will track the influence of American values and institutions in the world and analyze how globalization has impacted and changed society.  Key concepts for this course will include, but will not be limited to, international inequality, imperialism, militarism, and capitalism.

Course Requirements:

Quizzes: 30% (Two lowest scores will not be counted)
Class participation (discussion and peer review): 20%
Leading class discussion: 10%
Four 4-pages analytical papers: 40%

Required Text (s):

1. Butler, Smedley D. War Is a Racket. Washington: Feral House, 2003.
2. Foer, Jonathan Safran. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. New York: Mariner Books, 2011.
3. Louie, Miriam Ching Yoon. Sweatshop Warriors: Immigrant Women Workers Take on the Global Factor. Cambridge: South End Press, 2001.
4. Simon, Bryant. Everything but the Coffee: Learning about America from Starbucks. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.
5. Dower, John W. War Without Mercy: Race and Power in the Pacific War (New York: Pantheon, 1987)
6. Kinzer, Stephen. Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq (New York: Times Books, 2006).
7. Sturken, Marita. Tourists of History: Memory, Kitsch, and Consumerism from Oklahoma City to Ground Zero (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007).

AMST 220 (W, H) » Introduction to Indigenous Studies

Instructor: Brandy McDougall 

Course Description: The lands that are now known as the United States and its territories have witnessed a long history of conquest against their indigenous peoples and ecologies. Many of the details of this violent conquest are either absent from most American history textbooks, or when they are explored, are often discussed in terms of “the distant American past.” By and large, this constructed history has resulted in a relegation of native peoples to the primitive past and/or an ambivalence toward various native groups in terms of their efforts to redress injustices, both historic and contemporary, and to maintain their inherent sovereignty.

Using film, literature and scholarship, this interdisciplinary course aims to overturn these dominant constructions of history in order to explore contemporary issues of indigenous cultural identity, representation, sovereignty, and legal frameworks. For the purposes of this course, Indigenous Americans includes Native American tribes, Alaskans Natives, and Native Pacific and Atlantic Islanders whose lands are U.S. states, territories, or “freely associated” with the U.S. We will examine the varied experiences and situations of Indigenous peoples in the United States, how indigeneity is framed by dominant American culture, and the complex ways in which Indigenous Americans are made to continuously negotiate between traditional and settler cultures as they struggle for their lands, their rights, and their futures.

Course Requirements: 

Reading Responses 20%
PSAs 15%
Indigenous Issue Analysis Paper (4-5 pages) 15%
Attendance & Participation 20%
Midterm & Final Exams 20% 

Required Text(s):

The following may be purchased at the UH Bookstore (unless otherwise noted):
Yamashiro, Aiko and Noelani Goodyear-Ka‘ōpua, eds. The Value of Hawai‘i 2. Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2014.
*Other readings will be posted as pdfs or links on the class blog’s “Course Readings” page

AMST 301 » Hip Hop & American Culture

Instructor: David Goldberg

Course Description: Survey tracing hip-hop from its Caribbean musical beginnings to contemporary adaptations and interpretations.  Students will analyze various materials and will pay attention to the relationships between hip-hop and contemporary social forms.  Pre: sophomore standing or consent.

Required Text (s):

No books required

AMST 310 (O) » Japanese Americans

Instructor: Dennis Ogawa

Course Description: Japanese American life in Hawaii and American society at large. Historical and cultural heritage. Biographical portraits, changing family ties, ethnic lifestyle, male and female relations, local identity and the nature of island living.

Course Requirements:

1. Oral Communication Assignments: 46%
2. Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii Paper: 8%
3. Quizzes: 6%
4. Two tests: 20%
5. Final Examination: 20%

Required Text (s):

  • Ogawa, Dennis. Jan Ken Po
  • Ogawa, Dennis. Kodomo No Tame Ni
  • Various handouts (online) 

AMST 316 » U.S. Women’s History (Cross-listed with HIST 361/WS 311)

Instructor: Elizabeth Colwill

Course Description: In this class, women’s life stories dramatize the cultural encounters and collisions that mark every epoch of North American history.  We’ll encounter prophets, witches and evangelicals; migrants, midwives, and military brides.; artists, activists, and authors as we explore how women carved out meaningful lives within and against dominant forms of social power.

Personal narratives by a Puritan dissident, an escaped slave, a Mexican cannery worker, and a Hmong refugee reveal broader historical narratives of immigration and empire, slavery and expansion, revolution and reform. From the life stories of women – whether mythologized as sinners or saints, criminalized as deviants, celebrated, or largely forgotten – we’ll learn not only about exceptional women but also about the structures of power that shaped their lives. 

Required Text (s):

Linda Kerber, Jane Sherron De Hart, and Cornelia Dayton, Women’s America: Refocusing the Past (Oxford UP, 2010), 7th Ed. (Be sure to get the 7th edition which is also available for rental on amazon for a reduced price.)
Richard Godbeer, The Salem Witch Hunt: A Brief History with Documents (The Bedford Series in History and Culture, 2011.
Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (Dover Thrift Edition, 2001) (any inexpensive edition ok)
Leon Stein, William Greider and Michael Hirsch, The Triangle Fire (ILR Press, 2010)
Kao Kalia Yang, The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir (Coffee House Press, 2008)  

AMST 318 » Asian America (Cross-listed as ES 318)

Instructor: B. Chung

Course Description: History of selected Asian immigrant groups from the 19th century to the present. Topics include: immigration and labor history, Asian American movements, literature and cultural productions, community adaptations and identity formation. 

AMST 326 » American Folklore and Folklife (Cross-listed as Anthropology 326)

Instructor: Leanne Sims

Course Description: This course will introduce students to American folklore as living culture rather than static cultural artifacts.  Folklorists seek to understand how people interpret and make sense of the world.  The study of folklore asks how, in a world flooded with commercial and highly refined cultural products, people use those particular materials that they themselves create and reshape in order to express who they are, where they belong, and what they value.  In this course we will look at diverse forms (or “genres”) of folklore, including dance, legend, myths, photographs, food and prisons.  We will consider how vernacular expressive culture is learned, what it does for people, and why these processes and products persist through time and space.  Students will be introduced to the discipline of Folklore’s central research methodology, ethnography, and have an opportunity to practice that approach in individual and group research projects.  These projects will look at the role of performance in everyday speech acts and invite further reflection on students’ own family trajectories and oral histories.

Folklore, you will discover, is all around us in the present, as well as significantly celebrated in our past.  You’ll be introduced to the history of the discipline of folklore, some basic concepts of that discipline, and have the opportunity to collect and interpret folklore materials on your own  And we might even have some fun along the way. 

Required Text (s):

Braly, Malcolm. On the Yard. Introduction by Jonathan Lethem. New York: New York Review of Books, 1967.
Bronner, Simon J. Folk Nation: Folklore in the Creation of the American Tradition. Wilmington, Del.: SR Books, 2002
Fiedler, Leslie. Freaks: Myths and Images of the Secret Self. New York: Simon ad Schuster, 1979, 1978.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2006.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Every Tongue Got To Confess: Negro Folk Tales From The Gulf States. Foreword by John Edgar Wideman, New York: Harper Collins, 2001.
Melnig, Julie, Editor. Ballroom, Boogie, Shimmy Sham, Shake: A Social and Popular Dance Reader. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009.

AMST 334 (E) » Digital America: Online Communities and Virtual Worlds

Instructor: David Goldberg

Course Description: Seminar on the impact of the digital revolution and virtual communities on American culture and society, with an emphasis on questions of identity and participatory democracy.  Open to non-majors.  Pre: one DH, DA, or DL course, sophomore standing, or consent.

Required Text (s):


AMST 343 » America Thought and Culture: To the 20th Century (Cross-listed as HIST 373)

Instructor: Richard Rapson

Course Description: Politics, family, philosophy, technology, etc.; their interrelationship with the total society.  Pre-Colonial to end of Reconstruction.  Pre: 150 or 201 or 202 or 211 or 212 or HIST 151 or HIST 152; or consent. 

Required Text (s):

  • Collins, Gail. America’s Women: Four Hundred Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates and Heriones
  • Doctorow, E.L. Ragtime
  • Nash, Roderick. From These Beginnings
  • Rapson, Richard. Magical Thinking and the Decline of America
  • Schlesinger, Arthur. The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society

AMST 344 » America Thought and Culture: 20th Century (Cross-listed as HIST 374)

Instructor: Richard Rapson

Course Description: Continuation of 343: 20th century.  Pre: 150 or 201 or 202 or 211 or 212 or HIST 151 or HIST 152; or consent

Required Text (s):

  • Collins, Gail. When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present
  • Heilbroner, Robert. An Inquiry into the Human Prospect
  • Nash, Roderick. From These Beginnings
  • Rapson, Richard. Magical Thinking and the Decline of America
  • Spiegelman, Art. Maus: A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History/and Here My Troubles Begin
  • Toffler. The Third Wave 

AMST 349 (O) » Contemporary America Design 

Instructor: Will Temple

Course Description: Design is essential feature of everyday life.  Major changes in the ways we work, communicate, and produce and consume goods and services have elevated the significance of design, both as physical artifact and as a professional occupation.  In this course we will investigate the varied ways design contributes to contemporary American culture.  We will approach these contributions from three directions: from the individuals who practice design, from the technologies that make and distribute designed products and experiences, and from the finished products and experiences themselves.  In each direction, we will situate contemporary design practices, technologies and products, within the broader social and economic forces that propel them.

Required Text (s):

  • Julier, Guy. The Culture of Design

AMST 350 » Culture and the Arts WI Focus 

 Instructor: Sarah Smorol 

Course Description: This course is a survey that draws connections between American Culture and the art it produces.  What are the cultural markers specific to American identity?  What art movements have resulted from uniquely American circumstances?  How are culture and art inextricably intertwined?

Topics include: Street Art, Prison Art, Native Alaskan Art, Asian American Art, Feminist Art, Harlem Renaissance, Hawaiian Arts, American Modernism, Art & Protest

Required text (s):

The readings for this course will be available as PDF documents and links to online readings from Laulima resources.

One E-book text (Velma Wallis, Two Old Women; an Alaskan Legend of Betrayal, Courage, and Survival) is required for purchase at $9.99 through Google books:

AMST 373 » Filipino Americans: History, Culture and Politics (Cross-listed as ES 373)

Instructor: Joyce Mariano

Course Description: An introduction to the study of Filipino Americans in the U.S. and the diaspora.  The course pays special attention to labor migration, cultural production ad community policies.  Pre: sophomore standing. 

Course Requirements:


Course Text (s):


AMST 381 » Junior Seminar

Instructor: Joyce Mariano

Course Description: Materials and methods for the study of American life and thought. For American studies majors and minors only.

Required Text(s):


Prerequisite: Officially declared majors in American Studies. Minors and double majors in American Studies must have a course approval code to be allowed to register for this course.

AMST 411 (O) » Japanese Americans: Research Topics

Instructor: Dennis Ogawa

Course Description: Research and thematic seminar on Japanese American culture, issues, and history.

Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent.

AMST 423 (O) » History of American Architecture (Cross-listed as ARCH 473)

Instructor: William Chapman

Course Description: This is a basic introduction to the history and range of American architecture. Coverage is given to both “designed” and “vernacular” examples of buildings and surroundings, with principle emphasis on well-known American buildings. In addition to buildings and built environments of the continental U.S., the course will also discuss buildings in Hawai‘i, the Caribbean and Panama, the Philippines, and other Asian-Pacific countries and islands influenced by North American architectural traditions and practice.

Both lectures and readings will emphasize the ways in which cultural identity and aspirations are expressed in architecture. It will also treat the impacts of materials and technology upon architectural forms. 

Course Requirements: 

Participation/discussion (Oral focus)  5%
Short presentations (2) (Oral focus) O1, O2, O3  10%
Quizzes (4)  10%
Mid-term Exam  10%
Final Paper (6 pages, double-spaced)  20%
Presentation (Oral focus) O1, O2, O3  30%
Jury participation (2), O1, O2  5%
Final Exam  10%                                                                                                                                                                                               

Required Text(s): 

David P. Handlin, American Architecture, 2nd edition, New York: Thames and Hudson

AMST 431 » History of American Workers (Cross-listed as HIST 477)

Instructor: James Kraft

Course Description: Survey history of the complex relations between American societies and diverse U.S. ecosystems, from European contact and colonization to the present. 

AMST 436 (W) » Gender, Justice and Law (Cross-listed as POLS 436 and WS 436)

Instructor: Lee Ann Wang

Course Description: Exploration of landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases related to sex and gender. Topics may include sex discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, privacy, and reproductive freedom.  A-F only. Pre: one of WS 151, WS 175, WS 176, WS 202, WS 360, WS 381, or consent.

Required Text (s):


AMST 440 » Race and Racism in America (Cross-listed as HIST 476)

Instructor: Njoroge Njoroge

Course Description: Racial ideas and ideologies, and their effects throughout American history 

Course Requirements:


Required Text (s):


AMST 456 (W) » Art of the United States (Cross-listed as ART 472)

 Instructor: Joseph Stanton

Course Description: This course examines the development of the visual arts in America from colonial to contemporary periods. (Cross-listed with ART 472)

Required Text(s): 

  • Hughes, Robert. American Visions
  • A packet of photocopied articles

AMST 459 (W) » Sports in America

Instructor: Joseph Stanton

Course Description: This course examines the development of sports in America from colonial to contemporary periods.

Required Text(s): 

  • Bissinger, H. G. Friday Night Lights
  • Finney, Ben. Surfing: A History of the Ancient Hawaiian Sport
  • Rader, Benjamin. American Sports
  • Stanton, Joseph. Cardinal Points: Poems on St. Louis Cardinals Baseball
  • A packet of photocopied articles

AMST 480 » Approaches to American Studies

Instructor: Jeffrey Tripp 

Course Description: This course is designed to train American Studies majors in research methods and prepare them for their senior capstone project. Through this class, students will become familiar with how scholars conduct research-e.g. how they formulate a useful research question, how they design the scope of inquiry, how they identify primary sources, how they address existing knowledge and current debates, how they develop an argument, and how they organize their writing. In addition to close reading and discussion of diverse types of scholarship in the field, we will conduct a series of research exercises that train students in identifying and analyzing primary as well as secondary sources. By the end of the semester, students will produce a proposal for a major research project which they will complete in AMST 481.

Course Requirements: 


Required Text(s):

Reading packet available on Laulima


American Studies majors only

AMST 489 » World Maritime History (Cross-listed as HIST 489)

Instructor: Fabio Lopez Lazaro

Course Description: This course introduces students to historians’ understanding of maritime enterprises, including the evolution of maritime exploration, transoceanic colonization, and shipping trade networks.  It emphasizes the interactions between piracy, warfare, imperialism, and capitalism, concentrating on certain maritime regions for specific historical periods (prehistoric Indian Ocean and Pacific, medieval Mediterranean, early modern colonial America and the Caribbean “Golden Age of Piracy,” and modern Africa and Southeast Asia).  However, the key historical question of the over-all course focuses on how the Americas have been shaped by maritime networks and maritime predation since the 1400s.  We read original narratives, including eyewitness accounts, and place them within the context of recent scholarship.

Course Requirements: 

Class Participation (in-class and LAULIMA discussion board posts): 10%
Annotated Bibliography (oral presentation and written report): 10%
Research Essay (min. eight pages): 30%
First Half-Semester Exam: 20%
Second Half-Semester Exam: 30%

Detailed study guides for exams and specific suggestions for the essay will be distributed.

Required text (s):

  • C.R. Pennell, Bandits at Sea: A Pirates Reader (N.Y. Univ. Press, paperback) 
  • Alexander Exquemelin, The Buccaneers of America (Dover, paperback, 2000)
  • R. Ritchie, Captain Kidd and the War Against the Pirates (Harvard Univ. Press)
  • Captain Johnson (D. Defore), A General History of the Pyrates (Dover, paperback)
  • Lincoln Paine, The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World (Knopf)
  • Bruce Elleman et al., eds., Piracy and Maritime Crime: Historical and Modern Case Studies (Naval War College Press) [FREE online at]
  • A selection of scholarly articles available online or posted on LAULIMA

AMST 500 » Master’s Plan B/C Studies

Instructor: Mari Yoshihara

Course Description:Graduate students are required to register for at least one credit of work (either Directed Studies 500 or any other course) in the semester of graduation.

This course is offered as a one credit course with a mandatory grading of Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) but will not carry credit toward meeting credit requirements for the degree.

If degree requirements are fully completed, a Satisfactory grade will be issued and the student will be awarded the degree. If not, a grade of Unsatisfactory will be given and the student will be required to register again for Directed Studies 500 the following semester or until such time that the requirements are completed.

Prerequisite: Contact instructor

AMST 600 » Approaches to American Studies

Instructor: Mari Yoshihara

Course Description: This seminar covers the broad historiography of American Studies and introduces students to the theoretical frameworks and methodological tools used in the field.  Tracing the key “moments” in American Studies historiography from the “myth and symbol” school of the 1950s-1960s to the recent calls for transnational approaches to American Studies, we will examine the development of field’s concerns.  We will examine how scholars from different generations and disciplinary and methodological orientations have tackled categories and concepts such as class, gender, and race as they pertain to U.S. history, society, and culture.   Themes include: the intellectual and ideological origins of American Studies; Marxist traditions and social history; the crisis of the canon; literary theory and “representation”; anthropological turn and the move beyond the “text”; theorizing “identities”; and re-situating American Studies in the age of globalization. We will discuss these themes through the reading of both classic and recent texts in the field.

Course Requirements:

Class Participation 
Review essay
Final paper 

Required Text(s):

Henry Nash Smith, Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1950 [1978]) 
Mark Rifkin, When Did Indians Become Straight? Kinship, the History of Sexuality, and Native Sovereignty (New York: Oxfoard University Press, 2011)
Richard Sennett and Jonathan Cobb, The Hidden Injuries of Class (New York: Norton, 1972 [1993])
Kathy Peiss, Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of the-Century New York (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1986)
Karen Ho, Liquidated: An Ethnography of Wall Street (Durham: Duke University Press, 2009)
Laurel Ulrich, Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750 (New York: Knopf, 1980 [1991])
George Chauncey, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 (New York: Basic Books, 1995)
Brenda Stevenson, The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender, and the Origins of the LA Riots (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013)
C. Van Woodward, Strange Career of Jim Crow (New York: Oxford University Press, 1955 [2002])
David Roediger, The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class (New York: Verso, 1991 [2007])
Ellen Wu, The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013)
Melani McAlister, Epic Encounters: Culture, Media, & U.S. Interests in the Middle East since 1945 Updated ed. (Berkeley: University of California, [2001] 2005)
Laura Briggs, Somebody’s Children: The Politics of Transracial and Transnational Adoption (Durham: Duke University Press, 2012)

AMST 675 » Preservation: Theory & Practice (Cross-listed as ARCH 628/PLAN 675)

Instructor: William Chapman

Course Description: The course serves as a basic introduction to the field of historic preservation.  Students will be introduced to the language of the field, will come to understand key concepts and assumptions and will become familiar with the overall background of the subject.  Emphasis will be placed on the history of historic preservation in the U.S. and in other countries, on basic theoretical precepts and on current practice.  Subjects include the role of house museums in historic preservation, historic districts and their regulation, architectural and other resource surveys, the National Register program, historic preservation law, the relationship of preservation to planning, the economics of preservation and landscape and rural preservation.  Historic preservation, as students will come to realize, is a many-faceted subject, touching upon art, social values, economics and law.  However, the discipline remains strongly tied to architecture and planning; and these core interests will continue to take priority in the course.  

Course Requirements: 

The course combines lectures and in-class discussions that build a knowledge base intended to support your completion of a Preservation Research Project.  Students will be expected to attend class sessions and participate in discussions and question periods. Weekly reading assignments will serve as a basis for classroom discussions; so students are expected to come to class prepared. Participation in classroom discussions will constitute a significant portion of your class grade.  This course also includes a Mid-Term Term Exam and a Research Project, which will serve as a Final Exam.  The Research Project may be a draft of a National Register nomination OR a 10-12 page Research Paper on a Preservation Site or Issue of your choice.  The grading will be based on the following:

1. Participation 30%
2. Mid-term Exam 30%
3. Research Project (with Preservation) 40%

Required Text(s):

1. William J. Murtagh, Keeping Time: The History and Theory of Preservation in America, Revised ed., New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1997. [original edition (Sterling Publishing/Main Street) may be used].

2. Robert E. Stipe, A Richer Heritage: Historic Preservation in the 21st Century, Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 2003.

3. A Course Reader is also required and is available either for download or purchase at Marketing and Publications Services (MAPs), Curriculum Research & Development Group.  A copy will also be available for download on laulima.  

AMST 681 » Vernacular Architecture (Cross-listed as ARCH 650)

Instructor: William Chapman

Course Description: The course will introduce to a variety of American vernacular building and other cultural traditions, with an emphasis on early rural architecture and landscapes, regional traditions of the 18th and early 19th centuries, popular transformations of the late 19th century, and finally widespread building practices and other cultural expressions of the 20th century.  It will cover the basic history of and current approaches to the study of vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes, provide a list of current literature, including relevant journals and periodicals, and introduce students to methods used in the study and analysis of a range of material, architectural and landscape forms.  Lectures will provide a broad overview of the field, as well as a chronological treatment of the development of American vernacular architectural forms.  Seminars will emphasize problems and approaches in vernacular architectural studies.  Classroom discussions will focus on methodologies used in the investigation of vernacular architectural forms and cultural landscapes as well as current (and historic) theoretical precepts.  As a special “theme,” the class will consider “Modern Architecture in Hawai‘i” as an important Vernacular Type.  Individual research projects will be based on vernacular expressions of Hawai‘i’s modern traditions.  

Course Requirements:

Students will be expected to attend class regularly and participate in classroom discussions.  There will be weekly assigned and recommended readings, both from the required texts and from supplemental materials, available both through Xeroxes and books and articles placed on reserve.  Students will also select a single book that represents an important contribution to the field and write a short (3-4 page) report, to be read to the class.  Finally, students will be expected to write and present an 8 to 10 page research page, stemming from a field exercise.

The final grade will be based on the following:

Participation 20%
Final Presentation 30%: In-class presentation, power point or other methods
Research Project 30%: 8-10 page paper
Book report 10%: 3-4 pages and in-class presentation
Class exercise (“In Class Country Ethnicity Reports”) 10%: In-class participation

Required Text (s):

Dell Upton, ed., America’s Architectural Roots: Ethnic Groups that Built America. Washington, D.C.: Preservation Press, 1986.
Virginia and Lee McAlester, A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Alfred Knopf, 1984.
Henry Glassie, Vernacular Architecture. Bloomington: Indiana Univ. Press, 2000.
Thomas Carter and Elizabeth Collins Cromley, Invitation to Vernacular Architecture. Knoxville: Univ. of Tennessee Press, 2005.
Material handed out in class or uploaded to Laulima

AMST 683 » Museums: Theory, History, Practice

Instructor: Karen Kosasa

Course Description: This class is designed to introduce students to a range of theoretical, historical, and practical issues important to the study of museums and related places (art galleries, historic sites, aquariums, and parks). Museums are knowledge-producing institutions that orchestrate the experiences of visitors through the collection and organization of exhibition materials. Students will utilize theories and methodologies from a wide range of fields (museology, art history, anthropology, geography, cultural studies, literary criticism) to analyze the links between the function and practices of museums and the production of cultural knowledge, especially by privileged social groups. In the past, successful exhibits effaced all evidence of the pedagogical objectives and efforts of their makers. Hence, museums appeared to simply present and not interpret what they exhibited and their institutional authority allowed their interpretations to be accepted as “universal truths.”

In recent years, museums have undergone significant changes. Along with shifts in the study of collections, design of exhibitions, and educational programming, museums are rethinking their relationship and obligations to the communities represented in their collections. According to Eilean Hooper-Greenhill, museums are moving from being “sites of authority” to becoming “sites of mutuality.” Many are actively soliciting the views and needs of social groups previously ignored or considered unimportant. Some have actively or inadvertently challenged widely-held social practices and beliefs. In these instances, they have been at the frontlines of “culture wars,” becoming embattled sites over the role of public institutions, government funding, and diverse viewpoints. This course will examine these recent shifts and some of the theoretical and pragmatic issues that underlie them—the politics of representation, the importance of visual practices/culture, and legal and ethical problems concerning access to and ownership of cultural objects and collections.

In an early section students will briefly look at the history of museums in Western Europe, especially the emergence of large exhibition halls in the nineteenth century which offered new state-sanctioned forms of entertainment and education to lower- and middle-class visitors. In another section it will review issues pertinent to museums and colonial history in Hawai‘i, and efforts to consider the “Host Culture” and Native Hawaiian views on museums, collections, and the growth of cultural tourism. Finally, students will consider pragmatic issues concerning museum governance, management, planning, ethics, and public policy. While this class will focus most of its attention on museums in Western Europe and the United States, it will also examine institutions and cultural centers in other geographic locations.

AMST 684 » Museums and Collections

Instructor: Karen Kosasa

Course Description: Museums and related institutions (e.g., art galleries, historic homes, archives) are invaluable sites of knowledge in our society. They are charged with caring for important cultural resources, mounting exciting exhibitions, making their collections available to researchers or the public, and providing learning opportunities for a wide range of visitors. This class will focus on the “nuts and bolts,” the pragmatic aspects of running museums and related institutions. It will provide both a broad overview of the responsibilities of museums and museum professionals and an in-depth look at how the latter interact and function within their institutions. A significant component of the class will include on-site visits where registrars, archivists, collections managers, conservation specialists, curators, and exhibition designers will speak about their responsibilities and concerns, offer up-to-date information on their field of specialization, and provide a glimpse of the problems and challenges facing them. Among the topics to be covered: collection policies, accession and deaccession processing, registration and cataloguing systems, emerging technologies and the digitizing of collections, conservation treatment and documentation, preservation awareness/management, curatorial research, exhibition design and installation, and development of interpretive materials for displays.

Site visits will include trips to large and small museums as well as to different types of institutions (e.g., natural history museum, historic home). Students will be asked to visit museums on their own and participate in a volunteer program. During the semester students will learn about the Hawaii Museums Association as well as its national and international counterparts. The class itself will importantly reflect a collaborative partnership between the University of Hawaii, the Hawaii Museum Association, and local museums.

An important section of this course will review the concerns of Native communities in the U.S. and abroad regarding heritage preservation. In recent decades, the interactions between Native peoples and non-Native museum professionals (including conservators and curators) have led to important discussions over divergent views on the collection, handling, and exhibition of Native cultural resources. These discussions have led to innovative collaborative projects, changes in museum policies, and a rethinking of the professional discipline of museum conservation and collections management.

During the semester students will be introduced to the importance of grants and grant writing. Some students may choose to work on a grant application as part of their final project. Other students may want to involve themselves in curatorial research or the development of interpretative texts in conjunction with a local museum professional. At the end of the semester, students will submit a formal research paper on a topic of interest related to the course material.

AMST 686 (Restriction: Instructor Approval) » Museum Studies Practicum

Instructor: Karen Kosasa

Course Description: This course is designed as the final requirement for the Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies. It is generally taken as the last course in the sequence of required courses for the certificate, although students may be enrolled simultaneously in the Practicum/Internship and other courses in the program. This course is restricted to “majors” in the Museums Studies Graduate Certificate Program.

The Practicum/Internship is intended to advance the student’s knowledge of the field of museum work and to provide an opportunity to research areas of special interest. Since the course is meant to be of a practical character, students are encouraged to take advantage of work-related opportunities in museums and related places (art galleries, historic sites, parks, zoos, aquariums, festivals, etc.). Students should consider new areas of exploration, or build on and consolidate projects in which they have had prior involvement. The Practicum/Internship may include research reports for non-profit organizations, research projects for museum exhibits or collections, or other similar activities.

AMST 695 (Restriction: Instructor Approval) » Historic Preservation Practicum

Instructor: William Chapman

Course Description: The Practicum/Internship is the final requirement for the Certificate in Historic Preservation. It is restricted to “majors” in the Historic Preservation Program and is generally taken as the last course in the sequence of required courses for the certificate, although students may be enrolled simultaneously for the Practicum/Internship and other courses in the program. Students not enrolled in the program may take the Practicum/Internship as part of their other studies, with the permission of the Director, although this is not encouraged.

To enroll in AmSt 695, you must submit a practicum/internship topic and proposal to the Director for approval. Upon receipt of approval, the student will be given a special approval code for registration.

The Practicum/Internship is intended to advance the student’s knowledge of the field and to research areas of special interest. Since the project is meant to be of a practical character, students are encouraged especially to take advantage of work-related opportunities in the field. Past Practica/Internships, for example, have included research reports carried out for Cultural Resource Management firms, studies conducted for non-profit organizations, research and exhibits undertaken for museums, and results of ongoing advocacy projects. Students should view the Practicum/Internship as an opportunity to explore areas they have never had an opportunity to consider, and to build on and consolidate projects in which they have had prior involvement.

Course Requirements:

  • The practicum should seek to apply general preservation theory to the student’s specific discipline.
  • Internships must be taken with an organizational entity such as a public or private agency or an architectural or planning firm which is involved in some aspect of preservation.
  • Selection of internship program and affiliated organization or agency must be approved by the director.
  • Internship activities shall involve exploration and application of knowledge gained in course work of the Historic Preservation Certificate Program.
  • Students are expected to devote between 8-10 hours per week to the internship plus a biweekly meeting with the faculty member in charge, alternating with a biweekly meeting with the contact of the sponsoring entity.
  • The individual shall record the process undertaken.
  • At the completion of the internship, the student shall submit a copy of the internship report or project to complete the practicum to the Director.
  • The practicum may be taken at any time after the completion of American Studies 675 (628/421/410). It may be undertaken during the academic year or during summer.

AMST 699V Directed Readings/Research

American Studies 699V is a directed reading/directed research course. Such courses are not intended as routine alternatives to regular course offerings but rather as opportunities to explore themes and topics that are not covered in any available course within the American Studies Department or other departments within the University.

A directed reading/research 699 will be counted as a course towards an American Studies degree only if it carries 3 credits.

Students must first discuss with the graduate chairperson what is to be studied and with whom as well as justify why a 699 is the only feasible alternative.

Master and doctoral students are limited to three (3) credits to count towards their degree.

To enroll in a 699, you must obtain the consent of a particular professor with an expertise on the topic you wish to pursue. This professor may be in American Studies or in any department. Within a week after registration, you must submit to the department office a one-page account of the work to be done. This account must contain the following:

a. The theme or topic to be explored
b. The nature of the work to be done
c. Grade Options (letter grade or CR/NC)
d. Justification as to why 699 is the only feasible alternative
e. The list of books to be read (if a directed reading course)
f. The number of credits to be awarded
g. The basis upon which the credits are to be awarded–a paper, exam, or whatever. Include information on the frequency of student/professor meetings.

This one-page account must be signed by you, the professor, and the graduate chair and submitted to the American Studies Department Office (Moore 324). Without it, you will lose the right to have your directed work count towards your degree. Procedure for Registration: You may obtain appropriate forms/approvals from the American Studies Department office (Moore 324) or download these forms.
Directed Reading Consent Form
Directed Reading Approval Form

AMST 700V Thesis Research

Before registering for a Thesis 700 (for Plan A students only), the student must have completed and obtained an approved thesis committee approved/thesis topic/proposal progress form from Graduate Division

If the above have not been submitted and approved by Graduate Division, the CRN for AmSt 700 WILL NOT BE ISSUED. Please see graduate chair (in Moore 324) one month prior to registration to process the necessary forms.

NOTE: Master’s Plan A students MUST register in 700 in the semester they plan to graduate.

AMST 800V Dissertation Research

Before a doctoral student can register for a Dissertation 800 course, the student must have achieved the following:

a) passed the written and oral qualifying examination
b) received approval of doctoral committee/dissertation topic/proposal
c) passed the oral comprehensive examination

The CRN for AmSt 800 WILL NOT BE ISSUED unless all the above have been completed.

NOTE: Doctoral students MUST register in 800 in the semester they plan to graduate.

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